Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jungle Animal Chocolate-dipped Oreos

Have you seen these new jungle animal Mother's cookies?  I am in LOVE with them!  I squealed in delight when I saw them in the store.  Yes, I am apparently 13 years old.  I squeal when I'm excited.

It's so fun thinking of ways to bake with new products.  I decided to make some chocolate-dipped Oreos and top them with jungle animals. The weird thing is these were REALLY good.  I would make these again just for my husband and I-  no kids needed.

Oreo + Mother's cookie = something magical

I wish they would come out with a red, white, and blue version for Independence day.  How fun would those be?
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

These cupcakes have a yummy graham cracker crust, strawberry filling, and thick cream cheese frosting.  Nom Nom Nom... 

Next time I think I'll experiment with throwing some Sara Lee cheesecake bites into the cupcake batter before baking.  DOUBLE cheesecake!!

Hope you all have a lovely Memorial day tomorrow!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Taffy Skewers


I've been meaning to post these for at least a year because I really love things on sticks and I really love things that are cute and easy. Kids go crazy for them and they make darling centerpieces for parties as well.

Pink and brown skewers are my favorite for girl baby showers and blue/white for boy showers.  If I can ever find some Fourth of July taffy, those will be happening soon!

I've gotta say it.  Be careful.  I may or may not have put a skewer sliver right through my finger while making these (as in... in one side... out the other... I almost fainted when I had to pull it out.  It wasn't the size of the entire skewer but it was about 1/3 as thick- which is pretty darn thick to be threaded through your finger, thank you very much!)  

If you have a taffy that's sticking, wrap a clean dishtowel around your hand and use that to jam the taffy down the stick, not your bare hands!  If you use fresh taffy this really shouldn't be a problem. They are usually pretty easy to thread.

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Triple Oreo Pudding Cookies

These gooey cookies have Oreo pudding, Oreo chunks, Hershey's white chocolate Cookies n'cream chunks, and semisweet chocolate chips mixed into the batter.  I am lucky enough to still have my mother close by, alive and well, but if I was visiting her this memorial day I would probably scatter a few of these on her grave.

(She has forbidden me to leave gaudy wreaths or tacky ribbons when she's dead- instead favoring funky lawn decor, chocolate, or things that would be fun for kids to steal.)

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Coconut)

Brown butter is quite the craze lately and it's easy to see why.  It turns plain butter into a caramelly/toffee tasting substance which is SO yummy to cook with.  These cookies were really delicious but I couldn't help but think how much yummier they would be if they morphed with my new favorite cookie recipe-  Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

This brown butter cookie is SUCH a great base but I think it could be even better if you added the mix-ins from the cookie above. If you want to do this I wrote the step into the recipe for you, but you'll need 3/4 cup broken pretzels, 3/4 cup peanut butter chips, and 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips.

There is coconut in this recipe but you can't really taste it.  It is more of a texture thing.  You can omit it if you want or replace it with oats.
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Chewy Snickerdoodles

Sometimes you hafta post a recipe just so you can post ANOTHER recipe that uses the first recipe.

(Does that make sense? Keep a look out for a yummy dessert that uses Snickerdoodle pieces in the next week or two.)

I know Snickerdoodles are kind of a *boring* cookie, but my husband says these are the best chewiest ones he's ever tasted.  So I figured you deserved the recipe to these.

Please pronounce them "schhnicker-doodle" when offering them to others.

It's funny.  I promise.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream & Almond Joy Ice Cream

This morning I walked in to get my 2 year old from his crib to find he had styled his hair with poop.

True story.

An experience like that completely qualifies you to eat ice cream for breakfast.  (And lunch) (And the rest of the day if you want to.)

But first you have to wash your hands A LOT and sanitize your house for three or four hours.

I know you came to a dessert blog to read about this.

Anyway, this is my very favorite homemade ice cream. The toasted coconut is really good, but you can omit it if you want a smooth texture.    (This will make the ice cream less coconutty, but a little bit of coconut extract can help that.)

If you had a *REALLY* bad day- make yourself the almond joy version- (below) and go heavy on the fudge.
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Strawberry Blonde Ice Cream

You know that blonde's are the best, right? :)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pina Colada Starfruit Push Pops

As of this week my preschooler is out of school for the summer, so we are celebrating (mourning?) by making popsicles this week.  These are pretty darn good even if they don't have Flinstone's characters printed on the outside.

You can make these with any kind of juice you want.  Hawaii's Own makes lots of tropical juice flavors that would be yummy.  You can also sub coconut milk for the regular milk if you have it, or omit the shredded coconut if you want a smoother pop. 

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Samoa Bark

Many moons ago I was a 'Brownie' and sold Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties door to door.  One year my mom was driving me around the neighborhood to deliver my cookies and we had a big fight.

(I was like 7 and I'm pretty sure I didn't want to deliver cookies to my mean neighbors so I tried to convince her to do it.)

Anyways, I stomped off and ran home.

Except she thought I stomped off to deliver the cookies.

So she waited in the car outside my neighbor's house.  And waited.  And waited.

And then she went up to their doorstep and accused them of kidnapping me.

They had a big doorstep scene. 

You can probably see why Girl Scout cookies bring back good memories for me.  

Sorry Mom!!

While these don't taste exactly like real Samoa's, they are still dang good, and they are super simple and look fancy to boot.  

I used Walker's shortbread because I had some left over from my huge Christmas tin, but they were a bit overwhelming in the buttery dept.  I think Lorna Doone's would have been even better.

(By the way... my shortbread were still sealed and not expired, so it's ok that they were from Christmas, right? :) )

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

So I tripped over a dead body laying in my hall last night.  And then again about ten minutes later, and ten minutes after that the dead body zombie-chased me through the house while I screamed bloody murder and attempted to run away.

I will probably think twice before buying my 4 year old "body pajamas" again.

If I had a mom who made me cotton candy cupcakes I would not zombie stalk her.

Just sayin...

I made these cotton candy cupcakes a couple months ago right as the Lorax craze began.  These certainly have nothing to do with truffula trees as much as they might look like it, so I decided to wait to post them.  The cupcakes have cotton candy sandwiched inside them before baking (it melts into the batter as they bake) and are topped with a sugary cotton candy frosting.  These definitely make kids' eyes light up.

And keep zombies at  bay.

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Snicker's Salad

Forgive me for going all health-kick on you lately.   I thought you might need a recipe or two for when you're asked to bring a green salad to a summer BBQ or something.

You know you want to :)

I've noticed Snicker's salad making an appearance in the blog world lately, but every recipe I've seen is different than ours.  Some call just for Cool Whip and some for Cool Whip + vanilla pudding.  Our family recipe uses cream cheese along with the Cool Whip.  It's kind of tastes like caramel apple cheesecake.

Totally a salad worthy of summer BBQ season. 

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Almond Sugar Cookies

When I was a kid we used to get Marzipan treats in our stockings.  (In Europe they make marzipan pigs, marzipan fruits, all kinds of stuff.)  I think because of this I have a HUGE almond-extract aversion.  

 It probably has NOTHING to do with overindulgence.

Or I thought I did.  Recently I've discovered I actually like pure almond extract in moderation, it's just that imitation stuff that gives me the shivers.  

These cookies are a nice spin-off of the usual.  They are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Feel free to roll them in any color sugar you desire.  I think the thick granulated sugars used for cupcakes are the prettiest.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

I feel like I might be running out of ways to tell you how good things are.  Let me just say, these are beyond fantastic.  I could NOT stop eating these.  The cream filling isn't very sweet and pairs perfectly with the sweet sweet frosting and the crunch of the coconut on top.  I screwed up and made the frosting with salted butter which made them a little strangely salty and they were STILL fantastic.  That, my friends, is the sign of a great recipe.

This is one of those weird cupcakes where the pieces all by themselves are just ok, but when you combine them all together, something magical happens. So wait until they are all assembled to judge.  (I actually think they get better as they age so you may want to make these 24 hrs before serving.)

Don't be intimidated by the long recipe.  Yes, there are a lot of steps, but they are all easy (the coconut cream filling doesn't even require any cooking!)

When I do cupcakes I usually bake them the night before and do fillings/frosting the next day to break things up a little bit. Plus then you'll have naked cupcakes to munch on the night before.

For an Easter version you can throw a few jellybeans on top of the coconut or stick a peep on top.
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Lemon Pull-Aparts (& a Key Lime version)

In honor of my mom, the biggest citrus lover I know, I thought I'd post these sweet glazed lemon/key lime rolls today.  I really wish I could send you some of these through the computer.

(Seriously... we can send people to the moon, but we can't figure out how to send food through the internet?  Come on now. 

Some smarty pants from Harvard better be inventing *that* in his dorm room right now.)

Mom, Thanks for changing my diapers, letting me wear my shoes on the wrong feet, and teaching me it's okay to change your name. (Also for constantly watching my children who love you to PIECES.)

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all moms! May your children be grateful and your husbands not forget lest they all be sleeping on the couch next week.

(Based on the flowers, cards, and candy practically barfing out of Walmart's Enter/Exit doors for at least a month in advance can you believe anyone forgets??  I so don't understand.)

These rolls are great for brunches and holiday breakfasts and since they use Rhodes rolls as the bread base, they are easy peasy.  I have tried an orange version of these and didn't care for them much, so stick with lemon or lime.
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Chewy Reeses Chocolate Cookies

I have about 20 recipes waiting in line to be posted so I'm going to try to crank these out like crazy.  This is another recipe that looks like "just a cookie" but these are SO delicious.  They freeze really well and if you want a cookie that's to die for- pop one of these in the microwave for about 10 seconds or until the peanut butter chips get all melty.  Mmmmm.

Reese's chips are a must.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

I struggle with cookies.

I bake them.  I eat twelve-ish with milk.  I feel ashamed.

Not really ashamed.

Mostly full and happy really.

Cookies are the reason I run a mile every morning.

These cookies in particular are totally worth the treadmill tradeoff.  Yes, they look like ordinary cookies but they taste incredible.  These ones are not to be missed.

In case you're wondering the pretzels stay crunchy and they are *delish* in cookies.  I don't really see any reason to ever make a normal chocolate chip cookie again.

Sub your favorite chocolate chip cookie base recipe if you wish, and just add the milk chocolate chip/pb chip/pretzel combo to the dough. It's the mix-ins that really make this cookie magical.

You can omit the sprinkle of salt on top if you don't have it, and they will still be delicious.  I doubled the recipe for you because, welp, you're gonna want that many.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dutch Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Shortbread


These cookies are crumbly and DARK.  If you follow the measurements exactly they may be too bitter for most people's tastes, so heap the sugar and go easy on the cocoa as I wrote in the recipe.  Don't get me wrong, these are awesome, but these are a dutch cocoa cookie so that's what they're going to taste like!  We are big fans.

This recipe does require some refrigeration before baking and only makes a small batch (12 cookies or so). 

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Double Chocolate Coconut M&M Cookies

Not that I think you stalk me or anything, but if you have been wondering where I've been lately you should know I've been sulking over the closure of Picnik.

Also over Facebook's  new Timeline feature.

And Blogger's new interface.

Maybe sulking isn't the right word.  Maybe a better word is incapacitated.

If you are imagining me hiding in a closet eating chocolate chip cookies and trembling over all the unnecessary change that's going on right now then you have a pretty accurate picture of how I've spent the last 2 months. I did warn you I don't deal well with change.

Also I thought my  kids and yard were needing some attention.

Regardless of what I was actually doing,  I'm back and I have lots of delicious recipes to share with you.  Just in time for summer! You know these cookies will help you fit into your swimsuit, right?

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Chocolate-Dipped Peeps

Yes, I know everyone and their mom posted chocolate-dipped peeps about 2 months ago but with this blog's namesake,  I really have no choice but to put up my version sometime.  

Whenever someone refers to their friends as "peeps" I picture these in my head and wonder if they like to take bites out of their friends.

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Jelly Bean Spoons

For Easter this year the kids and I made jelly bean spoons and wrapped them up in little cello bags with ribbon tied around them.  They are super cute favor and a huge hit with kids although personally I can't stomach the chocolate/fruit combination.  I think a Sixlet version is much more suited for adults although you can really put anything on them you want.  


The key is to use a really nice chocolate, especially if you are giving them to adults.  

It's sooo adult-like to eat candy off of spoons.

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