Super Easy, Gluten-Free Christmas Treats

Phew! We’re done! I think we are done, anyway. We’ve mailed off Christmas cards to our friends and family and have been baking and cooking this week to finish up gifts.

My Love’s office has a cookie exchange every year and we always end up with several dozen cookies that I can’t eat and my Love doesn’t eat sweets. So, this morning I made cookies plates for my neighbors with these treats and several others that we had made to share with our neighbors.

I cannot believe that we are “done”. I feel so… umm… organized! It’s amazing! :)

If you are in the midst of Merry-making madness, then you know that a few good Holiday recipes are all you need in order to feel like you are part of the Merriment and not merely an observer.

My first gluten-free Christmas was a bit of a bumpy road. While I could find the super-sealed, shelf-permanent gluten-free bread; none of it was tasty. And the French Pie that my mom always made was made with a gluten-free crust that we made together… however the recipe called for over one and a half cups of oil PLUS a quarter cup of butter (!!!). We almost choked when we read the recipe and were quite repulsed while baking. Now there’s a holiday memory NOT worth repeating.

So I wised up. I made gluten-free Christmas the easy way: au natural. After all, what’s more gluten-free AND delicious than fresh fruit, vegetables and organic meats? We made rustic meals and loved every minute of it. And then the cookie-exchange parties hit and I felt a little left out of the holiday sugar-high.

Enter stage left: Gluten-free Holiday Cookies.

Are you here looking for a Gluten Free Christmas Cookies or Candy recipes?
Try one of these:

I was on the phone chatting with my sister while planning our recent cookie exchange baking session when we both mentioned Buckeye Balls through murmurs of mmmmmmmmms that were escaping our lips. And they are easy to make too! I just didn’t make them because we were already set to make the Layered Peppermint Bark Bites – also another easy treat to make.

Next week I’m making Mexican Wedding Cookies (otherwise known as Russian Tea Cookies). Have you had those? My mom used to make them when we were kids. I swear I could eat them like popcorn! So I intend to make my cookies smaller than normal this Holiday season. Since my Love doesn’t munch on cookies, I will make some to share with friends when we go out for dinner and to a couple Holiday parties.

What are you making to share this season?

Here is the recipe for our Peppermint Bark Bites. This recipe makes 100 pieces – a tad more than 8 dozen. (Perfect for tasting, if you ask me!)

Layered Peppermint Bark Bites
Ingredients:
3 – 16 oz. bags of dark chocolate chips
3 – 16 oz. bags of white chocolate chips
12 peppermint candy canes, crushed
2 – 3 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 Tablespoon butter
100 mini-muffin paper liners

Directions:

  1. Fill a saucepan with 2-3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, lay out/spread out the 100 mini-muffin liners on to cookie sheets on a work surface. Be sure to have them all ready to go before you begin to melt the chocolate.
  3. Set a metal serving bowl over the edge/on top, but not touching the water.
  4. Dump in the three bags of dark chocolate chips and add the butter. Melt together while stirring constantly until the chocolate is smooth.
  5. Add the 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract (or a little more, if you prefer).
  6. Remove the bowl from the water/heat. Using a tablespoon, drizzle dark chocolate into each muffin liner until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick or a little more. Continue until all muffin cups have dark chocolate on the bottom.
  7. Clean the bowl completely and dry completely before continuing.
  8. *NOTE* White chocolate will seize and not melt to a smooth consistency if any moisture or oil are in the bowl. Be sure to dry the bowl and the spatula/stir utensil completely before proceeding.
  9. In a clean/dry bowl over the simmering water, dump the white chocolate chips. Stir constantly until they melt to a smooth consistency.
  10. Remove from the heat. Use a tablespoon to drizzle or drop white chocolate on to each dark chocolate-lined muffin cup. Continue until all muffin cups have white chocolate.
  11. Sprinkle each muffin cup with crushed peppermint and push the peppermint in to the chocolate slightly.
  12. Allow pans of muffin cups to cool completely before trying to pack up for your cookie exchange or add to gift jars. (Or cool by sliding the trays in to your refrigerator.)

I hope your Holiday preparations are joy-filled and relaxing!
-Kate

PS. And those easy other treats in the picture? Those are a snap too – and stinkin’ addictive when you eat them – so LOOOK OUT! Just take a gluten-free pretzel, top it with a chocolate kiss or a Rolo (chocolate covered caramel) and pop them in a warm oven until the kiss becomes soft (about 3-4 minutes at 325F). Take them out and push in an M&M candy.

PPS. Wondering what to do for your Holiday Gifts? Consider giving your treats or a gift to your local school (read this article by a teacher to get her suggestions), your local Food Bank or Oxfam - give the gift of livestock or comfort.

22 comments on “Super Easy, Gluten-Free Christmas Treats
  1. Shawna says:

    Kate, these all look amazing. I want to make every last one!

    One thing though, I can’t get the link for the “Dark chocolate cookies with cocoa nibs and salt” to work. Is it just me?

    Thank you!
    Shawna

    Hmmm…. I’ll fix that. Thanks for pointing it out! ;) – Kate

  2. zebe912 says:

    Ach, I was so excited to see this post and pass it on to my sisters for baking day. Then I realized all the recipes were still full of regular sugar, so they are still a no go. Gluten free is one thing, and difficult on its own. But cutting sugar out of Christmas is near impossible.

  3. Angela says:

    I’m new (about two months into it) to GF but I thought dextrin was one of the things that contains or can contain gluten and its the last ingredient or close to last in M&Ms. This being the case they aren’t gluten free. So asking in all ignorance wanting to know if I’m wrong, am I wrong? Thanks!

    M & Ms are gluten free. (All except for the “crispy” kind, anyway.) :) No worries! Both M&Ms and the kisses are GF. :) – Kate

  4. Gina says:

    Kate, Kate, Kate!!! Please, please, please! Can you share your Mexican Wedding Cakes recipe??? They are my pre-GF all time favorite (only in our house they are Russian Tea Cakes!) and I’d love to be able to share them with my family! I haven’t been brave enough to try converting any of my old Christmas cookie recipes yet (been GF about 9 mos), but maybe this would be the push I need!!!! Thanks!
    Gina

  5. Meg says:

    Thus blog makes me want to make a parade in your honor! Thank you so much for all your great thoughts and recipes. Merry to you and Your Love.

  6. Kristi says:

    So the top picture, the pretzels w/ m&ms and presumeably almond bark? I didn’t see the recipe for that one and am looking to make a gluten free treat for my classroom. Are they just round pretzels, almond bark, and m&ms and are they truly gluten free?

    • Kate says:

      Hello!
      I used gluten free pretzels, hershey kisses and M&Ms. Just out a kiss on each pretzel round, slide it into a warm oven until the chocolate melts, pull it out and top each kiss by gently pushing in an M & M. Let them cool. And Wa-lah! Treats!

      It *is* gluten free if you use gluten free pretzels. :)

      kate

  7. Nicol says:

    My mom made these for me at Christmas and used caramel filled Kisses. She was going to use Rollos, but couldn’t find any. This was a delicious treat that I had to hide from my huband and son! I hope the caramel filled Kisses were gluten free…

  8. Terry says:

    where is the recipe for the pretzels with chocolate on top?

  9. Trisha says:

    I put my hershey kisses in the oven just as recommended. They broke apart when I tried to place the m & m on top. I tried it 3 different times and it wouldn’t work. My mother told me to put it in the microwave and it was worse. I raised the temp, left them for longer amounts of time, and put them in the microwave. I have gone through an entire back of hershey kisses. I do not know what I am doing wrong.

    We are going to a friends house tomorrow and it is a gluten free household. I wanted to make a gift of some candies for them. And I would be embarrassed to take what I have.

  10. Karly says:

    Hey! Found this in my search for a GF Xmas baking for my hubby…Im shooting to make the peppermint bark in the bites but I just wanted to clarify the quantity for the recipie…16oz times 3 (for a total of 48 oz of each) for EACH the dark chocolate and white chocolate???? That seems like ALOT! (I just bought 3 bags of each chips and each bag I bought is about 8-8.5oz and if I need 48 oz of each chocolate I fear this will be the only goodie I make!!)
    (Secretly hoping its 16oz TOTAL of each ;)

  11. waggie says:

    Thank you SO much for all your wonderful recipes. I just found out recently that all three of my kids are allergic to wheat. Not everyone knows or understands the allergy and so we have been receiving plate after plate of Christmas cookies, which I either bring to work or we just toss. :( I have done some baking, but the treats are either terrible tasting or fall apart… I tried a few of these recipes and they worked! Better yet they taste great. Even people that are not GF like them! I also tried your croissant dough and wrapped hot dogs as well as your honey oat bread. My kitchen felt like Christmas this weekend with all the baking we did and my kids are happily eating their special cookies. Thank you!

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