Pumpkin Spice Spritz Cookies

Enjoy the flavors of fall with these pumpkin spice spritz cookies!

When the days become crisp and the leaves start to fall, there's nothing more cozy than snuggling up with a good book, a mug of something hot and a plate of cookies. This autumn, our plates will be full of Fabiana's delicious pumpkin spice spritz cookies. 
Enjoy a little something sweet!

When the days get crisp and the leaves start to fall, there’s nothing more cozy than snuggling up with a good book, a mug of something hot and a plate of sweet treats. This autumn, our plates will be full of Fabiana’s delicious pumpkin spice spritz cookies.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • natural orange food color (optional)
  • Sprinkles for garnish
  • A spritz cookie press fitted with a pumpkin-shape template

What You’ll Do

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium-low until well combined and airy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and the egg; mix to incorporate.
  • If desired, add a few drops of natural food color and mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  • With the electric mixer on low, add flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fill the Cookie Press with cookie dough.
  • Press the cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Decorate cookies with seasonal sprinkles.
  • Bake until firm and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and let set for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

Baking fun and festive desserts is one of Fabiana’s many talents and passions. She regularly shares her delicious recipes on her blog, Ciao! Newport Beach and on instagram.


A sweet and spicy treat to enjoy this fall! #romantichomes

Mulled Cranberry Spritzer Recipe

Full of wintery flavor, this festive and fun beverage is sure to be the hit of your next holiday party!

The holiday season is full of celebrations, this mulled cranberry spritzer recipe is a fun and festive drink that can be customized for all ages to enjoy!
Ready to celebrate? Swap out the club soda for prosecco or a dry champagne for a festive twist on this drink!

The holiday season is full of celebrations, this mulled cranberry spritzer recipe is a fun and festive drink that can be customized for all ages to enjoy!

Mulled Cranberry Spritzer

Recipe by Elise Portale
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20–30 minutes
Serves: 8–10

What you’ll need:

4 cups cranberry juice
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon whole clove
Club soda, to serve
Oranges, sliced, to garnish
Limes, sliced, to garnish
Whole cranberries, to garnish
Rosemary sprigs, to garnish

If you mix drinks individually, you can personalize the sweetness for each guest, adding more or less syrup to taste.

What you’ll do:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberry juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Using a tea ball or cheesecloth tied with bakers twine, add in the allspice and cloves.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil; then lower to a simmer. Cook the mixture until it’s reduced to 1 cup of thick syrup, 20–30 minutes. Remove it from the heat and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve or for up to 1 week.
  3. To serve, combine the cranberry syrup with club soda in a punch bowl. For every 2 cups of club soda, use about ¼ cup syrup. Stir to combine, add ice and garnish the punch with sliced oranges, limes, fresh cranberries and star anise. Serve cups of punch with a sprig of rosemary.


Raspberry Linzer Cookies

With a snowy dusting of confectioner's sugar, these raspberry linzer cookies are a Christmas treat perfect for gift giving!



A fine dusting of powdered sugar adds just the right touch of sweetness to the top.

Every year, I roll out my rolling pin to make a special batch of cookies as a sweet treat to my nearest and dearest. My all-time favorite recipe is the raspberry Linzer cookie. Its charming “windowpane” cutout design and wintry sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar make this the perfect gift to share with neighbors and friends.

Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

This version features the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon, while whole-wheat flour adds depth. But linzer cookies are perfect for a bit of customizing to enhance your favorite flavors. Feel free to add some finely chopped almond bits or swap in almond flour for a nuttier flavor. Not a fan of raspberry? Use your favorite jam! Make sure you have a Linzer cookie cutter set to create the cutouts.

Recipe by Margie Monin Dombrowski

Makes about 20 cookies

You will need:

2 cups all-purpose whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

parchment paper

raspberry jam for filling

confectioner’s sugar for dusting

You will do:

  1. Spoon flour into measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl.
  2. Using a an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat at a low speed until well blended, being careful not to over-beat.
  3. Add the mixture of dry ingredients to the bowl until just combined and it forms a dough.
  4. Divide the dough in half and wrap both in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  6. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper to ensure non-stick and even baking.
  7. Roll out each portion of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness with a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Use your large cookie cutters to cut out the cookie shapes, then use the small cookie cutters for the “windowpane” cutout on half of the cutouts. These “windowpane” shapes can be fragile, so carefully transfer these shapes to your parchment paper.
  9. If your cookies fall apart after the cutout, try cutting out the smaller shapes while on the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow cookies to completely cool.
  11. Spread raspberry jam over the cookies without the cutout shape. Add the cutout cookie on top to create a sandwich with the raspberry jam peeking through. Dust the top of each cookie with confectioner’s sugar. Serve and enjoy!

4 Homemade Upgrades to Your Store Bought Pumpkin Pie

Take it easy this Thanksgiving with the convenience of a store bought dessert and the impressive flair of homemade flavor.

Waffle and Mascarpone Cream Cake

Bye bye, breakfast! We're taking waffles to dessert!

This Waffle-and-Mascarpone-Cream Cake is a sweet addition to any summer brunch menu.
A lace-trimmed gingham tablecloth in bright red perfectly compliments the meal’s main attraction of ripe berries.

Waffles are more than a breakfast treat. Put down the box you found in in the grocery freezer aisle and pick up your whisk, cause we’re making cake!

Waffle-and-Mascarpone-Cream Cake

To make this cake, start with the waffles.

Waffle ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the waffle iron.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a hand beater until fluffy. Beat in the flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder and vanilla until a smooth texture is achieved.
  3. Spray the preheated waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the mix onto the hot waffle iron.
  4. Cook until golden brown.

Next make the cream.

Cream ingredients:

  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • Vanilla extract (to taste)
  • Icing sugar (to taste)
  1. Beat one cup of mascarpone cheese with the vanilla extract and add icing sugar to taste.

For the cake, you’ll need the waffles, mascarpone cream and fruit of your choice.

    1. Cover the first waffle with the cream and fruit.
    2. Then add another waffle on top and cover it with cream and fruit. Repeat five or six times.
    3. Finish the cake with another thin layer of cream, fruit and peppermint leaves.

This waffle cake is the perfect compliment to these berry tarts. 

Royal Icing Basics

Master this traditional (and simple) icing technique and have incredible holiday cookies every time.

Royal Icing Technique
Water down the same recipe used for the outline to “flood” the inside of the design.

Seen around pretty much every holiday, royal iced cookies are particularly popular at Christmastime. From delicate intricacies to creative versatility, the art of royal icing is easy to pick up and rather difficult to perfect. This hard-drying icing is one recipe used in two different stages to create amazing and delicious edible cookie art.

Basic Royal Icing

Prep: 2 minutes
Makes 1 cup

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon water
Food coloring (optional)

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until icing is thick and smooth.
  2. Stir in food coloring, adding small amounts at a time to make your perfect shade.
  3. Adjust the consistency with small amounts of water to thin or powdered sugar to thicken.

Royal Icing Holiday Cookies
These vintage knit patterns are anything but “ugly Christmas sweater.”

To Decorate Baked Cookies

1. Mix up a thick batch of icing (recipe follows), making an easily piped icing to outline the design of your cookie. Let it set completely.

2. Gradually add water to the thick icing until it is a more liquid consistency. Using a spoon, “flood” the inside of the outline with the icing.

3. From here, you can add swirls of color to the wet icing, or let the icing set completely before piping designs on top with colored thick icing.

4. Royal icing works well with sprinkles of all types as well, so get creative and let your cookies shine!



The Best Pumpkin Pie Topping

Top things off with the classic fall dessert: pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie with bourbon caramel topping and gold dragées.
Want to skip the bourbon and go for a classic caramel flavor? Swap it out with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

It’s pumpkin season! As you savor your pumpkin spice latte and make your pumpkin soup, don’t forget to top things off with the quintessential fall dessert: pumpkin pie. We could have kept it unadorned for a classic look, but instead, we opted for decadence with bourbon caramel topping. Even better? You’ve got options! This sauce is only one of four recipes for elevating a store-bought pie with home-made flavor!

Roasted pepitas give this decadent pie a rustic look and a hint of salty flavor
Roasted peptitas are an excellent alternative to gold dragées. Choose these for a hint of salt with your caramel and a more rustic look to the pie.

Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Caramel Topping

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼–½ teaspoon Kosher salt (depending on salt preference)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup bourbon (optional)
  • Pumpkin pie, homemade or store bought
  • Gold dragées, for decoration or roasted pepitas
Rich flavors call for thin slices.

What You’ll Do:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium, heat the sugar, butter and salt until the butter melts and the sugar darkens around the edges, 3–4 minutes.
  2. Whisking constantly, slowly stream in the cream until well combined (some sugar will seize at first). Let the mixture simmer until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the bourbon and simmer until the mixture is just below the soft-ball stage (200–225°F) on a candy thermometer, another 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it rest for 1 minute before pouring it on top of the pie, tilting to spread the caramel to the crust.
  4. Let the caramel set for 5 minutes; then sprinkle on gold dragées or pepitas. Let pie chill for 1 hour before serving.

The Best Pumpkin Soup Recipe to Celebrate Fall

Friends, it's pumpkin time again.

Pumpkin season is officially here once more, so ring in the fall with a delicious, savory soup. This flavorful pumpkin soup recipe will warm up your soul and even match your classic Transferware!


Pumpkin Soup with Molasses and Feta

Savory, creamy and full of flavor, this tasty pumpkin soup gets a dash of sweetness from a drizzle of molasses and a salty punch from crumbled feta.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes

Serves 6

What you’ll need:

1½ tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
4 cups ½-inch cubes peeled and seeded pumpkin (or substitute 3 cups pumpkin purée)
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups chicken broth
Blackstrap molasses, to serve
Sage sprigs, to serve
Feta cheese, crumbled, to serve

What you’ll do:

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add onions, carrots, celery and sage and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add pumpkin cubes and sea salt and sauté until pumpkin is softened and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. (If using pumpkin purée, just add the sea salt at this stage.)
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. (Add in purée, if using.)
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the pumpkin very soft, about 25 minutes. (For purée, cook for only 15 minutes.) Let cool slightly.
  5. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a standard blender, purée the soup until mostly smooth texture. If consistency is too thick, add in another cup of chicken broth. Season soup with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, ladle out soup into bowls. Using a spoon, drizzle or swirl some molasses on top of the soup. Finish with a sprig of fresh sage and a sprinkling of feta cheese.



Celebrate with Lavender Lemonade & Florals

Summer entertaining ideas that are as pretty as a pitcher of ice cold lemonade.

romantic homes lavander lemonade recipe
A silver tray and a crystal pitcher mingle in this table setting with mason jar tumblers and a vintage hand-made yo-yo table tablecloth for a country-chic blend of high and low.

With the temperature rising and gardens coming to life, the summer sunshine beckons us to come outdoors.

Quality time with family and friends moves from the living room to the backyard for barbecues, water balloon fights and all manner of outdoor fun that can only be had in the warmer months.

An icy drink is essential to beat the heat and stay cool while enjoying the weather and what better way to hydrate than a glass of fresh made lemonade?

Here’s a recipe for a lemonade with a pretty floral twist, plus three ideas for decorating with flowers as you prepare to entertain this summer!

Sourced from: The Cookie Rookie




  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp dried lavender
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Lemon slices and lavender sprigs for garnish
  • Blue or purple food coloring (optional)


  1. Over medium heat, combine two cups of water and sugar, bringing to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Turn off of the heat and stir in agave nectar and lavender.
  2. Allow mixture to steep for 2 hours (less if you want less of a lavender taste). Strain the liquid, pressing the lavender down to make sure you get all of those juices into your mixture!
  3. In a large pitcher, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lavender mixture and water.
  4. Feel free to add a couple drops of blue or purple food coloring if you want more color than the lavender provides. Serve over ice.

Now that you’ve made a pretty beverage for your guests, read on to learn how to create an inviting setting to go along with it.

romantic homes lavender lemonade floral napkins

Decorate napkins with twine and flowers

Give your table a rustic look using twine to wrap napkins and small sprigs of fresh flowers.

Twine like this can be found at craft stores while the flowers can be gathered from the wild, your own garden or picked up at the grocery store.

For extra floral flair, create a small bouquet to adorn the back of each chair.

romantic homes lavender lemonade edible flowers

Use edible flowers to garnish sweets

Make your favorite sweet treats or simply grab pre-made baked goodies from your local grocery store.

Most grocers have some selection of edible flowers in stock, but for a wider variety, check health food or speciality stores like Whole Foods, or order from online retailers such as Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.


romantic homes lavender lemonade tablescape centerpiecen sunflower

Tie it all together with a grand sunflower centerpiece

Sunflowers are at their peak in beauty during summer and every table needs an eye-catching centerpiece to anchor the look.

Place your sunflowers in a pretty pitcher to accent the rustic feel created by the napkin holders and flowers.

If it’s just too hot outside, the party can be easily relocated indoors.