Gluten Free Recipes - Dairy Free Coconut Snowball Cookies

Cookies, educational? You bet! After all, making gluten free cookie recipes with the kids teaches them so much – all the measuring is math, being able to follow directions properly is an important life skill and some say patience is a virtue. When you cook with the kids they get to experience the preparation of food, they learn they will be able to fend for themselves, they learn sharing, and for a child with gluten intolerance or any food intolerance, the focus is on what they CAN eat, not what they can’t. So yep, making cookies with your child is indeed educational and it’s fun to boot!

These no-bake cookies are great for making with kids, especially the littler ones, as they don’t need to be baked. If they are small, you can make the vegan condensed milk mixture ahead of time and after that, no risk of burns. And there are no sharp objects involved, so cutting off their fingers is another worry you can cross off the list.

These cookies taste something like cookie dough studded with chocolate chips and coated with coconut. What holds them all together is the combination of Kinnikinnick’s gluten free Graham Style Cracker Crumbs and the dairy free condensed milk substitute you make by boiling down coconut milk with agave, which, by the way, can be used for all sorts of dairy free baking in place of that canned sugar milk.

Some of my happiest childhood times were spent in the kitchen with my mom – cooking, baking and learning and in turn I spent many happy hours with my own kids doing the same.

I ask you – how would you rather learn something – from a textbook or from making cookies?

Gluten Free Recipes - No Bake Coconut Snowball Cookies

Gluten Free Dairy Free No-Bake Coconut Snowball Cookies Recipe


Two 14.5 ounce cans coconut milk
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
3 cups gluten free graham style cracker crumbs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or dairy free chocolate chips)
3 cups coconut flakes


Combine the coconut milk, agave and salt in a large saucepan with high sides (use a saucepan that is larger than you think you will need to keep the mixture from boiling over). Bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the temperature to keep the mixture boiling but not boiling over and let boil for 30 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to about 1 ¾ cups and is a light amber color. You can check by pouring the mixture into a heatproof measuring cup, if it has not reduced enough, just boil a little longer. Let cool and refrigerate for about half an hour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.

Combine the cooled coconut milk mixture with the gluten free graham style cracker crumbs in a large mixing bowl and stir. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the coconut flakes into a bowl or dinner plate.

For each cookie drop about 1 tablespoon of the cookie mixture into the coconut flakes and roll into a ball – a small ice cream scoop (#60) works well for measuring the dough. Place the cookie on the prepared pans and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Put cookies in the refrigerator until hardened, about half an hour.


Makes 48 cookies

Need a quick meal?

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“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

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Ready for dessert?

Simply...Gluten-Free DessertsSimply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

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Categories:    Cookies & Candies

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy December 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

My kids are grown but I am making these with my granddaughter for sure! Love that second photo – so cute! Love the little milk bottles.


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thanks Joy – have fun!


jas December 20, 2011 at 5:12 am

hahaha – are you seriously asking the question of schoolroom vs kitchen? I know I’m kitchen all the way – home ec was a favourite subject and it’s so true that you can not only learn but have fun teaching these skills. Plus, cookies at the end are SO much better than a gold star!


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Way much better in my opinion! :)


InTolerant Chef December 20, 2011 at 5:44 am

Its always fun when you can eat your lessons, and even more fun when you can eat your mistakes!


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I know right! Best lessons every :)


Cassidy @ Cooking Gluten (& Dairy) Free December 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’ll have to make these with my kids… they’ll have a blast!


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I am sure they will!


Molly December 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

Oh my goodness! These look and sounds perfect and amazing. Yumm. I love that you call them snowballs :) so cute! perfect for the season!


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Thanks Molly!


Donna December 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Can you substitute something for the Agave that doesn’t effect a person’s glucose levels? Thank you.


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:46 pm

You know it is a funny thing – there is controversy about agave but evey person I know with diabeties (people who test their blood levels regularly) can use agave to great benefit as a sugar substitute. I am not doctor, diatician or nutritionist, this is just something I have observed from talking to many, many people. However you could use coconut palm sugar or Erythritol with a bit of honey to add some extra sweeteness. For that matter you could use granulated Splenda but I would be concerned about the chemicals. Using an equal amout of palm sugar instead of agave and a few tablespoons of honey would be my first choice.


Stephanie KL December 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I would be interested in knowing about an agave substitute as well. I’ve used an equal amount of honey in its place but if there is a healthier alternative, please let us know.


Carol Kicinski December 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi Stephanie – read below what I told Donna.


Nadya December 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

We had Christmas Eve dinner at the other grandma’s home – & she made HUGE snowballs – she had covered G, Egg & D Free chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting (using Earth Balance rather than the butter), then rolled in coconut!! YUMM – but I could only eat ~ 1/2 of mine!! It would be fun to try with mini-cupcakes, more ‘managable’ size. We also don’t use much Agave, gives my daughter the same yucky feeling artificial sweeteners do! I usually reduce the amount of ‘sweet’ I add to things. These definately are a fun winter treat!


Carol Kicinski December 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

Thanks Nadya and I understand about a more managable sized treat – then you can eat more :)


Nadya December 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Stevia with fiber for baking is another thought for those wishing to avoid the amount of sweetening – I’ve used that for my diabetic mother-in law when baking a cake for her BD.


Carol Kicinski December 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Thanks – good to know!


Kathy December 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

Do these snowball cookies need to be refrigerated all the time?


Carol Kicinski December 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

Hi Kathy. No, you can have them out. Let soften up a little but I like them better when they are not straight out of the fridge. Happy Holidays!


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