Dairy, Egg, Nut (and GF if needed!) Sugar and Spice Cookies….the BEST cookie exchange cookie…

Someone recently asked me for a good Cookie Exchange recipe. During the busy holidays, the best kind of cookie to make for an exchange is one that is fast and easy. Seriously, every year I have all these grand ideas of what I want to do for the holidays, and then this or that comes up and I hardly get to anything. Maybe that will change when my kids are a little older, but for now, I’ve decided I’m just going to roll with things a lot more, and “try” to stress a lot less.

So THIS is my answer to the question above; a very fast, very easy Sugar and Spice Cookie that is perfect not only for the holidays, but for any day of the week. It’s also a very pretty cookie, that can be dressed up in cute packaging.

Speaking of the holidays, my good friend Cybele Pascal’s new book just came out this past week. It’s a MUST HAVE for your kitchen counters, and makes a great gift item too. I’d use this book even if we DIDN’T have food allergies in our house. I love Cybele, and love this book. You will too, I promise.

Speaking of new books, this recipe, Sugar and Spice Cookies can be found in my new book The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy and Fast Family Meals. It’s dairy, egg and nut free but can easily be made gluten-free with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

One more thing, as I am getting ready with a new and improved website, I’d love to try a new post on this site called Ask Me. In the comments below, if you have a question about baking, cooking, 504’s etc. I’d love to hear it and will answer all of them in my next post.

Happy holidays everyone and enjoy these next few weeks with your families!


Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 ½ sticks dairy free margarine

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup organic honey

2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend

2-½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

Sugar Coating

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the dairy free margarine, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and honey, and mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and salt with a wire whisk. Add to the dairy free margarine mixture and mix well.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the cookie balls in the brown sugar mixture and place on parchment paper.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden brown on top. Cool completely on baking sheets.


38 Responses

  1. Hi … these cookies sound delicious and I am sure my grandsons will love them.
    Do you have a cut-out sugar cookie (without dairy, eggs, nuts and is gluten free, also) that I can make with them for the holidays?
    Thank you!

  2. Looks like an awesome cookie! I have another easy holiday treat – Melt 1/2 bag of allergen-free chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life). Cover a cookie sheet with a flat layer of small pretzel twists. Drizzle chocolate over pretzels. Refrigerate until chocolate is hardened. Break into pieces and serve. You can add flavor extract to the chocolate (orange, vanilla, etc.) or add dried fruit or mini marshmallows to the pretzels.

  3. Thanks! I wish you had a “Pin it” button, so I could easily save this! Or a “Print the recipe” button!

  4. I was wondering if you know of any websites where non-dairy margarine is available for purchase. I live in a rural area and the only store that had dairy-free margarine just dropped the product. I will keep looking and making requests, but so far requests have not been successful. Also whole foods stores are very far away.

    Thanks for being such a great resource for allergy-free cooking!!

  5. Sometimes I substitute crushed pretzels for ground nuts, Erika. Depending on the recipe it often works really well!

  6. To Paula Kay: Kelly has a fabulous recipe for cut-out sugar cookies (dairy, egg, nut free and I am sure could be gluten free, too) in her cookbook “Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book”. I am not sure if that same recipe is here on her blog, too. I have used the recipe frequently, especially during the holiday season.

    Kelly, this new cookie recipe looks delicious! I am a huge fan of your recipes — always looking for a new one. Thank you!!

  7. Hi, Just found your website and am thrilled with your first book. The recipes are so easy and the ingredients are easy to find. Thank you. I am going to start today. We are at high altitude any suggestions for adjustments?

  8. I made these this morning and they are to die for. My daughter (4 years old) said “These are like fancy Snickerdoodles (family favorite) for Santa!”.

  9. These cookies are amazing!! My husband even loves them! I am taking them to my mom’s group tomorrow.

    Also, I used regular margarine cause I haven’t been able to find dairy free. Any suggestions on where to find this?

  10. Can’t wait to try these cookies when I embark on my holiday baking this week!! And I can not CAN NOT wait to get my hands on your cookbook and Cybele’s new cookbook!! I asked Santa….we’ll see how good I’ve been.
    Happy holidays!

  11. Hi, this recipe sounds delish… one thing, my son is allergic to apples and therefore we couldn’t use the applesauce, any viable substitutions?

  12. Wow! We made these last night and all four of my kids plus my husband loved them! What a hit! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait for the cookbook to come out!

  13. In your previous post (the French Toast), you mention Vienna Italian Bread. Is that a brand? Can you post a link to it? Thanks! (I may Have to order your meals book!)

  14. Just found your website and made your Snickerdoodles! They taste great! Will bookmark your site– thank you! My food allergy daughter (from birth) is now 19, but I’m still learning and experimenting. Hey, tip for you, made a killer egg free pumpkin pie for the first time this year! For each egg, use 1 T. Bird’s Custard Powder (which is egg free), keep the rest of the recipe same as on the Libby’s can. Bake as normal. FABOO! Tastes exactly like a normal pumpkin pie! Enjoy!

  15. I have made several of your recipes, and have lobed them all. My question is, what tips/tricks do I need to know when rolling out cookie dough to cut. I’ve lightly floured and it still sticks, chilled and more flour. Then they come out too floury. Help…I’ve ruined both your shortbread and sugar cookies this way.

    • Hi Jessica! Sorry you are having issues with the dough. I use it all the time, and hope you can achieve the same success with it. Use a light touch when rolling it, and make sure your surface is lightly floured too.

  16. Looks like a fantastic cookie…anxious to try them ! Is there something I can substitute for the honey ?

  17. I have a question for Reen Vogel. What do you use as a substitute for the evaporated milk in the pumpkin pie? My daughter is allergic to both dairy and eggs and I was excited to find such an easy pie recipe until I realized it still had the dairy in it. Please help!

    Kelly- keep up the great work. I have baked many of your recipes and they are devoured by both my FA daughter and her non FA friends!

  18. Is there a substitute for the dairy-free margarine? My son is allergic to soy but also to pea protein (which is in the Earth Balance dairy-free margarine)….Would shortening work??

  19. I am glad to hear you have a new cookbook coming out. I have never bought one of your cookbooks (despite the rave reviews) because my son is also allergic to gluten, and to be honest, I just don’t have the time or energy to try converting recipes on my own. In your new cookbook, do you have conversions to make the recipes gluten-free? Have the recipes been tested as a gluten-free version? Thanks!

    • Hi Michelle, Since my son isn’t allergic to wheat I don’t routinely cook gluten free, however, over the years I’ve had many of my readers write to me to say they had great success with all my recipes using a cup for cup swap with a gluten free all purpose flour blend, and then adding a bit of xanthan gum. My new book has many gluten free recipes as well. Good luck and and thank you for writing!

    • Hi Michelle! Yes, there are conversions, and hopefully you will enjoy the new book! I always recommend to people before they invest in a new book, to try sample recipes out (like on website…all my recipes are free) or check out from a library. Good luck!

  20. And I thought it didn’t get any better than your chocolate chip cookies! Boy, was I wrong ~ These cookies are delicious and my sons completely agree! Thank you for the post…

  21. First, I absolutely love your recipes – you are by far my favorite allergy friendly baking source!
    I was wondering if you’ve ever worked with coconut flour? My kids seem to be sensitive to sugars and grains so I’ve been hoping to work with it but most recipes require a lot of eggs.

  22. I don’t know what I did wrong. I never have problems with Kelly’s recipes, but this was a complete fail.

  23. Paula, earth balance makes a coconut spread that is dairy free, soy free, and also no pea protein. I have used it many times for baking, frosting, sautéing, and it is great! You can also make your own margarine, just google vegan margarine and some recipes will come up.