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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!

Valentine’s Day 2018

Another holiday, another chaotic day in my house…

All my holiday posts sound the same– never a dull moment.

I barely had time for desserts, but I did manage to make some.

These are sugar cookie bars.

Did I put too much frosting?  😉

My family liked them, so I was happy.

As for the craziness– my husband left on a business trip that night, my son had a meltdown, 2 of my kids were fighting about who got me one of my presents, and of course, the food got cold as I made everyone pose endlessly for pictures.  🙂

Isn’t that what typically happens at everyone’s house for Valentine’s Day??

Ok, it wasn’t all crazy.  We did have fun– Valentine’s Mad Libs and jokes, presents, heart-shaped pizza…

But I knew things would get crazy, so I planned a nice relaxing Valentine’s Day brunch the previous Sunday!

I think I’m onto something!!  🙂

No, I didn’t starve my family.  Aside from waffles and strawberries, we had pancakes, 2 types of bacon, sausages, and scrambled eggs.  But nothing else looked Valentiny enough.  🙂

 

 

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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Sports Party (Part 1)

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OK, I am waaaay behind with everything I need to post, and my parties are starting to double up.  

So here’s one from a while ago……..

I was thrilled when my son asked for a really simple party theme.

I dreamt of all the extra time I would have after I finished baking and decorating all the desserts the night before the party.

Until this cake happened:Sports tiered cake a

“It’s a super simple cake,” you say?

Yes, perhaps it is.

Except I couldn’t figure out how to draw the sports balls on the trim.

I tried to do the designs with fondant on fondant, and it looked ridiculous.

I tried to pipe the designs on with frosting, and it was worse.

After a long time, I finally decided to draw them on with edible marker.

And then I just couldn’t draw the soccer ball design, no matter how hard I tried.

I know, it sounds crazy, but I just couldn’t.

Here are 2 more cakes, to distract you from my complaining:

 

Basketball cake 2a

Can you believe I got no good pics of these cakes??

 

Soccer ball cake a

 

 

So back to the original cake– it took me like 3 hours until I finally figured it out.

I must have been seriously tired.

I don’t want to see sports ever again.

Well, except for part 2 of this party post (with the other desserts).  

Promise I won’t complain– and here’s the final cake:

Football cake a

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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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!

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!  🙂

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!

 

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 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.  🙂

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

 

 

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!!!  🙂

 

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 piñata 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.    🙂

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!  🙂