I love traditions and the Christmas season is loaded with them for my family. One of my favorites is building Gingerbread Houses with my kids and my sister’s family every Christmas Eve.
Since the Gluten-Free Kid (GFK) is the oldest grandchild on both sides of our family, Gingerbread Night started with him 9 years ago. At that time, he had been diagnosed with food allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, soy and other foods so we were able to build our houses using graham crackers, frosting and safe candy. That went well until he was diagnosed with Celiac in 2004.
I remember worrying we would have a difficult time coming up with a gluten-free replacement for the graham crackers. After years of trial and error with various gluten-free cookies and crackers, my sister came up with the idea to make our houses out of Rice Krispy Treats, gluten-free, of course. Let me tell you these houses are better than the old ones! I make two trays of gluten-free Rice Krispy Treats using Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal and cut them up and assemble the houses for my three kids using Pillsbury dairy-free frosting. Sometimes, I add red and green food coloring or use Fruity Pebbles instead of plain gluten-free Rice Krispies. When we are ready to decorate the houses, I put out a selection of gluten-free, dairy free and nut free candies and frosting and the kids go to town! It is such a fun and JOYful tradition and it shows you that almost all things are possible, gluten-free or food allergies and all. Please share your favorite holiday traditions and how you have adapted them to be gluten-free or food allergy friendly below.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread House
1/4 cup Smart Balance non-dairy butter
5 cups Kraft marshmallows
13 oz. Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Gluten-Free Cereal
Pillsbury Frosting, dairy free
1. Melt butter in pan over low heat, add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cereal. Mix well. Lay mixture out on greased flat baking sheet. Cool.
2. Cut mixture into rectangles and other shapes to form a gingerbread house. Glue walls of house together using frosting. Let dry.
3. Decorate with safe candies using frosting as the glue. Be sure to take a photo of the complete project to enjoy for years to come.