Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Cookie Sandwiches with Cream Cheese Frosting

These cookies are so good, and perfect for the season!  I admit I jump all over the pumpkin bandwagon come fall.  I usually use the canned version from the market, but it's very easy to roast your own sugar pumpkins.  I have high hopes that our pumpkins will last through Halloween so I can cook them, but they usually get chewed up by some animal in the middle of the night.  Life in the country. 

Pumpkin Cookie Sandwiches with Cream Cheese Frosting

Original recipe modified from Food Network

Yield: About 20-25 sandwich cookies

1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best!)
pinch ground cloves
pinch salt

2 (8 oz) packaged cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to combine after each.  Pour in maple syrup.
Add the pumpkin and mix until all wet ingredients are well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and salt. 
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, portion onto cookie sheets lined with baking mats or parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown on the edges. 
Cool on racks.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy.
Add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
Add in the vanilla and lemon zest, and mix well.

When cookies have cooled, sandwich cream cheese frosting between them.  Store in the refrigerator if you have any leftovers. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

At Home With Colin

Hello, AHWA readers!  Colin here, sharing my perspective on life at 9 months old.

I know I'm 9 months old because my mom whispered it to me when we were spending some quality time together at 3:48 AM on October 4th.  She does this every month, I wonder if she's ever going to stop.  At least it's not every Wednesday anymore. 

My day usually starts with Daddy coming in to get me out of bed.  IT IS SO EXCITING - I LOVE DADDY!!!  This is usually our only time together during the day so I am very chatty and giggly. 

We all head downstairs and eat breakfast.  I have only recently started eating breakfast, but I can gobble down fruit like none other.  I did not care for oatmeal, and made that clear.

After Daddy heads to work, I play for a bit and then it's time for my first nap.  When I wake up, I jump up and down in my crib and sing until Mommy retrieves me.  This is when we head out for our first adventure of the day.  Sometimes we go to the playground. I am a big fan of the swings, and also enjoy walking around and picking up each and every wood chip.  I have tasted several.  I am not so sure about the slide.

Other times we head out shopping.  I keep my eyes peeled for flags, ceiling fans, and big lights.  When I see them I point and  yell so everyone can appreciate them, as well.  I love being out, and do not like getting back in the car to go home.  When Mommy tries to put me in my carseat, I show her how quickly I can flip over and stand up facing backwards.  She does not seem impressed.  Eventually she wrestles me in, and we head home.

We have some more playtime at home.  This generally involves me toddling around the house holding Mommy's hand and making my rounds of the refrigerator magnets, dishtowels on the stove handle, phone cord, air conditioning vents, and shoes.  During our entire day Mommy chases me around with the camera.  I don't stay still much anymore, so she gets a lot of blurry pictures.  I also want to play with the camera, so she gets a lot of pictures that look like this.

Next comes lunch time.  I can feed myself now and while it takes a little concentration, I get most everything in my mouth.  Today we had broccoli.  I know this because Mommy made up a cheesy song about it.  She doesn't seem to grasp the difference between laughing at and laughing with.  I indulge her.  Anyway, back to the broccoli.  These little trees are easy to pick up, so I keep shoving them in until they are all in my mouth at once.  This makes chewing a bit difficult as I only have one tooth, but I manage. 

Following my afternoon nap, we take a walk.  When we get home I like to toddle around the yard trying to pick up pine cones.  Mommy takes them away from me saying something about "sticky."  I don't know what that means, so I continue finding them until I have managed to get sap all over my hands and clothes.

Dinner time is much like lunch, but I usually manage to get even more food all over myself.  Next up is tubby time.  I love tubby time!  I splash as much as I can, soaking the bathroom, and also chew on my ducks.  Apparently I'm not supposed to stand up in the bathtub, but standing is my favorite, so there is usually some discussion about that.

Finally we read the nighttime books, have a snack and I eventually go to bed after trying to pull down the curtains and dismantle the sound machine.  Mommy and Daddy hope that I sleep for many hours, but I often have other plans. 
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