I'm making treats for my daughter's teachers as a holiday gift. One teacher doesn't each chocolate (gasp!). I need some creative (i.e., not snickerdoodle) suggestions for cookies or candy that are chocolate free.



Jocelyn Grayson


Jocelyn G. December 16, 2010
This has been really helpful. I ended up making my knock-off Williams-Sonoma white/dark/peppermint bark, a nut brittle and an Emily Luchetti almond biscotti. (The chocolate hater didn't get the bark.)
mainecook61 December 16, 2010
As a teacher, I can add that sometimes we receive LOTS of much-appreciated homemade gifts all at once---more than we can possibly consume before they go stale. So, whatever you decide to make, how about something that freezes well? It mighl be even more appreciated on a dark cold night in January when the dessert cupboard is bare.
vvvanessa December 16, 2010
i just made these super delicious lime meltaways for a cookie plate:

i've also gotten a ton of mileage out of these, which look like they are more effort than they take:

innoabrd December 16, 2010
I'm having a hard time getting past the concept of a teacher who doesn't eat chocolate...

However, in keeping with the season, how about gingerbread cookies? I do an annual holiday party for the kids to decorate them. I roll and cut, the kids decorate. then the kids get tired of it and the grownups move in and get really competitive...

In any case, you can have your daughter help decorate so she's got some skin in the game too.
betteirene December 15, 2010
I like the idea of marshmallows, too. Too bad you couldn't pack them with a mug and some homemade hot cocoa mix.
halfasiangirl December 15, 2010
Marshmallows! The texture/flavor of homemade marshmallows is really good, please people are surprised that anyone makes marshmallows from scratch. I made them using Dorie Greenspan's recipe.
hardlikearmour December 15, 2010
I vote caramels!
Jocelyn G. December 15, 2010
Thanks very much, everyone. Great ideas.
AntoniaJames December 15, 2010
My St Clements cookies ("Oranges and Lemons Say the Bells of St. Clements") posted here last year would work, and are seasonal as well. Any kind of lebkuchen, especially if you've doctored them up with crystallized ginger, orange and lemon peel, etc,. are generally appreciated. Or, how about nut crescents, made with toasted pecan pieces? (The toasting takes them to a new level.) I'm making all three of these, when I come up for air from work, along with truffles for the hard core chocoholics. ;o)
beyondcelery December 15, 2010
These are always a huge hit when I make them. This is my recipe, so it's gluten- and dairy-free, but you can substitute real butter for the DF butter and regular all-purpose flour for the rice flours and leave out the tapioca flour.

Italian Orange Cookies (GF, DF, SF optional)
Makes 3 dozen

¼ cup DF butter (dairy butter if making SF)
½ cup vanilla sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
2 Tbls canola oil
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
2 Tbls tapioca flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1/8 – ¼ tsp nutmeg, to taste
1-3 tsp orange juice, added as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Cream together butter and sugar, adding eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, and oil until blended. Add flours, baking powder and nutmeg, then mix to form stiff but pliable dough. Add orange juice as needed so it isn’t too dry. Dough should not be sticky, but wet enough that it can be rolled into coils without cracks.

Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll into a 4-inch snake. Bend snake in the middle and twist ends to form cookie. Repeat with remaining dough and arrange close to each other on parchment-lined cookie sheet. They will not grow much. Bake 5-6 minutes, or until just done and slightly brown on the bottoms. Cool completely before glazing.

Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbls orange juice into a fairly thick, but liquid consistency. Dip top surface of each cookie into glaze, shake off excess, and let set on wire rack. Store cookies in refrigerator or cold space for up to 4 days.

Note: Fresh orange juice and zest are essential to this recipe.
MaryMaryCulinary December 15, 2010
I love brown sugar fudge, pralines and shortbread for non-chocolate gifts. Also sables, flavoured with cardamom or Earl Grey tea or even rosemary make delicious cookies.
drbabs December 15, 2010
Last year the NY Times published holiday cookie recipes from readers. A lot of them don't have chocolate. (It does seem un-American, doesn't it?) Here the link to teh recipes. The website is interactive and very cool.

iuzzini December 15, 2010
biscotti with any type of nuts/dried fruits you fancy! place into pretty cellophane bags, tie with ribbon or book binding cord and distribute. :) You can even have your daughter make a cute little sticker to put on the bag (draw or paint on a white mailing label). Also, spritz cookies, pizelles, thumbprint cookies, or even some interesting homemade crackers would be really fun I bet! have fun!
sweetlolo December 15, 2010
these lemon sandwich cookies from Gourmet Magazine are festive and delicious - they've always been a big hit when i've made them and you can even do them in holiday colors http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Glittering-Lemon-Sandwich-Cookies-350932
chefdaniel December 15, 2010
This is a fairly easy recipe and very tasty. Here is the link to it..http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gingerbread-cookies-recipe
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