Chai Tea Madeleines (and a Giveaway!)

Chai Tea Madeleines from a new cookbook by Barbara Feldman Morse, Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake & Share,  are a fun, super simple cookie. Plus, I have a chance for you to win the cookbook too! Yay! 

Chai Tea Madeleines ( #glutenfree #cookies

This is a fun one!

Madeleines! Have you ever had them? I hadn’t until I started flipping through this beautiful book and realized how simple they were. I just had to make some.

Madeleines are those adorable little shell-shaped cookies. Sometimes they’re the classic clam shape, but sometimes they’re swirly shell shapes too. And, if they’re made in my kitchen, they’re shaped like blobs because I attempted baking them in a mini tart pan. They work in any pan, but they’re really so charming if you have a real Madeleine pan.

I don’t think I even really had a need to make Madeleines until I got this book. But, because of Barbara Feldman Morse’s easy 1 bowl method and charming stories (and TONS of flavor options), I knew I had been missing out. Plus, they all have minimal ingredients! I’ve never seen cookies with so few ingredients in the list. Good stuff.

I’d definitely recommend picking up this gift before the madness of Christmas cookie season kicks in. The recipes are so simple and there are so many variations, that you’ll definitely have your cookies tackled in no time.

I started with the Chai Tea Madeleines (and made them gluten free with a gluten free flour blend), but the Espresso Chip Madeleines, Joyful Madeleines (which are a spin on an Almond Joy), Peanut Butter and Jelly Madeleines, and Bananas Foster Madeleines are definitely all calling my name!

Chai Tea Madeleines ( #glutenfree #cookies

Ok! Now for the good stuff. I have a super simple cookie recipe for you…and a chance to win a copy of this cute cookbook. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (make sure your email address is included in your login) telling me your favorite cookie! That’s it!

Chai Tea Madeleines ( #glutenfree #cookies

Chai Tea Madeleines ( #glutenfree #cookies   

Chai Tea Madeleines
This gluten free version of Barbara Feldman Morse's Chai Tea Madeleines is so simple and quick that you'll be enjoying cookies in no time. These charming French cookies are perfect for a quick cookie fix or for gifts. (yields 15 cookies)
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  1. 6 Tbs unsalted butter
  2. ½ cup raw sugar
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1 Tbs. honey
  5. 2 tsp. “chai tea latte mix”
  6. ½ cup plus 2 Tbs. gluten free flour blend (I used Trader Joe’s)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray mini Madeleine or mini tart pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave the butter until melted. Use a whisk to mix in the sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, until cool.
  3. Next, whisk in the egg until smooth. Add the honey, chai tea mix and gluten free flour and whisk until completely mixed together and smooth.
  4. Use a small cookie scoop to distribute batter into your mini Madeleine or mini tart pan (I ended up having enough batter for 15 cookies, so I used 2 pans). Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies look slightly domed on top and golden brown.
  5. Remove pan from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then remove them from the pan (I used a small paring knife to make sure the sides were released and then used a small offset spatula to pop them out of the pans carefully).
  6. Serve them warm or let them cool completely then store in a ziptop bag.
  1. Cookies can be kept in a tightly sealed container for 4 days on the counter or in the fridge for a week. If you’d like to keep them longer, keep them in the freezer
Adapted from Madeleines by Barbara Feldman Morse
Adapted from Madeleines by Barbara Feldman Morse
Treats With a Twist

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the cookbook for free to review as I please. The giveaway is sponsored by Quirk books. Open to US residents only. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Cheers. 

What I’ve Been Reading

It’s time to show you What I’ve Been Reading! I love sharing my latest book adventures with you and I hope it helps you add another book to your reading list. 

book review by

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell:

I can’t say it enough: I LOVE Rainbow Rowell.

She is brilliant.

I don’t know how she does it, but she makes you love the male character for all of his awkwardness and extreme attractiveness so thoroughly. Through all of his faults. Or maybe I’m strayed too easily by the thought of a pretty face? But I truly love her characters and how she makes me feel about them (usually there’s a guy in a story and I have a “eh, he’s ok but I’ll play along” feeling about him).

Anyways, this one is about Lincoln, an emotionally bruised late-20s guy living in a small town (in his mom’s house), and he works in a newspaper. But he works at night. Reading company emails that have been flagged. Got it?

So, we’re also reading the email exchanges between two ladies he works with, Beth and Jennifer, and just like Landon, we get to peek into their lives and wish we knew them, even though we’ve never seen them.

Have you ever fallen in “love” with someone just based on their words? Based on a text or emails or FB status updates or anything like that?

I love this. I love that Lincoln is torn between how much he hates his job and how much he wants to keep reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails, and he hates that he’s basically dug himself in a hole (how do you meet someone in real life and tell them you already know them because you read their emails AND expect them to still want to get to know you? Tricky tricky).

READ THIS ONE. You’ll love it too. Plus, it’s super quick. It takes a couple days and you wish it could go on and on.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:

I’m pretty sure I was the last person to read this book, but if you haven’t (and you’re the last person), then this review is for you.

I get some sort of sick satisfaction from reading a book that messes me up mentally. The kid of book that you finish and think, “oh my God I must be a sicko because I felt BAD for that person, I was on their team until I really knew what was going on!!” I love when an author is THAT good, that I feel awful for defending a character and then I find out how very wrong I was. That’s good writing.

I’m sure you know the gist, based on movie previews, but all I can say is this book is told from two points of view. It’s about a man and a wife, and the wife goes missing, and the frantic search that ensues and mystery of the whole situation will suck you in and have you re-hypothesizing during almost every chapter.

It’s crazy.

My mom told me that she didn’t think she liked it but that she needed me to discuss it with her as I read it…well I loved it up until the last few chapters. I was screaming, basically. And at the end, I felt so worn out and stunned that I told her I didn’t know if I liked it anymore either even though I loved it (make sense?).

Oh, and yes, it ends. One of those. It ends and you’re left (if you’re like me), yelling “noooooooo!!!!!!” and making up your own ending just so you can sleep that night.

  book review by  

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

This book took me by surprise.

My husband and I just bought our first house, and ever since then, I’ve been a mess, paralyzed by decorating ideas. I can’t seem to actually do anything, due to financial reasons and mental reasons. Yes, mental. I have a deep fear of things not looking like I hope they look in my mind, so walls remain blank and we have practically no furniture (we moved from a 1 room apartment).

I’ve been reading a lot of crafty books that follow my personal style, which only leads to more things crammed into my brain. This book really helped me work out some of my issues. Although I’m not particularly religious and the author clearly is, I could definitely see where she was coming from with all of her advice.

You may know Myquillyn from her blog, The Nester, but if you don’t, then this is a great read to get to know her and YOU. She kind of knocks on your noggin: hello, it’s only paint, they’re only nails, and wood is wood. Paint the walls (it only takes a couple hours out of one day of your life!), hang up pictures and rehang them if you have to (holes are not the end of the world…blank scared walls are), paint that old dresser that you hate because you’ve had it forever but you’ve never painted it because your mom told you “it’s good wood.” Um, if you don’t like it and you’re living with it, why not change it and make yourself and your space happy?

Her words were really encouraging and inspiring. It’s not so much a “in this room, do this” kind of decorating book, it’s more of a “here’s some therapy so you can do whatever your heart desires” book. Got it?

And if you’re a renter and you want to bang your head on the wall because you feel stuck (but you can’t do that because you won’t get your deposit back), she has amazing advice for you too! She and her husband moved SO many times and were dirt poor, and she collected the experiences and compiled them.

This book will give you some new-found hope for your space.



And that’s it! I’ve been reading a lot of cookbooks and home books, but I didn’t know if you’d consider that a “book” and if you’d want reviews. If so, let me know! If not, that’s cool too, we’ll keep this going (it adds balance to my food-filled life).


What have you read lately?! Has anyone read Lena Dunham’s new book? I’ve been contemplating reading that one next.

 If you want more suggestions, check out my other book review posts here…and here…and here

Note: all links are just to show you the books, they are not sponsored or affiliate links. We good?  

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding is one of those treats that makes you feel like you’re indulging, but really you’re getting in a nutritious snack (or dessert!). Chia seeds are packed with healthy omega’s and pumpkin is packed with vitamins, and the whole recipe is amped with fiber and FLAVOR! So go on, enjoy some pumpkin! 

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding ( #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

I’m having a few random revelations, so bare with me. 

Or is it bear?

That was one. I could Google, but I’m feeling spontaneous. 

2. I’m so much stronger than I ever thought. Today (Tues) I took an advanced yoga class. I was scared sheetless {<– see what I did there?} to attend it and my social anxiety was in full gear, but my current yoga instructor (whom I would follow to the end of the Earth), told me to try it. She told me that I would really enjoy it because it’ll push me into the poses I’m most drawn to (inversions). So, I did it! And guess what: my yoga instructor was right there taking the class next to me! And I made it through the whole class, sweaty, shaky and so happy! I did it! I kicked its arse! {note: I’m not British, I apologize} 

3. I am sick of texting and driving. I’m sick of the random occurrences that I do it (shamefully), and I’m sick of seeing other people do it. I’m sick of trucks randomly swerving into my lane or going 20 mph too slow, only for me to pass them and realize they’re texting. 
I get it, trust me, I do. It’s so easy to do if  you’re a multitasking superhero like myself. And when you take road trips that last 6+ hours (like I do every few weekends), it’s easy to get caught up in how “good” you’ve gotten at it. But I really am tired of seeing it. I’m tired of my husband reloading to see the games get updated every 5minutes (or 30 seconds…depending on what day it is). 
This isn’t a big ol “it can wait” campaign, I have no horror story to relay to you (thank goodness), I’m just saying I’m annoyed. And 99% of it has to do with other drivers driving me nuts, because I have wicked road rage, but the other 1% is a true fear. 

Just had to let you know.

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding ( #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding ( #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Ok! NOW on to some Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding! Are you a thoroughly jaundiced shade of orange yet? No?! Me either, so let’s keep working on it!

Chia pudding is so dang good. I’m a “snack pack” kind of girl. 

If you don’t adore the texture, blend all of the ingredients in a blender to get a smooth pudding after it’s set. Problem solved. 

The taste of this one is spot on. Like, dead ringer for some killer good pumpkin pie. You’ll love it. You just have to. 

And do I even have to mention the vitamins and minerals in this sucker?! Omega’s, fiber, vitamin A, beta carotene, anti-inflammatory and digestive aide…the list goes on and on. All of that just from this bowl of pudding. Now if that isn’t a reason enough to shovel this in, I don’t know what is! Enjoy! 

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding ( #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding ( #glutenfree #autumn #fall #vegan

Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding
Pumpkin Spiced Chia Pudding is a vitamin, omega, fiber-packed treat that tastes just like pumpkin pie! No guilt here, only sweet nutritious autumn delight! (makes 2 portions)
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  1. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. ¼ cup chia seeds
  3. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  4. ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  5. ¼ tsp. allspice
  6. 1 Tbs. maple syrup
  7. 2 Tbs. pumpkin puree
  1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge for 2 hours (at least).
  2. Take the pudding out of the fridge, stir, then put back in the fridge for another 2 hours or until you're ready to eat it.
  3. Serve it up (layer with more pumpkin if you want!) and enjoy!
  4. Makes 2 portions
  1. I recommend stirring the pudding after a couple hours. Even if you let it sit overnight without stirring it, it will have a liquid layer and a thicker layer or blobs. Stirring it after a few hours ensures everything gets evenly absorbed and much thicker!
Treats With a Twist

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes are perfect for breakfast (yes, cake for breakfast!) or dessert! A hint of molasses and a heavy dose of cinnamon and cardamom come together with a bit of chai and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips in an easy quick bread-style cake. And the best part is, you don’t even need a special cake pan to make adorable mini cakes. Oh, no, wait, the best part is the chai icing and the chocolate chips, right? 

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes ( #glutenfree #autumn #pumpkin #chai

This is one of those days that I just can’t believe is here [noted I'm writing on Sunday, Oct 12th]. Our anniversary. 


Seriously, a whole year has passed since the most beautiful day in my whole life. I can’t fathom that. It was just so beautiful and I hold it on a pedestal in my mind. I’ve never felt more beautiful either. Well, at least we have gorgeous photos from that day (thank you Elizabeth!) and a big ol’ hunk of cake (my parents have a whole layer in their freezer and my mom said she was saving it to eat on our anniversary too! Cake for everyone!). I even saved the sugar flowers from the cake. How could I not?! 

Anyways! I had an awesome weekend. We finally found rugs we loved for our house. 2 of the 3 were out of stock, so at least we get one of them, right? My home is going to look like a friggin Turkish bazaar. Woohoo! 

We also attended our small town’s “Water Tower Festival”…which in a small town is basically a stage for middle-aged men in a cover band and 1 funnel cake stand and 2 beer stations. Fall festivities at their finest. We walked around the town square a couple times, went and ate dinner, then went home to watch the DVR. We’re so fun. 

Insert terrible transition here…

And so here’s some cake for you! Because I know you’ll want to pop champs and toast to us [right?]. This cake is amazing. It’s basically the consistency of banana bread or pumpkin bread. And it tastes like chai and is studded with chocolate chips! You could totally eat it for breakfast if you wanted to. Please do. And it’s based off of my Baked Pumpkin Donuts recipe, so you know it’s going to be amazing! 

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes ( #glutenfree #autumn #pumpkin #chai

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes ( #glutenfree #autumn #pumpkin #chai

You don’t need mini cake pans either! Just use tin cans. Wash them really really well, remove the labels, and make sure they’re well greased before you pour in any batter. Mini cakes, done!

You’re so impressive. You’re welcome! 

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes ( #glutenfree #autumn #pumpkin #chai

Cheers! [to autumn, to our anniversary, to 5 years of blogging, to small towns, to cake]

Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes
Pumpkin Chai Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes are like a breakfast bread disguised as cake. They're tender and moist, spiced with your favorite autumn flavors and studded with chocolate chips. A drippy, sweet glaze adds the perfect finishing touch. (makes 2, 2-layer mini cakes)
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  1. ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  2. ½ tsp. cinnamon
  3. ¼ tsp. cardamom
  4. ¼ tsp. cloves
  5. 2 Tbs. molasses
  6. ¼ cup coconut oil
  7. 1 egg
  8. ½ cup oat flour
  9. 2 Tbs. coconut flour
  10. 1 tsp. starch (I used tapioca)
  11. 1 tsp. baking powder
  12. ½ tsp. salt
  13. 1 chai tea bag tea (I used Tazo)
  14. ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 2 tsp. almond milk
  3. pinch of cinnamon
  4. pinch of cardamom
  5. pinch of cloves
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease your mini cake pans or 2 empty, cleaned and dried, tin cans (make sure they’re squeaky clean and don’t have any labels on them anymore).
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the coconut oil until melted and warm. Add the tea bag to the warm coconut oil and set aside (odd, yes, but we’re infusing the oil with the chai flavor here). Let steep at least 5 minutes. Squeeze out the tea bag (carefully, and don’t do this yet if your oil is hot because I don’t want any burned fingers) and discard the tea bag.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and the spices with the egg until smooth. Next, add the molasses and whisk until smooth. Add your infused coconut oil and mix.
  4. Finally, add all of the dry ingredients and stir until everything is just combined. Then add the chocolate chips and give it a couple mixes.
  5. Pour your patter into your mini cake pans or tin cans (just divide the batter evenly between the two cans). Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let your cakes cool in the cans on a wire rack. When they’ve cooled for a bit (at least 30 min), turn your cans upside down on your wire rack and release the cakes (you may need to run a paring knife around the edges first, just don’t shake them to get the cakes out or you’ll probably break the cakes…because I’ve totally done this!). Let the cakes finish cooling before assembling.
  7. When you’re ready to assemble your cakes, cut them each in half. Mix up your Glaze ingredients in a small bowl until you have the desired consistency. Spoon some glaze on top of the bottom layer, add the top layer of cake then top with more glaze (and maybe a pinch more of spices). Eat and enjoy!
  1. Unglazed cakes can be kept in a storage bag in the fridge for 4 days. Glaze before eating…or don’t glaze at all and eat them for breakfast, because they’re essentially a quick bread!
Adapted from my Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Treats With a Twist

5 Years of Blogging

5 years of blogging,

{a beautiful day}

FIVE years ago I started a blog. I decided it would be fun to publically document my healthier baking…ie avoid schoolwork.

I can’t but can believe I’m still doing it. It hasn’t always been easy and not everything has been pretty (hey, we all have to start somewhere), but just knowing someone is out there, smiling because I made something that made them hungry, kept me going.

And I’ve found amazing friends. You all are amazing! You tell me my food is pretty or sounds tasty, you tell me you made something and it was amazing, you don’t complain about how many breakfast items I make or when I decide to go gluten-free, and you give weird stuff a try because I asked you to. You’re amazing! And you read my words! MY words! That blows my mind. 

And I work so hard to get better and make my recipes better and my photos more beautiful all for you! I truly do it all because I love knowing you’re on the other side, rooting for me.
I can’t thank you enough.

This blog is everything to me. Most people would call it crazy to dedicate all of my time and soul to something that isn’t considered a “real job,” but how could I not?! I’ve truly built a second home right on the internet.

I’ve been so blessed to work with amazing companies. Real companies that you see in grocery stores and don’t think twice about the people behind them, but I’ve worked with them! That’s crazy amazing.

And I’m so lucky to have an amazing support system at home. For the last 5 years my mom has been scouring stores for props; my now-husband has been eating treats with “secret ingredients” in them and also has been bragging about me to his coworkers like my job is cool. Most people would tell me to get a new hobby, but my family has been behind me all the way.

So thank you all. And here’s to the next 5 years! Cheers {pop pop, fiz fiz, clink}!