It’s cookie exchange season! We had a cookie exchange this past Sunday with our ladies’ group at church, and we came home with lots of goodies. But this is where we have to be careful to make sure the girls don’t get into any of the flour-filled treats, and I make some extra gluten free treats at home so they don’t feel left out (although this year someone bought the girls their own little box of cookies – how sweet!).
If that sounds familiar, why not host a gluten free cookie exchange? Or bake up a bunch of gluten free goodies to enjoy at your house! Here are lots of ideas to get you started.
Bars and Brownies
- Gluten Free Caramel Pretzel Pecan Bars from Gluten Free Palate (pictured above). All you need is some gluten free pretzels and some pantry staples and you’re set.
- Christmas White Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treats from The Kitchen Is My Playground. Use gluten free puff cereal and you’re set. These look so festive, without a lot of work.
- Monster Cookie Bars from Barefeet In The Kitchen (pictured above). These make a huge pan and really do taste like a big cookie!
- Rocky Road Bars from Gluten Free Palate. Anything with mini marshmallows on top is a hit at our house!
- Strawberry Banana Oat Bars from Running With Spoons (pictured above). These have oats and fruit, which makes them totally acceptable for breakfast, right? Right? And red is definitely a Christmas color.
- Nanaimo Bars from Gluten Free On A Shoestring. I feel like I’ve eaten these before, but I also feel like I’ve never heard of them. Dilemmas. You’ll need gluten free graham crackers but everything else is pretty standard baking stuff.
- Simple Gluten Free Brownies. I did a whole roundup of simple gluten free brownie recipes, and I’m sure they’d go over great at a cookie exchange! Just pre-slice and arrange on a nice platter ahead of time.
- Layered Chocolate Peppermint Fudge from Andrea’s Notebook (pictured above). I make exceptions about the amount of sugar and coloring in food for special treats, and I have to say, the green in this one is really pretty. Plus, chocolate + peppermint is always a winner.
- Chocolate Walnut Fudge from Great Grub Delicious Treats. I feel like this one is a pretty classic fudge that everyone likes. (I’m sure some of you don’t, and that’s okay. We’ll still be friends.)
- Cherry Fudge with Dark Chocolate from Shugary Sweets. Not going to lie, I don’t like to mix my fruits with my chocolate. But if you do, this one looks pretty tasty.
- Candy Cane Fudge from Art and the Kitchen (pictured above). Nothing says Christmas like candy canes and white chocolate! Side note: The Hershey’s candy cane kisses are my favorite. This looks like the fudge version of them.
- Peppermint Bark Fudge from Sugar Spun Run. Also a classic Christmas flavor.
- Eggnog Fudge from Self Proclaimed Foodie. Eggnog is one of those things you either love or you hate. If you love it, here’s a fudge recipe for you! (I do not love it.)
- Cranberry Macadamia Nut Fudge from Fake Ginger (pictured above). We eat dried cranberries year round, but they seem to appear a lot more often in winter and holiday recipes.
- Gingerbread Fudge from Shugary Sweets. This one has a longer ingredients list, but it’s one of those flavors you really only make at Christmas time.
- Peanut Butter Balls from me (pictured above). These are one of those family treats we’ve had for years and years, now modified to be gluten free.
- No Bake Coconut Snowballs from For The Family. These look like a perfect bite of chocolate and coconut.
- Energy Bites from me. While not necessarily a cookie or a candy, these are still a sweet and delicious bite-sized treat that could totally work for a cookie exchange. Or a Tuesday. Any day, really.
- Mini muffins! I have a whole host of regular muffin recipes that could be made into mini muffins. Just reduce the baking time to 13-15 minutes and check to see if they’re done. Who says you have to bring cookies?
- Peppermint Meringues from Against All Grain. I’ve never made meringues before, because they seem a little bit intimidating, but if they’re your thing, these would be a perfect holiday version.
- Easy Homemade Divinity Candy from The Domestic Rebel (pictured above). Divinity is also one that I’ve never made before, but I have definitely eaten and enjoyed it!
- Grain Free Mini Cheesecakes from Texan Erin (pictured above). Erin says she can’t make a whole cheesecake, or she’d eat the whole thing, and I completely agree! These little bites are perfect for a small treat, and for sharing.
- Apricot Coconut Bliss Balls from Casey Jade. We got a package of dried apricots in a gift basket, and these were a yummy way to use those up. They also work with almonds or walnuts or whatever nut you have in your cupboard.
- Puppy Chow. I started a Pinterest board dedicated solely to Chex Mix recipes, and this Candy Cane Muddy Buddies Mix (pictured above) or this Cranberry Orange Chex Mix, both from Life Your Way, would be perfect for a Christmas treat.
- White Chocolate Treat Mix from me (pictured above). There’s just something about the salty popcorn and the sweet white chocolate that fits together so well.
- Peanut Butter Caramel Corn from Sally’s Baking Addiction (pictured above). I make this whenever I have extra popcorn that nobody wanted to finish. And then all of a sudden, everyone is hungry again…
- Homemade Peanut Brittle from Cincy Shopper (pictured above). One of my aunts always made peanut brittle for Christmas, and I love the crunch!
- Easy Soft Caramels from Le Creme De La Crumb. Any candy recipe that goes by look and not by specific temperature is a winner for me!
- The Best Peppermint Bark from Andrea’s Notebook. Peppermint bark is one of my favorite treats, and I can’t believe I’ve never made my own – it looks really simple.
- Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles from Kitchen Stewardship (pictured above). These are so simple, but so cute! Plus I have almost everything in my cupboard already.
- Homemade Peppermint Patties from Butter With A Side Of Bread. York candies are one of my favorites, and these sound pretty easy to make too.
- Martha Washington Candies from Mom On Time Out. I’ve never heard of these, but if you’re a chocolate and cherries fan, these would be perfect!
- Easy Christmas Peppermint Patties from Mom On Time Out (pictured above). Classic Christmas colors, classic Christmas flavor.
Cookies (of course!)
- Chocolate Insanity Cookies from Living Well Spending Less.
- Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies from me (pictured above). Always a classic, and now gluten free!
- Flourless Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies from Food.com. These sound tall, dark, and handsome…er, deep, dark, and delicious?
- Chocolate Peanut Haystacks or these Toffee Cashew Clusters from Chelsea’s Messy Apron or these Rocky Road Peanut Clusters from Mom On Time Out. Because covering some sort of nut with some sort of chocolate is going to be good.
- Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches from Texan Erin. I don’t normally have almond butter around, but for this recipe I’d be willing to buy it. These are super cute and have the best combo – PB and chocolate.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy. No bake cookies are a classic any time treat, although they may get a little messy if they sit out for too long.
- Ritz Cracker Cookies from me. I make both the regular version and a gluten free version using some gluten free animal crackers. They are a favorite in our house!
- Almond Joy Cookies from My Montana Kitchen. I used to not like coconut. True story. But now I think Almond Joys are delicious, and I bet these would be too. Plus, they’re THM friendly, if that’s your thing.
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. My Grandma Winter’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies will always be my favorite. But if you need a gluten free version, this one looks almost as good.
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Flippin Delicious (pictured above). Chocolate and peppermint is my second favorite combination, so you know I’ll be trying these at some point.
- Salted Nutella Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies from The Spiffy Cookie. You had me at Nutella.
- Peppermint Chocolate Macaroons from Against All Grain. I love that Danielle includes a little bit about how classic macaroons are made, because I totally want to learn to make my own.
- Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies from The Roasted Root (pictured above). I admit I don’t normally keep almond flour on hand, but I also don’t usually have molasses on hand, so making gingerbread cookies requires an extra shopping trip anyways. And if that’s all I have to grab that’s out of the ordinary, that counts as simple to me.
For my holiday baking, I do a lot of peanut butter and chocolate, because that’s my favorite combination ever. But at Christmas I also enjoy the peppermint and chocolate combo. Which Christmas cookie flavor is your favorite?
All of the photos in this post belong to the websites mentioned. Unlabeled photos are my own.