Pumpkin Molasses Pumpkin Chip Cookies

Well, I’m 23 years old and just experienced my first snow day. Yes I’m from California, and cannot wait to go back, but my grad school experience up here in Seattle is definitely giving me a taste of what winter would be like if I lived in a place with seasons. I woke up this morning to a few inches of snow blanketing the ground, and everything looked pristine and sparkling white. It was quite beautiful. I walked down the street to a park and saw lots of families sledding and building snowmen and enjoying their day off of school/work. Here’s a little taste of the winter wonderland that is Seattle right now!

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Anyway, onto the cookies! I actually made these last year, when there were sales on pumpkin-related items after Thanksgiving, but haven’t gotten around to posting it till now. I got pumpkin chips for half off at QFC in the clearance section, and was inspired to make cookies! So I looked up some cookie recipes, and found this one at My Baking Addiction, increased the spices and added the chips, and these cookies were born! Sorry for the blurry pictures, I took them in low light and didn’t really look at them before the cookies were demolished, but the cookies were wonderful! The pumpkin and molasses keep this cookies soft and chewy, and the pumpkin chips at little bursts of melty pumpkin spice sweetness. Perfect for a snowy day like today, but alas, I used up the chips long ago. Perhaps I’ll just have to make something else. But in any case, here’s the recipe!

Pumpkin Molasses Pumpkin Chip Cookies

adapted from My Baking Addiction

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin spice chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then beat in the molasses, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined.

Use a small cookie scoop, or scoop about 1 tbsp balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just set. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the baking sheets. Enjoy!

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Molasses Ginger Cookies and a Swim Workout

Hello! I just saw that my last post was several months ago so… I’m alive! I have also relocated to Seattle, to start physical therapy school at the University of Washington! We had our first three days of school this week, and, as it turns out, grad school is not a joke. These cookies were the result of some Friday night stress baking after getting a little bit overwhelmed by all the work we have for all of our classes already. It seems a little surreal to me that I’m actually starting PT school, after working towards it for so many years, but I’m sure the workload will soon bring me back into reality. One of my favorite things about being in Seattle is the views of Mount Rainier that pop up everywhere! Here’s just one of the views we have from campus (on a clear day).

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Anyway, onto more important things: cookies! It’s officially falltime, the leaves are starting to change color (I’m living in a place that actually has some weather now!), and, the clearest indicator, Trader Joe’s has started to carry pumpkin products! My plan is to do a review of all the TJ’s pumpkin products that I’ve tried, so hopefully that will come soonish.

Last night, I wanted to make some cookies, and I had just bought some molasses, but I realized I had no eggs. Whammy. Well, as it turns out molasses is a pretty great substitute for eggs, and gives the cookies structure and chewiness! I found this recipe from Spice Up The Curry, and doubled it, upping the spices a little bit, as is my habit. The results were an amazingly chewy, spicy cookie with a crackly sugar crusted top. Delicious! Here’s the recipe I used:

Molasses Ginger Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus a little more for rolling

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup unsulphured molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp water

Directions:

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Cream together the butter and sugar until a smooth paste forms. Add the molasses, vanilla, and water, and beat until well-combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir together until a thick, slightly crumbly dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 min to help the dough hold together.

When ready to start rolling the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚F and pour a little granulated sugar into a shallow dish.

Scoop out about 2 tsp of dough, roll into a ball (you may have to smush it a little with your hands to help it stay together), then flatten and lightly press one side into the sugar. Place the cookie, sugar side up, on a baking sheet. Place them a couple inches apart, as they will spread a bit. Repeat until your baking sheets are full. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until the tops are crackly. Remove and allow to cool before removing and eating. Enjoy!

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Now for the second part of this post, a swim workout! This is mostly for my sister’s benefit and my own use for inspiration for future workouts, but perhaps someone else can find these of use. One thing that’s very sad about moving out of California is the lack of outdoor pools here. Sigh. But it hasn’t stopped me from swimming! Here’s a workout I did earlier this week:

4400 yard Energy System Monday

200 free, non free, pull

6×50 kick/swim, 100 pull

4×50 kick/swim, 200 pull

2×50 kick/swim, 300 pull

2×50 fly/free, 300 pull

4×50 fly/free, 200 pull

6×50 fly/free, 100 pull

4x(150 IM, double odd strokes on odd 150s, double even strokes on even 150s, 3×50 fast free)

200 easy

4400 yds

Napoleon’s Hat Cookies

Happy Tuesday! It’s been a while since my last post, but on a dreary gray day like this I figure some people might need a sweet treat. I love anything and everything almond, so when my mom picked up a couple Napoleon’s Hat cookies from a bakery for us to try, I knew I just had to make them at home. These cookies are buttery, soft, with an almond marzipan filling bursting with almond flavor. Delicious. I adapted this recipe from Scandinavian Today based on the ingredients I had, and they turned out great!

Anyway, my adaptations included using 7oz almond paste instead of the 6oz marzipan called for in the recipe, since it comes in a 7oz tube. I also added a little almond extract to the cookie dough to get a little extra almond flavor, since you can never have enough. The cookies turned out soft and flavorful, and filling was deliciously chewy, and the chocolate added the perfect final touch. Unfortunately, I can’t remember how many cookies they made, but my guess is around 20. Maybe I should count next time. Here’s the recipe!

Napoleon’s Hat Cookies

Adapted from Scandinavian Today

Ingredients

Cookies:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 1/2 oz (7 tbsp) unsalted butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp almond extract

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp ice water

Filling:

7 oz almond paste

3 oz granulated sugar

1 egg white

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, or 6oz chopped chocolate

Directions

To make the cookie dough, cut the butter into the flour until soft crumbs form. Add the powdered sugar, almond extract, egg yolk, and ice water. Mix until just combined. Form a disk with the dough, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for half an hour.

To make the filling, cream together the almond paste, sugar, and egg white until a smooth paste forms.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to a 1/4 inch thickness. Use a glass or cookie cutter about 3 inches in diameter and cut circles. Place on a baking sheet. Scoop ball of the filling, 2 tsp each, into the center of each cut circle. Lifting the circle of dough with the filling in the middle, gently pinch together three corners of each cookie, making the triangular hat shape.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just barely golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate in a shallow dish, then dip the bottom of each cookie in chocolate. Place on wax paper to cool and allow the chocolate to harden. Enjoy!

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Sugar Cookies with Simple Icing

Happy New Year everyone! I decided that I should get in at least one blog post in the new year, so here we are. This is my first winter without a winter break, since I’m not a student for the year, which has been a little sad. At least work has been pretty quiet the last couple weeks. But, my sister is still in college, so she’s been home for the last three weeks, and we’ve had lots of fun making and decorating gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies! This is my mom’s favorite recipe for sugar cookies. I have no idea where it came from, since it’s just handwritten on an index card she has filed away, but it’s the recipe we’ve been using for years, and I’m a fan of it.

These cookies are sweet, as sugar cookies should be, and pretty delicious by themselves. However, half the fun is decorating them! Plus adding a little sugar can only improve the flavor, right? Right. We didn’t do any fancy royal icing, so it’s a little more delicate, but once you ice the cookies, if you let them dry for a few hours, you can stack them with wax paper with little damage. The cookies have a light, delicate crumb, and I baked them for a little less time than recommended, to keep them nice and soft, while still sturdy enough to hold icing. With a little time and patience, these can be a fun family (or in my case, sibling) project, and they make great holiday giveaways! Get creative and have fun with your cookies, they’ll still taste great no matter how they look! Also if you really mess up, you can just eat it and no one will be the wiser… Not that we’ve done that or anything. Anyway, here’s our family holiday recipe.

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

3 cups all-purpose flour

Icing

2 cups powdered sugar

2-3 tbsp milk, or to desired consistency

1 tsp vanilla extract

Few drops food coloring of choice

Directions

To make the cookies, cream together the butter and sugar by hand or with a mixer, until a smooth paste forms. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Whip in the baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar, then stir in the flour until just combined. The dough will be pretty dry and crumbly, I often have to mash it together with my hands at the end. Divide the dough into two parts, form each into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.

When ready to roll out the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a floured surface (we use cutting boards), roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of your choice, or just round glasses will work if you don’t have cookie cutters. Once you’ve finished with the sheet of dough, press the scraps together gently and roll out again, trying to handle the dough as little as possible. Continue to cut cookies and roll out the scraps until you’ve exhausted all the dough. Transfer cut cookies to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 6-7 minutes, until puffy, but before they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. It is important that the cookies are completely cool before decorating, otherwise they will heat up the icing and make it run everywhere.

While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. Stir together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, until the desired consistency is reached. If you want to add food coloring, add a couple drops at a time, until the desired color is reached. Fill a ziploc bag (I use the cup method) and cut a tiny (like 1-2 mm tiny) hole in one corner of the bag (you can always cut it bigger, but it can’t be cut smaller, so start small). Decorate the cookies as you wish. Allow the icing to set for a few hours before stacking and storing them. Enjoy!

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Coffee Cake Cookies

Hello! I’m alive, I know it’s been a while. Our kitchen has been down for the last 6 weeks for remodeling, so I haven’t had an oven for a while. It’s mostly up and running now, and at least we have use of the most important part, the oven! So in celebration, I decided to bake these coffee cake cookies that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time now, from Cookies and Cups. I only had a bit of Crisco left, so I modified the recipe to account for that, and I didn’t use the powdered sugar, since these are already sweet enough. I made cookies about half the size as the recipe calls for, so I reduced the baking time and ended up with a little leftover crumb topping, so I’d recommend reducing the crumb topping by a little bit if you end up making the same size cookies as I did. I know I know, it’s all about the crumb topping, but it was falling off the cookies, and you can only pile so much on.

These cookies are incredible. The cookie part is soft, buttery, almost shortbread-like, but softer and chewier. The crumb topping is delicious, perfectly crispy and sweet. I would definitely make these again, if I ever have a bit of shortening to use up. Or I might just buy some shortening to make these… They’re quite addicting, the perfect mix of crumbly soft cookie with crispy sweet crumb topping. It really is like a little mini crumb cake in cookie form. Here’s the recipe!

Coffee Cake Cookies

adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients

Crumb Topping

10 tbsp butter, softened

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 2/3 cup flour (I recommend reducing to 1 1/3 cup)

Cookies

12 tbsp butter

1/4 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

3 1/3 cup flour

Instruction

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

To make the crumb topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl and cut together with a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands (I prefer using my hands to get nice big crumbs, and the warmth from your hands also helps to soften the butter and pull the mixture together). Refrigerate while making the cookies.

For the cookies, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars until a smooth paste forms. You can do this by hand or in a stand mixer (I used my mixer). Add the cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add the salt and baking powder, and mix to combine. Slowly mix in the flour until all the flour has been well-incorporated.

Scoop balls of cookie dough (about 2 tbsp each, I used an overfilled medium cookie scoop) onto cookie sheets, then use the back of your scoop or spoon to make indentations in each cookie. The indentations should be deep enough to hold about 1 tablespoon of crumb topping. Scoop crumb topping, I did about 1 tbsp each, onto the cookies. Bake for 8 minutes, until the edges are barely turning golden, for softer cookies, or increase the baking time to 9-10 minutes for crispier cookies. I prefer them soft and chewy, so I kept the baking time low. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a couple minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

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Like little mini coffee cakes!

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Irish Cream White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy winter break! Done with finals and back at home for the holidays. It’s a good feeling. During finals week, when I was stress-baking as a study break, and just to get some sugar into my system (it works like caffeine to keep you up, right?), I made these delicious little cookies. The alcohol bakes out, but it leaves a lovely sweet flavor in the finished product. I adapted this recipe from Savory Simple, and I was quite pleased with the results. The cookies are soft, chewy, slightly gooey, and very sweet. I might actually reduce the sugar a little bit, since the Irish cream also gives them extra sweetness. These do require chilling, but I think if you added about 1/4 cup extra flour, that would stiffen the dough enough to skip that step. Maybe I’ll try that later during this break, since they were so tasty, I might end up making them again!

Irish Cream White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Savory Simple

Makes 3 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar, depending on your preferred sweetness

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur (I used Carolan’s)

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and Irish cream and beat until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the white chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.

Chill for 15-30 minutes, then scoop small balls (2 tsp each) onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a couple minutes, then remove and place on racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

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Nothing better than a plate of fresh baked cookies for a study snack 🙂

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Mmmm, so soft and gooey inside!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

It’s a one-day week! Thanks to Veterans Day tomorrow, we have the day off school. Also, fall weather has arrived! If it’s here to stay, I have no idea, but for now, all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and watch movies. What would make that even better? If I had one of these lovely spiced pumpkin snickerdoodles!

I used half a can of pumpkin for a recipe, so I had about 3/4 cup leftover, and wanted to do something with it. I saw these pumpkin snickerdoodles on Cooking Classy and decided to modify the recipe and whip up a batch!

I cut out the egg yolk, since I was halving the recipe and it’s annoying to only an egg yolk, and even more annoying to use only half an egg yolk. Also, egg tends to make pumpkin things more cakey, and the pumpkin acts as a binder in the cookies, so it’s unnecessary. I also upped the spices, as usual, and decreased the sugar a little bit, since the sugar coating makes these cookies sweet enough already. The result? A perfectly textured, chewy, gooey, pumpkin-spiced cookie with a crackly cinnamon-sugar coating. Delicious! The perfect treat after a week of midterms and to welcome in the fall. Here’s the recipe!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

adapted from Cooking Classy

Makes about 3 dozen small cookies

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

6 tbsp pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

Sugar topping

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until a smooth paste forms. Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla extract until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

After the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Roll scoops of dough, 2 tsp each, into balls, and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Flatten slightly on the baking sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes, until puffy and just set. Don’t overbake! Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes, then place on racks or plates to cool completely. Enjoy!

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