It’s finally socially acceptable to start getting excited for Christmas! What better way for a food blogger to start getting hype than by making Christmas cookies?!? Recently, my good friend Tiffany Hinton from GF Mom Certified (you may recognize her name from my reviews of two more of her books, my WCW post, and our constant twitter convos) published a brand new cookbook called Santa’s Gluten Free Cookie Plate. I found out about this book months ago and was super anxious to try it out (who doesn’t love cookies?) and this weekend, I was finally able to!
Christmas cookies have always been a big part of our holiday celebration in my family, and even after my food allergy diagnoses, they continue to be important. During the annual Christmas dinners at my grandparents’ and aunt’s houses, we are always the ones in charge of the cookies. When we were little, my sisters and I would spend countless hours making sugar cookies into shapes and turning them into works of art with icing, helping my mom roll out the butterballs, and testing the batter for the mint brownies. With this book, Tiffany has truly captured the essence of not only the delicious variety of Christmas cookies but the joy of sharing the baking and eating process with every member of the family.
This book has 25 scrumptious-looking recipes that anyone with multiple food allergies can enjoy, so it was difficult to pick which ones to try. I seriously considered making all 25, but alas, that wasn’t realistic in one weekend. I’ll probably make more in the next few weekends when I’m home (especially the sugar cookies and icing…just like when I was a kid!), but I think the ones I tried out were perfect for the review. They even given the thumbs-up from my non-GF family and friends!
The first ones I made were the brownie cookies. One, because I love chocolate and that recipe was the chocolatiest (yes, I’m making that a word) one yet, and two, because I’d been eyeing the peanut-free buckeye cookies since getting the book, and the brownie cookies were the base. I don’t think I could have had a better experience making these cookies. The dough mixed well, the scoops onto the cookie sheet were perfect, and the consistency was just right. They were soft and just the right amount of chewy. I didn’t add any mix-ins, but they would be awesome with some mini chocolate chips and a bit of peppermint extract.
I did end up turning a couple of them into buckeyes, just to test the recipe, and believe me when I say that it was one of the best-tasting cookies I’ve ever had. I could eat those all day…no kidding! The combination of Sunbutter and chocolate is one of my favorites, so this cookie hit the spot!
The second recipe I made was the Monster Cookie recipe. Partly because of its name, not gonna lie. This was basically a sunbutter cookie with oatmeal and chocolate chips…three yummy flavors rolled into one! When I took them out of the oven, the dough balls pretty much stayed the same shape as when I put them in, but were still cooked all the way through. I don’t know if that was the recipe or just how they turned out the one time, but I thought that fit the name pretty well…it made them look big! I really liked these as well. The Sunbutter flavor was subtle, and as always, worked well with the chocolate chips, and the oatmeal gave it a nice texture.
*Note: The recipe ingredient list calls for 1/4 cup applesauce, but the instructions call for 1 egg instead. I went with the instructions and used the egg instead of applesauce and the recipe turned out well.
Another recipe I really wanted to try was the No-Bake Cookie recipe. I used to LOVE no-bake cookies pre-food allergies, and couldn’t wait to make a good alternative. These were nice because all I had to do was heat up everything in a pot, mix it together and scoop it out onto a tray. Easy! And let me tell you, these tasted just like the real deal! But they were better because they’re peanut, dairy and gluten-free. Sunbutter really is a wonderful product (also I just now realized that all of the recipes I’ve listed so far use it…hmmm) and an excellent alternative for peanut butter. I made these cookies bite-sized, and even though I cut the recipe in half, I ended up with a ton! Which is definitely not a bad thing.
The fifth and final recipe I tested was the raspberry macaroon cookie. I love macaroons. And raspberries. So this was a no-brainer. The batter was so pretty and pink…very bright and festive for the holidays. For some reason, whenever I make macaroons, they always flatten out a bit instead of staying poofy. I think I’m not mixing everything long enough (the price of being impatient for cookies haha). BUT flat or not, they were still super cute and tasty. I also drizzled chocolate sauce on half of them for good measure. Good life choices, folks.
I have to say, this was a pretty productive weekend. With Thanksgiving, apartment-hunting (Chicago is only one month away!!), kombucha-ing, and knocking out 1/5 of the recipes in Santa’s Gluten Free Cookie Plate, I’m wiped out! But also very content. Christmas cookies (especially allergy-friendly ones) are always the key to happiness, yes?
And now YOU (yes, you) can unlock your own happiness and Christmas cheer with your very own hardcover copy of Santa’s Gluten Free Cookie Plate. Consider it an early Christmas present. 🙂