Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

First there was Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake (yum), then there was Pumpkin Pound Cake (delish), and now I bring you Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies because Badger Kitchen is currently chugging along on a pumpkin sweets train this month.

You know how there are those special moments in life that are just so memorable that you'll never forget?  I remember picking out our family dog because my sister and I decided he had the softest fur and getting to have him sit on my lap for half the ride home (sharing is caring).  I remember getting engaged and crying my eyes out for a good ten minutes afterwards.  I also remember the first time I baked and ate pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies in my college apartment on a crisp October.

Being the good daughter I am (and because my parents lived 20 minutes away so I'd go home to do laundry), I took my mom a couple of cookies to enjoy and shared the recipe upon request.  It then got shared with Gramma, sisters, aunts and so on.  And now here I am sharing it with you!

To say that these cookies are life changing isn't too far from the truth.  They are superior to the average snickerdoodle cookie thanks to the added pumpkin and spices.  The additional moisture from the pumpkin puree also keeps the cookies chewy, which is good if you're not a fan of hard cookies like me.

The original recipe that I found is so good that has received such rave reviews that I've never felt the need to alter it.  The only change I make is that sometimes I will add a little more pumpkin than the recipe calls for, depending on if I'm in a super pumpkiney mood or not.  Oh, and don't discriminate, pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies can be enjoyed year round!


Recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen.


  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (increase to 1 or 1 1/4 cups if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or different large bowl to be used for mixing) cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, or about two minutes.  Beat in egg.  Then beat in pumpkin puree.  Add dry ingredients from separate bowl and slowly beat in.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.  Space apart evenly on baking sheet.
  6. Bake one cookie sheet of cookies at a time for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are starting to brown but centers are still puffy and soft.
Tip: Cookies freeze well either after baking and fully cooled, or in dough ball form without cinnamon-sugar coating.

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Brittany's Sunday Brunch

Hello brunchers! So I was looking back at my Fall list and realized I'm semi-slacking. No pumpkin patch pictures or winery tours. I haven't been all lazy though, some things I have checked off and some fun things have been happening off-list.

Just a few days ago, I spent a lovely evening with great friends, food and drinks. Badger Kitchen and friends met up at Merchant, a local Madison restaurant. Merchant thrives on craft cocktails and fresh, local ingredients. Also, the crafty, upscale tavern feel gives it the perfect ambiance for a meet-up with friends. Laughing over cheese curds, pasta and fruit inspired cocktails was the perfect way to end the work week.

Other non-list activities included wedding fun! My fiancé and I have been having so much fun doing the little things, like picking out our wedding bands and going through boat-loads of stamps as we address our save the dates. Our wedding is finally next in the family so now it's really getting exciting!

But, I haven't forgotten about my list, guys. Don't worry. Cooking with fall flavors has been checked and rechecked off the list. But that was a give-in. Yesterday, we did one of the things I enjoy the most that's on the list; we went to the dog park. Not only do we have one happy off leash camper, we get quite the beautiful view to admire over, too. Even if you don't have a dog, I highly recommend visiting Indian Lake north of Middleton. They even have non-dog park walking trails if you're self-conscious without a dog. Trust me, it's worth going this time of year. To convince you all, I let go of my self-consciousness and posted this picture of a very tired me with no makeup. It's totally worth it.

Have a great upcoming week, friends!

- Brittany

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Pound Cake

I could start this post taking about how much I love pumpkin and how when baking this recipe I was drinking pumpkin spice flavored coffee and had a pumpkin scented candle burning, but then this would sound like every other wonderful pumpkin blog post out there. When it comes to fall, who doesn't like pumpkin [cough, besides my fiancé, cough]?

Earlier in the summer when Badger Kitchen was thinking up the coming months' themes, pumpkin just couldn't be overlooked. But come October (ok, ok I was thinking about this since September), I just couldn't decided on a recipe to try. I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something, non-baked good recipe. You know, get away from the traditional cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin trio recipe. But I was afraid of not liking it and my fiancé not even trying it. So, baked good it is. However, I've never had pumpkin pound cake before. I was pretty excited when I found this.

This recipe is super easy. Believe me, I made this after a very long wedding weekend while finishing up scientific figures for a grant and doing laundry and keeping the dog occupied. It reminds me of banana bread in the fact that it's really good without much effort. Also, this pound cake has the texture like banana bread in that it's dense but [dare I use the word] moist. Also, that cup of pumpkin goes a long way! I was afraid of it being bland but this pound cake is far from! The only thing I would do differently next time is maybe add a walnut or oatmeal topping to give it more texture diversity.

Bon Appétit,

Slightly adapted from Something Swanky

1 1/2 c. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 c. Granulated Sugar
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Vanilla Yogurt
3 Egg Whites
1 c. Canned Pumpkin

Fall sprinkles optional (but why not? After all, it is cake)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bread pan or mini loaf pan.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and nutmeg.
3. In a separate bowl add together the sugars, yogurt and egg whites. Mix until blended.
4. Fold pumpkin into the wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients. Stir just until all is blended together.
5. Pour into pan (should make about 8-9 mini loaves).
6. Bake for 60 minutes if large bread pan or 25 minutes if mini loaf pan.
7. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

April's Sunday Brunch

Welcome to another Sunday funday brunch!

I've really started to like sharing these monthly post with you all! I'm deep into my last semester of graduate school and beyond ready for it to be done. Most days I feel like everything I do is for school and I don't have the time to do anything fun. I mean even the cat is pitching in at this point, learning by osmosis.

These posts remind me that I do do a lot of fun and good things going on in my life. I may not get to cook or exercise as much as I would like, but my school situation isn't as dire as I make it out to be most days. I hope you enjoy some aspect of these posts as much I do.

I went apple picking earlier this month at Door Creek Orchard. I'm still working on using them all up! Maybe some applesauce?

There have been a lot of fires in the fire place and lots of trips to my parents for more wood. I'm happy I have such a pyromaniac lumberjack for a boyfriend and get all the enjoyment without any of the work. I'm a good supervisor when it comes down to it all. We went through all that wood last weekend...

I've been eating well most weeks too, whether it is eating out or at home! My mother got a membership at The Madison Club and we went to brunch. I went to The Blue Marlin with my parents the other week and had the most delicious octopus and lobster. Everything is always delicious there, one of my favorite spots.

I went home for a Packer game and kindly used up some avocados for my mother, with this guacamole. Avocado, corn, mango, onion is heaven. I wish decent, fresh corn was around all year long. Pizza is one of my favorite things to eat while watching football. This one has a bunch of Fraboni's meats, cheese and a few random vegs. It was amazing.

Hung out on The Pontoon Porch with a bunch of awesome coworkers and friends this weekend. Has anyone in Madison seen this amazing structure on Lake Monona or been on it before? It was pretty rad, even if it was rather chilly. Must try it next summer. Who is in?!

What are you doing to enjoy the early months of fall? I'm heading to warmer weather in California and a brief vacation from school!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@badgerkitchen) and follow us on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake

Its pumpkin time! Hopefully you aren't already sick of everything pumpkin because we got a lot of pumpkin coming your way.

Do we all remember better than sex cake from about 10 years ago? That is what I was going for here, pumpkin better than sex cake. Because I can't seem to help myself, I not only changed the cake to pumpkin but changed the sweetened condensed milk to dulce de leche.

This is not a typical recipe for me at all. I'm usually very against boxed cake. It doesn't take that long to mix up your ingredients, lets be honest, but sometimes you have to trash things up and make them super easy, semi-homemade and decadent, because sometimes they just taste better that way.

Whip cream is another easy thing to make at home, but it doesn't really stand up to cool whip. I'm secretly a huge fan of cool whip amongst other super processed dairy items. Nacho cheese, anyone? Velvetta?!  Love. I try to avoid them because they are so processed, but sometimes you just have to give into that guilty pleasure.

Back to the cake, you can choose to use the sweetened condensed milk and not turn it into dulce de leche, but I think you would be missing out. There isn't any work involved in making it, other than making sure it stays covered in water. You wouldn't want it to explode. Not to alarm you, but honesty is important in any relationship.

The cake is sort of dense, chewy and moist. It isn't overly sweet. I really like that some, but not all, of the dulce de leche soaks into the cake while some rests on top too. So indulgent and fall like! It got rave reviews from all my friends and by friend I mean my boyfriend and dearest friend, Leah, who also happens to be the photographer for this post!


1 can sweetened condensed milk (label removed)

1 box yellow cake mix
1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree
1- 8oz container cool whip
1/2 cup heath bits

Dulce de leche:
  1. In a large pot, fill with water to cover the can of sweetened condensed milk. Over high heat, bring to a boil Let simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary. Remove the can of dulce de leche from the water and let cool to room temperature.
Pumpkin cake:
  1. Preheat an oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pumpkin puree (add only the pumpkin puree to the cake mix; DO NOT add any of the ingredients listed on the box, like eggs), until a smooth batter forms.
  3.  Pour batter into prepared pan (it was pretty thick and made a thin layer, not to fear though!) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  4. Remove cake from pan and let cool for 10 minutes. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. 
  5. Place the dulce de leche in a microwave safe container and reheat for 30 seconds and pour over the cake, spreading evenly over the cake and filling in the holes (a spatula is helpful here depending on how viscous the dulce de leche is). Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes or overnight.
  6. Spread cool whip evenly over cake and sprinkle heath bits evenly on top. Cake is best enjoyed in 2 to 3 days.
Similar posts: Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars, Cranberry Upside Down Cake


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