gluten-free star shape cookie recipe

10 Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes

After I saw Recipe Girl’s beautiful post, “25 Favorite Christmas Recipes,” I knew I’d have to do a similar gluten free post. You see, like everybody else, I’ve been slightly obsessed with Christmas desserts this month.

However, unlike many people, I’m Jewish, so I have a certain lack of confidence when it comes to identifying recipes that are Christmas friendly. Now, thanks to everyone who responded to my self-conscious twitter queries regarding Christmas-worthy cookie recipes I just might be in the know!

Here are my 10 favorite gluten free, grain free, higher protein, lower carb Christmas cookies. I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do!

Click on the image or recipe title to view the full recipe.

black white cookies gluten-free recipe

These crowd pleasing, whimsical Black and White Cookies are actually a New York deli classic. See, you can take the Jew out of New York, but you can’t take New York out of the Jew. Still, they’re a lovely riff on an “ultra-orthodox” treat that works at Christmas for Jews and Christians alike. Maybe Buddhists and Muslims as well, who knows?

gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Classic yet festive, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies made with high protein almond flour are perfect for the Kris Kringle in all of us.

cranberry chocolate biscotti gluten-free recipe

Elegant Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti add European chic to your holiday table.

double chocolate mocha cookies cashew milk recipe

Can you say “adult friendly?” Deep dark chocolate and a hint of organic coffee merge to create Double Chocolate Mocha Cookies for the sophisticated Santa in you.

gingerbread men cookies gluten-free recipe

Adorable Gingerbread Men are the perfect decorating project for your children and a spicy palate pleaser for adults.

vegan gluten-free peanut butter cookies recipe

Vegans have feelings too –make these Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies for your plant eating friends.

gluten-free peanut butter jelly cookies flourless recipe

According to Andrew Broznya (husband of Kelly at Spunky Coconut) his neighbors used to bring over a plate of Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies every year during the holiday season. These are made with heart healthy almond flour and low glycemic coconut sugar.

pecan shortbread cookies gluten-free recipe

Last year one of my neighbors brought a version of my Pecan Shortbread Cookies to our Christmas time cookie exchange. She let me know that she had altered my recipe by forming the dough into balls and after taking them out of the oven dipping them in powdered sugar –the result? Gluten free nut ball cookies.

sesame cookies gluten-free recipe

Simple Sesame Cookies contain both superfood almond flour as well as high protein, calcium rich tahini.

gluten-free star shape cookie recipe

Celebratory Star Cookies rock your holiday universe, and are great fun for kids with cookie cutters.

For substitution questions about these cookies, be sure to take a look at the Can I Substitute? post I wrote yesterday.

Didn’t find the cookie recipe you were looking for? Well, check out all of my gluten free cookie recipes. And while we’re at it, let us know what desserts will you be trying this holiday season.


  1. Cassandra Sharron says

    I Thank you for the good good good food! I am so happy your site is here, but I don’t need the recipes emailed to me, just NOT yet??? Thanks Though?

  2. Angela says

    Thank you so much for allowing me and my daughter to have our special time in the kitchen making cookies for the holidays. I appreciate your time and patience in creating delicious treats for all of us who crave that yummy something sweet. My Favorite cookies….. The Black and white cookies!!!
    Happy Holidays!

  3. mpv61 says

    I have the same plates and my youngest son has the same pajamas as pictured in the gingerbread men picture!

    These recipes look great; thank you.

  4. claudia says

    For Christmas I like the butter cookies, lemon poppyseed bunny cookies, star cookies, and valentines cookies–all cut in Christmas shapes, hamantaschen, biscotti, coconut macaroons (bottoms dipped in dark chocolate), Black & White cookies, and of course gingerbread people. I LOVE your ginger cookies (I add minced candied ginger) and even give them as gifts, but in my family they aren’t ‘fancy’ enough to qualify as ‘Christmas cookies.’

  5. says

    So excited about new cookie recipes among the old faithfuls. I too am Jewish and have found out that so many of my friends locally are too! Making cookies is a holiday affair and not limited by the spiritual choices but rather grown by them. Thanks so much for a bigger variety! Will be attending a cookie exchange at a local winery this weekend so I’ll be experimenting with new recipes, sharing, and enjoying those made by others. Yeah!

  6. Stephanie says

    Long time reader, first time commenter. THANKS so much for your fabulous remakes (Christmas cookies, yay!). It’s such a blessing to have these recipes when raising the bar for my family. My daughters refer to you as “that amazing lady on the internet” who “makes great healthy recipes”. I often am asked, when a new recipe appears (which is often), if it’s from you! Kale chips are a fave here (thx to you and our CSA) and your porridge and a similar one are staples for the fourth grade babe here. LOVE sending kids off to school with a tummy full of nutrition and a lunchbox ready to energize. Thanks for being a warrior in the nutrition battle. Cyber hugs from me!

  7. Garland says

    We have decided on no cards, and only one Santa gift plus one from mom and dad (and a simple stocking). Focusing on activities and togetherness instead of the stuff.

  8. Ally says

    So, I did not make one of these goodies yesterday, I plan on making them today. I did however make Elana’s Brownies & them cut them out with cookie cutters and decorated with shredded coconut! (For adhesive I melted chocolate & a smidge of coconut oil) They were a huge hit at the Christmas party I went to. I am excited to try some of these this evening.

    Thanks Elana!

  9. says

    I just made the sesame cookies yesterday…always a big hit! BTW, I am a half n’ half (one parent is Jewish, one is Christian) and we’ve never celebrated Christmas in a religious way but I like the holiday just as a way to get together with loved ones, bake great cookies and have some fun!

  10. says

    I made your gingerbreads with my boys yesterday (they’re one of our favourites — so yummy!), and today we’re making the star cookies. I also use your linzer heart cookie recipe, but instead of making them into hearts, at Christmastime I roll the dough into balls and then make a thumbprint cookie with raspberry jam for filling. Delicious! :) Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes! They’ve sure made it easy to enjoy a gluten-free holiday season.

  11. says

    Your posts always inspire me, Elana! I love coming to your blog and finding the continual reminder that sweets and treats (and cookies, of course!) can be made so much healthier without sacrificing flavor. Hope you have a fabulous holiday season! :)

  12. HA says

    I am puzzled, i did not think Jews celebrated anything to do with
    Jesus Christ. Biblically speaking, they never accepted this ‘gentile’
    man as the expected son of God. So i humbly ask; why the christmas spirt? Does this not go againstall Jewish beliefs?
    By the way, the cookie recipes are very nice.

    • says

      In response to “why the Christmas spirit”: Who said Christmas cookies had anything to do with Christ? They have as much to do with Christ as pine trees, Santa Claus and holiday shopping. Holidays are fun, and many of Elana’s readers celebrate Christmas, so why not?

    • says

      Huh? What is your point? Are Jews not able to celebrate Christmas in a non-religious way? I can’t tell if there is a wave of the anti-Semitic in your comment.

    • Helen says

      Hi HA,

      Jesus Christ was born as a Jew, not a gentile.

      Some Jews did accept him as the Son of God, and some still do today.

  13. Christina says

    Thank you for sharing.
    Does anyone know why Elana does not use agave nectar that is in all the book recipes? Thanks!

  14. Chris Harrysson says

    I literally logged in to FB today thinking, “I winder if Elana has posted anything to satisfy my sweet tooth in a less unhealthy way…..”. Thanks for all you do!!

  15. says

    My favorite Christmas cookie is a traditionally gluten free cookie from Switzerland called Zimtsterne, which means cinnamon stars. They are made with ground almonds and flavored with cinnamon and Kirsch (a non-sweetened cherry brandy). The recipe is posted on my site.

    To make my healthy version I simply use coconut palm sugar rather than regular sugar. You can also change the flavorings.

    Just for fun I also posted a list of gluten free Christmas cookies from an old cookbook of my grandmother’s. The recipes aren’t modern, but are already gluten free, and fun to read and to get ideas.

    I hope you enjoy them!

  16. Archena says

    Thanks Elana! I have already bookmarked all the egg free recipes here, would love to try each one, just not now, it is the holidays – I am just too busy with work right now.

  17. says

    Fantastic job, Elana!

    In regards to the Black and Whites crossing religious boundaries,I’d say they could definitely work for Buddists. Just rename them “Yin and Yang Cookies.”

  18. AnnMarie Deis says

    Elana, you are the most gracious person! You don’t celebrate Christmas, yet you were generous enough to offer some suggestions in the way of Christmas cookies. You are simply awesome!!!!!

    Thank you!
    P.S. I’ve sent AT LEAST ten people your way in just the past three weeks alone. Do you think there is an awareness of gluten-related illnesses???

  19. says

    You need not be self conscious, we’ve tried at least half of those cookies and they are perfect for any holiday – Christmas included! Your biscotti are my personal Christmas favorites, I love to eat it on the sofa, dipping in my coffee, watching the kids play with all their new toys :)

  20. Candy Kroeger says

    I’ve tried making the star cookies a couple of times, but the dough is so wet that the shapes don’t easily release from the cookie cutter…any suggestions? Thanks!

    • AnnMarie Deis says

      I find that depending on the brand of almond flour that you use, you might need to decrease the oil a bit (1 tablespoon or so). I hope it helps!

  21. Melissa C. says

    Thanks for putting this together and linking to all of you other cookie recipes. They all look delicious, now to figure out which ones I will make first!

  22. rachel says

    your recipes are always helpful and insprirational to me. my family has many, and assorted, allergies including gluten. the vegan recipes today are especially helpful as i am vegan and my grandson is allergic to dairy. and although we do not celebrate christmas, i will use these recipes for the holiday baking i do for my very religiously and spiritually diverse friends and family. hope that’s ok.

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