Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars

Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars Recipe

Despite what all the country music songs, poetry, and heart-wrenching literature have to say about it, love should not be difficult. And neither should baking gluten free cookies for your Valentine!

Of course, anything that is worthwhile, like a truly fulfilling relationship, takes some work. But drudgery and misery? No! The work should be something you want to do, with a purpose that lifts you up and does not pull you down into despair.

In both romantic relationships and cooking I have experienced times when the effort was just not worth the reward, when too much time was spent on worry and the feeling that I was just not doing it right. I have learned that when I find myself spending an inordinate amount of negative effort in an endeavor, it’s time to change something. Time to simplify. Time to focus on pleasure, not pain!

While I am not really qualified to give you relationship advice, I can offer you a simple and delightful recipe for gluten free cookies.

This recipe started out with an old recipe I have for Italian star-shaped cookies studded with maraschino cherries. I thought the recipe would be a perfect one to convert to gluten free just in time for Valentine’s Day. However, the LONG list of ingredients and numerous, slightly complicated steps seemed like way too much work. Don’t get me wrong, my loved ones are worth time and effort, but I think they would rather have me be loving and upbeat rather than frazzled and irritated after spending all day in the kitchen baking.

So I did what I do best, I found a way to simplify. And I did what I will also often do, added some chocolate. Because let’s face it – what says love better than chocolate?

This Valentine’s Day, treat someone you love to this charming Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars Recipe. Or just treat yourself. Because as we all know, true love starts with YOU!

Recipe Notes: Not all almond paste is gluten free, so beware and be sure to read the label. I know that Solo Almond paste is gluten free. You can find natural maraschino cherries without dye and high fructose corn syrup these days in health food stores, online and even in your regular grocery store. I started asking my grocery store manager to carry them and now they are always easily available to me – so if you don’t find what you are looking for in the store you visit regularly, just ask!

Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars Cookies


5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars Recipe

Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 12 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 8 ounces gluten free Almond Paste
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 maraschino cherries plus 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry liquid


  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
  • Break the almond paste up into small pieces and place in a food processor or mixer. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the egg whites, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and maraschino cherry liquid and process or mix for 2 minutes or until the batter is moist and smooth. The batter will be sticky.
  • Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag or cookie press fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the batter into 24 stars about 1½ inches in diameter on the baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. To make it even easier, you can simply drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared sheets. Dry the maraschino cherries well and cut them in half. Top each cookie with half a cherry.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (You can skip this step if in a hurry, but if you piped the cookies into stars, the edges will be more defined if you chilled them before baking.)
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake the cookies for 25 – 30 minutes. Place the parchment paper or baking mats on a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely before peeling off the paper.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Stars Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 67 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 17mg1%
Potassium 46mg1%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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: Almond Paste Cherries Chocolate Cookies Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes
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  1. February 12, 2015

    Can I make the almond chocolate cherry stars recipe without using the cocoa powder?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      February 23, 2015



  2. Pingback: Gluten & Dairy-free Sugar Cookies

  3. Lynn
    March 19, 2016

    Can you make these in a sugar-free variation? Thanks!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      March 25, 2016

      I’m sure you could substitute the sugar for coconut sugar or whatever you like. You would have to make your own almond paste though, because there’s sugar in that, but you can always Google to find a recipe for that. Also there’s sugar usually in the maraschino cherry liquid, so you would have to leave that out and use regular cherries and maybe just use cherry juice instead.

  4. Sandra
    December 10, 2016

    I followed this to the T and it came out like a watery mess. I purchased 8 oz (227g) almond paste. I even weighed it on my kitchen scale to make sure it was 8 ounces. The only thing I could possibly make from this is very thin pancakes. I tried adding some almond flour and it is still a thin mess. I will now try adding coconut flour.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      December 22, 2016

      Thank you, what you see is exactly what I made but I’m going to retest the recipe. :)

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