Petit Fours

Gluten Free Christmas Baking

Cherry KissesCredit: Mary E Park

These little nibbles are addictive. I just love them. It is a real treat that I love to make for myself at Christmas time as the bright cherries add a touch of glamour. You can, off course, make them at any time.

They are also gluten free for those of you who have such dietary needs. I wish I could say they were calorie free.  

These may be added to the Christmas Truffles you may have already made.


4oz of Ground Almonds
4oz of Caster sugar
2oz of Icing sugar + a little extra for dusting.
1 egg white
Flavouring (optional)
Glace Cherries


Mix the sugars and ground almonds together. Slowly add the beaten egg white, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. A few drops of flavouring ,if using, can be mixed in as well. When the mix begins to clump together gather it by hand and knead it into a ball.When the mixture binds together like a pastry dough then it can be rolled out to about a ¼ of an inch thick. A little thicker or thinner is fine. Use some icing sugar to dust the surface while rolling out. Now use an egg cup or small cutter and cut out small rounds. Place a half a Glace cherry in the middle of each circle and pull both of the opposite edges of the dough, at the same time, up the side of the cherry. Now repeat with the other two other sides. Do not cover the cherry, it should be winking out at you. They can now be placed on a greased baking tray. If they stick to the work surface use a palette knife or fish slice to release them. Re-gather and roll out the trimmings to make more.

Bake them at 375F for about 10 to 15 minutes. Take care they do not burn as they do not take long to cook. You are aiming for a light golden brown, so keep an eye on them. Take them out of the oven and wait a minute or two, then lift them onto a rack and let them cool. Now place them on a pretty plate and add to your Christmas goodies. Any spare ones can be stored in an airtight tin. They keep well.


You can add a little cocoa powder to the almond paste to make Chocolate Cherry Kisses. For flavouring you may add a few drops of Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract or any other flavouring you think may work.

A whole nut can be placed in the centre instead of the cherry but they won’t be as pretty.

You can also cut out other small shapes, brush with egg white, and sprinkle with chopped nuts or sugar crystals, before baking to make other nibbles.

Christmas Cookie Cutters

Perfect for using up trimmings.

Wilton Mini Cookie Cutter set of 12
Amazon Price: $8.99 $2.00 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 30, 2015)

More Cookie Cutters

Perfect for the holiday season

R & M Holiday Classics 12 Piece Cookie Cutter Tub Set
Amazon Price: $12.59 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 30, 2015)


Be careful not to overwork the mix or the oils will begin to bleed from the ground nuts and make the mixture oily. The oil will not help the mixture bind together, in fact it may be counter productive. If you add too much egg white then add a little more icing sugar and or ground almonds. If the mixture is too stiff add more egg white.

After they have cooled, if you feel they are not cooked enough, then simply pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes, upside down if necessary.