Cranberry Christmas Crumble: Gluten and Dairy-Free


Cranberry Christmas Crumble with Almond Flour

One of my favorite desserts of all time is raspberry squares, the bar cookie that is almost like a Linzer torte with the extra deliciousness of a streusel topping. Nowadays, I’m always looking for ways to covert classics into gluten-free forms for my sensitive daughter and self – even better if I can pull off dairy-free as well.

With the holiday season approaching, I thought I would try using cranberries in place of the raspberry jam in this beloved bar. Combining cranberries with orange marmalade and a touch of crystallized ginger was the winning combination – and Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour was the key component (making them grain-free as well, for those who have other grain sensitivities). Adding some pecans for the streusel topping, makes this packed with protein as well.

Whether you have sensitivities or not, this will be a major crowd-pleaser at the cookie exchange. Spread some cranberry Christmas cheer!

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Reindeer Crap, a.k.a. Easy No-Bake Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

Reindeer Crap Cookies

Reindeer Crap Cookies

And here’s where we risk losing some readers, but you know, there are times when one just has to remember the wise words, “To thine own self be true.” Well, apparently half of my Self, culinarily speaking, is a 12 year old boy. But I cannot help it, this slays me. (Or shall I say SLEIGHS ME?)

Idyllic Christmas Hearth . . . besmirched by . . .

Ah, a charming Christmas scene. The holiday hearth, featuring stockings hung with care, some new toys, and the traditional milk and cookies left out for Santa, partially consumed in a gesture of holiday veritas. And a cute litt . . . wait, WHAT IS THAT IN THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER?

Let’s take a closer look . . .

It is! It’s fresh Reindeer Crap Cookies!

Is that what it looks like??

Yes, it is. Santa’s reindeer left behind a little treat of their own. But being magical creatures, their droppings are made of chocolate, nut butter, cashews, oats, coconut – and of course, pretty red and green Christmas sprinkles.  What’s not to love? …

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Fire and Ice and Everything Nice Spiced Nuts Recipe

Fire and Ice Spiced Nuts - with gift packaging!

Fire and Ice Spiced Nuts – with gift packaging!

I always look forward to spicy nuts during the holidays – such a nice change from sugary treats. These are Anne’s creation, a variation from an Epicurious recipe – so good that I have been craving them all year and I couldn’t wait to make them for Christmas this year. The spiciness is balanced by the coolness of the crystallized ginger and craisins. Yum.

Make up a couple of big batches to give to all the neighbors, and be sure to make plenty extra – – they’re very addicting!


2 teaspoons of each of the following spices:
Chinese Five Spice, Cinnamon, Ginger, cumin
1 teaspoon of each of the following:
chipotle chile powder (or smoked paprika),
garlic powder, kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon molasses
2 large egg whites, beaten until frothy
6 cup total mixed nuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, minced
1/2 cup craisins, diced

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Stir all spices together with molasses and egg whites. Toss with nuts. Spread on baking sheets so that nuts are in a single layer.

Roast for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with crystallized ginger and craisins. Spread out to cool completely.

— posted by Donna