Friday, September 30, 2011

Recipe: Mrs. Fields Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Do you remember Mrs. Fields?  I don't remember much about her, except for her epic 90s hair, slew of good-looking kids, and popular recipes.  Last year, my mom gave me her copy of Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book, while she kept the copy that was her mom's, my Grammy's.  Her note in the book said to enjoy baking cookies for my husband and new daughter.

There were two Post-Its to recipes I had tried at least a decade ago to, of course, chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread men.  My handwriting hasn't changed much.  But what interested me this time around was her pumpkin spice cookies.  What happened next I wouldn't expect!  I made them, following her directions exactly, and they turned out to be some of the best cookies EVER!  I am going to share them with you now! :)


Mrs. Fields Pumpkin Spice Cookies

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, softened (room temp.)
1 large egg
1 cup pumpkin (canned or freshly cooked)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces raisins (about 1 cup) -- optional
2 ounces walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup) -- optional

  • Preheat oven to 300 F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer set at a medium speed.  Add the butter and beat to form a grainy paste.  Scrape sides of bowl, then add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Beat at a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture, raisins, and walnuts --- OR, IF YOU'RE ME: CHOCOLATE CHIPS.  Blend at a low speed until just combined.  Do not overmix.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake for 22 to 24 minutes until cookies are slightly brown along edges.  Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface. (I ususally transfer them to a cool, clean cookie sheet.)

The result are cookies that are soft and delicious.  They are like muffin tops or little pumpkin cakes!  I don't know what I did without them!  Without the chocolate chips, they taste reminicent of pumpkin pie due to the two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice - yum!

Chocolate Chips: For the first time, I made them with an entire 12 ounce bag of milk chocolate chips.  Toll House brand, of course.  They are SO delicious, but the chocolate kind of overpowers the pumpkin taste.  But it's so nice to have a chocolate chip cookie that is soft and stays soft, which is the way I like 'em!
Calories per cookie (24 cookies): Approx 200.

Fields, Debbi. Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book! Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1997. 57. Print.

Don't forget to become a fan of My Pumpkin Obsession on Facebook here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PERFECTION: Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Muffin

Photo credit:  Rachel Betson, 2011*

I have nothing bad to say right now.  At all.  Every year, Dunkin' Donuts has pumpkin muffins until about November or so.  They have quite a following.  I get excited texts about them.  People Tweet and Facebook-status about them.  Pumpkinites are enthusiastic about them, to say the least!  Not one, but TWO, of these beauties were brought to me when I had my baby.  I ate my first and saved the second for the next day.

The best part of these muffins is the TOP!  It's crunchy and sweet.  But then you get to the muffin part, which I would NEVER throw away.  It is so soft and delicious.  They're always so nice and moist, just as a muffin should be.  And they are generously sized, so share with a friend!

A local bakery chain, Yum Yum Bake Shop, also has delicious pumpkin muffins.  They are spicy, sweet, and perfectly moist.  I bought one on impulse as a Friday dessert last week.  I also surprsied my husband with a Boston Creme donut, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  Yum Yum's muffin was slightly smaller than Dunkin' Donuts, and the top wasn't as crunchy, but I recommend trying it if you spot a Yum Yum Bake Shop.  Baby and I also got to same some pumpkin donuts, also delicious and coated in sugar.

*PLEASE NOTE: I didn't take the above picture.  That credit goes out to Betson Photography.  Find them on Facebook:!/betsonphotography  and see their website:

Don't forget to become a fan of My Pumpkin Obsession on Facebook here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carve Your Pumpkin Pic

On Facebook, Starbucks has created a program that makes your face into a jack-o-lantern, and it actually works!  They suggest something with a very plain background because then it won't confuse the program into thinking the busy background is part of your face.

Find it here:
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte fanpage

Here's mine:

Grow Your Own Pumpkins!

I got the cutest email yesterday from my sister!  My brother-in-law has taken up gardening.  Not just flowers, but vegetables that his family can eat.  He has grown tomatoes, cucumbers, all sorts of things.  But something that is most exciting is that he has grown pumpkins!

Pumpkins are  (reportedly) going to be extra expensive this year, since many were wiped out due to Hurricane Irene and excessive rain and flooding.  But my sis and bro's pumpkins survived and thrived.  There are even some baby pumpkins on the vine that are still maturing.

And guess how much all this cost?  $1!  That is a steal!  Can't wait to see what designs my brother-in-law and niece come up with when they carve their jack-o-lanterns.  They weren't hard to grow and were planted around mid-May.  They aren't the kind of pumpkins you can bake with (sugar pumpkins) and are strictly going to be used for jack-o-lantern carving.  

Here are some pics!

My adorable nieces and their pumpkins.

The big pumpkin is bigger than Baby's torso!

Big-girl and Baby love their pumpkins!

Don't forget to become a fan of My Pumpkin Obsession on Facebook here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Early Afternoon Slump

Pop Quiz!  What do you do when it's the early afternoon, you're fading fast, and it's September?

Answer: You go to your local Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, of course!

I've already reviewed pumpkin COFFEES, but lattes take it to a different level.*  I even opted for whipped cream.  My Genaurdi's Starbucks employee was tired, but friendly.  My latte is perfect and improving my mood somewhat.  Baby woke up 3x yesterday night, which I'm not used to because she usually sleeps through the night these days.  Darn you, one-year shots!

What do you think of the new Starbucks logo, while we're at it?  I think it's a-okay!  Not like that new Gap logo of a few years back, which was horrendously ugly.  No, this is simply their old logo sans the Starbucks Coffee circle surrounding the mermaid.  And the mermaid is their signature green instead of black.  It does look a little naked to me, but it still screams "Starbucks"!

Now back to work.

*For those of you who stick to regular coffee or tea: instead of mostly coffee and a little milk, lattes are a shot of espresso and lots of steamed milk. 

Don't forget to become a fan of My Pumpkin Obsession on Facebook here.

This Week: September 26-October 1

I have a few blog posts on deck for this week:
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal - an unexpectedly good breakfast
  • Edy's Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • A Mrs. Fields cookie recipe (yay, first recipe post!)
  • And more!
Hope that you have a good week!

Beyond Greatness: The Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard

The Pumpkin Pie Blizzard: an annual tradition that I look forward to every year.

People seem surprised every time I tell them I am in love with Dairy Queen's Pumpkin Pie Blizzard.  I don't think enough people know about it.  And then there are the people who know about it, but never want to try it.  I would also go as far as to say that people need to open their minds and their taste buds -- Blizzard treats aren't only for chocolate and candy.  The fruit ones are often the best, in my opinion!  Banana Cream Pie Blizzards are also a favorite of mine -- and also the Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

DQ describes PPB as "pumpkin pie blended with vanilla soft serve, topped with whipped topping and nutmeg:"

Dairy Queen promotional image

Doesn't that sound perfect, fellow pumpkinites?

Since my Dairy Queen closes at the end of September, they always seem to have it early. I remember getting it last year, right after the baby was born.  It was such a treat to have a week after having a baby!  It really made my day, and I told the girl that!

This year, I've already had one, and this past Friday night I had what was probably my last Blizzard of the year.  At an embarassing amount of calories, Blizzards aren't something that I give myself often.  A Blizzard Treat really is a TREAT for me.

Mine looked a bit different from the picture above:

I had asked my husband to get me a small, but he got me a medium.  I guess you only live once, right?

This thing is amazing -- it is basically like frozen pumpkin pie.  What I really wish is that there were more broken up pieces of pie crust inside.  It could have also used more pumpkin.  I've had ones in the past that were out of this world!  This one didn't live up to my expectations, but it was still really good.  Try one as soon as it is available!  It is usually the October Blizzard of the Month.  Be brave! You can get chocolate next time!

Lil' Snoopy wants a taste.
Conclusion:  There are lots of pumpkin flavored treats out this time of year, and of all the pumpkin treats, this one is right near the top!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Nothing like pumpkin bread with cream cheese and some coffee for Sunday morning breakfast.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Battle of the Pumpkin Coffees

Every where you look, coffee shops and convenience stores are stocking up on their pumpkin-flavored coffees.  But are they good? 

The hype for Starbucks pumpkin spice latte was so much that they even held a contest to see what city should get pumpkin spice lattes first.  My region didn't win, sad to say!

I got a jump on my pumpkin coffee early and had my first one at Dunkin' Donuts around the first week of September.  Then I caught wind that Wawa (local convenience store chain) also was going to have some sort of NEW! pumpkin coffee.  I have now tried three different brands of Pumpkin coffees: Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Wawa.  Let's run them down.


Dunkin' Donuts coffee is always hit-or-miss because you don't prepare it yourself.  Upon ordering any coffee, you are asked "cream and sugar?"  I always answer, "skim milk and Splenda?".

My first DD pumpkin coffee was good, though pretty sweet.  Not very spicy, though, and very syrupy.

My second, which I had yesterday, was VERY overly sweetened.  I could barely finish it.  I almost want to say that it was teetering on gross.  And I like sweet things, so this is saying a lot.  Their pumpkin MUFFIN, on the other hand, is always done right!  Moist and perfect.

C+ -- though it depends


Wawa serves its coffees in carafes, so I assume that their flavoring was not a syrup.  I wasn't expecting too much, because Wawa coffee is weak and watered down.  I sweetened it with a little half-and-half and two Splendas.

Wawa's pumpkin coffee is subtle.  Not too sweet, not too spicey.  I thought it was pretty good, though not overly impressed.  It's still Wawa coffee, afterall, but at least you get to control how flavored it is.

B: Good, but not great.


I love my local Starbucks.  I don't go there very often, but it is always quiet and peaceful in there, with such friendly and chipper servers.  I'll never forget how, when I was pregnant, I spilled a cup of coffee and they helped me clean it up, then replaced it for free.  Once, at a different local Starbucks, I had forgotten my wallet and they were about to let me take my latte for FREE (I did pay for it in the end, though).

So I am already a little biased.

I went in with an empty bag of store-bought Starbucks coffee, which is good for a free tall coffee.  I thought I'd have to pay the difference for the flavoring, but I didn't.  It was completely free.  That might make me a even more biased!  Their pumpkin coffee is flavored with a syrup, so I knew it would already be pretty sweet.  I added just a bit of half-and-half and about half a Splenda.

And it was delicious!  AND it was piping hot.  I burnt my tounge a bit.  Dunkin' and Wawa's coffees were hot, but not piping hot!  It was perfectly spicey and tasted just like fall in a cup.  It didn't have an artificial taste like Dunkin' coffee does.  Starbucks advertises that it's pumpkin SPICE, though, so its not expected to taste like a pumpkin.  Instead, it is presumably is flavored with pumpkin spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. 

I enjoyed my tall my entire car ride to work and savored the last bit when I got to work.  I would drink these every day if I could.

Rating: A++ 

Sizes: It's worth noting that Wawa and Starbucks' tall/small coffees are a full 12 ounces, while Dunkin' Donuts are 10 ounces.  I don't know why that is, but I don't like it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Baby Pumpkin's Birthday

This is not a parent blog, but one of the best parts of my life is my daughter.  Recently, she turned one year old!  It went by SO FAST.

When I was in the hospital, I received pumpkin treats from both my mom and my husband's mom.  My mom brought me pumpkin bread -- two loaves!  And my in-laws brought me pumpkin muffins from Dunkin Donuts.  They were both much appreciated and so delicious.  Maybe this is why I was inclined to make some pumpkin cupcakes for my daughter's first birthday.

I mulled around the idea of cream cheese icing.  But have you ever worked with the stuff?  It is very finicky and doesn't pipe well.  I love piping my cupcakes with a 1M Wilton or 2D Wilton tip.  After a lot of thought, I ended up making Joy of Baking's pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream. 

Her barbeque party was going really well, and soon it was time for her to have some smash cake.  I was not about to give her the Big Top cupcake I made, but instead gently peeled off a wrapper from a pumpkin cupcake.  She gobbled down the icing in a flash, and promptly threw the beautiful pumpkin cupcake at her cousin.  Husband joked that she does NOT take after me, but him, because she loves icing!  It won't be added to her daily list of foods, but I am already looking forward to next year's smash cake. 

Here is my little pumpkin enjoying her icing:
My favorite pumpkin

I almost forgot:

Happy First Day of Fall!


Pumpkin Bucket List

I have finally made a pumpkin "bucket list," -- a list of pumpkin recipes I want to try before I die.  But, I would preferrably like to try them within the next year or so.  Hopefuly this little blog will help me stay motivated.  I think this blog is going to make me gain weight if I'm not careful!
  1. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  2. Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl
  3. Pumpkin Cheesecake, though I don't own a springform pan.
  4. Pumpkin Roll
  5. Pumpkin Pie -- made with a homemade crust (I have never attempted homemade crust) Made October 2, 2011. AVAILABLE NOW.
  6. Homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese
  7. Pumpkin Pound Cake
  8. Pumpkin Cake Balls  Made October 22, 2011. AVAILABLE SOON.
  9. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Made September 27, 2011  AVAILABLE NOW.
  10. Pumpkin Scones --- What scares me about scones is the whole cutting the butter without overmashing thing.  I'll have to consult my mom, who makes wonderful scones!
That's all I can think of off the top of my head.  I know I want to make pumpkin whoopie pies for Thanksgiving.  I think they would be different and fun.  Cake balls decorated like jack-o-lanterns for Halloween might be in order, too.


Don't forget to become a fan of My Pumpkin Obsession on Facebook here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spotted: Jack-o-Lanterns on Family Circle

Don't you just love the cover of the October 1 issue of Family Circle?

I know I do!

Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2011

Around the office, I heard the words PUMPKIN SHORTAGE.  Again? 

There was one last year and I couldn't find canned pumpkin until October.  It was dismall!  Then, my husband went to  BJ's and came back with this:

My 2010 Pumpkin Stash

Is there any question why I am so in love with him?  He doesn't understand my love for pumpkins, but he sure does support it!

To get off this tangent, I went investigating after hearing a local radio DJ talking about the pumpkin shortage as I was driving home from work that day.  It turns out, it's true!  A quick google search for "pumpkin" and "pumpkin shortage 2011" appears in the drop down box.  Apparently I'm not the only one who is concerned.

According to this article from

Three main factors: First, Heavy rains in spring and early summer — and subsequent flooding — delayed the planting season for some pumpkin farmers. Second, an outbreak of a fungus called phytophthora that thrives in wet conditions wiped out many pumpkin patches. Finally, Hurricane Irene dealt a pivotal blow to pumpkin growers: One farmer in upstate New York "saw his entire crop, about 15,000 to 20,000 pumpkins, washed into Lake Champlain," says the Associated Press.

Darn you, Hurrican Irene!  You ruined basements, weddings, outdoor picnics and now pumpkins?  I am not sure how this will affect my new baby -- err, my blog -- but it is definitely a cause for concern.  I will be visiting a local orchards in the coming weeks and I will be curious to see what their crop looks like.


Don't forget to become a fan of My Pumpkin Obsession on Facebook here.


On the way home from work yesterday, I got an idea.  I don't know how great of an idea, but an idea nevertheless.  I recently discovered Velveteen Baker, written by a lovely woman who is OBSESSED with all-things red velvet cake.  She tries all sorts of recipes and takes on the subject.  This is already what I do/have done with all-things pumpkin every year.

So that got me thinking.  What if I chronicled my exploits in a blog?  Every week or so, I can write about my new pumpkin recipes or treats that I have tried.

I was always scared of starting a blog for the following reasons:
  1. What if no one reads it?  Then what is the point?
  2. You have to keep up with a blog!  A blog with no posts quickly loses readers and interest.
But, why not try?  Even if it forever gets lost in the waste land that is the Internet, at least it is writing practice.  I love to write and it usually doesn't go further than ads at work and my occasional diary entry.  Oh, and one or two (or more) status updates on Facebook.   This is much better.  I think I will start with a pumpkin pie Blizzard review from Dairy Queen tomorrow.  See you then!


About Me:
I am a twenty-something mother of one and wife of one.  I am obsessed with baking, eating other people's baking, but I also love to sew, draw, and write.  I also have an unhealthy addiction to reading blogs.  I work in advertising, which takes up most of my time.  In 2007, I graduated from Cabrini College with a degree in English.  I come from a pretty large Italian family that just seems to keep growing and growing.