{Monthly Recipe Swap: Cookies} Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin cookies

My friend Janet at Frugal and Focused has started a recipe swap feature on her blog and this month (the very first swap!) the theme is… cookies! How perfect for Christmas. I’m sharing a recipe for pumpkin cookies that I got from my friend Sherry so long ago. Even though they are more of a “fall” cookie, I love eating them year-round.

Pumpkin Cookies

  •  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup butter, softened
  •  1 1/2 cups white sugar
  •  1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  •  1 egg
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: Chocolate chips, walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips and nuts if you like. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and cool cookies on a wire rack.

If you want to participate in the recipe swap, hop on over to Frugal and Focused to join in.

{product review} caveman cookies – rainforest flavor


It’s been killing me to see all these delicious-looking cookie recipes posted on blogs this month. After all, December is the month of cookie swaps, homemade gifts, and treating yourself. Still, I am trying hard to resist the temptation and avoid as much flour and sugar as possible. So when I read an e-mail about Caveman Cookies, I was intrigued. Paleo cookies? That I don’t have to make myself? Why yes, I would be very interested in trying those!


Caveman Cookies are made with Paleo-friendly ingredients including nuts, honey and berries. They are certified Kosher, gluten-free, and dairy-free. I was sent a package of the new Rainforest flavor for my review. The flavor is described like this in the marketing material:

The cookies feature an exotic combination of Brazil nuts and chewy dried cherries, with a kick of cayenne pepper. The other ingredients are honey, almond meal, chopped almonds and nutmeg.

Drew and I both tried them before we read the ingredients and thought there had to be ginger in the cookies – we were very surprised there wasn’t! There’s a definite kick from the cayenne and I guess when combined with the nutmeg, you get that taste of ginger.

We also had very different opinions on the flavor. Drew didn’t like them at all, I am sorry to say. I thought they were interesting and I kind of like them. They are very different from your standard chocolate-chip cookie, or even one made with coconut flour, but I found the slightly sweet taste and sticky texture enjoyable. The cookies are also available in original (similar to oatmeal-raisin), Alpine (carob and hazelnuts), and tropical (coconut and macadamia nut).

Here’s a peek at the nutrition facts:


A bag of 12 cookies costs $9.95. While that seems pricey, the ingredients are expensive and they’re not loaded with the junk found in most other mass-produced cookies. They’re not that big, but I found one was plenty to satisfy my sweet tooth, and technically the serving size is two cookies, so if one doesn’t do it — go for the second one!


You can purchase different sized bags (including sampler bags) on the Caveman Cookies website. Each cookie is individually wrapped in a cello bag to preserve freshness (which also means you don’t have to eat the entire bag as soon as you open it). As I read through the reviews on Amazon, I noticed that there is some argument as to whether or not these cookies are really Paleo. There seems to be a lot of bickering lately about what, in general, a Paleo diet means, but as far as I am concerned the ingredients meet the definition. (Of course, I am not a strict Paleo person by any means, as evidenced by the milk in my tea in that photo at the top of this post.) At the very least, these are certainly a great choice for those following a GF diet.

To sum it all up: I love the idea of a healthy cookie that I don’t have to bake myself. And although the Rainforest flavor is a little spicy for my taste, I’d give another variety a try without hesitation.


Disclosure: I received one free bag of Caveman Cookies in the Rainforest flavor to review on my blog. I did not receive any financial compensation for this post. The opinions expressed are my own.  This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Italian Anise Cookies

Italian anise cookies

These are, without a doubt, one of my top three favorite cookies. They’re easy to make, they are not overly sweet, and they just about melt in your mouth. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Italian Anise Cookies
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. anise extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Glaze (recipe follows)
Decoration: multicolored nonpareils (optional(

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat baking sheets with nonstick spray (or use a silicone liner).
2. DOUGH – Beat first 5 ingredients in a large bowl with mixer until blended. On low speed, beat in the next 3 ingredients until blended.
3. Drop rounded measuring teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared sheets.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until bottoms are light golden. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.
5. Dip tops of cookies in glaze and, while wet, sprinkle with nonpareils. Let set. Store airtight at room temp. up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month.

Glaze * Whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 4-5 tsp. milk, and 1 tsp. ansie extract in a small bowl until smooth.

* When I made these last night, I only make half of the glaze recipe and found I had just enough.

{Recipe} No-Bake Easter Nest Cookies

Easter Nests

With Easter just on the way, I thought I’d share my favorite Easter cookie recipe with you. My good friend Kelly used to always bring back some of these delicious cookies after Easter break and we’d enjoy them with a cup of tea as we watched TV in our dorm room. They’re great to make with kids, too because it’s a no-bake recipe (and it’s messy, so naturally it’s fun!). Be sure to store extras in your refrigerator, otherwise the marshmallow will get too melty and goopy.

I hope you enjoy!

No-Bake Easter Nest Cookies
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  1. 7 oz. marshmallow fluff
  2. 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  3. 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  4. 5 oz. chow mein noodles
  5. 1 cup chopped M&Ms
  6. Peanut M&Ms, Cadbury mini-eggs, or jellybeans
  7. Powdered sugar (optional)
  1. Combine marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, melted butter. Mix until well blended. Add noodles, chopped M&Ms. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet and shape to form nests. Let stand until firm. Dust bottom with powdered sugar (optional). Fill with peanut M&Ms, Cadbury mini-eggs, Robin's Eggs (malted milk candies) or jellybeans.
Pure Sugar https://www.puresugar.net/