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… 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola

Pumpkin Spiced Granola is a crunchy, morish treat you’ll not only sprinkle on your yogurt but you’ll want to nosh on all day long. Spiced with those quintessential fall spices, orange-hued from pumpkin, this will be your morning staple, all autumn long.

Pumpkin Spiced Granola (

Are you ready for PUMPKIN?!?!

I think you are! Especially after last week’s Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts. You totally died after those, right?

Well, I have some yummy pumpkiny delights coming your way!

But first…

This weekend. I’m exhausted. This weekend was one of those weekends where I had HUGE plans to get stuff done…and I’m pretty sure I got nothing done. I wanted to paint our office or our room. I wanted to hang pictures, gallery-wall style. I wanted to install a cork wall in the office. I wanted to build planter boxes and start a garden…

We fought over paint. His argument: there’s no need. Mine: it’s pretty and fun.

We went to several plant stores…and bought nothing.

We went to Lowe’s…and didn’t find the wall stuff we needed.

We laid out picture frames…and didn’t hang them…and realized that most of them are empty and I need to actually order pictures.

I did eleventy billion rounds of dishes.

I swept the floor. He watered the lawn. We put felt pads under the furniture corners.

Yup, that’s about it. So…nothing.


Except all of those dishes. Because I made you tons of pumpkin stuff. See, its all for you. You’re welcome.

  Pumpkin Spiced Granola (

Pumpkin Spiced Granola (

Let’s start with Pumpkin Spiced Granola! Because I could honestly munch on granola all day long. And when it’s sweet from pumpkin and tastes like fall because of cinnamon and allspice, it’s the best munchy ever [I regret saying munchy]. (note: it was 90 degrees this weekend…I’m forcing Fall)

I’ll give you some granola cluster tricks here!
1. When you go in to stir your granola half-way through your baking time (and add the other batch of spices), use a spatula and carefully turn it, don’t just stir it around, or you’ll break up your clusters.
2. Let it cool in the oven as the oven cools. This creates extra crispy granola, and when you pull it out and pour it into a container, it’ll be very clustery. If you pull it out of the oven straight away, pour it into a bowl to cool, it’ll break all of the clusters. Sad panda.

Pumpkin-Spiced-Granola 5

Pumpkin-Spiced-Granola 4

AND here’s an IMPORTANT tip: reserve some of your granola right away! Put it aside. Totally aside. Because I have another recipe for you that calls for this granola (maybe ½ cup to be safe) and if you eat it all right away, you’ll regret it later. Just saying. 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola
Pumpkin Spiced Granola is a crunchy, morish treat you’ll not only sprinkle on your yogurt but you’ll want to nosh on all day long. Spiced with those quintessential fall spices, orange-hued from pumpkin, this will be your morning staple, all autumn long. Be sure to read all of the directions, which help you understand the ingredient list (why the spices are doubled yet separated), and help you achieve maximum clusters (also see the narrative above for clustering tips!). (Yields approximately 3 cups)
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  1. 2 cups old fashioned oats
  2. ½ cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)
  3. 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  4. 1 Tbs. chia seeds
  5. ¼ cup hemp hearts
  6. 1 cup nuts (I used cashews and walnuts)
  7. ¼ cup maple sugar (or coconut sugar or raw sugar)
  8. 1 Tbs. maple syrup
  9. ½ cup pumpkin puree
  10. 3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
  11. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  12. 1 tsp. cinnamon + 1 tsp.
  13. ½ tsp. allspice + ½ tsp.
  14. ¼ tsp. nutmeg + ¼ tsp.
  15. ¼ tsp. cloves + ¼ tsp.
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 deg F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick spray (I use coconut oil spray).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, vanilla) and the spices (just the first round, not the "+").
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the "+" spices and set aside. This will be used later.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until completely combined and everything is moistened (sorry, had to do it). Pour your granola onto your prepared pan. Spread out into an even layer, but keep it around 1/2" thick, which will ensure you get clusters.
  5. Bake granola for 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle the rest of the spices over the granola, use a spatula to carefully turn it over in sections. Bake for an additional 15 min. Turn off the oven and let it all cool, with the granola in the oven, for at least 1 hour (don't forget it's in there!!).
  6. Pull your granola out of the oven. If it isn't completely cooled, let it finish cooling on the counter. Place the granola in an airtight container and enjoy it as you please!
  1. I found maple sugar at Trader Joe's.
  2. Keep your cooled granola in an airtight container on the counter or in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.
Treats With a Twist

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 ( #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 ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #glutenfree #nobake #fall

Mini Pumpkin Pie Smores Tarts ( #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 ( #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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  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
  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.
  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!
  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

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) (

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

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) (

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

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

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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  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
  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!
  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
Simple Oat and Cherry Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan) (


Homemade Oatmeal Packets with Chex Oatmeal

Homemade Oatmeal Packets with Chex’s new gluten free oatmeal is a fun, easy back-to-school project for you and your kids! You’ll save money and know you have a nutritious breakfast ready to go every morning. 

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Chex and their new Gluten Free Oats/Oatmeal. Although this is a sponsored post, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsored posts that allow Treats With a Twist to happen.

  Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

Back to school! Can you smell the new Lisa Frank folders and freshly sharpened pencils?! I can! But that’s probably also because I’m a child of the 90’s, when you still bought pencils that could be sharpened.

I always love/hate back to school time. I don’t want summer to be over (ever!), but I love buying new school supplies (I’m sure I’ll need the glitter crayons sometime soon!) and I love seeing kids actually excited about school and seeing their friends. This is all, of course, before being in school hits them and they start whining everyday about how they never want to go back.

I’m one of those super plan-ahead organized people, so when it comes to school, packing lunches isn’t the only important meal to plan for! It all starts with breakfast!

The kiddos I nanny for during the week are starting pre-school, and as much as it breaks my heart to part with them for the afternoons, I love having new projects to work on, like making sure they have easy, quick breakfasts. This is why I was SO excited to team up with Chex! They have new gluten-free oatmeal!

Not only do they have packets of oatmeal, just like you grew up eating (my husband loves the Maple Brown Sugar, and I honestly thought he hated oatmeal up until now!), but they’re gluten-free, only contain 5 ingredients at most, and aren’t any more expensive than other oatmeal packets in the grocery store, but they ALSO have giant bags of their plain gluten free oats too! So now you can either bake with or eat gluten free oatmeal without paying a fortune! Huge plus for me.

With their bags of gluten free oats, I love to let the kids make their own oatmeal packets!

When you have picky kids, this is the perfect solution for breakfasts. Kids who “make” their own food are more likely to eat it. And when kids feel like they have a choice and they chose what is in front of them, they’ll actually want it. So, you basically set up a “no wrong answers” array of choices, let them make their own oatmeal mix, and when you cook it for them in the mornings, you can remind them that they “made” their own breakfast!

Like, I said, there are no wrong answers here. So here are my tips and tricks to making your own customizable gluten free oatmeal packets with Chex Oatmeal:

Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

  • Set up a table with add-ins your kids love and some that they’ve never tried before or may say they don’t like (I’ve heard that it can take a kid trying something up to 20 times before they like it! So just keep making the options available). My kiddos love nuts and seeds, but some they haven’t had before, and I know they don’t usually like dried fruit, so I made some of each available.

Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

  • I label everything, just to add another learning experience into the mix. They love to ask me what things say and love to pretend like they’re reading, so this is a great chance for an educational experience.
  • Have a large bowl ready with your base in it, which they’ll add their choice add-ins to. For each day, you’ll want 1/3 cup of dry oats per child. For a full school week (5 days), you’ll want 1 and 2/3 cup of oats per child. So, because I’m prepping breakfasts for 2 children, in my bowl there is 3 and 1/3 cup of oats.

Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

  • Also have plastic baggies or reusable Tupperware available, one for each day of the week, so you can divide out your oats. Label these too with the days of the week. (If you have picky kids that will each want a different flavor mix, then have extra baggies/containers. Because the kids I nanny eat pretty much the same things, I just made each portion a double-portion). 
  • Encourage your kids to try each item! If they don’t want to touch something, that’s fine too, but encourage them to sample each of the available options.
  • Let them choose as many nuts, seeds, and berries as they’d like! You’ll want 1-2 Tbs of add-ins per portion, so for a full school week you’ll want to aim for around 1/3-1/2 cup of add-ins. Don’t be too finicky here. It won’t make or break your bowl of oats if there is more or less. This is supposed to be fun, not fussy.
  • Make sure nuts are chopped into small pieces before adding them to the bowl.

Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

  • Once your kids are done choosing (G man here chose cashews and pepitas!), you can add more of the choices they made if you want to, and put the other ones away so they know you didn’t add anything to their breakfast that they didn’t choose. If your kids love cinnamon, add a couple teaspoons of cinnamon to your mixing bowl. Mix it all together (this is a fun part for the kids too).

Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

  • Use your 1/3 cup measuring cup to add a heaping scoop of your mixture to each labeled baggie (I was prepping for 2 kids, so I put 2 scoops in each baggie). And you’re done! You just prepped breakfasts for the whole week that your kid is actually excited about! Go you!

In the mornings, you’ll want to add 2/3 cup of liquid per portion (I have to double that because I did 2 portions in each baggie) to your bowl with a baggie of your oat mixture. Heat in the microwave for 1 min 30 seconds until done (or cook on the stovetop). Add fresh fruit and honey or brown sugar if your kid loves those things!

  Homemade Oatmeal Packets (

Making your own oatmeal packets from Chex Gluten Free Oats allows you to be on top of things for the week, and know that your kids had a great breakfast to fuel their day! This is such a fun project to do on a Sunday to get your kids excited about the week…or at least get them excited for breakfast!

Have a good school year! 

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