Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I went back and forth about writing up this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip recipe. Upon making this recipe, I discovered that I’m not particularly fond of the pumpkin-chocolate combination. Apparently my growing appreciation of pumpkin doesn’t mesh well with my love of chocolate.

Despite the fact that they weren’t regular chocolate chip cookies, I kept eating them. These were really good fall cookies that just happened to have chocolate chips in them. This is a recipe that made me relatively happy, and that will make someone else very happy.

One of the few pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that was left after three days
One of the few pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that was left after three days

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Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

The last time Alex was out of town, I finally made Raspberry Coconut Macaroons. He’s not a huge fan of coconut or raspberry, so I made a point to save this recipe for when he traveled. I really looked forward to this recipe. Although I love macaroons, I’ve only ever made them once. I’m also a huge fan of raspberries, and the onset of spring/summer means better berries in the grocery store. So exciting!

This was a very easy and quick recipe to make. I needed to use my food processor for these as Deb at Smitten Kitchen says that chopping up the coconut is the key to the cookie’s success.

Raspberry-Coconut Macaroons
Raspberry-Coconut Macaroons

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Specaloos Buttons

This year I was particularly inspired by the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. I love to bake, but I don’t particularly enjoy decorating. I generally consider time spent trying to make baked goods pretty to be time I should spend making more baked goods. This year, however, I felt festive. I really wanted to try to reproduce the decorations on Specaloos Buttons!

Specaloos Buttons
Specaloos Buttons – success with decorating?

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Espresso Biscotti

I’ve heard biscotti are a great food to give as gift. I’ve never given them myself, but I loved receiving them once. Making biscotti as a food gift was likely what I had in my mind when I bookmarked the recipe for Espresso Biscotti, but I finally just decided I wanted to make them for myself.

You should definitely use an electric mixer to make these biscotti. There’s not a lot of moisture in biscotti dough, so you’ll need to whip the butter to get all the dry ingredients to come together properly. My stand mixer worked best at getting this dough together; a hand mixer will take a while.

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Espresso-Chocolate Chip Shortbread

While Alex was out of town, I decided to finally make Espresso-Chocolate Chip Shortbread. I feel guilty whenever I make something that I know Alex won’t like, because he can’t share in my excitement and enjoyment. When he’s out of town, this guilt is alleviated since he’s out having great meals I don’t have access to.

These shortbread cookies were amazingly simple to make, and tasted great. It’s really a shame I didn’t make them sooner. This recipe starts by mixing water with instant espresso powder, which is definitely worth the investment. This was the only brand I could find at Schnucks, where it was about $5.50, and it was worth the money (particularly given how much I bake). Continue reading Espresso-Chocolate Chip Shortbread


A few years ago my friend Karen gave me some chocolate chip cookie recipes so I could do a cookie taste test (which I still haven’t gotten around to). One other recipe she gave me was a favorite of hers and a family tradition: Spellbinders. They’re brown sugar cookies with oats, coconut, pecans, and cornflakes – and icing. I was excited to finally be able to try them!


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The Cookie-Cake-Pie

For the past two Super Bowls, I’ve made stadium cakes. The sheer quantity of food that those produce would overwhelm the number of people we’d have over for the Super Bowl this year.

Still, the Super Bowl is the perfect time for ridiculous, over-the-top food. My friend Jackie sent me a link on Facebook last weekend that just screamed “make me for the Super Bowl!” There was no way I could resist making a Cookie Cake Pie for company.

What is the cookie-cake-pie? It’s a pie crust filled with a cookie layer and a cake layer, topped with frosting. I could have added whipped topping to make it even pie-like, but I didn’t. And this iteration of it did not have pie filling, although I wish it had.

The Cookie-Cake-Pie, all dressed up for the Super Bowl

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Chocolate Chip Pie

My friend and coworker Sue enjoyed making lots of yummy things and bringing them in to work to share. She was a consistent reader of my blog, always excited to check it and see what I was baking. I often thought about her when I cooked, but Sue passed away last month, and she’s been in my mind much more since then.

One of the things Sue brought in now and then was Chocolate Chip Pie. She would bring in the pie with some whipped cream, and we’d all cut little wedges of pie, warm them up, and enjoy, usually at about 9 in the morning. I didn’t ask for the recipe from her, unfortunately, but I think the recipe that I’ve linked to here may be the one that she would bring in.

Chocolate Chip Pie

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Christmas Wreaths

Tonight we are taking down our tree. Three days into 2012, I’m ready for all vestiges of Christmas decorations to be gone so that I can focus on all that I can accomplish in the new year.

One thing I can accomplish? Telling you more about what I cooked for Christmas, mostly as gifts.

We still have a couple of Christmas Wreaths left, so we’ll have to make them disappear soon, too. I thought these cookies looked incredibly fun when I saw them. They’ll be perfect gifts! Since I ship my edible gifts, I am constantly on the lookout for recipes that travel well, and these seemed to fit the bill.

Christmas Wreaths

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Ina Garten’s Shortbread

For the cookie party I had before Christmas, I decided to make Ina Garten’s Shortbread. Some people find shortbread to be boring. I think I used to be one of those people. As with most things, shortbread is best if you’re in the mood for it – it won’t satisfy if you want something else. If you’re open to it, though, a good shortbread cookie is amazing. It’s sweet, rich from butter, and goes with anything. Drinking hot cocoa? Eat shortbread. Drinking wine? Eat shortbread. Drinking coffee? Eat shortbread. Dessert after just about any dinner? Shortbread. Flavored simply with vanilla extract, it’s very versatile and not difficult to make. Continue reading Ina Garten’s Shortbread