Welcome 2011! Let’s get this party started!

If you are reading this you are in for a treat my friend!  I have been sitting on an amazing bit of bloggery goodness for a couple of months and am so happy to invite you to join me in the fun! Back in October I got the most amazing email from a sweetie pie named Jennifer at Gooseberry Patch asking if I was interested in being an Early Bird Reviewer for Gooseberry Patch.


Ummmm…interested?  INTERESTED? Was she serious? OH I was interested alright!  Interested!  Excited! Delighted! I quickly zipped an email back to her saying YES YES YES and waited patiently (ha) to hear back that I had made the list of lucky bloggers.  Since about 5 long hours had passed since I received the invitation until I found out I was an Early Bird Reviewer, I was a giddy girl!

I suppose you would like for me to get to the part that involves you and your chance to win a copy of the newest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook! This month is especially special (does that sound redundant??) because you have a chance at two new Gooseberry Patch books!!! These two amazing books will be available in stores this month and I have to tell you they are wonderful!  Just as I expected!  I have quite a collection of Gooseberry Patch books and I have to say I have never been anything less than thrilled!  These two absolutely live up to my expectations and then some!

I want you to enjoy the anticipation of winning! So this lovely first day of 2011 I want to introduce you to 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes and tell you how you can win a copy and when!


Over the next 10 days I am going to share three recipes from 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes plus more about this beautiful cookbook.

How you enter to win is super simple.  After every recipe review you can leave a comment so there will be three chances for you to get your name in.  Sound good so far?  Yeah, I thought so :) I love this little gem! When I signed on as an Early Bird Reviewer I agreed to test 2-3 recipes from each book.  Well that proved harder than I thought!  How was I going to pick JUST 2-3??? But I managed and you will love them.  They passed my recipe trial with flying colors AND the taste test of my panel of experts! Then on January 11, 2011 I will pick a winner!  YAY!

Now calm down :)   I am not going to give you everything all at once.  You will be happy to hear there will be another Gooseberry Patch Early Bird Review of another NEW book on January 15th! WILD huh???!!! And of course another three amazing recipes and three chances to win that book! Squeeeeee!

Okay let me get to it.  The first wonderful (and might I add super easy?) recipe is for Pistachio Thumbprints. It was a little hard to pick just one but I needed another cookie to add to a friend’s box of Christmas goodies.  If you followed my crazy Christmas cookie marathon, you realize time was a factor and I knew a Gooseberry Patch recipe wouldn’t fail me.  A pretty Christmas collection of goodies was very important so daintiness and color were considerations.  In a nutshell the new cookie had to be special.  And it was perfect!  You will think so too ~ so give them a try.  Gluten free notes included :)

Pistachio Thumbprints

(this recipe is credited to Shawna Green from Dumas, TX)

  • 1 cup margarine, softened*
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3.4 oz pkg instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp shortening

Blend margarine*, powdered sugar, egg and extracts.  Stir in flour and dry pudding mix.  Form dough into one inch balls.  Roll in pecans.  Place on greased (or parchment lined) baking sheets; gently press a thumbprint  into each.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes; let cool.  Spoon (I piped) vanilla filling into thumbprints.  In a plastic zipping bag, microwave remaining ingredients until melted, one to 2 minutes, stirring (I kneaded the sealed bag) ever 15 seconds.  Snip off tip of one corner and drizzle over cookies. Makes 3 dozen.

Vanilla Filling:

  • 2 TBSP margarine*, softened
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP milk

Combine all ingredients: mix well.


*I used butter.


As you might already know, I am gluten free as of November 2010. And frankly in the short time since I eliminated gluten from my diet, I have found you CAN still enjoy lots of goodies with a little research and tweaking of recipes. And am VERY happy to report Jello Brand Pudding Mixes are gluten free and these cookies are delicious made with your favorite gluten free all purpose baking mix! I will be posting my thoughts on different brands of gluten free flours and baking mixes. For all my gluten free cookies this holiday season I used all purpose baking mix from Authentic Foods and I LOVE IT.

I know I don’t have to say this of course but you know to be sure your chocolate and shortening are also gluten free.  If you are gluten free you will agree, label reading becomes as natural as breathing after a short period of time.

AND one more thing I have found to be relevant to successful gluten free cookie recipe adaptations is weighing the substitute flour mix instead of measuring cup for cup.  I use 4.5 ounces per cup of all purpose flour as my standard of measure. So let’s all do the happy gluten free dance!

Happy Baking Peeps! And best of luck – I wish you could all win!  However since that’s not possible, as soon as we all congratulate the winner on January 11, and if you are not that lucky duck, zip over to Gooseberry Patch and get yourself a copy of 101 Cookie, Cupcake & Brownie Recipes.  Oh heck ~ go ahead and order several – they make great gifts for all your foodie friends!  Now leave me a comment and get your name in!

More great places to find Gooseberry Patch:



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Yvonnie Gord

will be trying these soon!


Such a great giveaway, Susan! GPB is my favorite place to shop and their cookbooks are awesome!
Pistachio is a favorite of mine. They sound delicious, and thanks for the gluten free tips. I am going to look into that. I noticed on your side bar you have a recipe book for gluten free, I will check that out as well.

These sound great! Can’t wait to try them!

Anna Henry

Now these sound good. I will be making these as soon as I get enough coffee in the system. I don’t own any Gooseberry Patch cookbooks but now might be the time. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year.

How wonderful and exciting for you. I’ve been a Gooseberry Patch fan for years and years. I’m with you, use the real stuff~~butter. Those cookies look delicious. Take care, P.


Congrats Susan for being chosen by Gooseberry. The new cookbook looks great. Happy New Year!

Wow! Those sound amazing! Love pistachio, so must try these …

Congrats on being chosen to review these cookbooks, you lucky duck LOL! So fun!


These cookies look so wonderfully delicious. I will absolutely give them a try. It’s just the kind of cookie I like to see on a tray of assorted Christmas cookies. It’s so cute!
And, how lucky are YOU for getting to be an Early Bird Reviewer!!!! woot!
Love -love the january calendar, thanks so much!


Wow! These sound fantastic! I, too, am living a gluten free life so I was super excited about your notes on that subject. I am type 2 diabetic also, so finding good recipes for sweet treats is difficult for me. Thanks for the contest. I love cookbooks and often read them purely for pleasure!

Those sound great….

I am a real fan of Gooseberry Patch Susan, have been for years! When I lived in Canada I often bought from them, especially the cookery books and since moving over here to the UK, I always send gifts from the Patch to my American friends and family. Always well received I might add!! I am able to purchase the books via and also have ordered direct from GP as well. I love their cookery books. You are one very lucky lady to be able to do reviews of them! xxoo


Oh these sound yummy…looking forward to trying them. Congratulations on the Early Bird Reviewer!! How exciting for you!

These are definetly on my to-do list this weekend…thank you! My daughter thinks they look “yum-o”.


I reviewed this recipe too! It is a great recipe and I will be making them again very soon! I also used butter instead of the margarine and also skipped greasing the pan and used parchment paper to line the baking sheets.

Great step-by-step photos and a wonderful review. I look forward to seeing what other recipes you review :)



Oh that cookbook looks like a keeper. I love gooseberry patch. I buy all their xmas books

Ohhh, ohhhh, ohhhh. I love gooseberry patch and would love to be included your giveaway.

I can’t wait to try these and your other soon released recipes.

Your blog rocks!!!!


What a sweet deal!!


These sound wonderful!!! So excited for you and us! Along with Taste of Home Gooseberry Patch are my favorite recipes and books!!


My kids love pistachio pudding I am going to have to try out this recipe!


These look SO good!! And I would LOVE to add this cookbook to my Gooseberry Patch collection! :) Your blog is great, and I’m enjoying my January calendar wallpaper. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Lucky! How fun to test read a recipe book! I’m not a big fan of pistachio pudding, but it seems like it would be easy enough to substitute another pudding flavor. I like recipes that are easy, as well as able to be adapted to an individuals liking.

Congratulations Susan! Not surprised you were chosen – you have a way with words and can bake like a champ!

I’ve got to read up on this gluten free stuff. I can’t remember but I am sure you told us – did your doctor suggest this/were you diagnosed with an “allergy.” Seems it’s a healthier way to live while still enjoying foods.


Please enter me in the giveaway. Loveyour blog and love gooseberry patch cookbooks


these sound and look amazing!!


Love your cookbooks and your blog


Looks delicious! I will have to try these soon.


These sound yummy!! Can’t wait to try them!


Looks delicious! Would love to add this book to my collection :)


Please enter me in the giveaway, I love Gooseberry Patch and still miss their catalog with all of their other specialties, they know how to do it up right whether it is a cookbook or any other item!


These sound delish!!!

Amy Flowers

i would love a chance to win a cookbook on baking, i love to bake and go to the kitchen constantly to come up with new cookie recipes, i am also trying to start my own cookie and cake business


These look so yummy!!!! I’m going to try them soon!!!!!

I love your blog!


That recipe sounded very yummy!!! Will have to try it sometime. :) Please enter me into your giveaway.

Leanna Radney

YUM ! Cant wait to try these !


These sound fantastic! You made them look quite tasty too!

Diana Hasler

Looks like a good recipe – something different for the Christmas trays and maybe even St. Pat’s Day. Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

Amy Harder

I cannot wait to try these. They sound wonderful….

The recipe looks great. Looking forward to making these. Love everything about Gooseberry Patch!


Love, love , LOVE Gooseberry Patch! What a great new cookbook. My daughter is a huge fan of pistachios, which is a big deal considering she is not a fan of many things, lol! This is definitely one to try, thanks =)


Those look great! Different and very pretty!

I love the cookie recipe and I really like that you put step by step pictures of them.I would be so happy to win this cookbook!COOKIES RULE!!!!!:)

Kelly Y

These sound (and look) delicious. Thank you for all of the pictures…and for the giveaway entry! Blessings to you in 2011!


I get all giddy and like a little kid on Christmas morning when I hear of new Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks coming out! :) :) :) I can’t wait to try this new recipe!!! Please enter me in the drawing. :) Blessings!

Krista M

Giveaway, wow, what fun. Sounds like such a fun book and would love to share with my kids. Thanks for the fun recipe.


These look like something my grandmother would have made. Yummy!

Amanda Spencer

Oh my gosh! These look amazing! Love that you included the gluten free part. We have been gluten free since March 2010.

these sound yummy I love thumb-print cookies and need a recipe for them and love watergate salad

Oh, my…this recipe sounds soooooo good…we love love Pistachios….and Gooseberry, of course..lucky you to be a reviewer……please enter me