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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I love pistachio and never tried it a flavor for a cookie, but since it has chocolate drizzled off of it, it must be good. I love baking and love adding new recipes :-)

Margaret Gonzalez

sounds so yummy!


These look yummy!


These look super Yum :-)


I used to have a great recipe for a bundt cake with instant pistachio pudding mix. I haven’t seen it recently, so I need to get to the groccery store and look. These cookies have a really special look to them.


Love your blog! I was sent by Gooseberry Patch via Facebook, and I’m a fan of yours now, too. Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks!


Love all the books. I love the artwork as well. Sign me up for the giveaway.

Nora Hampton

Love the books, and love Gooseberry Patch. Sign me up for the giveaway!

Sydney S.

Please enter me in the giveaway. It just so happens that I have wanted to find a thumbprint cookie recipe that didn’t have jam, so I can’t wait to try these. I don’t know what other recipes you are going to try from the cookbook but, I need to make some cupcakes for my granddaughter’s birthday party and I would love a great (easy) recipe if possible.
Thank you,


I love Gooseberry Patch and have been getting them since the beginning. I have most of the books and the 1-12 Christmas books too. THese cookies look great and I will definitely try them. I would love to win one of the new books. They make great reads in the evening.


Oh, I *love* anything pistachio, so this is a must-make for me! :) Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

Hannah T.

I only use pistachio pudding mix in my Watergate Salad – so excited to have another recipe to use it in!!! Thanks for sharing:)

christy horne

those look super yummy!

Kelli b

these look delish….I will experiment with them for Valentine’s Day gifts…thanks for the opportunity to win!!

karen h.

Will try the recipe. Love Gooseberry Patch and congrats on being an Early Bird Reviewer!

Andrea Dorn

This looks really good. Got to love Gooseberry Patch.

Susan H.

What a great giveaway…and that recipe looks yummy. Can’t wait to see the others you tried.

Wow, these look delicious! Love those GP cookbooks!

Barb Pifer

These cookies sound and look great. I am anxious to try them!!!


Sounds delicious! My dad loves pistachio, so I think I will bake up a batch for him! Thanks for posting!


such a wonderful cookbook. always been a fan of Gooseberry Patch. thanks so much.


They not only look yummy…they are very pretty too! I will definitely be trying out this new recipe! Thanks for sharing!


YUM!!!!! Sounds tasty! Can’t wait to give it a try!

Beth Bogle

I just happen to have pistachio pudding in my cabinet!! These look scrumptious!!

Cheryl V

We are trying to stay gluten-free also, LOVE the tips, thanks! Can’t wait to treat the family to this cookie!!

I will have to try these. My husband loves pistachio’s and they look really good with the chocolate drizzled on top!!

Beth Zelten

These look yummy. Can’t wait to try them! And plz enter me in the contest to win this cookbook. Thank you!

Carol Ann

yum, I can’t wait to try!


Would love to win that cookbook and can’t wait to try the recipe.

Those pistachio cookies look really yummy and I look forward to the other two recipes that you are going to share.
Please add me to your cookbook giveaway.
Thank you.

Oh i cannot wait to make these in the morning they look really yummy. Please add my name in the giveaways i love to look for new things to make for my kids partys and friends ad sleep over.thank you i love your wed page


Those look so beautiful and yummy! Excited to see the next two recipes you are sharing! Thanks for the opportunity to win!


Gooseberry Patch has another super cookbook. Add me to the drawing :-)

Patricia Delimpaltadakis

I can’t have sweets, but my family can so I can’t wait to prepare these scrumptious -looking cookies for them!

Hayley Locke

They look great I hope I win.

Patricia Delimpaltadakis

OK, I’m having a hard time doing this on my mobile. I’m sure baking the cookies would be more fun! Please enter me…

christina burrell

I love gooseberry patch cookbooks and would love to win!

Wendy S.

These cookies look great! I would love to have this book….please enter me in the giveaway! :)


Lucky you, this book (and recipe) look great! I have to bring some goodies to a get together next Sunday, think the cookies will be a nice choice!

My mom loves pistachios, I’m going to surprise her with a batch.

Donna Rennick

These look amazing!!!!

Jolene Hess

My mother would love these…

Wow do those look good! I forget how good pistachios are until I see yummy recipes like these.

KellyJean Gettelfinger

How fun! Thx again for the chance to win! And thx for posting the gluten free tips!

Sue Klapper

Please, please sign me up for the giveaway!! The cookies sound delicious. Besides they look festive for Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day. Hope I win!


These look absolutely yummy! I can use these for the Springtime Tea this March! Yeah! Gooseberry Patch sure knows how to get the best recipes around!


What a cute and festive cookie


They look so good but I am allergic to pistachios but I would still love a new cookbook

You really do make them look lovely. I’ve never had a pistachio cookie…may be time for a try.