Gluten-Free Holiday Treats That Are Quick, Easy And Kids Will Love

Are you looking for ways to keep your children busy during holiday break? One great way, is to have them contribute to the holiday festivities.  How?  Have them help make holiday treats.

In many families cookies are an important part of the holiday tradition. Even if your children aren’t able to bake yet, they can help decorate. Here are a few quick and easy holiday treats your kids will love.

#1 Rice Crispy Treats

Rice Crispy treats are no-bake snacks that can be ready in a matter of minutes. You can find the recipe on the side of any rice cereal box, and now that Kellogg’s has started making gluten-free Rice Crispies, anyone on a gluten-free diet can once again enjoy them.  You need a box of gluten-free rice crispy cereal, a bag of marshmallows and butter. Once the treats are made, you can use cookie cutters to shape them into holiday decorations.

One easy shape for younger children is to cut the treats into circles and decorate them to resemble tree ornaments. You can use basic colored gel frosting, (check label for hidden gluten),  found at the supermarket, or make your own butter cream frosting and color it with food coloring to match your desired decorating style. Let your little ones express their creativity by decorating the treats.

#2 Sugar cookies

There are many different kinds of gluten-free sugar cookie mixes on the market, which will help to shorten the time.  Round sugar cookies can be made and decorated like holiday ornaments. Or you can roll them out and use various holiday cookie cutter shapes to get more creative. This is particularly fun for older children who may enjoy more complicated decorating tasks. Additionally, older children can bake the cookies.

#3 Peanut butter balls

Another no-bake cookie that’s fun to make are peanut butter balls. They’re also called buckeyes. Basically, you blend peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar into a gooey mess. You then roll the peanut butter mix into melted chocolate, let cool and enjoy. Here’s a quick and easy recipe.

* 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed, paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for thirty minutes in your freezer. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in your microwave. Stir frequently until smooth. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top. Place back on wax paper and store in refrigerator.
If you have family recipes, invite your children to help bake. Getting your children involved in the holiday preparations accomplishes many beneficial things. It helps them feel valuable. They learn new skills. Additionally, it helps them stay busy during time off of school. They’ll be able to grow up and share their joy of holiday baking with their own family.

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time! Gluten Free Anyone?

So it is time once again for Girl Scout cookies.  One of the things we Celiacs really miss, are Girl Scout cookies,  (or is it just me 🙂 ).  Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for a Gluten Free Thin Mint cookie that is in my cookbook, Gluten-Free Get-Togethers. Continue reading →

Gluten Free Product Review Thursday


The Virtual Cookie Exchange was a smashing success.  I have recipes squirting out of my ears. 🙂  Of course some of them will have to be re-worked to make them gluten free, so you will see them at a later date on this blog. 

So I am off today to bake Christmas cookies with my daughter and granddaughter.  My granddaughter is 2 1/2 and at the age where she loves to bake with Granny (that’s me) 😉

  • Eilidh helping to bake

This is a picture of Eilidh, helping me with a recipe for a  Gluten Free pumpkin roll that I was working on for my Holiday Cookbook, the day after Thanksgiving.  (Just in case you’re wondering, Eilidh was born in Scotland.  Her name is Scottish Gaelic and pronounced (Long A-Lee.)  I love cooking and baking, and doing both with my granddaughters just makes it more fun.  Today we are not making a gluten free cookie because these are for my daughters’ cookie exchange at work.

We tried a cookie from the cookie exchange.  They were Russian Tea Balls, from Kathie at The Creation of Possum Manor.  This was the first time I had ever made these kind of cookies.  They turned out really well and according to my daughter tasted really good.

As I mentioned in my blog on Monday, I want to make my blog fun as well as informative, so starting in January Thursdays will be Product Review Thursday.  Since I babbled away today about baking cookies with my girls, I will be reviewing a Gluten Free Hamburger Helper type product tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Mary Blackburn

Living Gluten Free

The Virtual Cookie Exchange

My friend, Susanne Myers, The Hillbilly Housewife, is hosting a virtual cookie exchange.  The following cookie recipe is my contribution.  I hope that you enjoy them.

Gluten Free Mock Thin Mints

                                        Gluten Free Mock Thin Mints

1 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened cocoa powder + some extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon Rumsford Baking Powder
6 Tablespoons butter softened to room temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1/2 teaspoon gluten free Vanilla extract

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter & sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer.  While still mixing add in the egg and vanilla.  Set mixer on low speed and slowly add flour mixture,  so as not to have it pouf out at you.  Mix on medium high speed until all ingredients are incorporated.

Dough will be very soft so cover bowl with plastic wrap and refriderate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  With a teaspoon,  scoop up a teaspoon size piece of dough and roll in your hands to form a ball.  Place on the cookie sheets 2 inches apart.   

Dip the bottom of a glass into the extra cocoa powder and flatten dough balls into 1 1/2″ rounds (about 1/4″ thick).

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch, rotating cookie sheets half way through baking time.

Transfer cookies immediately to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Replace parchment paper on cookie sheets.

                                  Chocolate Coating for Cookies

One – 12 ounce bag semi sweet morsels
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 Tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a double boiler or a heat proof bowl,  set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate morsels, peppermint extract, salt, and the sweetened condensed milk .  Heat,  stirring occasionally until smooth.

When cookies are completely cool, hold each cookie with a finger and thumb and frost with chocolate mixture.  I use the tines of a fork instead of a knife, so as not to get too much chocolate on each cookie.  Coat both top and bottom.  Place frosted cookie on parchment covered cookie sheet and repeat until all cookies are coated.

Place in refrigerator until chocolate has hardened, at least 1 hour.

Cookies can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an air tight container between layers of parchment paper.I hope you enjoy these cookies and all the others that you will find at the Virtual Cookie Exchange.

Mary Blackburn

Living Gluten Free

Gluten Free Menu Monday

I thought that I would start blogging more frequently, but I didn’t know just what I would be blogging about. 

Those of you that know me personally, know that I rarely run out of things to say, but I want my blog to be informative and fun.  So I decided that I would have a couple of theme days every week and encourage you to join in.

This will start in full after the holidays.  If you’re like me right now, the holidays aren’t just creeping up on you, they are flying at you with the speed of a freight train.  I can’t believe Christmas is just 10 days away.  I still have shopping to do.  

I have baking to do also.  Because we had a night of freezing rain Saturday night into Sunday morning, church services were cancelled, interstate 376, commonly called here in Pittsburgh, The Parkway, was closed.  That hasn’t happened since the snow storm of 1993. 

 So I thought it would be a perfect day to do some  baking. I made Gluten Free Mock Thin Mints.  If you have a Girl Scout in the family, then you know what Thin Mint cookies are.  I think that was one of the things I missed most after going gluten free.

I will be posting the recipe here later today.  The reason I will be posting later is because my friend Susanne Myers, The Hillbilly Housewife came up with a great idea. 

Since alot of us are work at home moms, she came up with the idea to have a Virtual Cookie Exchange.  So if you are looking for some great cookie recipes check out the Virtual Cookie Exchange.  I think this will be alot of fun.

Feel free to post your favorite cookie recipes in the comments section below.  I look forward to a lot of great recipes.

Also, if you would like some more information on Celiac Disease, be sure to check out my Squidoo Lens.

Mary Blackburn

Living Gluten Free