Christmas – a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate the birth of Christ.  It’s also time to hold up certain traditions like decorating a Christmas tree, putting up Christmas lights on the house, and baking Christmas cookies.  For the people that have to avoid gluten, whether they are celiac or gluten intolerant, it’s a fearful time when visiting family and friends.   And it could possibly be scary at home too.

It’s the time of year that I make my traditional Christmas cookies.  I have experimented with different sugar cookie recipes and have come up with a pretty good recipe.  I’ve included it at the end of the blog.  It’s basically a modified sugar cookie recipe using white rice flour and some other ingredients.  I make my own royal icing, tinting it with food coloring to decorate my cookies.  I also use cake-mate frosting in a tube for some of the decorations.

So this year, when I went to the store to get more Cake-Mate frosting in a tube, I discovered that they were out of it so I bought Wilton’s white frosting in the tube instead.  As I was decorating the cookies, I just so happened to check the ingredients list on the tube.  And to my surprise I saw wheat starch on the list.  And it didn’t even state anywhere on the tube that the product contained wheat.  It does say, however, that it was made in a facility that processes egg products, but no wheat.

Just goes to show you that even though your friends or family say that the things they specifically make for you are gluten free, you have to check the labels on everything yourself and ask about every single ingredient.

Enjoy the recipe!


Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookies

3 C white rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill) (gluten free)

1 teaspoon cream of tartar (gluten free)

3 teaspoons xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill) (gluten free)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 C butter (room temperature but not melted)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla (gluten free)

1 C sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Once this is mixed well, add the butter and mix together until ingredients become crumbly.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, vanilla, and sugar – use a whisk to combine.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix it all until it recedes from the sides.  Split the dough into two equal sections.  Shape each section of dough by making it a circle that is flat, then let set in the refrigerator for about an hour.

After you let the dough set in the refrigerator for an hour, put the dough on freezer paper that has gluten free flour sprinkled on it.  Or, if you choose, you can substitute the flour for powered sugar to give it an even better taste.  Roll out to ¼ inch thickness then use a cookie cutter and cut out approximately 20 cookies.

Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven when done and cool on a rack.  Repeat with the second circle of dough.

Serving size – approximately 40 cookies

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