Make it in Minutes: 4 Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes

If you’re rushing around this holiday season but still want to bake some cookies, “scoop and bake” cookies are for you. These easy-to-make holiday cookie recipes are perfect to enjoy at home and also make sweet homemade holiday gifts. Nothing is more festive than freshly-baked cookies, whip up a batch of cranberry chocolate chip, soft pumpkin, or soft gluten-free gingerbread cookies to get in the holiday spirit!

gluten free gingerbread cookies

4. Soft Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Making a batch of soft and spicy gingerbread cookies is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday cookie season. Before baking, roll the dough in turbinado sugar to add a pleasant crunch to the cookies. (Don’t have turbinado in the kitchen? Use granulated sugar. It’s not as crunchy but it finishes the cookies with a nice sparkle and sweetness.)

Prep time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours for chilling

Bake time: About 10 minutes per pan

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies



2¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour recommended)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg


½ cup turbinado or granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Whisk together gluten-free flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl for about one minute. Stop the mixer. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Turn mixer to medium-low, add the molasses and egg. Beat until combined. Stop mixer. Add the whisked dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until a dough forms.

Cover bowl and chill for two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Make the topping: stir together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.

Roll the dough into balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Roll dough into cinnamon-sugar topping. Place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are set and slightly cracked, about 10 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven and let cookies cool on the pan cool for 4-5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

4 Quick and Easy School-Time Snacks

With only a few ingredients, these snacks are convenient and delicious for everyone from students to working parents during this busy back-to-school season.

1. Three Ingredient Power Bites

These power bites make a great on-the-go snack. They’re easy to make—you only need three ingredients—and budget friendly. If you like crunch, use a crunchy nut or sunflower butter and then roll the power bites in unsweetened toasted coconut. Click here for the recipe. 

2 .Sesame-Free Hummus

The hummus craze shows no signs of slowing down. There’s just one (big!) problem if you have a sesame allergy: hummus contains tahini—a sesame paste with the consistency of almond butter. The good news? You can make a tasty sesame-free hummus at home with the help of a food processor, some peanut or sunflower seed butter, and a can of garbanzo beans. Click here for the recipe. 

3. Snickerdoodle Pretzels

These cinnamon toast pretzels are the perfect combo of salty and sweet. The buttery cinnamon-sugar coating gives you the flavor of snickerdoodles with none of the work. For a dairy-free variation, use dairy-free margarine. Click here for the recipe. 

4. Nut-Free Banana Blast Trail Mix

Five minutes and six ingredients are all you need to make this nut-free trail mix. It’s a great snack for school lunches and makes a fantastic movie night treat. Click here for the recipe. 




Easy Gluten-Free Muffin Tin Meals

Petite meals, appetizers, desserts and snacks have a special charm to them, not to mention built-in portion control. Grab a few muffin tins and see how creative you can get with them. 

Southwest Egg Cups

Gluten-Free Southwest Egg Cups

These simple eggs, loaded with spinach and salsa, make for a tasty and easy breakfast or snack. 

Lemon Cheesecake Cups

Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

This recipe makes a classic New York cheesecake baked in a muffin tin. Top with whipped cream frosting or fresh summer berries for a refreshing treat.

Mac and Cheese Cups

Mac and Cheese Cups

If you love the crispy edges on a pan of mac and cheese, these mac and cheese cups are for you!

Meatloaf Bites

Meatloaf Bites

Kids of all ages love these meatloaf bites. Serve them warm for dinner or pack cooled bites in a cooler for a quick and easy picnic. 

Quick and Classic Gluten-Free Breakfasts

Make the most of your morning meal with pancakes, smoothies, quiche and more. All of these recipes are quick and easy to make, so they won’t take up your whole morning, but they’ll leave you feeling satisfied and energized for the day. All are fun to share with friends and family, who will be impressed by the special dishes!

1. Simple Quiche for Two 

Quiche makes a great breakfast—or even dinner. You can serve it warm from the oven or chill and serve cold. It tastes great either way. To save time, prepare the pie dough the night before you plan on making the quiche. Whether you add bacon, spinach and mushroom or just keep things simple, this quiche will be gobbled right up. Get the recipe.

2. Light and Crispy Buttermilk Waffles

This recipe makes light and tender waffles that are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Serve with butter and maple syrup or, for an extra-special breakfast, top with sliced berries and whipped cream. Get the recipe.

3. Grain-Free Silver Dollar Pancakes

These tiny pancakes pack a big flavor punch. One word of caution: Going larger than 1 tablespoon of batter per pancake makes these a hard to flip. Make ’em small and eat a big stack! Get the recipe.

4. Sunshine Smoothie

Smoothies are a fun and easy breakfast treat. This recipe makes a pretty two-layer smoothie that looks like the sunrise. If you don’t feel like making two layers, combine all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Get the recipe.

4 Classic Winter Gluten-Free Comfort Foods

On those cold days and nights when you’re craving homemade comfort food but just don’t feel like spending your time in the kitchen, whip up these easy, delicious recipes. Whether you’re in the mood for creamy mac and cheese, banana bread, tomato soup or chocolate chunk cookies, you can find the quick, gluten-free recipe version here.

1. Skillet Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Fresh, steamed broccoli is stirred into this creamy macaroni and cheese, so you sneak in a serving of veggies to this classic dinner. If you want to skip preparing and cooking the broccoli, replace it with frozen broccoli florets so it’s even faster. Thaw and heat the frozen broccoli according to package directions, then stir into the mac and cheese as directed. Click here for the recipe.

2. Easy Tomato Soup

The deep flavor of this soup belies how easy it is to make. Simply sauté onion and garlic, then add crushed tomato and chicken stock. Once the soup simmers for 30 minutes, it’s ready to eat. If you like your tomato soup rich and creamy, stir in a cup of heavy cream. That’s all the work required for a pot of the best homemade tomato soup you’ve ever tasted. Add some grilled cheese sandwiches and you’ve got the ultimate comfort food meal. Click here for the recipe.

3. Easy Gluten-Free Banana Bread

You need only one mixing bowl to make this banana bread, so cleanup will be minimal. For a classic banana bread flavor, use melted butter. For a twist, or if you follow a dairy-free diet, use melted coconut oil. The faint taste of coconut enhances the banana flavor, making a mouthwatering bread that everyone loves. Click here for the recipe.

4. Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The combination of chocolate chunks and chocolate chips makes these cookies extra special. If you want, mix up a batch or two, scoop the dough into balls and freeze. When a cookie craving strikes, preheat your oven and bake the dough from frozen. Click here for the recipe.

5 Ways to Save Time When Holiday Baking

Even if you rarely bake the rest of the year, the holidays have a way of bringing out your inner Betty Crocker. Suddenly you find yourself in the kitchen with your counters covered in gluten-free flour and sprinkles. But all the extra mixing, baking and frosting that come with holiday recipes can quickly dampen your spirit.

Here are tips for saving time and effort in the kitchen with the goal of helping preserve your holiday good mood.

1. Gather ingredients and tools before you begin 

In professional kitchens, chefs get everything in place for a recipe before they begin.

Putting this time-saving professional technique into practice at home is easy. Read recipes all the way through before you begin.  Note everything, from ingredients and kitchen tools to the time required. Many holiday recipes require you to chill dough before baking and it’s good to know that in advance.

Familiarizing yourself with the recipe before baking allows time to shop for any needed ingredients. When you have everything, measure all the non-perishable ingredients into containers and mark each with a slip of paper so you don’t mix up ingredients that look similar. This saves time if you aren’t using premixed gluten-free flour since most gluten-free recipes call for several flours and starches. Next, gather your tools.

On baking day, you only need to measure perishable ingredients, like eggs, and mix the dough. Not having to measure, mix and bake everything at once breaks the process into smaller more manageable steps.

Cookie Class: How to Keep Holiday Creations from Crumbling

Illustration by Daniel Vasconcellos,

In my home, cookies are usually gobbled up before storing them becomes a problem. However, in late November and early December when I bake a lot of cookies for later holiday enjoyment and gifts, storage is an issue. Thankfully most cookies keep or freeze well.

Here’s a handy guide for safely saving your cookies this season.

Counter storage tips

Many types of cookies keep well in a container on the counter for a short period. Here’s how to make sure they’ll stay fresh for up to a week. See cookies by type for more specific storage steps if needed.

Allow cookies to cool. This keeps them from getting soggy.

Group cookies by type. If you store crisp and soft cookies together, the soft cookies end up crisp and the crisp cookies turn soft.

Store mint-flavored cookies separately from all other cookies; otherwise, all the cookies in the container will soon be peppermint flavored.

Allow icing to firm before storing cookies.

Place a layer of waxed paper between cookies as you stack them.

Store cookies in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Freezer storage tips

Most cookies freeze well if you need to store them for a longer period, but you have to take some steps to prevent them from drying out or getting freezer burn. See cookies by type for more specific freezing steps if needed.

Allow cookies to cool completely.

Stack cookies in a plastic freezer container or slide cookies into a large plastic freezer bag, separating the layers with a piece of waxed paper.

Freeze cookies without icing or jam filling. Wait for these additions until you thaw the cookies completely.

Storing cookies by type

Bar cookies

Freezing the dough: Not recommended

Freezing baked bars: Cut the cooled pan of bars into squares. Follow the general freezer storage tips above. Freeze up to four months. When ready to serve, allow the bars to thaw, about two hours, before icing.

Counter storage time: About four days

Drop cookies


Freezing the dough: Drop the dough rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, close together but not touching. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer for two hours or until the dough is hard. Transfer the frozen dough balls to a large freezer bag. Freeze up to three months. Bake dough from frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet according to the recipe directions.

Freezing baked cookies: These can be frozen up to three months, but crispy cookies often turn soft when frozen. Freeze as dough and bake when needed for crispy results.

Counter storage time: About five days


Freezing the dough: Not recommended.

Freezing baked cookies: Follow general tips above. Freeze up to one month.

Counter storage time: About three days

No-bake cookies

Freezer storage: Not recommended

Counter storage time: Up to one week; up to one month for rum balls.

Roll-out and slice-and-bake cookies

Freezing the dough: For roll-out cookies prepare the dough and pat it into rectangular loafs. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and again with aluminum foil. Freeze up to three months. Allow the dough to thaw before rolling.

You can also roll out the dough, cut it into shapes, freeze the unbaked cookies on cookie sheets, and then transfer to a plastic freezer container, placing waxed paper between the layers. When ready to bake, place the frozen cut-outs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and put into the oven without thawing.

For slice-and-bake cookies, wrap the dough log tightly with plastic wrap and again with foil. Freeze up to three months. Thaw before cutting into rounds. Bake as directed for both types of frozen cookies, according to recipe directions.

Freezing baked cookies: Freeze up to three months, following the general freezer storage tips above.

Counter storage time: One week to 10 days.


Three types of icing are commonly used for finishing holiday cookies: royal icing, confectionery glaze and buttercream. Whether you are icing your cookies before storing them on the counter or after freezing and thawing, follow these tips:

Make royal icing and confectionery glaze right before using, or it will dry out.

Buttercream icing can be made up to three days in advance. Store it in the refrigerator, allow it to come to room temperature and stir before using