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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Guess what?? I have a recipe for you!!!

So I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie…

I think it was mostly because it was hard to accept that a dessert incorporated a vegetable.

Because of that, I never felt the urge to jump on the pumpkin-flavored bandwagon.

But then my husband came home one day last week with Pumpkin Spice Morsels (or as I call them, pumpkin flavored chocolate chips).

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Look at those pumpkin spice chocolate chips!

I couldn’t just ignore them, so I ate a few…

I was hooked.

I used them to make these cookies and they were a hit!

In fact, my husband came over to me and said, “I can’t believe I’m eating ANOTHER cookie!”

And no one was forcing him.

That says a lot for a guy who doesn’t like desserts with flour in them (his words)…

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Fall plate, fall tablecloth, fall cookies… ¬†ūüôā

I had already made pumpkin cakes for Halloween, just because I needed something simple to bake.

But it was the morsels that changed my life forever.

OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but…¬†I’m all about vegetables in my desserts now!!

Well, not like broccoli or peppers or anything like that.

Alright, maybe just pumpkin.

So I also plan on making low fat pumpkin breadРand of course I will happily make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Am I on the bandwagon or what?!?! ¬†ūüôā

 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from¬†NESTL√Č)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup¬†quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup¬†pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup¬†NESTL√Ȭģ Pumpkin Spice Morsels¬†(or you can use more if you prefer!)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet liners.

Mix flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until combined.

Add pureed pumpkin.

Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in morsels.

Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 350¬į F¬†for 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Welcome to pumpkin bliss!!

 

Halloween Food 2015

No cutesie desserts for Halloween this year. ¬†ūüė¶

But I still tried to do something– in between house hunting, full time work, and taking care of the kids…

Little Pumpkin Cakes.  Even my husband liked them (which is quite rare when it comes to desserts).  

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Mousse Cups. ¬†I’m guessing my husband liked these too, because when I went to ask him, he handed me an empty cup.

Candy Corn colors!

Oh yeah, and I went to Fright Fest at Six Flags.

The zombies came out at 6pm to scare people.

Luckily, I was walking around with my kids, so I knew they wouldn’t scare us.

Yeah, I was very wrong.  Apparently, they scare you even more when you have little frightened kids with you.

Not kidding.

How did I find this out? ¬† Well at the beginning,¬†I was strolling along with my ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I-know-you-won’t-scare-me-shield (a.k.a., my 8-year-old), when all of a sudden– a psycho clown came out of nowhere and chased us with a chainsaw (which was on).

I took off running and screaming, and dragging my son behind me.  

Quite the sight.

And it got worse from there…

Anyway, enough of my traumatic experiences… ¬†here is my annual Halloween Brownie Pizza:

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Look closely and you’ll see little spiders! No, they’re not real…

And I made some Halloween dinners (not all on the same day).

As seen in previous years (2014, 2013, earlier), I obviously have a need to make yucky spiders out of food. Even though they scare me half to death:

I got this idea from the Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons blog.

I got this idea from the Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons blog.

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Some scary Fettucine Faces:

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And my Hot Dog Mummies again!

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And– the grand finale– my kids’ pumpkins!!

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Olaf Party (Part 2)

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I’m finally back with Part 2 of my Olaf Party!

This might be my last post for a little while because we are moving!

If you read¬†the Part 1¬†post, you know I’m allergic to Alabama… so… you know… ¬†ūüôā

Anyway, here are the cake balls (supposed to be snowballs).

I’m embarrassed to post Olaf because I made a mess– but my son liked him, so here he is:

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Who would’ve known that it was nearly impossible for me to make a decent-looking fondant Olaf?!?! ¬†I sat there for hours and finally gave up. ¬†Here’s the final product.

These are the snow-covered pretzels.

No, it’s not really snow.

Yes, it’s chocolate.

OK, can we move along now?

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The mini cupcakes:

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I made the chocolate snowflake toppers.

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On these, I put little homemade fondant confetti.  Yes, there is such a thing. I made it up.

The little snowflake cookies (I cheated– I make these for Christmas, so they were easy):

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And finally, my bigger snowflake cookies.

They came out the wrong shade and I had no time to re-do them, so they got banned from the dessert table.

I’m serious.

In fact, I threw them out as punishment.

I’m joking.

About the punishment, not the banning.  Really.

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Oh why, blue, did you come out wrong???

I left them off the table, but I did give them to the kids as they each went home.

Sweet little kids– no one was offended by the wrong shade of blue! ¬†ūüôā

And here are a few of the little extras (not all) I had for the party:

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Now I have to pack.  See you next time!

Olaf Party (Part 1)

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I’m back!

Ok, you probably didn’t know I was gone in the first place… but… I’m back anyway!

After over 9 weeks of daily headaches and dizziness, ¬†I found out I’m allergic to Alabama! ¬†ūüôā

Feeling a little better now, but who cares–¬† here’s Olaf!

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I decided to do a very easy dessert table because we’ve been too busy.

And it worked!  Olaf was really simple to make.

My son was extra happy about his nose.  He said I made it look like a real carrot:

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And here’s the second cake (yes, there were only 2 this time– I can’t believe it!):

(Wow, lots of exclamation points in this post. ¬†Moving along…)

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I love my new snowflake fondant cutters!

So nothing extravagant– but the kids liked it.

Stay tuned for the rest of the dessert table in Part 2!

 

Valentine’s Desserts 2015

I realize I’m always making excuses for not baking more.

So I’m not going to mention¬†the usual craziness…

I will only say that my sinuses have been kicking my butt for 6 weeks.

Yes, 6 full weeks and still going.

But I forced myself to make at least something for the kids for Valentine’s Day!

Here are my low fat sugar cookies:

Sugar cookie a

 

Sugar cookies 2a

And chocolate-dipped pretzels:

Valentine pretzels a

And since that was all I was able to accomplish, I quickly made some heart-shaped waffles for breakfast:

Heart waffles a

And eggs with a heart cut out!

Heart eggs 2a

That’s all. ¬†

Hopefully once I feel better, I’ll be back with more stuff.

Wish me luck! ¬†ūüôā

Christmas Desserts 2014

I wish I could say something new this year, but it’s the same: ¬†I ran out of time.

I was doing really well, until my husband had to travel during 2 weeks in December.

Yeah, in December!  Can you believe him???

I mean, couldn’t he just say he needed to stay home so his wife could bake Christmas cookies?

I’m sure his boss would understand…

OK, back to reality.

Here are my new sugar cookie trees– I call them my “Whimsical Trees:”

Whimsical trees 2a

I love them!  The funny thing is that I made them with a leaf cookie cutter that I bought in a Thanksgiving pack.

I also made mini cupcakes with fondant toppers:

Christmas Cupcakes a

Cappuccino Biscotti so my husband won’t cry that he doesn’t like any of the desserts:

Cappuccino biscotti a

Lace Florentines (these cookies are seriously delicate.  I cracked a bunch just trying to break one in half to try it. Good news is that I got to eat the broken pieces).  

They each have 2 thin cookies with melted chocolate in the middle:

Lace Florentines a

There are 13 cookies stacked on top of each other! (Actually 26 because they are sandwich cookies.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies, with cute Christmas chocolate chips!

I was very excited when I found Christmas color chips, until they turned pink and light green after I baked them.

Oh well, just make believe they are red and green!

Chocolate Chip Cookies 2a

Oreo Cheesecake cookies:

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies 2a

And my usual ones…

I know, I keep posting the same cookies every year…

But how else can I prove that I made sooo many desserts that they almost killed me?

Here are my favorite tree cookies!!!!

Christmas tree cookies a

My Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti:

Low fat biscotti. ajpg

Dipped in dark chocolate.

Really big snowflake cookies:

Big Snowflake Cookies a

Medium snowflake cookies:

Medium Snowflake Cookies a

Small snowflake cookies.  

Yes, I’m now done with snowflake cookies:

Small Snowflake Cookies a

Chocolate Spritz Cookies:

Chocolate Spritz Cookies a

And Rainbow Cookies:

Rainbow cookies a

And that’s it!! I actually had a few more on my list, but I’m exhausted! ¬†ūüė¶

Now I have another million things to do, so I better stop writing.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

 

Halloween Food 2014

This year I didn’t go crazy baking way too many Halloween desserts for some reason.

Maybe it was because my husband was traveling all week and I was running around like crazy after my kids.

I had to stop every few minutes to shout, “Stop [insert appropriate phrase¬†here: (fighting, walking on the table, jumping headfirst off the couch, etc.)]!”

And in all that chaos, I somehow managed to make SOMEthing.

I had to throw this little cake together really quickly:

Ghost cake a

I made the ghosts out of white chocolate.

I also made my usual sugar cookies, but decorated a bit differently this year.

For the first time, I used colored sugar¬†on some, and used a different color glaze for others. ¬†I’m a rebel!

Bat cookies a Ghost cookies aBat cookies 2a

Our traditional brownie pizza (well, we started the tradition just last year):

Brownie pizza a

And I did make some cute Halloween food.  There were mummy hot dogs:

Hot dog mummies a

And deviled eggs with black olive spiders on them. 

Yes, because I like to gross myself out every year for some reason.

They were a hit with my kids.

Egg spiders a

Seriously, I couldn’t even look at these. Interesting that I feel the need to make such creepy food…

¬†My 5-year-old even put another egg on top and called it a “spider sandwich.”

Yeah, I’m still having nightmares about that one…

And finally, my kids’ pumpkins. ¬†I promised I would show them off. ¬†ūüôā

Pumpkins a

Robot Party (Part 2)

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OK, I’m back with the rest of the desserts for the Robot Party.

These are usually my favorite desserts to make because they are waaaaay easier than the cakes.

Well, the cookies were not my favorites for this party (I hope that’s not considered complaining because I promised I wouldn’t complain this time!).

Robot cookies a

They took forever because no matter what I did, they didn’t look like robots.

Monsters? Puppets?  Weird faces that come out of your TV?  Anything but robots!!!

Finally I ran out of time and convinced myself that robots can look like anything you want.  Right?  OK.

Because of those cookies, I had no time for any more robot-themed desserts, and had to settle on color-scheme desserts.

Here are the mini cupcakes:

Mini cupcakes 2b

 I had no sprinkles that were those exact colors, so I made the dots out of fondant.

Yes, it took a lot of time– but I was happy that they matched perfectly!

And some chocolate-dipped marshmallows for the kids to take home:

Marshmallow pops a

 And the cake balls:

Cake balls a

And finally, the usual  just-in-case-we-run-out-of-desserts brownies:

Brownies a

And that’s it!!¬†¬†Another party done!

Robot dessert table a

Robot Party (Part 1)

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This party nearly killed me.

Well, not the party– it was the robot cake:

Robot Cake 2b

He was over a foot tall…

Not like some weird horror movie where the robot comes to life and runs after me with a sharp spatula or something¬†— it’s just that it was probably the most difficult cake yet.

I named him Dudley while I was putting him together.

I was not happy with Dudley.

In fact, I don’t think I will be making any more of these crazy cakes in the future. ¬†I’ll stick to normal cakes.

Yes, you can blame Dudley for that…

I also made an “easy” robot cake:

Frosting robot  3a

It was not nearly as difficult as Dudley, but my hand nearly fell off from piping.

And since I had literally no time left for another cake (believe me, there are more desserts coming up in Part 2), I threw together this cake:

Robot square cake b

It didn’t look as awful as this picture! Just didn’t get a good picture of it.

Not sure why I feel compelled to make at least 3 cakes.

It’s a curse.

I know, it’s the same thing for every party:¬†I nearly die of overbaking, then I don’t like the end products, then I post them and complain, and then I do it all over again. ¬†

I’m so predictable. ¬†ūüôā

OK, see you for Part 2!  No complaining then, I promise!

 

 

4th of July Desserts 2014

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Unlike last year’s 4th of July¬†messy but yummy desserts,” ¬† this year my desserts weren’t¬†awful looking! ¬†Yay!

I made this jello:

Jello cups a

Jello cups 2a

I thought I was clever for choosing something easy like jello, but it took sooo long to make!

First, I made the blue layer and let it set for an hour.

Then I went to make the cream layer, and found that the heavy cream and sour cream had frozen in my refrigerator!

So I had to wait for them to defrost.

Then I made the cream on the stove, which took forever since I had to stir constantly…

Then another hour for it to set.

Then the red layer– yet another hour.

I was kicking myself for choosing this dessert.

Plus I ended up with no time to make another dessert once I was done.

Luckily, in the middle of waiting for the jello layers, I made these:

Pretzels a

Of course, I have a big problem melting chocolate, so I wasn’t thrilled with this one either.

But in the end, even though the desserts drove me crazy, they looked pretty and they tasted good.

(By the way, my husband actually really liked the jello dessert– even though he hates jello and didn’t like the cream part on its own. ¬†Which doesn’t make too much sense, but we’ll go with it.)

Yay!

 

 

Outer Space Party (Part 2)

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The 3 cakes I made for the Outer Space party were not enough (in my mind), so I made more desserts…

Outer Space Cupcakes b

Mini cupcakes and regular size cupcakes, with fondant decorations.

I made a lot of stars because originally, my son asked for a ¬†star party (he’s only 5, so I guess that was exciting for him).

When I asked what kind of cakes he wanted, he said, “Five star cakes! ¬†And star cupcakes, star cookies…” ¬†

I stopped him and suggested an Outer Space party,¬†because I figured the desserts would¬†be more fun… ¬†and of course, I can’t just take the easy route.

So, I also made sugar cookies for the kids to take home:

Outer space cookies aAnd I felt bad for the adults, so I made smaller cookies for everyone to eat at the party:

Space Cookies a

I made “Asteroids,” which were actually banana cake balls:

Cake balls a

And just in case there weren’t enough desserts, I made my just-in-case-brownies:

Space brownies aAnd that was about itРwe had enough!!  Phew!

Dessert table a

OK, next party coming soon!!! ¬†ūüôā

 

Outer Space Party (Part 1)

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Wow, I’m really behind with these posts. ¬†It’s been a crazy couple of months… birthday parties, trip to Disney, out-of-town guests, Easter, tornadoes, road trips, 2 graduations, a cruise… well, you get the idea.

Basically, the usual.

OK,¬†let’s¬†start with my son’s Outer Space party.

I decided to make easy cakes this time:

Spaceship cake 2a

This cake was over a foot long.

As easy as it seems, it took a ridiculously long time. 

Luckily, the Happy Birthday cake was a lot easier.

Instead of making it all in fondant, I used buttercream frosting, with fondant decorations:

Space cake a

 

Happy Birthday cake 2a

Then my 5-year-old wanted me to make little chocolate astronauts (I bought a mold), but  I thought they looked funny.  

He insisted.

I made them for him.

Then I hid them, hoping he’d forget.¬†

But of course, he didn’t forget.

I even distracted him with a bunch of other desserts.

He still asked for them.

I acted like I didn’t know what he was talking about.

He described them.

I gave up.

I took them out of the hiding place and set them out with a quick planet cake I whipped up:

Planet cake a

Yeah, I don’t even want to talk about it. ¬†Lol.

But he was happy with it, so that’s all that matters. ¬†Right???

OK, as long as you know that I didn’t approve of the cake… ¬†Moving right along…

Check out the rocket pi√Īata my husband made (it was over 3¬†feet long)!

Rocket pinata 2a

And let’s end with the cheese cut out in star shapes. ¬†I was really excited about these, for some reason:

Star cheese a

See you for Part 2!

 

 

Pirate Party (Part 2)

I almost forgot the rest of the Pirate Party desserts!

These are my favorite because they’re much easier than the cakes, and I can make them ahead of time.

And there was no drama, no crying, no dropping anything (well, I did drop one cookie), no freaking out, no throwing food at people… well you get the picture. ¬† ¬†ūüôā

I made sugar cookies:

Pirate Cookies a

Chocolate lollipops for the kids to take home.  They were rather large lollipops!

Chocolates a

Cupcakes, of course:

Pirate cupcakes a

I made the fondant toppers.

Little brownie pirate boats:

Pirate brownies a

And pirate marshmallows. ¬†I saw these online and couldn’t resist:

Marshmallow Pirates a

Dipped them in chocolate and drew faces with an edible marker. Super easy and they were the first to disappear!

Well, the boys seemed to enjoy the desserts.

And I did my best to feed the parents when they came to pick them up.

All in all, a success!

Pirate Dessert Table a

FYI- this is a big dining room table…

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Valentine’s Desserts 2014

I disappointed myself this year with Valentine’s Day desserts.

I had great aspirations, but then the usual happened:

My son broke his pinky, my nanny had a birthday, we had 2 Valentine’s day parties, there was a kids’ party we had to go to the prior weekend, the kids were stuck at home for 3 snow days… you know how it goes.

So, without any further excuses, here are my brownie bites:

I piped the chocolate hearts out of chocolate, and made pink buttercream frosting.

I piped the chocolate hearts, and made pink buttercream frosting.

They weren’t cutesy enough for me, since I like very pink and red desserts, with sprinkles.

But no time, so I made brown sugar blondies with Valentine’s M&Ms.

At least the cupcake cups I put them in were cutesy!

Blondies FB

And that was all I did.

But in my defense, I also had to make a birthday cake, so you know…

Mel's cake

For our awesome nanny!

As I always say, I’ll do better next year! ¬†ūüôā

Pirate Party (Part 1)

My son wanted a pirate party, and I figured a pirate ship cake wouldn’t be too difficult.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m insane.

I don’t know why, but it was one of the most difficult cakes yet!

Ship cake 2a

Everything was edible, except the sails. The board it’s on is almost 2 feet long.

I wasn’t completely happy with it, but my son loved it, and that’s all that matters.

Then I made a simple Happy Birthday cake:

Happy Birthday Pirate Cake a

And as I was dreaming up the dessert table, I felt like I needed to make another cakeРa treasure chest!  Not sure why, considering I had other desserts, plus 2 cakes already, and the party was for only 13 boys.  

It must be my obsessive baking problem.

Well, at 2am the night before the party, I was kicking myself for having decided on a third cake.  I  had been on my feet for 18 hours straight, and could barely keep my eyes open.

But I made it anyway.

And then my husband told me the treasure chest looked awful.

Yes, he went there.  (Mind you, he was tired too.)

So I picked up the cake and threw it at him.

OK, that was only in my mind. ¬†ūüôā

I actually worked on it some more (because he was right), and made it look somewhat presentable:

Treasure Chest cake a

Although I have to say, when one of the boys arrived, he immediately went to open the treasure chest. ¬†As I gasped, wondering if it would all fall apart before the party even began, he exclaimed, “Whoa! I didn’t realize it was a cake!” ¬†

Nice. ¬†Win for me. ¬†ūüôā