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Halloween/ Fall 2020

This year was very different than usual, but I still tried to make it fun for the kids. I made these Halloween cupcakes:

There were no zombies running after us this year, and no trick-or-treating. 😦 But we made new memories! There was a Halloween parade in our neighborhood, and I did a Scavenger Hunt for my kids!

Halloween Sprinkle Cookies!

Of course I made my annual Halloween Brownie Pizza– but I wasn’t able to get orange Halloween oreos. So I decided to get dark chocolate ones instead– and I told my kids I got them as spooky “rotten pepperoni.”

And my kids asked me if they were really rotten. I was confused and said, “They’re oreos!” And they proceeded to ask me again if they were rotten. Blink blink.

So… let’s move along…

My youngest and I tried making some quick chocolate-covered pretzels, but it was a bit of a disaster. Still yummy though:

I also put some creepy, crawly spiders on our pizza! Ewww!

My kids made these awesome pumpkins:

And finally, I decorated the house a little to get into the Halloween spirit:

So I guess even though this year was very different, we still made it fun and special!

Here’s to making the best of everything! 🙂

Christmas Desserts 2019

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Well, late again, but earlier than last year! 

Also, I didn’t have quite as many mishaps this year– so that’s an improvement.

My biggest ordeal was making Rice Krispies treats for my son’s class party.

We had a concert the night before, so I stayed up until 11pm making them.

I was soo tired!

But they’re pretty, aren’t they?

The infamous Rice Krispies Treats.

Anyway, I woke up and packed them up– and we got a call that schools were closed!

No, there was no snow.

No, there was no ice.

No, there was no frozen tundra.

You get the point.

There was the possibility of some freezing rain, which never came.

So… since there was no school, there was no party.

Brownie trees. As you can see, I had an obsession with drizzling chocolate this year!!

Not related to baking– but the school closing ruined everything!

I had to drive to work later and it took forever…

I had to wrap up the Rice Krispies Treats so they wouldn’t dry out (because it was a Friday)…

We had to reschedule the party for next week, when I was supposed to be working on cookies…

Pumpkin Cookies

Anyway, guess what?

I was going to take the Rice Krispies Treats in on Monday– and schools closed again!

I gave up.

Gingy!

But then my husband volunteered to deliver the treats on Tuesday.

They didn’t dry out, and the kids loved them.

So, yay!

Rainbow Cookies

Other than that, I only burned my fingers twice on baking sheets.

But I didn’t drop the cookies as I screamed and let go of the sheets!

Shortbread Cookies

And the last crazy thing that happened was when I baked some white chocolate peppermint cookies:

Very Pepperminty Cookies

I used 3 different silicone sheets to bake them– and the peppermint smell wouldn’t come out!

I soaked them, scrubbed them, used vinegar, etc.

So I had my husband just buy me more because I was running out of time!

And eventually the smell did come out…

Lace Florentines

Anyway, here are the rest of my desserts:

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Lemon Spritz Cookies

Chocolate Cups with Peanuts

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

And believe it or not– I used 2 ovens for the first time ever!

It was so much quicker!

Maybe next year I’ll make even more.  🙂

 

Christmas Desserts 2018

I can’t believe I’m posting this in January, but better late than never.

One day right before I started baking Christmas cookies, my husband asked me to bake some brownie bites for work.

I don’t have pictures of the brownies in this post, but that day will be this year’s Christmas List of Unfortunate Events (and I’m adding my Christmas dessert pictures).

Oh, and for those of you don’t know– my baking mishaps have become a trend!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

I was baking the brownie bites when one of my kids had a meltdown, so I went to talk to him.

Mini Cupcakes for a School Party

I didn’t hear the timer go off, and by the time I realized it, the brownies were overdone!

So I decided to make a second batch.

Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Cups

I stopped to talk in the middle of prepping, and then couldn’t remember if I had added one of the ingredients.

So I had to start again.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

The third time was the charm– except the oven decided to go up to 387 degrees for no reason, and I freaked out.

But at least they were fine.

Peppermint Blossoms

Then I was trying to put red coloring in the frosting, but accidentally used maple extract instead.

Yes, I was stressed and the bottles looked similar.

And it wasn’t just one drop– I dumped a bunch in it.

Almond Biscotti

So I had to start again with the frosting.

There’s a pattern here…

Honey Coins

And then I needed some purple frosting. 

I used really nice purple food coloring, but it didn’t work.

I tried red and blue together, but it didn’t work.

No matter what I did, it came out grayish blue.

Lace Florentines

I finally settled for white frosting with sprinkles!

Mini Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

So for those of you who ever have stressful baking episodes, I can relate.

 

See you for the next episode of My List of Unfortunate Baking Events!

Here are the rest of my cookies:

Shortbread Cookies dipped in white chocolate

Rainbow Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Lemon Spritz Cookies

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Oh, and one more thing, the Hot Cocoa station I set up:

Hope your holidays were great!

Christmas Desserts 2017

I’m back, and going crazy as usual!

I feel like my Christmas posts should be called My Christmas List of Unfortunate Events.  🙂

So I thought last year’s Christmas baking/planning bad luck was a one-time thing, but apparently it’s meant to happen a lot!

Here is my list from this year (along with my desserts!):

Brownie Bites with chocolate drizzle

We moved into a new house this year, and I haven’t gotten used to the oven, it seems.

My lemon spritz cookies burnt. My chocolate chip cookies burnt. My snowflake cookies burnt. You get the idea.

Yeah, you would think I would’ve gotten the idea after the first two, right?

Well, at least the entire batch didn’t burn.

Still stressful though.

Shortbread Cookies dipped in white chocolate

Then I couldn’t find my favorite little snowflake cutter.  

I think my husband, son, and I spent over an hour looking.

Didn’t find it.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

The next day, I couldn’t find the black edible marker for my snowman cookies.

My husband ended up running to the store because I needed it for my son’s school party the next day.

Snowman Cookies

Then a few days later, I couldn’t find my piping tip to decorate the sugar cookies.  

That I did find– after a loooong time and some tears…

But as I was looking for it, guess what I found?

Yep, the cookie cutter and the marker I couldn’t find the other day!!

Ugh.

Chocolate Pretzel Caramel Bars

Oh, but it goes on…

My Christmas tree cookies turned splotchy, so I lost a half batch. (Anyone know why the glaze would get splotchy?)

Whimsical Trees

At another time, I knocked over the tall tub of sprinkles.

And they happened to be little round sprinkles, so they all bounced and rolled off the island.

Fun times!

White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They don’t look very pretty, but they taste good!

My other son had a party and I spent the entire morning making his gingerbread men fondant toppers.

I don’t know why it took hours, but I needed to do so many other things!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to bring the cute gingerbread man cupcake carrier that I had packed to take to the party.

And during the party, I had to run out to move my truck because it was parked in the bus lane!

What craziness!

Gingerbread Man Mini Cupcakes. Do you see the one waving at you?  🙂

And let’s not forget the time the melted chocolate sprayed everywhere while I was trying to drizzle it on the brownies!

There’s probably more, but I’m too tired to remember because I’ve spent all day wrapping presents and packing cookie gifts.  

And I have a few more hours to go…

Snickerdoodles

So here are the cookies I make every year:

My favorite trees!

Little Snowflakes

Medium Snowflakes.  Made them a different color this year!

Big Snowflakes

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

Rainbow Cookies

Lace Florentines

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Lemon Spritz Cookies

Hmmm, maybe now it doesn’t sound THAT bad.

But at the time I wanted to scream!

Well, it all worked out in the end, and I guess it was worth the heartache.  🙂

Happy Holidays!

 

 

Christmas Desserts 2016

This year I started much earlier and things were going smoothly… until now.

I still have thousands of gifts to wrap (exaggerating just a little) and cookies to decorate. 

But the important part is that my kids’ school parties are over…

Before I get into that, here is my double chocolate fudge:

Not sure why I felt the need to put them in this shape…

Anyway, one of the parties was a hassle.

I met resistance the entire way for some reason– but that didn’t stop me.

And the night before was insane.

My husband was out and my kids needed a lot of attention.

Meanwhile, I had to cut out party crafts (long story), bake cupcakes, bake Rice Krispie Treats, wrap teachers’ presents, etc.

And nothing went right…

Here are the Grinch Heart brownie bites and the Rice Krispie Treats I made that night:

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I drizzled white chocolate on them.

Anyway, as you see, no cupcakes.

The oven was acting up and they came out chewy. 

Then the pans started to fall off the counter and my son grabbed them in time, but knocked a huge bowl of water on the floor.

Then I had to make brownies since the cupcakes were no good.

I almost dropped the brownie pan, I almost dropped the cookies I was packing for the teachers, I did drop the tortellini in the sink (I was making them for school lunches the next day), I got green food coloring all over my hand…

And on and on like that…

But I survived and the parties went well.  Phew!

So here are the cookies that I made this year:

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Coffee cookies

 

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Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

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Caramel Apple Cookies

And these I make every year:

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My favorite ones– Christmas trees (which you obviously figured out on your own)

 

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Small Snowflakes

 

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Medium Snowflakes

 

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Big Snowflakes

 

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Almond Biscotti

 

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Low fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti

 

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Rainbow Cookies

 

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Lemon Spritz Cookies

 

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Chocolate Spritz Cookies

 

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Whimsical Tree Cookies

 

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Lace Florentines

And that’s it for this Christmas!

I wanted to make two other things but I ran out of time.  

Maybe for New Year’s.

Happy Holidays!!

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Thanksgiving 2016

Another stressful Thanksgiving.

Why, you ask?

Because I didn’t get to make my low fat Butterscotch Bars with Thanksgiving M&Ms.

It all started well because I prepped most of the dinner the night before.

But then things got out of control.

I did make a Pumpkin Cake and Caramel Apple Cookies:

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Not too pretty, but tasty!

 

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Apparently there was no time for prettiness this Thanksgiving…

And my husband helped out and made 2 pumpkin pies (it was a taste test) and a pecan pie:

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One regular pumpkin pie, and one pumpkin pie with mascarpone cheese.

But before I knew it, we had eaten such a big meal that I was exhausted and just couldn’t make the Butterscotch Bars.

We had stuffed mushrooms, homemade olive tapenade, spinach artichoke dip, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, asparagus, glazed carrots, rolls, corn pudding, and cranberry sauce.  Along with the desserts I mentioned above.

I know, it just doesn’t seem right without the Butterscotch Bars…

I was quite disappointed with myself, but what can I do?

Well, I can start baking for Christmas!  

Suddenly, I feel much better.  See you soon!  🙂

 

Valentine’s Desserts 2016

I love making Valentine’s Day desserts!

They are soooo pretty.

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I love these cute baking cups!

I had great plans for these brownies, but ran out of time as usual.

So I made frosting and piped a quick outline.

I took them to my son’s class and the kids loved them, so I guess they’re not too bad.

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These are my favorite mini heart cakes with white chocolate chips (and they’re low fat!!)

Did you know you can entertain an 8-year old for a long time if you let him put chocolate chips in each bite-sized cake, for several batches?  😉

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And I made Rice Krispie Treats dipped in chocolate.

I promise they were adorable, but my husband decided he needed to take the good camera to Hawaii with him.

Hawaii over Rice Krispie Treats???

Well, I had to use the little camera– hence this awful picture:

Rice Krispies Hearts

The quality of this picture makes me want to cry. But at least we have good pictures of a luau and a whale tail jumping in the bay! 😛

And finally, these little M&M cookies.

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And that’s it for now- see you soon!

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Christmas Desserts 2015

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Yes, I am aware that it’s January 9 and Christmas is long past, but I wanted to post anyway.

This year, the holidays were not the same. 

I tried my best and still got the cookies done, but some weren’t done until Christmas and some even later.

What I did finish on time were the cupcakes for my kids’ school parties.

My middle child got these:

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Don’t they look huge??  They are mini cupcakes.  I love my tiny plate!

My youngest got little stockings:

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My oldest got nothing, sadly, because he had no party at school.

I offered to show up to his class anyway, but he was horrified at the thought.

He is 12, after all….  🙂

I also made these new Apricot Cookies.

They taste more like a pastry.

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And I made Lemon Spritz Cookies for the first time.

They were a hit!

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The Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies were good, but didn’t look as pretty as I hoped:

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Speaking of funny-looking, here’s my Oreo Fudge.

I made it with fat-free condensed milk though, so it was low fat!!  Yay!

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So yummy straight out of the fridge!

And this year, I added pretzels to my Oreo and M&M bark:

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And the rest are the cookies that I make every year (hey, I know it’s repetitive, but I work so hard on them that I need to show them off!)

My little Snowflake Sugar Cookies:

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I came up with a new design this year.  The little things that make me happy…

Rainbow Cookies:

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What happened to my camera?? They look like they are underwater!

Chocolate Spritz Cookies:

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Lace Florentines:

Lace Florentines

Almond Biscotti:

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Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti:

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My favorite Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies!

Christmas tree sugar cookies

And finally, although I didn’t make them in Christmas colors (gasp!), here are my chocolate dipped pretzels:

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And that is all….

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!

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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…  🙂

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 bread– and of course I will happily make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Am I on the bandwagon or what?!?!  🙂

 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from NESTLÉ)

  • 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 NESTLÉ® 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° 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!!

 

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…  🙂

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!  🙂

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!

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!  🙂

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!  😦

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.  🙂

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

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 it– we had enough!!  Phew!

Dessert table a

OK, next party coming soon!!!  🙂