Iced Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Happy Halloween everyone! I’m sure I’ll have some photos of my little miss trick-or-treating tomorrow, but for today, enjoy a yummy cookie recipe instead.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies are yet another fabulous part of fall. Granted, I could bake them anytime I wanted, but they just seem to taste better in their appropriate season! I think this is one of my most highly loved recipes by my friends and family (They did quite well at the farmer’s market last year as well). This year my best friend asked for them for her birthday, and my hubs asked me to bake them for the blood drive at his work. So I’ve had a pumpkin-y household for the past two weeks. It’s okay, I needed a break from all the apple goodies I had been baking anyway.

Ingredients:

Cookies:
2 1/2 cups flour (I use half white flour, half wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (I use Country Crock Spread and it works perfectly fine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh, whatever you have)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Icing:
2 cups confectioner sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350F.

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She decided she had to bake in her jammies!

First, mix your dry ingredients, stir and set them aside.

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In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together.

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Add eggs and vanilla and blend thoroughly.

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Then add in your pumpkin and mix well.

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Pour in the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

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And the most important part, the assistant taste test.

I use my dough scoop to drop the dough onto cookie sheets – if you don’t have one just drop tablespoon size balls. Bake for 15 minutes, and let thoroughly cool before icing them.(To make the icing, combine all icing ingredients and stir with a fork.)

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To ice mine, I use a fine icing tip and bag, but a baggie with the tip snipped would work as well. Or, if you don’t mind a messier way, you can just drizzle it on with a spoon! (I say that’s messier because when I’ve done it that way I get it all over my cooling racks and table.) Let them sit out until the icing hardens, then store in an air tight container.

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These are just so delicious – chewy and soft, just the way I like a cookie. Enjoy!

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Rainbow Cupcakes

A quick blog update – I finally added some new work to the Pure Inspiration page – please go take a look, there is so much awesome art there! Hopefully there will be more soon – I need to carve out a chunk of my time in August dedicated to finding more awesome art!

This past Sunday I celebrated one of my dearest friends 25th birthday. She’s now joined me in the Quarter of a Century Club. We’ve been best friends since we were 11 – it’s crazy to think that it’s been 14 years!! Anywho, I just had to make her some rainbow cupcakes – I’ve been dying to try them out. They’re a little time consuming, but extremely easy to do, and so much fun to look at when they’re finished! So let’s dive right in.

Ingredients 

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (I use a vegetable oil spread, and it works just fine)
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk (I ended up adding a couple tablespoons more for a better consistency)
Icing dyes in all the colors of the rainbow (I would definitely use icing dyes, NOT standard food coloring. These give you extremely vibrant color, whereas regular food color comes out very dull I find)

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In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together.

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In a larger bowl, mix butter and sugar

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and whisk until creamy.

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Add in eggs and vanilla.

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Mix until smooth.

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Add half your flour and milk, and stir until combined.

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Add in the remaining halves of the flour and milk, then stir until thoroughly combined. If your batter is a bit thick (mine was at this point) add in milk until desired consistency is reached.

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Divide batter into six bowls. (I busted out my camping bowls in case the icing dye stained the bowls – it did not just as an FYI.)

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Mix in about 1/8 -1/4 tsp of each color dye and combine thoroughly.

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Lay a layer of your violet batter on the bottom, making sure it spreads to the edges of the cups. (I use silicone cups as they are reusable – less waste and saves money!). Then, keep layering each color on top in backwards rainbow order (ie; blue next, then green, etc). I used about a half tablespoon for each layer.

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All the colors layered in – ready for the oven.
Bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes.
Let cool completely before frosting them!

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The finished product! So vibrant – I just love them.

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Ready to eat!
Unfortunately I was in a super rush when these were done and I totally forgot to take pictures of them all together before frosting them. DOH. Also, as you may have noticed, I didn’t have my little miss help with these. Although the dye doesn’t stain dishes, it absolutely does stain skin and clothes (I looked like I dipped my hand in a rainbow at the end of this). And while I don’t mind mess, that’s pushing it! So I’d leave the little ones out of this recipe. These do not stain once baked though, so you don’t have to worry about rainbow teeth!

So as you can see, these are pretty simple and just SO CUTE! If my little miss has an art party for her birthday theme this year, I’m totally making them again. They are just vibrant and fun.

The party was totally stellar, as always. A great gathering of friends, with some great food to boot. The birthday girl is into archery, so she had a course set up for her archer friends to shoot with her, and I tagged along for photo ops.

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The birthday girl being a total badass.

Until next time!
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C is for Cookie. . .

. . .that’s good enough for me! You’re welcome for getting the Cookie Monster song stuck in your head. 🙂

I love to bake. I thank my grandmother for instilling that in me – one of my absolute favorite memories with her is being probably four, standing on my stool up at her counter and making homemade bread with her. She still makes it by hand to this day. Nowadays, my baking tends to be more dessert focused than hers ever was! In the summer baking is usually a rarity for me – it’s just too hot and humid. I got my fill of summer baking last year when I was doing a weekly farmers market selling my baked goods – every Friday was spent in my kitchen for a ten hour baking day in 90+ degree heat. I definitely don’t miss that part of it!

Lately, despite the week and a half straight of rain up here, it has still been a hot humid mess. However, it finally cooled off enough that I didn’t mind running the oven. My little miss requested chocolate chip cookies and I was happy to oblige.

I’m not a mum who minds mess. I love to include my little girl in as much as possible in the kitchen – even if it means added mess. I make the biggest mess ever baking anyway, so really she can’t add much more mess than I already do. Case in point – she didn’t spill a single thing while helping me make these cookies whereas I accidentally ripped the flour bag and poured flour all over myself and the kitchen floor.
Mommy – 0. Toddler – 1.

The recipe I use is a modified version of one I saw on Pinterest. I’ve tried many a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but this one is definitely my new favorite (at least when I’m using my modifications).

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter (or spread) I use Country Crock Spread, which isn’t real butter and it works perfectly.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour (I always split my flour in cookies and breads between white and wheat. Sometimes I use entirely wheat flour. It certainly doesn’t make them healthy, but it’s slightly better! And there is no discernible taste difference.)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

First, preheat your oven to 350F.

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Combine your butter and sugars.

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Stir until they are a smooth creamy consistency.

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Add in your egg and vanilla, and mix together.

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Then add in all the dry ingredients.

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And stir it all up into a dough!

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Then pour in your chocolate chips and mix ’em up.

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And don’t forget to eat a few chips. . .

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And of course a spoonful of cookie dough!! Yeah, we eat raw cookie dough in this household.

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Scoop onto tinfoil (or parchment paper if you prefer) lined cookie sheets. I never used to see the point in a dough scoop until I did the farmers market. They were the easiest way to get uniform-size cookies and things! And now that I have one, I use it every time I make cookies.
Anywho, pop them in the oven for NO MORE than 12 minutes. They WILL look undercooked on top, but trust me, they aren’t! You end up with a soft chewy delicious cookie, that will stay chewy for days! I’d eat them within a week though. This recipe yields a minimum of 24 cookies – I usually end up with 28 – 30. Enjoy!

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