Thursday, May 30, 2013

Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Hello and happy almost Friday!!

I've got a fun recipe for you today. Pun intended. ;)

Funfetti sugar cookies!

These are some miiiighty fine cookies. My coworkers raved about them. They became obsessed with them. And I'm not joking.

The recipe is from the amazing Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction. I've tried a few of her recipes now, and none have disappointed!!

You'll have to forgive my not-so-great photos. I only quickly snapped a few at work before sharing them with coworkers. If you want to see some really awesome photos, check out Sally's!


-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 large egg, at room temperature
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. cream of tartar
-1/2 cup sprinkles


With a hand or stand mixer, cream the softened butter for one minute on medium speed. Once it's nice and smooth, add the sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down sides as needed.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three increments. The dough will be thick; at the end, you may have to mix it by hand. Fold in the sprinkles until evenly distributed.

Scoop about two tablespoons of dough at a time, and roll into balls. Make sure the balls are taller, not wide. Add a few more sprinkles to the top of the dough, if desired. Chill the balls of dough on a cookie sheet or plate, for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours. This is very important; don't skip the chilling step!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Bake chilled cookie dough balls for 8 minutes, no more. The cookies will look underdone and quite soft. This is okay, as they will continue cooking slightly while on the warm cookie sheet. Let sit on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely. Makes about 15 cookies.

I actually doubled the recipe above! I wanted to make sure I had enough for my coworkers. So, I brought about 30 cookies to work. Aaaand, I have fewer than 30 coworkers. And by the end of the day, there were no cookies left. Hmmmm....

 I used two different kinds of sprinkles in my cookies, simply because I didn't have enough of one kind. Use any type of sprinkle your heart desires!

If you make these, you'll want to pay close attention to a few tips that Sally shares on her site. First of all, don't omit the cream of tartar. And secondly, make sure your butter is softened and your egg is at room temp.

As you can see from the photo below, these are some large cookies! They fit nicely into the palm of my hand. And I actually have big hands (I'm not kidding about my hands).

Now, my cookies flattened a bit more than Sally's did (see her photos). I'm not entirely sure why but it could be any number of things really... Perhaps my baking soda or powder are out of date (I should probably go check!), or maybe it would have benefitted me to leave the dough in the fridge a bit longer (I left it in for 30 minutes; when I make these again, I think I'll go for at least an hour). We'll see! Regardless, these cookies were fantastic. Soooo soft, doughy, and delicious. Everyone who tried them loved them!  And I am sure you will too when you try them. ;) This is a sugar cookie recipe that will not disappoint!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Banana Blueberry Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I love oatmeal. And I love coming up with new ideas for ingredients and flavors to add to my oatmeal. This past weekend I made a tasty combination that I thought was blog worthy, so here I am to share it with you!

The ingredients are simple and wholesome - oats, water, milk, banana, blueberries, peanut butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Easy! It was a cool, rainy weekend here in Boston; enjoying a warm bowl of this oatmeal for breakfast really hit the spot!


-1 cup water
-1 cup milk (I used 1%)
-dash of salt
-1 cup old-fashioned oats
-1 tsp. butter
-1 banana (preferably not too ripe but not green either)
-1 Tbsp. peanut butter
-1/2 to 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup fresh blueberries
-1 to 2 tsp. real maple syrup (optional)


Bring water, milk, and dash of salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. In the meantime, while the water/milk is coming to a boil, slice the banana into 1/4-inch round slices. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the banana slices and cook until soft and caramelized, about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Be careful not to burn the bananas. They should be lightly golden browned though.

Once the water/milk has come to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. Keep an eye on the oats, stirring occasionally until liquids are absorbed. This should be about 5 to 7 minutes but may vary depending on your stove/heat. Nearing the end of cooking the oats, add the peanut butter and cinnamon and stir well to incorporate it into the oats. Remove from heat, and fold in blueberries. If desired, add a drizzle of maple syrup at this time. Dish into bowls and serve while hot. Enjoy! Makes two servings.

As for the oatmeal itself, I added one cup of water and one cup of milk. I like to add milk to my oatmeal since it makes the oatmeal a little more rich and creamy. You are welcome to only add water for the liquid though, if you'd like, or you can use milk for the entire two cups. Or, use half and half like I did!

I wish I had taken a picture of just the caramelized bananas for you. They were so pretty. :) And in my dish of oatmeal, you can't really see any bananas (but they're in there, I promise!). The caramelized bananas added a really nice sweetness to the dish. So good! And the blueberries were a great addition too; each one added a nice little burst of fruity sweetness!

I couldn't resist adding a few more sprinkles of cinnamon to my oatmeal before I ate it. I looove my cinnamon!

Nice little plug for Tufts, my brother's alma mater, with that mug. He was here in Boston visiting us this weekend, so of course, I had to use my Tufts mug!!

I already want to make this exact bowl of oats again! Hmmm, perhaps that will be tomorrow morning's breakfast. It is a three-day weekend, after all, and that means more time in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I wouldn't have enough time on a weekday morning to make oats like this! I just don't take a lot of time to prepare breakfasts on the weekdays.

I suppose I should have added some red to this bowl (strawberries perhaps??) to make it a more patriotic breakfast for Memorial Day weekend! I hope everyone takes the time to pause and reflect on the reasons we celebrate this national holiday. Please remember our military veterans who have served our country with honor and bravery!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Easy No-Bake Coconut Cocoa Cookies

This week is all about bringing you recipes that don't require the oven. The first no-bake recipe I shared this week was on the healthier side...chocolate almond date balls. But this next no-bake recipe, I'm afraid, isn't so healthy. It involves sugar...and quite a bit of it. Oops. :) But everything in moderation, right??

This recipe for easy no-bake cocoa cookies comes from Bran Appetit, a blog that I've enjoyed reading for a while. It's a perfect recipe when you're looking to make a sweet, chocolate-y cookie, but you're not looking to turn on that oven. ;)

I halved the original recipe, and the ingredients I'm sharing below are the half proportions. The original recipe can be found here. And also, I added coconut, which I thought was delicious, but if you're not a coconut fan, feel free to omit it.


-1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
-1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup quick cooking oats
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-pinch of salt
-approx. 2/3 to 3/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)


Line two cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper. Put butter, milk, and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes; this is important! Set a timer to be sure it boils for 3 full minutes. After 3 minutes, take the pan off the heat, and stir in the oats, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. If using, stir in the coconut. Drop mixture by spoonful onto the wax or parchment paper. Let cookies sit until they are set and easily come off the paper. Store in airtight container. Makes about 20 cookies.

My cookies didn't exactly come out uniform in shape or size, but oh well. Looks don't matter when it comes to no-bakes. :)

I shared these with Mike's frisbee team, and everybody loved them! They were almost fudge-like, and I loved the texture from the additions of the oats and coconut.

Served with a nice, cold glass of milk (I mean, how can you have cookies like this without milk??), you've got yourself a delicious, simple dessert. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Easy, Healthy Chocolate Almond Date Balls

I'm all about easy recipes. And despite the abundance of cupcake, cookie, and brownie recipes on the blog, I'm also all about healthy recipes. I promise. ;) And recipes that are both easy and healthy? The best!

Today I bring you one of those recipes. Are you familiar with Larabars? I'd almost liken these little chocolate almond date balls to larabars...but in "ball" form. The texture and taste are quite similar in a lot of ways!

What are the healthy ingredients in this recipe? Well, they're simply dates, almonds, cocoa powder, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Couldn't be easier! The original recipe is from the blog, Brittney Breathing. And it actually calls for almond butter instead of peanut butter and honey instead of maple syrup. The peanut butter and maple syrup were my own substitutions. But I want you to know that you're more than welcome to make these with almond butter and honey instead, if you'd like! For someone with peanut allergies, these would be great with the almond butter option. The ingredients below are what I used, and be sure to check the original recipe for Brittney's ingredients.


-8 to 10 pitted dates
-1/2 cup almonds
-1/8 cup cocoa powder
-1 Tbsp. peanut butter
-1 Tbsp. maple syrup
-1 tsp. vanilla
-cinnamon (1/4 to 1/2 tsp.)


Boil the dates in water for 10 minutes to soften them. Drain and set dates aside. In a food processor, process the almonds until they are in small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients, and pulse until all the ingredients are well-combined. The mixture may be slightly crumbly. Form into 1-inch balls and place in fridge for 1 to 2 hours before enjoying. Continue to store in the fridge as well. Makes 8 balls.

I loved these! They did not last long in our household. Mike and I ate them in no time at all. Time to make another batch already. ;)

In fact, next time I will definitely make a double batch. Eight of these from one batch just isn't enough!

As I said earlier, the texture of these is similar to a Larabar. They're not going to be crunchy; instead, they are pretty dense and chewy, as you can probably tell from the photos. 

If you didn't happen to have almonds on hand, I bet you could substitute walnuts pretty easily, or any nut for that matter.

Healthy, homemade snacks like these are my favorite. I get so excited about these kinds of things! They're perfect to have as a mid-day snack at work or a healthy option for that next road trip you might be taking.

Happy healthy snacking!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bites

These little treats are kind of like a cookie...or a scone...or a muffin. Or, a combination of all three. So what does that make them? A scooffin?? Muffonie? Ha. :)

Regardless of what the best name for these treats is, one thing that is for sure is that they are deeelicious. And the flavors of these "bites" got better the longer they sat too. I thought they tasted better on day 3 than on day 1!

The recipe is from "Liv Life," a blog I stumbled upon through Pinterest. I'm glad I found it! What a terrific recipe this is. I can foresee making this recipe again and again over the years. Whether it's a treat for a road trip, an easy breakfast on a busy weekday, or an after school snack for the kiddos, this recipe is a keeper!


-1/2 cup mashed banana
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 cup old-fashioned oats
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/4 baking soda
-2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using. Drop dough, two tablespoons at a time, onto prepared cookie sheets. If desired, flatten slightly to about 1/2 of an inch think. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 12 breakfast bites.

Store in airtight container for up to 4 days.

I also wanted to be sure to note that the original recipe for these actually calls for raisins, not chocolate chips. But I just couldn't help myself! I felt like these breakfast bites needed chocolate chips. But I am sure they'd be delicious with raisins too. :)

And can we talk about the health factor of these little guys? They're actually pretty good for you! Banana, peanut butter, oats, whole wheat flour, dark chocolate... And then, the natural sweetener of honey is used, and that has some health benefits as well! 

I actually didn't flatten these before baking. I just left them as is. But, if you wanted to give that a try, feel free! My bites were a bit more freeform.

What often happens when I'm blogging about a recipe is that I start to crave what I'm writing about... And that is definitely happening right now. I totally want to head to the kitchen and make these again!

I actually made these breakfast bites a couple weekends ago when my sister, Melissa, and our friend, Meg, and I ran a half marathon together! We ran the Middlebury Maple Run in Middlebury, VT. I made these treats as a snack for our road trip. They were the perfect healthy option for the car ride!

Here we are after the race. We all survived! And we definitely snacked on a couple of my pb banana oatmeal chocolate chip breakfast bites after the race too. We totally deserved them after running 13.1 miles. ;)

I realized that I have a few other recipes on the blog that are similar to these breakfast bites, so I thought I'd share them again with you if you love these flavors like I do!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter

It's times like these when I wish we had the capability to send smells through the Internet. The aroma of this butterscotch white chocolate peanut butter is absolutely one of my new favorite things. It's addictive. Like, I want to open the peanut butter container and just sit there and smell it for a looong, looong time.

Sorry. I'm strange. :)

But really, if you make this peanut butter you'll understand what I'm talking about! The roasted peanuts, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and vanilla extract come together in an awesome way. And of course, not only does this peanut butter smell amazing, but it tastes amazing too!

I recently made this peanut butter as a birthday gift for my sister (happy birthday again, sista!). She is the biggest fan of white chocolate that I know...and she's also quite the butterscotch I knew she'd love this peanut butter!

This wonderful recipe comes from the lovely Averie of Averie Cooks. Remember a couple weeks ago when I posted about homemade peanut butter? Well, that was Averie's great recipe, just like this one is hers. Since initially making that peanut butter, I've continued to make homemade peanut butter on a regular basis, and I'm hooked! But I also have quickly become intrigued by the flavored varieties of homemade pb, and so I ventured into the butterscotch white chocolate world with this recipe...

As with the plain peanut butter, this recipe could not be easier. The food processor does all the work! Averie's recipe calls for using honey roasted peanuts but I actually used plain roasted peanuts, simply because that's what I bought at the store. I bet honey roasted would be amazing though! The ingredients below are what I used, and Averie's original recipe can be found here. I modified it slightly; I used a smaller amount of both types of baking chips and also slightly less of the vanilla extract too (2 tsp. vs. 1 Tbsp.).


-16 oz. roasted peanuts (unsalted)
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-3/4 cup butterscotch baking chips
-3/4 cup white chocolate baking chips
-pinch of salt, optional


Add peanuts to food processor, and process on high until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and salt, if using. Continue to process, about 2 to 3 minutes or until everything is well-incorporated and desired consistency is reached.

Transfer peanut butter to a glass jar or an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or store in refrigerator for a few months.

If you store the peanut butter in the fridge, it will harden slightly. Before using it, I'd recommend taking it out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 10 or 15 minutes. Then it will spread quite nicely.

As you may notice if you look at Averie's original recipe, it calls for 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of both types of chips. I started with just 3/4 cup of each and then tasted it... And I liked what I tasted, so I stopped there! But you could definitely add more baking chips if that suits your tastes.

Honestly, it's like magic to make peanut butter at home. I said that in my post about regular peanut butter too, and it's so true! I love watching it come together. You can sit back and relax while the food processor does all the work with this one.

As you can see, immediately after the peanut butter was done, it was a really nice, smooth consistency. And as I mentioned above, this will go away somewhat if you store it in the fridge. If you keep it at room temp, this consistency will stay better. But, your peanut butter won't last as long at room temp... But honestly, in whose house is this peanut butter going to last a long time anyway?! It will disappear so quickly, I promise you!

I didn't take too many pictures of this peanut butter. I gave 95% of it to my sister in a recycled/reused peanut butter jar, and I have to admit, I kept about 5% of it for Mike and me! I couldn't resist! Sista, I'm sorry that I only gave you 95% of your birthday gift. I couldn't help it. I know you understand. ;)

Just a word of caution... Be careful about going near this peanut butter with a spoon. One thing might lead to another and, well...before you know it, your spoon might be scraping the bottom of the jar. ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spice Cake Snickerdoodles

Apparently this week I'm all about snickerdoodles! Earlier in the week I posted a recipe for snickerdoodle bread (which is sooo good), and now I'm bringing you a twist on snickerdoodle cookies in the form of spice cake snickerdoodles! What makes them spice cake snickerdoodles? Well, I'm glad you asked!

The base of this recipe is a boxed cake mix. A spice cake mix. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know my thoughts on cake mix cookies... Although I prefer to bake from scratch, every now and then a gal needs her shortcuts. And that's where cake mix comes in! I've made many different cake mix cookie recipes over the years, and now I bring you another one. It couldn't be easier! Thanks to the cake mix, the recipe requires very few ingredients, and you don't need an electric mixer either. Everything's done by hand in one bowl!


-1 box spice cake mix (e.g., Betty Crocker)
-2 eggs
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-3 Tbsp. sugar
-1 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, and vegetable oil until well-incorporated. In a separate, small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Form the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until it's well coated. Place on prepared cookie sheets, and bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the cookie springs back if you touch it with a finger (and the tops of the cookies are "cracked"). Let sit on cookie sheet for a couple minutes before cooling completely on cooling rack. Store in airtight container. Makes 18 to 22 cookies.

You are going to love the ease of this recipe! And of course, you're also going to love the taste of these cookies. The cinnamon sugar coating around the cookies is what put these over the top for me. Love that!

Spice cake is one of my favorite types of cakes. But in cookie form? It's even better. If presented with a cookie and a slice of cake and told that I could only have one, I think I'd actually select the cookie over the cake about 9 out of 10 times. ;)

Check it out - our cat, Whiskey, photobombed one of my pictures! Too funny. He just popped right up there as I was taking a picture. Guess he wanted in on these spice cake snickerdoodles too. :)

And while we're on a snickerdoodle kick, here are a few other snickerdoodle recipes from my blog!

Maple Snickerdoodles (from scratch, not cake mix)