never-on-time series

Never-On-Time Series: 2012 Valentines.

You remember how I’m never on time, right? I’ve got a bunch of cookies I want to share from this past Valentine’s Day, so I’ll have to put them into my “Never-On-Time Series” as well. Hey, at least I’m getting to them before St. Patrick’s Day, right? :-D

2012 Valentine Cookies.

Now, I didn’t have a reason to make Valentine cookies other than I just really, really, really wanted to. I bought little mailboxes, and I wanted to fill them with cookies for some of my favorite “adopted” nieces & nephews (the kiddos of my best friends). I also had a sketchpad & list going of decorating I wanted to try, so I set aside one night just for “playing cookie,” and I was pretty excited! ♥

First up, I had found some cute stamps at our local party supply store, and I wanted to try my hand at inking cookies. Once the cookies were base-iced & completely dry, I painted a bit of Dusty Rose Americolor gel paste full-strength onto the rubber stamp, and then gently applied the stamp to the cookie.

2012 Valentine Cookies.

It worked better on some cookies than others, but I think that has more to do with my needing practice for this particular technique than the different stamps. :-)

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Pumpkin Spice Roll-out Sugar Cookies.

I know it’s the wrong season now, but chalk this up as another entry in the “Never-On-Time” series of posts. ;-)

I first started dreaming of a pumpkin-flavored sugar cookie last year (Fall 2010). I did a bit of researching, but it seemed that putting moist canned pumpkin into a cookie caused the dough to be too soft for traditional roll-outs. I didn’t have time to practice last year, so my idea was pushed to the back burner instead.

THIS YEAR, however, I put my thinking cap on & approached the idea in a new direction. I had made some dog biscuits & cookies for a friend last February, and I learned something in the process. The dog biscuits called for pumpkin, but when I made the dough, I thought to myself, “This doesn’t smell like pumpkin at all!”

I recalled how, every fall, my pumpkin pies don’t “smell like pumpkin” either until I add some spices. In fact, I don’t think canned pumpkin alone has much of a flavor (fresh is different, of course). However, if you wave a tin of “Pumpkin Pie Spice” in front of my nose, I’m practically drooling with anticipation of the pumpkin-y goodness ahead.

Using that knowledge as my guideline, my Pumpkin Spice dough was born! :-)

Mini Pumpkin cookies.

And even though there isn’t any actual pumpkin in the dough, I promise your nose will be fooled while these babies are baking! The aroma is absolutely magnificent!

I tweaked my usual sugar cookie dough in a few ways. Instead of all-purpose flour, I decided to use whole wheat flour. The nutty flavor you get from this switch is a PERFECT complement to the spices. If you want a milder flavor, feel free to stick with all-purpose flour as usual.

Additionally, I traded out my granulated white sugar for light brown sugar. I mixed dark brown sugar as an option, deciding the extra moisture from the molasses might be problematic for spreading, and I even split the light brown sugar with organic turbinado sugar as well. The turbinado sugar is the same light brown color, but it is drier, and provides flecks of sweet *crunch* in the cookie, too.

Aren’t these cookies beautiful?!

Pumpkin Spice Sugar cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Roll-Out Sugar Cookies
(recipe by Nicole Cleghorn)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar**
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 2-3/4 cups whole wheat flour**


Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light & fluffy (about 3-4 minutes on medium speed). Add in the turbinado sugar, and cream for an extra minute or so. Add the baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; mix well.

Add the egg & milk; beat well. Add the flour, mixing until well-combined. The dough should be soft & not sticky. Turn out onto sheets of waxed paper & roll. Cut out shapes, and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat liners. Freeze sheets for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 365°. Remove cookies from freezer and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges begin to have a hint of brown. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Decorate with royal icing, if desired. These are FABULOUS plain, too!

** Substitutions:

  • You can substitute regular granulated sugar for the turbinado sugar. You’ll lose those little bits of “crunch,” but the end result is just as tasty. Alternately, you can also use just the brown sugar, but you’ll need to increase it to 1-1/4 cups total.
  • You can use regular all-purpose flour with great results as well. It is not quite as dense as whole wheat flour, so make sure you change the amount to about 3-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour instead.


Mini Pumpkin cookies.

Never-On-Time Series: Featuring “On Time” Lucky Mint Cheesecake

Here’s the benefit to being “never on time,” folks: you can still be punctual every once in a while!

I made this dreamy, creamy Lucky Mint Cheesecake last year for dessert to our Irish fare, and I never, ever posted about it. Oh sure, I meant to – I really did! I thought it would be a nice touch even around the holidays (where instead, I made a different version of cheesecake – a pepperminty one), but I didn’t post this one then…

After all, it has shamrocks. :-)

But trust me when I tell you that this cheesecake… it’s better than so many things. It’s better than a Peppermint Patty straight from the fridge (with or without the Charlie Brown) and chased by a glass of milk. It’s better than a stick of Doublemint gum with a dollop of cottage cheese at the same time.

Wait. That last one might not actually be any good at all… *shakes head*

This is heaven. Sweetened cheesecake, lightly minted, resting on a rich layer of cold ganache, and wrapped in a chocolate cookie crust. I’m pretty sure that IS in the Bible somewhere, right?

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Never-On-Time Series: I <3 Ewe.

I’ve got a Mini Sheeper with a sweet message for you:

Aren't ewe so sweet?

I made this set as part of the Valentine’s Day collection that I decorated this year, and also as a special gift for my friend Stephanie – another recipient in the “Pay It Forward 2011″ meme from my Facebook. Out of all the cookies I mailed away last week, I think these might be my very favorite!

I <3 You.

Those sheepers just melt my ♥!

(“Sheeper,” by the way, comes as a borrowed sound-byte from my bestie, Heather. I gave her daughter an adorable sheep years ago at her baby shower. Once the Buglet arrived, she fell in love with “Sheeper,” and it has stuck in my vocabulary just that way ever since.)

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Never-On-Time Series: Happy, Snowy Snowmen.

Here’s the story of my online life: I’m never on time. If there is an occasion that I *am* on time, you can bet your tushie that I stayed up all night long to make it that way. However, I am on time for most things in real life, and sometimes? Sometimes I’m even early!

Case/Picture in point:

Snowman Cookies.

These happy, snowy snowmen were a brainchild of mine back in December. You know, when people were still making lots of snowmen-themed things. But I promise you, living in North Dakota, life here is still all about the snowmen! Yes, we’re dreaming of & hoping for spring, but the white, fluffy stuff still on my grass tells a different story.

So I’m on time, right? Right?!


I know I’m not, and I’m okay with it. In fact, I have so many instances of being “NOT” (“Never-On-Time”) in the online cookie world that I’ve decided to embrace it and share in a special “NOT” series. Creating themes and series are great ways to deal with something you choose to embrace, right?

(This is how “Laundryfest” began at our house. Or “Dark Clothes Day!” [hey, the lights were getting washed right then, I swear!])

Snowman Cookies.

“Why… so… series???” (Ha! See what I did there with that sly, Joker-style snowman in there?!)


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I’m Nicole, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by my little corner of the web! I’m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-taking… all to the benefit of my loves – my family! C’mon in to…read more.


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