Monthly Archives: December 2011

Lifesaver Stained Glass Rolled Sugar Cookies

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As I said before, I received a complimentary box of goodies from Wrigley’s and I’ve been using the candy for recipes ever since.

I was intrigued when I saw these stained glass cookies.  The recipe called for ‘hard candies’ and I had just gotten some Lifesaver’s in my box, so it was perfect.

They’re really pretty and will definitely impress a crowd.  They could even be used as ornaments if you can resist eating them.  Good luck with that.

The sugar cookies were some of the best I’ve ever had.  I normally overload sugar cookies with frosting, but these didn’t even need frosting.  You can add frosting if you want, but you won’t need it.  They kind of melt in your mouth and they’re just sweet enough without being overpowering.  And then you get to the center for a crunch from the melted Lifesaver’s.

I received free product courtesy of Wrigley, but that it did not influence any opinions expressed in my post.

What’s your favorite sugar cookie recipe? 

Lifesaver Stained Glass Rolled Sugar Cookies
From: All Recipes


  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 packs hard Lifesaver’s


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface ¼ to ½ inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Use a small circular cut-out (I used a bottle cap) to form circles in the middle of each cookie.
  4. Crush up Lifesavers into small pieces.  Fill each circle with crushed Lifesaver’s.  Make sure it’s completely filled to the edges.
  5. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


    Cherry White Chocolate Skittle and Lifesaver Bark {DIY Creations with Wrigley Candy for the Holiday}

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    I hope you all had a Merry Christmas/happy holiday.

    I had 3 Christmas’ this year and I’m sad it’s over, but I’m so lucky that I was able to celebrate with all the people I love.

    I asked Santa for money this year so I could have some reconstruction done to my site by Southtown Creative.  I highly recommend it!

    Anyway, sorry for the short hiatus, but it’s been a busy week.  Since I’m sure you all have, too, I’m posting an easy recipe today.

    Wrigley kindly sent me a humongous box of candy (this did not influence any opinions) and asked, “How do YOU use Wrigley gum and confections in your entertaining, celebrating, or DIY-ing?“

    Amy Atlas is an amazing sweets stylist, so I’ve got nothing on her, but I made some bark.  It was a long shot, but it ended up tasted really good and the kids in my family really enjoyed it.  I really think it was the addition of the cherry flavoring.  Without it, the chocolate would have been too overpowering.

    If you want to see some awesome creations, go check out Amy’s site.

    Cherry White Chocolate Skittle and Lifesaver Bark

    1 package Vanilla Almond Bark
    2 teaspoons oil
    1 teaspoon cherry extract
    2 cups skittles
    2 packages crushed up lifesavers
    Optional: Colored sugars

    1.  Melt the vanilla almond bark with the oil in the microwave. (About 2 minutes)
    2.  Poor almond bark on a nonstick surface and spread a thin layer.  (I used parchment paper)
    3.  Layer skittles, lifesavers, and sugars over the melted chocolate.
    4.  Let cool until hardened, break apart and serve.

    Vanilla Protein Powder Granola with Dates (Baking Christmas Gift Ideas)

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    With Christmas being less than a week away, I’m sure I’m not the only one scrambling to get gifts together for people.

    Food is the way to people’s heart, and when it’s homemade, that just makes it even better.
    Here are some delicious recipes from some of my favorite blogs (photos below are not mine):
    Lastly, click here (Julie @ PB Fingers) to help make a little kid’s Christmas wish come true.  It’s the easiest act of kindness you could do today.  
    This vanilla protein powder granola was my favorite granola I’ve ever made.  The vanilla protein powder just made it sweet enough and it was super crunchy.  It kept well in the freezer for 2 weeks and would be the perfect Christmas present.  Just pour it in a mason jar and add a bow… easy!

    Vanilla Protein Powder Granola with Dates
    Adapted from: AllRecipes
    • 4 cups rolled oats
    • ½ cup wheat germ
    • ¼ cup flax seed meal
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
    • ½ cup chopped dates
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil
    • ¼ cup honey
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, flax seed meal, brown sugar, dates, cinnamon and salt.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, and vanilla. 
    4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and mix until evenly blended. Spread in a greased 9×13 or 11×7 inch baking pan.
    5. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, or until toasted.
    6. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

    Eggnog Snickerdoodles (with eggnog in the batter)

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    I’ve come to find out that eggnog is pretty hit and miss with people.

    Eggnog Types:

    There are the people who say, “Yes, it’s the best drink ever.”  These are the die-hard eggnog fans.

    There are the people who say, “Yes, it’s pretty good.”  These are the eggnog likers.

    There are the people who say, “No, it’s disgusting.”  These are the eggnog haters.

    There are the people who say, “I’ve never tried it.”  These are the eggnots.

    There are the people who say, “Yes, but I can’t drink it because I’m on a diet.”  These are the eggnog avoiders.

    There are the people who say, “Yes, but I only like my eggnog with whiskey.”  These are the alcoholics.  Just kidding! (But really.)

    Lastly, there are the people who say, “Only in baked goods.”  These are the people who will like this recipe.

    Where do you rank on the list?  I’m an eggnog liker.

    Eggnog Snickerdoodles (with eggnog in the batter)
    Smitten Kitchen
    I searched high and low for an eggnog snickerdoodle recipe that actually used eggnog in it.  When I couldn’t find one, I made my own using Deb’s snickerdoodle recipe.  This is an easy eggnog recipe.  These are the fluffiest, lightest cookies I’ve ever made.  It was like eating a cloud.  So good!  The eggnog flavor wasn’t overpowering, but shined through just enough… and let me just tell you that eggnog snickerdoodle cookie dough is the best cookie dough ever.


    1 ½ c flour
    ½ stick butter
    ½ cup sugar
    1 egg
    ½ cup eggnog (I used Soy Nog)
    ½ tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/8 cup sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon for rolling

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
    2. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and ½ cup sugar.
    4. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
    5. Add egg and eggnog, and beat to combine.
    6. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. Don’t overmix.
    7. At this point, you can chill the dough for an hour or overnight to make the dough easier to scoop, but I was too impatient for this part and they turned out fine. 
    8. Once dough has chilled (or not), in a small bowl, combine 1/8 cup sugar and 1 tbsp ground cinnamon.
    9. Use a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. 
    10. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
    11. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. The cookies will feel a little doughy when you touch them, but trust me, they’re finished.
    12. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. In theory, they can be stored in an airtight container up to one week.


    Smorgie- The easy way to keep track of restaurants

    Have you ever eaten somewhere that was amazing and then you go to tell your friends about it or try to find it again and you can’t because you forgot the name?

    Yeah, I do that all the time.

    How about a restaurant that a friend told you about that you really wanted to try, but, once again, you forgot the name so you can’t?

    Yep, I do that all the time, too.

    If you haven’t heard of Smorgie ( and you suffer from brain farts, definitely check out this site.  It’s pretty sweet.

    What is it? You can create lists and add restaurants where you’ve eaten or want to eat and then add a description about the restaurant.  It’s basically a restaurant diary.  You eat somewhere, sign in to Smorgie, write a description about the place where you just ate, you add it to a list, and repeat. Or, you’re dying to eat at a restaurant, and so you don’t forget, you log it on Smorgie so you don’t forget about it.

    For example, I created a list called “Places I’d Like to Visit Again.”

    In that category, I created a place: Magnolia Bakery.

    Super simple to use, super helpful, and it’s freeeee! 

    And they have an iPhone app, too, which makes it the perfect website for traveling.  When I visited New York and Portland, I ate at so many restaurants and had so much amazing food, but there’s no way that I could remember them all.  I really wish I would’ve had Smorgie then.

    Have you used Smorgie?  What do you think about it?

    Apple Pie with Pecan Pie Filling and Streusel Topping

    I love pecan pie.

    Buuuttt I always pick off the pecans… what’s the point, right?  The ooey, gooey, caramel-y filling is the point.

    Now that I’ve gotten older, I really kind of like the pecans, but the habit of picking them off when I was little is just ingrained in me now.

    Since I didn’t want to waste any expensive pecans, I figured I’d just sub them for apples.

    I’ll admit that it was kind of a long shot, but oh so worth it.  It didn’t turn out like I thought it would, but it was pretty amazing.  *I was expecting the filling to be gooey like it is in pecan pie, but I made a mistake and I mixed the apples in instead of layering the filling and then the apples, so learn from me and don’t do that if you want the gooeyness.  If you just want a sweet and sticky overflowing apple pie, then mix it.

    Sorry for all the pictures… I kind of went a little crazy, but the pie was just so gorgeous, I couldn’t resist.

    What’s your opinion on pecan pie?
    Do you have any eating habits that are ingrained in you from childhood?


    Apple Pie with Pecan Pie Filling and Streusel Topping
    Adapted from: All Recipes and Karly @ Buns in My Oven

    • Ingredients
    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • ½ cup butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 8 apples of choice, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
    • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
    • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 8 tbsp butter, cubed
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. 
    3. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk and vanilla.
    4. Pour into your unbaked pie shell. 
    5. *Layer the apple slices on top, or fold in. 
    6. In a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients except the butter.  
    7. Cut in the butter until well combined and you have small pea sized lumps. 
    8. Sprinkle this over the pie. There will be a lot of topping, but use it all.
    9. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

    One Bowl Brownies with Almond-Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

    Want to hear how big of a dummy I am?

    Kellen and I recently had our two year anniversary, so I thought I’d make him something sweet. My plan was to make a layered heart brownie cake. You might be wondering why the brownie in the picture is only one layer.

    Let me tell you what you should probably never do.

    You should probably never use plastic cookie cutters as molds in a 350 degree oven.

    They might melt.

    Just one of my many kitchen failures.  It happens!

    Luckily, part of it was salvaged and the brownies are not faulty like their baker.  The recipe is actually one of my favorite brownie recipes out there.  They’re almost fudge-like, but still a bit crunchy.  And it only takes one bowl to make them.  Perfection if you ask me.

    Please share your kitchen disaster stories so I don’t feel alone. 

    One Bowl Brownies with Almond-Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
    Recipe from: All Recipes


    • 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
    • ¾ cup butter
    • 1 ½ cups white sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
    2. Microwave chocolate and butter or margarine in large bowl at high for 2 minutes or until butter or margarine is melted.
    3. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour.
    4. Spread in greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake for 35 minutes (do not overbake).
    5. Frost with this frosting.

    Easy Peasy 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

    Thanksgiving is over and that means you deserve a break from cooking and baking.

    These are the easiest cookies to make ever.  You’ll barely have to move.  
    When I saw the recipe, I did a double-take, because seriously, what kind of cookie would turn out well with only 3 ingredients?  These cookies.  Not only are these good, they’re daaang good.  I can’t go to a party empty-handed, so I whipped these up real quick and 20 minutes later I had little bites of heaven.  The outside is crisp and the inside is chewy. The only thing I would change next time is reducing the sugar.  Not that they were too sweet, but I think I could’ve reduced it a little bit.  These babies are delicious.  I guess it’s true that simple is better.

    Easy Peasy 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies


    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 egg


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Combine the peanut butter, white sugar and egg. Mix until smooth.
    3. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not overbake! These cookies are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms.

    WIAW + Healthy Coconut Oil Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

    I decided to do a “WIAW” post.
    If you’ve ever wondered what I eat on a daily basis, be curious no more: (This is from last week and, for the record, I didn’t wake up until 12… woops.)Breakfast:  Banana soft serve- 2 small bananas + 1 tbsp wheat germ + 1 scoop protein powder blended
    1 coconut oil Reese’s (recipe below)

    Snack 1: 
    Peanut butter cookie (recipe soon)

    Salad- Lettuce, ½ cup pinto beans, ½ cup morningstar farms meat crumbles, ¼ cup shredded cheese, ranch dressing

    Snack 2:
    Cup of Chai Latte
    1 (unpictured) Reese’s cup

    Tortilla wrap- ½ sweet potato, lettuce, ½ cup pinto beans, ¼ cup morningstar meat crumbles
    Green beans

    Snack 3:
    1 honey-on-the-bottom greek yogurt
    Homemade granola (recipe also coming soon)

    So, there ya have it. Now, here’s the Reese’s cup recipe. I like them so much better than the original ones.  They don’t taste processed and maybe knowing that they’re good for me helps the taste, too.  
    Healthy Coconut Oil Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
    Ingredients:Chocolate:½ cup cocoa powder
    ¼ cup melted coconut oil
    ¼ cup honeyPeanut butter:½ cup peanut butter 
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Directions:1.  Mix chocolate ingredients until well blended and pour half of the mixture into a mini muffin tin.2.  Let cool in freezer for 5 minutes.3.  Add about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture to each of the hardened chocolate.4.  Evenly distribute and pour the rest of the chocolate mixture onto the top of each dollop of peanut butter.5.  Refrigerate until hardened and enjoy. Keep refrigerated.