Cookies and leaves

by Kim on November 4, 2013

Confession: I don’t bake. Pretty much ever.

It’s partially because I don’t need the temptation lying around the house, but mostly, it’s because I just don’t like doing it.

Even during the holidays, I have a hard time getting into baking, and will usually resort to the old white-chocolate-dipped-Oreos trick (which, by the way, is an amazingly tasty trick). It doesn’t help that there already seems to be an excess of cookies everywhere we go during the month of December—who needs mine??

But this past weekend, I broke my anti-baking streak, with these:

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Don’t worry: I didn’t go that far outside of my comfort zone. I maxed out at 4 ingredients, and the combining of said ingredients took all of 2 minutes.

I’d been planning to make a slight variation of the ever-popular cake mix + pumpkin cookies by adding peanut butter, but when I opened the pantry door to grab the PB, my eyes landed on the jar of TJ’s cookie butter.

If you’ve never tried TJ’s cookie butter, it tastes exactly like pureed gingersnaps. In my head, gingersnaps + chocolate + pumpkin sounds like a winning combo.

So here’s the ingredient list I ended up with (photo touched up with the “super grainy nighttime” setting):

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1 box of chocolate fudge cake mix (unprepared), 1 can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup cookie butter, and an unpictured cup of dark chocolate chips.

I zapped the cookie butter in the microwave for 45 seconds to soften it before incorporating it with the cake mix and pumpkin, tossed in the chocolate chips, dropped the batter onto a greased cookie sheet, and baked the cookies at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Brent says they’re better than regular chocolate chip cookies. Which, I think, is like saying that any day of the year is better than Christmas.

Notes:

–You have to know what you’re in for with these: they taste more like cake than cookies. As a soft-cookie lover, I see that as a good thing, but I know not everyone is into that.

–Do NOT try these right out of the oven. Not just because they’re hot, but because they don’t taste good right away. I can’t explain why. All I know is that I almost tossed the whole batch out and called it a failure—until they cooled. Then they were swoon-worthy. It’s the craziest thing.

Anyway. The rest of my weekend basically looked like this:

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Do we have to rake the leaves?? (Kind of an honest question…) They’re insanely pretty. I’m kind of obsessed.

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By the way, Mason is a completely different kid, now that he’s finally getting over his ear infection.

It’s amazing—I feel like he literally hasn’t been living with us for the past two weeks, and he finally came home. This kid actually smiles! He babbles! He doesn’t scream bloody murder if you look at him the wrong way!

It’s hard to sort out exactly how much of his behavior was related to sickness vs. a reaction to starting daycare, but I’m starting to think the ear infection was the main driver of drama. He’s been getting great reports at daycare every day, and I think he’s really liking it there.

On Saturday, we met up with some friends to “watch football,” which really meant “dress in team-appropriate garb and then talk in the kitchen while mowing chips and dip and barely glancing at the TV.”

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It was awesome.

The guys watched, at least. As guys can often be counted on to do.

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I spent Mason’s naptimes on both Saturday and Sunday at a coffee shop, studying for my NASM exam. (Which, by the way, I ended up pushing back to December, since the whole job-starting thing kind of majorly threw me off my study plan.)

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I don’t mind the studying at all—especially when it means I also get good coffee. (I have no idea what a caramel macchiato actually is, but it tastes incredible.)

While studying at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, I scored a new calendar for my office:

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I looooove the art, and the phrases on each page really speak to my ever-blossoming hippie side.

Cute, right?

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When I got home, I even downloaded some of the same style art and set it as my desktop wallpaper. Feel free to check out this gallery if you want to do the same!

Happy Monday!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome November 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I’ve never made cookies with cake mix before. Sounds good! Glad to hear Mason is feeling much better!
Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…A Fun, Friend Filled Weekend and a WholeMe Giveaway!My Profile

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Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat November 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I have got to get some of that cookie butter! I’ve heard lots of good things about it, but have yet to give it a try.

Those cookies look delish! I love baking! It’s one of my favorite past times. I just have to restrain myself from doing it too often because I do have a big sweet tooth!
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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Oh my gosh, you’re going to die when you try the cookie butter. :) Dangerously good!

One thing that’s kind of nice is that, if I get a random sweet craving, I can make something, have one or two, and know that my husband will probably help clean up the rest. Men are handy like that. :)

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ErikaMC November 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Mmm… Cookie Butter = best thing ever. I actually have a jar in my cupboard that I’m scared to open. I know it won’t last long once I do and I live over an hour away from the nearest Trader Joe’s so it will be my last one for awhile – that really doesn’t make any since!

I have this weird thing with my calendar. I always get a Mary Englbreit one and since I know I will love it I will not look at the month ahead of time.

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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Wow, you have such restraint, on both fronts!! :)

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Emily @ More Than Just Dessert November 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I loveeee that cookie butter from TJ’s. Awesome idea to add it to the cookies, they look delicious!
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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I have a huge soft spot for it, too. :)

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Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate November 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Yum, now that’s my kind of baking! I made the cake mix + pumpkin cookies once and added some peanut butter frosting…delicious! I’ts pretty sad I haven’t watched a single second of any Badger games this year because we have had a Wedding on almost every one of the Saturdays…ahh!
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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

GREAT idea w/the frosting!! I might try that next!

You really need to catch at least one game, Katie, come on. :) Some big home games coming up!!

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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries November 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

I don’t know how you do it! Working full time, being a mama, writing this blog, working out, AND studying for your NASM exam?! You’re my hero. Seriously. Major props.

And I definitely need to try out your cookies. They sound too easy and delicious not to!
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…A Much Needed Weekend with My Little FamilyMy Profile

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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Aw, thanks. Honestly, in some ways, my life is easier now–being an SAHM is seriously tough work, as you know!! I was kinda worried that I was going to be an exhausted blob in the evenings after work, but so far, it’s been ok. I’ve actually discovered that the busier I am, the more motivated I am. But yeah, my plate is a little fuller than I’d like–can’t WAIT to be done with that NASM test next month!

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Ali November 4, 2013 at 11:32 am

Those cookies do look good! I’m not one to bake really extravagant baked goods either. I have a love/hate relationship with them – I really don’t need the temptation laying around either!!
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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Exactly! :)

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Katie November 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

You’re a genius. I haven’t bought cookie butter yet. I went to TJs last and got pumpkin butter and the almond butter, so had to hold back. But the cookie butter will be my next purchase!
Katie recently posted…October 2013 RecapMy Profile

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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Ooh, pumpkin butter would be awesome in these too! I didn’t think of that!

Cookie butter is going to blow your mind, Katie, when you do get it. Be ready. :)

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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

I don’t really like baking either, I am a cook through and through, not a baker. But if I do bake, it is something for a holiday and still is delicious, I just like cooking better!

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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Agreed!! I’m fine with cooking, probably because it’s necessary. Baking feels like “extra,” and I’m too lazy for that. :)

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Katie @ running4cupcakes November 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

Those cookies look super yummy – and easy!! And how strange that they don’t taste good right away! And glad that Mason is back to his normal giggling self – so nice to hear!!

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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I honestly want someone else to try the cookies right out of the oven to see if it’s just me or if they really do have a weird quirk. I honestly almost tossed them–ha!

Yes, SO nice to have him back to normal! Crazy how much sickness can affect them, but I guess we adults are no treat when we’re sick either.

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char eats greens November 4, 2013 at 7:23 am

I LOVE your boots in the first few pics and those cookies look deadly good. I probably shouldn’t be reading about cookies before I eat breakfast. Hmmm…
char eats greens recently posted…weekend recap: a run, a wedding, and starbucks owes me!My Profile

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Kim November 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Thanks! You obviously can’t see how scuffed up they are. :) I’m hoping to squeeze one more year out of them!

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