Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips–the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

So we’ve established how I have the maturity of approximately a 6 year old. On a good day. Also, kind of the taste buds…minus my love for vegetables. I’m just a…n eccentric 6 year old. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

Ever since before I learned to cook, I LOVED baking around the holidays. I would make a huge batch of puppy chow and put it in everyone’s stocking. It was kinda my thing. Such a simple little treat, but people went crazy for it! I never even strayed from the simple original recipe either until last year. I made a batch with cookie butter and a batch with nutella. I can’t even go there. They were ridiculous.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

But ya know what? I ended up falling equally in love with this batch! The apples bring a little tartness that cuts some of the super sweetness from the white chocolate and powdered sugar. Not to mention, apples + pb? It’s only the world’s greatest combo. Add a healthy (and I’m talking serious here, people) dose of cinnamon, and it’s kinda dreamy. In the way a little kid (AKA me) finds foods dreamy. The simplest no brainer foods that just bring you a happiness. Not like this girl’s bike apparently <—never gets old.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

I have been obsessed with those Apple Cinnamon Chex for a good year now. I put them on my Greek yogurt every.single.day. and while I know they are just a half step up from fruit loops, I just love them, and I can’t go without them. It’s only fitting that they would be a part of this perfect puppy chow. And the best part? Puppy chow literally takes all of 10 minutes to make. Just make sure you have lots of friends to give it to, otherwise you will find yourself with a stomach ache, and those slight pangs of regret after you realize you just polished off the entire batch in 24 hours. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips--the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips…)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 3 oz apple chips, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine peanut butter, coconut oil and white chocolate chips until fully melted and combined, stirring constantly. Slowly fold in cereal, mixing gently until cereal is fully coated.
  2. Transfer to a large trash bag or paper bag and pour in powdered sugar and cinnamon. For lack of a better term, shake the heck out of it! Just keep shaking it around (make sure the top is fully sealed! ;) ) until everything has come together. Lay out to cool on parchment paper. Evenly sprinkle chopped apple chips in with cooling puppy chow. Store fully cooled in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

You can easily make this recipe vegan by using vegan white chocolate if desired.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan & gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin cookies filled with chunks of bold dark chocolate. Perfect cookie (not cakey) texture without a single ounce of butter–something even I thought was impossible!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree.jpg

I  get a little sad every year around this time. The end of pumpkin season. The day after Thanksgiving, I spend the next 10 months waiting for September 1st so I can start posting pumpkin recipes again. Every year, without fail, I’m left with a handful of recipes that never made it to the blog before the season ended.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

I had just about given up on pumpkin cookies. I loooove pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes–anything that is supposed to be light and cakey, the pumpkin basically works like a dream, but cookies? I don’t like my cookies cakey, and especially while trying to avoid using butter, I just thought that pumpkin cookies were an impossible task.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

After seeing my girl Sally’s recipe for her pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I was inspired to try again. It was the first pumpkin cookie recipe I’d seen where you could see just from the photos that the texture was perfect. I did a little more research and saw this recipe on Baked by Rachel. They also looked ridiculously good–and again, with that perfect cookie texture.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

I was pretty sure once I got rid of the butter, there was no way I’d be satisfied, but it turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. The texture was absolutely spot on. The edges got ever so slightly crisp, and the middle was soft, gooey, and everything I’ve ever wanted in a cookie. The pumpkin flavor shines through, and the huge chunks of dark chocolate are the perfect finishing touch. I used a sea salt dark chocolate which I would highly recommend, but any good quality dark chocolate will do. I also made a batch with bits of Heath toffee thrown in, and let me tell you, that was magnificent. You could use white chocolate, add cranberries, anything really–the dough is the perfect container for all your favorite add ins!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: approx 2 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan & gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin cookies filled with chunks of bold dark chocolate. Perfect cookie (not cakey) texture without a single ounce of butter--something even I thought was impossible!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tbsp apple butter
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugars, coconut oil, apple butter, pumpkin and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently, stir in chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. If you leave it in longer (ie: several hours to overnight), you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping and baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with silpat of parchment papers. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to baking sheet.
  4. Bake until edges are lightly golden and cookies are just set, about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

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Drink & Dish: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing {gluten-free}

Warm and comforting Thanksgiving cornbread sausage stuffing packed with veggies and cooked in truffle oil for an extra-special flavor kick.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

One of my favorite questions to ask people is “What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?” It says a lot about you, and what you like. I always thought that my favorites were pretty non traditional. It’s actually a tie, and neither of them are dessert! I know, I know, but trust me, I love the desserts too.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

The first is my mom’s sweet potatoes. Mashed up with cinnamon and topped with melty, bubbling marshmallows. Uggghh, I die. I will only eat them that one day (and a few days after for whatever’s left over, obviously) a year. Food can bring up so many feelings and memories, and those sweet potatoes just feel like Thanksgiving.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

The other will come as no surprise. This stuffing. My stuffing. I was never the biggest fan of stuffing when I was younger, but once I tasted it, I realized exactly what I was missing. Last year was the first time I made my own. Before then? I was a sucker for the boxed stuff. Whatever, it totally tasted delicious at the time, but it is nothing compared to this gem. My family has been asking for this stuffing since last November. It’s become one of my traditions, and something I hope to pass down someday.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

I often get caught up in trying new things and experimenting in the kitchen, but there is something so special about creating lasting family traditions. This stuffing is special enough to me that it has become just that. Soft and tender cornbread with perfectly sauteed veggies cooked up in bold, flavorful truffle oil (<–my secret ingredient, and totally worth the splurge!), along with sweet turkey sausage. It could be a meal on it’s own, or a standout Thanksgiving side dish.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

Obviously, Nicole and I couldn’t let November go by without sharing a Thanksgiving Drink & Dish. Nicole makes probably favorite drink I’ve tasted, like ever–a pumpkin pie martini made with homemade pumpkin pie infused vodka (I mean, come on…). And we both share some time saving tips for the big day.


If you’re still deciding on your menu (or what to bring along to friends and family), this dish is simple, easy, and sure to impress!

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

So tell me… What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish??

Drink & Dish: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 as a side dish, 8 as a main course

Drink & Dish: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing {gluten-free}

Warm and comforting Thanksgiving cornbread sausage stuffing packed with veggies and cooked in truffle oil for an extra-special flavor kick.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp truffle oil (can sub olive or coconut oil, but it will not taste quite as incredible)
  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 6 cups cornbread cut into 1" cubes (I used gluten-free), about 1 8x8 pan prepared
  • Generous pinch fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 4-5 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat truffle oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned. Add veggies and garlic. Season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add cornbread and fresh herbs. Gently toss to combine. Transfer to baking dish. Add 1-2 cups chicken broth. 1 cup will yield a crispier stuffing, while more liquid will create a stickier texture closer resembling box mix. Place bay leaves on evenly around the top.
  3. Bake until cornbread begins to brown and edges become crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Again, less time will yield a softer stuffing.
  4. Remove bay leaves and serve. Leftover can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Soft, nutty pumpkin spiced oatmeal cookies stuffed with dried cranberries, pistachios and sweet cinnamon chip. These are the perfect combination fall cookie.

Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

So somehow it became mid November? I don’t even know. Today my mom had to remind me that I was hosting a birthday party on Sunday. I legitimately forgot. Who does that? It’s also the day I had double booked myself to volunteer for Ironman AZ (so bummed that I ended up having to miss it), and yet I found myself thinking “it’s my last open weekend!” Wrong.

Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

So turns out I’m birthday party-ing this weekend, and oh just riding 111 miles with thousands of my new BFFs the following weekend. I can’t even believe the century is finally here. I don’t know what I was thinking, but when I signed up it didn’t seem nearly as scary as running a marathon. I just assumed I’d do a few long rides, and I’d be good. Of course, it’s that time in training where I start to seriously doubt every single thing I’ve ever done, and all the sudden decide I am incapable of riding 111 miles. Even though I already rode 100. Mostly by myself.

Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Oh, and then it’s Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. I could talk about that forever, but today I’d rather talk to you about cookies. Fall cookies. Since, ya know, fall is almost over even though it seems like it just began 5 minutes ago? Is it shorter than all of the other seasons or something? Figures the best season would be short.

Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

So I threw every fall weapon you could imagine into these babies. Pumpkin spice, cranberry, cinnamon, the whole 9 yards, and they are totally magical. Soft and chewy, but with that hearty, nutty texture that only the best oatmeal cookies provide. And pistachios are a totally superior nut, in my opinion. They just have a little something extra special. ;)

Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Cranberry Pistachio Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Soft, nutty pumpkin spiced oatmeal cookies stuffed with dried cranberries, pistachios and sweet cinnamon chip. These are the perfect combination fall cookie.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together apple butter, coconut oil, sugar, egg and vanilla until combined. Slowly beat in dry ingredients, then fold in oats, followed by cinnamon chips, pistachios and cranberries.
  3. Line a baking sheet with silpat parchment paper, and drop cookies onto the sheet using a small cookie scoop.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes until golden.Let stand until fully cooled. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.

Notes

*Tested with white whole wheat, but gluten-free baking blend may be substituted. If dough is too sticky, simply add a bit more flour.

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Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan and gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin banana muffins overflowing with melty dark chocolate chips. The perfect treat for a crisp fall morning.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Good morning! Is it morning where you are? It’s totally not here, but these muffins make me feel like morning. That probably sounds weird. Not just because they’re muffins. Muffins are more an afternoon snack than breakfast for me. They just make me feel like morning. Like cool, crisp autumn morning on the porch. I wish I had a table and chairs on my porch. A table and chairs just for muffins.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Perfectly imperfect muffins. Not at all smooth like your normally think of, but with a little character and personality, and a whole lot of flavor. You see pumpkin and banana are known for making perfectly *gross word*, soft, and tender baked goods. Put them together, and it only gets better. Add some melty dark chocolate, and you’ve got the stuff dreams are made of.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

The muffins practically melt in your mouth. No dry, cakey-ness (Okay, serious how do you spell that word?? I get a red squiggly line every time with no suggestion. Rude.) that you would expect from a health(ier) muffin. Sometimes I don’t like pumpkin in cookies because it makes them taste like, well, muffins–which is why pumpkin muffins are just perfect!

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

These are super simple and easy to make, and a perfect fall treat to have around on Thanksgiving or any get together. That is if you don’t eat them all before your family and friends arrive. ;)

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan and gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin banana muffins overflowing with melty dark chocolate chips. The perfect treat for a crisp fall morning.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free baking blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 2 extra ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I a combination of mini and full size)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray liners with nonstick spray. Do not skip this step--lower fat items will stick if you don't use spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl mix together banana, pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide batter between prepared muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower heat to 350. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs, about 12-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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