Thursday, November 1, 2012

Elections, Pumpkin, and Christmascups Oh My!

Well, as many of you probably already know, Starbucks holiday cups made their annual debut today! Normally this would warrant a post in and of itself, but since I have yet to post since I got back into the country two months ago (my bad), the Christmascups will have to share space with some other updates.

Things have been madness since I got back, but I think the only terribly exciting highlight from before school starting was wine tasting in Walla Walla. It was absolutely gorgeous, and we had fabulous wine.

After that things got suuuper busy again, school started, and life became a delicate work-hard, play-hard balance. 

One thing I've been making more time for is baking! I've been on a serious pumpkin kick lately too. I wasn't exactly an expert on pumpkin things though so I bought this 4 pack of mix at Costco to experiment with.

It was alright, and it actually made really good chocolate chip bread, but it didn't translate well to cookie form, and my mini muffins were a little on the crisp side. I still have one thing left, so maybe I'll make more chocolate chip bread. I also made some pumpkin bread from scratch, but I really think it needed more spices. 

Anyway, I have lots of pumpkin still so I want to make this recipe of Martha Stewart's:


  • For The Cookies

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
    • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For The Icing

    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  4. Make icing: Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time.
I'm not sure when I'll have time, because this week is absolutely crazy, but I was thinking next friday or Saturday might be a good time. Sara, would you be up for a little baking? Maybe we could even sell the cookies :)

That's right, readers. Sara is coming to visit!!!!!!! Next week!! I can't can't can't wait! And she's just in time for some wonderful holiday fun so be ready to hear about some adventures!

But back to pumpkin-related things, I celebrated Halloween last weekend by dressing up as Pippi one night and Madeline the next night.

It was pretty incredible if I do say so myself. And then last night Laura and I weren't quite up for going out, plus I had a lot of school things to do, so we did a Halloween night in. We got pizza and candy and Christmas beer because they were out of pumpkin beer, and then we watched Hocus Pocus, which is pretty much the best disney Halloween movie ever. Thackery Binx, anyone?

I hope you all had a lovely Halloween and that you're enjoying the holiday season. But most importantly, I hope you all VOTE!! It's very important, especially this year. Sara and I hope to one day be like these two old women:

They're two "sassy liberal broads" as Sara put it, and I hope one day she and I can have such an entertaining and informative blog. 

In the meantime, I just want to share this with you all, because it's awesome and has lots of amazing people in it:

Happy Halloween, happy holidays, and don't forget to vote!!


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