Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds

Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds 2
We had quite the eventful day on Tuesday that brought a visit to the E.R. with our first major injury. Noah fell out of his bed and hit the right side of his head, splitting it and requiring 2 staples. It was pretty traumatic for both of us but I kept it together (for the most part) and he was incredibly brave. I’m pretty sure it took a good 3 hours for my blood pressure and heart rate to get back to normal and I still wince every time I see his poor little head.

He skipped school yesterday since his head was hurting so we decided to whip up some decadent pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lantern carving. Because sugar makes everything better. Am I right?
Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds 1
These are a fun, easy last minute Halloween treats using ingredients most of us have in our pantry already. Noah had a great time making sure the pumpkin seeds were in a single layer for roasting (OCD much? perhaps he gets it from his mama?) and mixing up the sugar and spice topping. If you have little ones helping, make sure they stand back during step 2 as some of the pumpkin seeds may pop or spatter.

And just for reference, we got a little over 2 cups of pumpkin seeds from a large and small pumpkin.
Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds 3
I hope you enjoy these pumpkin seeds, or pepitas if you’re fancy like that.

Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds
recipe adapted from All Recipes

2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

2. Melt coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar. Stir and cook for about 45 seconds, or until dissolved (do not allow to brown or burn).

3. Pour pumpkin seeds into sugar and spice mixture, tossing to fully coat. Allow to cool and enjoy.

 

Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
As you can probably tell by the red and green, I was planning to share this cookie recipe with you before Christmas. Well, life got crazy and that didn’t happen but these are so good that I just had to share them anyway. They are one of my favorite cookies that I have made in awhile.

We rarely buy packaged cookies but I have always loved those iced oatmeal cookies dipped in milk until they get a little soggy. These remind me of those store-bought cookies but are chewy rather than crunchy which always makes a cookie better in my opinion.
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
I whipped these up, along with several other sweets, and brought them for all of Joel’s family to enjoy while we gathered for his grandpa’s funeral. The were inhaled in a flash. The only other cookie to disappear before were these cookie dough bites. It’s really a toss up over which one is better. If my New Years resolution wasn’t to get rid of this baby weight then I would just say have one of each!
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies
Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies
recipe from Is This Really My Life?

Cookies:
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
2-5 Tbsp. milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease cookie sheet.

2. In food processor or blender, pulse/blend oats until partly ground. (Ground oats should be coarse, not a fine powder.)

3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix until combined.

4. In a large bowl beat melted butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.

5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 14 to 16 minutes until lightly browned. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to bake (if it gets too warm, the cookies spread too much).

6. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Once cookies are completely cooled, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth and desired consistency. Gently frost each cookie and allow glaze to set before storing. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream 2
Remember the snickerdoodle cookies I shared with you on Monday? I told you I would be sharing something amazing that they would be a part of and this is it! I’m sure the anticipation was killing you and I hope it was worth the wait!

One a recent trip to our favorite ice cream shop in town, Ivanna Cone, Joel noshed on a big scoop of snickerdoodle ice cream and it was dreamy. A sweet, spicy cinnamon ice cream with chunks of snickerdoodle cookies throughout, what’s not to love? It was amazing and I kept the flavor in the back of my mind for the future.
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream 1
When Father’s Day rolled around, I told him I wanted to make him ice cream and he had to choose. I assumed he would pick Coffee Ice Cream as it’s his favorite but he surprised me and requested an attempt at the snickerdoodle. This made me happy since I’m not a huge coffee fan and I always like to try new recipes. So, I went to my trusty ice cream recipe book to find a good base for this deliciousness.

I found a cinnamon custard ice cream that I thought would be just perfect with some crumbled snickerdoodles. And it was. This is the most amazing, creamy, cookie filled ice cream ever. It may even be my favorite homemade ice cream creation yet….and that’s saying something since I’m pretty much an ice cream addict.
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream 3
I hope you guys love ice cream as much as I do because I have some more fun recipes coming your way this summer. I just can’t get enough!

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream
recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book

2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim and it was still creamy and delicious)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1-2 cups crumbled snickerdoodles

1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Stir in cornstarch then set aside.

2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaf and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat. Once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf then slowly beat the warm milk mixture into the eggs. Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Do not let the mixture boil or your eggs may scramble. Once thickened, pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a large, clean bowl. Allow custard to cool slightly (I place mine in the fridge for about an hour), then stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.

3. Stir the chilled custard then freeze according to your ice cream machine instructions. During the last five minutes of freezing, crumble in the snickerdoodles. If you prefer soft ice cream, eat right away but if you want a firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles 3
We made it back from our Lake of the Ozarks vacation and although we had fun, I am glad to be home. A week was definitely enough nature for this girl! I came home with 35 bug bites, a killer sun burn and a cold that has lingered all week. I’m more of a beach or city vacation kind of person. Although it was nice to not have to worry about straightening my hair or putting on makeup.

I made these cookies before vacation for an amazing treat that I will share with you later this week. You are going to just die when you see what it is. So yummy!
Snickerdoodles 1
These cookies are soft and chewy with a delicious cinnamon kick. I have a thing for cinnamon so I threw some into the batter rather than just rolling the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture. I like the extra spicy, sweet kick it gives them, but it’s totally up to you. They come together quickly and easily so they are great to whip up when a sweet tooth craving strikes.
Snickerdoodles 2
I just can’t wait to share the deliciousness that these helped create!

Snickerdoodles
recipe slightly adapted from food.com

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.

2. Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl.

3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into butter mixture.

4. Chill dough and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

5. Meanwhile, mix 5 tablespoons sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

6. Scoop 1 inch globs of dough then roll into balls. Coat dough by gently rolling balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

7. Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.

Gingerbread Granola {Christmas Tray 2012}

Gingerbread Granola
As you can tell, I kind of have a thing for granola (and I have passed it on to Noah). We got addicted to all of Trader Joe’s granola but since we had never had a TJ’s in town (until now, mwhahaha) I always liked to make it homemade to snack on. We like it plain, vanilla flavored and especially this holiday gingerbread granola.

I made so many cookies and candies this year that I thought it would be nice to include something really different. Breakfast was the perfect solution and granola automatically popped into my head. And what says Christmas more than gingerbread?
Gingerbread Granola
The maple syrup, molasses and ginger all combine to create the perfect gingerbread taste. The crystallized ginger added a nice chewiness to the crunchy texture of the oats and nuts. A totally yummy treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Gingerbread Granola
recipe from Disney Family

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup molasses
1/3 cup oil
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix oats and almonds together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, molasses and oil.

3. Pour sugar and oil mixture over the oats and stir well, making sure everything is evenly coated.

4. Pour into a greased 13×9 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

5. Let cool completely, stir in crystallized ginger and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Loaded Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins

Loaded Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
I know these muffins have quite the name and I really should have simplified with the title “best muffins ever.” They really are that good. They were still light and moist, unlike many muffins I have made with whole wheat flour. And they are actually an updated version of the muffins I shared here (before I really experimented and had creativity with existing recipes).

I had been putting off making these muffins because I was feeling lazy and just wasn’t in the baking mood for days. But that poor child of mine went muffin-less for a whole week and he just couldn’t take it anymore. We had some super ripe bananas begging to be used and I remembered this chocolate banana muffin recipe that I had made a long time ago and knew he would love them. It’s a good thing I stalk follow so many blogs and save so many recipes because I’m pretty sure I could make a different type of muffin every week of the year.
Loaded Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
I liked the base recipe for these but I was craving something with more flavor and texture so I made a few tweaks to fit my taste and mood. I went on a Trader Joe’s binge over Labor Day when visiting my parents so I have a huge stock of nuts that need to be used up. Every time I go in that place I go into a panic like I will never go again and proceed to feel the need to buy excessive amounts of ingredients that I have no plans for immediate use. I could add almonds to just about anything and think it was spectacular but I wasn’t sure about the sunflower seeds. They ended up putting  the muffins over the top for me. They gave them an awesome, nutty crunch that was really wonderful.

The muffins were crammed with delicious goodness in every bite and could be packed with even more depending on your taste or what’s in your pantry. Make sure to check out the additional mix-in ideas before baking them up and comment with any other yummies you add in that I didn’t dream up!
Loaded Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
Loaded Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
recipe adapted from Food.com

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dutch process baking cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. canola oil (or sub applesauce)
1 egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
Additional Possible Mix-Ins: raisins, craisins, pecans, toffee bits, marshmallows, quick cooking oats

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients.

2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg.

3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips, almonds and sunflower seeds.

4. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three fourths full.

5. Bake for 17-25 minutes or until muffins test done.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
I really wish I had better pictures so you could truly know the amazingness that was this cake. I kind of put off making this until the last minute for a gathering so I only had time to snap some quick pictures but it was so yummy that I wanted to make sure I shared it with you during prime pumpkin season.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
I love pumpkin, cinnamon rolls and cake for that matter so I knew combining them would be good….really good. And it was. The pumpkin with the buttery cinnamon swirl is what I loved about this delectable dessert. Don’t worry about all the calories, they were rich so a small piece will be enough to satisify you! This would be the perfect dessert to share at Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
recipe from Picky Palate

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
3.4 ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup sour cream
15 ounce can pumpkin
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (start w 1/4 cup and add a little more cream if needed)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray.

2. Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream and pumpkin into a stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
3. Place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30-40 seconds. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
4. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Place powdered sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Refrigerate if not serving same day.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake
Makes 16 to 20 squares