Growing up, the holiday dessert I always looked forward to the most were the cookies we called “Christmas Tree Cookies” – the cookies were Spritz cookies that we made in a Christmas tree shape and topped with sprinkles! They’ve been my absolute favorite Christmas cookie for as long as I can remember, and I was worried about how I could make them with my new diet! I’m 100% corn free, and as gluten free as possible. Thankfully, they turned out great!
All of my baking recipes are made at roughly 6000 feet above sea level (about 1800 meters), and in an extremely dry climate. Baking at a high elevation is slightly different from baking at sea level, and humidity definitely plays a part. You may need to slightly tweak the recipe based on your elevation and humidity. (I did not, however, make any adjustments specifically for altitude in the recipe.)
Measurement Key: tablespoon (T or Tbsp), teaspoon (t or tsp), cup (c)
Gluten Free Spritz Cookies
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 c butter (I use 50% margarine, and 50% butter – 3/4 cup of each)
- 1 c sugar
- 1 1/2 large eggs (to get the 1/2 an egg, I use a carton of 100% egg whites according to the directions on the carton)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp food coloring (more or less depending on desired color)
- 3 c oat flour
- optional: decorations of your choice (favorites include round sprinkles and colored sugars)
- Stand mixer or other electric mixer – or someone with strong arms that won’t get tired
- Baking sheet – I prefer an airbake pan
- Cookie press – there is a workaround that I’ll mention later, if you don’t have one
Preheat the over to 400°F (roughly 204°C). Do not grease the cookie sheet.
Place the cold butter (or butter and margarine) into an electric mixer, and beat until soft. Add the sugar, and beat until fluffy.
Add all of the wet ingredients (egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, food coloring) and mix thoroughly.
Add about 1 cup of the flour and mix thoroughly. With the mixer on, add the baking soda and cream of tartar. Then slowly add the rest of the flour as it mixes. The dough should be a smooth and creamy texture with all of the ingredients fully incorporated.
You do not need to chill the dough. However, if your kitchen is very warm, the butter will start to melt and the dough will get hard to work with – you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes (seriously, only 5 to 10 minutes) if it gets difficult.
Scoop up a handful of the dough, then roll it into a log so that it will fit into your cookie press. If you haven’t used your cookie press before, play with it before adding the dough! (I had to help my friend figure her own out the first time we made these together.) I have an older style cookie press, but you can get slightly easier to work with versions in stores now (my grocery store has them for not very much money).
No cookie press? Just scoop out little bits of dough and create about a 1 inch ball, then press them onto the cookie sheet with your thumb to make little thumbprint cookies. You can also try shaping the dough, but I’m not sure how well that will work (never done that).
If you’re adding sprinkles or sugar, decorate them after shaping/pressing and before you put them in the oven.
Use the cookie press to press out a full cookie sheet worth of cookies. Then bake them at 400°F for 7 to 8 minutes (I do 6 minutes because of the altitude). The cookies will set up and get slightly golden around the very bottom edge. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Be sure your pan cools before you press out more cookies!
- Pure vanilla (not artificial) gives the best vanilla taste, but artificial still works if you can’t have or can’t find pure.
- I use imitation almond because I’m allergic to almonds and there are no nuts in imitation almond flavoring (use caution if you’re anaphylactic – I would just add a little extra vanilla in place of the almond to be safe).
- Keep in mind that oat flour has a slight color to it, so the food coloring won’t be as pure as it would be with a white flour (such as all-purpose flour). Also, remember that the food coloring will look extremely saturated when it is added, but it will get lighter with the addition of the flour!
As I mentioned, these are a staple of my household every Christmas, so I’m extremely excited that I was able to create a version I could have! Instead of the classic tree shape, I decided to do “snowflakes” (the shape turned out to look more like a star than a snowflake) because none of my sprinkles or sugar were okay (they all had corn products in them).
If you want to make these in their original gluten-y and corn-y form, here are the original measurements.
- Instead of 1 1/2 large eggs, use 1 large egg.
- Instead of baking soda and cream of tartar, use 1 t of baking powder. (Baking powder is baking soda, cream of tartar, and corn starch.)
- Instead of 3 cups of oat flour, use 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour.
I hope you enjoy making and eating these as much as I do! Let me know in the comments what shapes and colors you decide to make!