Yearly Archives: 2014

August 2014 Wrap-Up

August-squareI generally like the end of August.  The kids have started school and the weather is still warm for a few more weeks.

However, this being the last school year for my oldest son has me feeling a little melancholy, and the unseasonal grey and rainy weather hasn’t helped my mood at all.  It’s fortunate I have baking to bring me out of my funk.

This month, my personal favorite recipe was the Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies.  I can’t get enough of them.  It has given me ideas for more decadently topped brownies.  More on that next month, I hope.

A close second was the spiced zucchini muffins.  I told Robb, who has an irrational fear of green vegetables, that you can’t even taste the zucchini in zucchini bread, and he replied, “Then why is it in there?”  I told him it was a filler, and it gives a nice texture, and he said, “Nope.  You can taste it.”  He wouldn’t even try the zucchini muffins without a big glass of milk nearby, but I made a believer of him.  He took one bite, said, “That’s really good!”  (as if there were any other option, hehe) and promptly finished the rest of the muffin without touching the milk.

It was the perfect end to this awesome month.


mint-cake-6 Mint Cake

I made this cake for my daughters birthday, and it was
a big hit! The green color, dense rich texture, and mint
flavor made the perfect celebration cake.

PB-stuffed-chocolate-cookies-6 Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

My nephew was the grateful recipient of these delicious
chocolate cookies with peanut butter filling.  I was kind
of wishing I could keep them for myself!

scotcheroos-2014-3 Scotcheroos

My favorite RKT of all time!  The “secret ingredient” makes
these peanut butter krispie treats soft and delicious!
Chocolate and butterscotch are the perfect icing on this cake.

PB&J-cookies-3 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies

My sister is back with these awesome back to school
cookies!  I love the idea of adding a little strawberry
jam to some rich peanut butter cookies.

No-Bake-Cookies-1 50+ No-Bake Cookies & Bars

I know summer is over, but I made this fun collection of
no-bake cookies anyway. I’m sure you’ll find a few
things you’ll love in this round-up.

pb-marshmallow-crispy-brownies-3 Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies

This might be my favorite brownie ever.  The gooey
marshmallow layer and crispy chocolate peanut butter
topping take regular brownies to the next level!

 peach-limeade-3  Sparkling Peach Limeade

It could be called a lime peachade, it’s that peachy!
It’s a refreshing way to enjoy peach season.

peach-cobbler-3 Single Serving Peach Cobbler

Turn single serving fruit cups into a delicious dessert
for one!  It’s easy to make a warm crisp topping and
have a quick and comforting dessert.

spiced-zucchini-muffins-9 Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins

Use up all that autumn zucchini in these delicious spiced
chocolate chip muffins.  The walnut crumb topping puts
them over the edge.


It was fun having Em guest post again this month.  Her Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies were a big hit.  Wait until you see what she has in store for next month!

You know how much we love popcorn here, right?  I shared a recipe for Honey Butter Popcorn on My Cooking Spot this month.  Honey butter is so delicious, and works great on popcorn.

Get ready for fall by sifting through this board of pumpkin recipes on Pinterest.  There’s also a great collection of Muffin & Scone recipes you should check out.

Coming up in September… turning 40, the beginning of pumpkin season, and chocolate, lovely chocolate!!



Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins

Recipe zucchini muffins;  These chocolate chip zucchini muffins are full of spices and topped with a walnut streusel.

Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins from Lately, every time I go to my parent’s house, my dad asks me, “How many zucchini do you want?”

Dad loves to garden, and has grown zucchini and crookneck squash every year for as long as I can remember, barring a couple years when he lived in one state and worked in another.  I absolutely love zucchini, and have been known to eat just that for lunch on occasion.

But, you can’t have sauteed zucchini for lunch every day, and Dad sent me home with 3 of them this time, so it was time to get baking.

As much as I love chocolate, and wanted badly to make a chocolate zucchini bread or muffin, I’ve been trying to push myself into other flavors.  That, and the steady stream of rain which has made it feel like autumn, have convinced me to make something spiced.

It turns out, a spiced zucchini muffin with walnut crumb topping was exactly perfect for today.  And a couple muffins can be just as good a lunch as a plate full of sauteed squash, right?

Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins from

When I made this crumb topping, I totally copied Naomi at Bakers Royale.  This walnut streusel reached out and grabbed me, and seriously would not let go.  Other than the minor detail of my using raw walnuts rather than candied, this crumb is all hers.

Some ideas are just too good to mess with, says I.

Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins from Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins from

I should probably confess that I didn’t abandon my desire for chocolate entirely.  I threw a few chocolate chips in these muffins.  It was enough to remind me of the beautiful flavor of chocolate, without detracting from the spice.

It would be totally appropriate to throw in some chopped walnuts, too, although I didn’t.  Maybe next time.

Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins from

I going to need to make these a couple more times, before Dad gives me any more zucchini!

Maybe I’ll make chocolate zucchini bread next time!

Want more?  Check these zucchini recipes!

zucchini-spears-13Parmesan Crusted
Zucchini Spears
zucchini-recipes24 Zucchini
Zucchini Cookies



Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins
Cook time
Total time
A spiced muffin with shredded zucchini, and a walnut crumb topping.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 18
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅔ cup quick oats
  • about 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Combine oil and sugar. Add eggs and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and mix well. Add zucchini and oats and mix.
  3. Add flour, and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. (Batter will be runny.)
  4. For crumb topping, place all ingredients in a small bowl, and use a fork to mix until crumbly.
  5. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Fill cups ¾ full with muffin batter. Sprinkle a generous amount of crumb topping on each muffin. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes.


Peach Cobbler for One

Peach cobbler recipe easy; This peach cobbler crisp is perfect for one person, and easy to make!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS

Single Serving Peach Cobbler from - This easy peach crisp for one is a perfect recipe for college students or other singles!School has begun and summer is officially over.

I’m always a little sad to see summer go, because I love the warm weather.  However, this particular summer was nuts.  Crazy.  Absolute chaos.  I’m kind of grateful to have a few hours of silence.

On the other hand, this school year is different than all the others.  My oldest son, The Lizard, is a senior this year.  It’s his very last year of school.  It makes me a little teary, and frankly, nostalgic for the first day of kindergarten.

We’re in the final stretch now, the last year of teaching this kid to be an adult.  I’ve got to be sure he can make his bed, and pay his bills, and feed himself.  Something besides ramen noodles and cold cereal, preferably.

Single Serving Peach Cobbler from - This easy peach crisp for one is a perfect recipe for college students or other singles!

Since I had to go to Walmart for new lunch boxes this year, I decided to get some healthy lunch foods for my nearly-grown, and always-hungry kiddos while I was there.  These diced peach cups from Del Monte were perfect.

They are great with a sandwich and some pretzel sticks.

They are also the perfect size to make a little dessert for one, so I got The Lizard to help me throw it together.  I don’t want The Lizard eating candy bars for dessert after he leaves home.  Not when this crispy peach cobbler is so easy to make, so warm, comforting, and delicious.

I started with a little peach cup, added some oats, brown sugar and butter, and voila!  Dessert.  REAL dessert.

Single Serving Peach Cobbler from - This easy peach crisp for one is a perfect recipe for college students or other singles!Single Serving Peach Cobbler from - This easy peach crisp for one is a perfect recipe for college students or other singles!

If you hurry, you can find a great deal at Walmart on these Del Monte fruit cups.  Create some back to school memories by getting a free back to school photo print at participating Walmart Super Centers, and receive a $1 off coupon for Del Monte products.

Here are the details: From August 1 – September 13, 2014, Walmart Print Shops are offering a free back to school photo, while supplies last.  When you pick up your back to school print, you will receive a coupon for $1 off the purchase of (2) Del Monte 4-pack fruit cups or (2) Fruit Burst Squeezers, while supplies last.

I love a snack food that works as part of a healthy breakfast or lunch, an after school snack, or a tasty dessert!

Maybe it will even help take the sting out of this final year of high school.


Want more?  Check out these fruity desserts!

Peach Limeade



5.0 from 1 reviews
Peach Cobbler for One
Cook time
Total time
A peach cobbler for one, with an oat and brown sugar crust.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup (3.75 oz) diced peaches
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoon rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  1. Drain peaches and place in a ramekin. Add flour and toss to coat.
  2. Sprinkle oats and brown sugar over the top. Add salt. Cut pieces of butter on top.
  3. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until crust is brown.
  4. Top with ice cream, if desired.


Sparkling Peach Limeade

Non-alcoholic drinks recipes; This delicious peach limeade is a perfect non-alcoholic summer drinks!

Sparkling Peach Limeade from - non-alcoholic summer drink made with fresh fruit.I really have a hard time eating raw fresh fruit.  It’s been years, decades, since I ate an orange or banana.

There are exceptions of course; apples, naturally, pears on occasion, and my very favorite fruit ever, peaches.  Sometimes I think God made peaches just for me.

The real problem is that when I have peaches, I have an overwhelming urge to do something with them, besides eat them plain.  I want to make all my foods peach-flavored.  I want peach smoothies every morning and peach cobbler every night.

For the warm, late summer afternoon, I chose this refreshing and sparkly Peach Limeade.  Fresh peaches for the win!

Sparkling Peach Limeade from - non-alcoholic summer drink made with fresh fruit.

The Fruitarian does not understand me at all.  He cannot comprehend that someone would rather eat celery than bananas.

He enjoyed this drink a lot, but immediately upon finishing it, he asked me if he could eat the peaches I sliced for the photos.  I had a hard time sharing.

Sparkling Peach Limeade from - non-alcoholic summer drink made with fresh fruit.Sparkling Peach Limeade from - non-alcoholic summer drink made with fresh fruit.Sparkling Peach Limeade from - non-alcoholic summer drink made with fresh fruit.

Maybe I should have traded him the fresh fruit for his glass of limeade, because when I was done with my glass, I was ready for seconds!


Want more?  Check out these fruit drinks!

grapefruit soda thumbGrapefruit Soda virgin-mojito-3Virgin Mojitos lemon-cream-soda-5Lemon Cream Sodas


Sparkling Peach Limeade
A sparkling peach and lime drink.
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: 4
  • 3 peaches
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  1. Peel and dice peaches. Place in a small pot with sugar and water. Bring to a boil, and let simmer about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let syrup cool. Chill for about an hour until cool.
  2. Put chilled peach syrup in a blender with lime juice, and blend until smooth.
  3. Put mixture in a pitcher, and gently stir in 2 cups ginger ale. Serve over ice, and garnish with fresh mint and lime slices.


Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies

Crispy chocolate peanut butter marshmallow brownies!  These brownies have a crispy chocolate peanut butter topping that will knock your socks off!

Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies from - fudgy brownies with gooey marshmallows and a crispy chocolate peanut butter topping!One of my favorite things about food blogging is the food blogging community.  I have made some awesome blogging friends, who like to talk about food photography and blog plugins just as much as I do.

One of my very best bloggy buddies is Carla at Chocolate Moosey.  And when I mentioned to her that I needed a killer brownie recipe for the upcoming family reunion brownie bake-off for eternal fame and glory, she suggested I try her Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies.

It was a brilliant suggestion.  They are amazing.

Which is why I’m sharing them with you today.  I made a couple small changes, to make them my own and all, but overall, this brilliant recipe is all Carla.

Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies from - fudgy brownies with gooey marshmallows and a crispy chocolate peanut butter topping!

The family brownie bake-off was a good time, by the way.  I still didn’t kick Maren’s butt, but I have high hopes for the next contest, which is all about cookies.

The big winner was actually Grandma.  No surprise there, the woman is a fantastic cook and baker, despite her inability to smell the amazing things she makes.  Her winning bar was very similar to this one, which is so addictive I literally had to quit making it.

I also attempted a second brownie, this one with a mint cheesecake swirl, but I never could get the thing to bake all the way through for some reason, and it was really too gooey to be enjoyed.  #foodbloggerproblems  We all have those days, right?

Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies from - fudgy brownies with gooey marshmallows and a crispy chocolate peanut butter topping!

What I love about this brownie is everything.  Honestly.  That crispy chocolate-peanut-butter topping is to die for.

One suggestion:  I have tried them warm and cold, and I recommend eating them cold.  The marshmallow is easier to eat, the topping has a nicer texture, and they cut cleanly into pretty little squares.  It’s a win-win.

Even if it didn’t win the family reunion bake-off.


Want more?  Check out these brownie recipes!

Cheesecake Brownies


 adapted from Chocolate Moosey

5.0 from 2 reviews
Peanut Butter Crispy Marshmallow Brownies
Cook time
Total time
A fudgy chocolate brownie, topped with marshmallows and a crispy peanut butter topping.
Recipe type: Brownies
Serves: 16
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 oz. chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 25 large marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¾ cup crisp rice cereal
  1. Chop chocolate, and place in a bowl with butter. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth.
  2. Let cool slightly, then add eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add salt, soda, and flour, and mix well.
  4. Pour batter into a 9x9 pan, and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, place marshmallows evenly on top (I did a 5x5 grid) and return to oven. Bake an additional 7-8 minutes, until marshmallows are puffy and slightly browned.
  5. Let brownies cool completely.
  6. In a small bowl, place chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted. Add crisp rice cereal, and stir well. Pour over cooled brownies. Place in fridge and chill until topping is hardened.
  7. Cut into 9 large or 16 small squares.



No-Bake Desserts

There are more than 50 no-bake dessert recipes in this collection!  Try these easy no bake desserts.

50+ No-Bake Dessert Recipes from - all kinds of cookies and bars that require NO baking!

A lot of people think no-bake cookies are just for the summer, but not I.  I love a good no-bake dessert any old time of year.

I find myself making a lot of classic no-bake cookies lately.  It’s a good way to get rid of whatever I have laying around, like the coconut and the almond milk I bought for these Whole-Grain Coconut Waffles, or the walnuts I used in these Granola Bites.  Plus, they’re ready in minutes and can take care of chocolate cravings in a flash.

My kind of dessert.

This is what made me decide to bring you a bunch of quick and easy desserts that require no baking whatsoever.  More than 50 of them, in fact.  Just feast your eyes on this collection, and you’ll be no-baking your little heart out!

cookie-dough-bars-4-685x1024Peanut Butter Cookie
Dough Bars
from Shugary Sweets
from View from the Great Island


pumpkin-spice-nanaimo-bars-4Pumpkin Spice
Nanaimo Bars
from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
No-Bake-Dark-Chocolate-Haystacks-with-Macadamia-Nuts-vertical-blogDark Chocolate Haystacks
with Macadamia Nuts
from Very Culinary


RaspberryBars1Raspberry Bars
Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free
from Petite Allergy Treats
Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Krispie-Cheesecake-Bars-11Peanut Butter
Cheesecake Bars
from Food Faith Fitness


Cereal Bars
from Chocolate Chocolate & More
PB-Bars-2013-tall2b1No-Bake Peanut
Butter Bars
From Jen’s Favorite Cookies


Butter Bars
from Life Tastes Good
samoa-cookie-dough-barsSamoa Cookie
Dough Bars
from Beyond Frosting


Funfeitt1Funfetti Cookie
Dough Bars
from Chelsea’s Cookie Dough Bars
Chocolate-Chip-Peanut-Butter-Cheesecake-Bars-Taste-and-Tell-1Chocolate Chip Peanut
Butter Cheesecake Bars
from Taste and Tell


from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Frito Bars
from Julie’s Eats & Treats


No-Bake-Fudgy-Peppermint-Cathedral-Cookies-1137Fudgy Peppermint
Cathedral Cookies
from Chocolate Moosey
Thin Mints
From Back for Seconds


Healthy-Almond-Joy-Protein-Bars4-wm (1)Almond Joy
Protein Bars
from Happy Food Healthy Life
Brown-Butter-Churro-Crispy-Treats-Recipe-2Brown Butter Churros
Crispy Treats
from Law Student’s Wife


Lemon-Vanilla-Energy-Balls-2Lemon Vanilla
Energy Bites
from The Healthy Maven
Loaded-Reeses-Puffs-Bars-4-1labeledPeanut Butter
Puffs Bars
from Dinners Dishes & Desserts


No-Bake-Chocolate-Fridge-Cake-with-Raspberries-and-Almonds-on-gourmandeinthekitchen.com_Chocolate Fudge Fridge Cake
with Raspberries & Almonds
from Gourmande in the Kitchen
Cookies-Cream-Meltaways-5bCookies & Cream
from Lemon Tree Dwelling


easy-no-bake-granola-bars-9 (1)No Bake Granola Bars
with Nutella Drizzle
from Yummy Healthy Easy
(Peanut Butter Krispies)
from Jen’s Favorite Cookies


No-Bake-Banana-Split-Oreo-Dessert-1-1Banana Split
Oreo Dessert
from Inside BruCrew Life
Vermont Maple No-Bake Cookies 4Vermont Maple
No-Bake Cookies
from Kitchen Is My Playground


Kahlua-Hazelnut-Chocolate-Truffles-vertical-blogKahlua Hazelnut
Dark Chocolate Truffles
from Very Culinary
BlueberryBars1Blueberry Bars
Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free
from Petite Allergy Treats


No-Bake Cookies
from Shugary Sweets
Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cracker-Bars-from-ChocolateChocolateandmore-47aChocolate Peanut Butter
Cracker Bars
from Chocolate Chocolate & More


no-bake-peanut-butter-corn-flake-cookiesPeanut Butter
Corn Flake Cookies
from Cupcake Diaries
Double-Chocolate-Cherry-Pistachio-Energy-Bars-1Chocolate Cherry Pistachio
Energy Bars
from Cupcakes & Kale Chips


granola-bites-1bPeanut Butter
Granola Bites
from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
PB-clustersPeanut Butter
from Valeries Kitchen


chocolate-coconut-pumpkin-barsChocolate Coconut
Pumpkin Bars
from Running to the Kitchen
cookie-butter-haystacksCookie Butter
Haystack Cookies
from Frugal Foodie Mama


no-bake-samoa-bars-stackNo Bake
Samoas Bars
from Nosh & Nourish
pbsmrs4Peanut Butter
S’mores Bars
from Back for Seconds


no-bake-cinnamon-roll-protein-bars-2Cinnamon Roll
Protein Bars
from The Healthy Maven
Breakfast Cookies
from Chelsea’s Messy Apron


bacon nutella krispie treatsBacon Nutella
Krispie Treats
from Simply Sated
Coconut-Cookie-Butter-Sandwich-Cookies-783x1024Coconut Cookie Butter
Sandwich Cookies
from Simply Southern Baking


5-min-granola-bars-682x10245-minute Peanut Butter
Granola Bars
from Fannetastic Food
Easy-No-Bake-Granola-Bars-RecipeEasy No-Bake Chocolate
Chip Granola Bars
from Back for Seconds


peanut butter almond no bake cookiesPeanut Butter Almond
No-Bake Cookies
from Cook & Craft Me Crazy
No-Bake-Chocolate-Blueberry-Bars-2No-Bake Chocolate
Blueberry Bars
from The Healthy Maven


Key+Lime+Meltaways+6bKey Lime
from Lemon Tree Dwelling
Krispie Treats
from Savour Fare


samoas-rice-krispie-treats-1Samoas Rice
Krispie Treats
from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
reeses-peanut-butter-cup-oreo-bon-bons1Peanut Butter Cup
Oreo Bon Bons
From Persnickety Plates


No-Bake-Cheerio-Peanut-Butter-BarsCheerios Peanut
Butter Bars
from Julie’s Eats & Treats
Nutella-Smores-Granola-Bars-4-1Nutella S’mores
Granola Bars
from Inside BruCrew Life


PB-BarsChocolate Peanut Butter
Granola Bars
from Spoonful of Flavor
circus-animal-cookie-barsCircus Animal Cookie
Dough Truffle Bars
from Beyond Frosting


pb-cheesecake-bars No-Bake Peanut Butter
Cheesecake Bars
from Cookie Rookie
Puppy-Chow-Bars-3Puppy Chow
from Dinners Dishes & Desserts


You’re reading one of my top ten most popular posts!  Check out the others here:

condensed milk cookies1. Condensed Milk
Chocolate-peanut-butter-cake-52. Chocolate Peanut
Butter Cake
lemon sugar cookies square33. Lemon Sugar
no bake desserts4. No-Bake Peanut
Butter Bars
plain-oatmeal-cookies-65. Plain Oatmeal
red-velvet-cake-batter-dip-46. Red Velvet
Cake Batter Dip
pumpkin oat cookies7. Pumpkin No-
Bake Cookies
soft-sugar-cookies-13-38. Perfect Soft
Sugar Cookies
Nutella-swirled-PB-bars-610. Nutella Swirled
Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies

This peanut butter and jelly cookie is perfect for back to school!  The kids will love this peanut butter and jelly cookie.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies - Peanut butter cookies sandwiched with peanut butter filling and jam.Y’all, my sister is back.  Remember when Em made her debut on this blog, with this Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade?  Today she is celebrating PB&J.  Just in time, too, since school is starting.

Take it away, Em!


“It’s peanut butter jelly time somewhere” I said, leaning over the sink, cramming a sandwich into my mouth.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches could end wars?  It’s like an acceptable way to eat dessert for lunch, which is funny because we’re adults.  We can eat whatever we want whenever we want to.  I still feel like I need to justify eating a PB&J though, which I do by telling myself that the protein is good for me.  (See how I completely ignored the vast amounts of sugar to focus on the protein?  I’m like the patron saint of sandwiches.)

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies - Peanut butter cookies sandwiched with peanut butter filling and jam.

I really can’t think of a food more universally adored than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches….except for maybe cookies.

While chocolate chip is probably the most commonly known and loved variety of cookies, I’m saying “give peanut butter and jelly a chance”.  Although, when it comes to these PB&J cookies, I really should be saying “give peanut butter and BUTTER and jelly a chance” because GOOD GRIEF is there a lot of butter in these bad boys!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies - Peanut butter cookies sandwiched with peanut butter filling and jam.

But let me tell you, they’re worth every calorie.  These are, without a doubt, the messiest and yummiest cookies ever.  If John Lennon were still around, he’d write songs about them.


Want more?  Check out these sandwiches!

grilled-choc-pb-sandwich-5Grilled Chocolate
Peanut Butter Sandwich


Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A delicious peanut butter cookie sandwiched with your favorite jam.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 16
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup quick oats
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ⅓ cup jam of your choice (I used strawberry)
  1. To make the cookies: heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray). Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and chunky peanut butter until smooth. Beat in sugars until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour mixture until just blended, then stir in oats.
  3. Spoon level tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a floured fork, make a crisscross pattern on top of each ball by pressing dough into flat 2¼-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned at edges. Let cool on baking sheet 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the filling: In a bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat sugar, smooth peanut butter, butter, and milk until smooth and fluffy. Spread 2 teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture on bottoms of half of the cookies. Spread jam on bottoms of the remaining cookies, using 1 teaspoon for each cookie. Sandwich together peanut butter-covered cookies with jam-covered cookies.




These rice krispie scotcheroos are easy to make and delicious.  Peanut butter rice crispy treats with karo syrup, and chocolate frosting.

Scotcheroos from - Peanut butter krispie treats with chocolate butterscotch frosting.Two years ago, these Scotcheroos were responsible for a krispie treat death match for eternal fame and glory.

Sound exaggerated?  Yeah, it is.  The death match was actually a family krispie-treat bake-off (or, more acccurately, no-bake-off) with biased judges and not-so-anonymous entries at the bi-annual family reunion.  And while we may claim eternal fame and glory, what we actually won more closely resembled a spatula and wooden spoon.

The krispie treat contest spawned a new family tradition.  At this year’s reunion, the contest was all about brownies.

I’ll be posting about the brownie bake-off soon, but in the meantime, I want to revisit my all time favorite krispie treat, the one that started all the hubbub, the krispie treat that could (and at times has) double as a birthday cake… Scotcheroos.

Scotcheroos from - Peanut butter krispie treats with chocolate butterscotch frosting.

If you’re at all interested in reading about the trash talk, unfair judging, and Fruity Pebbles, mint and peanut butter krispie treats, you can read all about it here.

Can I just describe to you why this is arguably the best krispie treat ever?  {Arguably, because OMG, THESE! which knocked my socks off.}

The biggest reason, besides the obvious heavenly peanut butter and chocolate combination, is corn syrup.

Scotcheroos from - Peanut butter krispie treats with chocolate butterscotch frosting.Scotcheroos from - Peanut butter krispie treats with chocolate butterscotch frosting.

Yes, corn syrup.  Because the presence of corn syrup means the absence of marshmallows.  Nothing against marshmallows, it’s hard to go wrong with cooked sugar, but I have just never really loved plain, old-fashioned, marshmallow krispie treats.  The corn syrup version gives a much softer, chewier, and in my humble opinion, far superior krispie treat texture.

As long as we are discussing ingredients, can I just say?  I think it’s a little weird that these are called Scotcheroos, because the only butterscotch in them is a half bag of butterscotch chips mixed with chocolate chips for frosting.  Mostly, they are peanut butter.

Then again, I don’t care what they are called, as long as they taste this heavenly and bring some eternal fame and glory!


Want more?  Check out these krispie treat recipes!

strawberry krispies thumbStrawberry White
Chocolate Krispies
Krispie Treats
pumpkin krispiesPumpkin Spice
Krispie Treats


A peanut butter krispie treat with chocolate frosting.
Recipe type: No-bake desserts
Serves: 20
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 7 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. butterscotch chips
  1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until well combined and sugar is mostly dissolved.
  2. Pour cereal into a large bowl. Pour warm peanut butter mixture over cereal, and stir until well combined.
  3. Press mixture into a 9x13 pan.
  4. Place chocolate and butterscotch chips in a bowl, and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and combined.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture over krispie treats, using a knife to spread evenly. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, until chocolate is set. Cut into 12 large or 20 small bars.


Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

An easy chocolate peanut butter recipe!  These chocolate cookies are stuffed with peanut butter filling.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies from JensFavoriteCookiesMy son and my nephew, Tank, are both the same age, and both attend the same local high school.  My kids normally take their lunches to school, but Tank  has to choose.  Sometimes he packs his own lunch, and sometimes he takes money for food.

He normally chose to spend his money on a slice of pizza.  Only, he didn’t enjoy the pizza.  At. All.  One day, he took his pizza, sat next to The Fruitarian, and said, “Another day, another terrible pizza!”  We still can’t figure out why he kept buying it, if he hated it so much!

Later in the year, The Fruitarian purchased a slice of that pizza himself, and reported back to us.  “That pizza really is terrible!”  He had to force himself to eat half of it, so he wouldn’t be too hungry the rest of the school day.


Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies

I’ll be holding Tank’s birthday cookies to a higher standard.  When I asked him what he wanted, Tank had the flavor combination all worked out.

He has seen his siblings get their own cookies for their birthdays, {remember these?  These?  And these?}  so I suspect he had been giving it some thought before he talked to me.

I was only too happy to give him exactly what he asked for.  And, truth be told, I was kind of excited to sample one myself!  Because chocolate and peanut butter are amazing.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies

I chose to use a cake mix for the cookies, just to keep it simple.  When cookies involve extra steps, like frosting, cutting, or stuffing, it’s nice to make at least some of those steps easy.

If you prefer not to use a cake mix, a regular chocolate cookie recipe like this one would work just as well.  This is also an easy recipe to adapt for gluten free baking, using a gluten free cake mix, and gluten free powdered sugar to mix with the peanut butter.

My real goal with this cookie is to get Tank to say, “Another day, another terrific cookie!”  Think I’ll succeed?


Want more?  Here are more chocolate and peanut butter treats!

chocolate-stuffed-peanut-butter-cookies-6Chocolate Stuffed
Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate-peanut-butter-cake-5Chocolate Peanut
Butter Cake
Nutella-swirled-PB-bars-6Nutella Swirled
Peanut Butter Bars



Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A chocolate cake mix cookie stuffed with peanut butter filling.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 2 dozen
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (any chocolate cake is fine, I used Devil's Food.)
  • ½ cup shortening or butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Combine chocolate cake mix with shortening and eggs. Mix well.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine peanut butter with powdered sugar. It should form a crumbly mixture.
  3. Scoop a spoonful of cookie dough into your hand, and flatten the middle. Drop a small amount of peanut butter mixture in the center, and wrap the chocolate dough around it, using more dough if needed, to seal up the peanut butter mixture completely. Repeat for each cookie.
  4. Place cookies on baking sheet, and bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes. Let cool 1-2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


Mint Cake

This green mint cake is dense and flavorful.  Try this mint layer cake recipe for your next celebration!

Mint Cake with Vanilla Buttercream from - This green mint cake is dense and flavorful!The Hippie Chick had another birthday.  Why do they just keep happening?

She’s getting so grown up, and so beautiful, it makes me feel completely unprepared for the future that lies ahead of her.  What happened to my cute little baby girl?

While she continues to grow and change, some things never change, like her love of vanilla.  I hope you don’t think me a bad mom, but when she asked for vanilla cake for her birthday (again!), I totally talked her out of it.  I told her it’s boring (which is true), and that it’s been done to death (also true), and that I’m sure we could come up with something much more interesting this year.

After some back and forth, we finally agreed on this Mint Cake.  Mission accomplished.

Mint Cake with Vanilla Buttercream from - This green mint cake is dense and flavorful!

Here’s a little glimpse into my life.  Since Hippie Chick’s birthday is so close to her cousin Tank’s birthday, we celebrate them both together, and this year, the celebrating happened at Tank’s house.

This means I had to make the cake and photograph it before taking it to the big party.

Which means I had to cut a piece out of it.  {Perhaps you remember my feelings about that?}

Which means I had to take it to the party after cutting a big chunk out of it.  My poor kids.  Lucky for me, they don’t seem to mind this embarrassment.

Mint Cake with Vanilla Buttercream from - This green mint cake is dense and flavorful! Mint Cake with Vanilla Buttercream from - This green mint cake is dense and flavorful!

The bigger problem was that my car was in the shop, and we were borrowing a car which did not have working air conditioning.

And it’s July.  And the party is at 5 pm.

And did I mention that I live in the desert?

The frosting and all the beautiful white chocolate decorations were no match for the 95F degree heat.

Mint Cake with Vanilla Buttercream from - This green mint cake is dense and flavorful!

On the bright side, this kept no one from eating it.  Every piece was devoured, and I literally took home an empty platter.

An empty platter, and a bag full of birthday gifts for Hippie Chick.  Happy Birthday baby girl!

Mint Cake

A moist and dense mint-flavored buttermilk cake, with vanilla buttercream frosting.
Cook Time25 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


For Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix (not prepared)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • green food coloring

For Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • white chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk, milk, and eggs.
  • In large mixing bowl, place cake mix, shortening, and half of the sour cream mixture. Mix well. Add remaining sour cream mixture, and mix well.
  • Add mint extract and food coloring. (I used a small squeeze of green gel food color.) Mix until combined. You may need to scrape down the sides and mix a second time.
  • Divide batter evenly between two greased 9-inch round cake pans, spreading evenly around each pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
  • For frosting, whip butter for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and white. Add remaining ingredients and whip well, until smooth and combined.
  • Frost between layers, and around the outside of the cake. If desired, garnish with white chocolate shavings.


July 2014 Wrap-Up

A collection of recipes from July 2014.

July-14-wrap-upI’m not going to lie… I love July.

I love the hot mid-summer, when I can’t live without air conditioning, and I spend a lot of money on Sonic diet limeades, and I wear my flip-flops everywhere I go, and I can barely remember last winter.

I know some people love winter sports, and experiencing all the seasons, but besides wearing my super-cute winter coat, I have absolutely no reason to look forward to winter.  Driving in the snow is the worst, and I kind of hate winter sports.

This July has been particularly fun.  I’ve loved almost every recipe I’ve shared with you this month.  And I say almost, because, well… just go ahead and read the bread pudding post for the full explanation.

One of the highlights this month was inviting my sister to guest post.  She made some delicious and very interesting Cilantro Jalapeno Lemonade, and may periodically contribute more of her delicious recipes to this blog.  She’s talented in the kitchen, so I’m super excited to see what else she dreams up!

Another was participating in Cheesecake Day.  I really enjoyed eating the Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies I created, but even more than that, I enjoyed seeing all the delicious cheesecake recipes everyone else contributed!


bread-pudding-7 Bread Pudding

Possibly the worst dessert food I can imagine, but it’s my
husband’s favorite, so I did all this for him.

fruit-punch-popsicles-11  Tropical Punch Popsicles

Kool-Aid and fruit and very little else make for some great
(and easy!) popsicles to get you through summer!

whole-grain-coconut-waffles-11  Whole Grain Coconut Waffles

One of the few healthy recipes you’ll find on this site!  This
one uses whole wheat and almond coconut milk.

coke-jar-cakes-3 Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar

Easiest jar cake EVER!  This recipe only requires pie filling,
cake mix, Coke, and a little whipped cream on top.

cookie-bark-4 Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

There’s no leavening, so they’re flat and crispy, and great
for putting into other desserts and snacks.

cookie-bark-snack-mix-2  Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies

Use that cookie bark to make a delicious snack mix.  You
can put it together in minutes, and devour it even faster!

macadamia-nut-cookies-3 White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

My niece, who obviously has incredibly good taste in cookies,
requested this creation for her birthday.

4imageb Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade

The first contributed creation of my talented sister, Em.  Can
you tell she likes to take it to the next level?

macadamia-crusted-chocolate-cookies-8 Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies

If you’re only going to love one nut for the rest of your life,
doesn’t it make sense to choose one as fabulous as this?

blackberry-cheesecake-brownies-6 Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

It’s Cheesecake Day!  The addition of blackberries and
brownies makes this cheesecake particularly fantastic.


In other news, I put together this fun collection of Cherry Recipes for you, and shared it on My Cooking Spot this month.  That’s because it’s summer, and it’s cherry season, and there are tons of ways to use this delicious fruit.  I literally can’t decide which one to make first!

I also shared my favorite ever Kentucky Derby Pie on Cupcakes and Kale Chips this month.  If you’ve never visited Cupcakes and Kale Chips, I recommend checking it out.  Brianne makes some really delicious stuff that you are sure to love!

I KNOW it’s early, but I started a new Pinterest board for Christmas recipes, a place to go while you plan the last part of this year.  Keep checking back, since there will be new stuff pinned to this board every week.

Last but not least, let’s talk about August.  Want a sneak peek of what’s coming up?  There’s my daughter’s birthday cake, my nephew’s birthday cookies (he made an awesome choice too!), and a recap of the family brownie baking contest.  I’ll also be revisiting some old favorites, with new and improved photos.  Can’t wait to get started!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

These blackberry marble cheesecake brownies are a delicious way to celebrate cheesecake day!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies from for National Cheesecake DayIt’s family reunion season.  My family only gets together every other year, since we are spread all over the country, and this is the week it’s happening.

One thing this family gets right is the food.  Last time, 2 years ago, we had a Rice Krispie Treat contest.  This started when I mentioned that Scotcheroos are the best thing ever, and my cousin vehemently disagreed, and a lengthy RKT trash-talk conversation ensued.  We decided to take the battle to the family reunion.

And then neither of us won.

But the contest was loads of fun, not to mention loads of calories.

This year, the family reunion bake-off is a brownie contest, and the trash-talking cousin and I are both determined to avenge our previous losses.

To that end, I’ve been auditioning brownie recipes right and left.  This one was actually the suggestion of one of my Facebook fans.  Thanks, by the way, dear Facebook fan who suggested this.  Because it was an excellent suggestion.  Really, really, really excellent.

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies from for National Cheesecake Day

Don’t be surprised if you see more brownie recipes on here in the coming weeks.  Trust me, it’s not easy to find a winning brownie that can beat my talented cousins and aunts.

If you’re at all curious about this contest (because everyone is super interested in someone else’s family reunion photos, right?) I’m sure I’ll be posting the up-to-the-minute info on Instagram.  If I have a cell signal, that is.  We’re kind of out in the boonies this year.

My favorite thing about this brownie recipe, besides the blackberries of course, is that it is also a cheesecake recipe.  Which is totally appropriate, since today is National Cheesecake Day!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies from for National Cheesecake Day

Woot!  Woot!  Let’s hear it for cheesecake!

There’s a bunch of awesome bloggers making cheesecake for you today.  That’s the kind of friends we are.  Friends who make cheesecake, then post photos.  Then eat the cheesecake ourselves.  (Self-discipline is totally overrated.)

Scroll to the bottom for all the cheesecake recipes:


Want more?  Check out these blackberry recipes!

fruit salsaPear Blackberry
Chocolate Blackberry CookieChocolate
Blackberry Cookies


5.0 from 2 reviews
Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16
Brownie Layer:
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
Cheesecake layer:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • about 3 oz. fresh blackberries
  1. For brownie layer: Combine butter and chocolate in a bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate and butter are both melted and combined.
  2. Add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add flour and mix until combined. Spread most of the batter into a 9x9 pan, reserving a small amount of batter.
  4. For cheesecake layer, combine cream cheese and sugar in a small bowl. Add egg and mix well.
  5. Place the berries in a small dish, and use a fork to gently mash. Pour mashed berries into cream cheese mixture, and mix very gently. To give brownies a swirled look, DO NOT overmix!
  6. Add cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter in the 9x9 pan. Place remaining brownie batter in pieces on top. Use a knife to swirl the top.
  7. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes, until edges are dry and slightly browned, and a knife inserted in the center of the cheesecake layer comes out clean.

More amazing cheesecake recipes!
Baked Cheesecakes:

No Bake Cheesecakes:

Cheesecake Beverages:

Cheesecake Cookies and Bars:

Cheesecake Desserts and Treats:

Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies

These easy chocolate cookies are rolled in macadamia nuts.  Macadamia lovers will love these easy chocolate cookies!

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from My family is not into nuts.  Which means I had these babies all to myself.

Not really.  But I did have a couple.

My brother’s girlfriend’s daughter (does that sound complicated?  It doesn’t feel complicated.)  had a birthday, and I missed it.  That’s me.  Forgetting important events like someone’s birthday.

This girlfriend and her daughters are relatively new to the family, so their birthdays are not on my radar.  It’s a situation in need of a remedy, for sure.

I made a peace offering to Blue Skies with these cookies.  I asked her what her favorite flavors are, and she told me she doesn’t like nuts, except macadamia nuts.  If you were going to pick one nut to love, doesn’t it make sense to choose one that is as fantastic as macadamias?

Honestly, I think she was thinking of CindyLouWho’s recent White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from

Except Blue Skies wanted chocolate.  Girl after my own heart.

And this is where the inspiration for chocolate cookies rolled in macadamia nuts came from.  Dare I pat myself on the back for this one?  I should probably just give the credit to Blue Skies.  It was her delicious flavor combo idea.

I enjoyed her anticipation of her own batch of cookies.  She called them “make-up” cookies, because I was making up for her missed birthday.

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from

Could you roll these cookies in another kind of nut?  I suppose you could.  I love all nuts, so the thought of cookies rolled in almonds or my beloved walnuts makes me pretty happy. But use macadamias if you can.

Because macadamias have a special place in the world.

Just like Blue Skies.

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate cookies rolled in crushed macadamia nuts.
Cook Time8 mins
Servings: 4 dozen
Author: Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4-5 ounces macadamia nuts, chopped


  • Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Add salt, soda, and cocoa, and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined.
  • Place chopped nuts in a small dish. Roll dough into balls and dip the tops in the chopped nuts. Place nut-side up on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes.

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade

This homemade lemonade is flavored with cilantro and lime.  Use jalapeno to give your homemade lemonade recipe a kick!

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!I like to tell people how multi-talented I am.  That’s mostly to convince myself I’m more talented than my sister.

She’s smart and funny, a fantastic cook, and basically great at everything she does.

This week, I asked her to pitch in and contribute one of her fantastic recipe ideas to my blog.

Take it away, Em!


Jen: “You should be a food blogger.  No joke.”

Me: “I don’t join cults.”

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!

My sister suffers from a unique sense of insanity where not only is she a stay-at-home-mom but she indulges in self-help books (which aren’t really self-help if you need the book to tell you what to do, right?), and is senseless enough to put the time required into producing a food blog.  Oh, did I mention it’s a BAKING blog??  If this were my blog, it would be about the transcendent culinary expedition of cooking through all the brands and flavors of ramen noodles.  Regardless of her obviously questionable mental state, I somehow let her talk me into contributing in the debauchery that is spending time and money to expand my existing collection of stretch marks.

It probably says something about my character that I’ll clean up my language, share recipes that don’t have alcohol (Ugh.  She’s making me wholesome.) and do someone else’s work just to see my words published in some form.  Silver lining though, I can start getting paid for writing blog entries right away by writing them while I’m at work!

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!

So anyway, here I am, sipping the Kool-Aid and blogging about food, wondering if it’s a symptom or a disease.

I start with a drink that is tried and true because it has all most of the elements I really enjoy: sweet, heat, and liquor.  Okay, I’m not complaining but normally when I drink lemonade, I replace the sugar with gin and the lemons with the rest of the gin.  Jen gave me lemons (and rules) so I’m making cilantro lime jalapeno lemonade.  If you want something refreshing but can’t handle the heat – replace the jalapenos with cucumbers (then move to Canada you pansy).

 Want more?  Check out these refreshing citrus drinks!

virgin-mojito-3Virgin Mojitos grapefruit soda thumbGrapefruit Soda frozen cherryFrozen Cherry Lemonade


Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade
A refreshing lemonade with a kick of heat.
Recipe type: Beverages
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup cilantro sprigs
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • slices of lime
  • slices of jalapeno
  1. Combine sugar and cilantro in a mortar and grind leaves with pestle. (If you’re lazy, you can throw them in a blender together, but I like really crushing out the little bit of liquid from the cilantro leaves.)
  2. Combine cilantro mixture, water, and lemon juice in a pitcher, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add slices of lime and jalapeno to taste (I like a lot of both in mine). Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

This macadamia nut cookies recipes is perfect for every day, and great for entertaining.  Make these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies oversized to impress!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!Our niece, CindyLouWho, had her 11th birthday recently.

She wrote a birthday list, which her father reports had several revisions.  It turns out the original list was a little extravagant.   Once she had the list perfected, she sent it to the entire family in a group text message.

The list included such ideas as a soft blanket, a gift card to the local frozen yogurt shop, and goldfish.  That last idea came with this very important parenthetical clarification:  “crackers, NOT A REAL FISH!”  Believe me when I tell you I was seriously tempted to get her a real fish, just to mess with her.

That’s the kind of aunt I am.

I told her I would love to make her a batch of cookies for her birthday, in any flavor she could dream up.  A couple days later, she sent me a text message with her choice… White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.  This girl has good taste in cookies.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!

CindyLouWho used to spend at least one weekend a month at our house.  We loved it.  She fit right in with our family.  And, since the Hippie Chick has long been lamenting that we never deigned to give her a sister, this cousin time gave her a brief and periodic approximation of what life with a sister might be like.

I love that they enjoy each other’s company so much.  They had some great times together, playing video games, jumping on the trampoline, drawing pictures on the white board, and even sometimes baking cookies.

I guess you know how I feel about cookies!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!

Costco sells these oversized White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, (everything Costco sells is oversized) and since that’s what I guess CindyLouWho was thinking of when she requested these, I made my cookies extra large too.

If you don’t want yours so large, just adjust the baking time down.  Watch for them to get slightly brown all over, especially the edges.

And then enjoy a cookie or two while you make  your own extravagant birthday list!


Want more?  Check out these white chocolate recipes!

White-chocolate-5White Chocolate
sconesCoconut White
Chocolate Scones
strawberry krispies thumbStrawberry White
Chocolate Krispies


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A basic drop cookie with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, and flour and mix until combined.
  3. Fold in nuts and white chips. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and chill for about 1 hour.
  4. Form dough into about 24 extra large cookies. *(see note) Place on baking sheet, leaving plenty of space for cookies to spread.
  5. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes, until lightly brown on top. Let sit on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
To create the cookie size, I used my size 60 cookie scoop, and rolled two scoops together into one large cookies.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies

This muddy buddies recipe uses chocolate chip cookies!  Popcorn and pretzels also make this muddy buddies recipe a fun one.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!True story:  just this spring, we purchased air conditioning and a brand spanking new furnace.  Isn’t is exciting being an adult, and spending thousands of dollars on a furnace?!

Then, it quit working.  And did it quit working on a day when it’s 80 degrees and overcast?  Of course not.  It’s quits working on Friday evening, just before a whole weekend of 100 degree, full blazing sun weather.

Don’t worry… a faulty valve was to blame, and our awesome contractor had it fixed in no time, (and by “no time” of course, I mean that the poor guy spent a couple hours in full sun, mid-afternoon on the south side of my house when it was 100 degrees) so we’re cool now, but it was a rough weekend.

On top of that, when I went out for popsicles and frozen hot chocolate, the brand spankin’ new radiator in my car sprang a leak and left a lake of antifreeze in the drive up window at the sandwich shop.  It took me more than an hour to nurse my poor overheating car about 3 miles home.

Maybe you saw me feeling grateful for the nearby condo complex which decided to water their lawn in the middle of the day?  It was the only way we managed to stay cool after an hour of full sun and running the heater.  I seriously felt like I was doomed to a life of sweating.  (So this is hell, eh?)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!

I can tell you one thing, I was not not NOT going to use the oven.  Or the stove.  I was even apprehensive about using the air popper to make popcorn.

So, we ate muddy buddies.  Hooray!

This particular version, in addition to the expected Chex cereal, also has popcorn and pretzels, and chocolate chip cookie bark.  If you’re not familiar with the cookie bark, I highly recommend you check that out here.  You can also use crunchy packaged cookies, but cookie bark is ever so much tastier.

I was fortunate to have some in my pantry.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!

I actually had to take a cold shower to cool down after that little disaster of a trip to the store.

Between the cool water and the chocolatey treats, my mood recovered much more quickly than my car did!


Want more? Check out these fun snacks!

caramel-corn-snack-mix-3Caramel Corn
Snack Mix
dk-choc-muddy-buddy-5Dark Chocolate
Coconut Muddy Buddies
peanut butter pretzelPeanut Butter
Pretzel Bites


Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies
Prep time
Total time
Cereal, popcorn and pretzels coated with chocolate and peanut butter, and tossed with crunchy chocolate chip cookie pieces.
Recipe type: Snacks
  • 3 cups Chex rice or corn cereal
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups broken pretzels
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 cups chopped cookie bark or crunchy packaged chocolate chip cookies
  1. In a large bowl, combine Chex, popcorn, and pretzels.
  2. Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Add vanilla and stir.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over Chex mixture, stirring until well coated.
  4. Add powdered sugar and toss to coat.
  5. Add chopped cookie bark or cookies.
Find a recipe for cookie bark here:


Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

A fun take on cookies!  Chocolate chip recipes are great, but this cookie bark is really fun!

Chocolate Chip Cookie bark from JensFavoriteCookies - great to mix into snacks or ice cream, also fun plain!What was I thinking?  That summer would be less busy than the school year?!

Yeah, I honestly thought that with less homework and less school activities, the summer would be this lovely quiet thing, full of time with friends, and activities around town, and backyard s’mores.  I even made a mental list of fun free activities we could do together.

The reality is something different.  My kids have filled their days with new extracurriculars, and jobs, and obscene amounts of sleep, and I find myself spending my days fighting with them to do their chores pick up their own stuff.  And all of this is nothing compared to the chauffering.

The Fruitarian is taking summer drivers ed, which means every day for 4 weeks he spends at least 2 hours at the school.  Before his bicycle was working, I was getting up early to drive him there by 7, then pick him up at 9, take him back for a range drive at 11, pick him up at 1, then he has swimming at 4, pick him up at 5:30, karate at 6:30, then I stomp and scream and jump up and down, and demand someone else bring him home at 9.

Needless to say, we have done zero of our fun free activities.  But, as I’d rather have busy kids than idle kids, I’m trying not to complain.

Chocolate Chip Cookie bark from JensFavoriteCookies - great to mix into snacks or ice cream, also fun plain!

My summer baking plans have been thwarted, too.  My romantic ideas about fancy cookies and fresh fruit ice creams and homemade popsicles are going nowhere fast.  (Although, thankfully, summer has only begun, so I can still hold out hope.)

I like the idea of this cookie bark for two reasons.  First, since there’s no eggs and no leavening agent, they are flat and crispy, making them easy to transport to whatever crazy activity might come up.  I can even stash them in the back of the pantry to make them last more than one afternoon.  And, I can put them in a baggie and throw them in the car, and it doesn’t matter if they break into pieces because they are supposed to do that!  

The second reason is that these can be made into a second recipe.  It’s like a two-fer… make it once, eat it twice!  And when summer schedules get this crazy, everyone needs a two-fer.

Chocolate Chip Cookie bark from JensFavoriteCookies - great to mix into snacks or ice cream, also fun plain!

If I’m really lucky, maybe I’ll even be able to turn this into three recipes.  Imagine the glorious time saving possibilities!!

As soon as the other recipe(s) are made, I’ll link to them here —>  COMING SOON  <—  but in the meantime, know that cookie bark is an awesome snack to eat all by its fabulous self.


Want more?  Check out these chocolate chip recipes!

CCC-collage-1100 Chocolate
Chip Cookies
choc-chip-dip-3Chocolate Chip
Cookie Dough Dip


Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
Cook time
Total time
Crunchy bark that is similar to a chocolate chip cookie.
Recipe type: Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugar. And water and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt and flour and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Press dough into a jelly roll pan or other baking sheet. (Mine used about ¾ of the jelly roll pan.)
  4. Bake at 350F for 35-30 minutes, until top is brown throughout.
  5. Let cool completely, then use a large knife to cut into triangles.


Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar – Share a Coke

This jar cake recipe is fun to make with kids!  Share a Coke with this cake in a jar recipe.  #collectivebias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbiasDo you remember that old ad for Coca-Cola?  The one about sharing a Coke and a smile?  {I totally just aged myself there.  That ad is from 1980.  Pretend you didn’t notice.}  That ad has stuck with me all these years, and Robb too.

Sometimes we just need a ten minute break from life.  Kind of like a smoke break, but without the smoking.  Usually one of us invites the other by saying, “Want to go have a Coke and a smile?”

Then we run to the gas station or the grocery store, grab some Cokes, and just talk.  Or, if we have Coke in the fridge, we sit in the yard or walk around the neighborhood.

This year, Coke has a new idea about sharing a Coke and a smile.  Have you seen it?  They are labeling 20-oz. bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero with names, and calling it #ShareItForward.  Which, frankly, gives me all kinds of ideas.

Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbias

The one I want to share with you today is these little jar cakes.  They make the perfect little individual servings!

Since each cake only requires 2 tablespoons of Coke,  you and your friend can have a little Coke in your cake, and sip the rest while they bake.

If you can’t find a bottle with your name on it, there are some more generic bottles that say “Share with Friend” or “Share with Family.”  Since I was sharing both the Coke and the cakes with my family, I chose the family one.  Weirdly, they didn’t have any bottles that said “Fruitarian” on them.  The poor Fruitarian had to drink the generic Coke bottle!

You can also share a coke with a virtual bottle to share online.  The name choices are much wider here.

Coke #ShareItForward #shop #cbias Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbias

I decided to share Coke with my family.  We each put two tablespoons of Coke {yes, Diet Coke and Coke Zero also work fine!} in our jar cakes, and when they were done baking, we had a quiet little moment at the picnic table in the shade.

It’s been so crazy around here lately, that little Coke and a smile moment was exactly what we needed.

Coke  #ShareItForward #shop #cbiasChocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbias

Coke and Walmart held big events a few days ago to introduce these fun personalized bottles.  The event is over now, but the bottles are still available at Walmart and some other retailers.  Look for them through the summer.

Then share your Coke with a friend, and just try not to sing the Coke and a Smile song from that old ad!


Want more?  Check out these fun cakes!

rainbow-cake-in-jar-3Rainbow Cake
in a Jar
Sheet Cake and Cherry ToppingChocolate Sheet Cake
with Cherries
german-chocolate-skillet-cake-6German Chocolate
Skillet Cake


3.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar
Cook time
Total time
Easy chocolate cakes made with Coca-Cola.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 8
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can Coca-Cola (12 oz.)
  • frozen whipped topping
  1. Place ¼ cup cherry pie filling in each of 8 half-pint canning jars.
  2. Place ⅓ cup dry chocolate cake mix in each jar, on top of the pie filling.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons Coke to each jar. Use a knife to gently mix coke into cake mix.
  4. Place cans in a 9x13 baking dish with about ¼-inch of water in the bottom. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Top each cake with frozen whipped topping.


Whole-Grain Coconut Waffles

Healthy whole wheat waffles are easy and tasty!  Use almond milk to make this healthy waffles recipe.

Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!While this is primarily a dessert blog, I occasionally like to share some breakfast ideas with you.

I’d like to say that’s because you can’t have dessert for breakfast, but who am I kidding?  What are chocolate muffins and coffee cake, if not dessert that you eat for breakfast?

And yes, I’m aware that this particular breakfast is pictured slathered in syrup and toasted coconut, but beyond that, these babies are actually healthy.  They are healthy in the sense that they are extra-wheaty and dairy-free.

I was a little worried that the gaggle of teens at my house would turn their noses up at these “healthy” waffles.  I warned them that they were whole-grain.  They literally answered by saying, “We don’t care.  We want the waffles.”

Fine with me.  Dive in.  Just save me one.

Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!

At my house, the teens come in the extra-skinny variety.  My doctor always tells me they are underweight, and not to restrict their diets at all.  Trust me, doc, there are no food restrictions in this house.

Since I am overly fond of dessert foods, I sometimes worry that their diet is a little heavy on the carbs, and light on the nutrients.  I figure it can’t hurt them to eat whole grains once in a while.  It also gave me an excuse to try the new Silk Almond Coconut blend.

Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!

Have you seen this stuff?  I asked my good friend about it, since she had to cut dairy out of her diet a while back.  Dairy AND gluten.  She almost can’t eat anything.

She told me she uses Silk Almond Milk all the time, and that she really likes the Silk Almond Coconut Blend.  It doesn’t have as strong a coconut flavor as coconut milk does, and it’s a nice change from using almond milk every day.  She bakes with it, cooks with it, even pours it on her cereal.

I think you should try the Silk Almond Coconut Blend for yourself, and to make it a little easier, I am including a coupon!  CLICK HERE to get the coupon details.

I’m sure you’ll have trouble keeping your kiddos away from these waffles long enough to get your own helping, but they’re worth the trouble!


Want more?  Try these breakfast favorites!

banana-choc-chunk-muffins-2014-6Banana Chocolate
Chunk Muffins
cake pop muffinsGlazed
Muffin Bites


Whole-Grain Coconut Waffles
Cook time
Total time
Whole grain waffles made with almond milk and coconut.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 5
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups Silk Almond Coconut Blend
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  1. Combine flour, wheat germ, coconut, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine Almond Coconut milk, egg, oil, and extract.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until combined, mixture can be slightly lumpy.
  4. Pour into waffle iron, and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Top with syrup and toasted coconut.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tropical Punch Fruit Juice Popsicles

These easy fruit juice popsicles are quick to make with Kool-Aid from Walmart.  If you’re looking for popsicles recipes, look here for easy fruit popsicles! #collectivebias

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!We’ve officially made it to that part of the summer… the blazing hot part.  The forecast is full of triple digit temperatures, and there’s no end in sight.

The kids were thrilled when I suggested we meet some friends and spend the afternoon at the pool.  We had a wonderful wet afternoon, right up until we went home and discovered how seriously sunburned we were.  I haven’t been in this much misery in ages.

It was fortunate for all of us that I had some of these popsicles in the freezer.  We were only too happy to use them to help us cool down!

I love making homemade popsicles.  Not only can you have a lot more control over what goes in them, you can also get much more creative with flavor combinations.  That’s my favorite part!

Since I recently snagged one of those 96-oz bottles of Kool-Aid from Walmart, I figured it would be the perfect foundation for these fruity pops.  I had to act fast, because even the big bottle of Kool-Aid doesn’t last long here!

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!

These 96-oz bottles of ready-to-drink Kool-Aid are brand new, and super convenient, if you ask me.

You know what it means for me?  No more empty packages of dry mix laying all over my counter.  No more kids screaming questions through the house about how much sugar to use.  No more kids standing with the fridge door open, hoping some new beverage options will magically appear in front of them.

It’s a win-win, really.

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!

To make these pops, I mixed Tropical Punch Kool-Aid with orange-pineapple frozen juice concentrate, ginger ale, and some fruit.

I will warn you that take several hours to really solidify, at least 6, but you’ll probably be happier letting them freeze overnight.

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!Kool-Aid-Walmart-3


Thanks to Kool-Aid and their new #KoolOff campaign, along with Walmart, I can let you know that these new 96-oz bottles are worth a try.

I can also tell you that if you happen to live near Columbia, South Carolina, you could meet Jim Dillard, pro fisherman, at one of the locations listed below!  He will be at these Walmart stores with games, prizes, t-shirts, and activities.  (Scroll to bottom for list of dates and locations.)


Want more?  Here are some more ways to cool off this summer!

raspberry-sorbet-3Raspberry Sorbet pb-snickers-pops-7Ice Cream Pops grapefruit soda thumbGrapefruit Soda


5.0 from 2 reviews
Tropical Punch Popsicles
Prep time
Total time
Delicious fruit punch popsicles with the flavors of orange and pineapple.
Recipe type: Frozen Desserts
Serves: 15
  • 1 cup Tropical Punch Kool-Aid
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • ½ of a 12-oz can frozen orange-pineapple juice concentrate
  • 1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 can (11-oz) mandarin oranges, drained
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into popsicle molds.
  2. Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight.


Meet Jim Dillard here:

Friday August 8th 5-7pm:
360 Harbison Blvd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter

Saturday August 9th  3-5pm:
1326 Bush River Rd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter

Saturday August 9th 6-8pm:
2401 Augusta Rd West Columbia, SC WM Supercenter