Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

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Traditional gluten-free treats from around the world

Now is the season to try your hand at fancy-looking holiday cookies. These delicious beauties only look complicated. They are not difficult to make.

Each hailing from a different country, these classic gluten-free cookies all boast the wonderful flavor and texture of their original versions—without the gluten and dairy. Most can also be made with an egg replacement.

From Italian Pizzelle (rolled and filled, they make Norwegian krumkake and Russian trubochki) to Jewish Rugelach, German Spritz and American Candy Canes, these traditional cookies will brighten up your dessert platter and impress your guests.

Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies

MAKES ABOUT 36 GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES.

This recipe uses crushed candy canes for an infusion of genuine candy-cane flavor. To crush candy canes, use a food processor or a coffee grinder. Alternatively, place candy canes in a large zip-top freezer bag and seal; lay it flat on a counter and repeatedly roll a rolling pin over the candy canes until they’re evenly crushed into fine pieces. Measure out ½ cup of crushed candy for this recipe. Sprinkle any remainder over cookies after they’re baked, if desired.

Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies
Photography by Jeff Rasmussen
Each cookie contains 95 calories, 5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 19mg cholesterol, 69mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g sugars, 1g protein, 8Est GL.

Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies

MAKES ABOUT 36 GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES.

These fun gluten-free cookies are synonymous with the season. The pliable dough makes lovely shapes that you can decorate before or after baking. In German, spritzen means “to squirt,” which is exactly how you make these cookies.

Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies
Photography by Jeff Rasmussen
Each cookie contains 49 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 19mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g sugars, 0g protein, 5Est GL.

Gluten-Free Rugelach Strudel Cookies

MAKES ABOUT 28 GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES.

Classic Jewish rugelach have a flaky, tender crust and cinnamon-sugar filling. They can be shaped like crescents or rolled into strudel-shaped logs and sliced, as they are here. These gluten-free rugelach are filled with a delicious combination of raisins, pecans (or seeds) and preserves.

Gluten-Free Rugelach Strudel Cookies
Photography by Jeff Rasmussen
Each cookie contains 268 calories, 12g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 26mg cholesterol, 77mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 23g sugars, 2g protein, 25Est GL.

Gluten-Free Pizzelle

MAKES ABOUT 40 4-INCH GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES.

Dusted with confectioners’ sugar, these Italian gluten-free waffle cookies are deceptively easy to make. All you need is a pizzelle iron. This versatile batter can also be used to make Norwegian krumkake and Russian trubochki; wrap the warm pizzelle around a small dowel or cone and stuff them with Cream Filling. This recipe can be made with egg replacement.

Gluten-Free Pizzelle
Photography by Jeff Rasmussen
Each rolled pizzelle with cream filling contains 107 calories, 7g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 33mg cholesterol, 33mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 5g sugars, 1g protein, 7Est GL.

Associate editor Jules Shepard is author of Free For All Cooking (DaCapo Perseus), The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free (DaCapo Perseus) and Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating (CreateSpace).