Adorable Penguin Christmas Cookies

On a cuteness scale from 1 to 10, these penguin Christmas cookies are… off the scale. With delicate vanilla sugar cookies, a decadent chocolate ganache filling and simple (yet effective) decorations, they are a fun holiday DIY project – that just so happens to taste AMAZING.

Overhead shot of penguin Christmas cookies on a white surface, surrounded by sprigs of evergreens and white-sprayed pine cones.

What’s black and white, round and way too adorable?

No, it’s not a baby panda. Good guess though. It’s these penguin Christmas cookies!

Yes, I’ve started my holiday baking already. Crazy? Maybe. Will I stop? Never. (When I say “never” I mean “never… until Christmas”. You get me, right? Right?)

There’s something incredibly freeing about Christmas baking. It’s the season where you can pull out all the stops and there’s not such thing as “too cute”. I know you could technically do this all year round, but Christmas is… special.

And to kick off this season of cuteness and one too many Rudolphs, let’s make these penguin cookies. They’re cute, they’re delicious – and they’re surprisingly easy to make.

Penguin Christmas cookies on a white surface, surrounded by sprigs of evergreens and white-sprayed pine cones.

Close-up of a penguin Christmas cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Let me walk you through the individual components of this fun Christmas cookie recipe:

  • First, we have the cookies themselves. They’re simple gluten free vanilla sugar cookies that really couldn’t be easier to make. I like to make the cookie dough a day or two before, and keep it in the fridge – because (a) make-ahead anything is great, and (b) this gives the flavours time to develop into something even more delicious.

  • Then, there’s a decadent chocolate ganache filling sandwiched between the cookies. Sure, you could use a jam or a different sort of cream – but… it’s chocolate. ‘Nuff said.
  • The decorations are just as simple: melted dark chocolate for the typical black-and-white penguin colouring, orange-coloured marzipan beaks and candy eyes. Easy peasy.

Overhead shot of penguin Christmas cookies on a white surface, surrounded by sprigs of evergreens and white-sprayed pine cones.

Penguin Christmas cookies on a white surface, surrounded by sprigs of evergreens and white-sprayed pine cones.

There’s plenty of reasons to make and love these Christmas cookies.

They’re too adorable for words. They’re delicious – the blending of different textures and flavours makes them absolutely to die for.

They’re also a fun DIY project to make with kids (even adult ones) and it doesn’t matter how skilled you are: these penguin cookies are so simple, anyone can make them. And they will always – ALWAYS – turn out lovely and cute and just… awwww. Promise.

So if you’re looking for a quirky addition to a Christmas gift, or just feel like baking something extra special this holiday season… look no further.

Overhead shot of penguin Christmas cookies on a white surface, surrounded by sprigs of evergreens and white-sprayed pine cones.

Adorable Penguin Christmas Cookies (Gluten Free)

On a cuteness scale from 1 to 10, these penguin Christmas cookies are… off the scale. With delicate vanilla sugar cookies, a decadent chocolate ganache filling and simple (yet effective) decorations, they are a fun holiday DIY project – that just so happens to taste AMAZING.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Keyword christmas cookies, cute christmas dessert ideas, easy christmas dessert, gluten free sugar cookies, penguin cookies
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 (sandwich) cookies
Author Kat | The Loopy Whisk

Ingredients

For gluten free vanilla sugar cookies:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 g) plain gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt

For chocolate ganache:

  • 1 cup (240 mL) heavy/double cream
  • 6 oz (170 g) dark chocolate, chopped

For decorations:

  • 5 1/3 oz (150 g) dark chocolate, melted
  • 32 goggle eyes
  • 1/2 tbsp (10 g) marzipan, dyed orange with food colouring, shaped into 16 penguin beaks (see pictures in post)

Instructions

For gluten free vanilla sugar cookies:

  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer with the double beater attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

  2. Add the egg and vanilla paste, and beat until evenly incorporated.

  3. Sift together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum and salt, and add them to the rest of the ingredients. Mix with the stand/hand mixer until the dough is smooth and comes together in a ball. The cookie dough shouldn't be sticky to touch.

  4. Wrap the cookie dough in cling film and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

  5. Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line two baking sheets with greaseproof/baking paper.

  6. After 1 hour, briefly knead the chilled cookie dough. At the beginning, it will be very crumbly but after about 1 minute of kneading, it will be firm but smooth.

  7. Roll out the cookie dough to about 3 mm thick. Using a round cookie cutter about 2 - 2 1/3 inch (5.5 - 6 cm) in diameter, cut out the cookies. Re-use the scraps to make more cookies – in the end, you should get 32 individual cookies.

  8. Place the cookies onto the lined baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart. 

  9. Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 10 minutes. The cookies will be soft directly out of the oven – allow them to cool on the baking sheet.

For chocolate ganache:

  1. Place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Heat the heavy/double cream until boiling hot, then pour it over the chocolate.

  2. Allow to stand for 2 - 3 minutes, then stir well until you get a smooth chocolate ganache.

  3. Allow the ganache to cool slightly until it reaches the consistency at which it can be piped.

Assembly:

  1. Pipe the slightly cooled chocolate ganache onto 16 of the 32 sugar cookies, then place the other cookies on top to make a cookie sandwich.

    When piping, leave at least 1/4 inch space around the edge of the cookie – when you sandwich the cookies together, press down slightly to fill in the gap with the ganache as it spreads.

    Allow the ganache to firm up slightly – this will take about 15 minutes (to speed things up, place the sandwich cookies into the fridge).

  2. Dip the sandwich cookies into the melted dark chocolate to get the pattern you can see in the pictures above. To do this, dip half of the cookie into chocolate, then rotate it and dip in the other half, leaving a small triangle of the cookie uncovered.

  3. Pipe small dots of chocolate onto the triangles not covered by the chocolate to make "buttons".

  4. Place goggle eyes and marzipan beaks onto the cookies (see pictures in post).

  5. Allow the chocolate to firm up.

  6. Enjoy!

Storage:

  1. The penguin Christmas cookies keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for about 1 week.

Adorable Penguin Christmas Cookies (Gluten Free) - On a cuteness scale from 1 to 10, these penguin Christmas cookies are… off the scale. With delicate vanilla sugar cookies, a decadent chocolate ganache filling and simple (yet effective) decorations, they are a fun holiday DIY project – that just so happens to taste AMAZING. Gluten free Christmas desserts. Gluten free cookies. Christmas dessert idea. Christmas recipes. Chocolate cookies. Gluten free sugar cookies. #christmasrecipes #cookies Adorable Penguin Christmas Cookies (Gluten Free) - On a cuteness scale from 1 to 10, these penguin Christmas cookies are… off the scale. With delicate vanilla sugar cookies, a decadent chocolate ganache filling and simple (yet effective) decorations, they are a fun holiday DIY project – that just so happens to taste AMAZING. Gluten free Christmas desserts. Gluten free cookies. Christmas dessert idea. Christmas recipes. Chocolate cookies. Gluten free sugar cookies. #christmasrecipes #cookies Adorable Penguin Christmas Cookies (Gluten Free) - On a cuteness scale from 1 to 10, these penguin Christmas cookies are… off the scale. With delicate vanilla sugar cookies, a decadent chocolate ganache filling and simple (yet effective) decorations, they are a fun holiday DIY project – that just so happens to taste AMAZING. Gluten free Christmas desserts. Gluten free cookies. Christmas dessert idea. Christmas recipes. Chocolate cookies. Gluten free sugar cookies. #christmasrecipes #cookies Adorable Penguin Christmas Cookies (Gluten Free) - On a cuteness scale from 1 to 10, these penguin Christmas cookies are… off the scale. With delicate vanilla sugar cookies, a decadent chocolate ganache filling and simple (yet effective) decorations, they are a fun holiday DIY project – that just so happens to taste AMAZING. Gluten free Christmas desserts. Gluten free cookies. Christmas dessert idea. Christmas recipes. Chocolate cookies. Gluten free sugar cookies. #christmasrecipes #cookies

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