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Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe – it’s definitely not all about mince pies in our house this Christmas! Yep – the KitKat Santas and festive friends you see on top are Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free too.

Gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe, anyone? Cookie bars are my favourite treat all year round, so why not at Christmas too? These are totally beginner-friendly with no electric mixer required AND you can whip these up from just 20 minutes of effort.

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

Of course, we’ve always got access to proper, traditional Christmas recipes – yes, even us gluten-free folks. Check out my gluten-free Christmas guide if you don’t believe me!

But sometimes, I fancy something a little less traditional, that still gets me in the festive mood.

And that’s where taking advantage of the awesome selection of gluten-free Christmas chocolate comes in handy – namely KitKat’s festive friends (I’ve linked them in the FAQ section below).

They’re the lovely PROPER chocolate you’d get in a real KitKat, with little crunchy biscuit bites that are totally gluten-free. How cool is that? Here’s a few reasons you need to make my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe if you weren’t convinced just by that revelation!

Why make my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe?

  • These cookie bars are crisp on the outside and packed with chewy, soft cookie dough in the middle with TONS of chocolate chips hiding inside.
  • You wouldn’t believe how easy these are to make – totally beginner friendly and only take 20 minutes of effort, plus 20 minutes in the oven.
  • This is a great recipe if you have little helpers in the kitchen too – just make sure you push the KitKat chocolate in as the tray and cookie bars will still be very hot.
  • You’d never know they’re gluten-free by tasting them AT ALL. Everyone will love these – including muggles!
  • KitKat Santas and Festive Friends are gluten-free (linked in FAQ section) so celebrate that fact by making these!

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

So what do my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars taste like?

They’re crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle and if you nail the baking time, you’ll be rewarded with tons of soft cookie dough in every bite.

Each bar is packed with white and milk chocolate chips and of course, finished with that super festive KitKat chocolate that I keep banging on about.

Honestly, even Santa himself would approve of this one (even though I technically cut his head off multiple times by slicing up the cookie bars 😂)

Here’s everything you’ll need for my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe – consider this your shopping list! Keep scrolling until you see the recipe card below if you’re looking for the method and measurements…

Gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe: Ingredients

  • butter (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • caster sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • large egg
  • vanilla extract
  • gluten-free plain flour
  • xanthan gum
  • bicarbonate of soda
  • salt
  • cornflour
  • chocolate chips, white and milk (use dairy-free if necessary)
  • KitKat Santas and Festive Friends, mix of regular size and mini size (linked in FAQ section alongside dairy-free alternatives)

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling.

But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time making this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!

Gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe: Frequently asked questions

Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?

It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!

Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:

Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).

Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.

Can I make your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe dairy free?

You can, but of course, you’ll have to swap the KitKat festive friends for a dairy-free alternative, like these dairy-free Santa bars from Tesco.

Then, simply use dairy-free chocolate chips (instead of regular chocolate) and Stork hard margarine instead of butter. That’s it!

Can I make your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe vegan?

Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.

Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.

  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba (pre-whisked until frothy) – water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
  • Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten-free.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce.

I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below…

Can I make this recipe low FODMAP?

If you use lactose-free chocolate/choc chips in the cookie bars – that makes the cookie bars low FODMAP. Just ensure your lactose-free chocolate doesn’t contain any other high FODMAP ingredients.

However, as the KitKat festive friends chocolate contains dairy, these wouldn’t be suitable for the elimination phase of the diet. You’re welcome to omit these or use any other lactose-free alternatives, though they can be hard to find.

Is your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe nut-free?

Whilst the cookie bars are easy to make nut-free as they don’t contain nuts in the first place, the KitKat festive friends have a ‘may contain’ warning for nuts unfortunately.

However, if you omit these, then this is a nut-free recipe – just please ensure all products you use are nut-free too!

Where do I find the KitKat Christmas chocolate (festive friends)? Are they gluten-free?

For the topping on the cookie bars, I used a mix of KitKat festive friends and KitKat Santas (which are slightly larger).

And yes, they are both gluten-free! They even state it on the front of the packet.

You can find them down the seasonal Christmas aisle with all the other festive chocolate and treats in any supermarket. I bought mine in Tesco.

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

Can I make your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars in a food processor or standing mixer? Can I make this by hand?

You really don’t need any kind of electric mixer for this one – as this makes quite a thick dough, it’s far easier to make by hand.

So that’s exactly what I’d recommend doing!

Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe?

Certainly not! You will need a good quality 9 inch x 9 inch square though, so here’s a link to the one I use.

Does this recipe need xanthan gum?

You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten-free baking.

Whilst not super integral here, I’d always recommend adding it if you can, especially as gluten-free plain flour has no added xanthan gum to start with.

If you struggle to tolerate it, it probably won’t affect the end bake too much.

Can I make this recipe using other gluten-free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?

There’s a big difference between ‘gluten-free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten-free flour. When I say ‘gluten-free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten-free flours, not just one, singular flour.

Most gluten-free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!

So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten-free flour blend.

Do I need weighing scales to bake your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe?

In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any my recipes without them.

A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.

For example, adding too much flour can make things dry and crumbly, whereas not adding enough sugar means it’ll lose its crisp exterior. I don’t want you to be disappointed, so please weigh your ingredients!

I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

Can I bake your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe with less sugar / without sugar?

I can understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but sugar is integral to the structure of this bake – it’s not just for adding a sweet taste!

So yeah, remove/reduce the sugar at your own risk. You can always reduce the amount of festive KitKat chocolate you put in the top.

How long can I keep your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars for?

Once cooled, I’ve kept these for 3-5 days in an air-tight container with no problems.

Can I freeze your gluten-free Christmas cookie bars?

Of course, just allow them to fully cool first! I’ve frozen them for up to 2-3 months no problem. Make sure you slice them up before freezing, then, you can easily defrost a few slices at a time instead of the entire thing.

When you want to enjoy one, each slice should take around 3 hours to defrost at room temperature.

How can I tell when my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars are done?

They should have a lovely, crisp and even, golden exterior that’s slightly risen at the edges. You definitely DON’T want any signs of browning with this one!

Just bear in mind that if you overdo cookie bars (and cookies in general), that instead of being lovely and soft like cookie dough in the middle, it’ll be quite dry and even a little crumbly.

So definitely don’t over do these!

Gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe: Method

Ok, so here’s a printable version of my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️ Feel free to leave your written reviews in the comments below this post.

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)
Yield: 9

Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Bars Recipe (dairy-free option)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe - made all the better using KitKat festive friends and you'd never know they were Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free. See the FAQ section for a dairy-free alternative.

Ingredients

  • 130g butter (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 280g gluten-free plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 200g chocolate chips, white and milk (use dairy-free if necessary)
  • KitKat Santas and Festive Friends, mix of regular size and mini size (linked in FAQ section alongside dairy-free alternatives)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C. Prepare a 9inch square baking tin with baking paper (enough to lift out the bars later once cooked).
  2. Add your melted butter and both sugars to a large bowl and mix together. Do this until totally combined - it will take a few minutes with a spatula by hand.
  3. Add in your egg and vanilla extract and mix again until fully combined.
  4. Add in your flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cornflour and mix (I still do this by hand). It can take quite a bit of time to fully combine but you should be left with a yummy cookie dough!
  5. Add in your chocolate chips and mix into the dough evenly. Leave a few chocolate chips out (20-30g) to pop in the top of the cookie bars.
  6. Place your cookie dough into your prepared tin. I spoon mine in and push it to the edges making sure its an even layer without any gaps. (Get your hands in there if need be!)
  7. Push some chocolate chips into the top of the cookie dough.
  8. Place in your preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes until a skewer comes out fairly clean. I like to take mine out at 20 minutes for a slightly softer, amazing cookie dough.
  9. Remove from the oven and carefully push in KitKat Santas and Festive Friends into your brownies.
  10. Allow to cool (the chocolates on top too!) before removing from the tin and cutting into squares. Add some drops of melted white chocolate so that it looks like snow optionally too! Let them set and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g
Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free Christmas cookie bars recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!

Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

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