This post is from contributing writer Mary Voogt of Just Take A Bite.
Christmas is filled with traditions. Each family creates their own and passes them on to the next generation.
One of the traditions that my mom passed on to me is baking Christmas treats. I could sit and watch her bake for hours. I was fascinated by it (and now thirty years later write about my own baking!).
I loved to help out too. I shared her passion, and now enjoy doing the same with my own kids.
So I am always on the lookout for fun, new Christmas treats to try.
A unique twist
Yes, we do the traditional sugar cookies and sometimes gingerbread cookies. They are both so much fun to decorate! But my kids and I like to get creative too.
This year we came up with a gluten free chocolate peppermint twist cookie.
These cookies combine my husband’s childhood traditions with my kids’ favorite flavors.
Growing up my husband always had peppermint stick ice cream with hot fudge at Christmas time. We now have it every year at our house.
Whenever I ask my kids what kind of ice cream they want, nine times out of ten they say mint chocolate chip.
Peppermint and chocolate go so well together. Plus they are the perfect pair for Christmas. So turning this combination into a delicious treat was fun for the whole family.
Kids in the kitchen.
One of my requirements for Christmas cookies is that my kids can help me make them. What’s the fun in baking alone during the holidays?
These twist cookies are perfect for little helpers and little hands!
The dough comes together quickly. Then you get to break off chunks, roll them into snakes and twist. What kid doesn’t love playing with cookie dough?!
The great thing about these cookies is that you can make them into any shape you want. So you can let your kids get creative.
I had a baby just waking up as I was finishing twisting my cookies. So I didn’t have time for precision. If you do have the time you can make the snakes really thin, twist them and shape them like candy canes!
Or if you are really short on time simply make them into rounds.
Katie’s note: To make it possible to do a food activity with all 3 of my older kids, I’d lock Gabe in his high chair for the messy hands-on part and give him something he loves, like a whole peeled apple or a Squooshi full of smoothie! You can use our special code KS10%OFF for 10% off in the Squooshi store! The Snaq Bags make great stocking stuffers.
Allergen friendly treats
My other requirement is that the cookies are safe for my kids. We have a lot of food allergies.
This chocolate peppermint twist cookie recipe is free of gluten, eggs, nuts, soy, and corn. They can easily be made dairy free as well.
You could even make them grain free depending on your flour choices.
We love chocolate and mint. But if your kids aren’t crazy about mint you can leave it out for a “cookies and cream” cookie. Or you can swap the mint for another organic extract. Whatever you like to go with chocolate.
If you want to add an extra layer of flavor melt chocolate chips over a double boiler and dip the cookies half way in. Lay them on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and allow them to cool in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.
A gluten free twisted cookie with chocolate and mint flavors.
- 1/2 c. “whole grain” gluten-free flour (sorghum, amaranth, brown rice)
- 1/4 c. starchy gluten-free flour (tapioca, white rice, cassava)
- 1/4 c. cocoa powder or carob powder
- 1/4 c. organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. butter, melted (or palm shortening, lard or coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!))
- 2 – 3 Tbs. honey
- Heat the oven to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the chocolate dough. Combine with hands until a ball of dough forms. Start with 2 Tbs. honey. Add more honey if the dough is not holding together.
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the peppermint dough. Combine with hands until a ball of dough forms. Start with 3 Tbsp. honey. Add more honey if the dough is not holding together.
- Break small chunks of dough off of the chocolate ball. Roll into long snakes. Repeat with the peppermint dough.
- Twist the snakes together. (Or create any shapes you want.)
- Place the twists on the parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely for the dough to harden.
* Some of the peppermint flavor will bake out. The dough should taste overly minty before baking.
* You can melt chocolate chips over a double boiler and dip cookies half way for a more festive look. Allow to cool on a parchment lined baking sheet in the refrigerator.
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A gift or a decoration
Looking for a unique teacher gift? A package of homemade cookies is a great way to show gratitude and appreciation. Not to mention your child will be so proud if they help make them!
Make this gluten free chocolate peppermint twist cookie the centerpiece for your Christmas party. Place a few cookies in a mason jar with a ribbon tied around it. Put a jar on the coffee table, on the dining room table. Wherever your guests will be mingling.
Your centerpiece will not only look great, it will be edible too!
This year set aside time to get your kids in the kitchen. Create memories while you make something delicious. You can start with chocolate peppermint twists.
You never know. You may spark a passion that lasts a lifetime.