Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Magic Cookie Bars

I woke up on Christmas Eve, and decided to make a new cookie bar for our family to enjoy!  I love magic cookie bars, so I wanted to make Christmas Magic Cookie Bars!  

These bars came out so so so good!  

Even John loved them (and he is not a coconut fan)! 

Your Shopping List for the Christmas Magic Cookie Bars:
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup red and green Christmas Candy (I used Hershey-Ets but you can use M&Ms)
  • 1 cup pretzels sticks, broken into small pieces 
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp holiday sprinkles

Now Let's Make the Christmas Magic Cookie Bars:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan with butter or nonstick spray
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press into pan
  3. Pour can of sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup each of the chocolate chips, chocolate candy, and broken pretzels over top of the sweetened condensed milk
  5. Top with all of the shredded coconut
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup each of the chocolate chips, chocolate candy and pretzels over top of the coconut
  7. Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown
  9. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan (about 2 hours) before cutting into bars
  10. Store in an airtight container

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Cherry Pie Cookies

It's the last day of my 12 Days of Christmas Food countdown!  

Today I am sharing a very cute cookie that fits perfectly into the Christmas color scheme:

Cherry Pie Cookies

These cookies are a simple shortbread thumbprint cookie that gets filled with cherry pie filling!  They are delicious and sweet!  If you didn't want to use cherry pie filling, you could also use any type of red jam!

Here's What You Need to Make the Cherry Pie Cookies:
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), softened
  • 1 tsp almond extract 
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar 
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour 
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling (you won't use the whole can)
Here's What You Need to Make the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1-2 tsp milk 
  • 1 drop almond extract 

Now Let's Make the Cherry Pie Cookies:
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees 
  2. In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and almond extract
  3. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth
  4. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and beat until a dough forms 
  5. Roll dough into 24 balls, approximately 1 inch in size, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets 
  6. Use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon to make indentations in the center of each ball
  7. Fill each indent with one or two cherries and some of the red gel
  8. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes
  9. Allow to cool for a few minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool 

Now Let's Make the Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, almond extract and 1-2 tsp of milk - you want it to be thin enough to pipe on cookies but thick enough that it will not run
  2. Once desired consistency is reached, spoon icing into a ziploc bag
  3. Snip off on corner of the bag and pipe icing over tops of cookies 
  4. Allow glaze to harden before storing cookies in an airtight container

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Triple Chip Blondies

We are on DAY #11 of my 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!!!  

Today I am sharing my recipe for

Triple Chip Blondies!!!

These blondies are a cake mix recipe and they are so simple to whip up!  They are loaded with chips - chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch!  That basically means there is a little something in there for everyone!  If you need a dessert for Christmas or a cookie bar to make for Santa, these are it!

Your Shopping List for the Triple Chip Blondies:
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Now Let's Make the Triple Chip Blondies:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish
  2. In a mixing bowl stir together the cake mix, melted butter, and beaten eggs until a soft dough forms
  3. Stir in all three flavors of chips
  4. Press dough into prepared pan
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned
  6. Remove from oven and use the back of a spatula to press the surface of the cookie bars down flat
  7. Cool completely in pan
  8. Cut into 24 squares and store in an airtight container

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Paisley Jean is One: Part Two

Last week, I shared a look back at Paisley's First year in pictures!  You can check it out here!

I needed to write part two of this post so that I could share a little bit about Paisley being ONE!

On Friday December 11th, our sweetest third baby turned one!  I know I keep saying it but it was the fastest year ever!  

At One Paisley:
*can take several steps unassisted
*crawls up the stairs
*waves bye bye
*blows kisses
*follows directions (like come here or hand me that toy)
*has four teeth (and two more on the way)
*drinks out of a sippy cup
*says mama, dada, baba, Lacie, bebe, coffee, coco, nana, pop-pop and lots of other words
*tries to repeat anything you say

Paisley Loves:
*Elmo and Minnie Mouse
*her pacifier and her bottle 
*Lacie and Blakely
*looking at pictures 
*reading books
*playing with her baby doll - look at what a good little mama she is

Paisley LOVED her first birthday cake!  And she (not surprisingly) ate an entire piece!

My sweet Christmas Baby's Cake!

Paisley's One Year Stats:
*18 pounds, 13.5 ounces
*28 inches

Lacie's One Year Stats:
*21 pounds, 11 ounces
*30 inches

Blakely's One Year Stats:
*21 pounds, 14 ounces
*30 1/2 inches

And my side by side of the girls at One Year:


Sunday, December 20, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Snickerdoodle Pancakes

It's Day #10 of my 12 Days of Christmas Food Countdown!

Today I am sharing a delicious breakfast recipe...

Snickerdoodle Pancakes!!!!

Yes, I took a classic Christmas Cookie and turned it into a pancake!  And it is oh so good!


Your Shopping List for the Snickerdoodle Pancakes:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pancake toppings of choice (butter, real maple syrup, fresh fruit, etc)

Now Let's Make the Snickerdoodle Pancakes:
  1. Preheat your pancake griddle over medium heat and grease (I use butter)
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon
  3. Mix in the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract - don't over mix - a few lumps are okay
  4. Pour batter in circles on preheated griddle - this recipe will make nice medium to large sized pancakes
  5. When small bubble begin to appear on the surface of the pancake (about 2-4 minutes) flip pancake
  6. Cook on second side an additional 2 minutes, being careful not to burn your pancake - the cinnamon will make them burn faster than regular pancakes
  7. Serve with butter, syrup and other pancake toppings of choice.  On this particular day, I made a nice vanilla glaze using powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla beans to go over the top! 

I have been using this pancake griddle for over 6 years now, and I love it!  I can make 8 pancakes at once and it's so easy to just wipe clean! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Caramel Gingerbread Bars

It's my 12 Days of Christmas food!

Today is Day #9

Caramel Gingerbread Bars

I'm sure when you think about Christmas food, especially Christmas desserts, you land on the ever popular Gingerbread Men Cookies!  They are a classic Christmas Cookie!  Well these Caramel Gingerbread Bars give you that classic flavor without all the work.  These bars are about one thousand times easier than making gingerbread men cutout cookies! 

Your Shopping List for the Caramel Gingerbread Bars:
  • 1 box Gingerbread Cake Mix (if you cannot find this, substitute Spice Cake Mix with 1-2 tsp of ginger added)
  • 1 stick butter, softened or even slightly melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 bag caramel bits (you can find these right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Now Let's Make the Caramel Gingerbread Bars:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish generously with non-stick spray (the caramel will make these stick more than other bars)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Gingerbread Cake Mix, butter, and eggs
  3. Fold in the caramel bits and white chocolate chips
  4. Press dough into greased pan
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and using the back of a greased spatula, press the bars down into the pan
  7. Bake additional five minutes
  8. Remove from oven and press down again if necessary to ensure a flat surface
  9. Cool completely in pan before cutting and storing the bars in an airtight container

Happy Gingerbread Bar Making!  

And if you miss the classic gingerbread man shape - buy some to hang on your tree! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's FRIDAY!!!

And do you know what next Friday is...


So of course today, I need to share my weekly favorites and some of my Christmas Favorites with you!

Paisley is ONE
Last Friday Paisley turned ONE!  You can see a recap of all some special pictures of her from her first year on my Mommy Mondays post here!

She is just so happy to be one of the Big Girls now!

Princess Dolls
If you have read any of my blog post recently, you know that my girls are princess obsessed!  Lacie and Blakely were princesses for Halloween (this year and last year) and they just got to meet every single princess on our Disney vacation!  So of course princesses will be a big part of what they are getting on Christmas morning!  I love these plush dolls from the Disney Store (because they can sleep with them)!  Each girl already has Anna and Elsa, and now they will each be getting their favorite princess for Christmas: Snow White for Paisley, Cinderella for Blakely, and Belle for Lacie!  We don't truly know what Paisley's favorite princess is - but we decided it was Snow White after this sweet interaction in Disney World!

Princess Castle 
A few weeks ago (after returning from Disney) Lacie asked for a new play castle for Christmas. We have the Fisher Price castle but the older girls don't really play with it anymore. I know she wanted more of a "big girl" type of castle!  The Disney Store had a wonderful Disney Parks castle and a Frozen castle - so I got both so that the girls could each have one but can also share!  The Frozen one sold out the next day (thank goodness I got it in time) but the Disney Parks Castle is here:

Christmas Recipes
I have been counting the 12 Days of Christmas with some delicious holiday recipe on the blog!  In case you missed what I shared this week:

Paisley's Second (First) Christmas
So last year was obviously Paisley's First Christmas!  But she was only 2 weeks old!  She spent all of Christmas sleeping in her swaddle.  So I feel like this is her first Christmas!  Even though she just turned one, she understands a lot.  She has been fascinated with our Christmas decorations, she loves looking for Cocoa (our Elf) with the other girls, she watched Christmas movies with her sisters, and she can't get enough of all of the stuffed animals that play Christmas songs!

I can't wait for her to have her turn at opening gifts too!  Last year, Santa got Paisley a few outfits and a cute, pink Blabla pretzel rattle (that she still sleeps with).  

But this year Paisley is getting some fun gifts that I know she will love opening and playing with!  One of my favorites is this Melissa and Doug Mickey Mouse and friends train!  

Because after all, we all know how much Paisley loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

I am linking up over at: 


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Red Velvet Neiman Marcus Bars

It's hard to believe that we are already on Day #8 of my 12 Days of Christmas!

Today's recipe is my

Red Velvet Neiman Marcus Bars

I've already shared my opinion that Christmas should be filled with lots of Red Velvet Yumminess!  And these bars will not disappoint!  It's like a red velvet brownie with cream cheese frosting!  And if you have never made a Neiman Marcus Bar....what are you waiting for?!?  They are wonderful!

Your Shopping List for the Red Velvet Neiman Marcus Bars:
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 block cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar

Now Let's Make the Red Velvet Neiman Marcus Bars:
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan with butter or nonstick spray
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, one egg, and melted butter until a soft dough forms
  3. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan
  4. In the bowl of a stand of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat together the cream cheese, remaining two eggs, and powdered sugar until combined and smooth
  5. Spread mixture on top of red velvet cookie dough
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes until the edges are crisp and the top of the cream cheese mixture has a slight crust but doesn't seem completely set 
  7. Allow pan to cool on a wire rack for thirty minutes
  8. Transfer pan to fridge to cool completely (an additional two hours)
  9. Cut into bars and serve or store in the fridge until you are ready to eat

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

12 Days of Christmas: Cranberry Orange Muffins

It's my 12 Days of Christmas Food, Day #7! 

Today I am sharing an easy (and healthy) breakfast recipe!

Cranberry Orange Muffins!

When you combine the delicious flavors of Cranberry and Orange, you create a wonderful flavor that is sure to remind others of Christmas and winter in general!  

These muffins are healthy and super easy to whip up!  Make them the night before for morning guests!

Your Shopping List for the Cranberry Orange Muffins:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand white whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (about 2 medium sized oranges)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 medium sized oranges)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (you could also use plain veggie oil)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • course sugar for sprinkling the tops of the muffins

Now Let's Make the Cranberry Orange Muffins:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (you can use cooking spray if you do not have liners)
  2. In a bowl of hot water, soak the cup of dried cranberries to soften and plump them - set aside until needed 
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda
  4. Whisk the orange zest into the dry mixture 
  5. Add the orange juice, water, milk, oil, and egg to your dry ingredients.  Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined
  6. Drain your cranberries and fold them into batter
  7. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin tin
  8. Sprinkle course sugar over the top of each muffin
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes
  10. Cool for about 5 minutes in pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely

I use these muffin pans:

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Paisley Jean is ONE

On Friday December 11, 2015 (at 10:45am) Paisley Jean turned one after what was the fastest year of my life!  

I have so much to share about Paisley turning one, so I am doing my Mommy Monday in two parts!  Today, I am taking a walk down memory lane and looking back at Paisley's first year in pictures! 


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