Category Archives: Recipes

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 Easy Recipe, 4 Different Flavors

Drop sugar cookie recipe1 easy recipe, 4 delicious spring flavors! 

My Grandma made these cookies all the time when I was growing up… we knew them as Amish Sugar cookies.  Just plain, old sugar cookies that didn’t need to be rolled out and cut-out… simply drop spoonfuls of the cookie mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake.  Easy and tasty!

 

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Money Savvy Living

 

When you think of sugar cookies, you may typically think of the classic sugar cookies cut out into different shapes, frosted, and topped with sprinkles.  And I love those too, but these drop sugar cookies are much easier and quicker to make… so if you are looking for a delicious class sugar cookie recipe, you can check out my Best Ever Sugar Cookie recipe here…

But, for a fun twist on this drop sugar cookie classic, I am adding fresh fruit for extra flavor and color and it makes these cookies perfect for any Spring event!  You are definitely going to want to make these for your Easter or Mother’s Day brunch!

 

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Money Savvy Living

 

Drop Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 3 dozen
  • Print

Cookies:

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature 
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla 
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

 

Directions:

Combine butter, oil, and sugars in a large mixing bowl; mix well.  Add the egg and vanilla; mix until blended.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add to creamed mixture.

**At this point, you are ready to drop small spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake.  But, I’m going to divide the dough into four parts (so you’ll need three more small bowls) and add different fruits to give these cookies beautiful color and taste!

Using a cookie scoop, to help keep all the cookies uniform in size, place mounds of cookie dough on baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

 

Because I am going to add fresh fruit and the fruit’s juice to the cookie mix, it will change the consistency, so it will be necessary to add more powdered sugar and/or flour.  Start with adding 1 tablespoon more of powdered sugar, if necessary, add 1 tablespoon of flour too, but don’t add both at once, stir in the additional powdered sugar first and gage consistency from there.

 

Lime

Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Zest one lime— put part in the cookie dough and save part to sprinkle over the cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven.  Squeeze the juice of ½ of the lime into the cookie dough.  Add a bit more powdered sugar if necessary.

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Lime Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living

 

Lemon

Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Zest one lemon— put part in the cookie dough and save part to sprinkle over the cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven.  Squeeze the juice of ½ of the lemon into the cookie dough.  Add a bit more powdered sugar if necessary.

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Lemon Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living

 

Strawberry

Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Wash 5 fresh strawberries, remove tops, and crush berries.  You can add just the juice, but I also like to put pieces of the crushed berries in too, so make they are cut small enough.  Add a bit more powdered sugar and be even a bit of flour too, depending on how juicy those strawberries are!

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Strawberry Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living

 

Black Raspberry

Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Wash about 10 black raspberries; crush berries.  Because the seeds are so large, make sure to strain the crushed raspberries so that only the juice is added to the cookie mixture.  Add a bit more powdered sugar if necessary.

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Black Raspberry Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living

 

With all of the delicious fresh fruits to choose from, you could get really creative with these.  And, the colors make for a beautiful spring dessert!

What fruits would you choose?  Blueberry, peach, orange, pomegranate?

 

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Money Savvy Living

 

If you don’t have all your cookie-baking supplies, you can order them here:

 

*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer.

 

 

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Blueberry Mango Smoothie // Money Savvy Living

 

Looking for a quick breakfast on the go?  A post-workout recovery drink?  A healthy snack?  Well, here is the answer you have been looking for.  Blueberry Mango Smoothie!

 

This smoothie is packed with protein and healthy antioxidants.  Besides the whole foods based protein powder, blueberries provide many health benefits such as boosting the immune system, reducing belly fat, preserving vision, and improving heart and brain function.  And the possible health benefits of mangoes include fighting cancer, helping to alkalize the body, aiding in weight loss, regulating diabetes, helping digestion, and aiding in clear your skin, just to name a few!

 

Consistently replacing breakfast or lunch with one of these delicious smoothies can also be helpful with weight loss, as you choose to replace your quick lunch run through a fast food line with a low-fat, protein packed complete, healthy smoothie.

 

 

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free:

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

  • 1 banana**
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup frozen mango chuncks
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete protein

Blend until smooth.

**Smoothie tip Use a frozen banana to give your smoothie a much creamier texture (almost like a milkshake!)

Enjoy!

 

If you want to know a little bit more about the Juice Plus+ company or the Complete Protein shake, and how you can actually utilize it to lose weight and live healthier, check out this Healthy Living Revolution video for the Shred10 program.

 

Blueberry Mango Smoothie // Money Savvy Living

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+ Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission, but it does not change the price that you pay for the product.

 

 

 

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrocks

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrocks

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living

New twist on a classic!  Chocolate covered pretzels are always a hit at my house… and I imagine they are at your house too.  It’s sweet, it’s salty, chocolate is involved… you really can’t go wrong with that kind of dessert.

So the only thing left to do is figure out fun ways to make chocolate covered pretzels festive for whatever holiday or season you want to celebrate.  And we’ve done just that for St. Patrick’s Day!  Here you have it, chocolate covered pretzel shamrocks!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living

These chocolate covered pretzel shamrocks are so easy to make!  You really only need 5 things to get started:

  • green colored chocolate melting wafers
  • pretzel twists
  • pretzels sticks
  • shortening
  • wax paper
  • sprinkles *optional*

You just get a bag of green chocolate melting wafers and melt according to the instructions.  Then add a little bit of shortening to the melted chocolate.  That will help to thin it out a bit and give it a nice gloss.

**Tip: A good rule of thumb for melting chocolate is to do so in 30 second increments at 50% power until melted that way you avoid burning it**

Cover table or counter with wax paper.  This works great because the pretzels can lay on the wax paper to dry and then they will easily peel off when the chocolate has completely set.

To make each shamrock, you will need 3 pretzel twists and 1 pretzel stick.  Dip them in the green melted chocolate to even coat and as you lay them on the wax paper, start forming your shamrock!  Make sure sides are touching so that the chocolate dries and holds the shape intact.

This was even a fun little project that my kids helped with!  So have fun and make some memories with your kids in the kitchen!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living

 

Shopping List

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a commission, but it does not change the overall price to you, the consumer.

Classic Reuben Sandwich

 

Classic Reuben Sandwich // Money Savvy Living

 

St. Patrick’s Day will be here soon… and I literally can’t get by this holiday without craving a good corned beef sandwich!  Of course, they are delicious any time of year, but it’s just like turkey at Thanksgiving, cookies at Christmas…and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day.

 

While the corned beef brisket with potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or some other comfort food is tasty, I have to say that my very favorite way to eat corned beef is in a classic reuben sandwich!  Oh my…. so good.

 

Of course, you can buy a delicious reuben sandwich, but it is so easy to make, you won’t even need to find an Irish Pub in order to get that authentic taste…

 

Yes, it’s easy, but it will take some time if you’re going to cook your own corned beef bristketbut I did include a shopping list with a quicker option below as an alternative option.

 

So to start, cover a 2-3 pound corned beef in a crockpot with water, add the seasoning packet (and a bay leaf, if you want, but don’t forget to remove it later).  Cook for 6-8 hours, or until tender.  Meat should easily pull apart.  You can cook it on the stop top or in the oven, I just prefer a crockpot because it is so easy to just put on before work, then when you get home, most of dinner is ready!  Easy-peasy!

 

Next is the sauerkraut.  I never, ever just warm up sauerkraut from the jar or the bag (for me, that is just a little too sauer!).  I always like to cook it down for a few minutes with applesauce and brown sugar, and a little salt and pepper to taste.  This literally takes less than 5 minutes…

 

While that is cooking, you can butter your rye & pumpernickel bread and toast it on a griddle, put the provolone cheese (ok, so this is a twist on the “classic” reuben because my kids don’t like swiss cheese) on to melt on one side of the sandwich, and generously apply the Thousand Island dressing to the other side of the sandwich.  Pull the bread off the griddle because you are ready for a plate!

 

Layer on the thin chuncks of corned beef, top with sauerkraut, and you now have the most delicious reuben sandwich… oh yeah, seriously mouth-wateringly delicious!

 

Classic Reuben Sandwich // Money Savvy Living

Classic Reuben Sandwich

  • Corned beef
  • Sauerkraut
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • Rye & Pumpernickel bread
  • Provolone Cheese

Layer ingredients, hot or cold, to make a delicious sandwich!

*if you don’t have Thousand Island dressing, you can just mix some mayo, ketchup, and pickle relish together and you will have a great homemade Thousand Island dressing!

 

Enjoy!
 

Shopping List

*Follow the instructions for this one-step rapid roast.  Preparation for it would be different than cooking a raw corned beef brisket.

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission, but it does not change the price to you, the consumer.

Old Fashioned Christmas Maple Cookies

Old Fashioned Christmas Maple Cookies

Old Fashioned Christmas Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

When you think of Christmas cookies, you may typically think of the classic sugar cookie, and you can check out my Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe here, but this old fashioned maple cookie is going to be a great addition to your holiday cookie tray…

 

Maple… a flavor that often gets overlooked, but this is a flavor that I well remember growing up—and not just maple syrup on pancakes.  My grandma used to make maple cookies, with a maple frosting that were so good…

 

So I’ve put a little twist on them and traded out the maple flavor for some maple extract (just to make them look a bit more like Christmas!)

 

Old Fashioned Christmas Maple Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 4 dozen
  • Print

 

Cookies:

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Maple frosting:

  • 2¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

In a medium bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar, then gradually add the eggs, sour cream, maple extract, and maple syrup, and beat until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to creamed mixture and blend thoroughly.

Cover and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a cookie scoop, to help keep all the cookies uniform in size, place mounds of cookie dough on baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the maple frosting. Beat butter, maple extract, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.  Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

Frost cookies when completely cooled.

*this recipe features maple extract, which gives you the maple flavor, but not the brown color, so the cookies will look a bit more like Christmas…

 

 

Old Fashioned Christmas Maple Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Have an old fashioned Christmas this year, and enjoy some delicious maple cookies!

*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

Christmas morning is less than one week away.  If your home is anything like ours, the kids will be up probably several times throughout the night and then ready to run downstairs and see what Santa left for them!  So at 5am, you are probably not ready to cook a huge breakfast, but I have the perfect solution for you… cranberry cinnamon roll drop biscuits.  They are quick and easy to make or you can even make them the night before so you don’t have to do anything Christmas morning except for try to wake up with your cup of coffee while the kids feverishly rip open their gifts…

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

I’m making these with cranberries to make a wonderful Christmas morning treat, but this basic recipe could be used year round by substituting the cranberries with raisins, blueberries & lavender, strawberries, pumpkin you get the idea…

I also have to admit, I’m not exactly making these from scratch, but I guarantee, you won’t be able to tell!

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

I am using Bisquick baking mix for my base, so this makes it quick and easy and just a little bit healthier because all I have to do for the base is add milk to the Bisquick.  If I was making this from scratch, I’d typically cut in cold butter to make biscuits.

So I am going to start by cutting up about ¼ cup of Craisins so they are smaller bits and spread out more evenly in the drop biscuits.  And I am going to soak them in a bit of water to help moisten them up.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

*If you have an adult only Christmas morning, you could soak the Craisins in rum or vodka…

Combine the Bisquick and milk.  Add the Craisins, cinnamon, sugar, melted butter and maple syrup.  Drop onto baking sheet.  I like to line the baking sheet with parchment paper so the biscuits don’t stick and it makes for easier clean up when you put the icing on too.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

While the biscuits are in the oven, mix the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and maple flavoring for the icing/glaze.

If you put the icing on when the biscuits come out of the oven, it will melt down over the biscuits like a glaze… YUM!

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

 

It all comes together pretty easily:


Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

  • Servings: 4-6 biscuits
  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix

1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)

1/4 cup soaked Craisins *optional reserve some for garnish*

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all ingredients.  Spoon onto baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

While the biscuits are baking, make the icing:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp milk

1/8 tsp maple flavor

*Put icing on while biscuits are hot…will melt like a glaze

 


Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy LivingSo delicious and so easy!  I love this because you will still have plenty of time to watch the kids open gifts and relax… and still make a homemade breakfast!  Perfect for Christmas morning!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas is right around the corner.  So you probably already cooked a big turkey and stuffed yourself on Thanksgiving Day… and still had leftovers… and are probably looking forward to another turkey for Christmas dinner.

 

And honestly, cooking the turkey to a beautiful golden brown is not the hard part.  Making a flavorful, delicious gravy is.  Even if you use dripping from the turkey, sometimes, it just doesn’t have that concentrated flavor that you need to make a rich tasting gravy so you bought a pre-made, canned gravy.  But don’t fret, if you ran into this problem a few weeks ago, I am going to let you in on a little secret for making homemade turkey gravy that tastes rich and delicious… and it is super easy.

 

The secret is Williams-Sonoma Turkey Stock Concentrate.  This stuff is wonderful because it is a thick concentrate that you can dilute down and make stock for soup or gravy with.  If you were to make concentrate on your own, it takes quite a while to cook down, so this is a huge time saver!

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

And, as you probably know, I am a label reader, so the thing that I love the most about this is that I can pronounce everything on the label… and you know what they say about labels that you can easily read?  The ingredients are fresh not a bunch of fillers or preservatives!

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

So after reading all the tasty ingredients that have cooked down and simmered into this delicious concentrate, it is easy to understand why this would make a gravy that tastes homemade because it is.

According to the instructions on the jar, to make one cup of stock, you combine:

  • 2 teaspoons of the Turkey Stock Concentrate
  • 1 cup water

Easy, right?!

Keeping these proportions in mind, I made a simple gravy using my turkey drippings and water, and combined it with a butter and flour roux.

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living


No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy

  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Homemade Turkey Gravy

In a large sauce pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter, combine 1/3 cup flour (stir frequently, ensuring there are no lumps) over low-medium heat.

Add water, turkey drippings, and the turkey stock concentrate.

Continue to stir frequently to combine.  Turn heat to low.

*If not cooking a turkey for drippings, just replace that with a cup of water

Depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy, you can add more water, but make sure you keep the correct proportions with the turkey concentrate.  So if you add an additional ½ cup of water, make sure to add an additional teaspoon of turkey stock concentrate.

 


 

For this recipe, I added the turkey right into the gravy because I was using leftover turkey, but this gravy is just fine as a stand alone gravy to use with your side dish at any holiday or family meal.

 

No Fail Homemade Turkey Gravy | Money Savvy Living

 

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

What do you think of when I mention Christmas?  Santa Claus, the Nativity and the birth of Jesus, a decorated Christmas tree, beautifully wrapped gifts, lights… and Christmas cookies!  Of course, there are all types of Christmas cookies and goodies, but I think the sugar cookies are the best!

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas cookies conjure up memories from childhood… so I’m going to share Grandma’s Best Every Christmas Sugar Cookies.  They are so easy to make (you won’t even have to buy that pre-packaged sugar cookie mix!) and they taste AMAZING!!

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living


Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

3¾ cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.

*For best results, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out cookie dough.

Roll dough out on floured counter-top.  Make cookies approx. 3/8 inch thick.

Divide cookie dough into thirds.  Only roll out  one-third of the dough at a time.  This way, once the dough has been covered in flour and rolled out, the excess will be mixed with fresh dough (that has not been floured or rolled yet), so it keeps it from becoming too tough.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

 

Icing

1 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp milk

Beat butter, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time.

 


Make sure each batch of cookies is approximately the same size and thickness.  If cookies are different thickness or size, they will not cook evenly and you will have some that are overcooked, while others may be undercooked.

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

From our family to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the love of Christ fill your hearts and lives this Christmas and throughout the year!

And I truly hope that your family will take the time to make some wonderful memories as you bake and eat cookies together!

 

 

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

And if you want to try something different than these traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies, this recipe for classic Linzer Cookies is absolutely delicious!
Christmas in Switzerland: Traditional Linzer Cookies

Or for more family time together, you can gather the kids around and make some wonderful ornaments to decorate your tree. I love doing this because every year when we decorate the tree, we reminisce a bit. The kids love looking back at stuff they did in preschool and it is just fun memories. Not to mention, they are the most cherished ornaments on the tree because they were made by the kids… Take a look at my posts for how to make these special keepsake ornaments:

Homemade Cinnamon & Applesauce Ornaments
Cinnamon Glitter Ornament

 

Christmas Ornaments that Your Kids Can Make That You Will Actually Want on Your Tree

Christmas Ornaments Collage |Money Savvy Living Porcelain Painted Ornament | Money Savvy Living Cardboard ornament Paperplate angel

Apple Pie Pizza

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

 

Apple Pie and Pizza.  Two things you don’t typically combine… but, I promise that these little apple pie pizzas will be a hit this fall!

I love to eat apples all year long, but this time of year, the local apples are in season and they just have such a sweet flavor, that I have to take advantage of using apples in as many recipes as I can—in addition to just slicing and eating them raw…

These are a perfect finger food… and a quick, easy dessert to make for Thanksgiving—an unexpected twist on the traditional apple pie.

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

Open the package of refrigerated biscuits, pull in half (so that you have twice as many biscuits, just half as thick).

Sprinkle cheese on top of biscuit dough.

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

Add diced apples on top of cheese.

Top with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oat mixture

 


Apple Pie Pizza

  • 1 package, refrigerated biscuits (5 counts)
  • Colby jack cheese
  • 2 apples, diced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • cinnamon to taste
  • ¼ cup quick oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Open the package of refrigerated biscuits, pull in half (so that you have twice as many biscuits, just half as thick).

Sprinkle cheese on top of biscuit dough.

Add diced apples on top of cheese.

Top with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and oat mixture

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.


 

Apple Pie Pizza | Money Savvy Living

 

So even though we aren’t quite to Thanksgiving yet, I decided to try these out as part of a mini party for my kids, my nieces, and nephew to decorate pumpkins that I am going to use for my Thanksgiving tablescape… and, of course, to enjoy all autumn.  I say mini party because every time the kids get together and have fun, just creating memories as a family, it truly is like a party…

I bought several small pumpkins and gourds, of all colors and sizes, some craft paint, and of course, glitter.

Painted Pumpkins | Money Savvy Living

I chose the colors that I knew that I wanted to match the type of decorating that I wanted to do and what I thought would go nicely on my Thanksgiving table.

…and let the kids choose how they wanted to paint and/or decorate their pumpkins. Pumpkin Painting | Money Savvy Living

*By the way, we used small paper plates to put the paint on, so each child had their own “paint pallet,” and the table is covered with a cheap, plastic table cover, so clean up is super easy!

I think they came out very nicely…

Painted Pumpkins | Money Savvy Living

And we also painted some leaves, pine cones, and acorns for fun accents… and it all looks quite pretty on my Thanksgiving table…

Thanksgiving Tablescape | Money Savvy Living Thanksgiving Tablescape | Money Savvy LivingWishing your family a very “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed” Thanksgiving…

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Homemade cut-out iced sugar cookies have been one of my favorite sweet treats since I was a kid.  I remember my Grandma making these cut-out cookies for nearly every holiday… and they are my absolute favorite!  And I think your family will love them too.

 

Cut-out cookies can be tricky to make, so I’m going to share a few tips with you to make cut-out cookies so good, you will never want to buy a pre-made sugar cookie dough or mix again!

 

When you think of iced sugar cookies, you probably think about Christmas cookies, right?  And while I love to make beautiful Christmas cookies, I am putting a twist on it and making these sugar cookies with a great autumn flavor—maple!—and making them into football cookie pops for my son’s football team.  It’s their last game and I am on for snack, so I have to do something special, right?!

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Okay, I know that my icing writing needs some work… I am definitely not a professional, but I think they turned out pretty good for my first time trying to write with icing…

 

Tip #1 Use a table mixer.  This is one of the only recipes that I actually get out the table mixer, but I don’t think that you can make these without it.  While you don’t want to over mix and make the dough too tough, it does need to be mixed until it is a stiff dough and a hand mixer just doesn’t do as good.

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing

Maple Sugar Cookies

3 ¾ cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1 ½ tsp pure maple flavor

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.

Tip #2 For best results, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out cookie dough.

Roll dough out on floured counter-top.  Make cookies approx. 3/8 inch thick.

Tip #3 Divide cookie dough into thirds.  Only roll out  one-third of the dough at a time.  This way, once the dough has been covered in flour and rolled out, the excess will be mixed with fresh dough (that has not been floured or rolled yet), so it keeps it from becoming too tough.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

 

Maple Icing

1 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 tsp maple flavoring

2 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp milk

 

Beat butter, maple flavor, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time.

 

 

Tip #4 Make sure each batch of cookies is approximately the same size and thickness.  If cookies are different thickness or size, they will not cook evenly and you will have some that are overcooked, while others may be undercooked.

 

If I’m just making a regular batch of cookies, I usually make them about 3/8 inch thick.  For cookie pops, they need to be about half as thick because you will be layering them: place cut-out cookie dough on parchment paper, place cookie pop stick (which has been pre-soaked in water so the sticks don’t burn), then top with 2nd cut-out cookie dough, so the stick bakes in between the cookie layers.Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

Tip #5 Bake cookies on parchment paper.  Ok, this may not be a secret, but baking cookies on parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking to the cookie sheet.  No need to buy a liner, just use parchment paper.

 

Tip #6 Let cookies sit on baking sheet after you get them our of the oven for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute before trying to move to cooling rack.  This is especially important with cut-out cookies because you want them to maintain their shape.

Let cool completely before icing.

 

So I added a couple of store-bought treats and put together these festive goodie bags… because those boys are hungry after playing a rigorous game of football…

 

Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing | Money Savvy Living

 

What a fun, festive, and tasty way to end the season!

 

ENJOY!

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