Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week! So much baking to be done, and so many new recipes to try for the holidays! There are several classics that are so great this time of year too…like peanut butter cookies. They make a great addition to any cookie tray or as a cutely packaged and delicious gift!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup  granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Using a mixer, cream together butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix on high until combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Cover dough tightly and chill for at least 2hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and roll into granulated sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press fork into the tops to create the criss-cross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned on the sides. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.





Classic Cheesecake


It is National Dessert Day! I hope you are celebrating with some amazing dessert!

I thought I would celebrate with a blog post on a timeless recipe, Cheesecake. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts and I have been making variations of this recipe since I was in high school, however this is the first time I went with the classic base. I will say I have no regrets about that decision what-so-ever.

Classic Cheesecake

3 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened.

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1-2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Press into a springform pan and set aside. Beat cream cheese on medium speed until whipped, slowly stir in sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour over prepared crust. Cover pan with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until set. Cool at room temperature then refrigerate overnight.

A few tips: You can choose to leave the foil step out, but it helps the cheesecake from getting too brown.

I prefer to cool my cheesecake in the oven for a bit with the door open, this allows the cheesecake to come up to room temperature and helps prevents cracking.

I also think cheesecake is best the second day, after the flavors have had time to sit and chill…but let’s be honest, I’ll be happy to eat it any time.


New Seasons & Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

It has been almost eight months since I last posted.

Eight months.

So much life has happened in the past few seasons. Spring and summer were filled with so many hard things. So many big things. But just as the weather turned a little cooler…this new season has brought some really good things. New things for my little family of three; and I couldn’t be more grateful for fall.

Last Friday Ean, Nora and I went and picked apples at an orchard near by. It didn’t take long to fill up the five gallon bucket, but the kids had a blast, and loved being tall enough to reach the apples. Nora requested to make apple pie at least six times, and I can’t wait to make one with her in the next few days. The first recipe we made with our freshly picked apples was apple crisp, so I thought I would get back to blogging. It is incredibly easy to make and has all of the flavors of fall.

Apple Crisp

7 cups sliced apples

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

For the Topping:

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, chilled

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Core, peel & slice apples. In a large bowl, mix together apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt and spread into an 13×9 pan. In a medium bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Layer on top of apples. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes or until top starts to brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!

apples nor

A couple photos from our apple pickin’ adventure. I can not believe how big Miss Nora is!

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to make red velvet treats…if you feel like you need a reason. I’m happy to eat red velvet 365 days a year. These Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars are a great variation on the flavor!

Red Velvet Bars:
1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 T red food coloring (I like to use a little less and I love Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion from Lorann Professional Kitchen. It will change your life.)
3 1/2 C flour
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9×13 inch pan ready. Line the pan aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray so that the bars easily lift out and are easy to cut.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup butter softened and sugar until light and creamy. About 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until combined.

Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 inch pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting.

To make the cream cheese frosting, Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Frost the top of the bars and enjoy! You can use sanding sugar or a few cookie crumbs to garnish.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Hello Friends. It has been way too long.

The last few months of 2014 were crazy. There were lots of yummy treats (I used appoximatley 10 pounds of butter in one month) and baked at least a dozen batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies from September to December. Friends and family assure me they never grow tired of these cookies, so I thought I would kick off 2015 with this classic recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 4 dozen

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs lightly beaten

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 – 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda and salt together and set aside. Combine shortening, sugars and vanilla; beat until creamy. Add beaten eggs and flour mixture, alternating between the two. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. If you have time, chill the dough for an hour in the refrigerator, this will help the cookies from becoming too flat. You can skip this step and the cookies will still be wonderful! Roll into balls (I like to use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop) and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake. It is actually best to underbake your cookies, then let them continue baking on the cookie sheet as they cool. This will make your cookies soft and perfect! All ovens are different, so it may take a couple of test batches to get the perfect cookie! Once they have set on the cookie shoot for 5-8 minutes, place on a cooling rack.

Nora loves these cookies so much, she came over to ‘help me’ photograph them. Can you believe how big she is? She quickly ate a cookie and drank the milk, I’m just glad I was able to get a few shots in before she offered her assistance.

Happy Baking in 2015 Friends!

Nora Cookies 2

Ean’s Fifth Birthday Camp Out

IMG_3323 IMG_3353 IMG_3358 IMG_3374 IMG_3396 IMG_3428 IMG_3330IMG_3438 IMG_3457 IMG_3474

Ean turned five in September (He is a cheeseball…see above photo). He is growing up so fast! We celebrated with his cousins and a couple friends with a Boys Camp Out in the backyard. Most of the items for his party we had on hand…or my mom did. I love the green percolator, it was a wedding gift for my parents and it was the perfect touch. The boys had hot dogs, gummy worms, s’mores, campfire cake & hot cocoa…and a lot of fun. I am sure our neighbors loved it!