Tag Archives: cookies

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

CEC4Spring is just around the corner.  And honestly, I can’t wait.  We’ve had some snow flurries the past two weeks, and that put my kids in a tizzy.  Matthew was jumping around the house saying, “No school! No school!”  I think in his head, just a few drops of snow equals schools closing.  To be fair, this winter in the Pacific Northwest has been quite unusual, and every time it snowed, school was either cancelled or delayed.

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I think I told you about this crazy puppy we decided to adopt.  He has been fun, but, he is, well…a puppy.  Potty accidents have become a daily ritual, kid stuffies have been mauled, and my dining room furniture has turned into a chew toy.  And this is after having him sectioned off to just the kitchen.  My happy place is currently not so happy, as I can’t turn my back to him because I need to constantly self-direct.  Sigh…it’s okay.  This too shall pass and he’ll grow up, and the vigilance I am trying to do now should pay off down the road, right? Continue reading

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Top 15 Christmas Baking Recipes

Yesterday we had snow and ice and school was cancelled.  So what did I do on my day off?  I made a cheesecake.  Why go outside in the freezing rain (literally–it came right after the snow) and try to build a snowman in 1/2-inch of snow?  I think I’ll take my warm kitchen.  Actually, Matthew did try, but the moment he opened the door, he changed his mind.

So while I am working on getting the cheesecake recipe ready, I thought I’d give you my top 15 holiday recipes, in case you need inspiration or a new idea.  Tomorrow, I am making the chocolate sandwich cookies and bringing them to my work’s Christmas party, along with the rest of the cheesecake.  Is it weird to bring a half-eaten cheesecake? Maybe. On the fence about this one.  I put the recipes in alphabetical order because I couldn’t decide on how I wanted to order them as they are all my favorites.  Anyway, enjoy and happy baking! xoxo

Top 15 Christmas Baking Recipes

Black Bottom Brownies

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Brownie Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

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Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

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Chocolate Revel Bars

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Christmas Cake Balls

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Christmas Scones

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Homemade Sauces

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Mitten Sugar Cookies

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

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The older my kids get, the more they notice things.  Here’s just a few things that have been asked of me of late:

“Why do I have to eat my vegetables before I can have dessert if Daddy doesn’t have to?”

“Mommy, go faster! You need to go faster than the speed lemon!” (limit is the word I think is meant here, but it’s too cute for me to correct)

“Are there dinosaurs in heaven? I’d really like to ride one.”

“Where do birds poop?”

“Can I take classes to be a better ninja?”

Now that summer is here, I feel a little less stressed.  I am not racing out the door to get the kids to school on time, frantically yelling, “Hurry, hurry! You’re going to be tardy!” (Which I have found every time I say that, in the hopes it motivates the kids to move faster, it inevitably causes Matthew to break down and cry. So I have learned to say, “Let’s see who can be the fastest to the car!” in the calmest voice I can muster.)  Nor am I feeling the urge to fill the calendar with play dates and activities.  Just letting the kids play in the yard, dig in the dirt, and ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac is enough for me.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_3344My family and I just came back from camping–in 90 degree weather.  In the Pacific Northwest, we usually see temperatures this high late in July or early in August, and it normally lasts about a week.  Well, the heat spell here started towards the end of June and lasted almost 3 weeks.  I can’t remember a 4th of July watching the fireworks in shorts and a t-shirt.  We are usually in jeans and a sweatshirt!  I was planning on making chocolate chip cookies to snack on while camping, (and use to sandwich a s’more or two) but I didn’t for two reasons–one, we have no air-conditioner in our house, and two, I had no way to keep the cookies from melting once we arrived at our campsite, and for those of you who tent/cabin camp, you know how valuable cooler space is!  In fact, we only had a campfire twice because it was so hot.  The last night of camping we started the fire early so our kids could have s’mores.  My two-and-a-half year-old daughter had never had s’mores before and I was excited for her to try it.  I thought she’d love it as much as my son.  Unfortunately, the only thing she liked was the chocolate squares, as you can see in this picture. Continue reading

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White Chocolate-Peppermint Bark Cookies

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Growing up, New Year’s Eve was something my sisters’ and I always looked forward to.  The main reason? We got to stay up past our bedtime–3 hours past our bedtime.  You know, when you’re in middle school, that’s a big deal!  My parents aren’t big ring-in-the-new-year kind-of people, so when we got into high school, we usually spent the night at our girlfriends’ houses.  With my girlfriends, our New Year’s Eve party consisted of this: renting a comedy movie, making cookies, painting our nails, and talking about boys and dreams of our future.  At about 11:45 PM, we would switch from watching our movie to ABC, to watch Dick Clark drop the ball in Times Square.  At midnight, we’d raise our sparkling cider glasses and say “Cheers!”  Then we’d go back to watching our movie and eating cookies (or cookie dough) again.  Some years, we’d make ridiculous New Year’s Resolutions, most of which I could never attain, but I don’t think that was the point.  Ahh…to be sixteen again.

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Anyway, I hope you’re planning some fun New Year’s Eve party, and these cookies would be the perfect guest to bring along.  Peppermint is such a winter treat, and paired in a cookie…wow.  The peppermint  bark in these cookies adds such a subtle flavor, but it’s what makes these cookies so delicious. 

When I make cookies, I usually double the batch (and you can certainly do that with this recipe).  I usually only bake about 9 cookies, and with the rest, I freeze the dough in balls.  This year, I gave some away as Christmas gifts to friends, all complete with a cute Santa tin box. Continue reading

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Top 10 Desserts [for holiday baking]

How is this holiday season treating you?  I hope amidst the stress this season can bring, you’ve found time to gather with family and friends and be reminded what this season is really about.  In an effort to try to help bring calm to this time of year, I’ve created a list of my top 10 favorite desserts that are great to bring to a holiday party or gathering.  So, in no particular order, here they are.

Christmas Cake Balls

They are such a hit at every party I’ve gone to, and the ease of this dessert is not only in the creating of it, but the eating as well.  You don’t need any silverware, just maybe a napkin.

Chocolate-Peppermint Cupcakes

I love peppermint, and paired with chocolate, you can’t go wrong with this dessert.  I’ve topped the cupcakes with crushed peppermint candies and Andes mints.  Either tastes fantastic.

Sugar Cookies

If you have a little more time on your hands, or want others involved, decorating sugar cookies is a fun way to go.  Even kids can join in.  (You can always make a buttercream frosting–check the end of the post–and color with food coloring for an easy way for kids to decorate.  Add some sprinkles or jimmies, and you’re golden!)

Pecan-Oreo Fudge Bars

What’s not to love about this dessert?  Nuts, fudge, and Oreos.  Need I say more?


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Matthew’s 1st Birthday

We’ve been anticipating this day for some time, and now it’s gone.  My baby is moving from an infant into a toddler.  And while I’m excited about it, it does make me a little sad.  Pretty soon he’ll be going to school, and before you know it, he’ll be off and gone to college.  And we certainly won’t be able to put him in a dump truck and ride him around the living room.

And he’s going to need his first haircut, as mullets just aren’t in fashion anymore.  I am going to miss that little mohawk though!  As promised, I said I’d show you pictures of his birthday party. Matthew’s nursery is jungle-themed, so I found these really cute printable safari-themed birthday invitations on Etsy.  So adorable!  Everything coordinated.  We had a small gathering of family and friends at a park near our house.  The weather was perfect and the company couldn’t have been better.  Here are the sugar cookies I made for favors that matched the invitations.  The tiger:

The lion:

The giraffe:

All three of them together:

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