This post is sponsored by World Market. All opinions are my own.

Truth be told, I didn't bake anything from scratch until I was married at 22. I had used a lot of box recipes or store bought cookie dough to bake, and my parents, of course, showed me how to use an oven. However, I don't really have memories of baking with my parents, and part of me feels like I missed out on some special memories.

As parents, we always want to give our kids the things and experiences we didn't have, so I've been trying to do more cooking and baking with Elle. She has showed a lot of interest in baking partly because she is a sugar fiend that loves licking the bowl and partly because she really enjoys working with her hands. Her favorite activity is playing with play-dough, so why not give her the real thing, right? 

Levi is still too young to help us, but he sure loves to eat. We recently found out that he as an intolerance to gluten, dairy and soy that has limited a lot of the cookie recipes I know. So, last week Elle and I tried our hands and gluten-free baking by creating pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and roll-our sugar cookies.

I usually just have Elle wear grubby clothes when we bake, but I found a kid's apron at World Market just for her. She was SO excited to wear it, and look just like mommy. I also found her own set of measuring spoons. Her face was priceless when she saw them.


The pumpkin cookie dough was easy for her to scoop up with a spoon and drop on the pan, especially using holiday parchment paper from World Market. (P.S. Did you know that delicious dairy free chocolate chips exist?! Recipe and tasty ingredients below).

We popped them in the oven for 15 minutes and she just sat on the floor and waited. She loved watching them grow in the oven, but I think the anticipation just about killed her. haha. Of course, after the first batch came out of the oven she wasn't too keen on baking the rest as much as she was on eating them. I bought her a little cookie stamp for her to press the cookies down after they came out - an easy and fun task for a four year old.

After that we switched to rolling out our gluten-free sugar cookie recipe that I had made and refrigerated the night before. I bought an extra rolling pin just for her, and I found the BEST cookie cutter shape out there - the ugly sweater cookie cutter.

Here's why it's so awesome for kids. First, she can be her own fashion designer. Second, it's unique compared to the typical snowflakes. And third, considering how messy frosting is and our lack of perfect cookie decorating skills, every cookie will look like a perfect ugly sweater. Lord knows I'm not a skilled baker and can't make a cookie look pretty to save my life let alone my four year old. Bahaha! So, it's a win, win! 

Sadly, the cookie dough didn't turn out as I had hoped. I have learned gluten-free baking can be challenging, and that this recipe would have been better if I had simply chilled it for an hour verses overnight refrigeration. I'm going to try it again, and share that one with you soon. But not all was lost because making a mess together was just as fun, and that's what matters. 

Here are Elle's finished gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free amazing pumpkin cookies set on a pedestal for all to see. Please try them at home. They are so good and allergen free, which is nice when you're hosting a party. With so many gluten intolerances on the rise it's good to have on hand.

by Nicole Lee (licensed to AVE Styles)

2 sticks room temp vegan (soy free butter, earth balance the red one)
2 eggs
3 cupsGF All purpose baking flour ( I used Bob’s Redmill )
1 tablespoon molasses
12 -16 ounces vegan chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste 

Directions : 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium bowl , with a wooden spoon cream the butter and sugar, add in the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla paste. Make sure everything is well mixed. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, flour, pumpkin pie spice. Mix well, then add in the molasses mix, and finally the chocolate. 

Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper or rubber liner. Take a large spoonful of dough and place 6 heaps on the pan, bake for 15 min. Once finished, flatten with a spatula and transfer to cooling rack. 

To create the same experience for your kids, be sure to shop the World Market products below. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; product gifted by World Market; this post contains affiliate links. 


'Tis the season for cookie exchanges and holiday parties filled with desserts. Eating sweets is probably one the best parts of this time of year, but for those of you that have dietary restrictions that prevent you from enjoying the average cookie here is a SUPER tasty chocolate cookie recipe created by Nicole Lee of Hey Dear.

When I was nursing Levi I had to change my diet dramatically to accommodate his sensitive stomach, and that led me to reaching out to Nicole. Nicole is an amazing food stylist, photographer and cook who has had to learn to cook gluten-free to help her body feel its best. She has three littles at home, so you know that this recipe has been taste tested by the ultimate experts. 

We hope you enjoy these cookies all year!



1-cup vegan butter – Earth balance soy free baking sticks
1-cup sugar – Raw Sugar, preferably organic
1-cup light brown organic sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups Gluten Free Flour – Bob’s red mill  one/one mix is great! 
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups Gluten Free Thick rolled oats (bob’s redmill is the best!)
1 bag of vegan chocolate chips/ or favorite brand 

An electric mixer, measuring cups, ice cream scoop, parchment paper, and cookie


In an electric mixer cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla, add in one egg at a time. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients, minus the rolled oats and chocolate chips!  While the electric mixer is still going slowly add in the flour mixture and until dough forms. Then take off the bowl of the mixer grab a spatula, dump in the rolled oats and the chocolate chips. Hand mix until evenly through the dough. 

Now this part is key, you need to let the dough chill for at least one hour. If you have patience let it sit overnight. Instead of the dough being soupy it will bake perfectly.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 355 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper, then scoop with a small ice cream scoop your dough and place on the tray. You will make rows of three about 1 inch apart from each other on the tray. Bake for 9-12 min. Until golden brown on the edges.

Once done remove the cookies from the cookie tray and place on a cooling rack until cooled. Then serve with milk and enjoy!