My Favorite Winter Treats

December seems to be flashing before my eyes! So, to keep you filled in on the amazing treats that flashed by in November and December, I’m going to share with you My Favorite Winter Treats. Hopefully this helps you figure out a few breakfasts, snacks, desserts and gifts! 


My Honey Apple Cake with Salted Vanilla Bean Cashew Frosting is a real showstopper! You’d never guess how simple it is! 

Honey Apple Cake (



Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is like grits souffle! This is a simple, throw-together side dish for your dinner table. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2



Pie but WAY easier! Apple Galette with a buckwheat crust is a sweet and beautiful gluten free treat!

Apple Galette ( #glutenfree #apple


Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Nightcap! This drink will totally blow your love of hot cocoa out of the water. Maybe it’s the bourbon… 

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap ( If you need more drinks (who doesn’t?!) then I have a roundup of the internet’s best hot drinks too. 

Pecan Pie Banana Bread is like when pecan pie and grandma’s banana bread collide! So crazy good. 

Pecan Pie Banana Bread 1




Need some pancakes? Just for you? Persimmon Pancakes for one are the solution! Cardamom and vanilla highlight that beautiful slice of persimmon cooked right into the pancake. 

Persimmon Pancakes 4


I made you LOADS of oatmeal cookies! With a joke built into the name. Because I’m funny. Kinda. It’s my “Today Is…” Cookie, and it’s loaded with currants, dates (get it?) and peanut butter chips! 

Today Is... Cookie ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking



I die for pie! My Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is super simple (I’m pie inept, trust me), thick, sweet and so perfect for your holiday table! 

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 2



Then I made you these Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies because I love you. Remember? Good. They’re loaded with peppermint bark AND those gluten-free Peppermint Joe Joe’s you tend to shovel down around this time of year. Oh, and sea salt. You’re welcome.  Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 2


I hope this helps! I’ve loved making these wintery treats and I can’t stand that Christmastime is already almost over. I can’t wait to share with you all of the thoughts I’ve been having about 2015. No, not resolutions. Those suck. Just you wait. 

Need another super simple gift idea? Check this out. High fives for that. 

What is your FAVORITE treat to eat this time of year? Which of these would you like to try the most?! May I suggest: the Persimmon Pancakes for breakfast (greedily, while your hubby sleeps…), then snack on the Pecan Pie Banana Bread, then my Today Is Cookie for a dose of fiber around snack time, and then Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies for dessert while you’re baking your Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie. There. Best day ever. 


Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies

These cookies scream Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays or whathaveyou)! Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies are actually Salted Peppermint Bark Cookies with Crushed Gluten Free Peppermint Joe Joe’s! Whew. That’s a mouthful! And so are these cookies. Which you’ll totally die over. In the best way possible. 

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

My husband and I had the brilliant idea to celebrate Christmas yesterday. We called Saturday “Christmas Eve” and kept saying “Merry Christmas” to each other all day yesterday (between his screams of anger about some football game that apparently didn’t go well…). We woke up and opened presents, I made a peppermint latte for myself…we rolled in crumbled paper while our dogs tried to understand what in the world was going on. Loved it!

My good friend even texted “Merry Christmas” to my little family that morning. So sweet!

We had so much fun. I was in an amazing mood. I got everything I asked for and could have dreamed of!

I was even in such a good mood that I went out and bought clothes that fit (a struggle in my life) that afternoon without having a single meltdown! Seriously, who am I?! Christmas should come early every year!

And I can’t wait to celebrate it again on Thursday with our family. Two Christmases need to happen every year. I’m a genius.

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 1

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 2

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 5

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 4

Another genius move? These cookies. Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies! My husband ate an entire batch. No joke. Well…I ate a few. But I swear he ate an entire batch!

They’re a crazy yummy basic gluten free cookie dough that is jam packed with peppermint bark pieces (I used Trader Joe’s but you can use the Andes version) and chopped up gluten free Peppermint Joe Joe’s (if you can find an Oreo-like cookie in gluten free at Whole Paycheck or at another grocery store, use those if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s!). All of that pepperminty sweet goodness is balanced out with a slight salty bite from coarse sea salt!

Isn’t that sea salt gorgeous?! I found it in Trader Joe’s and I believe it’s a “triangular” salt flake. It’s huge and beautiful and I put it on everything!

Not so brilliant move? Using that brown-ish parchment. It was all I had and it makes the entire presentation look like shades of brown. Or like my white balance is off because it should be white. But its all good. Its brown. Whatever. It’s Christmas! 

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies ( #glutenfree #holidaybaking

Anyways, celebrate Christmas or whatever holiday you wish on any day you wish and have the happiest day ever! 

Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies
These cookies scream Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays or whathaveyou)! Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies are actually Salted Peppermint Bark Cookies with Crushed Gluten Free Peppermint Joe Joe’s! Whew. That’s a mouthful! And so are these cookies. Which you’ll totally die over. In the best way possible. (makes 16 cookies)
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  1. ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp (1 stick)
  2. ½ cup brown sugar
  3. ½ cup coconut sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups minus 2 Tbs. gluten free flour blend
  7. ½ tsp. baking powder
  8. ¼ tsp. coarse Kosher salt
  9. ½ cup peppermint bark baking pieces (Trader Joe’s or Andes)
  10. ½-1 cup chopped gluten free “Peppermint Joe Joe’s” (or Oreo-like sandwich cookies)*
  11. sea salt, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In your mixer, combine the softened butter and sugars. Cream until light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and let beat until completely mixed in. Then, add the vanilla and let it mix in.
  3. Turn off your mixer and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Turn your mixer on and let it pull into a dough. Just before the flour looks mixed in (ribbons), add the peppermint bark pieces and chopped up Joe Joe's. Let those mix in and the dough to pull together, then turn off your mixer.
  4. Scoop out your dough onto your parchment (I use a 1-2Tbs cookie scoop), well spaced (max 12 cookies per cookie sheet). Sprinkle each dough mound with coarse salt.
  5. Bake cookies for 13 minutes. (you don't want to over-bake them, so they may look pale, but they shouldn't look like they're raw at all)
  6. Let cool on a wire rack before transferring the cookies from the pans to the wire racks to finish cooling. Eat, gift (haha), enjoy!
  1. *I grabbed 5-6 cookies and chopped them up, not really caring about a set amount
Treats With a Twist
Notes: this is not a sponsored post. I’m about to throw an affiliate link at you though. This is the cookie scoop I use for consistent cookies. I highly recommend it, but there are a ton of options out there, so choose what works for you!  

I also made Renee‘s Bohemian Dream Gift Granola and holy shit it’s amazing! I highly recommend it! I only had Bourbon so I used that instead of spiced rum, and then I subbed 1/2 Brazil nuts and 1/2 pistachios for the hazel nuts. I don’t get to make other bloggers’ recipes all too often so I was really excited to try her recipe and can’t recommend it enough! 

Need a drink to go with these cookies?! Any of these would be amazing! Have a great day! 

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

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

*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 ( #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. 

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 ( #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…