Holiday Baking: Festive, Naturally Sweetened, Wheat and Gluten Free Raspberry Gems


I’ve been making a cookie like this for years and it’s always been a favorite. As good as it was however,  this year I decided to give the recipe a major make-over. Now in addition to being vegan and naturally sweetened, these cookies are wheat and gluten-free as well, with rice flour substituting for the wheat and quinoa flakes standing in for the oatmeal. If anything, I like the revised cookies better, with their lighter, more delicate crumb. Baking with an awareness of gluten sensitivities forces me to get creative and consider ingredients in new ways, and it’s a challenge I like and find interesting. Use any kind of jam, but to me raspberry is the best–its deep red color looks just right on a holiday table. Full recipe after the jump….



(Makes about 2 dozen  2 1/2-inch cookies)

Preheat oven to 350º F

  • Dry ingredients:

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup almonds

1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes

2 1/2 cups rice flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

  • Wet ingredients:

3/4 cup rice syrup

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


You will also need a 10-ounce jar of raspberry jam.


1. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until you have medium-fine meal.

2. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes to firm up.

4. Line cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. Form the cookie dough into 2-inch balls and place them on the cookie sheets. Make a well with your thumb or a small spoon in the center of each ball and spoon about a teaspoon and a half of raspberry jam into that indentation.

5. Bake the cookies in a 350º F oven 20-25 minutes or until crisp on top and light golden brown on the bottoms.  Cool on the pans for 5 minutes or so before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.


2 responses

  1. These raspberry gems truly are great cookie gems! They are light, yet substantial, while not being truly sweet until you get to the raspberry round at the center of the cookie. Yum, yum! Delicious with tea, coffee or any warm beverage of your choice. These gems would make a wonderful holiday gift for anyone, and because they are not full of sugar, wonderful for the children as well.

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