Yearly Archives: 2012

Coconut Crispies

Coconut cookies are almost worth dying for.  I know that the title suggests this cookie is all about coconut, and don’t get me wrong, I love coconut cookies like I love breathing, but there’s no reason you can’t throw some corn flakes in those babies.  In fact, we usually call them Cornflake Cookies.

coconut cookie

In fact, the Fruitarian took a bite and said, “Do these cookies have corn flakes in them?,” as if he had not eaten these cookies every single Christmas of his young life.

Me: “Why do you say that, as if you’ve never eaten these before?”
Fruitarian: “Have you made these before?”
Me: “Get over here, so I can slap you.”

Robb told me the other day that he thinks we have a pretty good mix of family recipes from both sides.  His family brought these gorgeous cookies, as well as the Norwegian chewy bread, Kringla, and some homemade chicken and noodles served over mashed potatoes.  It’s solid farm food.

butter cookie

My family brought potato cheese soup, some plain-as-can-be enchiladas, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, the black cherry eggnog. I have yet to convince Robb about the wonders of black cherry eggnog, but the plain old enchiladas are his all time favorite meal.

I’ll admit that the first time Robb told me about this family recipe, cookies with corn flakes in them, I probably gave him a weird look.  Because, let’s face it, it sounds weird.

recipes with corn flakesCookies with corn flakes

But, that’s how genius is born, right?  Out of unusual combinations that others would not have thought to try?  It’s true in this case, at least, because this might just be the perfect cookie.  Just crunchy enough, but still chewy, kind of small, and great with a glass of cold milk.

What more can you ask in a cookie? Continue reading “Coconut Crispies” »

Spicy Sweet Pecans

Spicy nuts with sugar; This recipe for sweet and spicy pecans is a simple and tasty holiday snack.

sweet pecansThese nuts are a metaphor for my life.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have kind of a strong personality.  I prefer to see myself as sweet, gentle, kind, and thoughtful.  In recent years, I have realized that some people disagree.

For example, here are some things I have {mistakenly} been called:
The meanest woman in the church congregation.

Well, that last one might be true.

Even my parents have said that, as a baby, I would scream inconsolably for hours every night, and that I would utterly refuse to sleep if there was anything at all going on in the house.
candied nuts

I like to think that it’s my fiery personality that explains my love of spicy foods.  I actually really really enjoy when the food is so spicy, it burns your lips and the inside of your mouth and throat.  Mmmmm… It’s one of my favorite things.

On the other hand, I’m also known to have something of a sweet tooth.  I mix the Kool-Aid kind of heavy on the sugar, and I like to frost the brownies.  And, well let’s face it, I have a dessert blog.  All this is because I am so sweet and friendly and thoughtful.  I’ve also been called “kind” on occasion.

Look, I’m working on the sweet side of my personality.  I’ve become a hopeless optimist, I work hard not to speak ill of others {it’s a work in progress!}, and love finding ways to be a better friend.  I deserve a little sugar on my nuts.

spicy nuts

And thus, when I was deciding exactly how to make these magical metaphorical pecans, there was really only one choice.

Spicy AND Sweet.

And toasted, of course, because toasted nuts are obviously the very high-end best.

These pecans turned out basically just like me… sugar and spice and everything nice.  I can almost guarantee that the strong-personality types out there will love these.  And the gentle personality types?  Well, they’ll love these too.

Because I said so.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas recipeSpicy Roasted
Mustard PretzelsMustard
Pecan SandiesPecan


Continue reading “Spicy Sweet Pecans” »

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Marshmallow Creme Frosting

These chocolate brownie cookies think they’re all that and a bag of chips.

Well, let’s face it.  They are.  They’re like the popular kid at school.  Everyone wants to sit by the brownie cookies at lunch.

brownies cookies

I’ve long been a fan of brownies.  I mean, given the choice between chocolate cake or chocolate brownies, I’ll take the brownies every time.  I’ve been wanting to turn them into cookies for a while now.  I’ve been looking at how other people are doing it, and pinning some fantastic pictures of brownie cookies, and dreaming and planning until I could stand it no longer.

Kelly at Just a Taste makes such fabulous stuff all the time, and in the end it was her brownie cookie recipe that I finally decided to use.  Sort of.  I made a few changes, just to make it my own.marshmallow fluff

frosting recipes for cupcakesIsn’t it amazing how many flavors taste amazing with chocolate?  Like mint.  And peanut butter.  Caramel.  Strawberry.  Raspberry.  Blackberry.  Vanilla.  Orange.  And let’s not forget… marshmallow.

My kids get very excited when I buy marshmallow fluff.  Or “that marshmallow stuff,” as they call it.  The thing is, most marshmallow frosting recipes I’ve seen are all egg whites and sugar, like making homemade marshmallows, but I really wanted a marshmallow creme frosting.  I found a marshmallow creme frosting recipe for cupcakes, and decided to give it a whirl.

It did turn out very loose, but also very, very tasty.

If runny frosting that forces you to lick your fingers is not your thing, I recommend adding more powdered sugar, or chilling the frosting, {or frosted cookies} until you’re ready to eat them.

Personally, I like licking my fingers. Continue reading “Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Marshmallow Creme Frosting” »

Black Cherry Eggnog

Christmas Drink; A simple non-alcoholic Christmas drink with eggnog.

eggnog mocktailThis isn’t a real post.

In fact, I’m not even going to put a recipe card at the bottom of this post.  Because this beverage is exactly what it sounds like… store bought eggnog mixed with black cherry soda.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it.  For real.

I’m posting this on Christmas Eve for a reason.  And not just because I’d rather be doing Christmasey stuff than blogging complicated recipes on Christmas Eve.

My paternal Grandma always has her family Christmas party on Christmas Eve.  I don’t remember ever going to this party when we didn’t have a little table with Eggnog and a selection of different flavors of fruity pop to mix in.  Some {weird} people used orange or strawberry soda, but by far the most popular flavor was black cherry. cherry eggnog

This year, a cousin who lives about 10 states away wondered aloud {on Facebook} where this tradition began.  She said no one else she knows does this, and people think she’s crazy when she tells them about it, including her own husband.

She also confessed that she’s been mixing her eggnog with Cherry 7-Up, because you can’t get Shasta in the mid west.

Wha-whaaat?  No Shasta?!  No black cherry?! Inconceivable!  I immediately shed a tear for her.  {On the bright side, I’m pretty sure the mid west people can get Pomegranate 7-Up now, which I’m certain would be a far better choice than Cherry.}

Anyhow, with our curiosity piqued, we went to the source of all family history knowledge… Grandma.

She told us in all honesty that the source of this tradition was none other than my mother.

Mind. Blown.

eggnog mix ins

I swear I have never known that my own mother introduced my father’s family to this tradition until this year.  I asked Mom about it, and she said her family has been mixing eggnog and black cherry for ages.  I didn’t know this, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.  At least, it is not the tradition in Mom’s family that it is in Dad’s.  Mom also said that before she came around, Dad’s family was mixing their eggnog with Sprite.

Wow, Dad.  Good decision, marrying Mom.  I applaud you.

So, in lieu of recipe card, here are the official instructions: Pour some eggnog in a glass.  Then pour in some black cherry soda, as much as you like.  Consume slowly.  I recommend mixing it somewhere between 1:1 and 2:1 eggnog-to-cherry.  And don’t bother stirring.  The black cherry slowly settles toward the bottom as you drink.

If you think this sounds strange, I double dog dare you to try it and tell me it’s not delicious and festive.

Merry Christmas, -Jen Continue reading “Black Cherry Eggnog” »

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

peanut butter pretzelMy teenagers are into having “late nights” with their friends.  Which means their friends hang out until very late, but they don’t actually stay until morning.

Which is really fine with me.  Except for the part where p.m. turns into a.m. and I have to start physically forcing people out the door.

Besides that, it’s really very entertaining.  I mean, just tonight I walked in to the kitchen to find five teenage boys momentarily distracted from their card game by Taylor Swift.  Yes, they were literally singing, at the top of their lungs, the song “We Are Never Getting Back Together.”

I’m not joking.

I wish I had video of it.  I didn’t think about that until after the moment had passed.  Then I kicked myself and tried to convince them to start it over {to no avail}.

After that, they googled some youtube videos of the Gangnam Style dance.  I was hoping a good video opportunity would present itself there, but it just never materialized.  Oh well.

PB pretzel recipe

These nights made me wonder whatever happened to the old me?  I mean, the young me?  The me that used to stay up until 2 am every night and dance and sing a lot.  Nowadays, I’m all old and boring, and I’m asleep before 11 and I’m up at the crack of dawn.

The old gang tries to remember our youth by spending New Years Eve together every year.  The problem is, we don’t go out drinking and partying, we stay in and play board games with our kids, and watch the ball drop, and drink sparkling cider.  Then we drag our sorry selves home at 12:15.

This does not make me feel young.  Not at all.

pretzel peanut butter snack recipepeanut butter pretzel snack

On the bright side, the snacks will be infinitesimally better than they used to be.  Because old me just opened a bag of chips, but new me will take time to make these pretzel bites.

And by “time,” I mean like 15 minutes.  Seriously, it’s barely worth noting, it’s that fast.  And it’s SO worth it, because, honestly? These are going to be gone within 3 minutes.

Maybe 2. Continue reading “Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites” »

Vanilla Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

pudding cookies recipeIt’s amazing what you see on the road sometimes.

Just the other day, I saw a woman knitting while waiting for her light to turn green.  I mean, I guess it’s not specifically illegal to knit while driving, but it does seem out of sync with the spirit of the law.

I have also seen some crazy bumper stickers.  I saw one car that had two ribbon stickers… stickers shaped like the pink breast cancer ribbon.  Of course, these had nothing to do with cancer.  One said, “Support Tattoos.”

As if it was a moral cause that needed some charitable funding.

I’m pretty sure tattoos support themselves.  Because those babies ain’t free.

The other ribbon was even more ridiculous.  “I Stop for Pedestrians,” it said.  Finally, someone is taking the moral high ground on this issue.

vanilla pudding cookie recipe

It gave me some ideas for new ribbon stickers.  Like, “I Pull Over for Emergency Vehicles” and “I Stop for Trains.”  I really want to create one that says, “I don’t stop in the middle of the road when I can’t make a lane change right away,” but I’m afraid it would be too long for one ribbon.

I’ll have to settle for “Support Sprinkles.”

Because sprinkles never hurt anyone.

sprinkle cookie recipesprinkle cookies

I really wanted some red and green sprinkles for this cookie, but alas, they were nowhere to be found.  (That’s code for I’m too lazy to shop at more than one store.)  I settled for green sugar crystals instead.

Did I ever tell you how much I love pudding cookies?  It’s such an easy way to give a cookie a wonderful soft texture and a fun flavor.  And Flavor + Texture + Simplicity = the trifecta of cookie making.  The sprinkles just add a fun this-is-a-party vibe.

Plus, they look super cute in a Christmas cookie tin! Continue reading “Vanilla Christmas Sprinkle Cookies” »

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

birthday cakeWith cake.  I mean, that’s how everyone celebrates birthdays and anniversaries, isn’t it?

The Hippie Chick said to me, “It’s your blog-iversary?  It’s been one year?”

No.  It’s been three years.  Three amazing years.

Scratch that.  It’s been two boring, hobby-ish, I’ll-do-it-when-I-feel-like-it years, and one stunning, indescribably mind-blowing, crazy exciting year.

Shall I demonstrate?
Three years ago:  Giant Ginger Cookies
Two years ago: Chocolate Waffle Iron Cookies
One year ago: Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

I probably shouldn’t even link to that old stuff, it’s so embarrassingly bad.

Oatmeal chocolate cake

But since this last year has been so much fun, I figured it was only fitting to celebrate with my favorite cake of all time.  And let me tell you, it takes a lot to eclipse the wonders of Red Velvet Cake.

When my Mom found this recipe several years ago, it became an instant classic in our family.  We eat this for about half of the years birthday celebrations.

Maybe more.

chocolate oat cake recipe

My kids were obviously thrilled that I baked this cake for no apparent reason at all.  I told them they could have a piece, and they rewarded me by turning the cake into dog bait.  That’s code for they left the cake on the table and the dog jumped up and licked the frosting off.

I’m not sure whether to be more angry at the kids or the dog.

Here’s to more years of growth, and friendships, and baked goods with chocolate chips. Continue reading “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake” »

Almond Balls

chocolate cream pie ballsJust so everyone is clear, let me begin today’s post with an explanation.

When my sister-in-law first introduced me to these Almond Balls, they weren’t what I expected.  I mean, there’s not a lot of almond in those balls.  Maybe I should have titled them “Chocolate Almond Balls” or “Chocolate Cream Pie Balls” or something like that.  They are mostly chocolate, rolled in… not almonds… cookie crumbs.

Robb is taking some time off for the holidays, and he is super concerned that I’m going to spend that time blogging.  (Who? Me?!)  “Why don’t you just do a bunch of baking, and get all your posts ready ahead of time?” he says.

Sure.  No Problem.  Like I don’t already have gifts to buy and wrap, cards to create and send, friends to meet with, parties to attend, afghans to knit, holiday music to practice and perform, to say nothing of the dishes, laundry, house cleaning, dinner making, parenting and other responsibilities I am already behind on.

No problem.  I’ll just squeeze a half dozen new recipes in between the morning carpool and my shower.  Hmpf.

chocolate cream pie almond balls

Every year, my sis-in-law and I spend a day baking for the holidays.  We make things you need two people for, like pumpkin rolls, and graham cracker pudding, and enough sugar cookies to feed an army.  Tucked in among the complicated recipes are these super duper easy little balls of chocolate delight.

Let’s be realistic, some days you need something super duper easy.  I’m talking three-ingredients easy.  No-bake easy.  My-5-year-old-can-make-these easy.

That’s the zone I’m living in today.

chocolate almond ballsno-bake chocolate almond

Here’s an idea of what you’re in for:

Combine some melted chocolate bars with whipped topping.  Chill.  Drop spoonfuls into cookie crumbs.  Freeze.  Inhale.

I mean, if this is the kind of baking I’m going to be doing, I think I could get a lot done before lunch! Continue reading “Almond Balls” »

Peanut Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

This oatmeal cookie recipe uses peanut butter as it’s main ingredient.  After all, nothing goes better with peanut butter than peanut butter.

peanut butter peanut butterWhat’s your feeling about adding peanut butter chips to a peanut butter cookie? Because that just happened.

There are days when I’m just obsessed with peanut butter.  I love putting peanut butter in my chocolate protein shake.  I love peanut butter frosting on my cupcakes.  I love adding a big spoonful of creamy peanut butter to my vanilla bean ice cream.

Because Robb insists on vanilla, the single most boring ice cream flavor there is.  Someday, I’m going to teach him to love Rocky Road.

But I digress. Today was one of those days.  A peanut butter day.  A day when I could not resist making peanut butter cookies, and I just had to kick it up a notch by adding peanut butter chips. peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe What? Peanut butter, and no chocolate?  I know, I know.  It’s not like me at all.  After all, I’m convinced God created the peanut so it could marry the cacao bean and produce lots and lots of lovely chocolate-and-peanut-butter offspring. But what’s wrong with having a little alone time with peanut butter now and then?peanut peanut butter recipe As a side note, let me mention that I delivered two dozen of these lovelies to a dear friend after the not entirely unexpected, but still tragically heartbreaking death of her father.  There is something about death that makes one look at life differently.  Fun and exciting things seem trivial by comparison.  Life itself seems more miraculous and amazing than you remembered. And one takes comfort in friends bearing cookies. At least, I hope so.

Peanut Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A peanut butter oatmeal cookie with peanut butter chips.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 3 dozen
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz. peanut butter chips
  1. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add salt and soda and mix well.
  2. Add flour and mix until incorporated. Add oats and mix just until incorporated. Fold in peanut butter chips.
  3. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Pie from Tidy Mom
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies from Inside Bru Crew Life
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles from How Sweet it is

This post linked up at: Someday Crafts; Back For Seconds; Lady Behind the Curtain; Gingersnap Crafts; Shabby Nest; Tidy Mom; Rattlebridge Farm; My Romantic Home; Between Naps on the Porch; Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms; Skip to my Lou; Sugar Bee  Crafts; Hope Studios; Bowl Full of Lemons; Carolyn’s Homework; Mandy’s Recipe Box;

Molasses Bars

Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe;  These Molasses bars are a cross between a chewy brownie and a soft molasses cookie.  Recipe included.

soft molasses cookie recipe

8 weeks.

That’s how long it took me to drain one entire bottle of molasses.  Welcome to my world.

Remember this post about Molasses Snickerdoodles from 2 months ago?  I’m pretty sure that’s when I bought this jar, because you can see it in the background of the pictures, all clean looking and full.

And then I made Gingerbread, Eggnog Bars, Chocolate Gingersnaps, and these Molasses bars, and let’s just say, some of my recipes get baked more than once, and before you know it, the molasses is gone.

And winter is only half over.

molasses chocolate chip bars

Who am I kidding?  I live in Utah.  Winter has barely begun.  *sniff sniff*

You know what else has just begun?  Christmas music.  And hazy mornings.  And shoveling snow and scraping the ice off the windshield.

And slippers, and cocoa, and adorable winter coats.

molasses brownies

I took a plate of these bars to the church Christmas social, and after that experience, I made an important decision.  I WILL be making these again.  Most certainly.

But next time, I’m not sharing.

More great bars you might enjoy:

pumpkin-roll-bars-9Pumpkin Roll Bars one-bowl-brownies-5One-Bowl Brownies pumpkin-fudge-cookie-bars-6Pumpkin Choc Chip Bars

Molasses Bars
Cook time
Total time
A cakey molasses bar with chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.
Recipe type: Bars
Serves: 24
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. molasses
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. cinnamon chips
  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and molasses and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, baking powder, and spices and mix well.
  3. Add flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.
  5. Pour into a foil-lined 8x8 pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Let cool, then cut into squares.
If you are using regular brown sugar instead of dark brown, you might consider using a little more molasses than what is called for.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Molasses Triple Chocolate Cookies from Averie Cooks

Grandma’s Molasses Bars from Kitchen Magpie

Ginger Molasses Creme Pies from Add a Pinch


Potato Chips and Caramelized Onion Dip

caramelized onion dip and potato chipsI never met a potato chip I didn’t love.

Except those vinegar chips.  Seriously?  Whose idea was that?

I blame my mother.  I have memories of her eating big, crinkle cut potato chips with onion dip.  Her version of onion dip was 1 packet of dry onion soup mix and 1 container of sour cream.  Mmmm.  I love this snack.

My daughter recently told me she didn’t really like potato chips that much.  Which made me wonder whether she had been switched at birth.  Because who doesn’t love potato chips?  It’s un-American.  Forget that, it’s un-Human.  No person that sprang from my womb could possibly dislike potato chips.

Or onion dip.

chips and dip

Robb dared me to make Pringles at home.  He says they are not made from real potatoes, and his proof is that no one could possibly make that at home.

Well, he has a point.  I couldn’t begin to think how to re-create Pringles at home.  What I made turned out more like Lay’s.

Oh my, this whole discussion is making me hungry. Continue reading “Potato Chips and Caramelized Onion Dip” »

Black and White Fudge

easy fudge recipeI realize that there are people out there who believe that coconut is not the most amazing thing ever.  To those people, I would just like to say…

You’re Wrong.

Coconut may not be better than chocolate, (Or peanut butter.  Or caramel.) but it is high on the list of amazing flavors.

And that is why I added coconut to the white chocolate part of this black and white fudge.  And you coconut fence-sitters needn’t worry, because I used the unsweetened coconut, which gives a milder flavor and texture than the regular sweetened variety.  I definitely think you should try it before you get all judgmental about it.

black and white chocolate fudge


Oh, also?  I’m lazy as crap, so this is not one of those recipes that has a bunch of ingredients, or requires annoying things like measuring the temperature or long bouts of whipping.

You’re welcome. Continue reading “Black and White Fudge” »

Chocolate Gingersnaps

gingersnap cookie recipeI wish I could tell you that I created this recipe.  I mean, I really, really wish I could.

Because this cookie is, hands down, my single favorite recipe on this site.

Absolute. FAV.  Which is why I’m blogging about it again.

It was the brain child of this fabulous baker over at Baking Bites.  I’m giving her all the credit, because, let’s face it, she deserves it.  I bow to the master.

I get that it’s my job to give you lots of fabulous cookies and tell you every week how amazing they are and how you should try them and all that.

I hope it doesn’t make you think that this cookie is the same level of amazing as all the others.  It’s not.  This cookie is the king of all the others.

I tell you all this because I want you to understand what you are getting into.  This particular cookie has a couple unusual ingredients, and I would hate for you to be surprised.

recipe for chocolate gingersnaps

First, you’ll definitely need some balsamic vinegar.  I’m pretty sure this is the only cookie recipe I have ever made with balsamic vinegar.  It’s downright unusual.

Second, find yourself some crystallized ginger.  At my local store, they sell it with the bulk candy and dried fruits, but I realize that not all stores do this.  If all else fails, you can find it in a jar next to the spices.  You’ll need the entire jar.

If you’ve never experienced crystallized ginger, I highly recommend it.  If you enjoy ginger, you’ll probably find this dried-and-sugared version even yummier.  If you don’t enjoy ginger, this is a little easier to handle.  It’s also good for you.  Sometimes I chop it up and put it in granola.  Is that weird?

homemade chocolate gingersnap recipe

Third, you’ll need some mini-chips.  Okay, this one is not really all that weird.  It’s just a little weird for me, because even though I have a box FULL of chips… {semi-sweet, chocolate mint chips, cinnamon chips, peanut butter chips, peppermint chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, need I go on?} … I almost never have mini chips in there.

Which is why I used regular chips in today’s batch.

Because it’s just cookies, after all.

Chocolate Gingersnaps

A soft and chewy chocolate ginger cookie with chocolate chips and pieces of crystallized ginger.
Cook Time10 mins
Servings: 4 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (dry powdered)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (or chopped semi-sweet chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
  • 1/3 cup coarse sugar


  • Cream butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg, molasses, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
  • Fold diced ginger and chocolate into the dough.
  • Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in coarse sugar. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Orange Juice Smoothie

How to make a smoothie; This copycat orange julius recipe is quick, easy, and refreshing! How to make an orange smoothie.

orange julius recipeWhen we were first married, let’s just say we were fans of a certain refreshing frothy orange flavored beverage sold at a certain fast food chain with the same name.

Only we were too poor to purchase this fun treat as often as we would like.

And so, we frequently opted for the homemade variety.

To avoid having to look the recipe for the 500th time this month, I made up a rhyme to help Robb and me both remember.  Want to hear it?

A cup, A cup, a half a cup,
A half a can, a capful. 

Those were the days.  It has literally been years since I made one of these delightful homemade treats.  Years.  I blame my blender for dying.  And my subsequent smoothie maker also for dying.  I decided the next blender in my home would be a keeper.  And hence, my home is now blessed with a Blendtec blender with the WildSide Jar, and let me tell you…  it is possibly my favorite thing I own.  It’s awesome.  How awesome?

If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose between giving him my blender or giving him one of my children, I might have a hard time choosing.

how to make a smoothie

Okay, no I wouldn’t.  I’d hand over the blender.  But the kid would hear about it for the rest of his life.

Luckily, that’s not the way it’s going to go down.  The way it’s going to go down is the kids are going to come home from school, and in 30 seconds I will whip up enough of this frothy beverage for the four of us in the awesome blender, and then the kids will be so happy and sing my praises and brag to their friends about how amazing their mom is. Continue reading “Orange Juice Smoothie” »

Almond Toffee

Simple toffee recipe;  This homemade english toffee recipe is simple and delicious.  There’s no need to be afraid of candy making with this basic toffee recipe!

toffee recipeI don’t know about your house, but at mine, the chores get done really quickly.  Really well, too. *ahem*

Just today, The Lizard asked permission to go to a friends, and I replied by asking whether his chores were done, the chores he knows need to be done every week, or every day.  The chores that should be done before he even asks permission.

And he replied with a grunt of frustration, and headed off to practice the piano.

He is so amazingly efficient, he managed to practice three songs, plus his scales and arpeggios, in less than 10 minutes.  And sadly, it still may have been the best practicing he has done all week.

He proceeded to clean his room {from whence a seriously funky smell was emanating} which took less than 5 minutes.  Who knew a room could be cleaned so quickly?

He was both shocked and angry when I sent him back for a second try.

english toffee recipe

Some famous argument lines:
“Why does my room need to be vacuumed?”
“I already did that!”
“You make it really hard to go to my friends!”

Sigh.  Parenthood is not for the faint of heart.

While the holiday season does not exactly give one a break from the joys of parenthood, it does provide a change of schedule and scenery, which by itself is often enough to recharge the disciplinary batteries.

And if that doesn’t work… I usually opt for homemade candy. Continue reading “Almond Toffee” »

Chocolate Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

chocolate oatmeal cookieNext month will be the 3 year anniversary of my very first Jen’s Favorite Cookies blog post.  *bow*

3 years of cookie recipes.  This recipe here is my 82nd cookie recipe.  Wowza.

I used to worry that I would run out of ideas for new cookies, but lately I have realized just exactly how infinite the possibilities are.  In fact, there are products and ingredients out there that I have never even used.

Cinnamon chips being just one example.  This is my first recipe using cinnamon chips, because this is my first time ever purchasing them.  I guess I just never had a reason before.

But, reason schmeason.  They were on sale and I picked some up and decided I would figure out how to use them later.

Chocolate oatmeal cinnamon chip cookie recipe

Of course, my first thought was about my favorite classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  But just using cinnamon chips in place of chocolate chips seemed a little… boring.

And the last thing I want to be is boring. Continue reading “Chocolate Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies” »

20 Great Christmas Cookies

Nothing says “Christmas” like baked goods.  And gifts.  And gifted baked goods.

Since the big holiday looms ever closer, and since this is Jen’s Favorite Cookies, it only makes sense that I help you prepare with a list of Christmas cookie ideas that’s longer than your arm.

And, if you choose to make them for some other religious holiday, or non-religious holiday, or just because it’s Wednesday, well, I don’t think anyone would blame you.

I’m obviously not making all of these for my own family this year.  If you’re curious about what’s actually on my own holiday baking roster, I’ll be sharing that on my Facebook page, and some may even have updated photos.  Please join the conversation, because I’d love to know what you’re baking, too.


Recipes, top to bottom:

1: Peppermint Meltaways
2: Nutmeg Buttermilk Cookies
3: Gingerbread
4: Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies
5: Dulce de Leche Cookies
6: Brown Sugar Cookies
7: Apple Pie Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting
8: Peppermint Meringues
9: Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
10: Molasses Snickerdoodles

Not pictured:

11: Chocolate Crinkles
12: Chocolate Gingersnaps
13: Soft Sugar Cookies
14:  Pumpkin Swirl Cookies
15:  Coconut Cream Cookies
16: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
17: Giant Ginger Cookies
18: Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
19: Oreo Cookies
20: Coconut Crispies

This post linked up at: Flour Me With Love; I Should Be Mopping the Floor; Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms; Delightfully Dowling; Beyer Beware; Between Naps on the Porch; Skip to My Lou; Our Delightful Home; Naptime Creations; Bowl Full of Lemons; Inside BruCrew Life; Mandy’s Recipe Box; Hope Studios; Gingersnap Crafts; Lil Luna; Someday Crafts; Lady Behind the Curtain; Back For Seconds; Katherine’s Corner; Domessblissity; Miz Helen’s Country Cottage;

Peppermint Bark

chocolateI don’t even listen to the radio that much.  And yet, I know all the words to basically all five of the songs they play over and over.  Check me out.

“Under my umber-ella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay”
“We-eee are never, ever, ever, getting back together.”
“I got the moves like Jagger, I got the moves like Jagger…


That was me, singing loudly while driving, for the express purpose of embarrassing all the carpool kids.  It’s so much fun, messing with teenagers.

Listening to teens have conversations, on the other hand, not nearly as fun.

For instance, one day, they were complaining about the horrors of having your sibling in the very same class as you.  Which conversation led to this song:  “We-eee are never, ever, ever, having class together!” Continue reading “Peppermint Bark” »

Nutmeg Buttermilk Cookies

Is it nerdy for grown women to have a battle of one-upmanship on a cell phone game?  Cuz that’s what’s happening with my friend and I on Temple Run.

I was feeling all awesome-sauce and big-headed about my score of 2.19 million, and bragging my face off to her.

Her: Is that real?  How did you get a score that high?
Me:  Being amazing.  Also, resurrection wings.  The permanent ones.

Two days later, she sent me a screenshot of her new high score, 2.88 million.


Me: Crud! You KNOW I have to beat that score now.
Her:  Bring it.

And I immediately set a new high score for myself… 2.22 million.  Not high enough.  I may or may not have then spent about 50,000 Temple Run Coins, and an hour and a half of real time trying to beat that score.

nutmeg cookie recipe


Welcome to my life.  It’s this exact sort of thinking that explains the rise of Farmville and the demise of soap operas.  I mean, we could be watching Days of Our Lives and eating nachos, but instead, we’re getting tips from our teenage sons on how to beat our friends at cell phone games. Continue reading “Nutmeg Buttermilk Cookies” »

Eggnog Bars

eggnog cheesecakeIt’s a winter wonderland here today.

Two days ago, it was 65 degrees and sunny, then the wind started blowing (hard!) and it began snowing.  It snowed for a day and a half, solid.

I am neither joking nor exaggerating when I tell you that this weather is completely normal for Utah.  I’m pretty sure Utah is bi-polar.  Can we get the state of Utah some prescription drugs, people?  Please?

I will tell you that when I look out the window and watch it snow and snow, I really feel like baking.  I want to reach for molasses and butter and cinnamon and cream.

And Diet Coke.  Just being honest, here.

eggnog bars

I bought my first jug of eggnog today, too.  Robb really prefers the thinner, homemade variety, but alas, my blender is broken.  And, let’s just say, the next blender I’m planning to own is the type you save up for.   Continue reading “Eggnog Bars” »