Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are delicious! I've been craving these cookies for a while now and finally found a recipe that I love! After I mixed the batter, I split it and added 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips to one half and 1 cup of walnuts to the other (for my non-chocolate self). This isn't a difficult recipe, so enjoy!

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

2½ cups canned pumpkin
2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp milk
2 tbsp vanilla
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce and eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by two tablespoonfuls on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.


Swedish Cinnamon Twists

This recipe is one from my cooking group that I've wanted to make since I tried them. They are delicious! TIPS: If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar to a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Also, I let the dough rise on it's own the first rising, but used my dough rising techniques from my bread recipe for the second. When they doubled, I removed the bowl of water and just raised the temp to 375° and started baking them. They turned out great! You could probably substitute raisins for the nuts as well. Enjoy another favorite!

Makes about 24 twists

1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup instant nonfat dry milk
1 tsp salt
½ + 2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
4 cups flour
3-4 tbsp melted butter

½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Mix yeast, sugar and water together until dissolved. Let proof for 10 minutes.

Bring buttermilk to boiling (in a small saucepan or in the microwave); buttermilk should curdle and separate. Let cool slightly. Pour into large mixing bowl and add baking soda, milk, salt, sugar, butter and eggs; beating well after each.

When mixture is lukewarm, add yeast mixture and stir well. Gradually stir in flour until dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes, adding additional flour as necessary to make dough smooth and soft. Lightly butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl turning once to butter the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 375°. Generously grease two baking sheets. Punch down dough. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Roll dough out into a 12”x20” rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle filling lengthwise over half of dough to within ½ inch of long edge. Fold rectangle in half lengthwise to cover filling. With a pizza cutter, cut dough into 24 strips, about ¾” wide. Twist each strip twice and place strips on prepared baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30-40 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Prepare glaze and brush on while rolls are still warm. You may want to double this recipe—they go fast!

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1½ cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.


Ranger Cookies

I did a bit of research on these cookies and noticed that most have crushed corn flakes or rice crispies in them. I wasn't that brave. So I guess this is just a glorified oatmeal raisin cookie... But hey, it's something different. And in this case, different is good. :)

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on high about 30 seconds. Add sugars, baking powder and soda; mix well. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour. Stir in oats, coconut and raisins.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute then transfer to cooling rack.

Butterscotch Brownies

Sorry, no picture. I ate them all! It's my alternate to chocolate brownies. And they are delicious! TIPS: These are really easy, but you will ruin them if you use a larger pan. They will come out hard and dry instead of soft and chewy. To remove them, invert them onto a lightly oiled cooling rack, remove parchment paper, then flip them onto a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter.

Makes 16 squares

½ cup butter, room temp
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp molasses
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8”x8” baking pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and molasses with electric mixer for about 1 minute, until creamy and smooth. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to butter mixture. Fold gently with rubber scraper until flour is about half incorporated. Do NOT over mix. Stir in nuts and continue folding gently until flour is fully mixed in.

Scrap batter into prepared pan and spread top until smooth and even. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning pan 180° half way through. When brownies are done, the center top will be firm and spring back when pressed and the sides will start to pull away from pan. Let cool completely in pan.

A Most Splendiferous Brownie

I thought the recipe I had for brownies was pretty good. My only complaint was that they would fall. They are very fudgy, but I wanted a thicker brownie. WOW!! These are incredible!!!! They are thick, chewy, fudgy, HEAVENLY!!! Unfortunately, I can't eat them. But my husband wouldn't shut up about how perfect they were! TIPS: The cooking time on these varies slightly, but makes a HUGE difference. If you leave them in for 50 minutes, they will be very moist, almost fudgy. But if you leave them in for 5-10 minutes more, they will be slightly drier, but chewier. Bake them how you like them. If you really want fudgy, I tried adding chocolate chips instead of walnuts. It may as well have been fudge. They were so rich and chocolatey. I (or my husband) preferred the walnuts as they were already very fudgy and chewy. Lots of different combinations! Enjoy the results!

Makes 16 squares

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
10 tbsp (1¼ sticks) butter, room temp
3 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1¾ cups sugar
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups flour
1 cup walnuts (not optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8”x8” baking pan with foil.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over very low heat. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Add melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine (mixture will thicken considerably). Add remaining ingredients and mix together with a rubber spatula. The batter with be thick and greasy looking.

Scrap batter into prepared pan and press into place with rubber spatula. Bake about 50-60 minutes. Let cool at least 2 hours (if you can handle it) before removing from pan, cutting and serving. They will continue cooking and become chewier as they cool.
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