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!

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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!

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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.

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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)

 

No Bake S’mores Bars

No-Bake S’mores Bars are gluten free, quick and easy! The iconic flavors of toasted marshmallow and milk chocolate meet up on a no-bake cashew cookie base. This will be your new favorite summertime recipe! 

No Bake S'mores Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

 

Let’s keep this no-bake train a’rollin! We’ve already made cookies filled with jam… but let’s get some chocolate in here. Seriously people. 

S’mores are…

everything. EVERYTHING.

Summer. Summarized. Right there.

So, because I’ve been craving some s’mores hardcore (the heat does that to a girl…so does smelling grilled food, flowers, people on bikes, puppies, bad days, good days, really good days…ok, everything), I had to make a gluten-free, vegan optional (did you know they make vegan marshmallows now? Not that I bought them for this…), NO BAKE giant friggin s’mores. YES.

No Bake S'mores Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

No Bake S'mores Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

No Bake S'mores Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

No Bake S'mores Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

No Bake S'mores Bars (treatswithatwist.com)

And, you’re welcome. 

 

No Bake S'mores Bars
No-Bake S'mores Bars are gluten free, quick and easy! The iconic flavors of toasted marshmallow and milk chocolate meet up on a no-bake cashew cookie base. This will be your new favorite summertime recipe! (yields 9-12 cookie bars, based on how you cut them)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/3 cup raw cashews
  2. 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  3. 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  4. 2 tsp. water
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. 1 cup oats
  7. 1 (12oz) bag milk chocolate chips (I used Ghirardeli)
  8. 1 (10oz) bag of standard marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Prep a 9x9" pan with parchment paper, sprayed with nonstick spray.
  2. In your food processor (or food prep) combine the cashews, vanilla, coconut oil and water. Blend until it comes together to form a thick paste (2-3 min). Next, add the sea salt and oats, pulsing until well combined and the oats are in smaller pieces.
  3. Press your cookie base into an even layer in the bottom of your pan. Press HARD and pack it in firm.
  4. Melt your chocolate chips (either in the microwave, stirring and cooking in 30 second intervals; or over a double-burner). Pour the chocolate and spread it into an even layer over the cookie layer.
  5. Lay down your marshmallows into an even layer over the chocolate layer.
  6. Use a torch or place your pan in the oven, under the broiler, watching it closely so the marshmallows toast but don't burn.
  7. Let the pan cool, then place in the fridge (covered with plastic wrap) for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving! Enjoy!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

No Bake Jam Thumbprint Cookies

No Bake Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a crazy-easy raw, vegan, gluten free cookie that will keep you happy and your kitchen cool during the Summer! Plus I can’t help but complain about how overheated I got at a concert this weekend…

No Bake Jam Thumbprint Cookies (treatswithatwist.com)

Quick little love story for you:

Four years ago (June 11th to be exact) I went to a concert alone. I was just getting comfortable enough with my singledom: going to movies alone, buying bottles of wine I wanted to try and commencing to drink them (maybe too many of them?), reading magazines and books while sitting alone at a table in public, and finally buying tickets [ticket] to see my lifelong-favorite band in concert, solo.

It was a Goo Goo Dolls concert, by the way.

I’m a music person, totally emotionally invested in the music I listen to and almost unable to confess what’s on my playlists because it’s very personal to me. I take things to heart. So, the Goo and I go way back in a deep way, but you can insert your favorite band into my story to really get what I’m saying.

Anyways. I went to this concert. It was amazing and liberating and I did it all alone. Then, I met my then roommate at her boyfriend’s house so I could meet him and his roommate for the first time.

Fast forward (I’ll spare you the details for now) FOUR YEARS. That roommate’s boyfriend’s roommate is my husband. SERIOUSLY!

So, when I saw that there was a Goo Goo Dolls concert in town, just one evening after our four year dating anniversary (Am I allowed to keep celebrating those? Because I don’t think I could let July 11th pass without thinking about it, because that’s the day I finally caved and let that guy with blue eyes take me on a real date.), I saw it as fate and bought those tickets!

I was so so excited to share my next Goo concert with my husband, my love. What I didn’t take into account was the HEAT!

The concert was amazing, but by the end of the night I was in a severe heat exhausted state, nauseous to an unbearable level and crippled by a slamming headache and eager to get in bed and sleep it off. Booo.

[I guess I learned the definition of "die hard fan" when I could barely walk to the car and was doubled over and blinded by nausea by the time I got there, all because I refused to leave early. I had no clue I was that kind of person!]

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So! Today’s recipe is a no-bake cookie, start to finish.

The recipe was one I found in Vegetarian Times and couldn’t pass up! Raw jam thumbprint cookies?! Yes please!

I used a mix of whatever berries were in my fridge for the jam, so just use whatever floats your boat!

Stay cool!

No Bake Jam Thumbprint Cookies (treatswithatwist.com)

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No Bake Jam Thumbprint Cookies
No Bake Jam Cookies are vegan, raw, gluten free. They are a quick and simple cookie, filled with homemade berry chia jam. You'll love making these cookies all summer long! (makes 9 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ⅔ cup raw cashews
  2. 2 Tbs. melted coconut oil
  3. 1 tsp. water
  4. 2 pitted dates
  5. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  6. pinch of sea salt
  7. ¾ cup raw or rolled oats
For the Jam
  1. ½ cup mixed berries (I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
  2. 3 Tbs. water
  3. 3 pitted dates
  4. 1 Tbs. chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In a small food processor, pulse the dates a few times to get them chopped up a little. Then, add the cashews, coconut oil, water, dates and vanilla and grind for 2-3 minutes, until a thick (but still slightly granular) paste forms. Finally, add the sea salt and oats and pulse until combined and the "dough" is all stuck together.
  2. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the dough (pack it into the scoop tightly) into balls, using your hands to carefully pack the dough ball even more together then pressing an indentation into the middle for the jam. Place each cookie onto a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment. Place the molded cookies in the fridge for 2 hrs (or covered with plastic wrap overnight) to set up.
Make the jam
  1. In a small food processor, combine the berries, water and dates. Blend until almost smooth (a few small chunks is just fine). Then add the chia seed and pulse a few times.
  2. Add 1 tsp. of jam to each cookie then let them refrigerate for another hour.
  3. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Keep the extra jam in a jar in the fridge for future treats.
  2. Cookies will keep for up to a week in the fridge in a tightly-sealed container.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 

PS I don’t know if that was more of a love story between a band and me or my husband and me…

Oh and if you love jam thumbprints as much as I do, try these too. 

Cookie Dough Cashew Butter

Cookie Dough Cashew Butter is the perfect treat for everyone who loves eating cookie dough raw…except it’s nut butter, healthier than cookie dough, and perfect to spread on everything (especially spoons)! 

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I always wished I could be one of those women that hears good news about a friend and is nothing but 100% happy for them. Is it terrible that I’m not? It’s not that I’m not happy, its that I get extremely jealous.

I tell them “omg I’m happy for you” via text and really I’m sobbing and being all, “oh woah is me” immediately afterwards. How terrible is that? Like on a scale of “you’re so normal” to “sheesh you’re really an awful person.” Maybe an 8?

Yes, I realize that may have not been a numerical scale.

Well, at least I really AM happy for that person WHILE pitying myself and wishing I could have ALL THE THINGS too. But honestly, I can’t right now so…move on?

Make Cookie Dough Cashew Butter?

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Yeah, that’s an awesome idea. Plus, I was making it while this person was telling me her good fortune. So, it heals all soulful wounds. Hopefully. Pretty sure. (I bought her a card; am keeping the Cookie Dough Cashew Butter for myself)

It tastes exactly like cookie dough. Spot on. And my husband threatened to eat it ALL before the pictures were taken. I had this horrible feeling I’d go to bed, and when I woke up, his face would be smeared with the Cookie Dough Cashew Butter and the jars would be strewn all over the kitchen…

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No wonder I didn’t sleep last night. Has nothing to do with me being an emotional, jealous mess. Nothing.

Anyways. You’ll die when you eat this. In the best way possible. It’s practically edible cookie dough…so you can let your fabu preggo friends eat it too (sorry, I really hate when people say that so why did I just do that??)…and you can smear it on hot waffles and the chocolate chips will totally turn into pools of chocolate lava goodness.

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Chocolate lava goodness, people!

Gluten free if that floats your boat, vegan if you use the allergen-free or dairy free chocolate chips (like I did), totally killer good if you make it with extra love. 

Cookie Dough Cashew Butter
Cookie Dough Cashew Butter is a chocolate chip-studded jar of happiness. Slightly toasted cashews are blended until smooth and creamy, then mixed with vanilla, a touch of sweetness and chocolate chips. (makes 2 small jars, approximately 1 cup)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  2. 2-3 tsp. coconut oil
  3. 2 tsp. coconut sugar
  4. 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  5. 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  6. ¼ tsp. sea salt, plus extra
  7. 2-3 Tbs. mini chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired)
Instructions
  1. Slightly toast the cashews to warm their oils, but do not toast them completely (I turn my oven to 350 degrees F and set the timer for 5 min. I pull the cashews out just as the color starts to change).
  2. Place the still-warm cashews in your food processor, food prep, or Vitamix. Blend until it becomes cashew butter (patience is key! Scrape down the sides every now and then. This may take awhile depending on your machine. The cashews will go from powdered to chunky paste to liquid paste...it just takes patience).
  3. Blend in the coconut oil, adding one teaspoon at a time until your cashew butter is the desired texture (slightly thin but still spreadable. If you live in a more humid climate you may need to use less). Next blend in the coconut sugar.
  4. Finally, add the extracts and sea salt and blend until completely mixed in.
  5. Scoop your nut butter into a bowl to cool. After the butter is cooled, stir in the chocolate chips and a quick dash more of the sea salt (because the best thing about cookie dough is the noticeable salty-sweetness!).
  6. Scoop your nut butter into sealable jars. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Do not increase or adjust the flavor extracts of the nut butter while it is still fresh. As it sits and cools, the flavors intensify and meld. If you taste it a few hours later (or the next day) and still wish to adjust the flavor, then add a tad more at a time, tasting as you go.
  2. Nut butter will last one week on the counter in a sealed jar, two weeks in the fridge (seriously, you made it last that long??), or longer if you sterilize and seal the jars.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/