I’m going to get right to the chase. These are THE BEST fall cookie. My coworker said she had these a longgg time ago and I volunteered to try and recreate them. I’M SO GLAD I DID. The cookies are soft and cake-like, and they’re good on their own, but the maple frosting puts them over the top!!
RECIPE: (yields about 3 dozen cookies)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
7.5 oz pumpkin (half a 15 oz can)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I don’t mess around. If you’re less into chocolate, 1 cup is probably sufficient)
Mix the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin until combined. Then stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed, then the chocolate chips. I used a 1.5 tbsp cookie scoop to measure out, but an overfilled tablespoon would work fine! They don’t spread too much in the oven, but drop just about 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and cake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are set. Let cool completely.
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp milk (or cream if you have it!)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar (more or less, depending on the consistency you like!)
Melt the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and milk either on a double-broiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring to combine. Mix in vanilla, then add powdered sugar until it’s the consistency you like! Somewhere between 2-2.5 cups was perfect for me, because I wanted it a little on the thicker side.
Ice the cookies, then place in the fridge to set. There will be leftover icing. YOU WILL want to eat it with a spoon. It’s unreal.
This is one of my Grandma J's recipes - and they're so good. She's always added lemon extract and made a lemon glaze on top, but you can sub the lemon for vanilla and add nuts and chocolate chips, instead - they're so versatile. Just don't add raisins, because I'll be offended. Raisins are the worst. They have no place in baked goods, instead cinnamon raisin bagels, and I'll stand by that until I die.
Here's the recipe! (This is the halved version, the full version makes a million - this one made about 4 dozen)
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) of softened butter
1 cup sugar
7.5 oz ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon flavoring - vanilla or lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups flour
Mix the wet ingredients, then add the dry. Drop by tablespoon onto greased sheet and bake @ 350 for 15 minutes.
Here's the scaled-down version of the frosting my grandma uses for her lemon cookies (I have to try not to eat it with a spoon):
2 tbs softened butter
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup powdered sugar
And just enough warm milk to thin out to your desired consistency!
If anyone out there doesn’t know, Pittsburgh is a melting pot of cultures - I grew up eating a lot of Italian since my family is Italian-American, but I ate a lot of Greek, Lebanese, German, and Polish, too. One of my absolute favorite Polish dishes is Haluski, which is a delicious mix of cabbage, onion, egg noodles, and butter, and it’s probably the easiest thing to ever make. We love it so much, my husband and I had it at our wedding! You can also catch me at the fridge with a fork, eating the cold leftovers. No shame.
This recipe probably serves 4-6 depending on how big your portions are. This is the recipe my mom always made!
1 stick of salted butter
8 oz egg noodles (if we’re trying to be healthy and watch carbs I’ll use less!)
1 small head of cabbage
1 white onion
Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt the stick of butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Slice the head of cabbage in half, then cut around the core and thinly slice each section.
Some people will dice the onion - I like cutting it in half, flipping it onto the flat side, then slicing it into long, thin strips. Either way is delicious!
Add the cabbage and onion into the melted butter and cover, stirring occasionally until cooked down and tender, probably around 15ish minutes.
Boil the egg noodles in salted water until al dente, then strain and add to the vegetables.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I’ll usually serve with kielbasi or chicken - it’s delicious! Enjoy!!! <3
My family is Italian on both sides, and boy, do we have some great recipes. The first one I want to share is my favorite thing in the world: bread!
Bread seems intimidating, I think, but it really isn’t. It just takes a while - letting it rise for about 2 hours in total then baking for another 45 minutes. It’s worth it!
This is my Grandma T’s recipe - I’ve made bread with recipes I’ve found on Pinterest, but this is the first time I’ve used hers. And both of my little old Italian grandmas have given me recipes that basically have no measurements, like “some vanilla” or “enough flour”. When I’ve asked questions, the response I usually get is “you’ll know”.
First, we’ll start with a cup and a half of warm water. Not hot, because that’ll kill the yeast - basically, be able to dip your fingers into it without burning yourself. Please, don’t burn yourself.
To that I added one and a half tablespoons of sugar and a packet of dry yeast (about two and a quarter teaspoons). I mixed them around and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
While the yeast did it’s thing, in a big bowl I mixed three cups of flour, a half tablespoon of salt, and a tablespoon and a half of olive oil. I made a well (God, did Grandma T ever love making her flour wells) and dumped the yeast mixture in.
I mixed it with a wooden spoon, and it sort of formed a sticky, shaggy dough. This is where the instructions become unclear - because Grandma T would say “use as much flour as you need”. ???? Okay den.
If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, for the love of God, use it. In my current WIP the main character is a cook in a sort of medieval fantasy world and does everything by hand, so I thought I’d sort of use her as inspiration to not use mine. And I already went to the gym today but I got another workout in, I guess.
I turned the mixture out into about a half cup of flour and started to knead. To be honest, I didn’t keep track of the time because I didn’t want to know. But I kneaded a lot. And I gradually added flour as I went, probably using 4.5 cups in total (including the initial 3). You want it to be smooth and hold as much flour as possible. It shouldn’t be sticky at all.
Here was my finished product. If you use a Kitchenaid mixer and let it go for about 10 minutes, it’ll be smooth as a baby’s butt (and should stick to the bottom, but not the sides). If you choose to hand-knead, like I did, you might lose feeling in your arms and think, hm, this isn’t very smooth but it’s going to have to be good enough.
This is one of my favorite tricks - Grandma J told me when letting dough rise, turn the oven on the lowest setting and right before you put the dough in, turn it off and close the door. It’ll create a nice, warm draft-free environment for the dough.
Don’t mind the picture of my oven. It’s older than I am, I think, and is splattered with bacon grease. I need to clean.
i put my dough ball in a nice, big metal bowl that I smeared a drizzle of olive oil around in, put it in the oven, and skipped off to my living room to watch Dumplin’.
Here it is after an hour of rising. There’s nothing like throwing your fist into a warm, risen ball of dough.
When Grandma T said to punch it, she meant punch it. Right?
I shaped it into my loaf and let it rise in the oven for another hour.
Beautiful. Then, I scored it and preheated my oven to 350 degrees, then let the loaf bake for about 45 minutes.
Yum! And that’s it! I would recommend moving the loaf to a cooling rack so that the bottom doesn’t trap heat and get soggy, and also to let it cool before cutting into it.
I've never blogged before, and quite honestly, it scares me. I've written tens of thousands of words in manuscripts. But to just write about my life, about things I am doing, or things I think? Woof.
The holidays are here, and quite honestly, I'll probably be posting recipes/things I'm eating because let's be real. Food is the best. My family is Italian-American, and my mom is the best cook/baker I know. Stay tuned ;)