Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays Has Gotten Simpler

Adriana Velez

gluten-free cookiesSometimes I feel like I may be the last bread-eater standing. So many of my friends are going gluten-free, either out of serious allergies or general health reasons, that I hesitate now to take regular cookies to any holiday parties.

One thing I've learned from my GF friends is that you're better off avoiding the processed stuff. Big surprise, no? Even foods that look GF may end up having gluten in some odd form. Baking your own gluten-free treats is getting easier, too, thanks to growing numbers of GF bakers and bloggers out there sharing their expertise.

Here are a few tips to get you started this holiday season.

First you'll need a few gluten-free staples:

  • rice flour (white, brown, sweet)
  • sorghum flour
  • potato flour
  • arrowroot
  • xanthan gum
  • cornstarch
  • potato starch

What's with the xanthan gum and starch? Well, it's not quite enough to just substitute with a gluten-free flour like rice flour (although rice flour makes gorgeous shortbread on its own -- one big exception to the rule). You'll also need to add a few other ingredients, like arrowroot, to make your flours do the same tricks as wheat flours. Gluten-Free Girl's all-purpose flour mix (scroll way down for the recipe) is a great mix to use for just about anything.

Kate of Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking does a lot of GF baking and experimenting. See her yeast doughnut recipe -- oh my.

If all of this is getting too complicated for you, get thee to a Whole Foods or other natural foods market and buy some Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour or King Arthur Flour gluten-free mixes.

Of course, you could just avoid the whole gluten issue altogether and make some flour-less holiday treats, like:

'Better Than' Almond Joy Cookies

Peppermint Bark

Chocolate and Pecan Butter Toffee

See? Gluten-free eaters have no reason to suffer this season.

Do you have a favorite gluten-free holiday recipe? Leave us a link!


Image via MollySVH/Flickr

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