Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pudding Snickerdoodle Cookies

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, pumpkin | 0 comments

The name of the recipe is somewhat misleading. These don’t actually include pumpkin. Instead, they use dry pumpkin pudding mix!

Pumpkin Pudding Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

This important ingredient vexed me. I found this recipe for pumpkin streusel pudding cookies at Chef-in-Training two years ago and wanted to do my own remix as snickerdoodles last year. The pudding mix is a seasonal ingredient. Foolish me, I started looking for it at Walmart in September, which is when I really want autumnal food even though it’s still 110-degrees here. No luck. I looked at every grocery store around. Still no luck.

Finally, the first week of November, I happened to be in Walmart. Lo and behold, they had the pudding mix! I bought several and resisted the temptation to cackle and dash through the store.

Pumpkin Pudding Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

Therefore, you see, the timing of this post is so you can be on the prowl, too. Grab’em while you can!

Pudding mix is awesome in baked goods. It makes the end result soft, moist, and tender, and it stays like that for days. The pumpkin pudding here tastes like real pumpkin, but it has a lot more endurance. (If you want a real pumpkin snickerdoodle recipe, I posted one last year!)

Pumpkin Pudding Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

This recipe makes a lot, too. I ended up with about 50 cookies using my teaspoon scoop.

 

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pudding Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients

    Cookie Dough:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 small box pumpkin spice instant pudding mix, dry
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
  3. Add the dry pumpkin spice instant pudding mix and beat until well combined. Next, mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mix.
  5. Prepare the snickerdoodle topping in another bowl.
  6. Form dough into small balls. Use a spoon to roll them around in the sugar and cinnamon. Place them on a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. OM NOM NOM!
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Pumpkin Pudding Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

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“As seen in the New York Times” … and a lot of airports

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Blog, clockwork dagger | 0 comments

This whole publication thing is crazy, man. I had to go into it realistic about the amount of media exposure my book would get. It’s necessary for sanity’s sake. I was gobsmacked that The Clockwork Dagger was featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR.com, and USA Today.

Now here’s a whole new level of mind-boggling: a review in the New York Times. It’s in the print edition published this past Sunday, too. Just… whoa.

shockedcat

Another cool thing has been brought to my attention by friends all over the country: The Clockwork Dagger is being sold in airport bookstores. It’s prominently featured on a small kiosk toward the top, and often as part of a “Buy 2 Get 3rd Book Free” deal. Don’t take my word on that–look for a deal sticker on the books!

So far, I know of it in these cities (I hope I haven’t forgotten one):
La Guardia
JFK
Charlotte
Raleigh-Durham
Houston
Seattle
Pittsburgh
Baltimore Washington
Chicago
Dallas-Fort Worth

If you see the book in an airport, please let me know! I love to see pics on Twitter or Facebook, or email me. I have yet to see it myself but I’ll certainly be on the look-out when I head to World Fantasy next week.

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Sunday Quote adores the Muppets

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“It all ends in one of two ways: either someone gets eaten or something blows up.” ~Jim Henson on how Muppet scenes end

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Bready or Not: (Pumpkin) Bread Pudding

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, pumpkin, quick bread | 0 comments

When I visited home for the week of the 4th of July, I wanted to make something special for my 90-year-old grandma. Like me, her favorite dessert in the world is bread pudding. Therefore, I set out to make her the best possible bread pudding.

Bread Pudding

Complication: her diet is pretty restrictive these days. She can’t eat most fruits. Nor does she need super-sweet toppings that will mess with her blood sugar.

I found a recipe at Will Cook For Smiles that fulfilled a lot of my needs. It produced a small batch. It included pumpkin puree, but in a small amount that I figured could be omitted without destroying the recipe. I could switch in almond milk for my own taste-testing comfort.

Bread Pudding

I also loved that the base recipe used King’s Hawaiian Rolls, which are pretty much the only type of store-bought bread I will still eat. It’s awesome. However, because I was going to be in my hometown, that presented another option. Central California has a large Portuguese community, and there’s an amazing Portuguese bakery less than a mile from my parents’ house. Their sweet bread is one of the most divine things on the planet.

I took my trusty kitchen scale to California so I could measure exactly 12 ounces of sweet bread, the equivalent of a pack of Hawaiian rolls. That ended up being about 2/3 of a loaf.

Bread Pudding

I prepared the bread pudding, tucked it in the fridge, then baked it after lunch. It cooked in exactly 45 minutes. We let it cool awhile before we dug in. I thought it was just about perfect with a drizzle of maple syrup over the top. It was surprisingly light and spongy–not heavy at all like some bread puddings.

Bread Pudding

However, the most important thing was my grandma’s reaction. She declared this to be the best bread pudding she had ever had, and she’s tried quite a few bread puddings in her day. Grandma was thrilled to have this as a dessert and breakfast for a few days, and said it was even better cold straight from the fridge.

I declare this recipe a win.

Bread Pudding

 

Bready or Not: (Pumpkin) Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (almond milk works!)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 ounces of sweet bread, such as a pack of King's Hawaiian Rolls or partial loaf of Portuguese sweet bread

Instructions

  1. The day before, set the bread out to go stale, if desired. I prefer chewier bread and leave it as fresh.
  2. Preheat the oven at 350-degrees (if you're baking this promptly). Grease an 8x8 casserole dish. Cut the 12 ounces of bread into chunks. Melt the butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin puree (if using) and vanilla. Whisk until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Spread the bread evenly within the dish. Pour the milk mixture over it. Press the bread in lightly to make sure nothing is dry. (If you're making this ahead of time, cover with foil and set in fridge for several hours.)
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Serve hot, at room temperature, or straight from the fridge! Top with maple or agave syrup, nuts, whipped cream, caramel sauce, or fruit or nut butter. Anything is good. Plus, leftovers can be chopped into serving-size squares and frozen.
    OM NOM NOM!
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Bread Pudding

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