With most students on campus already filling up on Halloween candy and pumpkin-spiced everything, it’s easy for those of us who are gluten-free to feel left out this holiday season.

The incidence of individuals having celiac disease has increased in recent decades in Western countries, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. While it has become easier to find alternative options to daily meals, the gluten-free holiday items available to us remain sparse. 

As a foodie who has avoided all things gluten for the past six years, I have discovered a few holiday recipes that both my tastebuds and wallet have approved. Some of these are so good you could sneak them between the Costco pie and Red Lobster rolls at the holiday potluck, and those less used to gluten-free will never suspect a thing.

Note: While all ingredients are free of gluten, they may not be certified gluten-free.

[Rolling Stones’ ‘Hackney Diamonds’ welcomes back the era of classic rock and roll]


While some chocolate candies may leave a not-so-nice trick of a gluten cookie in the center, many classics will still have our backs on the 31st. 

Esha’s “Eyeballs,also known as cake pops


1 package gluten-free OREOs

8-ounce cream cheese


16-ounce white baking chocolate

10-ounce M&M’s

Red decorating gel or any red icing

Black decorating gel or any black icing

  1. Blend OREOs in a food processor until crushed into powder-like crumbs.
  2. Add softened cream cheese to the crumbs and blend until combined.
  3. Scoop tablespoon scoops from mixture and roll into balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  4. Freeze cake pops for 15 minutes.
  5. For decoration, completely melt the white baking chocolate in the microwave. Remove from the microwave with an oven-mitt. 
  6. Place a cake pop onto a fork and dip into the chocolate. Let excess drip before returning to the cookie sheet. Repeat for each cake pop.
  7. Before the chocolate hardens, add one M&M upside-down to each cake pop to serve as the iris of the “eyeball.” Allow the chocolate to harden around the cake pop completely.
  8. Pipe a single dot of black decorating gel in the center of each M&M to serve as the pupil. 
  9. For the veins, pipe squiggly lines coming out from each M&M using red decorating gel.
  10. Display at your party, or dig right in


Good news, you don’t have to sign up for mashed potatoes again for the fifth year in a row! Unless you want to, of course. 

Pumpkin Tarts


¼ cup gluten-free Baking Flour

1 package gluten-free Puff Pastry Dough


1 can of pumpkin purée

2 cups Cool Whip

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 

1 small package vanilla flavor instant pudding 

Optional: powdered sugar 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sprinkle gluten-free flour onto a clean kitchen surface. 
  3. Unroll puff pastry onto the surface. Use a sharp knife to cut out 3-by-3 inch squares from dough.  
  4. Lightly coat a 12 cup cupcake pan with oil. 
  5. Set each pastry square directly into an individual cupcake space, pressing the middle of the square into the bottom of space. 
  6. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely. 
  7. For the topping, combine pumpkin, Cool Whip, pumpkin pie spice and pudding mix with an electric mixer at medium speed. Pipe topping into bases.
  8. Sprinkle tarts with optional powdered sugar. 
  9. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for later!

[Students create unique works for experimental performance series]

Cookie Bars


1 cup unsalted butter, cold

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups gluten-free baking flour

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Optional: 1 cup slivered almonds


1 cup dark chocolate chips 

1 cup white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat butter on low speed until softened. 
  3. Add salt and vanilla to butter and beat on low speed until incorporated. 
  4. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium speed until the butter is fluffy.
  5. Add in the gluten-free flour a little at a time, beating the dough on low speed in between. 
  6. Mix in chocolate and optional almonds. 
  7. Coat a 6-by-9 inch baking sheet with a light layer of oil. 
  8. Press the entire cookie dough into an even layer on the baking sheet. 
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  10. Once the cookie sheet is completely cool, those who have an extra sweet tooth can decide to make a drizzle! Melt dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips one-by-one in the microwave. Remove each bowl with oven-mitt and tip bowl to drizzle each type of chocolate over the cookie sheet.
  11. Let the drizzle cool, cut the bars and enjoy!