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pumpkin chocolate chip cookies


.Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

It’s been too long since I’ve had a chance to bake something up in my kitchen and share it with all of you. Last week this recipe came through my blog reader, and it immediately went to the top of my “must make” list. All I needed was a reason, make that a chance (because who needs a reason for cookies?) to try them out.

Earlier this week, I got just that chance when a few friends were getting together for a little class about essential oils (more about that another time). My dear friend, Laura, offered to host us at her house, and since she doesn’t eat anything with gluten, I knew these were the PERFECT cookies to bring along.

Before we get to the recipe, a couple notes…

Oat flour is the backbone of this cookie recipe. You can certainly purchase oat flour, but I keep rolled oats on hand, for making granola and overnight oats. So, I just threw some oats into my Vitamix (best blender ever, by the way) and, in less than a minute, I had oat flour. You could also use a food processor to make oat flour, although you might not be able to get it quite as fine as if you were using a high speed blender.

Bridget calls for a teaspoon of potato flour to add to the tenderness of the cookies. After discovering that a bag of potato flour was $6 at my local market, and doing a little bit of internet research, I decided that she might have meant potato starch and that cornstarch was a similar ingredient. So, I went with cornstarch.

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

There are several yummy spices in this recipe. One is allspice, which I happened to be out of. So, these cookies didn’t get any allspice. Adding that to my grocery list now to make sure I’m restocked for the next fall baking that’s guaranteed to happen soon. The other spice I want to mention is the freshly grated nutmeg. If you’ve ever grated nutmeg for a dish, you’ll know what a difference it makes. It’s so much more fragrant, and so easy to do. All you need is a grater and some whole nutmeg. The other great thing is that this allows you to grate just what you need for the recipe you’re making, and the whole nutmeg stores and lasts much longer than grated nutmeg.

The original recipe calls for 2 sticks of salted butter. If you know anything about me, you know I’m not afraid of butter. That being said, I was curious to see if I could sub out some of the butter for something a little lighter. Really, I just wanted to be able to eat more cookies without feeling quite as guilty about it. I did a little more internet research and decided to try greek yogurt, because I had a bunch in my fridge already. I’m sure the original recipe with the full amount of butter is even more decadent, but these did NOT taste like they were missing anything.

Finally, I wanted to use some brown sugar in addition to the white sugar, just to add a little more depth. So that’s what I did.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from this recipe
makes approx 40 cookies

2 cups Oat Flour
1 teaspoon Corn Starch
1 & 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) Salted Butter at room temperature
4.75 oz Brown Sugar
4 oz Granulated White Sugar
1 Egg at room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Canned Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2/3 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, greek yogurt, and both sugars. Because of the greek yogurt, it doesn’t get super fluffy, but make sure to let it mix together well.

4. Turn off the mixer, add the egg & vanilla extract, and beat to combine.

5. Turn off the mixer, add the pumpkin, and beat to combine. I noticed here that the texture definitely didn’t look like normal cookie dough. It almost looked a little curdled? I hate to even use that word, and I was nervous, trust me. I’m blaming it on the greek yogurt, but don’t worry, it gets better.

Dough in Progress

6. Turn the mixer off, add the flour mixture, and mix on low until thoroughly combined.

7. Turn the mixer off, add in chocolate chips, and incorporate with a spatula.

Cookie Dough

See, much better?

8. For evenly sized cookies, use a scoop to measure dough onto your parchment-lined cookie sheets. My scoop made about 40 cookies, and I put 12 on each tray to give them enough space to spread a little when they baked.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie dough

9. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Because of the color of these cookies, it can be a little bit difficult to know if they’re done. You can tap the top of one to make sure its not super squishy still.

PumpkinChocolateChip Cookies

10. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet. Then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for a few days, if they last that long!

I tell you what, these cookies do NOT taste like they’re gluten free and they do NOT taste like they’re missing any butter. They’re soft, almost a little cakey, and they really do melt in your mouth. I will definitely be making these again before fall is over. I love having a super yummy gluten free cookie in my arsenal too. They aren’t always easy to come by. If you love all things pumpkin like I do, I hope you’ll give these cookies a try.

love and butter,


posted under Cookies, dessert | 2 Comments »

backyard camping and homemade marshmallows



When we got married, over 6 years ago now, one thing my husband insisted that we register for was a camping tent. We registered for one, we got one, and then it got put away into a closet. I hate to admit that we still hadn’t used that tent, until last week, that is.


That’s right, we went camping, with a 2 1/2 year old and an almost 8 month old…

in our backyard.


Don’t worry, I haven’t gone totally batty, yet. I am so not crazy brave enough to try real camping, in a tent, with our boys yet. Give me a year or two and I’ll be all over it.

Or give me an rv and we can go next week.


Oh and did I mention that Mason and I slept in the house? Yeah, there was no way all 4 of us would have gotten any decent sleep in that tent. This was definitely a Daddy and Liam sleeping adventure, which actually went much better than any of us expected.


So, yes. We put up our tent in the yard, built a charcoal fire in a little bitty bbq, and roasted hotdogs for dinner & marshmallows for s’mores. After this little backyard camping adventure, I’m even more certain that I’ll hold off on the real deal for awhile. I loved being able to take a carrot covered Mason straight into the bathtub after dinner. Oh and forget to bring something outside? Don’t worry, just walk back inside to get it. This was perfect for some out of the ordinary and not super difficult memory making fun for Liam. A couple of days later, when we were outside, “Where is my tent?!?!” I guess we’ll be pulling it out for another camp out soon.


Now, all my life, I’ve used store bought marshmallows for s’mores and never had any complaints. A couple of years ago, I saw an episode of Good Eats, with Alton Brown, that was all about making your own marshmallows. Before the episode was finished, I knew I was going to have to make some. I’ve never even been a huge marshmallow fan, but it was just something I had to try. I’m all about trying recipes for things that are normally store bought (I’ve also made goldfish & oreos). They might not always taste exactly like the original, but I’ll know exactly what’s in them and what’s definitely not in them. I had made these marshmallows several times before but never used them for s’mores before. I thought this was a perfect chance to try them out, and I’m thrilled to report they were a total success.





Now this is a pretty simple recipe, not many ingredients, but there are a few specific steps that have to be followed precisely. You’ll need to have a candy thermometer and I wouldn’t attempt this recipe if you don’t have a stand mixer. This recipe is also a great blank canvas just waiting to be customized. You can add any number of extracts or flavorings (instant coffee is one of my favorites), I’ve mixed in chocolate chips at the last minute (they melt and swirl into the marshmallows), or you can dip them in chocolate/candy melts and then in sprinkles or nuts. The options are endless!


Since I follow this recipe almost exactly as it’s written from Alton, I thought about just giving you the link and leaving it at that. But then what would I do with the step-by-step photos I took for you??? So here goes.

Homemade Marshmallows

3 packages Unflavored Gelatin
1 cup ice cold Water (Before I get started, I take a measuring cup like this, put 1 cup of water in it, and stick it in the freezer to get nice and cold.)
12 ounces Granulated Sugar (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/4 tspn Kosher Salt
1 tspn Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (You may end up needing more than this.)
1/2 cup Cornstarch (You may end up needing more than this too.)
Nonstick spray (I use one of these misto sprayers filled with olive oil instead of the usual store-bought nonstick spray. It’s not ideal for this application because you want a thin, even coating for the cornstarch and powdered sugar to grab onto, but it works and I know all I’m spraying is olive oil.)

1. With the whisk attachment ready on your stand mixer, add all 3 packages of unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup of the ice cold water to the bowl. Set aside.


2. In a small saucepan, add the other 1/2 cup of ice cold water, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and salt. Cover with lid.

3. Set the pan over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. (This allows the sugar crystals to get all nice and dissolved into a syrup)

4. Once the 3-4 minutes is up, remove the lid, attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and continue to cook until the syrup reaches 240° F . Once it reaches that temperature, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Never in this cooking process will you need to use a spoon or anything to stir. Promise.

5. Turn your mixer onto the lowest speed and pour the sugar syrup into the bowl of your mixer. It’s good to try and pour the syrup down the side of the bowl, as it will help drop the temperature of it faster.
6. Once all of the syrup is in the bowl, turn the mixer up to the highest speed and whip it until it is very thick and only barely warm. Initially, it will be all steamy, but that subsides once it starts to cool down. Alton’s recipe says 12-15 minutes, but I usually only run it around 12.
7. While the marshmallows are whipping into their fluffy goodness, you’ll want to get your pan prepped. Really, you can use just about any shape/size dish to mold your marshmallows into, but I always use a 9×13 metal baking pan. Mine has square bottom edges which I like for making square marshmallows. Someday, I’ll get a pan that has all square corners, so all my marshmallows can be square.

8. Mix together the cornstarch and powdered sugar. Alton’s recipe says 1/4 cup of each, but I always end up using more, especially once I have the marshmallows cut. You’ll want them to be thoroughly coated so that they don’t stick together. So, start with whatever amounts that you want, since you can always make more, but just equal parts of each.

9. Spray the pan lightly, but evenly with nonstick spray or your oil of choice. Then sprinkle the cornstarch/sugar mixture evenly and shake around (over a bowl to catch the extra for use later) to make sure that ALL SIDES ARE COATED. Trust me, this marshmallow goo will stuck to anything that’s not coated in this stuff.

10. In the last minute of whipping, add the vanilla or any other extracts or flavorings you want to use. If adding something like chocolate chips, once the whipping is finished, turn the mixer to the lowest setting and add the chips, mixing as little as possible.

11. Once the marshmallows are all whipped up, spray a spatula with your nonstick spray, and work quickly to get the marshmallow goo into your prepared pan. It will settle a little bit, but you want to try and smooth it out the best that you can.
12. Once the marshmallow goo is spread evenly in your pan, sprinkle with more cornstarch & powdered sugar mixture, and set aside for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
13. When the long waiting time is finally up, turn the sheet of marshmallows out onto a cutting board, and using a pizza cutter, cut into desired size shapes.
14. Add as much cornstarch & powdered sugar mixture is needed to coat all sides of the marshmallows. Believe me, they will stick together if they aren’t coated in the stuff. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, if they last that long.

Not that hard, right? You can totally make these too! They’re perfect for making s’mores during your next backyard camping adventure.

love and butter,

posted under candy, dessert | 4 Comments »

grandma’s no-bake cookies


No Bake Cookie

Some people know all the right things to say. That’s not me.

Some people are great at making things happen. That’s not really me, either.

When times are tough and things are sad, all I know is food. I feed people. I might not even have the opportunity to cook at home, but I’m always thinking about making sure people have something to eat. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve had a long day, making a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies is a great way for me to unwind. Is it a good idea to eat your feelings? No, probably not, but that doesn’t change the fact that food is comforting.

This past week, my grandpa passed away. He had been fighting a hard battle for the past several months. On Tuesday night they brought him home to keep him comfortable, and he passed away very early on Friday morning. We spent most of the week at my grandparents’ house, talking to grandpa, sharing memories about grandpa, and just being together. It was one of those times when it just felt better to be with family, even if we couldn’t do anything to help.

On Thursday morning, Liam and I made cookies to take over to share with everyone. What I really wanted was chocolate chip cookies, but the weather hasn’t been oven friendly, especially in our no a/c house. We ended up making a batch of no-bake chocolate, peanut butter, oat cookies. I know it’s not a new recipe, or a fancy recipe, but it’s actually a recipe that I learned from my grandma. It seemed like a good fit.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

2 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
(I always use salted)
3 tbspn Cocoa Powder (I have typically used the natural kind, but had dutch process in my pantry and tried that. It made a darker, richer cookie)
1/2 cup Milk (I used whole)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I’ve made them with natural, peanut-only kind & the kind with added oils, sugars, etc)
3 cups Rolled Oats
1 tbspn Vanilla Extract

  • Before starting these cookies, be sure to measure all of your ingredients out and line a couple of cookie sheets with waxed paper. There are a couple of time sensitive steps and you’ll want to be prepared.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, cocoa powder, and milk.

ingredients in pan_a

  • Over medium heat, bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. If you allow them to over cook, they will set up too dry and crumbly later.

ingredients in pan_b

  • As soon as the minute is up, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute.
  • Add the peanut butter, rolled oats, and vanilla to the pan, and mix to combine.

ingredients in pan_c

  • Scoop the mixture out onto your waxed paper lined cookie sheets. You can use a teaspoon, a tablespoon, a cookie scoop, or whatever size cookies you want to make.

Licking the Spatula

  • Allow the cookies to cool and setup for at least an hour.
  • Store in an airtight container for a few days.

No Bake Cookies_b

A couple of variations that you could make on this recipe…other kinds of nut butters (maybe even nutella), adding a couple of tablespoons of instant coffee, adding chopped nuts, etc.

So, next time someone is having a rough day (even if it’s you), maybe you can make them some of these cookies. Or if you don’t have time to make them cookies, you can always buy them ice cream. On Friday, we took some pistachio ice cream to great grandma, because it’s her favorite.

pistachio ice cream

love and butter,

posted under Cookies, dessert | 1 Comment »