Gingersnaps & Finding Memories

Have you ever found yourself baking something just because of what it reminds you of?  The memories it evokes?  The traditions created around that certain recipe?

Gingersnaps are one of those recipes for me.

Baking them takes me back to Thanksgiving mornings many years ago when the boys were young, and we lived on Borderline Drive.

The only thing separating us from our closest neighbors and the boys’ best friends was five glorious acres of woods with a stream running through it and a clearing right smack in the middle that our two boys and the three neighbor boys (and one girl) declared, designed, and spent countless hours at – – “the Field.”

In the summer, there was a dugout made from chain link fence and whatever scraps of wood or pipe the boys could rustle up to hold it up that year.  They built up a pitcher’s mount, painted base lines with spray paint, and secured tattered rubber bases to create their field of dreams.

Come Fall, however, the baseball field was converted to a football field.

And every Thanksgiving morning, after turkeys were stuffed and left to roast, our neighborhood families would gather for our annual “Turkey Bowl” football game.

One neighbor brought the cooler of beer for the adults and built the bonfire for the “fans” and “cheerleaders” to hover and converse at.

My job was hot chocolate and warm gingersnaps fresh out of the oven.

I made them for years every Thanksgiving for the Turkey Bowl.  They usually got eaten by ravenous linebackers and receivers wearing mud covered gloves.  The men found them to go famously with beer too!  There were Thanksgivings with snow on the ground and others where no coat was necessary, but we always had warm gingersnaps.

I seemed to have misplaced the original handwritten recipe from Barb.  I’ve never got around to properly organizing my recipes, and I’m sure I could just call her, but I found this recipe online, and it seems to come pretty close.  I made them the other day to share with some guests at the office.  I think they need a little more ginger, but that is a preference you can decide.

Today’s #Writing101 Assignment is to write about finding something.  I know this is a stretch 🙂 – and a better story would be if I would have found that dang original handwritten recipe from Barb!

But this was my sneaky way of getting to share a recipe, share a memory, and share some photos I took of the cookies I made.  I call that a SCORE!  And hey – I wrote – and I found something.

gingersnaps 8

gingersnaps 2

gingersnaps 3

gingersnaps 5

gingersnaps 9

gingersnaps 6Gingersnap Gems (from Midwest Living)

A Simple Hello

My Friend FM179

Sometimes I struggle to keep things “simple.”

In life and in card-making 🙂

When I saw this week’s Friday Mashup, I had to play along.

Especially when I saw Cindy’s Card – she is the queen of clean and simple and beautiful card-making.  (Be sure to check out her site to see more of her creative, beautiful designs:  CindyLeeBeeDesigns)

I couldn’t resist trying the technique (blowing ink through a straw), and in the end, realized my card is not only inspired by Cindy, but ended up looking almost like it.

This technique reminds me of childhood spin-art and the recent melted crayon art trend.  Sometime it’s fun to just see what will happen.

I embossed the “hello” from the SU My Friend Stamp Set in black on vellum, which I “randomly” stitched onto the card.

Here is the FM179 challenge:  Create a project using the Ink Blowing Technique and the colors Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry and Basic Black.

My Friend FM179 2

A simple Hello My Friends.

Cheers & Hugs,


Pap’s Best Day

pap last day

Today’s Assignment for #Writing101:  Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.

Something made me stay a little longer that day.  I wasn’t in my usual hurried, harried mode on my weekly visit to the nursing home.  This visit was surprisingly more enjoyable than the “chore” it sometimes had sadly become of late.

Time seemed to fly as Pap (my father-in-law) and I talked and laughed and reminisced.   Marty even called to see where I was since I was “taking so long.”  But Pap was so excited to share what a wonderful day he had and tell me about his very special visitor.  Nancy, his “favorite” niece from Illinois, had surprised him that day with a visit.  They went for a walk – him in his scooter with the orange safety flag, wearing his favorite chicken hat Colleen had bought him with his beautiful niece by his side.  He proudly introduced her to every person he knew that worked, visited or lived within scooter driving distance of his room, and he begged to have a picture taken to commemorate the day.   He could barely contain his joy and excitement telling me about the fun they had, the laughs they shared, and the joy she had brought to his day.

“It was the best day,” he said.

Pap had been sick for quite a while.  He had more than his fair share of “close encounters” throughout the 33 years I had known him (and even before that).  Yet somehow he managed to outlive his beloved wife of 52 years, and even more heartbreaking, his only daughter.

Lately, Pap was in and out of the hospital more times than we could count.   Moves between assisted living and skilled nursing were becoming the norm.  Pap was getting tired.  He said he was ready to go.  But when breathing got labored due to his CHF and other problems arose from his minimally functioning kidney, he panicked.  He just wanted to “stick around” a few months longer for the upcoming wedding of his grandson, Jake and his favorite girl, Colleen.

It was time to have “the talk.”

In life, there are a few very important “talks.”  There’s the “birds and the bees,” continuing education decisions, marriage, children, buying a home.

Then there’s the BIGGIE:  Death.

The “How do you want to spend your end-of-life journey?” talk.

Now I’m in the hospice business, so I am extremely comfortable talking about these important decisions and discussions.  Until it’s MY family…

I struggled.  Marty anguished.  We called in expert assistance.

We thought we were getting through, then Pap would talk about dialysis and kidney transplants.

We were obviously not being very effective.

And Pap kept bouncing around from hospital to skilled nursing to assisted and round and round.

This particular day I visited, he was in skilled nursing after a recent episode in the hospital.  I left feeling good.  Pap must have said it a handful of times:  “It was the best day.”

Fast forward four short hours.  The phone rang.  Pap had experienced a “turn,” and he wanted to go to the hospital.  He was struggling to breathe.

Marty asked the nursing staff to please not send him.  “Please keep him there.  Keep him comfortable.  Let him know we will be there in 15 minutes.”

When we arrived, Pap’s favorite aide was on one side of his bed, holding his hand, stroking his cheek.  Another aide stood empathetically behind her.  Still.  Silent.

Our eyes met, and theirs began to glisten.

“He’s comfortable.”  “He’s relaxed now.”

They left us to have some private time with Pap.

Marty rubbed his once larger than life, but now frail and thin Father’s arm.  He garnered all the poise and grace and dignity a 53-year old, 6 foot, 3 inch tall working man’s man could muster, and whispered, “I love you, Dad.”

“You have been a wonderful father, a devoted husband, a loving grandfather,” he said.

“It’s okay.”

“It’s okay to let go.”

“Mom and Maureen are waiting for you.”

“We will miss you, but it’s ok.”

Pap took his last breath.  Marty had one hand.  I had the other.

“It was the best day.”



A Fall Sunset Cruise


It was an absolutely AMAZING Fall Weekend here in Western Pennsylvania.  Who couldn’t love Fall with this kind of weather!?!

The crisp mornings were perfect for brisk early walks and baking yummy apple treats (like yesterday’s Apple Dumplings).

The days warmed up with bright sunshine and deep azure skies sprinkled with cottony clouds.

And the evenings – oh so extraordinary – cooled to perfect weather for a picturesque sunset cruise.

Now granted – a sunset cruise around these parts is in a Bass Tracker with Captain Marty and First Mate Mikey on Lake Arther, but check out the amazing beauty from our little piece of the world.

trees turning

WPA Early Fall Foilage, Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park 9/27/14

first mate

First Mate Mikey

house fall lake

Picturesque House on Lake with Fall Foilage, Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park


Captain Marty


We throw fishing rods in – not sure why?



tree reflection

Tree Reflection, Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park

pink at night sailors delight

Pink at Night is a Sailor’s Delight


Pink Reflections

mikey on duty

On Duty


Breathtaking Beauty

night lake water

Art of Water


Art of Life


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane – Art of Sky

boat dock

Crescent Moon Boat at Dock

Cheers & Hugs,



A Proper Family Unit – #Writing101


We are past the halfway mark in #Writing101, and I have to say I am enjoying it more and more as we progress.  This assignment really conjured up some memories – some good – some bad.   But that’s okay.  It’s my life… and this is my story.

Today’s assignment: #Writing 101, Day Eleven – Size Matters
Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.

The thing I remember most about being 12 is wanting to be 13.  Funny how that was so important at the time.  But boy was it!

You see – I started school at an earlier age than most.  Having a birthday on December 31st did that back in my day.  So when all my friends became teenagers, I thought it was the worst thing in the world being 12.  Too bad that wasn’t the only thing I had to worry about at 12.

Home.  Where would I call “home” when I was 12 years old?  That’s a little trickier for me than some.

Mom had recently remarried, so Mom and new Dad and new baby sister and same brother and I moved into a brand-spanking new two-story house in the country built just for us.

But I didn’t live there long.

It was Grandma’s house that became my home when I was 12.  And as I think back, I daresay it might have been my favorite home growing up.  Grandma had a way of doing that.

I moved six times and lived in eight different places (counting Grandma’s) during my childhood.  I went to five different school districts.  Throughout all the moves, I experienced many different sizes and shapes and types of homes and neighborhoods.  From older communities on one side of town to an apartment after the divorce and staying at Grandma’s during the week, to the other side of town, to the country, and back to newer suburbs in yet another area.  It was never far, but it was a move.  It was a change.  A big change for my brother and me trying to figure out this thing called life and the idea of family.

So as the rest of my family (Mom, new Dad, new sister and same brother) lived in the big, new house in the woods, I was asked to stay with Grandma.

Grandpap had recently passed away, and it was hard on Grandma.  Not only because she loved him, but she needed and relied on him too.  Grandma didn’t drive, so she lost her driver.  Grandma had never written a check in her life.  She had never paid a bill.  Although Grandma had more common sense than anyone I have ever known, she lacked in formal education, so Grandpap made up for this.  He paid the bills, and he balanced the checkbook.  Without him, though, Grandma was lost.

So Mom and new Dad decided to move her closer to them.  “It will be easier to help her this way,” they decided.

Grandma was very reluctant.  She had lived in the same house for almost her entire married life.  Grandpap and her built that house.  They had planted every blade of grass, shrub, fruit tree, and berry bush.  All her friends were there.  But it was a 45-minute drive to get to Grandma’s from our new big house, and Mom thought this would be best.

Grandma moved.  She reluctantly packed up all of her belongings and all of her memories and moved into a double-wide trailer in a mobile home park within walking distance through the woods from our new big house in the country.

But Grandma was sad.  Not just the regular kind of sad, but that clinically depressed kind of sad.  So Mom told me it would help Grandma if I could go stay with her for a while as she adjusted to her new home and new surroundings.  “Having you there will make her feel better,” she said.  So I did.  I was 12.

Grandma loved having me there, and I loved being there.  Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months.  Months turned into years.  I eventually moved all of my 12-year old belongings  into Grandma’s house.  Important stuff like records and clothes. I caught the school bus with the neighborhood kids in the mobile home park.  They became my friends and neighbors.  I started babysitting, and Grandma was nearby just in case I needed her.  My best friend, Janet, was only a short walk through the woods away, and we had sleepovers, and we hung out and played cards and games with Grandma.  Life was good.

I learned my most important life lessons living with Grandma.  I learned it’s not the size or the fancy new things or the white-glove, immaculate, spotless, dustless possessions that make a house a home.  It’s not the bricks and shutters and perfectly manicured lawn.  It’s the love.  It’s the warmth.  It’s the feeling of belonging, the participation in doing the things that make it a home.  That’s what Grandma did.  She taught me to cook by letting me help.  It was okay if we made a mess.  We just had to clean it up afterwards.  Grandma let me do science experiments and life experiments in her kitchen.  Even when it included boiling worms and wearing (real dirt and water) mud masks.  Grandma taught me about friendship.  She would visit neighbors, take them homemade soup or baked goods from her kitchen, play cards with them on their porches or at their kitchen tables.

Then Mom and new Dad decided this just wasn’t right.  I should be living with them. They didn’t know how to tell Grandma this though; and besides – I liked living at Grandma’s.  I wanted to stay there.  It was my home now.

So to fix things, Mom and new Dad decided we would all move… to another house about 30 minutes away.  This way I could move back in with them, and we would be a proper family unit.

So I moved… yet again.

Cheers & Hugs,


Classic Apple Dumplings

apple dumpling cover

One of my hubby’s favorite treats this time of year is Apple Dumplings, so after a crisp Autumn morning walk on Saturday followed by a cup of coffee and phone call to catch-up with my BFF, I decided I was going to make some of these classic Fall favorites.  Nothing fancy, just pure nostalgic goodness.

apple dumpling apple

It’s apple time of year in Western Pennsylvania, so the varieties to choose from are plenty.  You can use pretty much any kind of apple you love best.  The only one I NEVER buy and NEVER bake with is Red Delicious.  Never could understand why they are so popular…

apple dumpling apple peeler corer slicer

The apple/peeler/slicer I have from back in my Pampered Chef days sure comes in handy for this job, but you can do by hand if you don’t have one.

apple dumpling apple peels

A fun little tip to make your house smell wonderful for days is to take all of those peelings and cores and throw them in a saucepan with a couple cinnamon sticks (and cloves if you like), cover with water and simmer.  The steam will permeate through your house and leave it smelling cinnamony applicious.

apple dumpling potpourri

You can even cover it and leave it on the stove for a couple days, removing the lid and simmering for a few hours a day just to bring that wonderful Fall aroma back.

I have a funny story from back in the good ole’ Pampered Chef Days.  I had a young lady who was new to the business that I had been training, and I shared this tip with her.  Holly still lived at home with her parents.  One Saturday morning, after practicing some recipes to demonstrate with her apple/peeler/corer/slicer, Holly decided to make some of this Fall potpourri.  She had it simmering on the stove while she went upstairs to take a shower.  When she came down, her Mom had a perplexed, comical look on her face.

“Holly Honey,” she said. “I don’t recommend you make this recipe at your cooking demonstrations.  It just really doesn’t taste that good.”

apple dumpling dough

For my dumplings, I just use my standard pie crust.  Remember the trick to flaky pie crust is to not overwork it.  (You can check out my secrets to successful pie crust here.)

apple dumpling prep

No special dimensions on cutting the dough – just make sure it is large enough to cover the apple completely.

And if it doesn’t, you can always use scraps of dough to patch and “glue” with water.  No perfection needed in my kitchen!

apple dumpling pre oven

Bake them for 30 minutes without the sauce.

apple dumpling sauce

And then for 30 additional minutes with the sauce.

apple dumpling post oven

If you don’t (want to) eat them all at once, Apple Dumplings freeze well.  It is nice to freeze them individually with a little sauce for a sweet treat when you want it most.

apple dumpling single top

Marty was a pretty happy camper when he saw what I was baking.

And I kinda thought he deserved it after publicly professing he thinks I’m cuuuuuuute!  🙂

The old bugger is losing his eyesight a bit…  Isn’t it nice how that happens as you age and grow old together?!

Cheers & Hugs,


Classic Apple Dumplings

Pie Crust Pastry:
2 c. flour
2/3 c. shortening
Dash of Salt
3/4 c. water
5-6 med-large firm apples (Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith)
1 can Mountain Dew or Lemon Juice
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp.  cinnamon
1 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
2 c. water
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out pie dough, and cut into 5-6 uniform squares.
Peel and core apples, but leave them whole.
Pour the Mountain Dew or lemon juice over peeled, cored apples in bowl to keep from browning while assembling.
In another bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon.Place apple in center of square pastry.   Sprinkle all over with cinnamon sugar mixture.Fill each apple cavity with approx. 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tsp. butter.Pull the pastry squares up over the apples and twist on top.  Seal well, using water if necessary as “glue.”Place in an greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan or stone.Bake for 30 min.While apple dumplings are baking for first half of time, combine sauce ingredients in saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil and continue boiling for 1 minute.After the dumplings have baked for 30 minutes, pour the sauce over top and bake 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally.Serve hot with cream or vanilla or cinnamon ice cream or cold – however you like best!

Sally’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (and why I bake)

pumpkin bread sallys top down sliced 2

It’s pumpkin time!  Yippee-Skippee!

Here is another pumpkin recipe I found and tried this past week for a yummy, moist bread by one of my favorite baking bloggers:  Sally’s Baking Addiction.  Be sure to check it out!  Sally also recently published a cookbook, and this recipe is in it.  (and she is only 29 years old!)

pumpkin bread sallys cover

I’ve been following Sally’s blog long before was even a twinkle in my eye (though I could be Sally’s mom).

She is such an inspiration – sharing a “sprinkle of fun and adventure” in every post.

pumpkin bread sallys slice 2Sally is getting married soon to a lucky guy named Kevin who “makes her happier than cupcakes.”

Thanks for a great blog, Sally, and best wishes on your upcoming wedding!

So we didn’t eat the entire loaf of bread ourselves at home, I sent half of it to work with Liz this past week to share with some of her work friends who follow my blog.

Look at these adorable smiles Liz got for sharing with them.

TSM Girls with pumpkin bread

That is why I bake!

So thank you for the smiles ladies!

You made my day. 🙂

TSM Girls with pumpkin bread 2

Here is Sally’s recipe, or go directly to her website here.

Sally’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread


  • 1  3/4 cups  flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree (you could certainly use fresh if you want to work that hard!)
  • 1/2 cup  melted coconut oil  (you could substitute vegetable or canola oil if you desire)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (feel free to change it up with cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, or a combination)

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.  Spray or grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan (baking stone) with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until combined in one bowl. In another, whisk the eggs and sugars together until combined. Whisk in pumpkin, oil, and orange juice. Combine wet and dry ingredients and gently mix together.  Do not overmix – lumps are allowed. Gently fold in chocolate chips (or your desired add-in).

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour.  Loosely cover bread with foil halfway through baking to prevent top from getting too brown. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs.

Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing.  Makes 1 delicious loaf!

Cheers & Hugs,


What is Froo-Froo Fussy-Fuss Anyway?

Happy Friday!  What a BEAUTIFUL Fall week it has been here in Western PA!

Wetlands Zindorf

Today, I’m sharing a card I’ve made for The Paper Players Challenge (#PP214), but I can’t take credit for the design.  I copied this one from one of my Stampin’ IDOLS, Michelle Zindorf.  You can check out her blog here and her much better version of the card here.  I had fun making it nonetheless.  Thanks, Michelle, for the inspiration.  And thanks, Jaydee, for the challenge.

This week’s challenge was to make a Masculine CAS Design.  I think I got CAS (Clean and Simple) confused with CASE (Copy and Share Everything)!


Cards for men are always a bit more difficult.  They don’t usually like all the froo-froo fussy-fuss many of us girls like.   🙂   Michelle did some brayering when she made her card.  I just sponged my colors on.   It was actually quite a quick and easy card to make using the SU Wetlands stamp set.  I added the taller grass, extended the ground, made the transition into the “ocean” a bit softer, and gave it an olive green background to be a bit different.

And while I’m sharing cards, here are two I made at “card class” this week with one of my other Stamping Idols and mentor Stacey Ailes.

boot and bandana

I had so much fun making this boot and bandana card.  Especially the bandana – which was started from scratch on a red piece of card stock, randomly stamped in black, then the most fun part of doodling in white.

en francais maple glow

It was fun to make this Fall-colored card look like it is “glowing.”

Check out Stacey’s blog here.  She is one very talented, creative lady – and an even sweeter friend! Her card is even more exquisite with an embossed gold maple leaf and framed in tiny pearls.

You can find instructions for both of these cards on her site.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Hope your weekend is just as you like it – froo-froo fussy-fuss or clean and simple!

Cheers & Hugs,




She said I’m Cuuuuute!

#Writing 101: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

As I contemplated today’s writing assignment, the first thing that came to mind was Christmas Eve and Holy Supper at Grandma’s House.  It really IS one of my favorite childhood tradition memories.

But I think I will save that for another time.

Then I got a little punchy and thought about writing about when we had Corn on the Cob for dinner when I was growing up.
When we had Corn on the Cob for dinner – that was dinner…
Corn on the Cob…
That’s it…
Just lots and lots of Corn on the Cob…
I liked it…   Thought nothing of it…
Until I got a bit older and found out that people typically serve Corn on the Cob as a vegetable to accompany dinner – not as THE dinner.

But then what kept coming to mind was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Yep.  That’s it!

Waaaayyy back when I was a child (a hundred thousand and fifty some years ago), “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was aired on television ONE TIME each year.

It was usually around the first of December.  (Because way back then, we didn’t start thinking about (promoting/pushing/shoving in your face) Christmas until AFTER Halloween and Thanksgiving.)

So the airing of “Rudolph” marked the beginning of the Holiday season to me as a child.

It ranked up there with the arrival of the J. C. Penney Christmas Catalog in the mail.

But I digress.

We are supposed to be talking about a favorite childhood meal here…  one that was a treat – that marked a celebration.

Well – the airing of “Rudolph” meant a great celebratory “meal.”

It meant Mom would pop a fresh batch of Jiffy Pop Popcorn.  A VERY special treat!


I was mesmerized watching her shake the flat foil-covered pan over the stop top burner until the foil rose, forming a steam-filled crown of buttery puffed corn kernels that smelled like heaven on earth.  It was a rare treat – saved for special occasions such as this.

Salty popcorn

My brother and I would get in our warm footie pajamas after a playful Mr. Bubble bath.  With our hair still wet and our rosey cheeks squeaky clean, we would find our place on the floor in front of the black and white TV with rabbit ear antennae anticipating the excitement of Rudolph’s escapades with the Abominable Snowman, to the Island of Misfit Toys, and back to save the day for Santa!


Along with the heaping bowl of artificial buttered puffed kernels of heavenly goodness, the piece de resistance was the HOMEMADE Hot Cocoa Mom would make with…….. wait for it….. the BEST part of all……. Marshmallow CREME!!!!!!!!


The Marshmallow Creme would cover the entire steamy cup of cocoa so that it would take almost the entire hour of the program for us to be able to drink since it sealed in the steam, but also created the stickiest, most delicious cream mustaches on our upper lips that mingled with the salty delight of the popped corn.


To this day, I still watch “Rudolph’s” first airing on CBS – usually at 8pm followed by “Frosty the Snowman” (which I needn’t watch anymore).

I still make popcorn, and I sing EVERY single song out loud with a huge smile on my face.

I still feel so sad for “Rudolph” when the others make fun of him.

I still feel giddy when Clarice tells him he is cute.

I still feel sad when Mrs. Claus tells Santa to “Eat Papa – Eat – No one likes a skinny Santa!”

I’m no longer afraid of the Abominable Snowman – FINALLY!!!!  (But still freaked out by the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz – SCARIEST movie EVER!)

And I still CLAP with joy when Rudolph saves the day – and the misfit toys.

I can recite just about every line.

I sing every song out loud and proud.

I am strange – aren’t I?

Can anyone relate?

Cheers & Hugs,






Pumpkin Nutella Swirled Cookies

pumpkin nutella cookies coverNothing says Fall like pumpkin.

At the first signs, I am perusing recipes and pins on Pinterest to find new and exciting pumpkin recipes.

I had a jar of Nutella that Nick wanted to try a while back that has just been sitting there begging to be used in some sweet form, so I decided on this recipe I found from Jenn @eatcakefordinner.

pumpkin nutella stack

The guys loved them, and I had fun using my new micro-planer (from our Trip to the Strip) to add freshly ground nutmeg to these tasty little puffs of pumpkiny goodness.  (what a difference fresh seasonings, herbs, and spices makes.  Oh – if you could only scratch ‘n sniff this photo – which I DO NOT recommend!)

We might also be able to trick ourselves into thinking these are a little bit healthy……… pumpkin is a vegetable with loads of vitamins – and this recipes uses Greek yogurt too.  Give them a try.  They are a perfect Fall treat.

pumpkin nutella nutmeg

Pumpkin Nutella-Swirled Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c.  butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; set aside.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Add the yogurt, pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  Drop spoonfuls of dough, about 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons each, onto a greased baking sheet.  Flatten cookies a bit.  They do not spread much while baking and they puff up quite a bit, so make sure to flatten them. 

Top each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon or so of Nutella, spreading out and swirling slightly.   Bake cookies for 12-15* minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Makes 36-43* cookies.     

*Jenn’s recipe said bake for 15 min, but I only needed 12 min in my convection oven.  Also, Jenn said her recipe made 43 cookies, and I got 36.


Cheers & Hugs,