Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pumpkin Hazelnut Cookies

It seems like every year, pumpkin recipes become more and more popular. With websites like Pinterest and the growing number of food bloggers, we are flooded with more pumpkin-y creations than ever. I am just as pumpkin-obsessed as the next, and have already enjoyed my fair share of pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice oatmeal, and pumpkin-stuffed raviolis. However my FAVORITE pumpkin treat is soft and fluffy pumpkin cookies.


Fortunately for me, my friend Chelsea is just as much a fan and we planned an afternoon of baking in her adorable townhome. We started with an easy Cake Mix Cookie recipe from Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers and altered it a little. To show you how unbelievably easy this really is, the ingredients are as follows:

1 box of cake mix

1 (15oz) can of pumpkin

Whatever mix-ins you want

So the original recipe called for Spice Cake. But our Target had the smallest cake selection ever so we were given the choices of chocolate, vanilla or carrot. Carrot is close enough, right? I mean it’s got orange flecks in it….

The carrot ended up being a GREAT call because it has the cinnamony spices and color in it plus orange carrot pieces that we can pretend are pumpkin ;) Chelsea and I made a batch of milk chocolate chip pumpkin cookies first.

After they came out so well, I made a second batch with Hazelnuts and White Chocolate Chips to bring to the Ping Pong Party. I kind of learned from the first batch:

A.) The shape/form you put the dough on the pan, is the shape they will come out. They do not expand/rise/flatten. They still look pretty “doughy”

B.) For the second batch I opted to use about 80% of the can of pumpkin instead of the whole thing. They were less doughy and it worked out much better :)

C.) They are to be enjoyed with a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet.
  • Combine cake mix and roughly 12 oz of pumpkin in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in chocolate chips, nuts, extra cinnamon, craisons or whatever your heart desires.
  • Scoop cookie dough as roundly on to pan as possible, because they will keep this same shape.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes

This makes approximately 36 mini cookies, 66 calories and 2g fat each.

The pumpkin cookies with white chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts were a hit and the plate was empty before the party ended. They are seriously so easy to make, you could literally go to the store, buy the ingredients, make the dough, pop them in the over and be eating them within an hour.

I have a feeling these wouldn’t be bad with a chocolate cake mix…. if anyone tries it, let me know!

Pin this recipe here.

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Ping Pong Night at (Coach) Jack Daniels’

Last night, the guys and girls cross country teams were invited to the house of legendary Olympic marathon runner and coach Jack Daniel’s home for a British-style Olympic Ping Pong Tournament/ Party! His wife Nancy had attended the London 2012 games, and returned with plenty of loot to give away as prizes and raffles. Everything with London themed, napkins and all.

That night, I learned something. I learned that I SUCK at ping pong. Truly, it was embarrassing and I didn’t make it out of the first bracket but had fun watching my teammates play round after round.

There was plenty of food to go around because everyone brought a dish to share. My friend Kerri and I both live in the dorms, with only a common kitchen to use so we teamed up to bring something together. Our original idea came from somewhere in the blogosphere, a post I thought was pretty easy and cute. It was Apple Cinnamon Treats, like Rice Krispie Treats with Apple Cinnamon Cheerios instead, and apple slivers blended in. Sounds good right?

Don’t get your hopes up.

Sadly, it was a fail. I don’t think we did anything wrong; we followed the recipe exactly but Cheerios aren’t meant to be covered in marshmallow goo and left out. They tasted stale, soggy, and there was no way I was going to bring a pile o’ cheerios to a party. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why it ever sounded like a good idea… Needed a Quick Plan B!

Remember how I said yesterday I was going to bake pumpkin cookies with my friend Chelsea? Well they came out soooo good, I decided to make another batch to bring to the party. Pumpkin Hazelnut Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, anyone?

Who doesn’t like a soft pumpkin cookie on a chilly fall night? (Or would you prefer some sticky cheerios?) They were thoroughly enjoyed by a bunch of hungry ping pong players, along with the tables and tables of dishes everyone else brought. This team can cook! If you’re nice, I’ll share the recipe tomorrow ;)

Rise and Grind!

You wouldn’t believe how dead our gym is at 9 o’ clock in the morning. I’m used to the line around the building at 5am at LA Fitness. But I guess it doesn’t bother me, more room to play with! I knew that I would be baking delicious and un-healthified chocolate chip pumpkin cookies later in the day with my friend Chelsea (from Monday’s pilates) and wanted to make sure I didn’t feel too guilty about the splurge.

Since I am incapable of sleeping in anymore, I threw on my tennies and got to the gym before my Friday class. My roommate Fernanda joined me for what I called the Rise & Grind circuit! We were constantly moving around in the rec center, getting a great start to the day. After 15 minutes on the treadmill to warm up,we completed three rounds of the following circuit:

Our calves were burning, my butt was shaking, my abs were sore. Must be working! :D After the first set, we decided to alter the Hip Bridge to 1 minute and the leg lifts to 30 seconds.

It worked all of the major muscle groups, but not to the point of pure exhaustion. I spent 15 more minutes on the treadmill before stretching out and heading home. Gym was still empty. Which is so weird considering over 50% of people in my classes wear their “exercise clothes”every day…You’d think a few more people would want to pre-burn their Friday night calories!

Time to bake up some pumpkin creations. Enjoy your weekend!

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