Christmas cookies for the autoimmune mom


Buckeyes are super easy to adapt and make if you’re on a paleo or vegan diet. I prefer to use peanut butter, but if you need to substitute, I highly recommend trying almond butter. I made these last year with medjool dates instead of coconut palm sugar while I was recovering postpartum. They’re healthier and, honestly, you can’t tell a difference.

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (I buy the unsalted organic one)
1 cup of vegan butter if you need to go dairy-free (this one’s soy free)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
6-8 pitted medjool dates or, if you prefer, you can make a date puree by blending 1 cup of pitted dates with 1/2 cup of hot water, which is closer to roughly 10-12 dates. I personally find that you don’t need 10-12 dates to keep the buckeyes sweet.

4 1/2 baking bars of Theo’s 70% organic dark chocolate (also soy free)
If you’re feeling up to it, you might consider making your own chocolate with raw cacao and raw cacao butter. It’s time-intensive, but super healthy and worth it.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. If the mixture is too soft or creamy, you’ll want to freeze it for a few hours or refrigerate it overnight. It is much easier to roll into balls after it has had time to solidify.

After I’ve rolled the mixture into balls, I freeze them for at least 1 hour.

When you’re ready to make the buckeyes, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Using a toothpick, dip one at a time into the chocolate, leaving the tops exposed to look like actual buckeyes. Place onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Freeze or refrigerate after completion.

Gluten and dairy free Cherry Almond Shortbread

This is the gluten and dairy free version of a cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I prefer to make them without the drizzled white chocolate on top. Whether you’ve got a serious sweet tooth during the holidays or just want to impress your friends with dietary restrictions, these holiday cookies are perfection. And no, you don’t need to add xanthan gum.

3/4 cup vegan butter
2/3 cup sugar (I like to use cane sugar made from maple syrup for this one)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp organic almond extract
1 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour
About 16 maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
4 oz non-dairy white chocolate (optional, for drizzling on top)

Cream vegan butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Slowly add in the cherry juice. If you’re using a mixer, I prefer to stop at this point and just use my hands to mix as I add in the chopped cherries.

After you’ve pressed the dough into a ball, cover and chill for 4 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin rolling the dough into balls. Your cookies should be smaller than the ones pictured because you want to avoid crumbling. If they soften, place back into fridge on parchment-lined baking sheet.

I only bake these for 8-10 minutes at most. Pay attention so you don’t overbake them. You’ll want them soft and slightly puffed up.

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