Live the American Dream Recipe: Fallnut Cookies For Mom and Dad

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Fallnut Cookies with French Press Coffee

The most delicious coffee in the world comes from my French press. The blend, quality and beans are the very best I can afford.

The French press coffee experience is a perfect metaphor for the way I am living my dream life.

I begin with sparkling clean vessels, both the press and the tea kettle.  Fresh filtered water is set to boiling while I grind the beans that have been stored in an opaque container in cool, dry storage.

When the kettle whistles, I pour the coarsely ground beans into the bottom of my carafe, followed by the piping hot water. I mix these two simple ingredients with a spoon and breathe in one of my absolute favorite aromas.

Innnnnn . . . ahhhhhh . . . out.  Mmmm.

Placing the lid top of the press with its plunger all the way open onto the full carafe, I delight in the building anticipation.  I collect my beautiful china pieces that were a gift from my parents-in-law and for the next seven minutes think about how much I love mom and dad.

I smile and tears well up simultaneously, as I recall the conversation with my husband’s parents last January when they invited me to call them mom and dad.  Truly, one of the most beautiful and loving moments of my life and I feel honored and like I am honoring the blessing of our relationship, each time I use this Noritake, Roseberry pattern china that dad brought back here from when he served our country during the Vietnam war.

Coffee’s ready . . .  YES!

I ever-so-slowly push down the plunger with my right hand while my left holds the lid securely in place.

With the hot and inviting beverage in hand, I glide over to the antique buffet that Bryan and I purchased  when we first moved out to Oregon wine country, over thirteen years ago.

It’s a lovely piece we found together just before we were married, in the completely adorable town of Carlton, Oregon. With hand-carved grapevines tastefully scattered in perfect places over the buffet’s cabinet doors and drawers, we instantly loved it and hope one day to use it in our very own winery’s tasting room.

Walnut collecting: Collecting the walnuts is big fun!I store the whole collection of mom and dad’s china inside our buffet and, today, retrieve a serving platter, the sugar and creamer to join my cup and saucer for treat time.

Taking a well deserved seat in my favorite red and white striped wing back chair, which was a Christmas gift from my husband and from a different antique shop, two years ago, I savor my cup of coffee.

My thoughts and taste buds do not wander far from the sweetness of the “Fallnut” cookies I baked earlier in the day, except when I sip with my perfect pairing of the light roast and then decide to “dunk”.

These cookies are scrumptious and all the better because the children, and chickens and I gathered the walnuts from out front of our cozy home, that inspired this recipe:

“Fallnut“, dried cranberry and white chocolate cookies


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

Vanilla beans scraped from whole pod into butter, or 1t excellent vanilla

1/4t almond extract

1-½ cups AP flour, (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1t baking soda

1t cinnamon

1t ground or freshly grated ginger

1/2t salt

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350*

I hope you have a mixer to cream the butter, flavorings and sugars until fluffyish and well incorporated.  Then add eggs on at a time.  If you don’t, then simply use a large mixing bowl to do this, and make sure to ask Santa for a stand mixer.

In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt) together with fork or whisk of some sort.

Slowly add these dry ingredients to your yummy smelling butter sugars with a paddle attachment or your hand held beaters until well incorporated.

Grab your favorite wooden spoon, (I wish I had my Grammy’s), and work in the tasty treats of :Oats, nuts, berries and white chips.

On an un-greased cookie sheet, with a spring loaded ice cream scoop, plop on your dough!  Space them about 2” apart, leave ‘em lofty and pop them into the oven.  OH it’s gonna smell good soon!

Keep your eyes and nose in the game then about 12 minutes in touch the centers of your cookies.  If they’re too gooey, bake a little longer.  If you like them crisper then time things to your liking.  The ones in the photo were baked for about 15 min., in my 5 year old oven.

Cool them to set on wire racks, then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

For a downloadable copy of this recipe click here (it will open in a pdf)

I’m a “clean as I go” kinda gal because it’s extremely important to me to have very regular baking and cooking experiences.  My view out the kitchen windows as I get sudsy, also carry the dream wave to it’s perfect settling in spot.

These are sacred times and as I am hopefully passing along to my children, I find joy in caring for the tools and things that bring me so much pleasure and encourage me to regularly pursue the passions of my life.

Baking and cooking are some things that I have learned and continue to explore through study and practice.  Like everything in my life that I want to do well, there is an investment of time and a slowing of pace that I have found is required in order to fulfill my dreams.

As far as I am aware there are twenty four hours in a day — even for dreamers.  When I realized that they were my hours too,  I pulled into life’s slow lane.  It’s wonderful here, moving at this pace where I enjoy my favorite, simple things and recall my life’s most precious events.

Maybe it’s a special venue that exists outside of your home that will take you to a place of gratitude.  Perhaps you have the desire to create a moment, like I do, where you can tap into the most delicious part of your life and dream about your future blessed days.

I hope this for everyone, whether it’s a quiet time indoors or out, to give yourself the gift of reflection on your very own “Grape Life”, moments.

Until our next “pressing” engagement I wish you beautiful days,


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  • Heather Montgomery, Product Launch Dreams

    I love that cookie recipe! Thanks for sharing – chocolate and fruit is so yummy together.

    Holidays are a big family affair for our BIG family. I love that over the years, all the different recipes have become “classics” and you don’t dare leave them out. It helps that we are all foodies and the dishes – new and old – are always amazing.

    Beautiful post! – Heather

    • Awww Heather,

      Your family holiday gatherings are the stuff of dreams:) Thank YOU for sharing. Love it!

      I taught myself how to cook and bake, and how to be a mother and build a loving family. I always dreamed of the feelings associated with cooking with those I adore, especially at the holidays.

      My dreams are coming true now, as I pass down my recipes and techniques to my little son and daughter. It is so much FUN!!!

      Thank you for the compliment, I deeply appreciate your reading my stories:)


  • One of the things I wish I would have ‘taken’ from my grandmothers kitchen was her wooden spoon set. She had lots of them, and they always remind me of big family gatherings and lots of yummy food. I will attempt to bake these delicious sounding cookies this season… thank you! xo Rem

    • Remy,

      I am still so honored that you even read my little stories:) To think of you making the cookies and enjoying, perhaps sharing…heaven.

      Thank you for reading, sharing and being so sweet to me!

      xo back, Shellie

  • Yummy-looking recipe. I love this, “Like everything in my life that I want to do well, there is an investment of time and a slowing of pace that I have found is required in order to fulfill my dreams.” This is so true — that preconception phase is so important to the success of our dreams.

    My mother used to have me and my brother shuck walnuts this time of year in preparation for her Christmas goodies she would bake for gifts for relatives and friends. We had this huge walnut tree in the backyard that my dad tied a tire swing to the largest protruding branch. I spent many hours swinging and kicking walnut husks in my young days.

    They were some of the sweetest moments in my young life.

    Thanks for reminding me.


    • Oh Cath,

      That’s precious, and I thank YOU for sharing this cozy memory with me and all:)

      It’s another thing I hope for everyone…to go to the moments you have already had, that belong to you, and recognize that they are part of the beauty of life that already exists for many of us.

      Love ya,