Is Santa Claus a coeliac?!

Maybe he is. Or perhaps his elves might be vegan. And what about Rudolf – is he lactose intolerant? Well, let’s make sure that our Christmas cookies look after all these different dietary requirements.

My cranberry and orange cookies are gluten, wheat, dairy and yeast-free. Oh – and guess what? They are also egg free, so our vegans will be happy too.

Merry Christmas from us all at Delicious Gluten Free Bakery in Cork and we hope you enjoy baking our Christmas treats!

Denise’s Delicious cranberry and orange Christmas cookies

Makes 12-16

200g (8oz) Denise’s Delicious Gluten Free Flour Blend (see right)

75g (3oz) caster sugar

100g (4oz) dairy-free margarine, chilled and cut into small cubes

Juice of 1 small orange

50g (2oz) dried cranberries

A little gluten free flour, for rolling out

Oil for greasing

To decorate:

Cookie toppers – see below

For the dairy-free buttercream:

25g dairy free margarine at room temperature

50g icing sugar, sieved

*For a non-gluten-free recipe, use standard white flour.

  • 1 Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190°C/375°F. Grease a baking tray.
  • 2 Place the flour and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and, with an electric mixer, blend well. Add the cubed dairy free margarine and mix until you have a texture of fine breadcrumbs.
  • 3 Add the orange juice and cranberries to the mixing bowl and fold in.
  • 4 Turn out and knead together well. Roll out quickly and evenly – if the dough is sticky, use a little flour on the board and on the dough.
  • 5 Using a 6cm/2½in round biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits and place well apart on the baking tray.
  • 6 Bake for 10-12 minutes, then cool on the baking tray before carefully lifting off.
  • 7 To make the buttercream, cut the dairy-free margarine into small cubes and place in medium bowl with the icing sugar. Mix with an electric hand-held mixer or by hand until fully blended.
  • 8 Once the cookies have cooled fully, put a dot of buttercream in the centre to secure the cake topper.
  • 9 Place the cake topper on top of the cookie and press gently to hold in place.
  • 10 For storage, store in an airtight container for three to four days. Do not store in the fridge as the colour in your cake toppers will run!
  • Cake toppers

    To make the cake toppers, you will need:

  • Some different coloured packs of icing (don’t forget to check the back of pack to make sure the ingredients do not include your allergen). For Christmas, I would use white, brown or black, green, red, blue and silver.
  • You will also need a round cookie cutter, a sharp knife and cookie cutters in the shape of Christmas decorations. Above, we have used an angel and a Christmas tree. Make sure that the cooker cutter size that you use is not bigger than the top of your cookies. You want this to sit snugly on top of the cookies.
  • A bottle of edible spray glitter – after all, it is Christmas!
  • My clever niece, Aoife McGuckin, has stepped in again to help me with her creative skills to make our cookie toppers. I particularly love her polar bears and reindeers – they are so adorable.

    Once made, slide the toppers on to a piece of baking parchment and allow to harden overnight in a cool room before using them to decorate the cookies.

    As it’s Christmas time, give them all a generous spray of edible glitter before popping on top of your cookies!

    Denise’s Delicious gluten-free flour blend

    Makes approximately 850g (2lb) flour blend

    250g (10oz) rice flour

    25g (1oz) tapioca flour

    275g (11oz) potato flour

    275g (11oz) corn flour

    13g (½oz) teff flour

    1 tsp gluten-free (GF) baking powder

    1 tsp xanthan or guar gum

  • Sieve all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  • Read more

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    Gluten-free baking with Denise O'Callaghan