World Peace Cookies - The Perfect Holiday Hostess Gift

Oh, the holidays!

The food, the decorations, the cozy family time.

I cherish it.

But - at risk of great Grinchiness - can I also admit that I don’t always love the holiday pressure to “buy stuff”?

While it’s deeply satisfying to buy and give gifts I know are truly needed or will be treasured, buying something - under pressure - without knowing whether the recipient even needs or wants it?

That just feels empty.

The way I see it, most of us already have so much. Our children have so much.

Most of us are probably more concerned about simplifying our lives than we are about acquiring more things that have to be organized and cared for.

Which is why, a few years ago, I started trying to focus on “consumable” gifts - things that I know people can use and enjoy but don’t require a long-term commitment.

And won’t ultimately end up in a landfill.

I started giving wine, coffee, homemade bread, homemade pate.

Things that feel luxurious and joyful.

Which is why I’m sharing one of my favorite “gift” cookies - Gluten-Free World Peace Cookies.

For those who haven’t had them, these cookies are the perfect combination of bitter dark chocolate and crumbly sweetness, with just a touch of salt.

Which makes them perfect for any holiday get-togethers you might have planned this season.

When I take these cookies to holiday parties, I take half the batch already baked but bring half the batch as cookie dough.

That way, the party’s host has something to serve that night. But also a little treat they can freeze and bake later, when they need a sweet little pick-me-up.

Apparently these cookies got their name after someone proclaimed them delicious enough to catalyze world peace.

With that kind of hype, how can we not give these out like hot cakes?

If you are new to gluten-free baking and run into problems, please do post your questions. in the comments.

Also, if you’re not sure how to form cookie dough into logs, I’ve included instructional videos below.

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Gluten-Free World Peace Cookies

The original version was made with wheat flour. But, rest assured, this Gluten-free version - adapted quite substantially from Shauna Ahern’s fantastic “Gluten Free Girl” site - keeps all the yum and loses the gluten.

Dry Ingredients
6.25 oz of your favorite Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup walnuts

Wet Ingredients
1 stick butter (8 Tbsp), melted
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated cane sugar (white granulated will also work)
1 egg yolk, whisked
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make The Dough

- Completely combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars.

- Stir in the whisked egg yolk and sea salt.

- Add the vanilla extract and stir until thoroughly incorporated.

- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.

Shape The Dough Into Logs (video shows how to form log)

- Divide the dough in half

- Take the first half and place it in the center of a piece of plastic wrap that’s at least 18” long

- Fold the plastic wrap in half over top of the cookie dough.

- Roll the cookie dough out into a log shape. The log should be 1-2 inches thick, depending on how large you want your cookies.

- Repeat this with the 2nd half of the dough.

- Refrigerate both logs for about 3 hour or until they are firm to the touch.

Cut & Bake (video shows how to cut cookies)

- Preheat the oven to 325.

- Place a sheet of parchment paper on 2 cookie sheet.

- Remove the first cookie dough log from the fridge.

- Cut each log crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds.

- Place each round onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet.

- If the rounds crumble a little when you are cutting them, just gently press them back together

- Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for about 12 min. The center of the cookie should still feel somewhat soft.

- For a firmer, crunchier cookie. bake a couple minutes longer.

- Repeat with the 2nd cookie log.

Cook’s Notes

- This cookie is already gluten-free. If you want to make it dairy free swap the butter for margarine. If you need a nut free cookie, simply omit the nuts and increase the chocolate chips to 3/4 cup.

- Feel free to play around with this cookie. Some fun tweaks:

  • Skip the nuts and press some broken candy cane pieces on top

  • Add peanut butter or mint chips instead of regular chocolate chips

  • Replace the walnuts with toasted hazelnuts