Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story

Enjoy these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, with a delicious yummy cream cheese drizzle on top, along with a sweet violin story. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Our daughter is a high school senior this year. Plus, she’s my baby, so you know what that means. Empty nest is around the corner, and I feel a little sadness looming in the background, mixed with moments of joy. Motherhood has been one of my highest callings in life, one I will never take for granted. Although I’m excited for the new chapter to come, I can’t help but think back to when Abby was almost 4, just coming out of toddler stage to a little girl, and we started her taking violin lessons using the Suzuki Method.

Today, at almost 18, she still plays her violin every day, and we love the sound that fills our home with music so beautiful that it makes you want to cry.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story

How she started violin.

When Abby started with a Kudos Box taped to a ruler (learning how to hold the violin before ever playing), and following every lesson with thanking and bowing to her teacher—Thank you, Virginia, for teaching me violin today— it felt like a long journey ahead.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story

Would she stick with it over the years? When would it become her passion and no longer mine? Would the violin make her happy and other people happy? Did she have an “ear” for music, which is so important for a true violinist to have, if passionate about playing for life (and enjoying it)? Would I ever see the day when she’d be *driving herself to lessons and I’d no longer pick her up once a week, bribe her with Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop toys if she would only listen to her teacher, or stand anyway even though she was “tired”?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story

Later in life, would she get to play at Carnegie Hall in NYC?

Siskiyou Violins at Carnegie Hall

Yes to violin!

The answer is yes to all of these questions that I had in my mind. Our beautiful daughter learned the mystery of the 2 instruments—the violin and the bow—and it became her passion, her love, her “thing” in life, and I slowly transitioned away from control.

A dream for a mother to have.

To see her daughter grow, with beauty and power in the love of an instrument.

A beautiful chapter is coming to an end. I watched her drive away to her now Russian teacher, Faina, and a tear rolled down my cheek.

Not only for my love for my beautiful girl, but for the passion that lives in her heart to make beautiful music, and to use it for good in this world —whatever God has for her.

Abby’s music will always be everywhere – even when she’s off to college. Just as it’s in her ears and her head, it will always be in our hearts.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Last night I watched her make this recipe, Pumpking Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Foodnetwork.com, for her brothers and friends, who were over for dinner. Only a few more nights with our family together to enjoy evening meals, laughter, long discussions, talks about our lovely pets, thoughts and feelings, goals for the future.

Her recipe also made us happy. Because food is comforting to the soul, especially when you know that change is coming.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Does your child play an instrument, and have you heard of the Suzuki Method? Or, what’s your favorite autum cookie to make?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

From FoodNetwork.com, and we added a yummy cream cheese drizzle!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 60 large cookies or 30 small


  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups 12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
  • 2 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • heavy cream or milk


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.
  • Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips.
  • Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges.
  • Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.
  • Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream together. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.

Read more about Abby’s violin journey and the Suzuki Method, here. For years I took Abby to violin, but on busy work weeks our retired friends would jump in and help. I’d like to dedicate this post to our dear friends–Dee, whom Abby’s precious violin belongs to, and Minor –driving back and forth to Talent or Ashland, picking Abby up from school, and then getting her back on time (with an occasional stop at Wendy’s). :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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9 comments on “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + Violin Story”

  1. That girl. What a beauty with talent, she’s a rare breed and so lucky to have you as her mama. What a sweet ode to Minor and Dee. I love that she’s cooking in the kitchen with you, I hope Smudge keeps doing so with me too. BTW, did you take the portraits of her? GOEGEOUS!

  2. I agree with Brian. One of the best parts of my visit to your home was getting to watch and hear Abby play. She has such talent, but more than anything, I love how she played with heart and confidence — two things that I know she gets from her mama. : )

    Love you both!

  3. Wow….this totally made me tear up! Abby is a beautiful soul and I feel honored that I was able to hear her play….hopefully not the one and only time. My son Connor loves jazz sax and has become quite the prodigy. His ear is amazing and he can just blow amazingness without even looking at sheet music. It makes my heart melt, as it must yours. Such a wonderful thing having music fill your home from the lips or hands of your babies. Pumpkin cookies are my favorite fall treat as well as my kids. We just made a batch last weekend. Thanks for being an amazing woman. I love you dearly!!!


  4. This post is so sweet. Abby is such a gem, you’ve done a beautiful job mama and raised an amazing gal! And what wonderful friends that helped along the way!
    Can I have a cookie? ;)

  5. Love it and that recipe!! Well, mama has the music degrees, so yes, all of ours play! I teach them all piano, and our oldest has been learning the guitar from her daddy. She also just started the flute and it’s SO fun for me, too! :)

  6. One of the highlights from our trip out to see you and visit H+D was hearing your daughter play the violin. She was so talented and had a wonderful presence.

    As for these cookies… I’m totally on board with the pumpkin-chocolate pairing. Love the glaze on top too!

  7. Love, love, love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, Sandy! Sweet story and sweet recipe :)

  8. Um yeah, totally crying here. What a sweet memory to always have – her music filling your home & hearts – to go along with your beautiful girl. You’re such a sweet momma!!!

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