Halloween Cookies- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I love fall. I love the weather turning chilly. I love sweaters. I love changing leaves. I love cinnamon. And I love pumpkin.

I was thinking about cinnamon which led me to thinking about snickerdoodles. (recipe here). I really associate those cookies with Christmas, though, so I started thinking about how to fallify them. And landed on pumpkin.

So, here are my pumpkin snickerdoodles.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • plus more cinnamon and sugar for rolling

This dough is really easy to make. Just keep in mind it needs to be refrigerated for 1 hour before you roll and bake your cookies.

To make the dough, start by creaming two sticks of butter.


When the butter is fluffy, add sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and egg and stir to combine.


In a separate bowl, mix your remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) and slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet.


Stir until combined


At this point, the dough needs to go into the fridge for at least one hour.

…Time lapse…

Preheat the oven to 350, grease two cookie sheets and take your dough out of the fridge. in a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. I tend to a 2:1 sugar : cinnamon ration, but mix to your taste.


Let’s start making cookies! I made roughly ping pong size balls of dough and wound up with 6 dozen cookies.

Roll the dough into a ball


Roll the dough ball into the cinnamon and sugar and place on the cookie sheet.


When your cookie sheet is full, lightly press down on the dough balls to flatten them. These cookies don’t spread, so flattening them is necessary.


Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes.


The best part? The house smells like pumpkin pie. The bestest part? You get to eat cookies that taste like pumpkin pie. And who doesn’t love a cookie?

And the bestest bestest part? You’ll have 72 cookies to share with friends or coworkers.

Happy Halloween!

Cannoli Dip


This is the best dessert I have ever made.


It’s incredibly delicious.

It’s no bake.

It’s 4 ingredients.

And it takes like ten minutes to make.

That right there is the recipe for the best dessert ever.

You will need

  • 16 oz container of ricotta
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • mini chocolate chips

You will also need something to dunk into the dip. Strawberries were delicious. Italian cookies, biscotti, or even broken up ice cream cones would be great.

Into a large bowl, dump powdered sugar and ricotta.


Carefully stir so you don’t get powdered sugar everywhere.

If the mixture is too thick, add a little bit of milk just to loosen things up. Then switch to a whisk and whip the mixture to incorporate some air.


add your chocolate chips


and stir


place in a nice serving bowl and top with a few more chocolate chips


You can serve immediately or refrigerate for a bit.

Serve with strawberries or cookies.



So addictive.


Easy Lemon Yogurt Cake

As soon as there is the tiniest hint of Spring in the air, all I want is lemon.

Lemon with shrimp, lemon with pasta, and especially lemon desserts.

I guess after a winter of heavy and rich soups and stews, my taste buds are craving something as bright and zingy as the beautiful sunshine streaming through the windows.

This is a fantastically light and fluffy cake. And the best part? I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 ½ Cups  Flour
  • ½ Cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2  Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • Lemon zest (as much or as little as you want)
  • ¼ Cup Lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8 inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl, which yogurt, sugar and eggs.


until you have a well combined batter


Add lemon juice, oil and lemon zest

It’s going to look like it wants to separate


but keep whisking until well combined


Add flour, salt and baking powder to the wet ingredients


And whisk (carefully so you don’t have flour all over your kitchen) until you have a smooth batter.


Pour into your greased cake pan.



And bake for about 30 minutes. Until a toothpick comes out clean.



After the cake cools, remove from cake pan and dust with powdered sugar. If you want to get fancy, you can cut a shape out of parchment paper and use it as a template for the powdered sugar.



Slice and serve with some whipped cream.


Lemony, light and oh so delicious.

And kind of healthy!

No butter and not a lot of sugar. Plus Greek yogurt. Which is so good for you.


Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever been home on a really cold day and been hit with an intense craving for a cookie, and not just a cookie from a package but an actual homemade cookie, but it’s way too cold to think about venturing outside in the really cold to get ingredients to make said homemade cookie that would satisfy your craving?


Just me?

Okay then, have you ever found yourself needing to make a last minute dessert for a work thing, or your kid’s school thing or a last minute dinner party thing?

Well, then you’re going to want to have this cookie recipe in your back pocket.

Four ingredient peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

That’s right. The name is longer than the ingredient list.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.

Add the peanut butter, sugar and egg to a bowl


Mix until combined and then add chocolate chips.


Form into one inch balls and place on a cookie sheet


Bake for 10-12 minutes


Your need for a homemade cookie? Satisfied

Darn Good Chocolate Cake


This recipe is actually called Darn Good Chocolate Cake. I didn’t make that up.

When you eat it, you take a bite and just kind of go wow, that is darn good chocolate cake.

I first made this for my mom for her birthday one year. Since then, this has become THE chocolate cake recipe in our family. If someone asks for chocolate cake, this is the one they get.

I like this recipe a lot because 1. you don’t need to separately mix the wet and dry ingredients and 2. it starts with boxed cake mix. Score.

This cake is heavy and rich. But it really is like the ultimate birthday cake.

You will need:

  • 1 package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 package chocolate instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups chocolate chips
  • Chocolate Frosting (The cake really does not need frosting, but if you’re feeling decadent – and if this is for a celebration of some sort then decadence is required- pile on the frosting.)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two round cake pans or 1 bundt pan.



Throw all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a bowl a stir until well combined.


Then fold in the chocolate chips.


And pour the batter into your pan or pans.


Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for at least 30 minutes before removing them from the pans









Chocolate Coma.

Florentine Carnival Cake (Orange Cake)

I love Italian food.

I love cooking channel’s Deb and Gabriele

I love the beautiful and simple Italian food in their cookbook Extra Virgin.

New York’s been having some strange weather so far this summer. It’s been 100 and humid and it’s been 65 and a bit chilly.

So to make it feel like summer, no matter what it looks like outside, I though I’d make a bright, citrusy dessert to at least give us some sunshine on our plates.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. You probably already have all of the ingredients. Oh and the bright orange burst in this light and fluffy cake is out of this world.

You will need:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • .5 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • zest and juice of one orange

Preheat oven to 350. Butter  a 9×13 pan.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. (That’s right. everything into the bowl. No wet and dry ingredients, no separating eggs, no sifting. Just dump it all in.)


Whisk until combined.


Pour into your buttered pan.


Bake for about 30 minutes.


Allow to cool. You can dust with powdered sugar or, you can serve with sliced strawberries and some whipped cream.


Derby Pie

My Family, if you’ve been reading this blog you will know, is really big on food.

We’re also really into football and hockey.

But the other biggie for us is the horses. An Italian family into betting the horses?

I know. Shocking.

Well, this weekend is the biggest event in horse racing, for those of you virtuous types who don’t follow the ponies. That’s right, folks, it’s almost Derby Day!

The Kentucky Derby is the first race in the triple crown, which consists of the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. Win all three and you win the triple crown. The races are only open to 3-year-olds so horses only have one shot at the prize.

Secretariat won the triple crown in 1973, Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978. Since then, nothing. It’s been one heck of a dry spell.

You may remember the big hubbub surrounding California Chrome last year, but he just couldn’t pull out the win at the Belmont.

Anyway, I digress.

With the Kentucky Derby coming up, I’ve been thinking about a childhood favorite dessert that we used to get down the shore and that has been off the restaurant’s menu for over a decade: Derby Pie.

It was essentially a chocolate chip cookie in pie form. But there was something a little different about it. I did some testing and I figured it out. What would make it a derby pie? Well, the Derby is run in Kentucky, right? What’s big in Kentucky? That’s right. Bourbon.

Sub the vanilla for bourbon and you have yourself the makings of a delicious Derby Day dessert.

The recipe is super simple, but ridiculously delicious.

You will need:

  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I mixed milk and dark)
  • 1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)

Preheat the oven to 275.

Roll out your pie crust and place in your pie pan.

In a bowl stir together the butter, sugar and flour.


Add the beaten eggs and the bourbon and stir until combined.


Add in the chocolate chips and stir again.


Pour the mixture into your pie crust


And bake at 275 for about an hour and a half.


Let cool before you slice otherwise you will have melted chocolate everywhere.

Top with whipped cream or ice cream if you’re feeling extra decadent.

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You may not know which horse to put your money on, but I can tell you that you’ll want to put your money on this pie.

Lemon Chess Pie

Bright Sunshiney days make me think one thing: beach.

But, since we can’t get to the beach yet, sunshine’s got me thinking about bright bursts of citrusy flavor.

In the form of a lemon chess pie.

Chess pies are super Southern and consist of eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla. It’s a great recipe to know because you usually have the ingredients on hand and can whip this up if guests unexpectedly will be arriving soon.

This recipe comes from Southern Living. Instead of using vanilla, I used some lemon juice to give the pie a more summery twist.

Start with a pie crust. You can use store bought or homemade.

This little beauty was made by my husband. Following my grandmother’s recipe.

I love that. Him reading the recipe written in her handwriting.


So, once you have your pie crust baked and cooled, it’s time for the filling.

You will need:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a big bowl


And the whites in a not as big bowl


Using an electric hand mixer, beat the whites into stiff peaks. See how there’s a little point of egg white standing up on the mixer? That’s a stiff peak.



Leave those whites for a minute and turn to the yolks. Add the melted butter, sugar and lemon juice and stir.


Now, gently tip the whites into the yolk mixture and fold them in.



You’ll get this beautiful, pale, buttery yellow.




When fully combined, pour the mix into the crust.



Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until set.



Let cool in the fridge, and then pile high with whipped cream.


When you slice it, I love the contrast of the lemony yellow against the glistening white whipped cream.


Served icy cold, this pie is like a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day: refreshing, tart and sweet and so satisfying.

Helen’s Pudding Pie

This is a really simple dessert that my grandma Helen used to make all the time when my dad was a kid.

She made a lot of time consuming things (like banana cream pie and cinnamon rolls) but I guess with 6 kids and who knows how many friends and cousins showing up, she needed something easy in her back pocket.

And so there was pudding pie.

It’s not really a pie, actually. It’s just sheets of graham crackers with layers of vanilla and chocolate pudding. But it’s a super simple dessert that looks like it took more time to make than it really did. Which is my favorite kind.

Start by placing graham crackers on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.


Next, make your vanilla pudding according to package directions. You are more than welcome to do the homemade pudding thing, but this is a quick and easy dessert, so packaged works for me.


When the pudding’s done, carefully pour it over the graham crackers.


Then pop it in the fridge for a few while you make your chocolate pudding.



When the chocolate pudding is done, remove the pan from the fridge and carefully pour the chocolate pudding over the vanilla.


This is why I like using a glass pan for this, so you can see the layers.


Back into the fridge for a few hours.

Then slice and yum.


1 Ingredient Vegan Banana Ice Cream

This is kind of life changing.

I mean, come on.

Did you read that title?

One Ingredient.


Ice Cream!

I can’t believe how good it is and how ridiculously easy it is.

All you need are some bananas, cut up and popped into the freezer for a few hours (or overnight).


Toss the frozen bananas into a food processor


And keep pulsing and scraping down the sides as needed.

You’ll get something that kind of resembles Dip n Dots. Do you remember Dip n Dots? Do they still make Dip N Dots? MMM… Oh wait. We’re talking about healthy foods this week.


When it reaches the point pictured above, dump into a tupperware container and give a stir with a spatula.

See that? Looks a lot like ice cream to me.


Pop a lid on and stash in the freezer or enjoy right away.

We may have topped ours with some pieces of chocolate…