Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Maple Buttercream Icing

Pumpkin drop cookies round two…

See, the first time I baked these delicious cookies I nearly made mini pies instead by tossing in the entire can of pumpkin puree. Have you ever come across a cookie recipe that calls for an entire can of pumpkin? Me either. Sometimes I do things without really thinking them through. Guilty! The good thing in this case is the “cookies” were still delicious. They simply didn’t have that perfect drop cookie texture and truly tasted like mini pumpkin pies. Not a loss at all, but I had to bake them again this past weekend out of respect to the drop cookie and the extra time was completely worth it.

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Why hello perfectly crumbly and unbelievably soft pumpkin treat. These are total melt in your mouth cookies. I had similar ones at a friend’s traveling boutique party a few weeks ago and kind of knew at that point I needed to bake some for us once we got further into fall. I had to act fast too, because we had about two nice weeks of fall and now it’s apparently winter. It’s a brisk 32 degrees outside right now with snow falling from the sky, potentially 1-3 inches overnight! If only snow days were still a thing… 🙂

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Back to that traveling boutique real quick…I won’t leave you hanging, or maybe you’re already familiar with these! It was the first event I attended at a friend of a friend’s home and what a clever idea! This particular shop is called Middle Sister Boutique and the owner has a large RV type vehicle that she’s transformed into a clothing and accessory boutique inside. So you have friends/family over to your home, serve some drinks and appetizers and they can shop in the pop up boutique right in your driveway! Pretty fun!

And parties are always a good place to find new favorite recipes 😉

These cookies only require one bowl to mix up, but the order in which the ingredients are mixed is important! I highly recommend always following that instruction in a recipe, because there really is a reason behind the order. For pumpkin drop cookies, you start by combining the softened butter, brown sugar and cane sugar using a hand mixer. Then you add

  • the egg

and mix again until that’s well combined. followed by the…

  • pumpkin puree

mixing until well combined again, of course. and then the…

  • allspice
  • cloves (unless you’re like my Mom & despise cloves. then you may leave them out!)
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt

Finally, you mix all those ingredients and then top it off with the flour. Oh…and be sure to mix well just once more 🙂 The photo below is from the time I had too much pumpkin since I forgot to retake this photo over the weekend. The dough doesn’t really look that different though!

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My one and only pet peeve with drop cookies is placing them on the parchment paper to bake. It’s a tedious task for those who like cookies to be closer to the perfect side! This is a really doughy dough, to be technical, so it’s a little tricky to work with at this point. I used a small spoon for each dollop and then an icing spatula to attempt to smooth the edges. I didn’t go too crazy, because if I tried to really get them perfectly smooth I might still be in the kitchen!

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These cookies will rise and spread a bit so be sure to leave enough room between each one. Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes and then move them to a baking rack to cool. Part two is making the icing, the simplest task if you have a stand mixer! The biggest tip here is to make sure your butter is well softened! If needed, place the stick of butter in the microwave for a few seconds to achieve this so it gets perfectly light and fluffy while mixing. Then you just add in the maple syrup and vanilla and once that’s all combined gradually finish it off with powdered sugar and a little bit of milk.

Now just get that icing spatula back out to ice each cookie and sprinkle with cinnamon – optional, but highly recommended! The best part about using buttercream icing over the typical cream cheese paired with pumpkin is these can be left in an airtight container on the counter or in the pantry for a couple days. If they last beyond that, I’d suggest storing in the fridge/freezer.

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Lucky for us, my Grandma still insists on hosting Thanksgiving and cooks the most delicious dinner every year! So the least we can do is arrive with dessert to add to the table. Last year it was a purple sweet potato pie with spiced whipped cream (seriously, give it a try…so good!) and this year it’s going to be a batch of these cookies! I can easily make them that morning since they’re quick to whip up and there’s little better than fresh from the oven homemade cookies.

Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Maple Buttercream Icing

Perfectly soft pumpkin cookies for all your fall get togethers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree I use Libby's
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp 2% milk

Instructions

  1. First things first. Take the butter out of the fridge for the cookies and icing ahead of time so it has an opportunity to soften. Otherwise, place stick of butter in the microwave for around 20 seconds to soften.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and cane sugar together using a hand mixer. Once well combined, add in the egg and mix again.

  4. Add pumpkin puree and mix until that's well combined with the above ingredients. Add in nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

  5. Gradually add in flour and mix until all ingredients are combined.

  6. Use a small spoon to scoop dollops of cookie dough onto each baking sheet for baking. If desired, using an icing spatula to further shape and smooth the cookies.

  7. Bake one batch of cookies at a time for 12 minutes. Take the first batch of cookies out of the oven and move them to a baking rack to cool. Repeat with the second baking sheet of cookies.

  8. While the cookies cool, make the butter cream icing. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add maple syrup and vanilla while still mixing on low speed.

  9. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until well combined. While still mixing, add the milk and mix for another minute to reach a good icing consistency.

  10. Spread icing on each cookie and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Allow the icing to set before transferring the cookies to an airtight container to store for 2 to 4 days. Cookies may also be frozen for 3 months.

Recipe Notes

*Recipe ever so slightly modified from alattefood.com

Have a beautiful day!

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Zucchini Bread

To this day, the only way Hailey will eat zucchini is if it’s baked into this bread and we have her sweet grandmother to thank for that. My mother in law baked the best zucchini bread; it was probably her signature dessert that also easily doubles as breakfast or an afternoon snack. She wrote the recipe down for Allen before she passed, but she was already ill at this point and we’re wondering if Read More

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Caribbean Style Chicken

This recipe is from my newlywed days and a direct result of our honeymoon in Jamaica. We stayed at a Secrets resort right in Montego Bay where a chef grilled the best Jamaican jerk chicken by the pool every afternoon. We know, because we stood in line for that chicken every day and when the line was long and the sun was hot it was still worth the wait! A couple quick things about that honeymoon and the Secrets resort in particular…

  • We stayed here specifically and it’s been six years since we’ve been there so there’s certainly plenty that may have changed over time, but we loved it!
  • The food we had while we were there was great and the drinks were good quality. Also, rum & coca cola tastes so much better in Jamaica.
  • It was very easy to schedule excursions and we loved the snorkeling one we did that also stopped at the original Margaritaville before heading back to the resort
  • But please do not do the free snorkeling at the resort! Just don’t. When we attempted this at least, the equipment was low quality, supervision poor and overall experience bad. As in, let’s just talk about chicken instead… haha

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So when we got back from our honeymoon I started browsing Pinterest for a jerk chicken recipe (after wallowing for a bit that we didn’t purchase the seasoning to bring home with us) and to be honest I got a little intimidated by the long list of ingredients in all the recipes I was finding! I’ve since learned a long ingredient list doesn’t necessarily equal a high level of difficulty! But then I came across this one and I don’t feel right calling is jerk chicken so I just reference it as Caribbean inspired chicken! The only thing I’ve really changed is using Tamari sauce instead of Soy sauce, though both are good! Ingredient list looks like this…

  • Chicken – your choice, all cuts would work!
  • Olive Oil – always recommend buying top quality; such a difference in taste & health benefits
  • Brown Sugar – light or dark, depending on your flavor preference (dark brown sugar yields a little stronger flavor than light)
  • Tamari Sauce – or Soy Sauce 🙂
  • Italian Salad Dressing Mix – I like the ‘Good Seasons’ brand
  • Dried Thyme – actually a great source of vitamin C, who knew!
  • Ground Cinnamon – Adds a great dynamic
  • Cayenne Pepper – gives it just enough spice, for those with low tolerance. me 🙂

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I like to mix all of the above ingredients in a small bowl and then pour the marinade over the chicken in a baking dish that can be tossed in the dishwasher afterwards. Easy clean up and no waste! At minimum, I’d suggest letting the chicken marinate for 30 minutes. This is usually the timing I follow if I decide to make this last minute on a weeknight. If you can though, as with all marinades, let the flavor soak in for a good few hours in the fridge. In that scenario, just cover the top with plastic wrap.

This marinade is also known as ‘the good sauce’ in our household. Hailey loves this chicken and when she sees me prepping it in the kitchen she asks ‘Is that the chicken with the good sauce?’ haha You bet.

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When it comes to cooking this chicken, grilling or stove top will be your best options; I’ve baked this a time or two as well, but it wasn’t my favorite. When I made it for this blog post we didn’t have a grill so I went stove top and it was delicious! Don’t flip too soon, make sure the bottom of the chicken is nice and browned and starting to crisp up before you flip it over; this is true for any meat really and will yield the most flavor! Now that we have a grill again though, that’s our preferred method. There’s just something about food right off the grill that’s so darn good!

When we sold our last house we left the grill with it, because it wasn’t in great shape and we were headed to a tiny apartment while our new home got built. With next to no room at the apartment, we never purchased a new grill during that time and then when we moved into our house we had a laundry list of purchases to make so it took us a little while, but we finally checked a new grill off that list! We went with charcoal this time, but actually use charred wood mostly and as we’re learning we are loving the smoked/grilled flavor it gives our meats and veggies! Oh and since we don’t have a deck on the back of the house yet, we grill right outside our garage in the driveway. Sometimes Allen uses the tractor as place to sit while the food is cooking. Do I even need to mention we moved to the country? I think it sounds pretty obvious… haha

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Lately, my favorite sides to serve with this chicken are riced cauliflower and tri-colored roasted carrots. I don’t know why this wouldn’t taste the same to me across the board, since it’s just cauliflower haha, but my favorite riced cauliflower is from Trader Joes! It’s the best one and they also have a riced cauliflower stir fry mix that’s pretty tasty too. I could also totally eat this with a baked potato and salad, rice and steamed broccoli or just a side of grilled vegetables! Basically, you can’t go wrong 🙂

Enjoy!!

Caribbean Inspired Chicken

Flavorful chicken with just a hint of spice

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tamari sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients (minus the chicken) to a small bowl and stir well to mix.

  2. Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Move chicken around and flip as needed to fully coat all pieces. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. If marinating for 30 minutes, you can leave on the counter. If longer, cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

  3. Cook chicken as desired (on the grill or in a skillet on the stove top) Cook for 5-8 minutes on each side or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees fahrenheit. Serve immediately with your choice of sides!

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Rhubarb Pie

Are you a pie person or a cake person? If you said neither, I hope it’s because you’re an ice cream person. For me, it’s been pie for as long as I can remember. To this day, I haven’t met someone who can bake better pies than my Grandma. She taught me how to bake my first pie when I was around 10 years old and having the Read More

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Egg Salad

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July and long holiday weekend away from the office! We kept it pretty low key and went to the movies while it rained (saw the movie ‘Yesterday’ and definitely found it entertaining!), enjoyed a little boating when the sun was out and ended our evenings with Read More

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Dad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s the thing…my Dad didn’t actually create this recipe, but I couldn’t title this post anything else because we’ve (my brother and I) referred to these chocolate chip cookies as ‘Dad’s’ for just about as long as I can remember. This is actually the true original nestle chocolate chip recipe. Not the one from the 60’s you’ll easily find if you search on Google, but the one Read More

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

A delicious gluten free, vegan treat perfect for brunch or simple afternoon snackingHappy Rhubarb season, y’all! I hope I didn’t just lose a few readers right from the start with that opening. You know, the readers who haven’t tried rhubarb yet to discover how delicious this vegetable eaten like fruit really is… I’m adding three dots to continue that thought, because you can’t end a sentence with the word “is”…ya know? I used to be Read More

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Superfoods Soup

When I come across a new song I like I do this thing where I listen to it over and over. Anyone else? I learned Allen does the exact same thing on our second date when we had the simplest evening listening to music, creating a playlist together and sipping wine. We basically listen to these songs until we don’t like them anymore and then move on to the next one. It’s still true to this day. Lately I hear Read More

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