Gluten Free Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on December 22, 2011

Post image for Gluten Free Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies Recipe Leaving cookies and milk for Santa is something we always do in this house. Call it appreciation for the gifts he will bestow, offering some gluten free sustenance for a long night or maybe even just a little extra assurance that Santa will know we have been nice this year, not naughty.

Every year it is something different. This year we are leaving Gluten Free Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies. We thought maybe he would feel a twinge of recognition and know how grateful we are.

I love cherries!

If you put out cookies for Santa, what kind do you leave?

Gluten Free Recipe Santa's Thumbprint Cookies

Gluten Free Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies Recipe


4 cups pastry quality gluten-free flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup corn syrup or light agave nectar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup sanding sugar (or just more granulated sugar)
One 11 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
24 maraschino cherries, cut in half and dried well


Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Cream together the butter and ¾ cup sugar with an electric mixer. Add the corn syrup, egg and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture, with the mixer on low, and beat until combined. With a spatula, scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed well.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls then roll in the sanding sugar and place on a plate or baking sheet – you can put them on top of each other – and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can make ahead of time but if they are refrigerated for more than 30 minutes you will have to let them sit out for a few minutes before proceeding.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.

Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets about an inch apart. Flatten with your thumb, making an indentation in each ball. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until firm but not beginning to brown. Leave oven on. If the indentations have risen, use the end of a wooden spoon to depress again. Fill each indentation with a teaspoon of chocolate chips. Return to oven for 2 minutes. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, swirl the chocolate chips to melt. Top each cookie with a maraschino cherry half.


A gluten free recipe that makes 4 dozen cookies.

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Categories:    Cookies & Candies
  • Donna

    Those are so cute – I think we will try these this year. Merry Christmas Carol!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thank you Donna – I hope you had a lovely holiday!

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  • Joy

    Darling! We usually leave chocolate chip.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks and I am sure Santa loves chocolate chip too!

  • Maggie

    I LOVE your picture Carol. Santa will be thrilled :)

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Maggie!

  • Ami Frank

    We always leave frosted sugar cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Love the recipe! Can’t wait to try them over the weekend. Maybe Santa will get a different cookie to try this year.

    • Carol Kicinski

      So nice of you to think of the reindeer too! I am sure they appreciate it!

  • Alisa

    Oh the cherries! They’re back! Those look simply amazing.
    Happy holidays Carol!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Same to you Alisa!

  • InTolerant Chef

    What a cute and yummy idea! Merry Christmas!

    • Carol Kicinski

      I hope you had a lovely holiday!

  • http://simplyglutenfree Lynne H

    Yummy looking and adorable. Merry Christmas Carol to you and your family!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thank you and I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

  • Renee Cook

    These look yummy !!! I just printed and plan to make today for my Hubby.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Renee, I hope the hubby enjoyed :)

  • Raymond Hartog

    Nice Article, it looks verry nice!!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thank you Raymond!

  • Carol Cripps

    These look wonderful, and I hope Santa will love them next year, too. They remind me of Rudolf’s nose!
    Can I use your Sweet Rice Mix for these?

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Carol and yes, you can!

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