Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin just never gets old!

Wow! I can't believe the first month of fall is so close to being over! Seriously, didn't it just begin? I probably have mentioned it a thousand times, but fall is just one of my favorites! Today, we celebrated fall with a trip to the zoo with one of my super good friends and her daughter. . . A fun day to be had by all, especially when the day starts out with a nice warm Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a bunch of new pumpkin recipes for you to try out. This is the first one, and they are scrumptious. I must confess, I never would have even thought about combining butterscotch and pumpkin, but it works. . . really. . . it's amazing!

They look beautiful fresh out of the oven with their sprinkles of powdered sugar, but I only recommend doing them to the ones that will be eaten immediately, because the powdered sugar will just get absorbed into the cookie because they are so moist.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola or corn oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup butterscotch chips

:: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat

:: Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

:: Drop cookies onto cookie sheet in rounded spoonfuls. Bake for about 16 minutes. Let them cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to wire rack.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just in time for Halloween!

I love this time of year. I love Fall things. . . crafts, baking. . . you name it. I also love the pumpkin spice lattes, the leaves falling, and the cooler air. Today, I actually turned on the heater. . . I was so cold! It was AWESOME!!!!

I finally got around to making these cookies this week and then our modem broke. . . bye bye internet. But, not to fret, because I am able steal from our neighbors wireless (shh!).

These were so easy, quick, and so much fun, that I just couldn't resist! They are a butter cookie recipe with just a hint of orange zest/juice in it that it tastes just delicious! I am looking forward to sharing these with a few special friends!

You can find the recipe over here.

I have some new pumpkin recipes to post soon and I am working on some fun sewing projects! I am so excited to show you guys everything! Have a great day everybody!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bar Cookie Extravaganza

Man! I am LOVING today. It is just awesome. . . a real fall-like day with sporadic spurts of sprinkles. . . and a pumpkin spice latte! I have been waiting for this for a couple of weeks, and it came at the perfect time, because I was getting tired of summer in October (a downside to living in the Central Valley!).

I have been super busy cutting out fabric and trying to dig myself out of my 'lack of motivation' hole. I am getting ready for some baby gifts that are coming up and also some centerpieces for a February MOPS night (it's the week baby boy #2 is going to be born, so I had better get ahead of myself!). Then, it's off to start on Christmas presents. I am really excited about the project for the kiddos in my family this year. . . but for now, it will have to be a secret, as I don't want anyone to find out.

I am also feeling the need to make Harvesty/Halloween things, but am soooo very distracted! But, I have been busy making lots of bar-cookie treats. . . which are fun and super quick and easy. I don't have any pictures to show you, because they were gone so quick (a good sign, I think!).

Here they are:

Double Chip Brownies
Compliments of Hershey's kitchens

3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips

(I used chocolate chips and butterscotch chips because that's what I had. . . can I just say YUMMY!!!)

:: Heat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.
:: Stir together cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup of butter. Add boiling water. Stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs, and remaining butter. Stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla, and salt. Blend thoroughly. Stir in chips. Spread in prepared pan.
:: Bake 35-40 minutes or until they begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire wrack. Cut into squares.

Sour Cream Cranberry Bars
Taste of Home

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Combine oats and 1-1/2 cups flour; add to the creamed mixture until blended. Set aside 1-1/2 cups for topping.
  • Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cranberries, sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon peel, vanilla and remaining flour. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Happy Baking!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, George!!!

My nephew, George, recently celebrated his 3rd birthday. Well, he celebrated it 2 months ago, so I am way behind. I am posting this now, because I just now got it into the mail. My nephew loves trucks and cars, so I found this awesome fabric at our local quilt store. It is by Kocco (?), a Japanese line and is a bit heavier than other fabrics. I also loved the use of the primary colors on top of black.
Sorry for the upside down picture. I thought I had changed it. . . oh well. . . you get the idea.

The inside has red fabric with primary colored alphabet letters all over. It has one large pocket to hold a drawing pad and the other side has little pockets to hold colored pencils.

This one is a bit larger than my regular notebook covers, but the idea is primarily the same.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Strawberry Scones

This summer, as I began my pregnancy (before the yuckies came), I made up some really yummy batches of scones and flash froze them for Jon's breakfasts on mornings/weeks that I felt incredibly crummy (which was more often than not!). This summer also brought about my obsession with strawberries. . . have I mentioned I LOVE summer fruits? I am sure I have. . . it's my favorite time of year (not the heat, of course!).

The first batch of scones I flash froze was Fresh Strawberry Scones. I found the recipe over at Annie's Eats. . . and they were delicious!!!! This is perfect, because I may make another batch next week because the last of the Summer strawberries are super cheap right now, so run out and make these. . . quick!

Fresh Strawberry Scones

1 large egg
¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
½ cup milk
1 tsp. orange or lemon zest
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 heaping cup diced fresh strawberries

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and citrus zest until blended; set aside. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend. Add the butter pieces to the bowl with the dry ingredients and pulse several times to cut the butter into the flour, until the largest butter pieces are the size of small peas. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just as easily mix up the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives or forks.) Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add the strawberries to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a fork or spatula until a sticky dough has formed. Knead just a few times to ensure that all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough is cohesive. (Only if absolutely necessary, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time to hydrate the remaining dry ingredients.)

Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface and pat into a disc about 7-8 inches in diameter. Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar. Slice the disc into 8 wedges.

To bake the scones, preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Place the shaped scones on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on top, about 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

To Flash Freeze:

1. Slice scones into wedges and lay on lined baking sheet.

2. Place in freezer for about an hour, or until frozen stiff.

3. Take out of freezer and wrap in clear plastic wrap and place in a plastic freezer bag and freeze until ready to bake.

4. I wrapped them individually, so I could just take out what I needed and then baked them.


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