Sunday, March 28, 2010

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies

Don't you love Pumpkin Bread?

Now imagine Pumpkin Bread in the form of a cookie - and that is what this recipe gives you.

To start, heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now in a good sized mixing bowl, put the following...
5 c all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp salt.


Stir them all together, and set aside.


Now in a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl) - you need 1 cup (2 sticks) butter.


Add 2 1/2 c sugar, and mix until creamy.


Now add 2 tsp vanilla


2 eggs


and two cups of solid packed pumpkin (a standard can)


Mix well, and then begin adding your dry ingredients, a cup or so at a time. Blending well.


When all of your dry ingredients are mixed in, stir in 1 cup of chopped nuts - I used pecans.


Now, using a medium-sized scoop, or a tablespoon and spatula, place the dough on a parchment paper, by rounded tablespoons. Smooth the top as best you can. I really recommend the parchment paper, because these are soft cookies. If you don't have parchment paper, you will need to lightly grease your cookie sheets before adding the dough to them.


Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done. Cool completely. This makes about 5 dozen cookies.


Now for the finishing touch. This step is optional, but really makes these cookies super special.

In a small mixing bowl, cream together 4 ounces of soft cream cheese, 1/4 cup soft butter, and 1 tsp vanilla.

Add in 1 cup powdered sugar, mix well.

Now spoon the frosting into a frosting applicator, or into a ziplock bag.


Press out all of the air, and close the bag, squeezing it down towards one corner.


Now using a pair of scissors, snip off the very tip of the corner.


Tadaaa! Instant decorator bag, with no mess to clean up!

Now squeeze a little frosting onto each cookie. You can do this any way you like, circles, squiggles, dots, whatever. You could even spread it on with a knife if you want. I just put a little squiggle of frosting on each cookie.


Enjoy!





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Printable Version: Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On an Outing, Part 2

Continuing along on our trip to Raven Rock State Park, we headed along the trail and came across a very interesting looking tree.










Yes, we have tree-huggers in our family.




Then we came to another sign.




And a great view.












Looking way down, we saw a turtle convention.








It was a lovely day.

On an Outing, Part 1

With the warmer weather coming, we have been taking advantage of it. Yesterday, I gave the kiddos a little less book-work, (ahhh the privledges of a homeschool mom!)and urged them to buckle-down and get what was assigned done as soon as possible. They got done around noon, and we loaded up the backpacks with drinks and sweatshirts, and we headed off on an outing to Raven Rock State Park. Doing this on a weekday, would give us the chance to enjoy the quiet of the park, with as few other people there as possible....since kids would be in school, and others at work. There is just something about the solitude of nature, for enjoying God's handiwork.

One of the first things we saw, was a neat little tree identification center. You rotated the large disk, and it pointed to a tree and displayed information on the tree it was pointing at.




After walking on the smaller trail, we decided to hit the longer one nearby.






This is one of the first things we saw. The boys' response, "Yeah!!!"




Signs of Spring




After a little while, we stopped for a break. Thirsty puppy.




A creek along the way.








Jen took my picture too.



Another stop at the creek along the way. Jack love the mini waterfalls on the rocks.



I thought this tree looked like it was yawning.



After a nice long hike, we came to the top of a very long staircase.



I stayed at the top for a bit, so I could take a picture. Here, they were only about half way down.


Say "Cheese!"




At the bottom, there were beautiful rock walls and formations for which the park is named.












I loved the roots of this tree, so pretty.







Here and there, we found carvings in the rocks. I thought this one was really neat.








Peek-A-Boo




The kids had a blast, climbing up on the formations, watching the water trickling down from the ledges.




Proud Mama moment. Josh helping Jen down from the rocks.
















This fallen tree was laying out over the water, and covered with baby ferns.







It was absolutely beautiful. We can't wait to come back when every thing is green and full.












Heading back up the stairs, and on to the rest of our hike.



In our book, this outing qualifies as:

"Phys. Ed" - hiking several miles!
"Science" - tree identification, ecology, etc.
Not to mention a psychological break from the monotony....mental health :-)

More to come.......