Holiday time to me used to mean one of my all-time favorite things: baking Christmas cookies with my sister.  We would plan for weeks to make batches of all different kinds of cookies, chocolate chips, pecan cups, walnut balls and jam dot cookies.   This was a time not only to eat all those fresh baked yummy treats but a special time with my older sister who gave me her undivided attention for the evening.  Oh the joy!!  We baked with cousins, friends and then, eventually with her daughter and son.  When we both were diagnosed with celiac disease almost 4 1/2 years ago I thought those days are over.  So many of my memories are entwined with food.  Some memories actually are all about food.  So what happens when so much of what we love is compromised?  I Say its time to MAKE new ones.  That’s why I always urge Celiacs to get in that kitchen and recreate those memories!

I already conquered what has now become my ‘famous choc chip cookie’, and now I’m onto the jam dot!  After a few tries, …success!!  Yummy vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free love in the shape of a small little cookie.  Make some for your family, friends, or just for you to remind you that life does not have to stop because we have celiac disease.  Life just has to change.  Here is to new memories!!

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

[box]AND a special gift for 2 Jennifer’s Way friends—  Write a few words about your favorite holiday baking memory and I will send my all purpose flour and pancake mix to two lucky winners to help further your freedom in baking!![/box]

Gluten Free Jam Dot Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups My All Purpose Flour (I actually used my new all purpose rice free flour which has quinoa and amaranth flour (great nutty taste), but you can use any all purpose gluten free flour you choose.)
  • 2 cups Hazelnut Flour
  • 1/2 cup Arrowroot starch
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar-can use brown or beet sugar or coconut sugar as well
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum * if NOT already in your all purpose mix
  • 1 cup rice milk or almond milk
  • Raspberry Jam!!!!!!!


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  1. combine all dry ingredients and whisk out lumps
  2. with paddle attachment in standing mixer (can do by hand as well ) mix together palm shortening and oil and combine well
  3. start to add flour a little at a time alternating with rice/almond milk.  Always ending with dry ingredients
  4. scoop out cookie dough with a tsp and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. press down lightly with bottom of spoon to make a small well in the center of cookie
  6. fill well with jam and place in oven
  7. bake in oven for about 15 minutes
  8. sprinkle with powdered sugar ***** I make my own out of maple sugar or beet sugar mixed with starch
~ Jennifer

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. Debi

    My favorite memory isn’t quite about baking but the year I learned how to make lefse at my auntie’s house. She married a Navy man whose ancestors come from Norway. When we were finally living in the same city I would go over to their house for Christmas Eve and spend the night for Christmas day on alternating years when my grandparents visited. One of my uncles traditions was making meatballs, mashed rutababgas, and lefse for Christmas Eve. The first time I got to watch in the kitchen and in later years I was able to help roll out the lefse. They gave me the recipe and last year I was able to convert the lefse recipe and enjoy lefse for the first time in a long time.

    1. JenL

      My sister’s daughter with Downs also has celiac and is being tested now for dairy allergy. What did you do for the lefsa conversion? Our family adores lefsa, usually order it, and have even tried making it, but this has put a crimp in those activities.

  2. Karen

    Merry Christmas Jennifer….thank you for sharing your delicious cookie recipe – can’t wait to make it…
    This time of year when I was younger, my cousins and I would gather with our nonna and make all different types of cookies….my favorite – the rainbow cookies and strufoli (honeyballs)….while we were baking we would have the Christmas music playing – and just laugh – it was so much fun and I really miss those special times….
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year

  3. Tina Duncan

    Every Christmas my Mom and all 5 of us (brother/sisters) would make these amazing Santa Claus Sugar Cookies. We painstakingly decorated them until they were just too pretty to eat. We made lots of extras and gave them to friends, family and teachers. It was always a lot of fun cooking with my mother. She could make anything taste great and look beautiful. My son and I are making new memories. We made peppermint fudge together this year to give out as gifts to teachers and friends. We made GF Mexican wedding cakes last Christmas so I was really glad when he decided he liked the fudge better… FAR less work.

  4. Laura HAhn

    My best memory is the first year I found out I was gluten free. When the whole family got together everyone tried to make something special for me and since it was new to everyone they all had a hard time with it. I decided to bring along an easy peanut butter cookie that is naturally flour free and the whole family loved them. It was a great way to prove the gf baking is easy and tasty too plus they all understand that its not the hard.

    PS they ask for the cookie every time we get together

  5. Veronica

    Happy Holiday Jennifer,

    My fondest memories is when my daughter and I would open up a box of Panettone and we would slice it up, beat eggs, milk, and sugar and dip the panettone and fry them on a pan with butter (like a french toastI). She would put a lot of powdered sugar on top.. It made a nice Christmas breakfast.

    This year I found Farmo Gluten Free Choco Panettone (chocolate chip), she is so excited and we can’t wait to do it again this year!!

    Happy Holiday to all and god bless :)

  6. Maria

    Thanks for this delish looking recipe!

    Growing up, my 5 sisters, mom and I would make a gingerbread house each year. Mom would make the gingerbread from scratch and we’d put it together using the most sugary perfect frosting. Then we’d decorate with gumdrops and cinnamon candy. Then my favorite part: On new year’s day we’d smash it with a hammer and enjoy! As I write this, I realize the smashing part maybe was a little aggressive….

  7. Dusty

    Growing up every year (I lived my Stepmother and my Dad) I didn’t see my mother very much (I didn’t realize at the time that she just was too busy with herself to come see me) but I would miss her so much and wish that she was there and my stepmother would bake chocolate chip cookies with me (her special recipe she said) and have me help her in the kitchen. I always felt my little sister (her biological child) was the favorite, but for that one afternoon baking cookies, I was the center of attention and I was the best cookie baker in the whole world. We also made sugar cookies and decorated them. To this day, I taught my daughters bake cookies and my friends children and they say Auntie are we going to make cookies every time they see me. I guess the point of my long story, is the hardest part for me until I started learning to bake with celiac is baking isn’t really about the cookies or whatever your baking its about the time spent and the love. Gluten free or non-gluten free. Happy Holidays to all. Dusty

  8. Tracy L

    Happy Holidays Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your new recipe. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac’s, I volunteered for my city’s cooking classes. Each year, a cookie workshop was held and at a bakers dozen of different recipes were made. It was so much fun to help out and taste all of the different cookies. After I was diagnosed, I didn’t let my new diet stop me. I may not have been able to eat the cookies, but I could still help out and be the “cookie accountant”. (My job was to count out the cookies made and divide up equally among all the participants). I would also give away the cookies I could take to neighbors and friends. I still have a lot of the recipes and they are inspirations for re-creating them as gluten free!

  9. yvonne

    A ver y Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. It’s always a joy to get your emails.
    Ok, since I am Puerto Rican, on the island our holiday desserts tend to be different than those here on the mainland. My 3 favs were the coconut based rice pudding made thick with chunks of fresh coconut and coconut milk and the “tembleque” . This is a pudding, also coconut based . Yum!! Yes, we do love our coconuts :). Last but not least was a cake that was drenched with the “flan ” ingredients and then baked. THAT one I really miss, since it was a “real” cake.

  10. Kathie Langston

    I’m new to gluten free cooking. Just beginning my journey in learning to use new flours. One of my favorite Christmas memories is of baking Crescent cookies with my mom. I’m going to try and adapt them to gluten free flour. Crescents are very light but not flaky. I’m not sure which flour to start out with. But I’m having fun learning and feel sooo much better being off gluten!

  11. Jo

    Thanks for helping my recent diagnosis a little easier to handle!!! My favorite baking memory was when my two year old son and I went to my grandmothers to make sugar cookies. I kept tellin him to be careful, and he was so very cautious. Then I ended up spilling a half of a bottle of red food coloring all over the counter and floor! Luckily it came up, and our cookies tasted good :)

  12. Mychaela Frank

    One year I told my mom I would make some of the cookies for her(I was 11yr.old) and so I thought I would make oatmeal choc. chip cookies. Well they didn’t exactly turn out. They were spread like pancakes across the cookie sheet. But everyone still tried to eat them. I knew I did something wrong. Well when I tasted them I realized why everyone was so quiet. I had used salt as the flour.. Lets just say we still laugh about it. But they all still ate them with a glass of ice water. Merry Christmas! :)

  13. Jennifer Regan

    My favorite baking memories are of me trying so hard to make my sugar cookies look like they did in the picture, decorated professionally and all…. being disappointed when they didn’t but then not caring because they tasted so good!
    Merry merry!

  14. Carol

    Merry Christmas Jennifer. :) For me my holiday baking memories are focused around my children because growing up my family didn’t celebrate Christmas…so that time of year was just like any other. However, I am happy to say…I have tons of fun every year baking cookies and gingerbread houses every year :). I think the kids enjoy decorating their gingerbread houses each year more than anything. Always so much fun.

  15. Kim

    My favorite holiday baking hmmm that’s hard. One that sticks out is a couple of years ago actually 5 to be exact my son was four. Every year my sisters and I get together to bake but that year we were expecting a huge snow storm, so I had decided to stay home and bake myself with my son. I started the day with just wanting to bake chocolate chip cookies and call it a day. But I put on the new NkoTB album of course and started to bake and dance with my son in the kitchen as I obviously did ll the work and he contributed by liking the spoon and eating cookies off the rake before the were totally cooled. Before I knew it I was four hours into baking I had made six dozen types of different cookies, a sink full of baking dishes, a son hyped up on batter from the spoons and “samples”. Outside there was two feet plus of snow outside and inside memories were had been made that I will have forever and able to share til this day and beyond.
    Happy holidays!!!!

  16. Tina Ruger

    I have always loved baking. There was this one recipe that I loved. Every year, my grandmother would make these chocolste cookies. She would have all of the grandchildren over to make these tasty treats. When I got married, she and my Aunt made me a cookbook, in their own writing. On the cover of the book, was my great grandmother’s cookie recipe, in her handwriting!this recipe has been handed down from generation to generation!

  17. Jen

    Happy Holidays!!!

    One of my favorite Christmas goodies is my Grandma’s apple slices… yum! My cousin and I used to always try and hide the left overs from each other because we could never get enough of them. She passed away years ago but my uncle still makes them… I keep saying one year I need to get the recipe and try and make a gluten free version.

    Can’t wait to try the Jam Dot Cookies, they remind me of the jelly thumb cookies my mom makes :)

    Happy Holidays everyone!!

  18. Cindy W.

    One of my favorite Christmas recipe memories was making my grandpa date bars every year for his gift. I have never made them since my celiac diagnosis four yearsa ago but you are right, it is past time for me to make new memories and try to bake them gf. Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer!

  19. toni

    So many memories growing up with my grandparents and my mom cooking and baking. I spent many years making struffoli (italian honey balls with confetti) with my mom. My grandpa was famous for his layered rum cake with lotsa rum puddles and chocolate icing covered with cherries all over the top….yummy. i followed his tradition and made his cake a few years ago…..with lotsa rum….just like grandpa LOL
    BTW Jen, i suffer with ulcerative colitis myself, and i know how hard it is to educate people on these auto-immune diseases that are not visable. We look healthy on the outside :-)
    Merry Christmas xo

  20. Sue G.

    I always baked a lot of Christmas cookies and cakes. My mothers favorite was a Sicilian fig cookie made with a rich pasta frolla dough and a delicious fig, nut, spicy, bourbon filling. She waited patiently for them to come out of the oven. She would say she would love to eat just them for all her meals. She passed in 2009 the same year I became gluten intolerant. I haven’t made them since. I miss my mom and this one of many memories. Merry Christmas!

  21. Brian

    My favorite holiday baking memory would have to be a couple of years ago, when I decide to make my Great-aunt Norma’s Sour Cream cookie recipe, for the first time in years. This was before I suspected I was allergic to wheat, so it was just regular cookies made with bleached wheat flour – I have yet to, unfortunately, try to adapt the recipe to be gluten free. I’ve wanted to, but man, so much of that stuff is just too expensive for me. – At any rate, for my mom’s family these cookies are iconic; you call “Norma’s cookies” and they know what they are. She’s been gone sadly, about 15 years, but they will forever be “her cookies”. When I tried making them again for the first time, in a long time, they turned out perfect. I also found a great, easy to make Royal frosting that really compliment the cookies well, and is just pure evil, ’cause it’s basically just pure powered sugar with egg whites, but it dries hard and looks nice too. The real test was when the family came over and had them, and they all agreed it tasted just like she made them.

    Of course one of the signs I picked up on that I might be allergic to wheat, was that when washing the flour off my hands, my fingers were beet red and itched deep under the skin for days afterwards. Despite that, I do try and make them every year; and hopefully next time I make them, I’ll be able to adapt them to be gluten zero.

  22. Daniel Bradley

    While I’ve had several memorable Christmas baking memories making Chocolate Chip Cookies for Santa with my kids, I believe our Best Christmas baking memories are waiting for Jennifer’s Way all-purpose flour and pancake mix!!! Merry Christmas Jennifer!

  23. Tamara

    When I was young being in the kitchen with my grandma not only making soul food for the holidays. We also made bread pudding she made it so good,with raisins,brown sugar . She also made the best Mac & cheese with the big noodles and milk and cheddar cheese. She was the best my mom comes second .

  24. Doreen DeCouto

    This is one of my husbands favorite kind of cookies. This is our first Christmas without gluten so we were really saddened to not have this type of cookie in our plan this year. So thank you very much for the recipe…because of you we once again have a plan to make this cookie along with a smile on our face and a skip in our step ! Have a Blessed Christmas…we know we will..hugs !

  25. mary janssen

    My favorite holiday memories is my daughter and I making Christmas cut-out cookies and then decorating them. Now me make gluten-free cut outs and to me they are delicious because 4 years ago I thought I would never be able to eat a sugar cookies again. So now that they sell the gluten free sugar cookie mix, I love it. We can still carry on our mother-daughter tradition and I can eat them too!

  26. Laura

    Hi Jennifer! Thank you for sharing another recipe. Every since I was born, my mother and I shared a very special bond. Christmas was an extra special time for us as it was her favorite holiday. Even though we didn’t have much money growing up, she found a way to make it seem like we were the wealthiest kids in the world by clipping coupons and going without all year long. I have three older siblings but somehow it was always just Mom and I that would decorate the tree while drinking egg nog as we listened to Christmas music. Then we would bake all kinds of cookies, pies, ice box cake, cannolis, cream puffs and even a few gingerbread houses. My favorite is still the classic sugar cookies because of how we would decorate each and every one a bit differently so each were unique like snowflakes. When we were finally done we would sit and have a few of each type of cookie and some homemade hot cocoa with candy canes as stirrers and watch all the classic Christmas movies. Well…I lost my mother four years ago and even though I am a grown woman, the grief has been overwhelming that I have not been able to bring myself to bake anything since she passed. I want to try to bring back some of the traditions but I know with this disease, I can’t exactly use the classic recipes because of the ingredients. I am hoping that I can bring some Christmas spirit back to my family by baking for them this year but I know it will be a challenge figuring out how to make them. At least I can still use the one ingredient that went into every one of my mother’s recipes, LOVE!!! Have a Very Merry Christmas!

  27. Veronika

    My favourite holiday baking memory is actually a memory of a baking disaster. I wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies for my sister, but I messed up the metric conversion and used way too little flour. I wasn’t exactly a skilled baker yet back then, so I didn’t notice the dough was too runny and used it as it was, and instead of chocolate chip cookies we ended up with a sort of chewy chocolate plate. We still ate it, though, never waste chocolate!

  28. Pamela Bunnell

    Hi Jennifer, Blessings to you this holiday season!! You are an inspiration to those of us with Celiac. This is my second Christmas after my diagnosis so I am still learning the ropes with the baking, I plan to make Gluten Free cookies this year, especially excited to make peanut butter kiss cookies for my hubby and my 3 year old daughter and GF sugar cookies to decorate together. My best memories of baking growing up was when our Nana came to visit and made her homemade Angel (lemon) pie, and chocolate chip cookies that were perfectly buttery and crispy!

  29. Michelle

    Every year, my younger cousin would come over and we would decorate sugar cookies. We would cover them with so much frosting and sprinkles, you could almost get diabetes just looking at them!

  30. Meghan P

    These cookies look so good!
    Every year, my mom and I make my grandfather’s family-famous cheesecake. Without the cheesecake, the holidays just aren’t the same. The best part is taking the finished, perfectly baked product out of the oven and sharing that moment of joy with my mom :)

  31. Bonnie

    One of my favorite holiday baking memories was the first time I made my own cookies from scratch for my family. I grew up loving the kitchen; before I could talk I was making banana pancakes with my mom; when I was in elementary school I insisted on helping my mom with decorating our desserts. This tradition continued until I was in middle school when I decided to try baking from scratch by myself. I was extremely nervous, however my chocolate chip cookies were an instant hint! Then a few years later I decided to take on the next step and take on the Thanksgiving desserts. Each year I bake a new pie recipe. Although this is a newer tradition (for about the last 5 years), I eagerly look forward to each holiday season because of the opportunity I have to create an array of holiday desserts. However, there has been a new challenge because my mom has been required to have a restricted diet including no sugar and gluten. Luckily for my mom, I’m always up for the baking challenge to make an equally tasty dessert that she can indulge in.

  32. Sarah

    These cookies look amazing! I can’t wait to try them.
    I have always loved to be in the kitchen. Whenever my mom would start cooking, I’d beg for her to let me help. When I was about 7 I decided that I wanted to surprise my family with freshly baked Monkey Bread for breakfast. Having never made this before, I ventured into the kitchen to make what I thought would be the most amazing Monkey Bread in history! Well, it may not have been amazing, but it was absolutely memorable.
    I started by making some biscuit dough…sounds simple enough. I was doing fine until I reached the salt. Having never cooked alone, I did not know that ‘tsp’ was not short for tablespoon. Needless to say I highly over salted my dough.
    Thinking all that Monkey Bread needed was biscuit dough, I scooped it into my bundt pan, cranked the oven on high, and walked away.
    After smelling smoke in the kitchen, I had to run down the hall and get my parents (ruining what I had thought would be a wonderful surprise) and tell them what I was doing. They quickly pulled it out of the oven, where the top layer was completely black and the center still raw.
    I started to cry immediately, and felt so discouraged in my cooking abilities. Thank The Lord for such amazing parents because they scrapped off the black tops and served themselves each a piece of my over salted biscuit dough and encouraged me to continue trying.
    Seventeen years later I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and even though some of my gluten free baking attempts fail, my family still encourages me to continue trying! :)
    God bless supportive families! Merry Christmas!!!!

  33. Lex

    When I was younger Christmas was always my favorite time of the year and one of my best memories are of the three years that I was a Girl Guide. The city in which my mother lived always had a beautiful Christmas ‘festival’ call “The Festival of Trees.” The festival served as a great way of getting everyone into the Christmas spirit as it was held in late November or early December and it also raised funds for one of the local hospitals. There were Christmas trees and wreaths as far as the eye could see, professionally decorated and also ‘recycled’, made from entirely re-purposed materials. And there were gingerbread houses of every shape and size, some decorated by children like ourselves and others that were truly stunning, assembled by professional bakers and looking like pictures off of post cards.

    As members of the Guiding community we always went and volunteered to take admissions, act as tour guides, run games in the children’s area, etc. Well one year, when I was eight or nine we decided that we wanted to participate in the festival, but by doing more than volunteering. We decided to enter the gingerbread house contest, since there was a kids category there and away we went. We saved ALL of our Halloween candy, begged, borrowed and stole from our mothers baking supplies and took over my mom’s basement for over a month. The house we created had to be one of the most eclectic anyone had ever seen, featuring ‘dancing’ penguins, gingerbread Girl Guides, Santa himself, and because we were totally boy crazy pre-teens the Back Street Boys.

    I can honestly say I don’t remember a single project that brought us together like that house did. And when it came time to transport our creation the the museum for display in the festival we all anxiously held our breath as our fathers helped to carry the creation up three flights of stairs (in hindsight we really overlooked that fact when we set up down in the basement) and out to the awaiting van for its ride across town. They made it safely across town, across the skating rink of a sidewalk and into the museum where we finally breathed a sigh of relief as our creation took its place in the halls of ‘Boom Town’. And imagine our further elation when we returned later that week for our volunteer shifts to see a blue ribbon resting next to our house. We had won first prize in the children’s category!

    I still have that very first of three blue ribbons that we won in the subsequent years and each year as I pull out my Christmas mementos I smile as I remember how such a simple project united a group of young ladies and with any luck brought some smiles to those who viewed our creation.

  34. Laura

    Since I’m in graduate school and don’t have the opportunity to see my family often, I am always especially excited when I bake a selection of holiday desserts with my sister. Every year we have a different theme, and this year our desserts will contain berries. When we are in the kitchen together (no parents aloud), my sister and I laugh until we cry (but not into the desserts)! While the desserts bake, we put the finishing touches on our festive table.

    I”m excited for tomorrow morning when our holiday baking bonanza begins.

  35. Beverly

    Recently I came across a striking photo of mom from 1965 where she was proudly holding up a very tall apple pie, with a lot of attitude! Her eyes were glittering and she was laughing with an impish look on her face. You see, my mom and I had just finished making our favorite apple pie, which we had spent years perfecting. We kept piling on the apples to get the height. This was our tallest pie ever and we expected it to be our tangiest because of the added lemon juice. We were so proud of our mouth-watering masterpiece.
    When I look at the photo today, I still feel all of the love that went into that pie. It’s a feeling that I want to replicate with my own daughters, that is as soon as I fined gluten free ingredients that deliver on the promise. Then I’ll be able to place my own photo next my mom’s in the family album.

  36. Floyd

    So excited about making these cookies. One question though. Jennifer wrote 1/2 baking soda in the ingredient list. Anyone care to help a guy with limited baking experience out with this? Should it be cup, tsp, or tbs? Thanks!

  37. nantucketdaffodil

    Hi Jennifer. My 9 year old and I have been reading up on you today, and we send 3 cheers your way! C has Celiac…diagnosed 2 years ago this coming May at Children’s Hospital Boston. She had a chronic belly ache at nighttime, and hadn’t grown! We appreciate your hard work, and will help YOU in any way we can. It’s important to stick together and get the word out! C said she’d love to help you in any way she can. Celiacs share a pretty strong bond!
    Peace and happiness in the new year!

  38. Erin from Long Island

    Growing up, my mom, little sister, and I would spend a whole day baking and decorating cookies right before Christmas. Even then I was just a perfectionist, it took me forever to decorate each one!

  39. Kayla

    I have two favorite baking memories. My grandmother and I made gingerbread men one year. I had always heard about these cookies and loved the children’s story, but it wasn’t any sort of a tradition to make them in my family so I was extra excited. We decorated those little men to be everything, Air Force airmen, Navy sailors, firemen, even little girls. I can still see my grandma reaching into the top oven (she had a double-decker oven!) on her step stool to get out the ones we “customized” due to cookie cutter accidents!!! :)

    My favorite memory with my mom, yes I was a very lucky little girl to have two bakers in our family, was making peach cobbler. Mom didn’t make the kind with globs of dough on the top, we made pastry dough, cut it out and wove it like lattice on the top of the wonderfully ripe fruit. Mom always made sure there was some extra to add cinnamon sugar to as a special treat for the bakers!

    All of this baking created wonderful memories for me, and, as I am sure you know, I didn’t always feel wonderful after eating the tasty creations. I am so excited to try your mixes and baked goods!!! I wish you every success, am I selfish to say that? Because you know I wish you success so I can eat your goodies!!! ~ Kayla

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