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If you bum around the gluten-free blogosphere much, you certainly know what I mean when I say that there is quite an air of holiday spirit floating around these days! From gluten-free holiday recipe link-ups to 12 Days of Christmas Cookie extravaganzas to gingerbread house contests, the holidays are most definitely on everyone’s minds.
Sometimes, when I’m alone in my kitchen testing recipes or paging through cookbooks, I like to think of all the other bloggers out there doing the very same thing in their own homes. Are Shauna and Danny getting that vegan pie dough perfected today? (By the way, they did nail it down…you can find the recipe here.) Is Amy reaching into her oven, pulling out a pan of holiday cookies or biscotti? And what about Ricki and Lauren in Canada? What are they making today? Is Ali in the kitchen with her children whipping up batter for a festive Pumpkin Spice Cake or Roll-Out Oat Cookies?
I’ve been blogging now for nearly a year and half, and yet it still amazes how an entire community of talented home cooks exists behind my computer screen. Although our recipes are as different as we are, one common thread unites us: we’re all commited to sharing our love through delicious, wholesome food and passing on to others our joy for nourishment.
The recipe for these oatmeal squares was inspired by a one I stumbled upon somewhere months ago, but I’m ashamed to admit I can’t recall where exactly. A magazine or book? Perhaps. But more likely, a blog. There’s scads of inspiration to be had out there. So many ideas it’s almost overwhelming at times.
But I couldn’t be more grateful for the time and effort that so many bloggers put forth into developing recipes and cultivating inspiration to share with the world. To all you bloggers out there, thank you.
And to all you readers, here are a few of my favorite events going on right now that I think you’d like to know about:
- A Gluten Free Holiday—visit weeks one, two, three, and four…and then stop by Carrie’s blog this Thursday for the fourth installment in this mouthwatering event.
- 12 Days of Christmas Cookies and Cookbook Giveaways—going on now at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef!
- 12 Days of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies—I know, another one! This one’s hosted by Maggie at She Let Them Eat Cake.
- Gluten-Free Photo Contest—hosted by Simply…Gluten-Free. December’s theme is “Gluten-Free Holidays.”
- Weelicious Holiday Recipe Contest—enter your family’s favorite holiday recipe for your chance to win some great kid-friendly prizes. Hurry…deadline is today!
Now, how about a cookie?
Oatmeal Currant Squares – makes 16 squares
1/2 cup pitted, chopped Medjool dates
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled or quick oats, divided
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tbs. dark maple syrup
1/4 cup dried currants
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, cover dates with hot water. Set aside to soak for 5-10 minutes.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process 1 cup oats, salt, and cinnamon until finely ground—about 20 seconds. Transfer to mixing bowl and stir in remaining 1/2 cup oats. Set aside.
Return food processor to base (no need to wash). Drain off all but 1 tablespoon soaking liquid from the dates. Put dates and 1 tablespoon soaking liquid into food processor along with coconut oil and maple syrup. Pulse until dates are finely chopped. Add egg and process until mixture is smooth and dates are reduced to small brown flecks, about 20 seconds. Stir into oat mixture using a rubber spatula to form a dough. Fold in the dried currants.
On a sheet of parchment paper using wet hands, form dough into a square roughly 8×8 inches in size and about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully cut the square of dough into 16 squares. Transfer squares to parchment-lined baking sheet. (I find that a thin metal or plastic spatula works better than my clumsy fingers to make the transfer.)
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until squares are firm to the touch and golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on pan before removing. (These freeze well.)
Find more delicious blogger-tested recipes at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.
Update 12/12/10: Visit this post to view the final installment in Maggie’s 12 Days of Christmas Cookies event and link up your gluten-free cookie recipes until December 18, 2010!