Pistachio & Cranberry Cookies

You probably have figured out that I don’t bake that often, but when I do, I like to make something special.  I am not the best at following directions, which is why I tend to stick with cooking and winging my own thing.  I have been trying to bake a little bit more which has been so fun!  In trying to find the perfect recipe for the cookie swap last month, I stumbled upon this adorable semi-homemade recipe from one of my favorite blogs, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I ended up choosing the Peppermint Pattie Cookies for the cookie swap, but still HAD to make these! Continue reading

Cotton Candy Birthday Bars

If you haven’t realized this on your own yet… I don’t bake very often.

Today I’m baking for a special reason.  It’s my sister’s birthday!!  (well tomorrow)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA!

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I decided to make her these colorful Cotton Candy Bars as an homage to our childhood.  Mellie and I always chose the most disgusting  outrageously sugary and colorful flavors everywhere we went.  Whether it was ice cream, the soda syrup at Nifty Fifty’s, or the fluoride at the dentist office… you could put money on Mellie and I choosing the weirdest one.  Cotton Candy was always the winner over Bubblegum.

When I saw this recipe on The Domestic Rebel (the most amazing blog about sweets), I immediately thought about Mel.  I had to make these for her!

The best thing about The Domestic Rebel is that she does a ton of semi-homemade goodies.  These bars were so easy to make which was perfect for my busy weekday schedule.

Cotton Candy Birthday Bars

Ingredients:

1 Box Funfetti cake mix
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Canola Oil
2 pkts Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Recipe Creations Flavor Mix
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
1 can Duncan Hines Frosting Starter kit
Sprinkles

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil and ONE packet of the cotton candy mix with a rubber spatula until blended and combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Plop the mixture into the baking dish and using your hands, spread the dough evenly over the bottom.  Bake for 10-14 minutes (Hayley suggested 14-16 but after checking around 11 minutes, mine was ready to come out… so keey an eye!) until edges are lightly golden and center is set.  Allow to cool completely before frosting 
4. Stir the remaining flavor packet into the can of icing. Spread the icing evenly onto the cooled bars and top with sprinkles. Refrigerate for about an hour before cutting into squares.  

Recipe from:  The Domestic Rebel

You know you've seen these in the baking section this year!  I was super psyched to try them out.

You know you’ve seen these in the baking section this year! I was super psyched to try them out.

BLUE!!!!!!!

BLUE!!!!!!!

I could eat this whole dough ball, I swear.

I could eat this whole dough ball, I swear.

The mixture turns out pretty thick so I had to press down with my hands to spread it out as best as I could.

The mixture turns out pretty thick so I had to press down with my hands to spread it out as best as I could.

I had so much fun swirling the cotton candy flavoring into the icing :)

I had so much fun swirling the cotton candy flavoring into the icing 🙂

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YUM!  I just love how perfectly blue these babies turned out.  It’s not often you get to eat blue food… unless you have an awesome Mom like we did who let us put food coloring in our mashed potatoes!

So give these sugary bars a shot and let your inner child have some fun!  Happy Birthday Mellie!

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Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Oh HI friends…. it’s been a while.

While I meant to post these babies just in time for Valentine’s Day… that just never happened… so you’re getting them now!  I mean really, who doesn’t love Red Velvet ANYDAY!?  There’s no rule saying you can only eat it for V-Day.  Am I right?

Beautiful flowers from my Valentine!

Beautiful flowers from my Valentine!

Dave and I went to the Circus for Valentine's Day!

Dave and I went to the Circus for Valentine’s Day!

It was so much fun... I loved the poodles and the elephants.

It was so much fun… I loved the poodles and the elephants.

 

I actually searched far and wide for the perfect cookies to make the boys for Valentine’s Day.  Everything I found was either too chocolately or just too complicated.  After stumbling across a semi-homemade Paula Deen recipe for which I only had to buy ONE thing at the grocery store… I knew I found a winner.

I do have to mention the color of my hands after rolling the dough… OMG!  It looked like I was experiencing some disgusting type of Stigmata.  So, make sure you keep your hands to yourself and wear your apron for this recipe!

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Adapted from Paula Deen

Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) brick Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist Red Velvet Cake Mix (unprepared!)
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.  

2.  With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the egg, and then the vanilla extract and beat.  Add in the cake mix and beat.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two hours (this makes it easier to roll the batter into cookie balls!).

3.  Put about 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl or plate.  Roll the chilled batter into Tablespoon sized balls.  Roll them into the powdered sugar, covering the ball.  Place on the cookie sheets.

4.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool completely as they will still be super soft and gooey.  Once they are cool sprinkle with the leftover powdered sugar.  

Rich red cookie batter

Rich red cookie batter

Into the sugar it goes

Into the sugar it goes

I love using Silpat, especially because mine is pretty purple :)

I love using Silpat, especially because mine is pretty purple 🙂

Cookies are done!  YUM!  Now if only we could ALL wait until they were cool to dig in (yeah right)

Cookies are done! YUM! Now if only we could ALL wait until they were cool to dig in (yeah right)

We really enjoyed these cookies!  Next time, I’d like to make them but top them with some cream cheese frosting or glaze and sprinkles.  How pretty would that be?

The cookies indeed, as Paula mentioned… SUPER gooey and melty and delicious.

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This recipe can be found at this week’s Foodie Friends Friday!!

Foodie Friends Friday