Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bake with Seasonal Flavors and AE Dairy

* This post has been compensated through the AE Dairy Blog Ambassador program.  All views and opinions shared are my own. *

MP, JP and LP with their pumpkins
I can't believe it is the end of October!  Soon the kids will be trick-or-treating, we'll be finishing corn harvest, and I'll have to take down the Halloween decorations I just put up and replace them with Thanksgiving, or in less than a month - Christmas!  It is definitely the holiday season.  There are so many things happening so close to each other, but it also a great time to sit back, relax and enjoy what makes this time of the year so special.  And one way to sit back and relax and enjoy the season for our family is through food!

The first seasonal flavor I think of when it is this time of year is pumpkin.  Now I will admit, I haven't always been a pumpkin fan, but now really enjoy its rich, spicy flavor.  One of my family's go to pumpkin treats are Pumpkin Orange Cookies.  These soft, pillowy, cookies give you the richness of pumpkin, with a little zip from the AE Dairy Orange Juice.  We eat these cookies for breakfast, afternoon snacks, dessert, and really just anytime all day long.  Let's just say a batch doesn't last us long...  I've given these delectable little cookies as gifts this fall and have instantly been asked for the recipe.  So it isn't just our family that loves the combination of pumpkin and orange!  So, since we've had friends and family ask for the recipe, I figured I'd better share it here on my blog!

Pumpkin Orange Cookies #AEdairy #ad

Pumpkin Orange Cookies

1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 - 15oz can Pumpkin
1 Egg
2 Tbsp AE Orange Juice
Zest of 1/2 of an Orange
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp AE Orange Juice
Zest of 1/2 of an Orange

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy.  Add the pumpkin, eggs, orange juice and orange zest.  Gradually add the flour, baking soda and salt, stirring until incorporated.

Drop batter onto baking sheets using a tablespoon or 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop.  Bake at 375 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes, or until the edges are set and cookies are firm to the touch.  Let cool slightly on the sheet and then transfer to cooling racks.

For the glaze, in a small bowl stir together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice and orange zest, adding more juice if needed for desired drizzling consistency. Top each cookies with a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of glaze.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

glazed Pumpkin Orange Cookies #AEdairy #ad

The second seasonal flavor, I think of this time of year is Egg Nog.  I am an Egg Nog fanatic.  Too be specific, I am an AE Dairy Classic Egg Nog fanatic.  I've tried other brands of egg nogs and they just don't compare.  I think back to high school when I use to get a donut and an Icy Cold To Go AE Dairy Egg Nog before jazz band practice from Casey's General Store...  Can't eat like that anymore!  Or when Santa Clause would put a note in my stocking telling me I had my own quart of AE Dairy Classic Egg Nog in the refrigerator... (oh wait, that still happens...)  So yes, I love Egg Nog!  So I was really excited with AE Dairy sent me a shipment of their seasonal milks straight from their Des Moines, Iowa plant last week!

#AEdairy's Seasonal Milk Line Up is here! #ad
Photo from Instagram (@PlaggeVal)
As you can see, AE Dairy's seasonal milk line up includes more than just Egg Nog, and my family was excited to have our own taste test of all the varieties available now in stores!  (And if you're wondering, isn't this early?  It isn't.  My birthday was on Sunday and I have received Egg Nog as a gift many times!)  From left the right, this year's milk varieties include: Mimi's Milk Nog, Dark Chocolate Milk, After Dinner Mint Chocolate Milk, Horchata, Classic Egg Nog and Lite Egg Nog.

Each milk received high marks from our family.  The kids all liked the AE Dairy Dark Chocolate Milk best (and I have to admit, it was a favorite of mine too).  It wasn't really a surprise they liked it so much since they love chocolate milk to begin with.  My Farmer liked the After Dinner Mint Chocolate Milk a lot.  I am not a "chocolate and mint" combo fan but even I thought the milk was good.  It's a nice, rich chocolate milk, with a slight mint undertone.  Nothing too overpowering, but yet, giving it something special.  Now when we move onto the "Nogs" my favorite was the Classic.  I love the thick, rich flavor that I have grown to love over the decades.  It makes me think Christmas!  My Farmer isn't that big of a fan of Egg Nog but enjoyed Mimi's Milk Nog.  Mimi's is a combination of AE's Skim Milk and AE's Classic Nog.  He thought it was the perfect balance and has enjoyed several glasses and even adding it to his morning coffee.  And everyone wants to know about the Horchata.  This is AE's 2% milk with vanilla and cinnamon - their version of the classic Hispanic drink, or what other's might be more familiar with, a non-alcoholic version of RumChata...  I thought is was really good and it made my mind start rolling with ways I could bake with it during the holidays!

So what seasonal flavor are you craving now?  Pumpkin?  Egg Nog?  Horchata?  Let me know in the comments and remember to Comment for a Cause!


  1. Those cookies look amazing and I think it might be time to whip up a batch! Thanks for a great recipe, Val!

    1. You'll have to let me know what you think! I should have also included in the recipe about the zest. I use to never be a believer in zest, and always left it out of my recipes. But after adding zest to my pear pie earlier this year, I'm a firm believer in the power of zest! It really helps enhance the flavor of the ingredients.

  2. What a great idea to put orange in your pumpkin cookies! I love how it is in the glaze too. My husband would love doing the taste testing and giving his opinion on all those fun milks. My little guy would have a field day too! What a fun assignment!

  3. Seriously? Ok, I'm going to make these, (will have to use a different brand of oj, way over here in Virginia) but how creative, and delish! Thanks for sharing it on Country Fair Blog Party, Val! I may use these as breakfast! (they count for that, right?)

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