Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast on Monday and Tuesday and I’m relieved to say that–at least in my little corner of South Philly–we came through relatively unscathed.
I know that folks in the surrounding areas, including the Philadelphia suburbs, the Jersey Shore and New York were not so lucky. Seeing the photos and news footage of all of the devastation is heart-wrenching. I hope that those who were affected will be able to recover some sense of normalcy in the coming days and weeks and begin the process of rebuilding.
At my house, the lights flickered a few times, but they stayed on. We got a bit of water in our basement, but that’s par for the course with even the most minor of rainstorms. All of the trees on our street are still standing. I feel pretty lucky.
And, I’m not going to lie. I kind of enjoyed my Hurrication.
I flipped back and forth between constant news coverage and the Food Network (I also discovered that Chester never programmed the Hallmark Channel into our cable menu. I was wondering where The Golden Girls had gone!). I finished making a photo book to document our trip to France last year. I spent quality time with my Nook, catching up on magazines and this month’s book club selection (Escape, which I highly recommend. It’s so crazy that I have to keep reminding myself it’s actually a true story). I played with the cat, although I think that she was annoyed that I was disrupting her sleep schedule. I drank way too many cups of coffee.
Best of all, I made these pumpkin cookies. Which are actually less like cookies and more like little mini cakes.* The soft, slightly spicy cookies are complemented by a sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting. They pair extremely well with a fresh cup of coffee and are just the thing to warm you up on a cold and rainy fall day.
From: The Baker Chick
Makes about 3 dozen
What you will need
For the cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn’t have cloves, so I substituted the same amount of pumpkin pie spice. Perfect).
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the icing
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar (2 ½ cups was about the right sweetness for my taste).
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
What to do
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first seven ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and white sugar.
- Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy.
- Add dry ingredients gradually and beat until combined.
- Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls. The dough will be pretty soft. I used a medium sized cookie scoop to make them a pretty uniform size. Just scrap the scoop against the side of the bowl to round it off before dropping on the sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the cookies cooling, make the icing: cream butter and cream cheese together in bowl of electric mixer. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until thick and creamy; Add vanilla and cinnamon.
- When cookies are cooled, spread frosting on top with an offset spatula.
*These cookies actually remind me of these Archway cookies that my grandmother used to buy for me any my brother when we were young. They were a soft, vanilla flavored cookie with a thin layer of white frosting and red and green sprinkles. They were oval shaped and I want to say they were called Frosted Fingers. Sadly, I haven’t seen them in years. Does anyone else remember them or know where I can find them? I’ll be your friend forever if you do!