White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I must be what the kids these days call a “basic bitch,” because I do love pumpkin flavored things. And no, I did not burn out on pumpkin in October, and I hope that you didn’t either.

That’s because these cookies are a fun, autumnal take on my favorite cookie: The Snickerdoodle.

white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles

A snickerdoodle is good any time of the year, but throw in some pumpkin and white chocolate, and you’ve got yourself a real winner for that office potluck you probably have before Thanksgiving.

They’re super chewy and moist.

Yes, I said moist. Why is that suddenly the word that everyone hates? Oh yeah, because of that episode of How I Met Your Mother. Get over it, people. These cookies are moist.

white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles 6

This recipe relies on the pumpkin bringing most of the moisture, with no egg added. This makes the cookies really soft, but it also means that you need to cool them on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

This recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but I’ve doubled it for you here, since these are sure to be gobbled up quickly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips

Start by melting the butter in the microwave, and then whisk in the brown sugar and half of the granulated sugar until there are no more lumps, and then blend in the vanilla and pumpkin.

In a larger bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, half of the cinnamon, and the pumpkin pie spice. Pour in the wet ingredients, blending with a spatula, and then gently fold in the white chocolate chips.

Sneak a few bites, and then chill the dough for 30 minutes at the very minimum. You can’t skip this step, because you melted the butter earlier, and you need this dough to harden up some. If you refrigerate them overnight, you will need to let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes so that you can roll the dough.

When your dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix together that other 1/2 of the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Roll the dough into small balls, and then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You’ll want to flatten out the cookies a little on the sheet, because these will rise more than they will spread.

smush 'em down a little

smush ‘em down a little

Bake these for 8-10 minutes, and then like I said before, allow them to cool for about 10 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. If you don’t, they may fall apart, and then you will have to eat them all so no one sees your sad broken cookies.  This can make for an excellent excuse to gobble them up, but if you want these to look nice to serve to others, let them cool for a little while.

white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles 5

And there you have it! These are so nice with a cup of tea and a good book. If you’re a “basic bitch” like me, you’ll love these.

white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles 3

It’s Been Awhile.

Aaaaand, I’m back.

I took a little hiatus there, thanks to, well, life. I was busy with work and stressed out with my second Krav Maga test, and I just needed a break from blogging. I missed some of it, but to be honest, it was nice to not worry about what I was going to post each day or feeling guilty when I didn’t respond to comments.

But what I did miss was getting to spill my thoughts onto the screen. C has been working a lot, and Khaleesi is an okay listener (but a bit judgey sometimes, ya know?). So here’s what I’ve been thinking about:

Training for this Krav test was a bit too much for me, and I wish I had skipped a testing cycle. I’ll explain more about it later, but for now, I finally feel like I can take a deep breath (which is a little ironic, since the test consisted of almost 5 hours of gasping for air).

Is anyone else excited about the return of The Newsroom? I love it, even though all of the characters’ monologues sound like those speeches you write in your head when you can’t sleep at night and you’re thinking about what you wish you had said in that moment. So no, none of it is realistic. But damn, those “re-written” monologues are good.

Popcorn with truffle-infused olive oil and a little sea salt is amazing. I make it at home with my cheap little air popper and some truffle olive oil I got on sale at Home Goods, and I feel all fancy.

I continue to be inspired by my international students. Writing a thoughtful essay in a language you are still learning is no simple task, and yet they rise to the occasion.

I totally respect people’s dietary restrictions/lifestyles, but Thanksgiving is not the time to be an asshole about it. Sneering at anything not paleo, making comments about how you don’t want any dead animals on your table, or complaining about the gluten in some dishes just makes you a douche. Shut up and just navigate your way around what’s on the table. Trust me, there’s something there that you can eat, and you won’t starve. The next day you can eat all of the vegan/gluten-free/paleo stuff you love.

I am not including a picture in this blog post because I just don’t feel like it. Deal with it.

 

 

No, Not Those November Goals!

November seems to be the month that everyone makes all sorts of grand goals: NaNoWriMo, Buy Nothing November, No-Shave November, you name it.

And here my goal is just trying not to lose my mind.

november goals

But really, November is going to be a busy month. It’s going to be busy work-wise, and I’ve got another Krav Maga test this month. Still, I want to accomplish some degree of awesomeness, so here’s what I hope to accomplish this month:

  • Lose (dum dum dum) 8 pounds. I feel like I am setting myself up to fail with this one, but we’ll see. On the one hand, training for my Krav test will probably tip the scale in my favor. On the other hand, Thanksgiving.
  • Speaking of, I just hope to pass my Krav test. 5 hours of demonstrating technique between orders to drop and give 20 burpees– if I make it without throwing up this time, I will be surprised.
  • Clean out my shoe closet. It’s filled with shoes I haven’t worn in years, and I need to take that crap over to Goodwill already.
  • Read The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. After reading This is How You Lose Her, I want to back to Oscar Wao. I don’t remember much of it.

Looking back at October, I think that I mostly did alright. Here were my October goals:

  • Lose 5 pounds. This is where I failed. I only lost 2! I chalk this up to snacking on cashews and a few wine nights– hence the 8, rather than 5, pounds for November. It’s time to be more disciplined.
  • Read This is How You Lose Her.  Done. I dug it.
  • Not eat Halloween candy– success! I did eat a few fancy gourmet pumpkin spice malt balls that came in a subscription box, but I don’t count those as Halloween candy, do you? It also took me almost a week to eat them.
  • Blog every day for Blogtober– success! Although I did keep getting confused and calling it Blogtember. Whatever. I’m not a fan of these portmanteau blog terms anyway, and you all knew what I meant (right?). It was definitely different from what I am used to blogging about, and it was a fun challenge. I hope you didn’t mind getting all personal with me last month!
  • Get in my Oktoberfest fix– success! The beer and sauerkraut were soo worth it, even if it contributed to failing at the first goal.

So there you have it. What are you hoping to accomplish in November?

Happy Halloween!

It’s here! It’s here! Not only is it Halloween, but it’s also the last day of Blogtober, and I managed to post every day this month. Woohoo!

So how am I going to celebrate? With a glass of wine, watching a marathon of Treehouse of Horror episodes, and passing out Pirate’s Booty popcorn to neighborhood kids. I wasn’t going to bother dressing up for Halloween, until I came across this at Target:

tiger halloween 2 tiger halloween 3

tiger halloween

 

If it looks like I am wearing pajamas, that is because I AM. This beautiful, cozy onesie was on sale at Target, and how could I say no?!

But let’s bee honest: you know who really steals the show this Halloween? Khaleesi:

halloween khaleesi

She’s not a fan of the hoodie antennae since they don’t fit her massive ears, but she loves running around in this bee suit.

halloween khaleesi 2

I mean, sure, she ripped into a package of RayBans I had shipped (no damage; no worries) but how can you be mad at this sweet little bumble bee?

So have yourselves a Happy Halloween, folks! And remember, Bee Safe!

 

Helene in Between Blogtober

The Facts of (My) Life

You want the facts? I sure hope so, because I’m about to pass them out like Halloween candy for day 30 of Blogtober:

red sweater 2

 

I was born on March 26, 1981

I am 5 foot 4 inches tall

I have a mom, (no dad; he died when I was young) and a brother who I love. My brother’s girlfriend is also pretty rad.

I’m not married, but C and I are practically hitched.

I earned a B.A. in English in 2004 and then an M.A. in English in 2008.

I teach at the same university that I attended.

I have a 7 month old German Shepherd named Khaleesi, and two crazy black kitties named Rex and Lula.

I drive a black Mini Cooper, and C drives a Tesla. I often volunteer to be the DD so that I can drive the Tesla.

I could eat pizza every day and never tire of it.

I’ve never broken a bone nor been stung by a bee.

Much of my paycheck is spent at Target.

My hair is naturally light to medium brown but I have been highlighting it since I was a teenager.

I hate loud noises.

I am team Android (as opposed to Apple, not as in androids versus humans)

I currently train a few days a week in Krav Maga. So don’t mess with me.

I waited tables through college and grad school, and I attribute a lot of who I am to lessons I learned there.

I have a 310 phone number, and I doubt I’ll ever give it up.

I cannot function without coffee.

I also cannot think up more facts, so do me a favor and drop me a question in the comments. I promise I will answer!

 

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Most Embarrassing Moment

Once upon a time, I embarrassed myself.  As in, this morning. And the day before, and the day before that. You see, I embarrass myself pretty much on a daily basis, and I have learned to just embrace it.

However, if you’re asking about my most  embarrassing moment (and you are, Blogtober), I would have to say that it goes back to the fall of my senior year of high school.

Who would think this could cause so much humiliation...

Who would think this could cause so much humiliation…

You see, we had a bunch of cats because I love animals too much and when my cat had kittens that weren’t later adopted, I couldn’t bear to turn them over to the shelter. So we had too many cats, and one male came of age before we could get him fixed. As you may know, male cats mark their territory with a most foul spray. Like, that shit REEKS.

Well, this cat decided that my backpack was his territory. And I didn’t notice that it was his territory as I rushed out the door to meet my ride to school. In fact, I didn’t notice it until I got to school when everyone else also noticed it because as I said, that shit REEKS.

At my high school, we also didn’t have lockers–something about fear of kids stashing drugs and guns or something. So I had no place to stash said stinky bag. I tried to leave it in the corner of my first period teacher’s room, but she found me an hour later and told me that she knew a cat had sprayed my bag and that I definitely could not leave that bag in her classroom.

So I had to be that stinky girl, carrying around that bag all day. Of course everyone talked about it, and of course I was then the gross crazy cat lady.

Sigh.

Don’t feel too sad for me though. I’m living better than about 75% of my former classmates (per anecdotal Facebook evidence, of course). I still love kitties, and I totally embrace the “cat lady” insult– we have 2 cats and I adore them. So suck it, high school and all of your embarrassing and awkward moments.

The Daily Tay Blogtober14

What I Don’t Believe In

Today’s Blogtober prompt is What Are Your Superstitions?

So here’s what: This girl, right here, is not superstitious about anything. Sorry. But there is not a damn thing that I can’t chalk up to logic or probability or science, and I kind of like those things.

I’m going to take it a step further:

I also do not believe in Karma.

karma

What?! I know, I know. Karma is one of those lovely thoughts that help people sleep at night, and it’s all about balance and justice and yeah yeah. I just don’t believe that there is some cosmic force doling out justice, and if there is, it really sucks at its job. There are some people in this world who were dealt a really shitty hand , and that is never going to change. And there are some really awful people who will never truly know suffering.

Karma is one of those ides that makes people feel better when someone else wrongs them, like, oh but don’t worry, karma will come back to get him. But what happens when something shitty happens to you? Do you get a flat tire and think, Oh, that must be my karma for taking that parking space that someone else wanted.  No. When a family member gets cancer, do you shrug and think, well, he must have done something really shitty. Of course not! Because when people believe in Karma, they only believe that it serves to avenge those who they think deserve it or to reward them for a good deed. It never affects YOU badly; you’re only the victim of someone else who now deserves bad karma.

People embrace Karma in the same way they do superstitions– it gives them a sense of control in an uncontrollable world. No amount of salt over your shoulder or knocking on wood is going to change any of it, so just embrace the wild ride. Be a decent person not because there will be some Karmic reward for it, but just because it’s the decent thing to do.

Well that’s my two sense on things. But what about you? Are you superstitious about anything, and if so, why?

 

Helene in Between Blogtober

A Letter to My Younger Self

A Letter to my Younger Self

Same picture as my" letter to myself in 10 years post," because laziness.

Same picture as my” letter to myself in 10 years post,” because laziness.

 Dear self,

Quit caring about whether people like you. There are people who don’t, and that is okay. There will always be people who don’t like you, and you will probably not even know about them, and you know what?

It’s okay.

In all of that time that you worry about trying to impress others, you could actually be doing shit. Like, important shit. Plus, there are people who do genuinely like you; pay attention to them instead.

Focus on your education, because that is some important shit. But don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out. No one really does. Okay, maybe some people do, but don’t trust them. Life is all about figuring it out as you go and learning from your mistakes. Own up to your mistakes, and don’t trust people who don’t.

Be humble. Be patient. Be grateful. When life gets rough, just remember that it does indeed get better.

Wear sunscreen. Save your money.

But most importantly, enjoy every minute of it.

Love,

You in 2014.

 

Helene in Between Blogtober

Who Would Play Me in a Movie

Who Would Play You in a Movie?

 This question has always made me a little uncomfortable, because I feel like it sets people up to sound vain. No matter what actor a person says, we all know that everyone else is going to be judging just a little bit, thinking, really? You think you kinda look like her?

Okay, maybe I’m just the judgey one.

So I am picking someone who I look nothing like.

Emma-Stone

I think that Emma Stone has the sense of humor and snarkiness to be me in a movie. I think that she could make some of those awkward moments at least seem tolerable and maybe endearing so that you’d want to still watch the movie.

Also, she’s a self-confessed Spice Girls fan, so she’s obviously qualified.

 

Helene in Between Blogtober

 

My Favorite Book

Okay, I am going to be that person. Today’s question is “What is your favorite book?” and I am going to be that pretentious asshole who says:

Ulysses. 

Look what Marilyn is reading!

Look what Marilyn is reading!

 Sorry, but it’s the truth. I wrote my M.A. thesis on it, and I happen to actually really like it. Yes it is difficult to understand and in some ways pretty inaccessible, but when you study it and decode some references and figure out what is happening, it’s actually a very, very rewarding book.

In my experience, it contains a lot of very complex ideas on compassion, empathy, love and forgiveness. It’s about making an ordinary day extraordinary.

But I am not going to try to sell you on it anymore because I realize that declaring Ulysses as my favorite book is probably the most cliched, obnoxious hipster thing to do in the minds of most people, and I am okay with that.  Even I think it is a little bit obnoxious, but it just is what it is.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...