december is undoubtably the season for cookies! so today we’re making these cookie bars. chocolate chip cookies in bar form.  that's essentially what these are, but with 2 distinct differences:  there's a good bit of almond butter in the batter, which gives them a fudgy quality.  and we did an inside out kind of vibe when it comes to the chocolate chips.  the chocolate completely melts that way, and creates these perfect little chocolate puddles which are so satisfying.  these are actually my favorite cookies to make for the holidays. not because they’re overly holiday - no candy canes, gingerbread, peppermint here. but because they’re quite possibly the easiest to put together. most chocolate chip cookies require chill time in the fridge, but because these aren’t actual cookies (at least in shape) they go right into the oven, and bake in just about 20 minutes. and if i haven’t sold you completely yet, they’re super portable. bake them in the morning, then cover them with some parchment and foil, and bring them to your holiday get together, office potluck, etc, etc!

happy cookie season, friends!

(inside out) chocolate chunk cookie bars | gf & df

print the recipe!

| makes 20 cookie bars |

  • 1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

  • 1 1/4 cups fine brown rice flour

  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted but cooled

  • 1/3 cup unsalted almond butter

  • 2 large eggs (preferably pasture-raised)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, 55%-65% cacao, chopped into rough chunks


  1. preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. spread the chopped almonds onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. let cool completely.

  3. oil and line a 9x13-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough parchment to overhang on opposite sides.

  4. in a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. in another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, coconut oil, almond butter, eggs, and vanilla. a little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a rubber spatula until everything is combined. (the batter will be quite thick - basically an arm workout!) add the toasted almonds and mix once again, until evenly distributed.

  5. dump the batter into the pan, using the spatula to evenly spread it into the corners and sides of the pan.

  6. bake in the center of the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the sides are just golden, and the center is puffy. remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chunks over top. place back in the oven a bake for another 5-7 minutes, until the chocolate has melted into little puddles.

  7. remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. let cool completely, then use the parchment overhangs to carefully lift the cookie brick from the pan. sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and slice into 20 bars. cookie bars can be stored in a lidded container at room temperature for 3 days.

more holiday cookie recipes:

double chocolate gingersnaps

double chocolate gingersnaps

maple, pecan butter chocolate chip cookies

maple, pecan butter chocolate chip cookies

satsuma & rosemary pignoli nut cookies

satsuma & rosemary pignoli nut cookies

GARLIC & HERB MAZTO BALL SOUP by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

this post was created in partnership with bed, bath & beyond. all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.

amesy turned 2 at the end of september, which means a whole lot of things, but mostly that he’s becoming more aware of celebrations, and special events, which is such a thrill. it can also feel like a lot of pressure to create a memory for him. i can often get overwhelmed by something so simple for fear that is won’t be special enough for him. this is silly, i know - it’s part of my brain i’m constantly trying to quiet. i’m learning though, as time goes by, and reminiscing on my own childhood that it’s the occasions, and everyday instances that have always stuck with me. of course there was the birthday or two that i really remember. but tuesday night pizza night before my mom went off to school still resides as one of my favorite memories. or when my parents left me notes telling me to have a good day at school, and that they loved me. the little things mattered in the end, and i only hope to provide amesy with enough of those small quiet moments that they leave an impression.

with the holidays coming up it can feel like even more pressure. but celebrating holidays comes with family traditions which always provides such a grounding force. hanukkah has forever meant latkes and matzo balls, simple as that. my mom would make her grandmother’s german potato pancakes, and we would eat them plainly with applesauce. should would buy matzo ball soup from the store in town, and we would have the coziest celebration. we would light the candles on the menorah, say the prayers, and sing maoz tzur.

this is amesy’s third hanukkah, but perhaps the first one he’ll understand as being a special occasion, or maybe even remember. so i’m going all out with this matzo ball soup, this latke pie from last year, and this chocolate macaroon cake for my family. we’ll all be together under one roof, and i can’t wait to celebrate! the one thing that stresses me out (and i know i’m not the only one with this), is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. so a reliable store to source all that i’ll need is key. that place for me is bed bath & beyond. everything i could ever need to prepare for the holidays can be found under one roof. and if you’ve ever had a toddler come shopping with you, you know that that’s a deal breaker!

from this sturdy bamboo cutting boards, to my favorite non-toxic cookware. to prep bowls, beautiful serveware and gorgeous black satin flatware, and even cloth napkins, the store provides it all. with helpful in-store and online assistance i can do it all in a one stop shop making it such a breeze. not to mention the range of price points and the variety of products is helpful as well to make your holidays or special occasions that much easier.

wishing you a wonderful start to the holiday season! xo!

garlic & herb matzo ball soup | gf

to fill this soup out a bit you can add some sliced veggies and cook them in the broth either ahead of time or while the matzo balls are cooking. i personally like the combination of celery, carrots, and turnips.

print the recipe!

| makes roughly 18-20 matzo balls |

roasted garlic

  • 1 head garlic

  • extra virgin olive oil

matzo balls

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped dill

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • freshly ground pepper

  • 3 large free range eggs

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 6-8 roasted garlic cloves

  • 6 cups vegetable or free-range chicken stock


  • preheat oven to 400°F. slice the top of the garlic to expose the garlic cloves. place the garlic head on foil, and spray or drizzle with the oil to coat. fold it loosely to make a packet. cook until the garlic cloves are tender, roughly 30-40 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool. once cool, squeeze out 3-4 garlic cloves into a mixing bowl. smash the garlic with the back of fork until it turns into a smooth paste. set aside.

  • make the matzo balls. whisk together the flour, herbs, baking powder, salt, and pepper. to the bowl with garlic paste, mix in the eggs, and oil. mix the wet ingredients into the dry until everything is combined and the dough is sticky. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

  • fill a large lidded pot three-quarters of the way full with water and bring to a simmer. place the broth in another large pot and bring to a simmer, cover, and turn heat to low.

  • while the water is heating, remove the matzo ball dough from the fridge. take about 2 teaspoons worth of batter and with wet hands, roll them into balls. when the water is simmering, drop the balls, a few at a time, until they rise to the surface. once they do, turn the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20-22 minutes, until the matzo balls are cooked through and centers are light in color. (if the center is hard and dark, cook for another 3-5 minutes.) transfer cooked matzo balls to the warmed broth and repeat with the remaining matzo balls.

  • divide 2-3 matzo balls per bowl, sprinkle with dill, and serve immediately.

similar holiday recipes:

horseradish, shallot & herb latkes

horseradish, shallot & herb latkes

everyday roasted veggies

everyday roasted veggies

cacao nib, coconut macaroons

cacao nib, coconut macaroons

GARLIC LOVER'S MASHED CAULIFLOWER by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i feel like we’ve hit somewhat of a stride with our day-to-day. i just cracked the code on getting dinner on the table for all of us at the same time, which has been a job in it of itself since amesy eats a different dinner than us (small steps!). and while there’s more meltdowns and overly emotional outbursts, amesy is becoming such a little person and it’s just been the biggest joy to witness. he’s recently been talking and chatting, and describing his little world with such enthusiasm (and intensity at times). i couldn’t be more thankful, especially this time of year that i get to call him mine.

part of why i’ve been trying to get us all to eat together is to get amesy more interested in different food since he can be apprehensive in trying new things. that’s where this recipe comes in. it’s easy, a cinch to make, and is so delicious. your toddler will likely love it, and yes, it’s perfect for your holiday table, too! basically, it checks all the boxes.

it’s really just a basic cauliflower whip made a bit more vegan/special diet-friendly, and whipped up with roasted garlic and garlic salt for a garlic lover’s dream of creamy goodness. it’s a riff off of the mashed potatoes my mom used to make with the biggest difference there being that.she used onion salt. but she would whip them so creamy, with little-to-no lumps, so that’s what i was going for here. with all the carb-loading this holiday season this dish is quite the welcome.

biggest holiday hugs going out to you! forever thankful for this community!


garlic lovers mashed cauliflower | v & gf

  • not all vegan butter is created equal. i tend to use miyoko’s, but earth balance is pretty good too. just keep an eye out for how much salt the butter contains (if any) this will be an indicator of how much salt you use in the recipe.

  • i call for garlic salt, if you don’t have it, see below for the recipe*

print the recipe!

| serves 4 |

  • 1 head garlic

  • avocado oil

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, at room temp

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt

  • fresh ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped herbs (i used a mix of sage, thyme, and rosemary)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • extra virgin olive oil (optional)

*garlic salt

  • mix together 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, with 1 teaspoon garlic powder. store in a lidded container at room temperature for up to 3 months.


  1. preheat oven to 400°F. slice the top of the garlic to expose the garlic cloves. place the garlic head on foil, and spray or drizzle with the oil to coat. fold it loosely to make a packet. cook until the garlic cloves are tender, roughly 30-40 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool.

  2. place cauliflower florets into the basket of a steamer.  bring about 1-inch of water to a boil and set the steamer inside, cover and cook until very tender, about 12-15 minutes.

  3. while the cauliflower is steaming, get your other ingredients ready. place 2 roasted garlic cloves, milk, butter, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, and pepper into the container of a food processor fitted with a metal “s” blade.

  4. carefully transfer the cauliflower to the food processor and blend until creamy and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed, about 45 seconds. taste the mashed cauli, add more roasted garlic, garlic salt as needed, and pulse once more to combine.

  5. place the mashed cauliflower in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the herbs and a few drizzles of olive oil (if using). serve hot.

similar recipes:

sweet & spicy cauliflower cups

sweet & spicy cauliflower cups

roasted fingerlings w/ garlicky-turmeric sauce

roasted fingerlings w/ garlicky-turmeric sauce

garlicky tamari roasted chickpea salad

garlicky tamari roasted chickpea salad