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Allergy Today: Spiced Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Say hello to our Spiced Christmas Shortbread Cookies!
Filled with warm and fragrant spices, they have crispy golden edges and melt-in-your-mouth crumbs. These little biscuits are fun to make with little ones who can help you cut them into adorable holiday shapes.
We like to keep our shortbread cookies simple with a dusting of icing sugar but, if you prefer, you could get creative with fun decorative icing.
Gluten Free | Dairy Free | Nut Free | Soy Free | Egg Free | Seafood Free
Prep time:  30 minutes + (chilling time)
Cook time: 10 minute
Makes: 20 cookies
100g dairy-free spread, softened to room temperature (we used Nuttelex Buttery) 
½ cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
140g (1 cup) gluten-free all-purpose flour
35g (¼ cup) cornflour (GF if needed)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (GF if needed)
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  1. Place the softened dairy-free spread, icing sugar and vanilla into a large bowl. Using a cake mixer or electric beater, mix the ingredients together on medium speed until pale and creamy.

  2. Weigh out the flour (this will give you the best results). Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and spices into the butter bowl. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to clump together and form a ball.

  3. If needed, use your hands to shape the rest of the dough into a ball. Transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough is smooth and well-formed. Place in a covered container and chill for at least 30 minutes or two hours (this helps improve the texture and shape of the cookies).

  4. Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan bake and line two flat trays with baking paper.

  5. Divide the dough into quarters and roll out the dough, one piece at a time, between two sheets of baking paper until it is 5mm thick. Cut out shapes using your favourite holiday cookie cutters. Gently transfer the cookies onto the trays, leaving a little room between each cookie.

  6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges start turning lightly golden.

  7. Allow to cool on the trays for two to three minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container.

Alana Scott is an experienced allergy-friendly and low-FODMAP cook and author of The Gut Friendly Cookbook (available from Allergy New Zealand).
Her own experience with food allergy and intolerance means she understands how difficult it can be to create delicious and nutritious allergy-friendly food. Find more ideas at

Allergy Today, December 2021