Apple Pie Alternatives this Holiday

The holiday season is upon us! It’s a time for getting together with family and friends, eating lots of yummy foods and just enjoying the time together. One thing that seems to be consistent at pretty much all holidays is apple pie. I swear, it is that pie that is perfect for any holiday. This year, if you are looking for something a little different, that is similar to the apple pie, but not the apple pie, then this amazing list of apple pie alternatives is for you!

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apple pie alternatives

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Are you drooling yet? Don’t those apple pie alternatives look delicious? Thursday is Thanksgiving and any one of these recipes would be a perfect addition to your dessert table. Wow your family and friends with something new and exciting for the holidays! You know someone will still make and bring a traditional apple pie!

Apple Pie Alternatives

That’s quite a list, isn’t it?!? There is definitely something for everyone on there. Especially for the kids. My son is a huge fan of apple pie, whereas my daughter would prefer one of the apple pie alternatives. Most likely she would like the oatmeal apple spice cookies or the apple pie taco boats. My guess is, the fact that it has the word “taco” in the recipe name is what will win her over with that recipe! She loves tacos almost as much as she loves desserts!

Which One Will You Make?

You still have plenty of time. Which one of the recipes above will you be making for the holidays? I’m leaning towards the Snickers caramel apple pie. Not only is it an apple pie, but it uses up all those leftover Snickers bars from Halloween. Win win!


10 Best Cookie Recipes for a Party

One thing I like taking to holiday parties (or to just make) are cookies. This year, for Thanksgiving, I volunteered to bring gluten free desserts. I plan on making gluten free brownies, but I also will be making a platter of gluten free cookies. Rather than scour the internet for the best of the best cookie recipes, I compiled the 10 best cookies recipes for a party! All of these recipes can be made gluten free!

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best cookie recipes

10 Best Cookie Recipes

Cookies are the perfect thing to take to a party or holiday get together. They are easy to make and most recipes you can make a head and freeze until you need them. Let’s not forget, everyone loves cookies. They are also good to have when kids will be there because kids don’t always like the pies that adults have at the holidays.

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Without further ado, I give you the 10 best cookie recipes that are super easy to make, freeze well, and are a great crowd pleaser. Keep these cookies in mind when you are doing your holiday cookie swaps!

  1. Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cookies
  2. Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
  3. Pumpkin Coffee Cookies with Maple Icing
  4. Sweet and Salty Cookies Recipe
  5. Butterfinger Cookies Recipe
  6. S’mores Cookie Recipe
  7. Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
  8. Kit Kat Cookies Recipe
  9. Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies
  10. Oatmeal Apple Spice Cookies

Don’t these sound like the best cookie recipes?!? I just recently made the jam thumbprint cookies and they were amazing! The jam thumbprint cookies and two others (that I will share the recipes for later) will be the cookies I take to Thanksgiving this year. The nice thing about ALL of the cookie recipes above is that you can make them with regular flour or gluten free flour. The Namaste gluten free flourbest cookie recipes is my favorite gluten free flour brand. I highly recommend it. Everything I make with it turns out perfectly.

What is your go to cookie to make?


Banana Mini Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Banana muffins are a staple in our house. I swear the kids leave three to four bananas in the basket just so they will get too ripe to eat, but perfect for muffins! This week was no different. Since my daughter got her braces on, certain foods have become difficult to eat. While muffins are soft, she likes to break them apart and she said big muffins take too long to eat. So, to help her out, this week I made banana mini muffins with mini chocolate chips!

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banana mini muffins

Banana Mini Muffins

Delicious recipe for gluten free banana mini muffins with mini chocolate chips.

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword banana muffins, mini muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 36 People

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter softened
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Bananas ripe
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 TBSP Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your mini muffin pan with liners or pick up this great silicone mini muffin pan. You won't need any liners and the muffins pop right out.

  2. In a large bowl, mash your bananas. Make sure to mash them well so you don't end up with lumps.

  3. In a separate bowl, cream together your butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, bananas, milk and vanilla extract. Be sure to mix between each new addition.

  4. Next add your baking soda, salt and gluten free flour. Mix in between each addition. 

  5. Fill your muffin wells with the banana mini muffins batter and place in the oven for 13-15 minutes. If you chilled your batter before baking, you may need the full 15 minutes.

  6. Allow the mini muffins to fully cool before storing them in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

*You may sub regular flour for the gluten free flour. 

These banana mini muffins are super moist (I cringed typing that word, but it’s true) and absolutely delicious. They are great for kids lunches or snack time. For my daughter that just got braces on, they are super easy for her to break apart and eat, without wasting a ton of time at lunch!

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If your family likes muffins as much as mine, be sure to try our other favorites:

Any gluten free recipe can easily be made with regular flour. You just substitute 1 cup for 1 cup! I’ve made each of those recipes with both gluten free flour and regular flour. While I haven’t tried it with the regular flour (allergy), the kids like it either way! If you were to ask my daughter, the apple spice pumpkin muffins are one of her favorites.

banana mini muffins


Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies

This Thanksgiving, I volunteered to bring a few gluten free desserts. I figured I would make cookies and brownies (I am NOT good at making pies). Once I said I would bring cookies, I knew I wanted to bring jam thumbprint cookies. I hadn’t had them in years and they used to be a favorite of mine. However, I didn’t want to just make them the day before Thanksgiving without doing a trial run. So I made some gluten free jam thumbprint cookies today!

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jam thumbprint cookies

Gluten Free Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Buttery jam thumbprint cookies. Delicious and gluten free!

Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Cool 10 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter softened
  • 2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 large Egg Yolks
  • 2 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • Your favorite seedless jam

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. Using your hand mixer, beat your butter until it is light and fluffy. Next add your egg yolk, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix after each new addition.

  3. Add your gluten free flour. Rather than using your hand mixer to mix this, it is much better to wash your hands (or wear gloves) and mix the cookie dough with your hands. The dough is dry. Just keeping mixing it all together. 

  4. Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, take 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball with your hands. Next roll in the granulated sugar, making sure to cover all sides with sugar. Place on your baking sheet and press your finger in the center to make a little well. Add your favorite seedless jam to each well.

  5. Place your baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12-13 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool longer.

Recipe Notes

*If your gluten free flour does not contain xanthan gum, add 1 tsp to your mix.

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These jam thumbprint cookies are amazing! They are buttery and melt in your mouth. My kids, who are hyper critical of everything and have no problem telling me what they think, thought they were delicious. Once piece of advice though. Don’t overflow the cookies with the jam. It will bubble over and make a mess!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Tips

Aside from the obvious tip of not putting too much jam in the cookie, a few other tips I have are:

  1. Definitely use a cookie scoop. It is imperative that these cookies are all the same size so they cook evenly.
  2. Don’t overcook the cookies. In my oven it took 13 minutes. You want to take them out as they are just about to brown the edges. Keeping them on the cookie sheet for ten minutes will allow them to cook a tiny bit more.
  3. For a more uniform look, you can use a dowel rod to make the little well so they are all the same.

FYI…if you are following Weight Watchers, like I am, I put this recipe in the recipe builder and each cookie is 5 points.

What are your favorite type of cookies?


Thanksgiving Desserts – Must Try Recipes

This time of year always makes me happy! I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. There’s something to be said for a holiday that there are ZERO expectations…no presents…nothing. Simply time with family and friends. As always, I am always thinking about what we are going to be eating at Thanksgiving. If you’re like me, things like side dishes and appetizers are great, but the Thanksgiving desserts are what I’m really thinking about!

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thanksgiving desserts

Thanksgiving Desserts you MUST Try!

When you think of Thanksgiving desserts, the first thing that comes to mind is pumpkin pie…of course! Well, these white chocolate pumpkin pie bars definitely have the pumpkin part down and they sound absolutely delicious! I think Trisha at The Salty Side Dish knocked it out of the park with this delicious recipe! And it sounds so easy too!

thanksgiving desserts

Image via The Salty Side Dish by Trisha

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I can’t eat Oreo’s any longer (stupid gluten allergy), but one thing I used to love were Oreo balls. These Thanksgiving Turkey Oreo Cookie Balls are absolutely adorable and how cute would they look on a platter on the Thanksgiving dessert table?!?

thanksgiving desserts

Image via Mommy Musings by Stefanie

No dessert table would be complete with out cookies. Sugar cookies are great (and should be on every holiday table), but these pumpkin coffee cookies with maple icing are, not only unique, but perfect for someone that wants something small with a cup of coffee!

thanksgiving desserts

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Nothing screams fall like caramel apples. Truth be told, they are one of my favorite splurges. I love apples…so when you add chocolate, caramel and sprinkles, I get very excited! That’s why, when I saw these caramel apple cupcakes, I knew they would be an amazing addition to the Thanksgiving desserts table! Not to mention, the kids will love them too!

thanksgiving desserts

Image via Live Love Texas by Kelly

The ideal dessert recipe to me is a no-bake recipe. That just screams easy to me! And I don’t know about you, but I need easy once in awhile! That’s why this no bake pumpkin cheesecake is perfect! My son loves cheesecake and he loves pumpkin everything, so I am sure he would love it if  made this for him this year!

thanksgiving desserts

Image via Bake Me Some Sugar

I’m all about cute and kid friendly. When you have a dessert table filled with various pies, it could seem rather disappointing to kids. Add something super cute and kid friendly like these adorable turkey cupcakes and I guarantee you, kids (and probably adults too) will be super happy and want one of these cupcakes!

thanksgiving desserts

 

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Do you have an Instant Pot? If you do or you are thinking about getting one, you need to try this Instant Pot pumpkin pie recipe! Not only does it look absolutely mouthwatering, but so easy to make too!! Anything that is either no-bake or something you can make in something that is NOT your oven, is a recipe for me. Especially when you only have one oven and you need it for other Thanksgiving goodies!

Thanksgiving desserts

Image via A Moms Impression by Kathy

Brownies are my weakness. Like I mentioned above, when you think of Thanksgiving desserts, the first thing that come to mind is pumpkin pie. Shake things up a bit this year and make these pumpkin cheesecake brownies. You get the best of three desserts, all rolled into one!

thanksgiving desserts

Image via Live Love Texas by Kelly

So tell me, what is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Will you be making one of these delicious desserts this holiday seasons?