I am writing this post as we barrel down the highway at 88 miles an hour towards central Illinois to start our family Christmas. I secretly think my husband is attempting to turn our Durango into a DeLorean and go back to Christmas future :) I just love that I can multi-task because it's been a busy week. My daughter and I just finished a marathon cookie baking/gift wrapping session this morning in preparation for our family holidays, so I wanted to share our goodies with you in case you are looking for some artsy gift wrapping ideas or delicious gluten free and dairy free Christmas cookie recipes. Happy Holidays!
It's a (gift) Wrap!
For several years, I've opted to go natural with my gift wrapping for the holidays. I pick up a roll of brown kraft or butcher paper from Menard's or an office supply store and twine. I've made decorative gift tags in years past either using pretty scrapbook paper or even cut-up old Christmas cards. This year, I surfed Pinterest and found an adorable idea to use photos. Each gift has a personalized black & white photo of the recipient on it. It was fun to sift through and pick out photos of all my relatives. I just printed out the photo in black and white, then made as many copies as needed for the gifts.
I like to give my peanut butter balls and Oreo cookie truffles as gifts so decided to make individualized candy boxes for friends and family. I have so many leftover card boxes from a previous business, so why not re-purpose them? They are just the right size for 9-10 truffles and the transparent see-through box top lets recipients peek at the goodies contained within. Just finish it off with some decorative ribbon.
As the Christmas Cookies Crumble...
My chocolate cravings are now officially over-the-top with this baby. So, of course I had to work in a few different chocolate options for the holidays. This year, we made some of our old favorites that I posted here on my Gluten Free Dairy Free Christmas cookie post from last year plus a few additions:
- Peanut Butter Balls
- Candy Cane Cookies
- Oreo Cookie Truffles
- Apricot and Prune Kolacky (**new!)
- Guittard's Molten Chocolate Cookies (**new!)
- Midel's Gluten Free Gingersnaps (store bought ) I didn't have energy for gingerbread this year :)
The peanut butter balls, KinniToos "Oreo" cookie truffles, and candy cane cookies have been staples for our gluten free, dairy free Christmas. Being part Polish though, I also wanted to try and include kolacky this year. My mother used to make my grandfather's kolacky recipe at the holidays. He was a baker and had a delicious recipe that called for a pint of ice cream. I usually turned my nose up at the apricot and prune filled creations each year, opting instead for something chocolate or the gooey green wreath cookies she also made. I have to admit though, you never quite appreciate something until it's gone. Once I was diagnosed with celiac disease and a dairy allergy, those kolacky were off-limits. Although I haven't been able to find a GFDF ice cream that can re-create my grandfather's kolacky, I did find a yummy gluten free, dairy free kolacky recipe (courtesy of Gluten Free Betsy) that I modified slightly. I was even able to use the Solo Prune and Apricot filling that my mom uses, since it is gluten free. A dusting of powdered sugar when they are cooled, and enjoy!
Kolacky (filled with Apricot and Prune)
- 6 oz Toffuti or Galaxy brand Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Earth Balance vegan shortening
- 2 cups gluten free flour mix (1 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup millet flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour)
- 1 tsp guar gum
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (McCormick's is gluten free)
- Solo pastry and pie filling (any flavor you like - for nostalgic reasons, I prefer Apricot and Prune)
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Mix together cream cheese, Earth Balance, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together gluten free flours and guar gum. Add flour to wet ingredients until mixed well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
When ready to roll out dough, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using parchment paper floured with gluten free flour, roll out dough. Using a juice glass, press out circle shaped cookies and place onto parchment lined or ungreased cookie sheet. Put a dollop of pastry filling into middle of each cookie. You can bake as-is or fold ends of cookie towards middle, "pinching" the cookie in the center (see gallery photos). Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending upon oven, until golden and crispy soft. When cooled, dust with powdered sugar. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies.
Guittard's Molten Chocolate Cookies
This recipe is adapted from the back of the Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chip package (gluten free, dairy free).
- 2 cups Guittard semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp Earth Balance shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup gluten free flour (1/3 cup millet flour, 1/3 cup white rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp guar gum
Combine chocolate chips and Earth Balance in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each session, until ingredients are melted and smooth. Set aside. Using a mixer, combine eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat on high for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add chocolate and mix on low. In a small bowl, mix together gluten free flours and guar gum. Add gluten free flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, scoop blobs of dough onto parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, depending upon oven but be sure not to overbake. Yield: Approximately 20 cookies.
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