We had a new neighbor move in next door about 2 months ago. When she moved in, I was like, “Look at me I am going to bake something for her and then we can take it over and introduce ourselves so she can have a lovely welcome to the neighborhood.” Like in the movies. Only I kept being too busy/forgetting and I have been feeling like a bigger and bigger jerk for not having introduced myself at all. But I was bound and determined to bake a neighbor treat and fullfill my vision. So finally last Friday I decided to get my act together and bake one of the cookie recipes from my “Yummy for Autumn” pinterest board. It consists of two oatmeal cookies full of warm fally spices with sweet pumpkin filling nestled in between. In other words, YES.
I followed the recipe exactly as is but doubled it so I could have cookies enough to take to the dinner party I was invited to on Friday night. They were a big hit. Anyways, here is the recipe and I strongly suggest that you make them too. It is fall after all, which is the season of superior sweets (superior everything really) and we might as well embrace it before it is gone.
Five stars if you can spot the cat in this photo.
There he is. Juicy likes fall treats too.
I have really been trying to eat more fruit lately so I have been super ambitious with my fruit purchases. But inevitably my fruit consumption has been having a hard time keeping up with my purchases and so a few weekends ago I ended up with an entire carton of strawberries that were going down hill pretty rapidly. I found what looked to be a pretty easy recipe for strawberry muffins and decided to give it a little bit of a floral twist by substituting rosewater in place of the cinnamon. I love floral tastes in foods so these are right up my alley but if you don’t like the way roses smell, you will not like these muffins.
This is the recipe I used for Berry Smash muffins. I removed the cinnamon and added 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1/2 tsp of rosewater. If you are unsure about how you feel about rosewater, you may want to start with 1/4 tsp of rosewater because the taste and smell is pretty potent. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 is probably the rosewater sweet spot. If you try these, let me know how it goes!
This weekend was a bit of a cluster. Things started out pretty well – Meg and I finished our Christmas shopping on Saturday morning feeling like we had just won the shopping awards and I replaced a broken strand of Christmas lights that was making our house look lopsided. Our Saturday night took a quick downturn when Corey got bitten by a dog that he was trying to love on (he really loves animals) and we spent the wee hours of the night in the emergency room. Luckily he wasn’t hurt very badly, but we wanted to check to see if he needed stitches since the bite was on his face. Then on Sunday after yoga, I bumped another car with my car. A parked one. Stupid.
Well if the world wanted to take my Christmas spirit away then they have another thing coming because I decided to remedy the situation with cookies. Take that world! And not just any cookies. Our mom used to make them every holiday season, reading from the worn-out pages of our Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s just not Christmas without them.
Recipe for Russian Tea Cakes (from the Betty Crocker Cookbook)
– 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
– 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
– 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– additional powdered sugar
1) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and the vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts, and salt until dough holds together.
2) Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3) Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool slightly on wire rack, just long enough for them to harden a little. Then roll them in powdered sugar. A lot of it.