Gluten free Spiced Christmas Biscuits (Cookies) which are perfectly light, buttery and melt-in-the-mouth. Seasonally flavoured with cinnamon, ginger, orange and pecans. Optional dairy free.
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Gluten Free Spiced Christmas Biscuits with the lightest texture
If you are looking for the BEST light and buttery gluten free Spiced Christmas Biscuits, you are in the right place. Because THESE seasonal cookies are to die for. Super-crisp with the lightest of textures, they literally melt in the mouth with each and every (very moreish) bite.
A blast from my past, these particular Christmas Biscuits were first created back in 2014. But I recently made them again to retest the recipe before updating the post. It’s important for quality control, right? And it gives me the excuse to revisit favourite recipes.
I’m so glad I did. I’d forgotten just how good they are. Lightly spiced and flavoured with warming cinnamon and ginger, a little exotic nutmeg, zesty orange and fragrant vanilla… Nutty with earthy pecans… Carefully balanced for sweetness with a touch of white chocolate drizzle… Topped with a touch of edible glitter for festive sparkle. Need I say more?
In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this recipe for Gluten Free Spiced Christmas Biscuits is one of my favourite biscuit recipes. And most definitely to be recommended!
Are these Gluten Free Spiced Christmas Biscuits suitable for biscuit ‘construction’?
I want to be clear at the outset… Although these Spiced Christmas Biscuits hold their shape pretty well and look fairly robust, they are NOT construction cookies. That is… they are not suitable for making biscuit houses or any other biscuit building project. They are melty and quite delicate and while they should not crumble in the hand, they are the type of cookies that gain their textural deliciousness in part, from their fragility.
The annual gift conundrum… Homemade treats are always joyfully received
Is it just me, or does every year get harder and harder to choose Christmas presents? In a world where people buy what they want when they want, there is very little to be requested. And (in my opinion) there is way too much tat that gets given as seasonal ‘novelties’, that just use the planet’s resources wastefully.
So, what to do? Think edible and homemade treats! Not only are they well-received, but they show thought, love and care. If someone has spent precious time making something with me in mind, it’s genuinely appreciated… Especially if its edible or drinkable! No waste. Just creative kindness.
At Gluten Free Alchemist, there are lots of recipes that tick the ‘food gift’ box… In fact, to make it as easy as possible, our Gluten Free Christmas Recipe Index has a whole headed section for Gluten Free Food Gift Ideas. Simply hit the link and scroll down to the last section! And yes… My Spiced Christmas Biscuits are definitely one amazing option!
Whatever you make, it’s great to get creative with presentation too… Use pretty mugs, plates, plant pots, jars etc to protect and present edible treats… Tie with pretty festive ribbon and decorate with additional baubles, tree decorations, and table sprinkles for extra festive cheer.
Are these Spiced Christmas ‘Biscuits’ or ‘Cookies’?
While the spice aromas in the kitchen are a clear olfactory indication that this recipe is seasonally ‘Christmas’, the question still remains… Are they Biscuits or Cookies?
The answer may lie in where you live… In the UK, I would say the recipe is most definitely for Christmas Spiced Biscuits. They are crisp and shaped, and while not texturally ‘hard’ are absolutely not ‘chewy’. And it would seem that in the UK at least, this is a discernible point of definition. Cookies in the UK are larger, chunkier, softer, more moist and generally chewier.
But… If you live in the US, a biscuit is of course, something very different… A flaky, risen, flavoured cross between a roll and a cake (in the UK, known as ‘scones’). And thus, for my American friends, I’m assuming that this recipe (whether crisp or chewy) would still be defined as for ‘Cookies’. If I am wrong, please leave a comment to correct and enlighten me.
Either way… To ensure that my gluten free Spiced Christmas Cookies can be found and enjoyed by all, the terminology used in this post is unapologetically interchangeable.
What flour should I use for making these Seasonal ‘Christmas Cookies’?
The recipe shared is for gluten free Seasonal Spiced Biscuits and uses a gluten free flour blend. Specifically, they were developed using my own white Blend A, the recipe for which is shared on my gluten free flours post (at the bottom). Although I haven’t tested with any alternative gluten free flour blend, the recipe should work well with a good alternative such as Doves Freee baking flour. Just bear in mind that the texture will be a little grittier (and possibly drier) on account of the specific ratios of individual flours they use. And thus, if the dough feels a little crumbly on making, a little more moisture may be required.
Can these Gluten Free Spiced Christmas Biscuits also be made dairy free?
Tips for making the BEST Spiced Christmas Biscuits
As with all baking, it’s helpful to gain a few tips to get the best from each recipe. But first and foremost, I would always recommend following the recipe as stated. The majority of recipe ‘fails’ that people contact me about, are when they have made substitutions for or omitted crucial ingredients. Think of a recipe as a map of directions. Everything that is used or written is there for a reason. Unless you are wanting to make up your own recipe, follow the instructions!
So, what are the crucial highlights of advice for making the BEST gluten free Spiced Christmas Biscuits? Although super-simple to make, the most important thing is patience! Absolutely do not forget the following…
- CHILL the dough… Twice! 1) Before rolling for at least 45 minutes. 2) And after rolling and cutting (before baking). Both these steps are essential for the flours to hydrate, to become optimally workable and to ensure minimal spreading in the oven.
- WATCH the biscuits like a hawk when they are baking. Depending on the size and thickness of the cut, the time needed to bake will vary. You are looking for biscuits that are just darkening on the edges.
- Cool the biscuits IN THE OVEN – I can’t stress this one enough. The process of allowing them to cool naturally with the cooling heat of the oven, ensures the best, lightest and most perfectly melty texture. Even if you have had to batch bake, return ALL the cookies to the oven and leave the oven off and the door closed. (To avoid the cookies continuing to bake… Open the door for about 20 seconds to allow the harsh heat to reduce. Then close and leave well alone!)
Looking for the best star cookie cutters?
The cookie cutters I use for stars are these ones from Colourworks. They are perfect for a few reasons, but particularly because they are…
- Not metal – In my experience, the metal ones rust pretty quickly and don’t last as long. These have done me proud for years and are dish-washable too!
- They have a deeper cut (allowing them to be used for slightly taller bakes, such as scones as well as flatter biscuits).
- There are 5 different sizes of star – Making it easier to use off-cuts of dough for smaller biscuits, without the risk of over-rolling and toughening.
- They all store inside each other in a handy box to keep them clean and tidy.
Ready to make my Gluten Free Spiced Christmas Biscuits?
And that’s all you need to know. I hope you enjoy making and (most importantly) eating my Spiced Christmas Biscuits. But be warned… They are hand-dippingly addictive and you may find you need to lock away the biscuit barrel.
If you make them, please let me know. Leave a comment, rate the recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ or tag me on social media with photos of your cookie-bakes. #glutenfreealchemist (@glutenfreealchemist) – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
And if you still have questions, just shout and I’ll do my best to help.
For lots of other cookie inspiration, head over to our Gluten Free Biscuits and Cookies Index. And for everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Book Index is the start point to a whole world of exceptional gluten free home cooking… From my kitchen, to yours… With my love.
A few other ideas for Christmas Food Gifts…
Spiced Christmas Biscuits (gluten free)
- cookie cutter(s)
- microwave or hob and saucepan
Spiced Christmas Biscuits
- 210 g gluten free plain flour blend I use Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A – See NOTES
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- pinch grated/powdered nutmeg
- 30 g pecan nuts finely chopped
- 180 g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative) softened
- 140 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg At room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp orange extract
- 1 finely grated orange zest
- cornstarch (UK cornflour) for dusting and rolling
White Chocolate drizzle
- 100 g good quality white chocolate
- edible glitter (optional) to decorate
Making the Cookies
- Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and chopped pecans. TIP: weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously to blend. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. (Easiest done with an electric whisk).
- Add the egg, vanilla and orange extracts and orange zest and beat to thoroughly incorporate.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir thoroughly with a wooden/silicone spoon or spatula until you have an even, sticky dough.
- Divide the mixture in half and wrap each in baking paper or clingfilm.
- Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to an hour to allow the dough to thoroughly firm up.
- When ready to roll, line 2 to 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge (one half at a time) and roll out on a sheet of baking paper liberally sprinkled with cornstarch (and sprinkled on top of the dough too) to prevent sticking. Roll to a thickness of about ¼ inch (½ to ¾ cm).
- Using a cookie cutter, cut shapes from the dough and carefully transfer to the baking sheets using a palette knife. Leave a small space between each (the dough should not spread much when baked).
- Bring together any remaining dough, re-roll and cut until all the dough has been used (if the dough becomes soft and sticky, chill to firm again before re-rolling).
- Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the second half of dough.
- Chill the dough shapes before baking in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Bake the cookies for about 8 to 12 minutes (dependent on the size of the cookies) until the edges are very slightly darker and set. You may have to bake in batches dependent on how many cookies you have made. Switch trays round in the oven part way through baking for a more even colour.
- When baked, leave the hot cookies on the trays. When all the cookies are baked, turn the oven off and place the cookies back in the oven, shut the door and leave them to cool inside as the oven cools. If the trays don't all fit in the oven together, carefully rearrange to fit on less trays so that they go in.
White Chocolate Drizzle
- When the biscuits are cold, lay them out ready to decorate.
- Make the chocolate drizzle by melting the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl either over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in the microwave (set to medium on 20 second bursts) stirring frequently until smooth and liquid. Be sure to melt slowly, so that the chocolate doesn't over-heat or burn.
- Using a spoon, quickly drizzle the chocolate over the biscuits.
- Sprinkle with edible glitter (if using) and leave to set completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
© 2019-2024 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist