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 (treatswithatwist.com) #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 (treatswithatwist.com) #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

{via}

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 (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Today Is... Cookie (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Today Is... Cookie (treatswithatwist.com) #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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Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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!
Notes
  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 http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

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 (treatswithatwist.com) #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 (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies

*This giveaway is now closed, thank your for your entries!*

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 (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #cookies

Chai Tea Madeleines (treatswithatwist.com) #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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Ingredients
  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)
Instructions
  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.
Notes
  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 http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 

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. 

September Treats Favorites

Don’t worry! I’m not done with pumpkin-palooza! But I just had to take a pause and do a roundup of the amazing September Treats Favorites we’ve had so far. Good? Good. 

I’ll keep this short and sweet because we ALL want to get to the treats (and because I’m 3/4 of the way through reading Gone Girl and I have to finish it!!). Ready to drool and then make something gluten-free and Fall fabulous?

1. Carrot Almond Muffins! Um, yes please! Plus, it’s all about the crumble, right?

Carrot-Almond-Muffins 3

 

 

 

2. Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies! I’m ALL about eating cookies for breakfast. These are super healthy and you’ll be excited to share them with your friends and kids…just kidding, you’ll probably hide them and eat them all yourself. All cool. 

Simple-oat-and-cherry-breakfast-cookies 1

 

 

3. Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts! Enough said. 

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

 

4. Pumpkin Spice Granola! Crispy, crunchity, pumpkin spice-ity… (think I’ll be sued?)!

Pumpkin-Spiced-Granola 2

 

5. Pumpkin Spice Granola Pancakes! Let’s throw that stuff up there into and onto some pancakes! Ok! Now we’re best friends. 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola Pancakes 3

 

6. Baked Pumpkin Donuts! Ok, clearly I’m stuck in breakfast land and frolicking through pumpkin fields. Care to join me?

Baked Pupmkin Donuts 3

 

And that was September! Are you hungry? I’m hungry. Please excuse me… 

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts are the ultimate fusion of your favorite Fall treats…did I mention they’re no-bake…and gluten-free…and vegan?! Holy smokes! They’re pie-meets-cookies and you’ll totally fall in love with them!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

So here we are, smack dab in the middle of September. I am wearing a yoga tank top and some running shorts (my usual uniform these days), my hair is frizzed out to Frankfurt because of the humidity, and I’m ordering my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Well, to be honest, I made the drink order quite a bit more complicated than that, but that’s just my Starbucks style.

Anyhoodle. I’m forcing Fall. I bought sparkly pumpkins to go with my glass pumpkins from TJ Maxx  and a couple strands of fake Autumn leaves garland because I was feeling super cheesy. Décor, check.

And now, pumpkin pie. Oh, and s’mores. Because, duh, smores. I swear, people call them a Summer food, but don’t you start throwing up more fires in the Fall and needing sustenance in the form of charred mallow in the Fall? I think so. It’s a year-round food.

This is probably the most simple pumpkin pie I’ve pulled off because I didn’t have to bake it. And, totally vegan (until you top it with a marshmallow…but they make those in “vegan” too so you should totally hunt those down if that’s your game!), because I creamed up some cashews and a date for sweetness, then blended it with my day-glow orange veggie-from-a-can. Tah-dah!

I used the base from my no-bake S’mores Bars as the crust here too, because you shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke. {getting’ all Southern on ya because I mentioned bonfires earlier…} Except! I added some nutmeg and cinnamon, because in the Fall, we take pumpkin spice shots. Hiyah!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

When it’s all done, not only did I quickly toast the mallow under the broiler, but then I drizzled it in whatever chocolate sauce I had in my fridge (but you can totally make your own or melt chocolate to do the same thing). So easy.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Annnnddd…here ya go!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts
Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts are the ultimate fusion of your favorite Fall treats...did I mention they're no-bake...and gluten-free...and vegan?! Holy smokes! They're pie-meets-cookies and you'll totally fall in love with them! (makes 6 mini tarts)
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Crust
  1. 2/3 cup raw cashews
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla
  3. 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  4. 1 tsp. water
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. ½ cup oats
  7. dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
Pumpkin Pie Filling
  1. ¼ cup cashews, soaked at least 20 min
  2. 1 date (I would soak it with the cashews)
  3. 2/3 cup pumpkin (I used Libby’s pumpkin)
  4. ¼ tsp. allspice*
  5. ¼ tsp. cinnamon*
  6. 1/8 tsp. nutmeg*
  7. 3 standard sized marshmallows
  8. chocolate sauce, for drizzling
Crust
  1. In a food processor (I used a mini food prep for the entire recipe), combine all of the crust ingredients except for the oats and spices. Blend until it becomes a thick, almost past-like consistency (there can be a few grainy nutty pieces throughout, but you want it pretty thick and pasty). Add the oats and spices then blend for a few seconds, until the oats are broken down but not completely blended away.
  2. Scoop 1-2 Tbs. of filling into each of your mini tart pans (6). Use your fingers to press the filling up and around the pans, making sure it’s even, adding more filling as needed. Place in the fridge to set as you prepare the filling.
Filling
  1. Drain your cashews and date from the water. Place them in your food processor (which you have cleaned quickly after making the crust in it). Start blending, and blend until well broken down. Add the pumpkin and blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Once it’s smooth, add the spices, and blend. Taste your filling, and if you like more spices, add them now. If your filling isn’t smooth enough for you (I blended for quite awhile), you can press it through a wire mesh strainer.
  2. Add 1.5 Tbs. of filling to each tart pan, smoothing the top and making sure each tart is full (nobody likes a skimpy little pie!).
  3. Cut each of your marshmallows in half. Add a half of marshmallow to each tart. Broil until golden brown (I placed all of the filled tarts on a large cookie sheet, then into the oven under the broiler). This happens quickly, so keep a close eye on them!
  4. Drizzle them with chocolate sauce!
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *taste and adjust to your liking after it’s all mixed together
  2. Keep prepared tarts in the fridge for up to a week (though I’d eat them after 2…but that’s just me) or in the freezer to eat whenever your pumpkin pie whim strikes you.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies are a quick grab-and-go treat that tastes like a hearty and comforting granola. They’re packed with oats, coconut, banana and dried cherries, making them almost sugar free (just a touch of maple), vegan and gluten free. Now, listen to my life revelations and have a cookie. 

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan) (treatswithatwist.com)

I have had one of the most hectic schedules lately, that getting into a simple breakfast cookie recipe just makes me feel calm.

Cookie therapy.

I don’t want to bog you down with my stresses, but I’ve been working a TON (pulling overnight shifts in my nanny-land and such), planning a 30th birthday party for my husband just the week before our first anniversary, and staring at the blank walls in my new house, my head swimming with fear and ideas.

I’ve been reading some design books (been LOVING this one and this one) that make me feel like I can do anything. As soon as I conquer the fear of being imperfect, I’ll be able to do it. Until then…I’ve purchased some glass pumpkins from TJ Maxx and will call that decorating just in case anybody stops in to see my progress (please don’t!).

I’ve had some realizations lately. I have realized, and I know this may sound dumb, that I can truly do anything I want to do. Silly, right? But so NOT silly. Because I’ve always looked at those women who treat their bathrooms like a spa, pampering their skin with masks and lotions every evening and stopping to brush their hair, like they have everything together and that I’ll be there some day. As if I have other things to do?

But I don’t! Why can’t I be that woman? Why can’t I take longer in the shower? Why can’t I watch Barefoot Blonde videos for an hour then braid my hair in a cool new way? Why can’t I actually put on my makeup in the morning and feel hella good?

Why can’t I paint the walls in my house whatever color makes me happy? And hang up photos then change them the next week? And paint the furniture that I’ve had since I was a child and just don’t
l-o-v-e?

Well, there’s nothing that I can think of that should be stopping me. I know this isn’t groundbreaking news here, but I can be that person too.

Do you ever have those moments? The ones where things just start to click and you realize you’ve wasted so much time? I’m having those moments. And I know that I’m already happier, just a few days into them.

Terrible transition, but I’ve made you cookies too.

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan) (treatswithatwist.com)

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan) (treatswithatwist.com)

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan) (treatswithatwist.com)

They’re simple, and healthy, and inspired by What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today, because I adore her blog and these cookies spoke to me when she made them.

So here are some for you. Because I love you. And because you truly can do anything (even if its just swapping the cherries for craisins…). 

Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies
Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies are a simple breakfast. They're gluten free and vegan with only a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. (makes 6 large cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ¾ c oats
  2. ½ c shredded coconut
  3. 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1 large banana, mashed
  5. 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  6. 1 tsp. maple syrup
  7. 1-2 Tbs. dried cherries, cut up in smaller pieces
  8. 5 Brazil nuts, chopped
  9. sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, mush together the banana, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together until completely mixed.
  4. Place a round biscuit cutter onto the parchment where you'd like the first cookie to go. Scoop 2 Tbs of cookie mixture into the cookie cutter then use the back of your spoon to spread and press it all in there, compacting the mixture, taking up the whole inside of the biscuit cutter. Carefully lift the cutter straight up, leaving a round-formed cookie on the parchment. Repeat with the rest of your dough until all of your cookies are formed. Mine made 6.
  5. Sprinkle the cookies with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nicely golden around the outside and middle.
  7. Let them cool on the parchment, then remove them.
  8. Eat and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container. I keep mine in a Ziplock in the freezer then take a few on the go with me in the mornings.
Adapted from What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today
Adapted from What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan) (treatswithatwist.com)