Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting

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This cool weather and the beginning of fall has had me craving pumpkin for dayyys. Yesterday, when I came across this relatively simple melt-in-your-mouth soft cookie recipe I knew what I would be doing during nap time. And oh my, was it worth it. They are soft and yummy on their own, but when you add the frosting it’s like you died and went to heaven. UGH. SO GOOD.

So obviously, I had to share it with you, in case you have been on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin recipe too. ;)

Original Recipe from Better Homes and Garden

Ingredients:

2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (add until you get desired consistency/firmness)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the 2 cups of butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder,baking soda,salt,the cinnamon,and the nutmeg. Beat until combined. Beat in the eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in flour.

2. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set.

3. For frosting, in a small saucepan heat the 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cooled cookies. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

Better Homes and Gardens

Mini Cherry Pies

Over the fourth of July we were invited to a barbecue with friends and family. I LOVE barbecues. LOVE. But I always struggle to find the perfect side dish to bring along. I either accidentally end up bringing a duplicate of someone else’s dish or completely fail at whatever original recipe I think would be delightful.

This time though, I think  I nailed it. Their quick disappearance after I set them on the table tipped me off. :)

Mini Cherry Pies

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They are SO easy!  Start with pie crust. You can make your own from scratch, if you’re fancy like that. I just used Jiffy’s pie crust mix.

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Mix it up and roll it out. You’ll need two boxes for a 12 cup muffin tin.

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Cut the dough into circles that will cover the bottom of a muffin cup. I used a large mason jar as my guide.

Lay the pie crust at the bottom of each greased muffin cup. Then, spoon cherry pie filling (or whatever fruit filling strikes your fancy) into the cups. You’ll want at least four cherries in each mini pie. Maybe more.

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Use the rest of you dough to cut circles for the top of the pie crust. I tried to cut them into fancy designs. But I’m not fancy, so, you know. They turned out like this.

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After covering all of your little pies, brush the tops with a beaten egg. Pop it into the oven and bake according to instructions on the Jiffy box. Mine were done a few minutes early, so keep and eye on them towards the end.

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Those delicious mini pies just need to cool for a few minutes and they should pop right out and into your serving dish.

Enjoyyyyy!

Chocolate Butterscotch Cereal Bars

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!! My little family is gearing up for a big barbecue this evening with friends and family. I love how focused on family and freedom this holiday is. It’s not about presents, hidden eggs, chocolate or anything “extra” (well, except maybe fireworks…but are those really “extras” or are they necessities?). Anyways, if you are looking for a reeeeaally easy treat to bring to your freedom celebration event (or any event) try these bars out! Making a recipe correctly the first time around is an extremely rare occurence for me. Extremely. I make two to five mistakes every time. HOWEVER, this recipe was a different story. 100% right and 100% tasty the first time.. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law after listening to my husband daydream about these “A-MAZING” treats she used to make for him when he was a kid. And believe me, they were worth the daydream!

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You need:

1 cup sugar

1 cup Karo corn syrup

1 cup peanut butter (you can use crunchy or smooth – I used smooth, because I had smooth)

3 cups Rice Crispies

3 cups Cheerios

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

 

How to make ‘um:

Measure out all ingredients. This recipe moves fast, so having the necessary ingredients already proportioned is hugely helpful. Use butter to coat a 13×9 pan. Set the pan aside. Mix sugar and corn syrup in a big saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring. Once it starts boiling, immediately remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir together until smooth. Stir in cereals. Once they are mostly covered with the sticky stuff, press it all into the buttered pan.

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together using the microwave…1 minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir, repeat until smooth. Spread mixture over the top of the cereals. Cut into bars , then refrigerate (cut before refrigerating, or it gets very hard).

Once the chocolate is set and all ingredients have cooled, (1 or 2 hours) take them out and try to eat just one…I dare you. :) I do not recommend storing them in the fridge after the initial setting time. Storing them on the counter allows the mixture to get the perfect crunchy-gooey consistency.

I hope you enjoy them!!

Here are the steps in pictures, if you are a visual person like me. :)

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<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.martinisbikinisblog.com/&#8221; title=”Martinis & Bikinis”><img src=”http://i60.tinypic.com/2mdf0ch.png&#8221; alt=”Martinis & Bikinis” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

 

the BEST, FLUFFIEST high altitude chocolate chip cookies

I have tried to make chocolate cookies a couple of times since moving to Colorado. Flat, crunchy, nasty.

But THESE cookies…THESE cookies are in.cred.i.ble!!

I made some yesterday so that when Connor got home from work (He had to go in at 4am to help move shelves around. Yuck.) I would hopefully have a sweet treat for him. By the time he got home, only half of the batch was left. I had demolished..Charlie had eaten the other half.

Later that evening we went over to a friends house for a round of Settlers. And I brought the cookies! Definite hit. Did you know there was an expansion pack for Settlers that has castles and knights and flip charts?! I did not. I am Not good at this version. Especially not after 10pm and a glass of rum. However, I did enjoy it.

Anyways, here is the the heavenly recipe:

Adapted from Gourmet Mom’s High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies

High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies
Whatcha need:
2 sticks of softened butter (1 cup)
¾ C. Sugar
¾ C. Brown Sugar
¾ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Vanilla
2 Large Eggs
¾ tsp. Baking Soda
2 ¾ C. Flour
1 ¾ C. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whip your softened butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add white and brown sugar and beat. Mix flour and baking soda in a smaller bowl, using a whisk. Then add to the rest of the mixture. Mix in chocolate chips. Spoon onto a cookie sheet (I always cover mine with aluminum foil so I have less dishes) and bake for 8-11 minutes. It took the full 11 minutes in my oven. They are done when the edges are barely brown.

Yum Yum. :)

menu fail

According to our new menu system, I was supposed to cook chicken broccoli cheese casserole tonight…

I made rice-a-roni with canned chicken.

Faaaiiil.

In other news, my sister is here! And adorable, as always. She wants to climb up the incline…which, after explaining to her that I’m out of shape I’ve run out of my asthma inhaler and will need to take it easy, I agreed to do. Yippee-ki-yay!

It’s a change-up!

…If you got the title reference to “Rookie of the Year” please submit your name and address because you win a million monopoly bucks. Let’s be better friends. =)

We had a change-up occur in our menu. According to the plan we were supposed to have casserole today but last night we ate a delicious casserole (at Casa Del Kristi and Rob) that was very similar to the one I was going to make tonight. So we called on our flexibility powers and had the easy garlic chicken we were going to have on Thursday. It was SO yummy!!

Like our cute paper plates?! I love paper plates.

Before I tell you how Connor and I teamed up and made this, I have to give a little anecdote about how I almost died.

On Sunday, Kristi (my aunt) invited me to go to Gunnison with her and visit our favorite Ryry the Science Guy (my cousin) since he was there for a follow up surgery (broke his collar bone last year). I haven’t seen him in a year so I was pumped. It was an awesome visit. The three hour drive there went very quickly. That was probably because Kristi and I talked about things like creation vs. evolution and the education system (hehe). Once there we had delicious mexican food, saw Ryan’s metal collarbone plate thing that they had removed during surgery…very gross, and walked around Gunnison. It did my soul good to spend that time with Ryan. Thanks Kristi. =)

The crazy stuff happened on our drive home. Beginning with us passing a skydiver and noticing that he was descending pretty fast, had two parachutes, and kept spinning in the air. I watched the parachutes hit the ground as we drove quickly by and thought nothing of it afterwards. We Found out the next day, after watching the news, that we had just watched this. =(
About half an hour after that, we were putt-putt-putting up a giant mountain when the car stopped accelerating. Kristi kept pushing her foot on the gas and nothing was happening, except a revving noise. It wouldn’t have been so scary except for the fact that we were driving on roads with massive dropoffs and no siding. And if you aren’t able to go up, gravity insists you go down (to your death, in this instance).  However, God, who is THANKFULLY much greater than gravity, had other plans. A turn out appeared right then and I’ve never been so happy to get out of a car. Kristi and I both were so shaken up that it took us to get in motion…only to find out there was no cell reception anywhere. Panic city! Again though, God is so good and sent us a very calm and nice state trooper who called AAA for us and got a tow truck moving in our direction. When we finally got home that night we were both extremely happy to see our families and extremely exhausted. However, I still hold the memory of that trip and the quality time I spent with Kristi and Ryan as special and important.

Now for Easy Garlic Chicken (Boyce House Style!)

You will need:

4 defrosted chicken breasts

4 garlic cloves, cut in as small pieces as you can manage

4 tablespoons brown sugar

3 teaspoons vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and grease a casserole dish using margarine/butter.

Cut your garlic up

Put the vegetable oil into a frying pan and sauté the garlic until it barely starts to turn color.

Remove the pan from the heat and add your brown sugar. Mix.

Put the defrosted chicken into the prepared casserole dish and cover with the brown sugar/garlic mixture

Add a little salt and peppa if you wish

Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes

(I forgot to take the picture until after we had devoured the other pieces.) I was so surprised how well the garlic and brown sugar worked together! We had mashed potatoes and peas with our chicken, which turned out to be perfect complements.

Meal planning meal #1 was a success in our book. We will definitely be putting this in our recipe repertoire.

Meal Planning

In an attempt to be even more intentional with our food budget, Connor and I have decided to start meal planning on a weekly basis, that way our grocery trips will be more streamlined and hopefully cost effective.

Our planning will only be Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because we have dinner at our families houses on Mondays and Wednesdays. We are hugely thankful to both my aunts who open their homes to us each week. Their home cooked meals are absolutely incredible compared to the frozen meals we always end up having. Although with meal planning, we should be eating much much better in the near future. =)

meal planning venture #1
Tuesday: Chicken, broccoli, cheese casserole (which I may post a recipe for later this week)

Thursday: Easy Garlic Chicken (my first time trying this recipe..)

Friday: Pizza Day!

Saturday: Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake (looks sooo yummy)

Sunday: Scavenger day (leftovers)

Wish me luck!