As many of you may know, my family and I recently moved. We had been living for three years in aÂ house we were renting on a dead end street. This house had a postage stamp sized yard. I mean, really really small. On top of that, it was sloped too deeply to use for anything. Where we are now is a normal sized house… we love it but we also know it’s nothing Earth shaking in most peoples eyes; just a typical 3 bedroom 2 bath house. What really made both of us want it was the land. This house came with ten acres of land. About 3 of it is cleared but 7 of it is forested as it much of the surrounding area. Plainly put, we are out in the boondocks… and we love it. 😀
Some of you may also remember that I have mentioned that I grew up in Chicago. I’m a South Side girl from birth. :-PÂ Plainly put there, I grew up with polluted Lake Michigan (though I love(d) it anyway), cement as my playground and wildlife that consisted of neighborhood dogs that had a thing for humping everyone’s legs and squirrels that I loved to watch back then and still enjoy watching though they are surprisingly rare around here. THAT was my wildlife hehe.
I’ve lived in Kentucky now longer than many of my readers have been alive (since ’88) but I still haven’t gotten to the point of taking it for granted. Part of this I think stems from the fact that my mother was from Alabama so if it’s possibly for one to be genetically hardwired to love the country, I am a walking example of this. I am so at peace here now, out of the city (such as our town of 17k is), away from traffic and ornery teenage kids skateboarding at midnight as they cuss up a blue streak.
One of the things I love here is knowing that we are surrounded by wildlife. I haven’t seen any yet but oh my, I know it’s there. The other night, at about 3:30am, I was suddenly startled awake from a dead sleep. I had no idea what woke me; still don’t really. Maybe I heard something in my sleep. But nonetheless, I was up for a while as is the norm for me when that happens. So, as I tend to do now, I headed outside. Within a few minutes, I heard it. The coyotes were also awake (it was the night of the full moon funnily enough) and they were giving me a serenade. I stood there for maybe ten minutes listening to their song. Up and down the musical scale it went, giving me chills. I went and got my husband to verify what I was hearing (in theory anyway; in reality I just wanted to share this with someone but had to have a valid excuse for waking him at almost 4 in the morning hehe). He stood with me for a bit but since he was snoring standing up, I had mercy and sent him back to bed.Â When I went back outside, I realized that maybe it was time to take my listening back inside. Why? Because the one or two coyotes had increased by at least a few and they had moved quite a bit closer from the sound of it, MAYBE half a mile from the house if that.
I realize that coyotes can be a hazard to other animals and I wouldn’t want to walk in our woods at night. I like to think I have a LITTLE sense lol.. But I will never ever take for granted that I have been blessed to live somewhere now where, in the middle of the night, I am privy to the songs of the night. It was the most eerily awesome sound I have ever heard.
Moving on….. no coyote shaped cookies, no casserole made with coyote meat (ummm; eww?), no twilight themed treats. What I DO have for you is a cookie I created the other day. I wanted something Autumnish (yes, that is still a word because I said so darn it) and I was in the mood for maple… and apples… and white chocolate… and crunch. Lol. They turned out spectacularly if I do say so myself. My husband and my daughter (she was visiting which I love) said they didn’t like the Pepitas but neither of them like nuts and such in cookies either. Not to mention, for someone who didn’t like the seeds, my daughter sure ate enough of them :-P. So here you go… give my Fall Harvest Cookies, chock full of Autumny (yeah that’s a word now too) goodness., a try. I think you’ll enjoy them. Plus there is actually some semblance of nutrition in these :-p
Fall Harvest Cookies
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring
- 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (sold same area as vanilla extract)
- 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
- 1/2 cup Pepita’s (do NOT use the salted in the shell pumpkin seeds in these please)
- 1 1/2 cups Planters Brand Maple Pecans, coarsely chopped (found mine at Wal-Mart & had been dying to figure out a way to use them)
- 2 cups dried cherries
- 1 bag good quality white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s)
- Heat oven to 350. Mix the flour, baking powder& baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until well mixed and creamy.
- Add the eggs and the 3 extracts. Continue beating until it’s all well mixed.
- Gradually add in the flour mixture on low speed (unless of course you WANT to be flour covered 😛 ). Beat well until mixture is thoroughly combined. If it’s too much for your poor mixers motor, use those arm muscles and mix it by hand.
- When well mixed, mix in (by hand) the white chocolate chips, pepitas, pecans, apples and dried cherries.
- Shape into balls (I am no good at saying “make them such and such diameter so just make them the size you generally make, say, a chocolate chip cookie. Lol. I’m sorry.) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Because of the apples, this is a fairly sticky dough so yes, you will get goop on your hands 😀
- Â Bake at 350 until top is firm and golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. I cooked some a little longer and while I generally prefer chewier verging on underdone cookies, these were actually good crispy too.
- Let cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
- Eat many of these. Feel righteous because it has nuts and seeds and fruit 😛 Go outside and say hello to the night. Smile and feel blessed no matter where you are. 🙂
Janet….these cookies look phenomenal! I love all of the ingredients you have in these…..maple, apples, pepitas, pecans….it’s ALL good. But you know what the best thing about this post is? The feeling you have at being at peace in your new home. I envy your land…just think of all the gardening possibilities! But I’m just so happy that you are happy. Enjoy your new surroundings!
Thanks Anne! Glad you like these. They have some of my favorite ingredients in them 🙂 And thanks so much for saying you are happy for us. That means a lot to me 🙂
Glad you have found what you were looking for in the move. Noises can be scary, especially if you cannot see what is making the noise, but it is something you will eventually get used to.
These cookies do have a lot of goodies in them-wish I had a few to try!
Great post. Love the cookies, wishing I had a few cookies now. 🙂
Thanks Christine! And you need to get to cooking then 😛
Thanks Tina! And yeah, the night time noises in an area where you can barely SEE at night can be a bit frightening.
These look delicious Janet. Love your creation.
Thanks Kim! Glad to see your comment and hope you’re doing ok.
Shush Russell 😛
I’m so glad to hear you are loving your new place! I used to live in the foothills of a mountain in L.A. and I remember many a night hearing those coyotes! These cookies look sooo good!!
Janet – the coyotes song must have been amazing! Your description is poetry – I can practically here them myself.
the cookies look pretty darn tasty, too!
Thanks Ann 🙂 The cookies were pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself 😛
Thanks Stephanie! It’s cool that so many others know about the sounds of the coyotes. I love knowing that other can share the memory.
Congratulations on moving into your house. All of that land must be so nice. I also live in an area with coyotes that sing at night. I love the sound of it…sounds like home. You’re definitely right about coyotes being a hazard to other animals. Most of the time they come out during the night but they’ve been know to come out in the day too. On another note, these cookies look great!
I see milk and these cookies in my future! delish!
Thanks Claudia! Let me know what you think if you try them. 🙂
CCC, thank you! And aren’t the coyotes amazing sounding even for all the trouble they cause?! 🙂
Those cookies love amazing!! So tempting, I want a bunch 🙂
What fabulous cookies! Full of such yummy goodies! Congrats on the new house and amazing acreage. Laughing at your hubby snoring standing up…that would be mine, too.
Thanks Liz! On the comment on the cookies and the congrats. 🙂 And yep, I swear he was louder than the coyotes lol.
Thanks Claudie! I want a bunch more myself 😀
So glad you like you new place. I hope we can find a place we like in our move. Have to sell our current house though 🙁 My husband would have killed me for waking him up, even if it was to hear coyotes sing!
Anytime you can justify a cookie in my opinion is a good day, and you can eat a dozen of them just because!
I love the picture of these cookies! 🙂
Thanks Sarah! They taste even better than my poor photography skills show 🙂
Thanks Erin. I’m sure guys will find a wonderful place. Colorado is such a beautiful part of the country. And I think my husband WANTED to kill me for waking him but he was too sleepy to try hehe
Wow.. coyotes!! I love wildlife!! I could feel the hairs standing up on my neck when you described getting up from your sleep suddenly and then hearing the coyotes howl on a full moon no less! Very cool! Okay.. now onto these cookies. They look wonderful. I have never thought to put pepitas in cookies. That’s a must try for me now. : )
Looks so yummy! Curious if you can substitute maple syrup for the flavoring. Not sure I know where to find that – although can’t say that I’ve looked… 😉
Thanks Nicole! And I’m not sure. If you try it, please let me know. Sounds like it would be amazing if it worked!
I still get chills when I think about how they sounded. I have been going out every night now hoping they will sing again but no luck so far.
Oh wow Janet, these cookies are fabulous! Perfect for Fall, I’ll have to try these soon!! 🙂
Thanks Kelly! I hope you like them 🙂
Ooooh, how eerie! We hear coyotes at our house every once in a while. We live in the suburbs but there is a big field and woods near us so they hang out there. As for the cookies, those sound awesome and they look absolutely delicious!!
I hope you have many happy baking years in your new diggs.
I lived in KY for 3 years about 13 years ago, though we didn’t live in as remote an area as you are we still heard the coyotes on occasion. Now in San Diego, we still have the coyotes around, but they worry me as they just walk right up our street.
Love the cookies!! Maple makes everything taste just a little better!!
Kim, I have actually read about things like that happening on the West Coast and the Northwest. Isn’t it because there are so many people that they have become almost acclimated to it or something and don’t have the normal fear of humans?
Danielle… ME? Wacky???!!! Never!! Ok, I give up; I can’t even finish that one.
This is clearly why I like you! As a fellow south side chicagoain 😉 Okay okay..and youre just as wacky as me…
Congratulations on Top 9, may the coyotes continue to sing!
Congrats on Top 9!!! These cookies look F A B! 🙂
I’m happy for you for your new home and land in the country. To me, there is little as wonderful as being in the middle of and being able to appreciate the nature around us.
Every morning, my husband and I sit on our back porch, coffee in hand, and watch the squirrels jump from limb to limb and all the various birds alight not far from us to eat the seed we put out for them. To me that is Heaven. 🙂
Simple but true.
You got me laughing at the “postage stamp”:))) Your cookies look really awesome..great flavors and beautiful picture..Love this post! Congrats on top 9!:)
These cookies sound really amazing…adding the apples and the maple flavoring sounds so good, and of course, any cookies that have nuts in them are a plus for me!
These look phenomenal. Seriously. I want one, immediately. Fall in a cookie? Yes, please!
Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!
Great cookies. A real taste of fall
I am such a city boy I even go to other cities for vacation LOL. Would you believe my apartment complex has a population of 50,000. It has it’s own Macy’s (I kid you not). The only thing singing for me is Sirens and Car alarms.
These cookies look great. Pepitas are one of my new favorite salad toppings and they sound like they would be scrumptious in cookies.
We live smack dab in Suburbia and every once in awhile, I miss living in the country near the wildlife. Enjoy 🙂
I love those cookies, but what’s not to love! I have just printed it to teach my girls when class starts! I let you know when they make them!
Your post reminds me of the first night in our home, onset of spring and the frogs were mating in the big storm run-off pond in the back. It was the most unnatural sound to me (I was used to police cars and fire engines screaming all night in the city). It took me awhile to adjust, but I find the frogs much more comforting than sirens now ; ) Love the cookies, they look super chunky and delicious.
Congratulations on not only a beautiful and successful post but on making top 9 as well! Gorgeous photos and mouth watering recipe, thanks so much for sharing! =]
sOUND LIKE A WONDERFUL EXPE, I CAN RELATE TO THAT, I LOVE WILDLIFE I AM ACTUALLY A COUNTRY GIRL BUT MY MOM WAS BORN AND RAISED IN A TOWN CALLED PUERTO PLATA AND MY GRANDPARENTS HOME IS STILL THERE EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN GONE SO LONG AGO – NOW LIVING IN MY HEART I TRAVEL THERE AND ENJOY THE SOUND OF THE MOOING COWS AND THE SOUND OF THE CHICKENS WITH THIER LITTLE CHICKS FOLLOWING BEHIND AND THE THE SUNSET AND RAINBOWS AND WATCHING THE CHICKS GOING ON A LIMB TO REST AND THE DOGS BARKING WHEN A STRANGER IS APROCHING AND THE CRICKETS AND THE SOUND OF THE DAYLIGHT WAVING GOODNIGHT AND SUDDENLY THE NIGHT COMES IN AND ALL YOU HEAR IS PEACE NOT A SIREN OF THE COPS RAISING DOWN THE BUSSY STREETS OF NYC OR THE AMBULANCE TRYING TO RUSH TO SAVE A LIFE AND THE BUSSY GARBAGE TRUCK THAT LEAVE YOU THINKING WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT. WELL IT”S A BLESSING TO BE AWAY FROM ALL THAT YOU MIGHT SEE A HORSE OR TWO DURING A DAY BUT PLEASE WE CAN DEAL WITH THAT. IT’S FUNNY YOU LAY DOWN IN BED AND UR WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN THE PEACE AND QUITE RELAXES YOU AND BEFORE YOU KNOW YOUR IN NO ONES LAND AND YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING FEELING SO FINE AND NEW, WALKING THROUGH THE DEW AND YOU FANTASIZE ABOUT THOSE COOKIES OH GEE THEY SURE LOOK GOOD AND WISH THEY WERE ALL MINE.
What a great story and life you are living! I grew up listening to the coyotes and if I listen really carefully, I can still hear them. Enjoy country living. This sounds like a great place to raise a family.