Tag Archives: Cinnamon

Bourbon Pumpkin Bars

20 Oct

It’s mid-October, guys. When did that happen? Summer can’t be over yet. I didn’t get in that one last trip to the beach I was hoping for. I never really evened out that awkward shorts tan line I got while kayaking. I still have some sweet tea vodka I need to drink. Wait. Strawberry season is over? Autumn, we need to talk. I love you and all, but I’m not okay with this.

We’ve moving into pumpkin season. I’m gonna try to embrace it full on. But I need to add a little bourbon to get me through this. Makers. Can’t go wrong. There’s a reason Rocky Votolato named an album after it. (A great album, BTW).

Autumn does involve some pretty great things. I went apple picking a few weekends ago in Maryland, there was a cow involved. And of course, whenever I told anyone I went apple picking, the first words out of their mouth were “are you going to make apple pie??” I resisted at first, but eventually caved. I made Joy the Baker’s amazing apple pie, and highly highly highly recommend it. It was phenomenal.

The leaves are starting to change colors here in the mid-Atlantic, so I’m planning to go hiking next weekend to admire the foliage. That was one thing I always missed while I was living in Southern California. The leaves would just one day kind of die and fall off the non-native tress on campus. Nothing like the brilliant reds and oranges and yellows you can get in places that actually have seasons.

Have you figured out what you’re going to be for Halloween? I’m going to put in my bets on top costume choices this year:

  1. Zombie bin Laden
  2. Occupy Wall Street protester
  3. The Arab Spring
  4. Hurricane Irene
  5. Lady Gaga (duh, who doesn’t want another excuse to wear that meat dress?)
How does one dress up like The Arab Spring, you ask? I don’t know. A turban and some flowers? It’s interpretive.

I’m pretty excited about my own costume choice this year. It was largely based around the haircut I got in June. Click here for a hint: (This isn’t me coming out. I’m still into dudes.) I’ve got some black skinny jeans, a purple hoodie, black jacket to go over the hoodie, and I need to procure some ridiculous looking sunglasses from the dude who sells them for $3 by the Metro.

But while we’re talking about Halloween, let’s talk pumpkin. More specifically, pumpkin and bourbon. This is a combination I hadn’t thought of until I made these bars, but it makes so much sense. Also, fancy a glass of Makers on the rocks while you bake? Then let’s be friends.

You’ll notice that I’ve added in a “Print this recipe!” button in the recipe. A reader asked, so I finally got around to figuring it out. It wasn’t really that hard! If you have any trouble with it, let me know in the comments. I’ll slowly be going back to add in the print option to older posts, but it might take me a bit. Bear with me!

Bourbon Pumpkin Bars

Makes 24

Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod

Print this recipe!

2 cups flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp bourbon
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg, vanilla and bourbon and mix until combined. Add pumpkin and mix well. It will look kind of weird but just move on. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Taste test. Taste test again. Using a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in the pan and bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs. Cool bars in pan. When cool, cut into squares and enjoy!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

22 Mar

I’m officially apartment hunting. I’m bleary-eyed from searching craiglist for hours. But I’m relieved that I’ve made the decision to move to a new place.

It all started when my landlord informed me that our rent would go up if we renew our lease at the end of May. He also reminded me we have to tell him by the end of March whether or not we are going to stay. My initial reaction was that I have no choice in the matter, because I’m unemployed. No one is going to want to lease to me, so I need to stay put.

But a mere 24 hours later I had realized that I can’t stand to live another year with windows that fall open in the middle of the night, air conditioning that doesn’t reach my room, even though the bill comes to $400/month in the summer, and a broken shower door that the landlord just never got around to fixing, even though he broke it while “repairing” other things in the bathroom.

One of my current roommates and I have decided to look for a two bedroom we can share, or maybe a three bedroom and we could find a third roommate. At this point, there aren’t many listings out there for places available in June, but I’m excited to get a jump on it and hopefully find the best possible place. A slightly more recently renovated kitchen would just be fantastic. After all, I need a kitchen worthy of my KitchenAid mixer.

I took a break from worrying about apartments to bake a ton of these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for a bake sale benefiting 826DC, an organization I’m just starting to volunteer with. I made about six dozen cookies, and then for good measure, two batches of puppy chow (or maybe you call them muddy buddies…). Making puppy chow always results in me being covered in powdered sugar and nursing a stomach ache, because I literally cannot control myself around the stuff. I’ll eat the entire batch if left alone with it.


Growing up in my house, chocolate chip cookies weren’t the standard. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies were. I think the recipe was originally in one of those little pamphlets from Toll House, and it’s a real crowd pleaser. The addition of cinnamon is what really puts it over the top.

I also decided on these particular cookies because the other day, I ran out of peanut butter, went to the store, and they didn’t have my brand. So I went to a different store, and they also didn’t have it. So I ended up buying the generic Whole Foods brand, and it just didn’t measure up. I know, I’m picky. But this recipe was a good excuse to use up the remainder of mediocre peanut butter. Of course, when I went to the store today to get my peanut butter, they still didn’t have it, so now I’m trying yet another brand. Hopefully this one can fill the peanut butter void in my life until they stock back up on the good stuff.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Toll House (I think)
Makes 3 dozen

1 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cups butter (or half butter and half Crisco)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in small bowl.

Beat butter (and Crisco), granulated sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes.  Let stand for 4 minutes, then remove to wire racks or paper towels to cool completely.