Orange, Saffron, and Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies {Gluten and Grain free}

I’m afraid my Instagram account isn’t so good for my blog.

It’s way too easy to take one pic, hashtag the life out of it, and post it…all on one little gadget.

Life has been busy, too, but I really have no legitimate excuse for not posting for…well, however long it’s been. Too long.

We were invited to a friend’s house last night for pizza and sundaes and a movie. It wasn’t just any pizza and sundaes though – it was cheese pizza with a delicious gluten free crust and sundaes with homemade berry ice cream, bananas, and homemade honey salted caramel sauce! Jealous yet?

I experimented with some shortbread cookies to go along with the sundaes. The challenge was that they had to be nut, wheat, and refined sugars free. Bring it on!

If you’ve read my blog for long, you know I gravitate toward orange and almond, or orange and ginger, or orange and cardamom flavor combinations. Those are all SO good, but I had to do something else this time. I decided to pull out the saffron my sis-in-law gave me years ago. (Does saffron go bad??? Don’t tell me if it does.)

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I kept with the orange, though half way through I wished I had gone with grapefruit instead. And, of course, I went with my favorite natural sweetener – dates!

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Orange, Saffron, and Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 c. dates, pitted
  • 1 c. coconut flour
  • 2 t. organic orange peel
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t. saffron (I used 1/4 but my saffron might be a little weak. :)

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine dates, coconut flour, orange peel, butter and salt and pulse until mixture is well combined and fine textured. Add remaining ingredients and pulse again. My dough never formed a ball, but looked like this…

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However, it pinches together readily. Make one inch round balls and roll or press flat onto parchment paper.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges.

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They soften as they sit and, if you’re like me, you like them a bit crunchy, so place them in a warm oven just before serving.

And the movie? Well, it was Frozen, ’cause my little friends keep telling me about it and I had to see it for myself.  Aren’t you glad it’s summer? :)

The Versatility of Oatmeal

I Love Oats. 117412834

Have I told you that before?

They aren’t something I’ve always liked. As a kid, I detested them. I still can’t stomach well-cooked oatmeal porridge with milk and honey and raisins. Nope, just can’t do it. In fact, I never put milk in my oatmeal….or raisins. I’m weird like that.

My Dad and Mom used to take a bowl of raw oats, shred some apple over it and eat it with honey and milk. I can’t do that either. Funny how childhood tastes are hard to overcome. Thankfully I wasn’t a very picky eater as a kid. Now I attempt to hide my varied food preferences under the title “sophisticated taste”.

But, now that we got the “how I don’t like my oats” part out of the way…let me tell you how I do like them.

Lately, I’m really digging savory oats.

I love the sweet versions, like my bowl of Cherries, Almonds and Oats , but there are mornings (or afternoons, or evenings…) when I don’t want the sugary and just need the wholesome goodness of oats.

Tonight was one of those times. Home alone, for the first time in a long time, I decided on a quick bowl of oats and some hot sauce spinach chips (close cousins of the famous kale chip). There wasn’t much in the kitchen by way of food, so it was a good choice in more than one way.

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A couple weeks ago, I added some shredded cheese to my morning oatmeal, and a dash of hot sauce. It was, and I’m being totally serious here, as good as mac&cheese. Creamy, cheesy, warm deliciousness. Yum.

I was headed in that direction this evening, but I had rosemary on the brain. Don’t ask me why…I most definitely couldn’t tell you.

So rosemary it was. And garlic, and feta and olive oil. Mmmmmm… I wish there were leftovers.

You wanna try it?

Place a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a small sauce pan.

Mince one clove garlic and several sprigs of fresh rosemary. Add to pot and saute on low heat until garlic starts to turn golden.

Add 3/4 c. water and bring to boil.

Toss in 1/2 c. oats and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the oats absorb all the water.

Fold in an ounce of cheese – feta, Gouda, sharp cheddar, whatever you want, and spoon into a serving bowl.

Top with chopped walnuts and roasted pepitas, drizzle with a good quality olive oil and sprinkle on some pepper.

IMG_9454Oh my!

Another savory favorite?

Oatmeal cooked al dente with salt and pepper and butter. Top with a couple over-easy fried eggs, salsa, plain Greek yogurt and, of course, hot sauce. It IS really good. Trust me.

What is your favorite way to eat oats?

By the way, I published a new page for your convenience – the Recipe Index. (You will find the link in the top bar under the blog header.) The title pretty much explains itself, but this page makes it super easy to locate recipes or just browse. I can’t believe how much I’ve used it! There are recipes there that I completely forgot I posted. Now that’s bad!

I also added a place on the right-hand side of the blog to quote chefs, foodies and fellow culinarians. Have something you’d like to submit? Let me know in the comments section!