GF: Christmas Roll Out Cookies

Yes, they are naked. Really. It’s all a lesson in patience, I swear.

Have you ever noticed how you can be the most patient of people for some things but then not five seconds later, your patience has melted and you stand frustrated and impatient?

*That* would be me at the mere thought of decorating cookies.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE them…. I’m just not patient enough with myself to make them *BEAUTIFUL*.

So tonight, as my brother-in-law finished helping us with a little carpentry, we sat down to eat these naked roll out cookies. It was actually a “test” batch that turned out perfectly (thanks to my mom’s rockin’ recipe). However, I think I really do need to dress these guys in something before they become part of the cookie plates we share with our neighbors every year.

Maybe I just need to get some new cookie cutters? I realized this year that my cookie cutters include: a fish, 2 Scotty dogs (why?), 2 state-shaped cookie cutters (another big WHY?), a star, some snowflakes, a hand, a VW Bug, a rocket ship, a carrot, and a humungous heart.

Good lord. I need to find some better cookie cutters. I have a preference for the metal ones – not the press/plastic cutters as I’ve never had much success with those. For the last few weeks whenever we’ve been out, I’ve been checking out the cookie cutters when I see them. Needless to say, a few places have had worse selections than do I (didn’t think that was possible!) and I have no desire to have a bucket filled with Yule-tide cookie cutters.

Hmm. Maybe that’s my problem? I prefer the general “could be used any time” cookie cutter. But seriously, my mom’s roll out cookie recipe just didn’t look good as a carrot. But man, those are fun cookie cutters!

I prefer general stuff so much that for our department holiday gift swap, I bought the coolest rocket ship Popsicle forms that were people pleasing! (Why do we women buy each other the most bizarre holiday wall hangings every year?) I decided to buck the system a bit (ok sisters… lay off… I know that is hardly surprising news to you). The Popsicle things are much too cool… I’m think I’ll go back to the store and pick up one more for a Christmas gift for a niece/nephew….. well… ok… and if my budget allows, maybe one for me too!

In the meantime, those of you who are doing the Christmas cookie thing may enjoy this roll cookie recipe.

Hopefully you will be more patient than am I and your cookies won’t remain naked while you munch and chat away. (ha ha ha – or should I say “Ho Ho Ho!”?)

Gluten Free Christmas Roll Cookies
Recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies (depending on the size of the cookie cutters)
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups GF flour blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 Tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add one egg and beat together well for 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together GF flour mix, salt and baking powder. Add to creamed ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add 2 – 3 Tablespoons of milk until perfect, non-sticky cookie dough is achieved.
  6. Form two balls with the dough. Roll out one ball to 1/4″-1/3″ thickness. Cut with your favorite cookie cutter. (Repeat until all dough is used with both balls.)
  7. Bake 6 -7 minutes until the edges just begin to brown.
  8. Decorate/frost as desired… or not. LOL

Happy GF Cookie Eating All!


  1. They even look good (don’t tell my husband, lol). You just need a five-year old to help. They get done faster (well, maybe not). And yours will look better, too. 🙂

    Cassandra – if you’ve got a five year old to lend out – I”m in the market! =) -Kate

  2. Okay, I said they look good naked. That was an essential word that got omitted. I gotta turn off my filter when I’m blogging. 🙂

  3. They do look good! I love the way you were able to roll them so thin … unusual for GF baked goods, or at least unusual for my GF baked goods!

    D 🙂

  4. I love naked cookies. I like them better this way. I want some. Will you putone in an envelope and mail it to me? It is only 41 cents.

  5. I love the star cookie cutter. Works all year long. My Auntie Palma used to make these awesome sugar cookies cut out as stars and hearts.

  6. I love the star cookie cutter too MS. GF! I used them last week for my roll out cookies! These cookies are lovely just the way they are kate!! beeeeeuuuutiful!!

  7. i think we’re all in agreement, naked cookies are good. 😉

    i used to go to a friend’s mom xmas parties where she had spent days creating her perfectly decorated gingerbread people. they were utterly resplendent, little outfits, backs and fronts, hairdos, etc but so much so you couldn’t eat them.

    i’d rather eat a cookie i can eat!

    thanks for your recipe!

  8. Yay! A gf/df sugar cookie!

    I made these this morning and they are AMAZING! One thing though, I didn’t add any sort of binder — xantham gum, gelatin — would you recommend doing so?

    Lizzie – the GF flour blend I use has a bit of xanthan gum in it. Overall, I think you could add about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon for this recipe to help them bind a bit. It also helps to let the cookies cool a bit on the cookie sheet before trying to move them to a rack to cool further.
    -Happy baking!

  9. Thanks, Kate! Great advice.

  10. Tus pasteles estoy muy delicioso. Que sabrosos! Honestly these are amaz-za-zing! Better than gluten christmas cookies. And they are great naked… yum! I made dinosaurs because its past christmas. But you really could do these all year round. Three thumbs up.

    I have an extra thumb on my left hand.

    Nah I’m just joshin ya! but these things are truly delish. I am officially gobsmacked, whatever that means.

    LOL – I’m glad the recipe works for you as well. I told my mom she’s a GF hero (even though she isn’t GF…LOL). Thanks for the extra thumbs up! =) -Kate


    I make the one I list here.

  12. They look yummy! When you say shortening, are you talking about copha (that white block of ‘stuff’) or butter? We have a neighbour who has recently been diagnosed with coeliac (?sp?) disease or whatever it’s called, and I’d like to make them something too.

  13. OMG these are fantastic! They taste just like the cookies my Mum used to make when I was little. I tried for years and could never get it right, and when I was diagnosed as celiac I gave up all hope of ever having them again. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  14. Do you have to use the shortening or can you use butter?

    • Butter will make the cookies lose their shape. It also will need to be refrigerated a bit longer after mixing the dough together in order to help keep the shape and not become too soft.

      I get the aversion to shortening – I only use it for this recipe now and dislike it for anything else. I suppose butter would be a fine try – just know that your cookies will lose their shapes a bit.

      Good luck!

      • I make mine with lard instead now, since I don’t like shortening one bit. They turn out just as well as they did with the shortening, so it’s worth a shot if you want a more natural approach.

      • I agree. It’s been a while since I had shortening too. The lard is a great idea!

  15. Kate, i made these and the “xxx” cookies from your site this year to give out in my cookie bunch, Thanks for sharing the recipes. They taste awesome.

  16. I made these tonight using my GF flour mix with a little tweaking (my GF flour is a little different)and they turned out perfect!! Thanks so much, was nice to have a recipe that did not call for 50 different ingredients too!!

  17. Hooray for GF cookies. Just like I remembered and without the grainy and sawdust consistency of so many other cookie recipes. I think the shortening did wonders and I had great luck with refrigerating the dough.

  18. What is in the GF flour blend?

  19. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made them and they turned out amazing! I did get to decorating..,,as I accidentally had to triple the recipe (oops!). I iced them with a thinned cream cheese icing…wonderful combo!!!

  20. I’m thinking it’s time to Repost this baby….it’s a HIT and tis the season! 🙂
    if you add a ting of orange peel, as weird as it sounds in here, it’s De-lish too!

  21. Finally! A gluten free cookie recipe not made with nuts or flour from nuts or paste from nuts! It was making me nuts! Not only am I gluten intolerant, I cannot have nuts! So imagine my joy at finding this delightful recipe just in time for Christmas! Thank You!
    C.A., Dallas, TX

  22. I made these today using my own GF flour mix and I added 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum and 1 teaspoon, fresh grated nutmeg, 2 tablespoons dark rum, instead of the milk and 1/4 tsp eggnog extract. I rolled them out, cut them into stars, brushed their tops with egg wash and sprinkled them with red and green sugar crystals. They turned out beautifully!!! I have a picture of them if you want to see!!! Even my Wheat eating friends, wanted more!! Thanks for your recipe!! Now I can have Christmas cookies too! Whee!

  23. can I use butter (i cant believe its not butter sticks) instead of shortening? if so would it be half cup of shortening too? this s my first time making gf cookies for my boyfriends mom who is gf … I do normal cookies and wanted to make her something as well… I also was thinking maybe just use my normal recipe just switch the flours…

    • Yes, you can use butter – but the cookies won’t hold their shape as nicely. The cookies made with shortening are MUCH less likely to lose shape.

  24. What a great recipe! My aunt and cousin have a bunch of allergies including wheat and yeast, and they almost never get cookies or any kind of treats. This looks like a recipe that would be easy to alter in order to accommodate their other allergies (eggs, milk, cane sugar, corn starch). I have a traditional Italian recipe for a rolled cookie dough that is filled with a dried fruit mixture. Do you think this dough is sturdy enough to be rolled out and then formed so that it would hold a filling?

  25. I love this recipe. I made a double batch for 2010 Christmas and a single batch of heart-shaped Valentine cookies yesterday because my sweet tooth flared up. 🙂 I used palm oil instead of butter and rice milk. I also used egg replacer. I cooked them until a touch brown on the edges as I like a crunchy cookie. I also tinted sugar with food coloring and sprinkled that on the cookie before baking to make extra pretty. I LOVE not having to frost cookies (my least fav step in traditional roll-out cookies). Thank you so much for sharing. I love having cookies that my fussy digestive system can tolerate – and that the rest of my family enjoys too. Thank you very much for sharing!

  26. So excited to have found your site. We are celebrating our first gluten free Christmas. I have 3 kids that were diagnosed with celiac disease this year. I needed to find some recipes to make it as ‘normal’ as possible. Looking forward to testing 2 of your cookie recipes. Thanks again!

  27. The cookies were delicious naked. But after the children frosted them they seeme to absorb liquid from the frosting and broke. Is there a frosting recipe you recomend?

    • I just use my mom’s royal icing recipe – but they do absorb the liquid a bit. Make it thicker and bake the cookies a tad longer to compensate if need be.

      • Could not find your mother’s royal icing recipe on site. What is the recipe? I’m new to frosting cookies. If using decorative sugar instead, how do I make it stick to cookies?

  28. Thanks so much for these delightful cookies. We wolfed them down last year and will make a quadruple batch this year. These are as close to my grandmother’s heavenly cut-out cookies (vanilla and chocolate batches without much sugar) as I’ve found in GF; Gram always used unsalted butter. She left hers naked, but did individually themed cookies for friends and relatives by adding extra little balls of dough. She even made a dog pile set of cookies from all the extra bits. I substituted Smart Balance and agave, since I don’t do sugar. I occasionally use the non-hydrogenated shortening from Spectrum, but with all the talk about avoiding vegetable oils, I try to avoid even that version. I also made vanilla and chocolate batches (I added some cocoa powder). Thanks for restoring Christmas!

  29. Making these today with the kids if I can ever get to the store:) Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your family! Jen Preston

  30. emilieclaire1 says:

    Hi Kate, I recently found out I’m celiac 😦 and im 15 so finding it all a little difficult. Your recipes are amazing, are there any other blogs you’d recommend?
    Thanks so much,
    Emilie xx

    • Hi Emilie –
      Sorry to hear of your diagnosis and I know it is a hard adjustment. There are a ton of things that change ASAP and it does take time – so please allow yourself that! The good news is that we have something that is regulated by diet – and not medication for the rest of your life. The bad news? Well – it’s not nearly as easy to wing-it and hang out with people on the spur of the moment if there is food involved – and planned gatherings can feel isolating. Wish you were here! You could join my class and I for lunches (we sometimes order in GF lunches!).

      As far as fellow GF bloggers = There are so many, I don’t even know where to start! What kind of recipes are you looking for?
      There are a million to love… just let me know!

      Hope you are well!

  31. I made these cookies last night in pumpkin shapes and found the dough easy to work with and easy to roll out. Everyone in my family loved them!

  32. My son just started Kindergardn and they bake at school twice a month (YAY?)
    I used to bake all the time but honestly…. Since we went on a GF/DF diet when he was 1yr old I just didn’t see the point in trying to Alter my old recipes. He didn’t miss what he’d never had and I just don’t ‘need’ the sweets 😉 ….. All this to say “Thank you!” These are perfect! The teacher sent home an almost identical recipe only with wheat flour. I figured I would check your recipe list to get an idea if I needed to change fat/flour/liquid proportions but voila, I found the perfect recipe instead 😀


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