Growing up as a kid I have so many wonderful memories of the holiday season, most of which center around my family, and baking. Since I grew up in an Italian household we actually had so many Italian Christmas baking traditions that most kids I don't think typically grew up with, but we also had a few traditional American ones, like making sugar cookies that I am sure so many of you can relate to.
While I wouldn't say that sugar cookies were the favorite go to Christmas cookie in our house...it's hard to beat out homemade anisette cookies, pizzelles, biscotti, and cannolis, I would say that cutting out and decorating the sugar cookies was by far one of our favorite nights of the season.
There is just something special about sitting with your family, sneaking as much cookie dough with your sisters that you think you can possibly get away with without your mom seeing (she has since told us we never got away with anything), and getting sticky frosting and colorful cookie decorations all over the kitchen that for me just quantifies what the holidays really are all about. They are about making memories, having lots of laughs, being surrounded by food that becomes part of our culture, and getting wrapped up in these few short weeks when everything seems to just shine a little brighter.
I honestly can't say that I have ever felt that desire for that holidays to be over, or those thoughts of "can we just skip it this year?". Every year I look forward to the memories that we recreate year after year, the funny stories that get told, the Christmas decorations, and twinkle lights decorating my home, and the general reflection that always seems to flood over me as I think about my life, and just how thankful I am to have the one I have.
So I hope that for all the families out there who have kids who may have celiac disease, or have recently gone gluten free and are hoping to keep up with some of their families holiday baking traditions, just know that this recipe really did come right for my heart and kitchen, and I hope fills your home with the tools for some wonderful memories.
gluten free Holiday sugar cookies
makes two dozen cookies
These sugar cookies are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free (except for the icing) and have a more crisp texture than a more cake like sugar cookie consistency.
- 2 cups of all purpose gluten free baking flour (I used Bob's Red Mills)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 1 tablespoons organic honey
- 8 tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 Egg
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- In a large bowl combine honey, coconut oil, coconut sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whip together until fully combined using a stand-mixer or hand-mixer
- Next, in a medium size bowl combine gluten free flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda. Whisk together to remove any clumps.
- Begin to slowly add your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients, and blend together until a sticky dough forms.
- Scoop dough onto a piece of parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to soften slightly.
- Once pliable, use a rolling pin to roll the dough in roughly 1/4 inch thickness.
- Using cookie cutters, cut cookies into shapes and place on baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 F for ~6 minutes or until the cookies begin to golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before piping with frosting.
- To make frosting combine all ingredients in a bowl and using a hand or stand mixer slowly begin to mix together until a slightly runny icing forms, use your judgement and add extra milk/sugar as needed.