Friday, October 17, 2014

“Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies” For October's "National Cookie Month"

Years ago when I was a young girl, my grandmother lived with us. She had an apartment on the first floor and we lived upstairs. This was my mom’s mother Julia. I used to go down to visit her every day. She taught me many things and we always had fun. She had a cookie jar on top of her refrigerator that I absolutely loved. The funny thing about this cookie jar is that she never put cookies in it. She used to use it to keep her coupons and some change in the jar. I didn’t care, I just loved it. Many years later when my grandmother passed away, I asked my mom to please hold the cookie jar for me, which was all I wanted to remember her by. Well, can you guess the rest? My mom had a garage sale and accidentally sold it. I was totally crushed. This cookie jar was nothing special, at the time it was more of a remembrance of my grandmother. Many years later I realized that the cookie jar was a pottery called "Shawnee" which was made in Ohio. This one was called “Dutch Girl” Cookie Jar (1945?). Every yard and garage sale I went to I would look for this type of jar, but to no avail I never found it, until one day…….
Grandma Julia

Salamanca is a small town located in the Southern Tier of NY state. I lived there when I re-married. One day my husband, Rick said, “Let’s take a ride, there is this big antique shop, and we can look around.” We were not interested in purchasing anything, but just liked to get ideas. The ride was lovely as the leaves were changing colors on the trees, and the mountain side looked like a kaleidoscope. This antique place was huge and had 7 levels to it. It looked like it was an old barn that they converted into this store. As I entered it was tremendous and so many things to look at. You could really spend a day there. I saw many vintage things that I had remembered seeing in my mom and grandmother’s house. I never even thought about the cookie jar. As we were climbing the stairs we ended up on the 6th level and I said to Rick, “I am tired, you go up to the top and I will wait here.” He went up to the top and seemed to be up there for a while. Now rested a bit I climbed up the last flight of steps and turned to the right…wait for it…

"Dutch Girl" Shawnee Pottery
YES, the cookie jar was staring right at me!!! I couldn’t believe it, it was like a miracle! I started calling out, “Rick, look it is the cookie jar.” Now I know that there are many out there of the same "Dutch Girl" by Shawnee, but this one I really believe was my grandmother’s. It had a little tiny chip in the back and she used to put a rubber band on the top of the jar just to keep it from rattling. This one had the chip and it even had the rubber band around the top. Well, you can imagine how amazed I was and so happy that I finally had that cookie jar to remember my grandmother, Julia. A cookie jar brings a smile to everyone's face, whether young or old. Many are taken back to their mom or grandma's kitchen with the smell of cinnamon wafting in the air and the selection of that one "perfect" cookie taken carefully from her cookie jar. It's those childhood memories that we kept in our hearts. 

This story about my cookie jar brings me to the topic of this post which happens to be, that October is “National Cookie Month.” I know you must be saying Cookie Month that should be in December for the holidays? Let me tell you that no matter what month cookies are celebrated in, everyone loves them, with milk, a cup of tea, or just as a special treat. Nothing says family and home than the aroma of cookies baking in the oven when you went home after school. Before doing your homework, reaching in that cookie jar and taking out some homemade cookies with a tall glass of milk, was really a comfort. There are so many varieties of cookies, either gooey, chewy, or crunchy. Coated with sugar, or cinnamon, filled with nuts, raisins or chocolate chips, no one can resist a cookie…   
Here is a little info on “National Cookie Month.” In the United States and Canada, a cookie is a small, flat baked dessert. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the most common word for this is biscuit; in many regions both terms are used, while in others the two words have different meanings a cookie is a plain bun in Scotland, while in the United States a biscuit is a kind of quick bread not unlike a scone. Its name derives from the Dutch word koekje or (informal)  koekie which means little cake, and arrived in the English language through the Dutch in North America. It spread from American English to British English where biscuit is still the more general term. Don’t forget the first week in December is Cookie Cutter Week and December 4th is National Cookie Day. (resource: Wikipedia)

This recipe is a spectacular cookie called “Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies.” If you don’t want to use pecans, you can use any type of nuts you like, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or even a combination. The flavor makes you think of the time of the season, yummy! Don’t forget to put the rest of the cookies in your cookie jar. (If you have any left!) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies”

1 Cup &  2 Tbsp whole pecans
1 Cup of all purpose flour
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 Tsp salt
1 Tsp of good vanilla extract
Powdered sugar
Pumpkin butter (Can be found at Trader Joe's or homemade))
Or your favorite jam--Apricot is a good one to use

Preheat the oven to 350°F  In a food processor process the nuts until they resemble coarse cornmeal. Do not over-process otherwise you'll end up with pecan butter. Then add the sugar, salt, and flour to the nuts and pulse a few more times until there are no distinguishable pieces of nuts. Cream the butter with a hand or stand mixer then add the extract and mix. Add the processed pecans and flour and mix until the dough comes together. Scoop about 1 1/2 teaspoons balls of dough. I use a 1-tablespoon cookie dough scooper and break up the dough in half for 1 1/2 teaspoons. Roll the dough into a ball and press an indentation in the center of the cookie with your finger or the back of your measuring spoons. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, they will be lightly colored but not too brown. Wait until the cookies are completely cool then dust them lightly with powdered sugar. Then fill the centers with pumpkin butter or jam. You may need to warm the pumpkin butter or jam so you can fill the cookies. The filling will set as it cools.

Till Next Time……………………………….....

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. It is so curious the story of the jar. It must have been fate that you found it and even if it was not your grandmas jar it was just so similar. I think your grandma was thinking of you. I believe in angels. It was a sign that the jar was there waiting for you.
    I am really taken by your biscuits made with pumpkin. They look pretty and they must be really really good!
    Very nice Dottie, have a good weekend xx

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thank you for visiting and your wonderful comment. Yes, I agree Alida, it was fate that I found that jar all the way upstate. I know that the jar may not be the real one that my grandma Julia had, but it is fun to think that. It is just so strange about the chip and the rubber band. I believe in Angels as well, and it may have been that they were with me that day. Glad you like the cookie recipe. They are so tasty and perfect for this time of the year.... You have a wonderful weekend too..
      Dottie :)

  2. Good evening Dottie ,
    What a wonderful story and memory of the cookie jar . Believe dear Dottie for there is just too many coincidences for it not to be your grandmothers' , the little chip , the rubber band . I believe we all have guardian angels guiding us along our way .
    If you had not stopped to rest you may have missed it all together .
    I love the pumpkin cookies , I will have to check to see if we sell pumpkin butter here ... I always make my own , family love it on pancakes . Sometime hubby's aunt will make them pumpkin butter and peanut butter sandwiches .
    Your post about your trip was inspiring , those are the good times for making happy memories . Thanks for sharing have a blessed weekend ~Nee~ ;- D

    1. Dearest Nee,
      Thanks for your visit and the lovely comment. Thrilled that you loved my story of the cookie jar. You are correct, it was fate as well as too many coincidences. I personally believe I was sent there on that day to find that jar and all the way upstate. My guardian angels must have been with me that day for sure.

      Glad that you liked the cookies...You have a recipe for the pumpkin butter, if you are looking for another recipe, Catherine's daughter, Tammy from "Living the Gourmet" made it once on the blog. It is on October 3, 2014 blog post.

      Yes, dear Nee I agree the memories of this trip will always be in my heart...and the lesson I received that day, is "Never give up on anything" ...

      Have a blessed weekend with your family,

      Dottie :)

  3. You wersn't kidding when you said you made thumbprint cookies, Dottie. They look so festive and yummy:)

    I love the story of the cookie jar. I was collecting cookie jars for a while but have since stopped. I gave most of them away with the exception of two.

    The Angels must have been with you that day because those Shawnee Cookie jars are not easy to come by. Everything happens for a reason they say...thank you so much for sharing, Dottie...

    1. Dearest Louise,
      Thanks for stopping in and your comment. Yep, I was not kidding, we both seem to always have the same theme on our minds. So happy that you loved the story of the infamous cookie jar. You must have had a lovely collection. I had a few as well, but had no room for them and decided no more collecting. Glad that you know about the Shawnee cookie jars, you are correct they are difficult to find. Yes, I agree my angels were with me. It was fate like I told Nee, that I had to go that very day. If I had gone the next day, who knows if it would have still been there. I hope and pray dear friend, that your weekend is blessed with wonderful things...say hello to Marion for me.
      Dottie :)

  4. dear Dottie, I bet this cookie jar is your grandmothers. I am sure of it. I do believe in miracles. They happen everyday. I think we simple have to keep our eyes open to see them more clearly.
    I used to love to come home from school and my mom would have something delicious waiting. The house always smelled soooooo good.
    These sound like delicious cookies to add to the Thanksgiving table.
    Blessings dear. and have a beautiful Sunday. Catherine xo

    1. Good morning Catherine,
      Thank you for your kind words, I agree! I really think it may just be my grandmothers. I found it in NY state even though it was upstate. I think it was fate that day, I just had to climb those stairs and there it was. Sometimes our intuition is what we need to listen too. But either way, I have the jar to remember my grandma Julia. After all that is why I wanted it. Me too, dear friend, my mom always had something warm on a cold day or something delicious waiting for us. Even though she was a teacher, she would come home and as we were doing our homework, that is when she would fill the house with aromas that still take me back to the kitchen in Queens. We had the same idea, a perfect little treat for a Thanksgiving table. Speaking of Thanksgiving, I have that book that I won and you sent me, I use it all the time, especially at the holidays. A perfect way to show our gratitude for our blessings...Hope that you have a delightful Sunday too..
      Dottie :)

  5. Dear Dottie ,
    Louise's Sunday post haven't showed on our sidebar ... It was posted yesterday , click on the old one and it will take you there .
    It's a great post as usual . Blessing for a great week ~Nee~ ;-D

    1. Thank you Nee, I did what you said and it worked! I guess the system (blogger) is slow today..I am headed back to Louise's to read her post.. Thanks again for watching out for me. I wondered where her post was. I know she usually posts on Sunday...You are the best! Have a great day, dear friend! Dottie :) xx