Heaven and Fall in One Little Cookie

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

pumpkin cookies

In honor of my husband’s birthday today, I thought I would repost this wonderful cookie recipe. It makes perfect, soft, cakey cookies with lovely vanilla frosting. Mr. V always wants these instead of birthday cake!

When my husband and I were dating, he introduced me to this, his favoritest cookie in the whole world. And my Mr. V, he is a COOKIE MONSTER. So saying it is his favorite is no small thing.

These cookies scream of Fall and I can’t wait to make my first batch soon.


Pumpkin Cookies


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. shortening or butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Frosting
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla


Sift the first five ingredients together (flour through salt).

In a separate bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.

Add dry ingredients all at once and stir gently to form a smooth batter.

Drop by teaspoonful on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350.


Combine butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil slowly and let boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Cool completely.

After cool, stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.

One and a half recipes of frosting will ice two recipes of the cookies.

(Ice the cookies once they are slightly cool. Don’t put away until icing is well set.)



Family Recipe Friday posts:
Yellow Squash Casserole at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Smoky BBQ Brisket at Cozy Kitchen by the Sea
Creamy Cabbage at The MawMaw


Recipe submitted to Share Your Life at Kelly’s Korner, and What Did You Bake Today?.

Originally published September 17, 2009.

A Quick Announcement

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I just wanted to let you all know that after a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to stop the Family Recipe Fridays carnival.

While I enjoy hosting it, and certainly don’t mind the traffic it brings to my site, it’s just not what I thought it would be. The blog world doesn’t NEED another food carnival on Friday. I thought people really would write posts about their family recipes, and that is not what it has turned in to.

I myself am starting to run out of family recipes to share as well! I think it’s run a good course, and I am so happy with the new food blogs I’ve found through hosting. If you’d still like to share a recipe on Fridays, I hope you’ll visit one of the following carnivals:

Food on Friday at Ann Kroeker. Writer.
Friday Feasts at MomTrends.
Foodie Fridays at Designs by Gollum.

In other news, my 12 Days of Libbie Carnival starts tomorrow! Sometime in the next 12 days, write a new post (or recycle an old one) sharing a sweet memory or something you love about your kid(s). I’ll have a linky up every day so you can join in whenever you want.

Family Recipe Fridays: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

For Family Recipe Friday this week, I am recycling this old post from December 2007.

When I got home from our choir concert tonight I was feeling a little blue. I think the beginning of December Christmas elation has worn off. I am ready to get to PA and see all the fam and actually do the celebrating. This week is the in-between. Hardly anyone is at work, everyone else has more vacation time. No parties. No church. Nothing until we leave next Sunday.

So instead of doing something useful, I wanted to bake. I started with brownies. One of the girls I teach on Wednesday night brought me one of those homemade jar mixes that you add liquid to. They have chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts…yuummmm.

But that was not labor-intensive enough, so I was scouring the Internet for a shortbread cookie recipe (and considered pound cake, except my loaf pan is dirty) and then just went and stood in the pantry. And I remembered this wonderful oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe I used last year. YES!

It is from The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie Book. I have baked from this with great success–but always laughing, because it has the most pretentiously detailed recipes I’ve ever seen.

One reason I love the recipe is because it says to put two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time! Brilliant! OK, so I could probably always do this, but I don’t ever think of it, so I am very grateful to Bruce & Mike (authors) for that help.

It also happens to be one of Mr. V’s favorite kinds of cookies, and maybe he will forgive me for eating the Subway cookies he left in my purse if I feed him them and send the rest off to school with him tomorrow!! Shh, he hasn’t remembered yet.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe. I’ve deleted some of their superfluous instructions because I don’t want to be here all night!

Chocolate Chips Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen

2 1/4 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 T (1 stick) cool, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus additional for greasing baking sheets
1/2 c solid vegetable shortening (4 oz.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature (HA! Yeah, maybe it would be at room temperature if I ever thought about cooking in advance)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used 1 c. mini chocolate chips and 1 c. semisweet baking chocolate I cut into chunks, because that is what I had on hand)

1. Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly butter two large baking sheets; set aside. Whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined; set aside.

2. Beat the butter and shortening in a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, until softened and somewhat creamy, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and continue beating until airy, pale yellowy-brown, but still a little grainy, about 2 minutes (see what I mean?!). Beat in the egg and vanilla all at once.

3. Turn the mixer off, pour in the oat and flour mixture, then beat at a very low speed until just incorporated. The dough should be cohesive but crumbly. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula until distributed throughout.

4. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a walnut and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Flatten the balls slightly with the back of a spoon–don’t make an indentation or let the sides crack; rather, gently push down just to take the roundness of the tops.

Here are the cookies pre-smash:

5. Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the sheets back to front and top to bottom. Continue baking for about 8 more minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned but still soft to the touch. Cool for 3 minutes on the sheets, then transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Cool the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then butter them again to make additional batches.

There you have it, the most detailed cookie recipe you never knew you wanted.

But it does make a delicious cookie.

Some of these are a little more done than I would have liked. Maybe I did not rotate the sheets well enough or should cook them for 7.34 minutes each time instead of 8.

Join the carnival! Write a post about one of your family’s favorite recipes on your blog and then link up to your specific post here with MckLinky. Then cruise around and check out all the delicious recipes!

Family Recipe Fridays: Beef Stew

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I’ve posted this recipe before, but since most of you probably haven’t found it out there in the VW archives, I thought it needed a second take here for Family Recipe Fridays. With the nippy weather this week, I’m definitely itching to make stews and soups.

This is our very favorite beef stew in the whole world. The first time I made it, scoured from the pages of my Stuffed Cougar cookbook, Mr. V declared it was “better than his mama’s.” Have you ever met a Southern man? THAT IS THE ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT!

The simple ingredients meld together for ultimate yumminess. Try it! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And let me know if you do!

Also, my friend Meredith made this after I posted the recipe originally. She subbed tomato juice for the wine and she said it was still great. A little mix of red wine vinegar and beef broth would also work.

Beef Stew (Slow Cooker or Oven)

Yield: 4-6 servings

Beef Stew (Slow Cooker or Oven)

Adapted from The Stuffed Cougar cookbook


  • 1 lb. stew beef, cut into small pieces
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (11 oz.) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • salt and pepper


Peel potatoes (if needed) and dice potatoes, carrots, and onions. Mix all ingredients together. Either cook in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours or in a 300 degree oven for 4 hours.

(In more more grown-up cooking days, I sometimes sear the beef in oil quickly, but it's not necessary.)

Serve with a crusty bread, homemade biscuits, or grilled cheese. Be all warm and tingly inside.



Family Recipe Fridays: (Somebody’s) Grandma’s Mac and Cheese

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of working on a Bible study called No Other Gods by Kelly Minter (as I may have mentioned once or perhaps a dozen times on this blog). It was a new thing for LifeWay, both a young adult and women’s study, complete with recipes and a Web site. I loved it and was so excited to throw myself into the project.

I led a test group for it, I wrote the leader’s guide, I was the copy editor of course, and then I cooked every single recipe in the book. It took me a day and a half and then I served a gigantic and varied buffet to some co-workers.

And then I cried at the dishes.

Anyway, this macaroni and cheese was my favorite recipe from NOGs (although the black beans and brown rice are a close second!). We had a big family dinner at my grandma’s apartment this summer the night before my grandpa‘s funeral and I offered to cook. I made apricot pork loin, salad, green bean casserole, and this mac and cheese. The family then decided I am never to show up without it again. So I think that makes it a family favorite.

macaroni and cheese

(Somebody’s) Grandma’s Mac and Cheese


  • 1 lb. ziti or penne rigate
  • 2 10 oz. bars of extra-sharp cheddar cheese (like Cracker Barrel brand)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs


Slice cheese to medium thickness. Slice butter about the same width as the cheese. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.

Boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes–you only want to cook it partially. Test by biting one piece: once you can leave an imprint of your teeth, the pasta is done. Drain.

Take the baking dish and place half of the pasta on the bottom of the dish. Dot with half of the butter squares and half the cheese. Add some of the milk–come up to about the pasta layer or a little bit above. Repeat layers once.

Put the dish on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes.

After this, top the dish with Italian bread crumbs, then cook for another 10 minutes.


Family Recipe Fridays

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Y’all. I am still battling this nasty ear infection. I took a whole round of antibiotics and it just came back. And worse. I can barely get off the couch without feeling woozy tonight, so here’s the MckLinky if you want to post, but I just don’t have a recipe to share tonight. I’m going to bed.