Gluten Free Santa's Thumbprint Cookies

Gluten Free Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Leaving cookies and milk for Santa is something we always do in this house. Call it appreciation for the gifts he will bestow, offering some gluten free sustenance for a long night or maybe even just a little extra assurance that Santa will know we have been nice this year, not naughty.

Every year it is something different. This year we are leaving Gluten Free Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies. We thought maybe he would feel a twinge of recognition and know how grateful we are.

These cookies are made even better by the addition of chocolate and cherries!

If you put out cookies for Santa, what kind do you leave?

Gluten Free Santa's Thumbprint Cookies recipe

4 from 3 votes
Gluten Free Santa's Thumbprint Cookies
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Santa's Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Chill time30 mins
Total Time39 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 4 cups pastry quality gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup corn syrup or light agave nectar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sanding sugar or just more granulated sugar
  • 1 (11-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 24 maraschino cherries cut in half and dried well


  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and ¾ cup sugar with an electric mixer. Add the corn syrup, egg and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture, with the mixer on low, and beat until combined. With a spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed well.
  • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls then roll in the sanding sugar and place on a plate or baking sheet – you can put them on top of each other – and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can make ahead of time but if they are refrigerated for more than 30 minutes you will have to let them sit out for a few minutes before proceeding.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets about an inch apart. Flatten with your thumb, making an indentation in each ball. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm but not beginning to brown. Leave oven on. If the indentations have risen, use the end of a wooden spoon to depress again. Fill each indentation with a teaspoon of chocolate chips. Return to oven for 2 minutes. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, swirl the chocolate chips to melt. Top each cookie with a maraschino cherry half.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Santa's Thumbprint Cookies Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 39mg2%
Potassium 64mg2%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 130IU3%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Cherries Chocolate Christmas Cookies Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Holiday Recipe Thumbprint
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  1. Donna
    December 22, 2011

    Those are so cute – I think we will try these this year. Merry Christmas Carol!

    1. December 30, 2011

      Thank you Donna – I hope you had a lovely holiday!

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  3. Joy
    December 22, 2011

    Darling! We usually leave chocolate chip.

    1. December 30, 2011

      Thanks and I am sure Santa loves chocolate chip too!

  4. December 23, 2011

    I LOVE your picture Carol. Santa will be thrilled :)

    1. December 30, 2011

      Thanks Maggie!

  5. December 23, 2011

    We always leave frosted sugar cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Love the recipe! Can’t wait to try them over the weekend. Maybe Santa will get a different cookie to try this year.

    1. December 30, 2011

      So nice of you to think of the reindeer too! I am sure they appreciate it!

  6. December 23, 2011

    Oh the cherries! They’re back! Those look simply amazing.
    Happy holidays Carol!

    1. December 30, 2011

      Same to you Alisa!

  7. InTolerant Chef
    December 23, 2011

    What a cute and yummy idea! Merry Christmas!

    1. December 30, 2011

      I hope you had a lovely holiday!

  8. December 24, 2011

    Yummy looking and adorable. Merry Christmas Carol to you and your family!

    1. December 30, 2011

      Thank you and I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

  9. Renee Cook
    December 27, 2011

    These look yummy !!! I just printed and plan to make today for my Hubby.

    1. December 30, 2011

      Thanks Renee, I hope the hubby enjoyed :)

  10. Raymond Hartog
    December 28, 2011

    Nice Article, it looks verry nice!!

    1. December 30, 2011

      Thank you Raymond!

  11. Carol Cripps
    January 3, 2012

    These look wonderful, and I hope Santa will love them next year, too. They remind me of Rudolf’s nose!
    Can I use your Sweet Rice Mix for these?

    1. January 4, 2012

      Thanks Carol and yes, you can!

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  13. angela
    December 9, 2015

    hi Carol- My cookies did not hold their shape at all- ended up like round sugar cookies. Can you advise. Thank you

    1. Gluten Free & More
      December 18, 2015

      Hi Angela,
      Hmmm, Did you refrigerate them?
      xo, Carol

  14. Jess
    December 23, 2015

    The cookies turned out horrible. They tasted like sand. I really wanted this recipe to work! I tried it twice with two different brands of gluten free flour and it still didn’t turn out right. I followed the recipe to a T.

    1. Michelle
      December 24, 2015

      I used bobs red mill cup for cup gf baking flour. Texture was fine. I would try again…. these turned out phenomenal and I have to also sub for egg and butter……

  15. Michelle
    December 24, 2015

    I made these using earth balance sf & df “butter”. They turned out very sticky and had to be rolled quickly, the kids love them, I didn’t roll in extra sugar (by mistake) and they still were good. I liked that they didn’t taste super sweet. I used bobs red mill cup for cup gf flour (not gritty at all!) Although I did add 4 extra spoonfuls to absorb some of the oiliness from the earth balance. Will add these to our Christmas cookie list from now on per my 7 yr old! Thank you.

    1. Michelle
      December 24, 2015

      Forgot I also had to sub out the egg….. used 1 tsp ener-g egg replacer and 2 Tbsp warm water.

    2. Gluten Free & More
      January 5, 2016

      I’m happy you and your family enjoyed them Michelle! You’re very welcome. :)
      xo, Carol

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