Welcome to my favourite time of year!!! A vast number of things combine to make this season the one I look forward to the most. It could be that my birthday is in the autumn (as is one of my kid’s, and my eldest brother, and my hubby, and numerous cousins). Or it could be the start of the school year. When I was in school, I got ridiculously excited about the new scribblers (what us NS kids called notebooks), pens, and the new box of crayons or coloured pencils. Exciting too was the new teacher and different set of classmates, though occasionally I’d be worried about who I’d be sitting next to in the classroom. When I became a parent I got ridiculously excited about the return to a routine after a summer of mayhem.
Or maybe I like autumn best for the break from hot humid days, and the start of cool fresh breezes. The leaves change colour to a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow, and the ferns on the forest floor become a glorious russet. Apples are in abundance as are a vast array of squashes.
But, to be honest, and honesty is the best policy, I suspect my main reason for liking the last quarter of the year is because it’s the beginning of my baking extravaganza that doesn’t let up until well after the New Year. All those freshly harvested apples need to be transformed into pies and dumplings and cakes. And, okay, the elephant in the room, pumpkin spice rears its head. I’m not a fan of pumpkin spice in any sort of beverage, not even beer <gasp>. But I love good old-fashioned pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins (with a buttery streusel topping, yum!), and my favourite, which I’ll share with you today, frosted pumpkin cookies. They are soft pillows of pumpkin spice perfection topped with creamy vanilla frosting. An easy drop cookie, these jewels will fill your house with the scents of autumn. Enjoy!
Frosted Pumpkin Cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
4 tablespoons milk or blend, plus more as needed
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl using a hand mixer), cream butter until fluffy and lightened in colour. Blend in white sugar and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat until creamy. (It will appear curdled.) On low speed, mix in dry ingredients just until fully blended. Drop on parchment-lined cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls (I use a cookie scoop), spacing about an inch apart.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are just beginning to darken. Cool on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.
To make the frosting: Combine confectioner’s sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl using a hand mixer) and mix on low speed until blended. Add milk or blend 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend in 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, continue adding milk or blend a teaspoon at a time until desired spreading consistency. Spread approx 1 tablespoon frosting on top of each cookie. Try not to eat too many at one sitting – only your conscience will dictate what “too many” is.
Love and Turmoil
Six months after burying her wastrel husband, Lady Arabella Woodbridge has resigned herself to a lonely life in the countryside with only her two adopted nieces for company. Being a young, respectable widow is – frustrating. Then the charming and wickedly handsome Samuel Payn takes up residence in the neighboring manor house.
Retired explorer and occasional pirate Samuel Payn is on a two-fold mission – retrieve buried loot, and locate the father who abandoned his mother to a life of poverty. But a gang of murderous villains is also after the buried treasure. And someone is threatening to tear apart the lovely widow’s family.
Will Sam’s single-minded determination to uncover his true identity threaten Arabella’s happiness - and his life?
“I hope my girls haven’t been bothersome, Mr. Payn.”
“Not at all. Edwards had the brilliant idea to search out the nets. I’d not noticed the wide variety of butterflies in the garden, not until we tried to catch them.” He chuckled. “I’m afraid the insects have outwitted us.”
She laughed, gazing up into his gorgeous blue eyes, almost silver in the bright light. She breathed in his spicy scent and every part of her came alive. She fought the urge to lean into him, wrap her arms around his slender waist, and bury her face in his chest.
Glancing away to gain time to recover from the onslaught of desire, she watched her daughters play. “They appear to be losing interest in a game they can’t win.”
Mr. Payn took her hand in his. She met his gaze, his eyes darkened. “Some of us don’t give up after the first attempt or two.”
He was not speaking of catching butterflies. He was speaking of catching her.
Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.
Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna has recently returned to the land of her birth with her dear husband and two spoiled cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart
Or find Luanna on her LoveRomanceReads Author Page >