Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is my new favorite way to enjoy the classic pumpkin pie, with updated flavors! The gingersnap crust is gluten free and so simple! It’ll be on your holiday dessert table in no time. 

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking #pumpkin

I hope you all took a nice rest from the pumpkin overload that came during October and then for Thanksgiving and are ready to give it a go again. I know that pumpkin pie makes a second appearance on the Christmas table for so many families, so I have a spin on it that will be a new favorite for sure! Did I mention it’s gluten free? Of course it is! Dig in!

I made this pie at Thanksgiving and it went over really well with my whole family. I love pumpkin pie, but I wanted one with a gluten free crust. Because the holiday cooking can get to be too much (a thousand dishes being baked and prepped at once), I wanted a VERY simple crust, so I turned to a cookie crust!

The gingersnap crust is perfect with the pumpkin filling! It adds a sharp spice yet it’s so buttery and subtly sweet that it doesn’t overtake the whole flavor of the pie. I love it. (And I’m not even a gingersnap fan!) I found these cookies at Trader Joe’s but I’m sure there’s a brand in other stores that works just as well (and the 8 ounce bag is the perfect size, resulting in one crust per bag of cookies).

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 4

There’s a secret ingredient in my pumpkin pie, besides the maple syrup! I added ½ of a sweet potato! It’s crazy, because I’m not a huge sweet potato fan either (I know, I know), yet the silky and thick texture and natural sweetness only enhance this pie without needing to add extra eggs or use heavy cream! Brilliance. You can leave it out and your pie will cook up just as fine, but I promise, if you include it you won’t be sorry! Just bake up a sweet potato a day or two in advance and have it in the fridge waiting for when you’re ready to make the pie!

I hope this pie becomes a secret weapon in your holiday pie arsenal! I know it’ll be in mine for a long time to come. Plus, pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas is a MUST for my family (it’s my husband’s favorite pie ever), so having a spin on it keeps things fresh and fun.

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking #pumpkin

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 1

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 2

[let it be noted that every single time I tried to type “pumpkin” I wrote “punkin” …because I’m a slang-slurrin’ girl during the holidays apparently]

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is my new favorite way to enjoy the classic pumpkin pie, with updated flavors! The gingersnap crust is gluten free and so simple (as is the rest of the pie!)! It'll be on your holiday dessert table in no time.
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  1. 1 (8 ounces) bag of gluten free gingersnap cookies (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  2. 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  3. 1 Tbs. raw or coconut sugar
  4. pinch of sea salt
  1. 1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin puree
  2. ½ cooked sweet potato, without the skin (optional, see Note)
  3. ½ cup coconut sugar
  4. ¼ cup maple syrup
  5. 1 egg
  6. ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or any nut/alterna- milk)
  7. ½ tsp. salt
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  9. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  10. ¼ tsp. allspice
  11. ¼ tsp. cloves
For the crust
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pie dish (9”) with nonstick spray.
  2. Use a food processor, high power blender (I used my Vitamix), or your strong muscles to crush the cookies into fine crumbs (don’t worry if there are a few pea-size pieces, I won’t tell anyone).
  3. Transfer crumbs to a bowl. Melt your butter, and add your butter, sugar and salt to the cookie crumbs. Stir until completely combined.
  4. Pour the crust mixture into your pie dish. Use your hands to press it into the dish and up the sides creating an even crust.
  5. Bake for 9 minutes. Set on a wire rack while you finish preparing the filling.
For the filling
  1. In the bowl of your mixer (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the pumpkin and sugars (and sweet potato if you’re using it; see Note). Beat together on medium speed until smooth, then add the egg and beat until combined. Turn down the speed, and slowly add the milk while mixing. Finally add all of the spices and mix until smooth.
Prepare your pie
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pour your batter into prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 mintues. Then, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue to cook for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. If the crust seems to be getting too dark as it’s baking, I like to form a piece of foil into a ring (I snip the center with scissors then manipulate it until I have a hollow ring, mimicking the size of the pie dish I’ve used) and place it on top of your pie so just the filling of the pie is visible (just the crust is covered).
  3. When the pie is done, place on a wire rack to cool before cutting and serving. I like to serve mine with a dollop of whipped cream (or rice whip or whipped coconut cream) and a sprinkle of pomegranate arils for a pop of color.
  1. The sweet potato is my secret ingredient here. Adding ½ of a cooked (baked or steamed) sweet potato to the pie gives it an unrecognizable depth of flavor and adds to the thick, silky texture. I highly recommend it, but it’s not 100% necessary.
Treats With a Twist
What’s your family’s favorite pie during the Christmas and holiday season?

Currant Date Oatmeal Cookies and the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Whew! That was quite a title! And a total lie too! Because although I did truly make Currant Date Oatmeal Cookies, that’s not what I’m calling them…but I didn’t want to confuse the crap out of you so I made the title pretty straight forward. We good? Oh, and yes, I did make them for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Woohoo!! *confetti emoji* *dancing twins emoji* *nail polish emoji*

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Ok, now that you’ve read the title, hopefully you get it when you scroll down to the recipe and I’ve named it something completely different. Because although this is a Currant Date Oatmeal Cookie, I call it my “Today Is…” Cookie. Yup, I’m obnoxious and I love a good play on words.

I have made these 4 times now and they’re probably my favorite oatmeal cookie ever. They’re gluten free, of course, and such a mix of savory and sweet.

When I made them for a friend of mine, she pointed out that they almost taste like an oatmeal version of a sugar cookie. And she’s SO right! They kind of taste like a sugar cookie! And yet they’re not painfully sweet.

The savory and spicy flavors of cinnamon and cardamom add just a hint of flavor while the dried currants and dates add a sweet jammy-ness to them (but unlike raisins, their flavors aren’t so pronounced that you know exactly what they are the second you bite into them).

I like to use rolled oats but then pulse them in my blender (I use a Vitamix but any sharp-blade blender will do) so the oats aren’t too large and don’t take over the cookie. I feel like this is the KEY to the perfect texture.

The dates I use are those date pieces that are covered in oat flour. You can find them in the bulk bin of the market. BUT if you can’t find them or have by chance eaten all of yours before you could add them to the dough (which is exactly what happened to me…) then make your own! I chop up Medjool dates and toss them in oat flour (which I made by grinding oats quite finely in my blender). Toss them around until each individual piece is covered, this way you don’t have just one giant clump of date pieces to add to your dough. Brilliant.

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

And, of course, I couldn’t leave them be. I had to add peanut butter chips. They really melt into the flavor of the overall cookie. Perfection.

  cookie swap 2014


Now about that Cookie Swap.  This is the second year I’ve participated in Lindsay and Julie’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. They host it each year to benefit Cookies For Kids Cancer, an OXO based charity. I’ve mentioned that charity several times here because I often make a cookie to promote their spatulas, which were made to promote the charity. I love it.

I messed up big time this year, though. I moved (in case you didn’t know) and in the process, the things I signed up for during that move got ALL messed up. As in, I would type in my new address, auto-fill would “correct” to my old address…and cookies would be sent into the abyss. SO sad!

I was really upset, because I signed up for the gluten-free cookie exchange and was really looking forward to trying some other bloggers’ creations! But, I didn’t receive any.

That’s ok though. I still donated to charity, I still got my Today Is… Cookies sent out to three lucky bloggers, and I still had a full heart after it was done. Totally worth it, every time.

This year, through the cookie exchange, we raised thousands of dollars for Cookies For Kids Cancer, which is just amazing. I love participating and was so glad I did it again this year, despite my mishap. 

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Now on to the recipe! 

Today Is... Cookie (currant date oatmeal cookies)
Gluten-free subtly savory yet sweet cookies that will quickly become your new favorites. Oats are pulsed in a blender before stirred into the dough for a more tender texture, and sweet jammy date pieces and currants meld perfectly with the hint of cinnamon and cardamom. Peanut butter chips add a more buttery and slightly salty taste to round out the profile of this amazing cookie. (recipe makes 16 cookies)
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  1. ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  2. ½ cup brown sugar
  3. ½ cup coconut sugar
  4. 1 egg, room temperature
  5. 2 Tbs. vanilla extract
  6. ½ cup gluten free flour blend
  7. 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
  8. ¼ tsp baking powder
  9. ¼ tsp. sea salt (or coarse Kosher salt)
  10. dash of cinnamon and cardamom
  11. ¼ cup dried currants
  12. 1/3 cup date pieces (see note above in narrative)
  13. 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
  1. Prep: in a blender or food processor, pulse your oats until they are slightly smaller and some have turned into coarse flour.
  2. In your mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Then add the egg and continue to mix until completely combined. Next add the vanilla and let come together.
  3. Stop your mixer, add the dry ingredients (flour, pulsed oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom). Slowly let the mixer pull it all into a dough. When it looks almost mixed (you can still see stripes of flour), add the dried fruits and peanut butter chips and let those disperse.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  5. Use a cookie scoop (1-2 Tbs.) to scoop cookies, well spaced (I cook 8-12 per tray), onto your cookie trays. You can either refrigerate the dough scooped out (flatten each mound a tad into a disc) for a few hours or overnight, or you can bake them straight away (unrested dough will spread more in the oven). Bake your cookies for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and they look set on top.
  6. Let them cool on the cookie tray on a wire cooling rack for at least 15-20 minutes before transferring them off of the tray and straight onto the rack (if you transfer them straight from the oven, they will most likely fall apart). Let them cool, then you can eat them all! Enjoy!
  1. Enjoy your cookies within 3 days of baking, but they can keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Treats With a Twist

Persimmon Pancakes for one

Persimmon Pancakes are sweet, indulgent yet healthy breakfast just for you. Treat your self to these gluten free pancakes, flavored with vanilla, cardamom, and whole slices of ripe persimmon this winter to start your day off on a bright note!

Persimmon Pancakes for one ( #glutenfree

In my best Oprah voice:

I made you Per!Simmon! PAAANNNCAAAKESSSS!

Hope you heard it echoing in your head. Hope you jumped up and started screaming in complete hysterics.

Ok, let’s break it down here. You have a vanilla cardamom pancake, made from oat flour so it’s gluten free. And it has a juicy, sweet slice of persimmon cooked right into it! Its like pancake + jam. Done.

I used slices of the big Japanese persimmons, Hachiya, but if you like the squat Fuyu ones better, then by all means please use those. Just make sure they’re ripe! All persimmons need to be really ripe to use them. Those giant suckers usually aren’t ready until they look bruised and their skin looks like it may pop if you touch it. That means it’s ready. Otherwise, it’ll leave a weird texture on your tongue and will have a tannin aftertaste. Yuck. So, just wait until they’re ripe and it’ll be TOTALLY different and totally worth it.

I used a SUPER sharp serrated knife, just like I would with delicate tomatoes, and sliced it, making slices a few millimeters thick. I sliced 3 slices because, let’s face it, I’m only making these beauties for me. Yup, SINGLE SERVING! Mix up your batter, heat up your pan, put a slice of persimmon in the pan, scoop ¼ cup of batter on top, cook, flip, DONE! Yessss.

Persimmon Pancakes 1

Persimmon Pancakes 4

Persimmon Pancakes 5

Persimmon Pancakes for one ( #glutenfree

Oh, drizzle with maple syrup. The good stuff.

Then when your friends and family drool all over your winter wonderland of a breakfast…I guess you could make a big batch and share. If you’re on the nice list this year, that’s what you’d do, right? 

  Persimmon Pancakes 3

Persimmon Pancakes 2

Persimmon Pancakes for one
Persimmon Pancakes are sweet, indulgent yet healthy breakfast just for you. Treat your self to these gluten free pancakes, flavored with vanilla, cardamom, and whole slices of ripe persimmon this winter to start your day off on a bright note! (makes 1 portion, 3 pancakes)
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  1. 1/3 cup oat flour
  2. 1 T coconut flour
  3. ½ tsp. baking powder
  4. ¼ tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 tsp. sweetener (I used granulated Stevia, but coconut sugar would be lovely too)
  6. quick shake of cardamom (less than ¼ tsp. but nothing too precise)
  7. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  8. ¼ cup + 1 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
  9. ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  10. 1 egg white
  11. 3 slices of ripe persimmon
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Mix well. Then, add all of wet ingredients (not the persimmon though). Stir together, but don’t over-mix (lumps are a-okay in pancake batter).
  2. Heat your skillet over medium heat and grease (I use coconut oil spray). When heated, lay down your persimmon slices, well spaced, exactly where you’d have your pancakes in the skillet. Pour ¼ cup of batter over each persimmon slice (there should be enough batter for 3 pancakes), letting the batter spread evenly over the sides of the persimmon slices. Cook for 3 minutes then flip and cook other side as well (You can use a spatula to gently lift the side of a pancake and check to see if it is golden and ready to flip and make sure you don’t burn your persimmon).
  3. Eat! Drizzle them in maple syrup! You know the drill.
Treats With a Twist
 Oh, so you like making greedy single-serve batches of pancakes? Try these! And these! And THESE

The Perfect Dark Red Lipstick

I want to take a quick side road from all of the holiday baking (and all of the yummy recipes I’m about to drop on you) to talk about the Perfect Dark Red Lipstick! I know that holiday parties and just daily chic-ness comes a’callin and you may want some help picking out that perfect deep, dark red shade (we’re not talking about the Santa red shade today, we’re more dabbling in “Oxblood” here) of lipstick that you can boldly wear day or night. 

Perfect Dark Red Lipstick (

 I have loved the look of a deep red lip for a few years now, but haven’t been able to find a color I truly love. And rather than wear a substitute, I chose to wear nude or a vibrant red until “the one” comes to me. Well, it certainly is here and it’s actually 3 colors!

Here’s how I found my favorite red/reds in the “deep red” category. There’s a very purple red (the Mac), a dark burnt strawberry-esque red (the Dior), and a plum red liner (also Dior). This trio makes SO many options for me and I can’t get enough.

perfect red lipstick 2

Mac matte lipstick in shade Fashion Revival – This Mac shade, I’m told, is limited edition. Which promptly instills a panic attack within me. It is a very purpley red and it has a matte finish. The matte finish is KEY. You can thus wear it without a liner and it stays put for HOURS (I wore this shade solo while my mom was visiting, and at the end of the day my mom was shocked that it lasted all day long, even through lunch and lattes). I love this shade and I’m shocked that I adore a purple-red. It starts getting me to that “oxblood” shade that is super popular. 

How to wear it:

Solo (no liner)

With the Dior Thrilling Plum lipliner (adds a beautiful deeper yet subtle red-tone to it) {like this in bright sun or this in darker lighting}

With the Dior Thrilling Plum lipliner and blended with Dior lipstick in shade Pied-de-Poule (THIS is the oxblood shade you’re looking for. BUT because the Dior lipstick has a tad sheen to it, you will have to reapply after meals. No big deal, because the payoff is gorgeous color).

  Perfect Dark Red Lipstick (

Dior Voluptuous Care lipstick in shade #977, Pie-de-Poule – This shade is what I describe as a “burnt strawberry” shade. It’s red but not pop red and it isn’t bland…it’s dark. And it has a slight sheen to it. You need to wear it with a liner to get it to stay and not stray (sorry ladies, that’s just how it is with all non-matte dark colors). I first saw this color when waltzing through the mall and stumbling upon the Dior counter. The lady behind the counter had winter-white skin and was wearing this shade with the lipliner I’m about to brag all about. Thus, I had to have it. Although I don’t have the same skin tone as her, I still found this color to be 100% perfect for me.
You can wear this shade with a similar, more matching lipliner and you’ll get the “true shade” of it. That’s beautiful and perfect. BUT I’ve started to play with color mixing to get the shade I WANT (I’ve found that the “perfect shade” of whatever tone you’re looking for may not exist, but by mixing colors you’ll be more likely to find it. Makes sense, right?). Thus, wear it with the Thrilling Plum lipliner (read my liner tips below!) and it becomes a rich vampy dark deep red. My husband called me Morticia yesterday because this was the combo I was wearing, and he meant it as a stellar compliment.

How to wear it:

With a matching lipliner (for a true-to-color burnt strawberry red)

With a purple-red tone lipliner, Thrilling Plum (for a vampy dark deep red)

With Thrilling Plum liner and mixed with Mac Fashion Revival (for Oxblood lips)


There ya go! So there are SO many options once you think outside of the “one tube” lip color or matching liner and tube set. When you start color mixing to get the shade you want, you find other shades in between that are wearable too and you also get that “one” shade you’ve been searching for. I highly recommend this trio of lip shades if Oxblood is a color you’ve been searching for!

  Perfect Dark Red Lipstick (

A few notes on wearing dark, red-toned lip colors:

  1. Prep your lips! Exfoliate your lips with a soft toothbrush or with a sugar lip scrub. Slough off all of the flakies before you put on dark lip color, or else the color will cling to the uneven patches and create dark spots.
  2. If you crave moisture under your color (yes, matte colors are very drying but that helps them stay all day!), apply chapstick, wait a few moments while it soaks in, then wipe off the excess before you apply your color! You want a clean palate to start with.
  3. If you’re using a liner (with non-matte shades, USE it), line the TRUE shape of your lips. Not inside, not outside. Just line your true lips. Then you’ll avoid embarrassing photos 20 years down the road. Line your lips, then FILL them in with the liner. THEN proceed to lipstick.
  4. More thoughts on lipliner: you don’t have to line in one, contiguous line. I learned from a makeup pro, if you make small lines, like connect-the-dashes, connecting, you may have an easier time with less breath-holding getting a true lip line.
  5. If you are craving moisture during the day with that matte lipstick, dab (don’t rub) a bit of chapstick on top of your color and then blot it away.
  6. Check your color! Don’t be obsessive, but check and reapply color if-needed throughout the day. After meals or straw usage.
  7. Wear neautral or subtle shades on your eyes. Don’t make an over-the-top statement (ie mistake) by doing your eyes AND your lips. Just don’t. Keep it super simple on the lids. You’ll thank me later.


I bought my Dior lipsticks at Sephora during their VIB sale so I could get a discount, but they’re sold in major department stores too. I bought my Mac lipstick in a department store at a Mac counter.  

Have any questions? Let me know if you go try any of them on or order any of them!

I joked with a friend recently that I hold beauty school lessons year-round. Yes, there will be booze.


This is not a sponsored post. I bought all product with my own pennies and the opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links and I get a kickback from a sale, but they’re used only to show you what I’m talking about. No pressure. All love. 


Sprinkles of Real Life

Sprinkles of Real Life! That post where I blabber about ALL THE THINGS I can’t keep inside anymore! Let’s do this.

  Sprinkles of Real Life (


1. The Voice! Are you watching it?! My husband and I watched every season, but then we had to take a break for the last 2 seasons. Well, we decided to get back into it (ok, Steve has a crush on Gwen Stefani) and this season is SO GOOD. I swear, I’ve never been this blown away by singers on a competition show.

Ok, I just have to say. Chris singing “Sexual Healing” floored me! I was blushing and giggling like a 14 year old girl! It was nuts. And he has just the most amazing voice! Who can falsetto like that?! It’s crazy! And Adam Levine practically humping his red chair during it was confirmation that it was killer good. Sheesh.

[note: my husband just called me, and I told him Chris was safe and that I want to hear him sing that again…then I burst into an endless fit of laughter. Yup, total child over here.]

And Matt is amazing. I can’t believe his talent. I swear, from day 1, I was hooked and I just know he’s going to win it. How can he not?! He sang “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice this week, and when Adam assigned him that song I almost burst into tears right then and there. I’ve been listening to that song for years and it’s in my top favorite songs of all time [read: it makes me bawl like a baby]. And he didn’t let me down by singing it. He made me consider a different version in my favorites! [normally when someone sings a song I love, I completely shut down and hate that person because they ruined “my” song] Please, YouTube it, iTunes it, whatever…just LISTEN to it!


2. We decorated for Christmas!! I’m a complete child when it comes to Christmas [and all other things]. I love it. And we have mostly foodie ornaments which makes our tree my favorite tree in the whole world! To say I clear out Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma of their ornaments in the after Christmas sales is an understatement.


3. Sephora sent me a coupon. After I just spend a gojillion dollars at their VIB sale. Nice. Well played, Sephora, well played.


4. Quest released protein powder, and I totally love it! I tried it in Peanut Butter and DIED. I mixed it with water until a thick frosting was formed, mixed in sliced bananas, cacao nibs and a dollop of Jif whips PB (in s’mores flavor)! Gah, die. So good. AND I didn’t come away with a stomach ache, which usually happens to me when I do whey protein, which is why I’ve been using solely Vega all year long. Holy moly! I can’t wait to make chocolate peanut butter everything (pancakes, mug cakes, shakes…)!

Oh, and they released a S’mores flavored protein bar too! Dreams DO come true! Still the only protein bar I consistently recommend and insist on traveling with. Amazing, I’m never disappointed. Plus, their customer service is sublime.


6. I read Tara Stiles’s book. I will totally review it in my next Book Review post, but I just have to say, it was so refreshing. “Make Your Own Rules Diet“. It’s not a diet book, despite the title. It’s more about finding yourself and doing whatever works for YOU. It really is amazing. Please read it, then we can discuss!


7. Check out Chex’s holiday treats! Cough, cough…some Holiday Chex Chocolate Bark and Chocolate Pecan Pie Chex Mix totally came from my amazing brain. You’re welcome.

8. Homeland!  Ok, you KNOW I watch too much TV, but I just have to say, I literally bawled when Saul was threatening to kill himself. I can’t take that pressure. I just cried. And covered my eyes and watched my husband’s face for a reaction to decide when to look again. And now there’s a break until the next episode! Can’t stand that! Ahhh!!

9. It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive home from work last night. It normally takes me 55 minutes. In the time it took me to drive home I could have:
Driven from Memphis to Little Rock, AR
Ran a Half-Marathon
Watched a long movie
Watched a short movie on TV with commercials
Baked 2 loaves of banana bread, back-to-back
Had my hair colored, cut and styled


This is not a sponsored post. At all. Just me, blabbering. Love ya! There’s an Amazon affiliate link, but that’s only bc I want to show you the book.