In our neck of the woods, Christmas Cookie Exchanges are a pretty central part of the holiday season. We do them with our friends, coworkers, neighbors, church groups, and family. Why you might ask? Well, that’s the subject of a different post altogether. The short of it is that I hate making all the cookies that I like to consume during the holidays and cookie exchanges are my way of getting my sugar fix without spending years in the kitchen. I’m lazy I guess, ha ha. When it comes to making cookies for the holidays, I try to be extra sensitive to those who have dietary restrictions and can’t simply go to their local grocery store and buy their favorite holiday cookies. Plus I like the challenge of trying to take something that I love and trying to preserve the flavor for those who can’t consume all the butter or flour in traditional baking. So, if you’re looking for some dairy free Christmas cookies, you’ve come to the right spot! Here are three of my favorite dairy-free recipes without any weird ingredients!
Delicious Dairy Free Christmas Cookies (No Freakin’ Weird Ingredients)
When it comes to baking dairy-free, you have a couple of options. My go-to is butter-flavored vegetable shortening (like this). It’s definitely a little heavier than butter, so a little goes a long way. My other staple is butter-flavored coconut oil (like this). It adds a really nice depth of flavor when you’re baking.
Recipe 01: Dairy-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Nothing says “holidays” like gingerbread! This cookie is soft, chewy, and has a deep flavor thanks to the added cocoa. Grab some cookie cutters here and you’re in business!
Dairy-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 2 ½ c. flour plus more for rolling
- ½ c. cocoa powder
- 3 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ c. butter-flavored vegetable shortening
- ¾ c. brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ c. molasses
- 2 c. powdered sugar sifted
- 2 Tbsp. water + 2 tsp.
- 4 ½ tsp. meringue powder
- ½ tsp. cream of tartar
- Begin by combining the flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium-sized bowl. Then, using your stand mixer or an electric mixer, whip the shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the egg and molasses and whip until combined before adding in the dry ingredients a little at a time. When the mixture comes together, remove from the bowl and divide it into two balls that can be wrapped with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to sit in the fridge for at least one hour.
- When the dough is firm, preheat your oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Then roll the dough out until it is about ¼" thick before cutting out your shapes and placing the cut dough onto the baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes or until firm around the edges before removing from the oven and allowing to cool for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- While the cookies are cooling, whisk the frosting ingredients together with an electric mixer until you have soft peaks forming. Then transfer the icing to a piping bag or Ziploc bag and frost cooled cookies as desired.
Recipe 02: Meringue Christmas Trees
I love a good meringue. They are like cotton candy in cookie form, but slightly less sweet. These meringues can be pipes with kebab sticks lollipop style or in traditional meringue style and built up like a tree. Don’t forget the sprinkles though! They make these cookies shine. Grab some edible gold stars here or a holiday variety pack here.
Christmas Tree Meringues
- 4 egg whites large
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ c. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. peppermint extract (if desired)
- 1 drop gel coloring (if desired)
- Start by heating your oven to 200°F and prepping two baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, in a clean room-temperature bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium until the whites begin to foam and start to turn opaque. Then SLOWLY add in the sugar while you continue to whip the egg whites. When all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high and whip until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Next, fold in the extracts and color.
- When the mixture is ready, transfer to a piping bag fitted with your desired tip. Pipe your trees (vertical or horizontal) and then sprinkle or place your glitter before placing the meringues in the oven and allowing them to dry for at least 2-2 1/2 hours. They should be crisp but not brown. Remove from the oven and serve or keep in an airtight container.
Recipe 03: Russian Tea Cakes
These are a perfect cookie for the holidays! The powdered sugar looks like snow and they taste totally yummy paired with a quality hot chocolate.
Russian Tea Cookies
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. coconut oil cold
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 ½ c. flour
- 1 c. almonds finely chopped
- 1 c. powdered sugar for rolling
- Start by heating your oven to 350°F and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, in your stand mixer, cream the powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt until light and creamy.
- Next, add the chopped almonds and mix until thoroughly combined. Then gradually mix in the flour to create a crumbly dough. The dough will hold together when pressed with your hands. Using your hands (greased if you'd like), form the dough into 1-1½" balls and place on your prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until they begin to golden slightly. Then remove them from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before rolling generously in the powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!
I hope this holiday season brings you lots of times with the ones you love and lots of cookies to consume. Happy Holidays!