Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or TREAT!


Make these brownies with your favorite type of kisses!

Cutest little helpers ever

Hope y'all have a safe and happy halloween! I had fun making these cute little mini ghost cakes. They are mini Chocolate Cakes filled with Raspberry Filling, Vanilla Buttercream, and topped with a Chocolate Ganache. YUM. I also made some Peanut Butter Rice Krispie "truffles". Super quick, and yummy! I also tried cookies & cream kisses in the brownie recipe I posted about last week. They were wonderful...i just love that shortbread bottom layer.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie "Truffles"
3 T Butter
1 bag marshmallows, or 4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
6 cups Rice Krispies

Melt butter over low low heat. Add Marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in Peanut Butter until smooth. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until evenly coated.

Dump the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Roll into little balls. (I preferred doing this while it was still warm...they were more pliable. Dip in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Candy Corn Kissed Shortbread Brownies

Here is a fun recipe for get to enjoy brownies with little Candy Corn surprises inside and a shortbread crust. These would be especially great with the pumpkin spice kisses...I was just trying to make something WITHOUT pumpkin for once. I can't wait until the Christmas candy comes out, so I can make these with peppermint kisses. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

1 box of your favorite brownie mix
1 stick softened butter
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 Tn packed brown sugar
3/4 C plus 2 T flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 bag Candy Corn Kisses, or any flavor you like, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, set batter aside. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy and light. Slowly add flour and salt until combined. Press shortbread dough into an 8 x 11 inch (or something similar) baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Top shortbread dough with about 25 kisses then pour brownie batter evenly over top of kisses. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

2. Place remaining kisses in double broiler or microwave to melt. Spread melted chocolate over brownies and sprinkle for a fun topping!

3. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

This is a recipe I made over the weekend. I have to be honest...if you have tasted the Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecakes, this is good...but it doesn't even compare. I cut the recipe in half, and made 2 mini cheesecakes. I loved the gingersnap crust, and the spices in the cheesecake. Stay posted...I am baking up a storm this week. I am sending some baked goodies with my dad to take on his hunting trip up to Wisconsin. I also baked some bread to store in the freezer, so I will post that next time I get a chance!

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

Gingersnap Crust
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs {about a 14 ounce package of cookies}
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted

Spiced Cheesecake Filling
4 {8 ounce} packages of cream cheese; room temperature
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs; room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Apple Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup apple cider
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Juice of ½ lemon
2 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This step prevents leaks when using a water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients {gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, salt and melted butter} and press into the bottom of the pan and about 1 ½ inches up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and sugar; mix until smooth {about 2 minutes}. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; combine until thoroughly incorporated and smooth in texture.

5. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. At this point, close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for at least one hour, but up to 3 hours. After the recommended cooling time has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

7. Three hours before serving, prepare the apple topping.

8. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of ½ lemon and toss.

9. Melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and stir for about one minute. Slowly whisk in the apple cider followed by the sugar and spice mixture made in the previous step.

10. Add in the apples and cook until slightly tender {about 5-7 minutes} stirring constantly. Once apples have reached a desired texture and the sauce has thickened, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow apple topping to cool completely before topping the cheesecake. Arrange apples on cheesecake and chill for at least one hour before serving.

"Healthier" Pumpkin Cookies

Thank goodness the pumpkin shortage is over....what would I do with myself without pumpkin puree??? I adapted this cookie recipe, to be a little healthier, without compromising the taste. I love them....very soft and cake-like. Enjoy!

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper, set aside. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color. Next, mix in the oil,
pumpkin and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the flour to incorporate. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (If you want flatter cookies, flatten the tops a little bit with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray) Bake until tops feel firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 13 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes is another pumpkin recipe for you. :O) I made these into mini cupcakes...I just love them because they are easier to eat, and the perfect size for my little Brooke! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I prefer clear)
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Friday, October 22, 2010

White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Zucchini Cookies

I needed a reason to use up the zucchini I bought last week for Blueberry Zucchini Bread. Instead of eating it like a normal person as a vegetable, I had to turn it into dessert form. This cookie is fabulous. The zucchini keeps it very moist, and the white chocolate and dried cranberries are the perfect compliment to this spiced cookie. I also made half of the cookies with Chocolate chips, which also tasted great. I am not a white chocolate gal...but I really liked it in these particular cookies. They also freeze great, so you can always enjoy a fresh cookie when you have a zucchini craving. :O)

White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Zucchini Cookies

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars, mix until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini. Mix until combined.

4. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, chips, and dried cranberries.

5. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or Silcone baking mats. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

Pumpkin Granola Bars

S'mores Granola Bars

Here are TWO yummy granola bar recipes. One for me, and one for Landon. He isn't a fan of the healthy pumpkin stuff. The first is a wonderful pumpkin granola bar recipe. I LOVE these...they taste a lot like the pumpkin granola I posted about a couple weeks ago. These bars are just a great portable version. The second recipe is a great no-bake S'mores Chewy Granola Bar...these taste JUST like the little quaker granola bars. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


3 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist, so make sure they are golden and set-you don’t want them to be under baked. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Makes 10-12 granola bars

S'mores Chewy Granola Bars

  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups plain granola - i used Special K low-fat granola
  • 1 cup rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.) - I used Chocolate Rice Krispies...that is all we had! Tasted great though!
  • 2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Combine honey and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar after butter starts to melt.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
3. Add the granola, rice cereal and graham cracker crumbs into the saucepan and fold them into the sauce until evenly coated. Very gently fold in the marshmallows.
4. Spread the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased baking pan and press firmly with a spatula to evenly fill. Sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the top of the granola and gently press them down.
5. Put the pan in the refrigerator until cooled and firm, about 15 minutes, then cut into bars.
18 servings

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

I was tempted to try another pumpkin cheesecake recipe...until I saw this recipe in my archives for Pecan Pie Cheesecake. Landon loves pecan I decided to go with this one. I can't believe I am saying actually ALMOST rivals the pumpkin cheesecake I made a couple weeks ago. It is great...I like the flavor and crust of pecan pie, but not the the gooey texture. This cheesecake is perfect, because you get two amazing flavors in one! Now I just have to figure out which one to make for Thanksgiving dinner....


  • 1 & 3/4 c Vanilla Wafer Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pecan Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 & 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Reduce oven to 325°. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

So I found the solution to my batter eating obsession...make desserts with Zucchini in them. I didn't even lick any of the batter that got on my fingers. Let's be honest...the little zucchini pieces grossed me out...until I tasted this WONDERFUL bread! I have been wanting to try a zucchini bread recipe for a long time....I bought some on sale yesterday and decided to go with this blueberry bread recipe. I made them in my mini loaf pan (which I adore), individually wrapped them, and stuck most of the loaves in the freezer. They are the perfect size for Brooke and I to share in the morning. This is probably the only way I can get her to eat a vegetable right now.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. shredded zucchini
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c. fresh blueberries (or more!)
Raw Sugar for sprinkling

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a regular loaf pans, 3 mini loaf pans, or muffin pans
-In large bowl, combine oil and/or applesauce, sugars, egg and vanilla.
-Stir to combine well.
-Stir in zucchini to combine.
Add flour, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and fold ingredients until just barely combined.
-Fold in blueberries.
-Place into loaf pan(s) and top with raw sugar.
-Place in center of oven to bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 60-75 minutes for loaf pan and 35-40 minutes for miniature loaf pans and 25 minutes for muffins.
-Let cool in pans for 15 minutes and remove to let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal Bars

A picture of what the puffed rice looks like...

Need a healthier snack option? Try these PB/Banana Oatmeal Bars. They are yummy and slimmed down as much as possible. I froze most of these bars (since I am the only one in the house that will eat a "healthy" dessert. I enjoyed a piece for breakfast this morning with my pumpkin spice coffee!

Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal Bars
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup puffed wheat or rice
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup finely mashed banana
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with foil; grease foil.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, oats, puffed wheat and almonds until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together banana, brown sugar, honey, peanut butter and egg whites until combined; whisk dry ingredients into wet, until combined.

Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Remove pan from oven and cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 12 bars

***I posted a picture of an example bag of puffed rice. I usually find it in the gluten-free, health section, or by the big bags of cereal in Walmart. Rice Krispies would probably taste just great in this recipe!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple-Pecan Muffins

These Apple-Pecan Muffins are AMAZING....and better yet....they are low-fat! This recipe was passed on to me from my friend Kellie McAllister. I wanted to share them on here, because they are wonderful. I am always looking for new recipes, so if you are willing to share any recipes with me, please email! Thank you Kellie!

3/4 c plus 2 T packed brown sugar
1/4 c chopped pecans (I used double the amount)
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 c flour
1 c whole grain pastry flour or whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c canola oil
2 large eggs
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 c low-fat buttermilk
1 golden delicious apple, cored, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch pieces


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray

2) In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp. of the brown sugar, the pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda, and salt.

4) In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar an the oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk, just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared muffin plan, filling each about two-thirds full, and sprinkle evenly with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

6) Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Enjoy warm or let completely cool before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

This recipe makes about 15 muffins. They are about 215 calories each. Enjoy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chicken Broccoli Bake

Chicken Broccoli Bake....brings back memories at NBBC with Sarah Neighbors. Sarah is the one who originally gave me this recipe. We enjoyed it many times on VERY COLD days...always topped off with some kind of yummy dessert...she is such a great cook! I have adapted the recipe a little bit to make it as light as possible, while still keeping it tasty! This is one of our favorite meals! It tastes great on white rice. If you are wondering, the broccoli trees on the left side signify my side of the dish, which has fat free cheese, no mayo, and no broccoli. Customize it and make it your own! :O) Here is what I normally do....

Chicken Broccoli Bake

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can healthy request cream of chicken
1/2 c mayo made with olive oil
1 c broccoli, cooked (more or less to taste)
dash of curry
shredded sharp cheese made with 2% (or any other cheese)
1 - 1 1/2 c corn flakes
1/2 T butter, melted

Place the shredded chicken in a casserole dish. Top with broccoli. In a bowl, mix the cream of chicken, mayo and curry together. Spread the mixture over the chicken. Top with shredded cheese. Toss the corn flakes in melted butter and spread over the cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes until hot and bubbly! ENJOY!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Buttermilk Cake

Monday nights are now "comfort food family dinner" night for our family. Last week we had turkey chili for dinner, and crock pot apples for dessert! Tonight for dinner, we are having Chicken Broccoli Bake (I will post tomorrow) and Apple Buttermilk Cake w/Ice Cream. I love eating yummy meals as a family, taking a stroll outside in the beautiful fall weather, then coming home to enjoy dessert.

This Apple Buttermilk Cake is wonderful! I cut the recipe in half, and made a 4 1/2 inch mini cake for our little family. The cake has a moist crumb and the apples are nice and tender. This is a SUPER easy cake to make, and would be even better served warm with a scoop of ice cream! If you aren't an apple fan, just throw peaches or berries on top instead of the apples. They will sink to the bottom, but the cake will taste just as great. Enjoy!

Apple Buttermilk Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup shaken buttermilk
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, and sliced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
A little bit of extra cinnamon
Turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on top of cake)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat until combined. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.

In a small bowl combine the apple slices with the brown sugar and extra cinnamon. Stir until apples are coated.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Place sliced apples evenly over top and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate, and serve!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I had some pumpkin left over from the Pumpkin Spice Granola I made last week, and couldn't let it go to waste! So I decided to make some Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies! These are a fast, easy and tasty. These cookies are soft and cake-like on the inside, with a slightly crunchy and sugary outside!
They freeze very you can always have "fresh" pumpkin cookies at any time of the day. Y

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles


For the cookies...
2 sticks butter (1 cup), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Rolling sugar...
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time until incorporated.

Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Mix rolling sugar in a small bowl. Use a small or medium cookie scoop (1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp.) to scoop out dough and roll into balls. Use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they’re coated really well. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a flat bottom to dip in sugar and flatten the balls.

Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen small cookies!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake

YES...i ate this for breakfast, and NO i am not ashamed. :O) I felt that between 45 minutes with Jillian this morning, and my kitchen fiasco yesterday, I DESERVED IT. ha ha. We are going to a friends house to carve pumpkins tonight, and I thought it would be the perfect time to try this cheesecake recipe. I really didn't (okay I am sort of lying) want to cut into the cake, but I felt like I HAD to try it to make sure it tasted good. I popped the cheesecake in the oven yesterday afternoon, and finally sat down to eat lunch and work on tu-tu's. I thought my contacts were dry and foggy, but then i realized that it was actually smoke that was filling the room. The cheesecake goodness was leaking out of the bottom of the cheesecake pan. So I had to open the oven up to clean the bottom of the oven while the cheesecake was cooking. Thank goodness the girls were sleeping, because it was SMOKEY. I was worried my cheesecake wasn't going to make it. One hour later, and one burnt arm later....i crossed my fingers and pulled the cheesecake out. It is not one of the prettiest desserts I have ever made, but it sure does taste good! The Pioneer Woman never disappoints. Check out her "Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake" recipe here.