yes, virginia you can survive christmas without shortbread

It’s been about three months now since I discovered that if I avoid wheat I have more energy, generally feel better and don’t look as though I am expecting little one number three! All good reasons to keep up the good work over the holidays. But I have to say I really wasn’t sure how I could get through Christmas without my grandmother’s shortbread recipe. It has long been a staple for me and I am loathe to try to make it without wheat flour. Since there are only four ingredients I think it would be pretty much impossible to achieve the perfection that is that shortbread without wheat. So I needed to come up with some new material this year.

I have made probably close to nine dozen cinnamon stars for gifts and just to nibble on but since then I have also discovered a few other treats that are not only heavenly but gluten-free! Here are some of my favourites so far. Sorry, dark rainy day means dark, slightly blurry photo. Hope you get the idea!

1. Almond Coconut Macaroons: I can’t say enough about this year’s Holiday Cookies issue from Martha. There are a lot of great wheat-free options. I was worried there would be a lot of repeat recipes but I didn’t see too many. Only problem is that she doesn’t seem to be sharing many of the recipes online. The recipe in the magazine is scaled up from this one I think. It looks pretty similar. Perhaps it’ll go online after the holidays. One change I made was to use less sugar since I had sweetened coconut on hand.

2. Sugarplums: I have been making these for a very long time. Probably since 2001 when the recipe came out. It’s the kind of sweet treat that you can feed the kids without too much guilt. The base is made with mission figs and raw almonds so they have a bit of protein and some fibre. The honey makes them sweet and the combination of cinnamon and orange zest is amazing!

3. Zimtsterne: I used the recipe from Martha’s Holiday Cookies issue. Once again she’s not sharing the recipe on the site. Maybe it’ll go up after the holidays. But if you can’t wait, this recipe is very similar.

4. Peppermint Bark: This is my first year making these little bits of heaven. And they really are as good as they look. Not too many have made it out the door as gifts I’m afraid. I love the chewy, crunchy textures. The only changes that I made were to use semi-sweet chocolate (it’s what I had) and I didn’t cut them up nicely like these ones but rather broke them in pieces.

Happy holiday baking!

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One response to “yes, virginia you can survive christmas without shortbread

  1. Yum! These all look delicious and I will make note for next year. Funny – this is the first year I’ve ever made shortbread and I was amazed at how easy it is! I like your gluten free options and the the sugarplums are a nice sweet treat for the kiddos.

    Best of the season to you and your family!!
    Jodi

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