Christmas cookies, holiday cookies, winter treats—whatever you want to call them, they used to be the perfect gift. Everyone loved getting a little tin of homemade cookies. Coworkers, friends, neighbors, even the mailman and doorman were delighted!
No longer. The culprit was nuts at first. Then gluten. Or sugar (for those on keto and paleo diets). Suddenly cookies were unwelcome and rebuffed on every doorstep without careful screening of ingredients and allergens; plus, let’s be honest, who can keep track of which cousin can’t have Brazil nuts or that your office manager is gluten-free?!
To solve the problem of juggling allergies and intolerances, we’ve constructed the perfect roundup of allergen-friendly holiday cookie recipes to please everyone on your list—well, stay tuned for keto cookies, which will get their own spotlight soon.
Meringues are naturally gluten-free because they contain no flour or grains of any kind, so these are the perfect option for your low-carb friends. If you’re worried about nut allergies, skip the nuts and add toffee! Get our Gluten-Free Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringues recipe.
Chewy on the inside, crinkly on the outside, and totally gluten-free. Plus they look so festive! Pro-tip: Make sure your powdered sugar is gluten-free, as some can have a gluten-based starch additive. Get our Gluten-Free Almond Crinkle Cookies recipe.
USA Pan Half Sheet Pan, $19.99 on Amazon
This recipe from DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections is actually designed to be eaten raw—using heat treated flour makes it safe to eat without baking (and you can use the same trick for any other cookie dough you want to eat in raw dough form). But if you want a conventional batch of cookies, it does also bake beautifully, with melty chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar sparkling on top. Get the Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle recipe.
Peppermint is the undisputed holiday flavor, so naturally you’ll need this one in the mix. Get the Gluten-Free Peppermint Chocolate Cookies recipe.
Related Reading: A Guide to Gluten-Free Flours
Naturally gluten-free, these traditional German cookies use almond meal (or almond flour) in addition to marzipan. Get the Mandelhörnchen (Chocolate-Dipped Marzipan Almond Horns) recipe.
KitchenAid 6 Speed Hand Mixer, $29.99 on Amazon
Admittedly, this is not the right cookie for people with nut allergies, but it is a sweet treat for those avoiding gluten since it uses tapioca starch and rice flour. To customize it, use any kind of citrus zest you’ve got, or get exotic: grapefruit, yuzu, lime—they’d all taste great! Get our Gluten-Free Pistachio Citrus Bars recipe.
Related Reading: 8 Gluten-Free Breads That Are Worthy of Any Sandwich
Any friend or frenemy who has had to give up gluten invariably misses the cookie classics. This peanut butter cookie with hunks of chocolate will make their hearts grateful for your holiday baking. Get our Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe.
The holy grail of cookies. Many gluten-free baking recipes are OK, but not quiiiite as good as the original. Often, the gluten-free version of these cookies is tough, off tasting, or doesn’t bake properly, but this recipe is actually, truly, real-deal, cross-my-heart, THE tastiest gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. They also happen to be fantastic as the exterior to an eggnog ice cream sandwich. Get our Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.
Just the right amount of spice and chew balances this cookie’s sweetness. I genuinely believe that cookies like this were baked solely for late afternoons or evenings under a blanket, on the couch with something hot to drink, while reading or watching something lovely. Get the Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies recipe.
They just souuuund decadent! Just in time for the fresh pecan crop, these are seasonal, gluten-free, and light as a feather. Get our Gluten-Free Mississippi Praline Macaroons recipe.
Silicone Spatula 7-piece Set, $14.99 on Amazon
These gorgeous little morsels use shredded coconut, coconut oil, and maple syrup for treats that are vegan and gluten-free. They are tall and round because they are full of Santa’s secrets, or so I hear. Get the One-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Coconut Snowball Cookies recipe.
Header image by Chowhound.