DIY Christmas Cookie Gifts & Recipe for Gf Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies Cookies

Good Blessed Morning one & all! 
I am continuing with the holiday baking schtick and today I give you the skinny on baking your gifts. Yes, there is still time!
I cannot express how much I adore baking my gifts, there is nothing better than watching people's faces when they open up their tin that is full of handmade, gluten-free, deliciously inviting, cookies, truffles, and cake bombs.
The first time they get them is the best, in my humble opinion, because they cannot believe the variety, that it is all for them, and they are excited by the awesomness of it all.
I have even watched guys high-five when they received and opened their tins.
My son and his friends have been known to eat someone else's tin on the way to delivering them, (Don't worry they got a smack on the back of the head-not hard, extra chores, plus having to deliver a new tin that did make it). People have snuck other people's cookies/bars when they run out of their favourite's in their tin. 
I have received hilarious late night phone calls from friends who are upset because their girl waxed off her tin and was diggin' in her mans' tin. An incredulous loud, "You called her?????" being shrieked in the background, followed by a, "No, wait, let me explain." 
But the best, by far, was going to a party where everyone got a cookie gift box, and having brought extra's for friends' who were not able to come, then going to retrieve them at the end of the night to have someone drop them on the way home, but they were stolen! Yes, you read that right. 
Someone in our group liked them so much, they felt quite at ease stealing another person's goodies, even though they had their own. Bad donkey indeed!
How often can you say something like that has happened when you gave a gift? 
Now, I am by no means condoning stealing but we giggled our booties off when we discovered the theft. Luckily I had extra's, so I decided to take it as a compliment & be more careful the next time around.
This is a holiday tradition you need to start doing NOW!
You can get the kids involved, they love baking and testing out treats, and if they want yummies they must help with the dishes. Just be sure to keep it light & fun, smaller children have less coordination; I find it better to measure all the ingredients out and then have them help put it in the bowl/with hand mixer/Kitchen-aid. 
*Remember to NEVER leave children unattended, and be very encouraging, you are trying to make positive memories, get them away from being plugged in to electronics, teaching them a new skill, and making them feel great about being able to be an important helper for gift giving. 
I also suggest you play those Christmas tunes in the background and do some dancing in the kitchen while those cookies bake.
Before we move forward I just want you to set some ground rules with any kids baking with you, before you start, not after! And not too many (5 max) because kids are not known for having long attention spans, you want them to remember and stick to them.
I print them up and post them where they can be seen whenever I do a workshop and kids get rowdy, we all go back together and read the rule(s) that applies. We do this together because everyone is working as a team.
 Also, rules are of no use if you don't enforce them, be firm but fair. Time out's never hurt anyone, just be sure everyone stops and waits. You're a team, just like professional Chef's.


1-Safety in the kitchen comes first! Ovens are hot, foods can seem cool but can burn, and there are sharp objects everywhere. Be safe not sorry. This leads to rule two.

2-No being in the kitchen without a grown-up present! This means no touching anything without a grown up present, and grown-ups have the final say. If they say move, you move. Safe not sorry. What's important kids? (Have them repeat aloud with you) A grown-up must always be in the kitchen with you or else no baking!

3-We don't make fun of people trying something new, like baking or cooking. We're here to learn and help each other out, not be mean.

4-Remember to get messy, make mistakes, and have fun in the kitchen. Mistakes are important and every good Chef has a funny mistake story to tell.

5-Bake with love & share because food always tastes better that way.

So, now onto holiday cookies and what to give them in...

 These are examples of different ways you can package your cookies, I have a tendency to go overboard and make many types of cookies. It's more than fine to bake only one or two kinds, do not feel pressured, work within your budget. Whatever you do, if you are baking in advance, make sure to freeze your baked cookies in freezer Ziploc bags. This will keep your cookies fresh & will free-up room in your kitchen and fridge. Cookies keep for up to 3 months in the freezer but I bake them 4-6 weeks in advance and prefer to give people time to keep their tins of cookies frozen until they are ready to eat them. Mind you, everybody is different, some people devour in a few days, others stretch it over a week, and some sneak a cookie here and there over a few months. Don't worry, I had someone keep them for 7 months and freaked out thinking it was too long, they had me taste one and they were still good. That person just wanted to make their cookies last as long as possible.
If you are making fewer types I suggest chocolate chip, which is a very popular flavour choice. People love jam thumbprints, lemon & lime meltaways, anything chocolate or lemon based really goes over well, and something seasonal like gingerbread. This holiday season I have already begun posting some new recipes, along with re-posts of some recipes I did last year. I'd like you to have a good roster of recipes you will enjoy and come back to year after year, that's how we do in my family. Just look through thie last 2 weeks worth of posts to find recipes you feel you can do.

For gift giving, I get different boxes and tins, mini Chinese take-out boxes with holiday cuteness printed on them, special gift bags, coffee bags, cello bags with stars or puppies printed on them (Why yes, there will be a gluten-free pooch gift, you can bake post, coming soon) then I embellish them with stickers, handmade tags-there will be a post on these very soon as well, tissue, doilies, and sometimes a card. You can get these items at the following places:
-The dollar store
-Dollar Max
-Dollar tree
-Arts & crafts shops
-Michael's (This is more expensive, so I go there less)
-Bulk barn 
-Specialty packaging places. Here in town we have a place called L'Emballages tout, it's great because they supply packaging of all sorts, one may order in smaller quantities or bigger, they cater to small businesses & individuals, have environmentally friendly choices, things go on special, and they have beautiful options for the holiday's. I will add a link down below.
In the above picture, the blue & white holiday Chinese take-out container, was filled with cookies I chose for specific people, and then I added the Ho Ho Ho sticker which came from the dollar max, along with some white tissue paper from the dollar store.
In the next picture below, you can see a tin with a reindeer, I get all my tins at the dollar store. I also save money and the planet by telling whoever gets them, to return them in good condition the minute they finish their cookies. They often forget but come the end of November, beginning of December, they let me know they have them, drop them off, or they go hunting for them when I ask for them back. 

The rule is: If you have received a cookie tin, you must return the cookie tin to get more cookies. No tin=no cookies, unless they buy a new tin.

You may be saying, "She's so cheap!"
No, I am frugal, cannot stand waste, believe adults can be responsible for the small task of returning a tin, I care about the planet, do not have money to waste, and do not need to spend my precious time hunting for new tins before they sell out, which BTW, tins get more scarce and more expensive every year.  
When I first started cookie making gifts, tins were 2/$1.00. Now they average $2.50-$4.00 plus taxes each, money I prefer to spend on quality ingredients, and believe me, when you have 25-30 tins to purchase, buying them again is not an expense one appreciates.
Trust me, they want the cookies-badly!
They will find their tins, or get a new one. Don't you dare give an inch on this rule, you are trying to cut costs, not incur new one's that are not your responsibility. 
Obviously for the first time you need to shell out but after that, no touchie. 
This only applies for tins, any boxes that are made out of paper product cannot be reused a year down the road; they pool grease spots and crumbs get stuck in them. 
Not safe or appetizing.
As for the Holiday Chinese take-out containers, anywhere from $0.78-$0.99 each at the Bulk Barn, here in Canada. 
The picture of the corrugated box down below with the clear window top and several cookie flavours, is a more expensive choice but is made from recycled & recyclable Kraft paper. They also make for a beautiful presentation. There are two sizes, the big one's were about $2.95 a piece, while the smaller boxes were $3.75 a piece. I know it's weird but the smaller boxes are more expensive for the company to make, so they charge more, it's also more wasteful Kraft paper wise to make them.
I got them at L'Emballages Tout.

Here is the link for the place I get the boxes from:

It's wonderful to offer a good variety of cookies, I did half vegan and half with butter, this was perfect for couples who were eating differently under one roof. I kept vegan to the left and butter to the right.
Another package option is putting your stack of cookie gifts in a fancy glass jar, this way the person has a beautiful container that can be reused, the presentation is stunning, and you can add a pretty festive ribbon to tie in the holiday season. Look how gorgeous the presentation can be (in the pic below), and who doesn't enjoy a delectable classic chocolate chip cookie? The recipe for those follows, just keep scrolling.
This is the chewy, moist, chocolate chip cookie goodness that you remember from your childhood. Very easy and fast to make, perfect beginner recipe and always loved by so many people. I had to make a second batch of these because so many disappeared when they came out of the oven all hot and fresh. 

Gluten-free Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie: 
Difficulty : Easy
Cost Range: Low to medium 
Time : 1 hour 20 mins (this includes both chill times and baking) 
Yields: 30-36 cookies 
Freezes: Beautifully 1-2 months
Preheat Oven to 375° F

1 1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter Melted
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar 
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk 
1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Baking Soda 
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 1/2 Cup GF Flour Mix #1.5 (recipe follows) 
3/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
3/4 Cup Sorghum Flour
1 tsp Real Vanilla Extract 
3/4 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

-In a separate bowl, mix flours, xanthan gum, salt, & baking powder. 
-In a mixer beat sugars and melted butter together. 
-Add eggs, beat. 
-Add flour in three parts, when adding the last addition, add vanilla extract to help moisten the dough a bit. 
-Add chocolate chips last and beat until incorporated. 
-Chill dough for 45 minutes
-Scoop about 1 tbsp for each cookie and roll into a ball, place on parchment lined baking tray. 3 down and 4 across.
-Flatten a bit and put in freezer for 5 mins.
-Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Make sure to turn the tray half way after 5 minutes for even baking. 
-Cool on tray for 3 minutes and transfer to rack to finish cooling. 
Bonne Appétit & remember to share a taste tester with someone you love. 


(Makes 3 Cups)

1 1/2 Cups White Rice Flour (fine ground but not sweet white rice flour, it's too fine for this recipe) 
1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour (fine ground, not gritty big grainy)
1/3 Cup Tapioca Starch
2/3 Cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)


-In a bowl, very carefully measure and blend all ingredients together.
So, this a base recipe for many cookies. I need to let you know that if you do not take extra care in how you measure these ingredients out it will spell disaster for your recipes. They will taste floury, have a weird silky mouth feel if the wrong flours are used or if too much of a starch is used by accident, and will crumble to crummy sadness. Nothing is worse than doing several batches of cookies with horrible results because you can't figure out that the base flour recipe is to blame before it's too late. Trust me, the extra care you take will show in the wonderful positive results you baked.

Leave a comment below, I love to hear how recipes turn out. 
Happy Holiday Baking!

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