Make this cookie if for nothing else, the smell in your house!  This delightful chewy cookie is made with real ingredients, butter, flour, sugar, eggs…no preservatives, and no long crazy ingredient list.  Make them with your kids!  The recipe is really simple and they’ll really enjoy coating the dough balls with the cinnamon/sugar.

Be prepared for the kiddies to line up to taste!


1 stick + 7 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 375’. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2) In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy and add sugar, beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined.
3) Combine the flour through the salt in a small mixing bowl.
4) Add half of the flour to the butter mixture and beat until mixed. Add the rest and mix until well combined.
5)Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
6) Roll into 1” balls and coat evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheet 1 ½” inches apart.
7) Bake for 10-12 minutes. Slide the parchment off the hot sheet right on to the cooling rack. Cool completely. Makes about 30 cookies.


Homemade Cheese Cake from Scratch…..

Cheese cake…simple…no fluff…creamy….gentle…not too sweet….most excellent simple dessert.  This is my Mom’s recipe.   I grew up eating this delectable dessert.  I remember first hearing the name of the dessert and wrinkling up my nose….what?  Cheese in dessert?!  No way!
It is quite delicious with a fruit topping or chocolate gnache.  I recommend you enjoy it plain so you can really taste the cream cheese and the yummy graham cracker crust.  The recipe is really easy, it goes together in a matter of 15 minutes.  Refrigerate after completely cooling on the counter on a rack.  Try not to overbake as this will cause the top to crack. 
Homemade Cheese Cake

For the crust:
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

For the filling:
2 8 ounce packages softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 325’. Line the bottom of a 10” spring form pan with non stick foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. (This will make for easy removal of the cake when it’s done.)
2) Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press into the bottom and up the side of the pan about ½”. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on rack.
3) With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese. Add the flour and sugar, beat well. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla, beat. Scrape down the sides and beat until all ingredients are incorporated.
4) Pour into pan. (it’s ok if it’s still a little warm) Bake in the center of preheated oven for 38-40 minutes. Do not over bake or the cake will crack in the center. To check for doneness, carefully tap the pan, if the center appears to be set, it’s done.
5) Cool completely before removing from pan. Carefully pull foil away from cake and place onto a serving plate. Enjoy with fresh fruit or chocolate.

Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies…..

I don’t know anyone who can pass up an iced sugar cookie!  I have made these cookies for years.   In fact, Jack and Chris remind me the minute October comes around that I need to make my pumpkin cookies.  I have the boys plop the candies on while I ice.  It goes very quickly and they LOVE to help!  I love the fact that there is no “piping” involved, too time consuming.  Ice the cookie with the orange, add the candies, and at the very end, do the stems. 

If you’re feeling generous, why not share with others?  Isn’t this a pretty package?  I alternate which way the cookies face in the bag to make it stay upright.
Here are a few cookie baking tips:

As always, flour your board.  Use 1-2 tablespoons and be sure to get some flour on the top of the dough as well.

After the dough has been chilled, it’s a bit hard to manage.  Use a small amount at a time.  Your first batch will be the hardest, don’t worry, it gets much easier once you’ve worked the dough.  Once you’ve cut out your first batch, remove the scraps from the floured board and add another chunk of the cold dough, knead into a ball and continue.

Utilize as much of the rolled out dough as possible.  Do not place dough onto a hot cookie sheet, they will start to bake.  Always line with parchment paper.  The cookies will never stick and you can cool them on the parchment as well.

I have cookie sheets that do not have sides.  This is extremely convenient while baking.  I slide the hot cookies right off the sheet and onto the cooling rack. (above)

This recipe is larger than most.  It will make about 68 good sized cookies.  You can keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Best Roll Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

2 cups sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, one pound at room temperature
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Icing (recipe below)

Orange gel food coloring (You can find at a craft store)
Green gel food coloring
Candy Corn
Chocolate chips
Cellophane bags for packaging (optional)
Raffia ribbon for packaging (optional)

1) In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy and add one half of the sugar, beat, then add the rest. Add two eggs and beat. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the remaining three eggs and vanilla, beat until nicely incorporated.
2) Lightly measure out flour into a separate mixing bowl. Add baking powder and salt, whisk until blended.
3) Add half of the flour mixture to the egg/butter mixture and beat well. Add remaining flour and blend until all ingredients are incorporated.
4) Shape into a large ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then put into a large zip bag. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
5) When ready to bake, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375’ and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Have cooling racks ready to receive hot cookies.
6) Cut off a chunk and begin working with your hands to make it pliable enough to roll out on a floured surface. Roll to 1/8” thickness. Cut out with your favorite shapes and place on prepared sheets, leaving at least 1” of space between cookies. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Cool for five minutes before removing from cookie sheet onto a rack. Cool completely before icing.

For icing:

6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5-7 tablespoons water
Orange gel coloring
Green gel coloring

1) Measure powdered sugar into a medium size mixing bowl. Add vanilla and 5 tablespoons of water. Mix well until there are no lumps. Add additional water by the teaspoon to get a smooth, spreadable consistency.
2) Remove a couple of tablespoons of icing and put into a very small bowl. Add a small amount of green food coloring and mix well. Add about ¼ teaspoon of the orange to the rest of the icing, mix well. Add more if you want a more vibrant orange.
3) Ice each cookie with the orange icing and add decorations to each cookie as you ice. Add the green icing to the stems at the very end, after you’ve completed icing with the orange.   Makes about 5 1/2 dozen cookies.

Icing tips:

*Cover the icing with a damp towel when you’re not using to keep it from drying out.
*If the icing is running off the cookie because it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, mixing between until the consistency is thicker.
*Have all decorations ready to go in small bowls so that when you ice the cookie, you can immediately put the eyes and smile on the cookie.
*Allow to air dry several hours or overnight. The icing will set up and you won’t have to worry about messing them up when packaging. These cookies travel very well but do not last long!

Pumpkin Cupcakes Anyone?

What’s not to love about a cupcake????  They’re the perfect size, ok, maybe you’ll have to have two!  Perfect for casual parties, no serving plates or forks necessary.  There is something to be said about “mini” anything.  So cute and appetizing.  Make these from my recipe for Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting and simply bake in cupcake pans.  This one bowl cake recipe goes together in minutes.  The recipe will make 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.  Bake at 350′ for 17 minutes.  Be sure to spray the inside of the cupcake liners with cooking spray and fill each liner to 2/3 full.  Cupcakes cool much faster than a large bar pan so they can be enjoyed much quicker!  So easy and so much better than any store bought cupcake.

Moist and tender cinnamon pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting…..that’s what I’m talkin’ about!