Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

It may be a tad early for pumpkin-flavored things but the colder-than-average temperatures have put me in the mood to bake fall favorites.

I found a recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies online and, after reading some of the comments, decided to make some changes to the recipe.  My cookies turned out less chewy than regular snickerdoodle cookies and more soft and pillowy.  I took some to work and I received a lot of compliments and requests for the recipe.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not packed)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (this helps make the cookies soft. I use them in chocolate chip cookies, too)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For rolling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Instructions

Combine flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.  Set aside.

Cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until just combined.  Mix in egg yolk, then pumpkin and vanilla extract.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Without this step, the dough is too sticky to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit during last 10 minutes of chilling  In small box, mix 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Scoop dough out in 1 or 1.5 rounded tablespoons and roll dough in cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated then transfer to baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.  Bake in preheated oven 12-14 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin_Snickerdoodles

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter

We’re going to a New Year’s Eve party tonight, so I thought I’d make some cookies to bring.  I decided to try the peanut butter cookies that my mom made for Christmas and I also used my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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For the chocolate chip cookies, I used a recipe I found on Marsha’s Baking Addition.  I img_2907_croppedfound this recipe about two years ago and it’s the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve used since.  I like it because it makes 15-18 cookies and therefore I can whip up a batch real quickly.  They also have a secret ingredient (corn starch) that makes the cookies soft in the middle.  Everyone who tries them asks for the recipe.

I have to keep my cookies in the oven for the full 13 minutes and I also don’t bother with refrigerating them before baking.  I find that they’re plenty thick without it.

 

 

For the peanut butter cookies, I used a recipe from Rachel Schultz.  I don’t usually make img_2908_croppedpeanut butter cookies, but I really liked the ones my mom made so I wanted to make them too.  I like that they have a bit of a grainy quality to them. I’m not sure how they get like that – I think maybe this recipe calls for a bit more peanut butter than others.  I followed the recipe as written on her website except I have to keep my cookies in the oven for 11 minutes.  For the peanut butter, I used the Bee’s Knees which is a flavor made by the Peanut Butter & Co.  It’s organic (which I’ve heard isn’t ideal for making cookies), but they still turned out great.

I hope you enjoy whatever you have planned for tonight. Happy New Year!

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Christmas Delights

I hope the holidays are going well for you so far.  For Christmas, I made a few items I thought I’d share with you.

The first is pillow cheesecake that was inspired by this one from Tartelette. img_2898-copyInstead of their chocolate shortbread crust, I made a traditional crust (2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, mix and press to the bottom of a 10 inch spring form and bake for 8-10 minute at 350F).  I also did not use the caramel sauce.  I have used it previously, but I just didn’t want to mess with it this time.  I followed the directions for the cheesecake batter as written on the Tartelette blog except I think I cooked it an hour and a half at 350F instead of 325F.  I added chocolate and raspberries on top of a few slices, but the cheesecake is amazing served plain as well.  In fact, I think that’s how I prefer it.  If you like cheesecake, I recommend giving this recipe a try.

img_2837_copyThe next thing I made are these ranch oyster crackers which are a holiday tradition.  They’re super easy to make and most people to enjoy them.  I used this recipe posted on All Recipes website.  I did not use the lemon pepper or garlic powder which are optional ingredients. I put the crackers in a large mason jar and  I added a Christmas tag and twine to make it look more festive.

img_2842-copyNext, I made two loaves of zucchini bread following this recipe I posted on my blog last year.  After they cooled, I wrapped each loaf in plastic wrap and tied twine and a Christmas tag around them.

My mom made peanut butter cookies for my family’s Christmas but she had to make a second batch because she and my dad ate the original before everyone came over.  My mother-in-law made some really amazing spinach dip that had bacon in it.

Which holiday recipe does your family enjoy the most?

 

 

Zucchini Bread Recipe

I didn’t wait long after the start of fall to make some zucchini bread.  This recipe is a combination of recipes I’ve seen online and one that my mother-in-law gave to me a few weeks ago.

IMG_0181Ingredients
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1.75 cups of sugar (most recipes call for 2 cups, so you can add more if you’d like)
– 1 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. cinnamon (sometimes I add 3 tsp if I want more of a cinnamon taste)
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 cup of oil (I used 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce to reduce calories)
– 3 eggs
– 2 tsp. vanilla
– 2 cups of grated zucchini

Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Mix together dry ingredients and add oil, eggs, vanilla, and grated zucchini and stir until combined.  Pour batter (about  2.5 cups each) in to two greased bread pans and bake for 55-70 minutes.  Bread is done when toothpick comes out clean.  I leave mine in for 70 minutes.

Then, share with friends
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Or keep them for yourself.  Enjoy!
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3 Year Blogiversary!

I created the project board exactly 3 years ago today.  I’d like to highlight some of my favorite posts from the past year.

Click on the picture to be taken to that post.

  1. Autumn Leaves – October 3, 2014
    October2. 2015 Calendar – December 10, 2014January
    3. Coffee Chocolate Cake – January 11, 2015

    Coffee_Cake4. My Starter Story – January 18, 2015
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    5. I Made Bread! – January 19, 2015
    IMG_633426.  Foggy Day – March 10, 2015
    IMG_64217. Refinished Buffet – July 14, 2015
    Buffet1_words8. Moths and Butterflies – July 25, 2015

    moth9. Morning Light – August 28, 2015
    IMG_976010. I Opened an Etsy Shop! – August 30, 2015
    CongratsDots1You can see the highlights from my first and second year of blogging are also available.

    Thanks to everyone who has followed me over the past three years!

I Made Bread!

I made a loaf of bread today using yeast and everything!

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That might sound trivial to many of you, but this is the first time I’ve ever used yeast.  In fact, when I was in Home Economics in the 8th grade, we learned about yeast and had to make pizza crust. But guess who forgot to add the yeast to her crust?  So, I’ve literally never used it until today.

Anyhow, I found the recipe on the blog Oddles of Glitter and it looked so delicious I gave it a try right away.

First, I mixed together 2 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon oil and let the ingredients sit for about 10 minutes until it looked foamy.
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Then I added in 3 cups of flour and kneaded the bread for a couple of minutes.  I honestly had no idea what I was doing.

I guessed that this looked okay

I guessed that this looked okay

I put the dough in a bowl and let it rise for about an hour.  After that, I kneaded it more, shaped it, and laid it in a greased bread pan.

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I was a tad worried because I wasn’t sure if it had risen enough.

I then heated the oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and baked it for 30 minutes.

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Hey, it worked!

I waited about 40 minutes for it to cool down before cutting in to it.  It was delicious!  Oh, don’t forget to add some salt before you bake the dough.  I sprinkled some, but it could have used a bit more.

Coffee Chocolate Cake

Happy New Year everyone!

Today I made chocolate cake using a recipe a friend gave to me about 10 years ago.  The recipe calls for strong coffee, which makes the cake moist.  In exchange for the coffee, you can use less butter and no oil.  So, it’s healthy cake!  Right?

Coffee_Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup low fat buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup brewed strong coffee
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Cake Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Coat 9 inch round pan with cooking spray.  I used a springform pan.
  • Combine flour, sugar, and baking soda. Whisk buttermilk, egg, and vanilla in separate bowl.
  • Combine coffee and cocoa in large saucepan. Add butter and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in dry ingredients.  Add buttermilk mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Or until top looks dry.

If you’d like to add a chocolate glaze (as shown in the picture above), the directions are  below.  I added chocolate glaze and strawberries to my piece of cake today, but it’s honestly delicious without anything on it at all.  In my opinion, this cake is so moist, it’s like a brownie.  Yum!

Chocolate Glaze

2 tbs low-fat buttermilk
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine buttermilk, cocoa powder, and butter in medium saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla.

Pierce holes all over cake with fork and spread glaze over cake. Let stand 5 minutes.