Christmas Treats, Gluten-Free

For some reason I feel like these festive little treats are rather retro. Maybe because my mother made them for our family and friends every December for years and years, from the time I was very small. And we loved her for it. A little crunchy, a little gooey, sweet, and of course bright green. As were our tongues after chowing down on a couple of these little cuties. At one time, I probably thought that was hilarious.  For years I’ve tried tracking down a recipe that was as good as hers (there are several that are very similar) and with a few modifications this one below came closest. And guess what? They’re gluten-free all on their own.

Christmas Wreath Treats (aka Holly Crackles)

What You’ll Need:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 30-36 large marshmallows (a 10-ounce bag contains 38 to 40)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons green food color (be generous for best color)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cornflakes cereal (I suggest a scant 4 cups for a well-coated finished product. Today I used 4 cups exactly and the gooey-ness didn’t go as far as I’d like)
  • Red-hot cinnamon candies, for decorating
What To Do:
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. When melted, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon food color and the vanilla. Add more food color, if desired. Stir in cornflakes.
  3. Drop mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto wax paper. Shape into wreaths or leave as clusters. Decorate with candies. Let stand 30 minutes, or until cool. It helps to coat your spoons or fingers with olive oil spray before shaping, and it helps to have an extra set of hands to move things along before the gooey goodness sets up.
These are fun for kids to make along with you, and fun for them to share with friends. Enjoy!
I’m a leader in the Udi’s Gluten Free community, a great place to learn more about life without gluten. Live chats, recipes, wise words of wisdom and so on. Join us on December 5th for a gluten-free holiday cookie swap via live chat. 


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Kimberly day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.


  1. Debra Kreps :

    You’ve brought back a flood of memories. My grandmother’s birthday was Christmas Eve so we always made a birthday cake for her (and baby Jesus) and decorated it with a ring of these gooey little wreath cookies. They were so good but you’re right, they do turn your tongue green!

  2. angee :

    since kellog’s corn flakes aren’t gluten free do you have a favorite gluten free brand? i’m having a heck of a time finding decent tasting gluten free cereal. the texture just isn’t the same. :)