Tis the season to be baking! And giving away baskets and bags and tins and tinsel wrapped parcels of our baked goods. There is nothing I love more than giving gifts from my kitchen. Brownies for a work morning tea, jars of biscuits to our head office, spice biscuits for neighbours, and some special treats for my nearest and dearest (no sneak peeks here guys, sorry). But what about the intolerant or allergic among your friends and family? Never fear, I have compiled a list of gluten free friendly recipes that are perfect for gifting. So spread a little Christmas cheer without worrying about causing sore tummies or rashes. Bake something up today that the whole family can enjoy.
Firstly, a few tips for gluten free safety. I live in a household where I am the only one who cannot eat gluten (this doesn’t stop the cookies from disappearing into gluten-able mouths though…) and my grandmother is a diagnosed coeliac so whatever I bake, I like to make sure she can eat when she visits, so I take extra care in making sure I keep gluten free goods completely gluten free. (Disclaimer: these are my personal tricks for keeping the kitchen safe, but should not replace advice from a registered professional or professional organisation.)
- Wash all utensils carefully before you start using them to make gluten free food. There is no need to buy a completely new set, but make sure that you scrub them thoroughly. Check crevices carefully.
- Wipe down you bench and other cooking surfaces with disinfectant spray and paper towel.
- Only use products that are labelled gluten free. Wheat free does not mean gluten free so check carefully.
- Be wary of hidden sources of gluten: cornflour, icing sugar, pre-packaged sauces, and chocolate are some that I have been caught out by recently.
Now, onto the baking! Cookies are a perennial favourite at this time of year and some of my favourites that could easily be made into holiday gifts are:
Almond Butter Shortbread cut into seasonally appropriate shapes. Little gingerbread people, reindeers, Christmas trees – your choice!
Coffee-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies would be a sweet and fancy surprise inside a festive biscuit tin.
If you bring a warm plate of these Chunky Dunkers as a gift for your gluten free hostess/host they will invite you back again and again.
Quick breads make a great gift to bring with you when visiting someone’s house for a Christmas party. This way they have something they can eat for breakfast the next morning, or serve to their next guests. Or perhaps as dessert, lightly toasted with some ice cream…
Coconut Banana Bread is a staple in our home all through the year, and if the recipient can’t eat it now, it freezes and defrosts brilliantly.
This Zucchini, Hazelnut and Cranberry Bread blends the best of the season here in our summery Christmas and the spices evoke calm as their scent wafts from the oven.
A wreath-shaped Blood Orange Poppyseed Cake is festive in so many ways try other citrus fruits if blood oranges aren’t available.
For something extra decadent try these treats:
Laced with white chocolate chips and spiked with Frangelico and spices these Spirit of the Season Blondies ‘taste just like Christmas’ as my friend Melissa said in her review.
This Sugary Chocolate Fudge is just as it says: sugary. Be careful to brush your teeth carefully after a piece of this.
These Honey Caramels entice even the most reluctant dessert eaters like my boyfriend’s father who had more than one piece as soon as he realised their sweet appeal. I hope this list will help with your baking and gifting.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year, so why not spread a little joy with homemade treats. The most important ingredient of course is your love.
For more information on gluten free safety have a read of this quick guide from Cooking Light about how to make a safe gluten free kitchen and this resource from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.