Packed with all of fall’s best treats, these Gluten-Free Harvest Cookies are the perfect way to welcome the change of seasons!
It’s [almost] officially official: fall is here!
While I maaaay be a bit of summer fanatic and am sad to see my most favorite season go, I must admit that I am getting pretty excited about the change in seasons.
I mean: big sweaters, falling leaves, cute boots, pumpkin everythang, HARVEST COOKIES. How can you be even the slightest bit mad about that?
Answer: you can’t. ESPECIALLY after you try one of these cookies.
I first tried these cookies about 12 years ago (when did I get so old?!?!) when I was representing my dad’s bakery at a local farmer’s market in Pittsburgh. It was one of the last markets of the season, and the inaugural year for this particular market, so to say thank you to all of the farmers/vendors who participated, the lady who organized it baked and gave away these cookies.
And let me tell you: it was love at first bite.
I begged my dad to reach out to the lady for the recipe, and after a little bit of bartering (she asked for the bakery’s famous cookie recipe in return – HAHAHAHA she so fun-nay) she shared her family’s Harvest Cookies recipe with us. She said these cookies have been in her family for GENERATIONS. And for good reason! They are still the best darn fall cookie I have ever had to date.
They are packed with all the good stuff: dates, apples, craisins, sunflower seeds, oats, cinnamon and cloves ← ummm HELLO fall in a mouthful. I can’t even begin to describe the warm, fuzzy fall feeling that is coming over me just telling you all about them. In fact, they leave such a lasting impression that I can SMELL them right now, just from memory. INSANE.
Now, of course, her family’s recipe wasn’t gluten-free, but (a) I didn’t know that gluten was the problem way back then and (b) when have I ever shied away from a recipe conversion when delicious desserts are on the line? (hint: never).
So, with just a tiny bit of recipe tweaking and testing – TA-DA – the best darn fall cookie I have ever had, now in gluten-free form.
While I am just a taaaad obsessed with the ingredient combo in these cookies, feel free to have some fun with them! If you don’t like sunflower seeds, throw in some pepitas or pecans. Both are equally fall-y! Don’t have any dates on hand? Swap in some raisins in their place (though you have to pinky promise me you’ll try it with dates some time. SO GOOD!) Just don’t mess with the apple or the oats. Those are absolute musts
And as if having fall oh so perfectly wrapped up in one little cookie wasn’t enough mind-blowing awesomeness for the day, get this: NO DOUGH CHILLING REQUIRED.
That’s something I’ll trade in my bikini for. Which, my dear friends, is definitely saying something.
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ cup roasted, UNsalted sunflower seeds
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
- 1 cup certified gluten-free oats
- 1-2 cooking apples, chopped* (I used braeburn)
- ½ cup craisins
- ½ cup chopped dates
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir together gluten-free flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and sunflower seeds.
- In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla.
- Stir flour mixture into the butter and sugar, then gently stir in the oats, apples, dried cranberries, and dates.
- Drop by well-rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet or baking mat.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.