Tuesday, November 20, 2012


We just got back last night from celebrating an early Thanksgiving with our son Jeffrey and his family in CO.  I usually take a book to read to help pass the time as we drive across Kansas.  I went to the library last week and found two mysteries to read.  I like mysteries and one of them that I checked out, Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke caught my eye because the subtitle of the book was
"A Hannah Swensen Holiday Mystery with Recipes!"

I have read and enjoyed books before that contained a few recipes.  So I decided to check it out.  I haven't finished the book yet, but have enjoyed reading all the recipes.  She talks about the recipes in the chapter and then at the end of the chapter she has the recipe(s).  Yes, a couple of the chapters have more than one recipe.  

I think if I ever wrote a book, this is the kind I would write.  Sometimes the recipe takes up 3 or 4 pages...ok, it is a large print book, but you know what I mean.

There are a number of the recipes that I want to try.  This morning for breakfast, I made my Pumpkin Spiced Baked Oatmeal.  Since the oatmeal only takes 1/2 cup of pumpkin, I decided to try the white chocolate pumpkin dreams since it also uses pumpkin.  The recipe makes 6 dozen cookies.  I didn't want to have that many cookies in the house, so I cut the recipe in half.  I made 3 dozen + two extra cookies. 

In all of her recipes in the book, she says the flour amount is packed.  I never pack my flour.  I spoon spoonfuls carefully in the measuring up when I measure the flour amount.  That is why in the recipe my flour amount looks like it is more than half.  My amount of flour is not packed in the cup.  I am printing the recipe that appears in the book and then my amounts/comments in the parentheses and bold print.

1  cup  softened salted butter (1/2 cup Shredd's Spread Country Crock)

1/2  cup white granulated sugar (1/4 cup)

1/2  cup packed brown sugar (1/4 cup packed)

1  large egg, beaten (1  large egg, beaten)

1  teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoon)

1  teaspoon baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)

1/4  teaspoon salt (1/8 teaspoon)

1/2  teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)

1  teaspoon cinnamon (1 teaspoon)

1/2  teaspoon cardamom or an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, but cardamom's really a lot better (I used the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon because I didn't have any cardamom.  It is indicated above with the cinnamon amount)

1  cup canned pumpkin ( 1/2  cup)

2  cups packed down flour ( 1-1/3 cups soft wheat flour NOT packed down)

2  cups (12-ounce package) white chocolate chips (1 cup)

1  cup chopped pecans (1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray cookies with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.

Mix the two sugars together completely.

Add the softened margarine and beat until the mixture is a uniform color.

Add the beaten egg and mix it in thoroughly.  Will probably have to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.

Stir the baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and then add them to the mixture, mixing well.

Combine the nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl and then add them to the mixture, again mixing well.

Add the pumpkin and stir it in until the mixture is smooth.


Add the flour in half-cup increments, stirring the batter smooth after each addition.  May also have to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add the white chocolate chips.  Mix them in.

Add the chopped pecans.

Stir everything thoroughly. 

Using a teaspoon or a small scoop drop the batter on the cookie sheet.  The cookies will spread slightly so leave room between each one on the cookie sheet.  I cooked 12 at a time on my cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.  The cookie will be firm on the top when done and slightly brown around the edges.

Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

I sprinkled the tops with a little powdered sugar.

I went to work at Hillcrest Thrift Shop this afternoon.  I took a plate full, 12, to share with the other volunteers.  I got so many complements on them.  N.C. said, "You sure are a good cook.  Those cookies are really good."  What a nice thing to say.

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