Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Awesome pumpkin cookies

So, I've already made these 3 times now. They are awesome and Mike loves them. Most recently, he entered us into his work's Christmas cookie bake-off and he wanted me to make these. I found the recipe on Picky Palate's blog. The first time I made them, I followed her recipe exactly but it made a ton of cookies so this time I basically halved the recipe. Here is what I did.

Pumpkin Cookies
Source: Picky Palate

1 box spice cake mix
1 15oz can pumpkin
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (I added)

Preheat oven to 350. Place cake mix, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla in a mixer and mix until well combined. With a cookie scoop, scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees F. for 11-13 minutes or until cooked through (9-11 mins works best for me). Let cool completely.

For the frosting, here is what I did:
1 jar of vanilla frosting
4 oz softened cream cheese (light)
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix all together and spread on cookies. Yum!

My first pecan pie!

Since we were hosting Thanksgiving, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at pecan pie. I had thought about using a Cooking Light recipe or some other 'light' recipe, but then I said what the heck and chose to just go all out. Afterall, I didn't want to ruin my first pecan pie...so I turned to someone who I knew would be spot on....the Pioneer Woman. Are you wondering how mine turned out? Ridiculously good!!! I got so many compliments on it...Mike's mom and grandma were really wowed that I made it from scratch. Go me! Do yourself a favor...make a real pecan pie one day. So. Worth. It.

Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie
Source: Pioneer Woman Cooks
1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter (regular, salted)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Bake pie at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, being careful not to burn pecans and crust.
Allow to cool for several hours or overnight.

My new favorite dip!

This dip is just too easy...and so delicious. Lani made it for a halloween party and made me try it, even though I was hesitant simply because of the word 'artichoke'. Well, silly me, because it was so good. I decided to make it for a Thanksgiving appetizer and I served it with crostini. So, let's just get right to it...shall we?

Lani's Artichoke Dip
1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz of cream cheese (light)
1/2 cup of mayo (light)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 or 375. Mix all ingredients. Spread into 8x8 dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and bubbling on top. Serve with crostini or crackers. Enjoy!