This year we made some great Christmas cookies and while most of the recipes were from other bloggers, I wanted to keep track of what we made and the minor changes I did to some of the recipes so we can use them again next year. So, here are the links to what we made and how we made them our own!
*Two notes… First, while I am generally dairy-free as well as gluten and corn free, I have found that I can tolerate some butter so many of the recipes do include it. Second, in any recipe that calls for an all-purpose gluten free flour, I used the Namaste mix that you can find at Costco. It worked great and I was even able to sub it one-for-one for regular all-purpose flour in my family’s traditional Belgium cookies.
1. Gingerbread Men and Royal Icing
I love gingerbread cookies and I love to do cut-outs with the boys each year. The cookie recipe was fairly simple and the only change I made was leaving out the xanthan gum (my flour mix had it in it already) and using arrowroot powder in lieu of cornstarch.
For the Royal Icing, I needed a recipe that didn’t use confectioner’s sugar as that is made of white sugar and corn starch. Seriously, corn is in everything! 😦 This recipe uses regular granulated sugar. While mine didn’t stiffen up as well as the recipe indicated, it got thick enough for the boys to pipe it out onto the cookies.
I think for next year with these two recipes, I would like to work on finding a way to make these without refined sugar at all but for this year, we let go a little and just enjoyed them!
2. Peanut Butter Balls
Oh goodness were these delicious!!! And, truly, they really aren’t too unhealthy for you with just simple ingredients: dates, peanut butter, oatmeal, coconut oil, dark chocolate. The only change I made to this recipe was that I used an unsalted peanut butter so I added a pinch of sea salt to the mix. Oh, and we made a double batch of these because they were just so good. These may become a year-round treat at our house instead of just at Christmas treat! 🙂
3. Butter Crunch Toffee
One of my all time favorite Christmas treats that my dad always made when we were younger is Butter Crunch Toffee. I love it! But, unfortunately it has corn syrup as one of the ingredients. Boo! So, I came across the following recipe that was quite similar to my family’s original. When my dad and I made it this year, he and I agreed that it turned out even better than the original recipe! And, I love that it uses maple syrup and no refined sugars! How awesome is that.
The main changes we made to the recipe were using chopped walnuts instead of almonds, and using unsweetened chocolate on both the top and the bottom of the toffee rather than semi-sweet chocolate on one side. The other thing that we did was use a candy thermometer, getting the toffee to a hard crack before adding the nuts.
This toffee was so good that we ate it all up well before Christmas even happened and needed to make a second batch. Yum!!!!
4. Belgium Cookies
When I first started cutting out gluten, one of the foods I most mourned not being able to eat were our family’s traditional Belgium Cookies. While it is a family recipe and I am not going to publish it here, I just wanted to make note that by using Namaste flour mix one-to-one in the original recipe worked great. They are such a treat!!! I LOVED that this recipe turned out and tasted so close to the original that even my dad, the Belgium Cookie maker of the family thought they were a close match. Yay!