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My Favorite Fall Cookie Recipe of All Time

My Favorite Fall Cookie Recipe


My Favorite Fall Cookie Recipe

Many times, I’ve thought that if cookies could be a love language, that’s what mine would be. Forget words of affirmation, gifts or acts of service.
Just gimme cookies.


Cake vs. Cookie

When it comes to cakes, my favorites are Wanda Mason’s pound cake, Texas sheet cake with creamy chocolate icing, wedding cake and carrot cake in the spring.
I’ve made cakes for office potlucks and taken really good ones to grieving friends. I’ve baked Paula Deen’s strawberry cake for my favorite son’s birthday, experimented with Ree Drummond’s prune cake (definitely delish), and served many an old-fashioned oatmeal cake with Sunday dinner after church. My favorite birthday cake is tres leches. The wetter the better, too.
However, if tough times are calling for tough measures (like foregoing all things made with sugar), I can more likely say no to cake than cookies.
In fact, I have actually done that. I’ve baked a cake and left it on the counter for a full day and a half without even touching it. Other family members were welcome to it, of course, but, I proudly abstained.


I Can’t Say No

But when it comes to cookies, forget it. Katie, bar the door. Lord, help me. It’s all over but the crying.
Cookies have a hold on me.
Homemade, especially. Any cookie with nuts in it will not last for two seconds out of the oven.
In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever taken cookies to a potluck or to the home of a grieving friend, now that I think about it. Why? Because I can’t be trusted to make it to the car, much less down the street with a plate full of homemade cookies.
Purely and simply, cookies are that thing to which I simply can’t say no.


38 Years and Counting

I first ran across this cookie recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook we received as a wedding shower gift 100 years ago. It’s really only been 38, but “100 years ago” is what people Over Fifty say when they get way on up there in birthdays and years married.
Next to the title of the recipe, I have written Delicious!, which is the ranking reserved for recipes I consider worthy of making again. And again.
I’ve made this one too many times to count, and actually can’t imagine autumn turning into winter without enjoying at least one big batch of my favorite fall cookie.


Here’s the Recipe

Here’s the recipe with the modifications I’ve made over the years. The original calls for shortening, but butter is even better. Betty Crocker calls the icing a glaze, but its texture is more like an icing, spread in a thick layer on top.


Pumpkin Cookies with Butter Icing

1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (or a little more)
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon each:  baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins (or not) and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugar, pumpkin, butter and orange peel. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Gently stir in raisins and nuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased parchment covered cookie sheet and bake until delicately browned, 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven, then transfer to a sheet of parchment or foil.
While the cookies are cooling on the counter, stir 2 cups powdered sugar into 1/4 cup melted butter. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and just enough milk to make it slightly spreadable.
Then top the cookies with the icing and try not to eat every last one before bedtime.


Perfect for Fall

These cookies are perfect for Thanksgiving potlucks at the office and pretty enough for the buffet table at your Bible study fall brunch. They can be baked one day and iced the next, and they also freeze well.
I make mine using a small scoop. That way, they look nice and uniform on the plate, and they’re more of a bite-sized cookie. If I make them a little larger in size, I spread the icing a little thinner on top.


Baked with Love

What do you think? Should Gary Chapman add a chapter to his bestselling book? Something like Cookies Always Do the Trick? I think so. Because baking something with love is one of those things that speaks a universal language.
Acts of service people are impressed that you went to the store for the pumpkin, mixed ’em, baked ’em and spread ’em with icing.
People who like gifts will feel a little extra love when you present these pumpkin cookies in a clear sack, tied at the top with an orange ribbon.
Put them on a plate and give with a handwritten note for those who love words of affirmation.
You can invite someone over to bake them with you if your friend is the kind who feels boosted by quality time.
And if you’re trying to speak love over someone whose language is physical touch, you can snuggle up on the couch and eat them side by side.
How ’bout that?
Maybe cookies are actually everyone’s love language, not just mine.
Encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure, and a favorite fall cookie for sure,


Minor League Baseball in Texas is Major League Fun




A few other posts you might enjoy:
The Itinerary I Chose For My Friends’ Visit
All the love languages get covered in a special weekend with friends. I wrote this post after some old friends came to Austin for a weekend of reconnecting and fun. We love each other so much!
7 Practical Ways to Honor Your Parents
I don’t know about your parents, but mine love homemade goodies. What a simple and heartfelt way to honor them – pumpkin cookies to celebrate fall.
21 Compassionate Ways to Bless a Single Parent
We have a single parent daughter who is raising our Pride and Joy, and I can tell you, she has almost no time for cookie baking. Do you know a single parent who has a busy life and would appreciate a plate of homemade cookies?


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  • Judy Gerstner

    YOU are a delightful way to start my day!! I’ve saved the recipe and will try them THIS week!! Hugs…