Hannah’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Essential Oil Cookies

Pumpkin On Guard cookies
Perfect for fall, these gluten-free cookies are a little piece of awesome. Made with pumpkin, spices and a couple essential oils, they are sure to be a hit in any crowd. Bake them up and watch them disappear! A big thanks to my friend Hannah Gaitten for sharing this amazing recipe with me.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend
mix well and store in an airtight container
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup almond flour (not meal)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp xantham gum

Hannah’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Essential Oil Cookies

makes approx. 3 dozen cookies
2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see above recipe)
1 1/2 cups sugar (sucanat or organic cane sugar)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 T cinnamon powder
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup butter OR coconut oil for dairy-free, melted
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 T vanilla extract
20 (+) drops *Protective Blend Essential Oil (this is the generic oil name)

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
Mix wet ingredients until smooth in a large bowl.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until combined. Batter will be like cake batter — much thinner than cookie dough. If it is too thin to hold its shape once dropped on the cookie sheet, add more flour — 1/4 cup at a time — until the batter can hold its shape (but will not be stiff).
Drop cookies (about 1/8 cup/2 tablespoons each) 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. You will have several batches to bake.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes — cookies will be soft but will have a matte finish, not glossy.

Powdered sugar
Butter or coconut oil, melted
Water or milk
Vanilla extract
*Wild Orange Essential Oil
Mix powdered sugar (make your own by blending sugar in a high-speed blender) with a little liquid (you can use milk, water, melted butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract) and Wild Orange Essential Oil. You can drizzle it over or smear it on the cookies. This frosting takes the cookies to a whole new level of yum!
Amy’s note: I used about 1 cup of powdered sugar with several tablespoons of melted coconut oil, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and enough water to get the right consistency, plus 10 drops Wild Orange EO.

Hannah notes that the cookies should NOT be stored in an airtight container as they will congeal together and form one giant cookie if you do. However, they can be frozen and thawed later, provided that you lay them flat and be sure they are not touching each other, in the freezer. Enjoy!

About the Oils:
(Please note: Due to recent FDA-regulations, I can no longer share on my blog the brand of oils I love and trust. If you’d like that information, please join my newsletter — link at the bottom — and I will happily share with you via email.)

Protective Blend Essential Oil

  • Ingredients: Cinnamon, Clove bud, Eucalyptus globulus, Rosemary, Wild Orange
  • This blend addresses: Bacteria, Immune system support, Mold, Topical disinfectant, Virus

Wild Orange

  • Properties: Antibacterial, Antidepressant, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Carminative, Choleretic, Digestive, Hypotensive, Sedative, Stimulant

*Please note that only high-quality essential oils should be ingested and they will be labeled as safe for ingestion — not all oils are.

Here is Hannah’s inspiration for this recipe, which calls for wheat flour.

If you are interested in learning more about how I got started on essential oils and some of my favorite oils and blends (here’s a hint: one of them is the Protective Blend), check out my essential oils page.

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Mint (candy cane) chocolate chip cookies recipe

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule or whatever it is that you celebrate. :) We had a good holiday here in the Crunchy Domestic Goddess house. The kids enjoyed their presents and even playing with the packaging. There’s nothing wrong with upcycling your cardboard. ;) In addition to the masks, Ava built a cardboard house for Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue.

I got a new set of stainless steel pots and pans and am happy to finally rid myself of the old Teflon (non-stick) set (that I had no idea was potentially bad for us when I got it many years ago). I also got a beautiful enameled cast iron pot. I could be contentedly busy in the kitchen for hours now and may be on the lookout for some new recipes :)

That brings me to the point of this post – a new recipe! If you are like me, you might have some candy canes hanging around (literally) and may be looking for a use for them (other than stuffing them into your mouth). I was inspired to come up with this recipe after Jennifer mentioned she and her daughter had experimented with candy cane cookies.

They are delicious and will be consumed before you know it! You might want to stock up on some candy canes so you can make them at other times of the year too, though I think substituting peppermint candy for the candy canes would work just as well.

Mint (candy cane) chocolate chip cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (12-oz. pkg.)
  • 1 cup candy canes ground finely in food processor (about 10-12 candy canes)


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and mint extracts in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, followed by candy canes. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Please note: Due to the melting candy canes, these cookies tend to spread a bit. Make sure you leave adequate space surrounding each cookie on the baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

I’d post a picture of the cookies, but we ate them all (and gave some to the kids’ teachers). I may be making another batch soon though and will add a pic if I do. ;)

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Barbara Kingsolver would be proud

As the temperature hovered in the 60s yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel that autumn is quickly approaching. The cool weather inspired me to finally make some headway with food preservation for the winter. I’ve done a little bit of preserving thus far – mostly freezing blueberries and strawberries – but I haven’t been motivated to do much more than that. While I spent a lot of time last year canning, I haven’t been excited about doing any this year (perhaps because we still have lots of jam left) – yet.

This weekend, however, I tackled zucchini and yellow squash. While I’ve only grown one measly zucchini in my own garden so far this year (which I pureed with a can of black beans and made into Black Bean & Zucchini brownies*), I managed to score enough off of Freecycle to make me a happy camper. On Friday evening I picked up 17 lbs of zucchini and yellow squash from someone in a nearby town. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it all when I got it, but I knew I would figure something out. In the meantime, the kids played with it. :)
(Please excuse the quality of these pics. They were taken w/ my iPhone.)

On Sunday I got to work. I shredded and froze 16 cups of zucchini to use during the winter for baking or adding to soups.

I also used 3 additional cups to make a triple batch of Barbara Kingsolver’s Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the awesome book Animal Vegetable Miracle).

Then I used one huge yellow squash to make Kingsolver’s Disappearing Zucchini Orzo for dinner (I added spinach to it to give it a little more color and tomatoes as a garnish).

After all of that, I still have two large yellow squash remaining! I may chop and freeze them and throw them into a casserole at a later date.

*Below is the recipe for Black Bean Zucchini Brownies. The other two recipes (cookies and orzo) can be found on the Animal Vegetable Miracle web site. I was very skeptical of the idea of beans in my brownies at first, but now that I’ve made them, I can’t imagine going back to the traditional way. They are sooooo good (and, as Jody will tell you I like to argue, healthier!) Yum!

Black Bean Zucchini Brownies
1 box brownie mix (I prefer the kind that has chocolate chunks in it)
1 can black beans (do NOT drain)
1 small zucchini (Optional. You can make the brownies with just the beans and they will turn out just fine. If you want to add a little extra vegetable in though, add the zucchini.)

Puree entire can of black beans (including the liquid) in blender or food processor. Add the zucchini and puree until smooth. Add the beans and zucchini to the dry brownie mix. Mix well. Pour into greased pan and bake according to directions on the brownie box. You may have to bake a little longer than recommended on the box because there’s a fair amount of liquid added between the beans and zucchini. You could also add in some flour (maybe a 1/2 cup or so) to even it all out. When a toothpick or knife comes out of the brownies clean, they are done. Cool, cut and serve.

Jody, the kids, and I loved these brownies. And yes, I told them what was in them. Nobody cared. :)

Nearly 17 lbs of squash used or preserved in one way or another this weekend. I think Barbara Kingsolver would be proud.

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