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

Molly's Chocolate Tahini Cake w/ Tahini Frosting by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

in an effort to make new traditions, i thought making holiday cookies was only fitting.  obviously amesy is too young to partake, but the idea of him being in the kitchen with me while i bake seems like the beginning of a tradition we'll hopefully continue as he grows older.  but as i was thinking through what cookies to make, it dawned to me that i didn't know frank's favorite christmas cookie/s!  after having a quick cookie convo i was informed that his go-to's are a pecan cookie (very much like a mexican wedding cookie) his mom would always make, and jammy thumbprints that i make each year with my mom.  so the plan is to have a cookie-making day this week (if the babe permits!) where i'm going to bake up these and these cookies for frank, these almond-based cookies for a naturally gluten-and-dairy-free cookie for my mom and i, and something chocolatey for my dad.  we also like to enjoy a light little cake while we open presents and sip on hot coffee, so this cranberry-lemon cake from last year is on the agenda for a christmas morning treat.  

and speaking of starting new traditions, i think molly's tahini cake will have to join the ranks!  it's a no brainer that if you know molly and her blog, then you know that she knows cake!  in her new book, molly on the range she highlights quite a few of them, one of them being this tahini chocolate cake with tahini frosting.  i love tahini, in any and all applications, but adding it to sweets is something i reserved for another, more brave, day.  so when i saw the recipe in her book, i knew i needed to try it.  the tahini mixed into the chocolate cake adds just the right amount of nutty flavor that you can taste in each bite! and while i would normally think the tahini added to the frosting would be overpowering, it's actually quite balanced and lovely.  and to make the cake a little more festive, i substituted the ground cinnamon in the frosting with gingerbread spice, as well as added some sugared cranberries and winter trees for a decorative topping.   

i'm pretty sure you all know, but molly's book is genius!  not only are there awesome recipes, but her writing is so beautiful and whimsical. when i had first received it, i sat there with amesy (all of a few days old) and read through parts of it with him.  i'm not sure if he was staring at the beautiful photography, or the colorful illustrations, but he was entranced just like the rest of us, i'm sure.  so if you're looking for a gift this holiday season, there's no better book than this one!

wishing you all the brightest of days, and the happiest of holidays! xo

Molly's Chocolate Tahini Cake w/ Tahini Frosting

recipe from Molly On The Range by Molly Yeh.  reprinted with permission.

i made some substitutions to make this cake gluten and dairy-free, which came out really delicious.  you can follow the notes below :) i also substituted 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice for the cinnamon for a more festive, holiday flavor. 

| makes one 8-inch layer cake, one 13-inch by 9-inch sheet cake, or 24 mini cakes |


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil 
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup boiling water


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



  • to make the cake gluten-free, i substituted the flour 1:1 with an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix, i used arrowhead mills heritage gluten-free flour mix (which i found at my local whole foods).  i also replaced the sugar 1:1 with coconut sugar. to lessen the amount of refined sugar.  to make the cake dairy free, i substituted the whole milk 1:1 with califia's unsweetened almond creamer.  and i opted for melted coconut oil instead of flavorless oil for a more wholesome substitute.
  • to make the frosting dairy-free, you can replace the butter 1:1 with non-hydrogenated palm oil.


  1. to make the cake: preheat oven to 350°F.  grease and line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans or one 13x9-inch baking dish.
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil, and tahini.  add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  whisk in the boiling water.
  3. pour the batter into the cake pans or baking dish until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes for round cakes and 32 minutes for a sheet cake.
  4. let cool in the pans or dish for 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
  5. to make the frosting: in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and tahini until creamy.  gradually ass the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  mix in the salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  6. for a layer cake, level the round cakes and stack them with a layer of frosting between them.  frost the top and sides of cake.
  7. for a sheet cake, spread the frosting on top and cut into squares, or chill in the refrigerator until the frosting is firm and use a biscuit cutter to cut into mini cakes.

similar recipes:

hazelnut layer cake w/ fig compote

hazelnut layer cake w/ fig compote

cranberry, lemon & poppy seed breakfast slice

cranberry, lemon & poppy seed breakfast slice

chocolate layer cake with macadamia mousse

chocolate layer cake with macadamia mousse

ginger-apple crumble pie (gluten + dairy free/vegan) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

today i'm sharing a recipe for this gluten + dairy free/vegan (depending on if you use an egg wash for the crust) ginger-apple crumble pie.  it's my first foray into crumble pie topping, and i can say that it's going to be a staple around here for years to come.  as for the ginger-y apple filling, that's a fave too!  as i've said before, i'm not the biggest on overly sweet anything, so the ginger really balances it all out, all with a hint of spice.   and the recipe is over on food 52 today in celebration of pie week!  also, food 52 and squarespace are teaming up for a few giveaways, so head on over there to check it all out!

a few thanksgiving-y links:

renee's beautiful pie, using my pie crust recipe that was posted on food 52 earlier this week.  THYME marshmallows! this sweet video, family traditions (especially when they involve food) give me the happiest goosebumps!  for the day you needed powdered sugar, only to find your pantry empty of it: homemade! powdered sugar. heidi's  vegetarian thanksgiving dishes. and pumpkin brownie swirly-ness at it's finest!  

happy friday!!! and happy weekend!  wishing you all a cozy one! xo