Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Sweet Season

Thanksgiving will be here soon and Christmas won’t lag far behind. It’s the hap, happiest season of all. That is, if you’re not half-dead from shopping, decorating, entertaining, Christmas card writing and baking by the time it arrives. Oh, never mind. It’s the happiest time of the year, dang it! I’ve learned to trim and not stress. Get an early start.

Yes, I say this every year, but this time I really mean it. The older I get, the more sense this makes. They didn’t call the wise men wise for nothing. I’m actually very thankful I can shop and bake and share. So many this year will need all the extra everything we can give due to the economy.

Here’s something cheap and lovely. Ribbon candy. Not only is it yummy, but I love its jazzy looks. I’ve been known to dangle the candy on our tree branches, which mysteriously disappears, one piece at a time. It’s also dazzling in a glass bowl. If you don’t snatch it early, you’re not likely to have it, though. Hint: you can find it at Wally World, that colorful, shiny candy in pretty little boxes.

Now, I don’t make the stuff. It looks like a job for Martha S. She could not only whip that candy up, but sell the heck out of it, too. Thankfully, people expect a lot less from me, and I’m quite charmed with that. Christmas cookies are easy.

These pumpkin cookies with ginger cream cheese frosting are one of my Christmas favorites. I make them every year, giving them to neighbors, friends, the mail man, and on and on. One year the waste management guys even left me a new trash can lid the day I left the cookies out for them. It might sound stupid, but I was so excited to get that lid. I really needed one. Anyway, the cookies look right special wrapped in clear cellophane and dolled up with curly ribbon.

Homemade gifts are the best kind. Please raise your hand if you’d prefer a lovely package of homemade goodies over something you don’t need or want, let alone remember what you received a month later? Me, me, over here!

Okay, then. Tis the season to share.

This recipe calls for raisins and just in case you don’t know how to plump them, it’s easy. They do add pizazz. Here’s how: Boil two cups of water and add however many raisins you want to add to your recipe. Boil for about three minutes then drain with cold water. The raisins will be so soft they’ll melt on your tongue. Promise.

Now to the cookies.

Pumpkin Cookies with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.

2 ½ cups flour, ½ tsp. baking soda, ¼ tsp. salt, 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup butter, softened, 1 large egg, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup raisins

In medium bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. In mixer bowl, combine and mix sugars, then add butter and beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy. At low speed, blend in the flour mixture. Add raisins, mixing only until well blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cookies test done when touched in center. Cool before frosting.

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temp 4 tablespoons butter, room temp 1/8 tsp. ground ginger 2 to 2 ½ cups powdered sugar 2 tablespoons- or more- milk

Beat cream cheese, butter and ginger together until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and thin with milk to proper spreading consistency. Spread on cookies and eat!


  1. my family can not get enough of my peanut butter cookies and I my ginger cookies...holy cow batman, if only I had a kitchen and two good hands...
    you know that's funny

  2. Bless your heart, Paige. You do need your kitchen and those hands to use it. At least you still have your sense of humor. Hang on tight to that. :)

  3. Do you take those beautiful photographs you use on your posts? They are beautiful. Thanks for the reminder to get busy! The holidays are at hand, aren't they?

    I, too, feel lucky to have enough leftover to share with others (and animal shelters, now that I think about it).

    This recipe looks and reads so yummy. And just right for TG and Christmas. You make so you freeze ahead what you've baked and frost as needed?

    On another note, on one of my posts, Cheerleading hubby, I think, you wrote that I should send it out. But, where does one send these sorts of bits out to?

  4. Okay, last question first. I need to go back and read your story, but as far as sending stuff out, it just depends on what magazines and journals are looking for at any given time. Check around and you might find a really good fit for your story!

    There are contests, also. Right now Writer's Digest is running a short short, 1,500 words or less. Deadline is coming up: Decemember 1. First place is $3,000. They're always cooking up something good. Sorry, I wasn't much help here, Ronda.

    Yes, I do freeze the cookies, which works well. The photographs I ususally get from photobucket, but I did take some of my ribbon candy, and meant to use those, but this one looked better, so....

    Okay, best of luck with finding a cozy home for your story and your holiday shin-digging!

  5. Those cookies look fabulous! I'm going to have to make those this week. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Dorraine! I need to get crackin' on that Christmas to-do list. Seems that time slips away faster as the years progress.

  6. Thanks, Dorraine. I was hoping I could freeze those babies! Everything accelerates quickly as deadlines draw near.

    Actually, you helped me quite a bit with the story info. I'm in no hurry, just gathering info now. You gave me a bit of info here and I guess now I'm wondering how you find how and where you check around and how you find out about contests. In each magazine? The post you commented on is in Sept. archive: Communication Breakdown.

    For a bit I thought your photographic skills were every bit as good as your writing. Photobucket does have a nice array of choices. The way you use their photos is clean, crisp and punctuate your articles so well.

  7. You're welcome, Stacy! Do enjoy and you'll have to let me know how you like them. Get crackin', girl!

  8. You're welcome there, Ronda. Oh, and thanks. I was wondering which post it was. This makes it easy.

    Wish I had a great website to give you, and I'm sure there is one out there. If I find something I'll share it here. Actually, that would make a good post.

    If you are looking to share your stories with other writers and receive feedback, J.M. Strother's #fridayflash Report is a splendid venue. He's not only a wonderful person, but has put together something great for writers. You'll see the link to the right. Meanwhile, I'll do a little digging.

    If there is anyway I can help you, just email me at

    Oh, and thanks so much re: the photos. It's good to get feedback that way. Appreciate that!:) My sister and brother are the photographers in the family. I just throw down a few words.

  9. Okay, I just re-read the story and laughed out loud. More than once. You are so funny! That is a humor piece if I ever saw one, Ronda. I could see that in Reader's Digest or something like that. Work it!

  10. Mmmmmm, those cookies sound amazing. I am going to make them next weekend, I think! I love to bake, though it gets tricky here at 5,000ft. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. Most welcome, Yvette! Enjoy those cookies.

  12. 'Tis the season! I can see that I'm in trouble. Just looking at the cookies on the computer is making me salivate. :)

  13. Thanks, Dorraine. More than you'll ever know.

  14. Yes, Anita, the question is: how do we bake all this yummy stuff and not eat too much? Freezing it works pretty well. That, and bumping up the excercise. Good luck!

    You're always welcome, Ronda. I enjoy your writing and wish you the best.:)

  15. Dorraine, you minx. I wasn't even thinking about food and now you've got me craving cookies and cake. Luckily I happen to know where a really great bakery is...


  16. Well, considering you've been dropping weight on the sugar diet, I'm hard pressed to feel sorry for you, Jai! Go for it.

  17. I'm just finishing up here at the cyber cafe before making anther stop the bakery, Dorraine. He and I have progressed to the point where we have conversations now. He calls me 'Madam' which is the polite title to use in India. It never fails to make me giggle.


  18. Ooh, la la. Sounds like something sweet is cookin'. Could it be, Jai????