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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! 🙂

Halloween/Fall 2018

This year was different because my son broke his collarbone.

That meant no running away from zombies like other years...

Instead, I drove myself crazy baking for my husband’s office Halloween party.

He had asked me to bake pumpkin cupcakes on a weeknight (the horror!).

I got home really late from work and started baking.

This was a new recipe, and sadly only made a dozen cupcakes.

Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

My husband said that wouldn’t be enough, so I started making vanilla cupcakes, too.

But I only had enough cream cheese frosting for the pumpkin cupcakes, and I realized there was not one bit of powdered sugar in the house.

How does this happen??

Too late to run to the store, so I used a regular batch of buttercream I had made–instead of the cinnamon one I wanted to make.

In the meantime, my oven was acting crazy and stressing me out.

I kept running over to get lunches ready for the next day…

Eat a quick dinner in between baking…

Help kids with homework…

And so on…

Then I colored the buttercream frosting orange, piped the cupcakes, and by then I was about to run away screaming because I was so tired.

And that’s when it happened…

My husband told me his office wasn’t actually having a party at work after all– it was just people bringing in candy for Halloween.

So I threw the cupcakes at him.

OK, I didn’t really– but I wanted to!

But that’s ok, his office enjoyed the cupcakes.  🙂

The rest of Halloween was pretty hectic, but I got to bake some fall brownie bites for my son’s school party:

Brownie bites with fondant leaves.

We had spider personal pizzas and mummy hot dogs:

I also made pumpkin pancakes for the first time, and they were a hit!!

And of course, my kids’ pumpkins– didn’t they do a great job?

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!

 

 

Valentine’s Day 2017

Things never change.

I tried to have a great Valentine’s Day for my kids, with Valentine’s Mad Libs, pizza in heart shapes, and a few desserts:

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But crazy life got in the way.

By crazy life, I mean the normal stuff: getting home late from work, taking way too long to take pictures of the kids with the Valentine’s day food, slicing my finger open on a Valentine’s day envelope…

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These had white chocolate chips inside. Yum!

Yes, I had to stop and freak out for a little bit.

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My heart-shaped waffles!

Once I put on a band-aid, I continued with the festivities– thinking it wasn’t going too bad for a school night.

I even made some brownies since my husband doesn’t like any of the other desserts:

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I began to put out the desserts, all happy that I was doing things on time…

And then I remembered that my oldest had basketball practice.

So we scrambled to eat dessert, freaked out some more, and he made it on time.

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And I survived another holiday.  Barely.  🙂

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This was a mini cake.

 

Halloween 2016

No time for fun Halloween desserts again this year.  

Where does the time go??

I cheated and made spider cupcakes with a kit (the actual cake and frosting are homemade, though):

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My husband actually liked these! Dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

And as I always say, if you run out of time– just make Rice Krispies ghosts.

OK, I don’t always say that, but still.

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And my usual brownie pizza, except we couldn’t find Halloween Oreos anywhere.  So I used pumpkin flavored ones:

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So anyway, I thought I got scared last year at Fright Fest…

That was nothing.

This year we went to Busch Gardens.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if my husband hadn’t suggested that we go into the haunted corn maze.

It started off pretty well until the zombies were jumping out and making me scream nonstop… and I mean some serious screaming.

I had the same human shield as last year– my 9-year-old– except this year I literally hid behind him the entire time.

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How cute is this centipede??  If you like to eat bugs, that is…

The maze seemed to go on forever and I was starting to lose my voice.

After we were done, I realized they hadn’t been jumping out at my husband or kids in front of me.

Why, you ask?

I was being targeted.

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Hot dog mummies have become a Halloween tradition in our house!

I’m serious!

Of course I didn’t know that until later, when my husband informed me that he kept hearing the zombies communicating with each other.

They kept saying “after the kid in the orange shirt.”

Can you guess who was behind the kid in the orange shirt?

Yep, you guessed it.

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Creepy egg eyeballs.

So… if you want to avoid having zombies after you, looking like an insane person, and losing your voice– just stay calm.  And don’t hide behind your kids.

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My kids’ pumpkins this year!

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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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!

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!!

 

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!!!  🙂

 

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.    🙂

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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Thanksgiving Desserts 2013

Thanksgiving at my house was definitely not your average Thanksgiving this year.

Here is the crazy timeline (with pictures of the desserts I made):

Friday (before Thanksgiving)- we closed on our new house, ran to Thanksgiving lunches at our kids’ school, and moved some stuff into the house. We made a few more trips Saturday through Monday, while we kept packing.

Pumpkin pie a

The pumpkin pie was a hit. My 4-year-old ate more than anyone else!

Tuesday- the moving company spent 14 hours moving only our furniture in (my husband had already moved all the boxes himself).  Yes, 5 guys and 14 hours. No, we don’t have THAT much furniture.  Yeah, I was shocked too.

By 11pm, I nearly passed out from exhaustion, and I wasn’t even lifting anything!

Pecan Pie a

Pecan pie– my favorite!

Wednesday- cleaned up the rental house.  Ran around unpacking stuff at the new house.  We found the turkey pan!!  Had to run out to buy Corningware to cook Thanksgiving dinner because we couldn’t find it in the boxes.

Dark Chocolate Mini Cupcakes a

Mini Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Thanksgiving day!!!- We didn’t have all the right baking dishes, no china, no good glasses, no serving plates, no good silverware, etc. We also had a new convection oven we had to figure out how to use…  

No, we couldn’t go out to eat– and I definitely couldn’t buy the desserts.

That would’ve been way too easy.

Spice cake b

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

And somehow we managed to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner.

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No, this wasn’t Thanksgiving dinner. It was a little snack plate so my kids
would stop saying that they were staaaaarving while we cooked.

Dinner consisted of turkey, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, asparagus, mashed potatoes, corn, bulgur wheat with cranberries, cornbread, rolls, and cranberry sauce.  And the 4 desserts pictured above.

I guess that wasn’t too bad considering the circumstances!  🙂

Halloween Desserts 2013

Let me start by saying that I hate spiders.

Really really hate.

Yet for Halloween, I find myself making edible spiders, of all things.  (It’s not the first time…)

Spider cupcake

These might look big, but they are mini cupcakes. You know, small enough so that the spider looks real. Yuck.

I can’t even imagine eating one, even if it’s made out of fondant.

But no one else had a problem eating them…

I also made some Frankenstein heads, per my 6-year-old’s request.

Frankenstein cupcake 2

Is he cute, or what?

Then there were these:

Boo cupcakes

Apparently, they were a hit.  The kids were fighting over what letters to eat!

I also made a brownie pizza the week before Halloween, and my family loved it so much that they asked me to make another to bring to a party on Halloween:

Brownie pizza

Cream cheese frosting, Oreos, white chocolate M&Ms, and sprinkles
(and the big black sprinkles are spiders. Yes, apparently I have a spider issue).

I thought the Halloween Oreos would be “pepperoni” on the pizza.

I was so clever, wasn’t I?

But when no one mentioned it, I had to tell them it was pepperoni.

That’s when my 6-year-old said, “Oooh, I love pepperoni!”

He then proceeded to eat one, and exclaim in surprise, “Oh, it’s not pepperoni, it’s a cookie!”

I looked at him in disbelief.

He gave me a blank stare, and then kept eating.

Yeah, I have no idea what that was about…

And finally, I made my usual sugar cookies.

Halloween sugar cookies

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Sorry I’m a day late, but it’s been crazy.

I always make desserts for Halloween, and this year, I was talked into making several– and double for 2 different parties.

I thought it was ok, until I was up until 1:30am the night before finishing them up.

And up at 4:30am taking frosting out of the fridge and mixing it.

And then up at 6am decorating cupcakes for the first party.

And… well, you get the point.   🙂

Halloween cupcakes

Halloween cupcake

See here and here for past Halloween desserts.

Silly Monster Party (Part 2)

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I’m finally back with Part 2 of the Silly Monster Party!

I just realized I never posted it, and now it’s almost  time for the next party.

Wow, I feel tired just from saying that.

So let’s get started.  Here are the silly monster cookies, packaged for the kids to take home:

Silly Monsters Cookies a

Yes, I insisted on making every single monster face different. 

I have NO idea why I make things difficult for myself.   🙂

I also made smaller cookies for people to eat at the party:

Silly Monsters Small Cookies a

(I somehow managed to forget to take a picture of them on the serving platter, so it’s a less appealing picture!)

I also had cupcakes:

Silly Monsters Cupcakes 3a

I made the monsters out of fondant.

And I made mini blue raspberry jello cups:

Silly Monsters Jello a

Yep, I drew the little faces on each cup.

Some lime cake balls:

Silly Monsters Cake Balls a

See the creepy eyeballs?

And of course, brownies.  I think of these as my emergency backup dessert– you know, in case I run out of everything else. 

Which I never do.  

But still, just in case.

Silly Monsters Brownies a

And that was all I had time for.  I wish I could’ve done more.

I know, you can say it.  I’m crazy.   🙂

Silly Monster dessert table for FB a