Random Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice Snickerdoodles

Growing up there were a few recipes my mom made in circulation — that is when we actually had sweets. Usually Snickerdoodles was one of those on the list. I do not make them often because Chris is not a big fan of them and I end up throwing them out because I cannot keep up with eating them all. This time I found one that had pumpkin in it – and he was willing to try them.

They are fluffy (they better be with all the flour in them) – and chewy. The recipe we used growing up you would smash the ball with the bottom of a glass before baking which made them almost crunchy. The below recipe is worth making. They are soft and chewy with a bit of a bite too them, which is most likely all the pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Snickerdoodles  [Recipe found from “Lovin Life at the End of the Dirt Road.”]


1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups flour


1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and both sugars together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in both egg and additional yolk into butter along with vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
  4. Mix in Pumpkin Pie Spice, baking powder and salt until combined.
  5. Reduce speed on mixer to low and mix in flour until dough comes together.
  6. Chill dough for at least an hour.
  7. When ready to bake, line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375°
  8. Mix coating ingredients (light brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice) together in a bowl, set aside.
  9. Roll dough into large balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and then roll into the sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture, coating completely.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes until cookies are lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.

Random recipe: Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

We tried it. Being vegan. We could not do it. While I could probably give up meat, it was impossible to give up cheese and eggs. I love both way too much, and the fake vegan version of cheese just does not compare. I am my father’s daughter. My dad was all about cheese (even if he probably at the time was not “cultured” in his cheese knowledge — no pun intended). With that all in mind, I love finding recipes, especially desserts that have the core of the ingredients inclusive of coconut milk and creme because it is so much better for you. This recipe is vegan and almost gluten-free, (if you can find a substitute for the flour). Maybe I will try to recreate into a gluten-free version. These cupcakes were good, and super moist (ugh I hate that word, but it is true). The frosting was not that sweet which is just the way I like it.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes [Original recipe from Love & Olive Oil]

Yield: 1 dozen
Total Time: 1 hour

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (we used dark chocolate cocoa powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

12 ounces coconut cream, chilled overnight*
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, and coconut oil until incorporated. It you are making it in the summer you might need to slightly warm the coconut oil (depending on where you live). Since it is warm here, no need to do so as my coconut oil is not solid right now. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the coconut milk mixture in the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated (do not overmix).
  4. Spoon into liners, filling each with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  5. For whipped coconut cream, spoon solid coconut out of can, discarding any remaining liquid in the bottom (or reserve for another use). Place in a chilled mixing bowl (keeping it cold is key here!) and beat on high-speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and holds soft peaks. It won’t firm up quite like whipped cream. Return to refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up slightly.
  6. Frost cupcakes with a thin layer of coconut cream. It’s pretty lose, so it won’t hold huge swirls like buttercream. Dollop a bit of frosting on top of the cupcake, then dip top in a bowl of shredded coconut. The coconut will help hold the frosting in place.
  7. Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.

Note: We did not read early enough that the coconut cream needs to be chilled overnight. So we made the cupcakes at night and finished the frosting the next morning. Breakfast anyone?

*You can also use full fat coconut milk but will need twice as much. Refrigerate at least 24 hours until thoroughly chilled. When you open the can, spoon off the solid layer of coconut at the top; this is what you will use to make the frosting. Any liquid at the bottom of the can can be discarded or reserved for another use. Note that if you use full-fat coconut milk instead of coconut cream, you may need 2 cans to get enough cream for the frosting.

Random recipe: Asparagus Fries

I am addicted to french fries. Chris told me recently that he loves me more than french fries. I guess that means he really loves me, because I definitely love me some amazing french fries. So when I found this recipe for Asparagus Fries I thought we should try them. They will never compare to real french fries, but at least they give you the nutrients of asparagus, and maybe later stinky pee.

Asparagus Fries (from PBS)


1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 cup panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl large enough to fit the asparagus, beat the egg whites and mayonnaise together.
In a separate container large enough to fit the asparagus (a plate will do), add the flour.
In a separate container large enough to the fit the asparagus, combine the panko, Parmesan, garlic salt, and black pepper.
Then coat the asparagus in the egg.
Dredge a few pieces of asparagus in the flour.
Lastly, coat the asparagus in the panko mixture making sure to press it on.
Repeat these steps until all the asparagus have been coated.
Bake the asparagus in a single layer for 10-13 minutes until golden and crispy.
Serve warm.

They were good. Not outstandingly amazing, but good. Would we make them again? Probably not. They were on the drier side. Chris made them with chicken breasts, where he also sprinkled panko crumbs and parmesan on top. Good but not anything to write home about – and also it really depends on how much you like asparagus.

My new weakness: Sourdough English Muffins



English Muffins. Who does not love them? My sister-in-law brought me her sourdough starter when she visited over Easter weekend. I shared my first week with a friend, was pooped the second weekend after my 1/2 marathon so threw some starter out, but this weekend, I baked!

She left me with a recipe to make English Muffins. The photo to the left is what they looked like after done. Who knew that making English Muffins were so easy? Especially if you have a sourdough starter growing in your refrigerator.

We do not eat a ton of bread. We would love to, but it is not what keeps our energy going. We stick more to fruit, vegetables, and proteins, but sometimes you just want fresh-baked goods. Over the weekend, I made these yummy English Muffins. Essentially you prep the starter to raise over night. It takes only a few minutes to prepare it. Let it rise. You can let it rise up to 24 hours. Many of the bread recipes that I follow you have to let it rise for a specific number of hours, so it is great that this recipe has flexibility. An opened ended recipe means you have more flexibility to live your life, and still have bread. Once you are ready to finish the English Muffins, it will only take a little less than 30 minutes to finish. Add a few ingredients, form into the muffins and cook on the stove. Finished. Use, or freeze for the future!

I am also exploring using the starter for other bread recipes. Next week I might make pizza dough!

Erin’s Sourdough English Muffins (recipe from my sister-in-law)

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin)
  • 1 cup liquid (water*, milk, fermented dairy, coconut milk…)
  • 2 cups flour (your choice)
  • add-ins like seeds, dried fruit, or chopped nuts… (optional)

Next day:

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or any other sweetener)
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt of choice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

*Note: The English muffins will turn out if you use water instead of full fat or fermented dairy and if you add more flour initially for easier kneading. However, the results will not be as soft on the outside or as tender on the inside once you’ve finished the cooking.

Place 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin) into a medium size bowl. Pour onto that the 1 cup of liquid. This is the first place where the recipe is very flexible. Your liquid could be water, milk, any fermented dairy, coconut milk. Stir to combine starter and liquid. If your sourdough starter is very stiff, you might need an extra 1/4 cup of liquid.

Once combined, add 2 cups of flour to the mixture. Use any combination of flours, white wheat, whole wheat, and rye. Stir well to combine. Cover and let your dough sit overnight, even up to 24 hours. In the morning, you will be able to tell that your sourdough has been at work.  

On top of your soaked dough, sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt (I use 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon honey. Use a wooden spoon to push/cut/stir in your newly added ingredients. Don’t worry about incorporating it perfectly; you will be kneading it in just a moment.

Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto your counter and spread it around with your hand and then rub your hands together. Dump out your dough onto the oiled spot and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes. The purpose of this kneading is to incorporate the honey, baking soda, and salt. After this, take a pizza cutter and separate  dough into 8 equal portions. Dust your hands with flour before you shape each muffin.

With dusted hands, pick up a portion and gently shape it into your muffin, usually about 1 finger thick and maybe 2-1/2 inches wide. Place your muffins on a lightly floured or cornmealed (greased might work if you want to stay away from newly added flour) sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Cover with a dish towel and let rest while preheating griddle or skillet.

About 5 minutes before you want to griddle/skillet your muffins, set the heat to mediumish. You do not want the muffins to brown too quickly because the insides need a chance to cook. Carefully transfer the muffins onto your heat source. Cook the muffins for about five minutes on each side. You can take a little peek every now and again to make sure the bottoms are not getting too brown. When it is time to flip, do this carefully. Your muffins will plump up beautifully, and you do not want to deflate them by being too rough. Cook for the second five minutes. Now, if you find that the outside edge of your muffin is not as done as you like, feel free to pop these into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.