Smoothie Popsicles

Ruby has been my smoothie buddy since she was around two. We don’t make them as often now that she’s in school, but these smoothie popsicles are even more fun for the kids. This is a really basic recipe using what I had on hand today, but you could make these a million different ways by switching up the fruits and juice that you use.

Whenever bananas start looking too ripe I peel them, break ’em in half, and then add them to my frozen banana collection so I always have them on hand for smoothies. We also have the best popsicle molds ever. I’m not getting paid to promote them or anything, I just love how easily they unmold and the zombies are the cutest. I will say that the swords are a tad on the phallic side (especially if you’re super immature like me) so in hindsight, we should have gone with the monster or tiki molds for our second set.

No matter what kind of mold you use I can promise that these smoothie pops will be an easy and healthy-ish treat for the whole family.

Smoothie Popsicles

Serves 4 to 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen fruit chunks
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cups fruit juice
  • 1 handful fresh spinach (optional)

Directions

Step 1
Add all of the ingredients into your blender, and pulse until everybody's incorporated.
Step 2
Puree the hell out of it until it's completely smooth. Pour into your favorite popsicle molds and freeze for a couple hours.
Step 3
Gently remove from the molds once they're set and enjoy!
Step 4
For the sword pops I used frozen mango and pineapple chunks with orange juice.
Step 5
And for these cute little zombies I swapped out apple juice for the OJ and added a handful of fresh spinach which made them the perfect zombie color.
Step 6
And for these cute little zombies I swapped out apple juice for the OJ and added a handful of fresh spinach which made them the perfect zombie color.

Lemon Snickerdoodles

Lemon Snickerdoodles are the shit… and I am a genius!

When I invented these Lemon Snickerdoodles and tried them for the first time, I  was immediately proud. I knew they would be made many many more times. Not to get weird but when I eat them I can totally imagine myself thirty years from now making them for my grandkids. They are that good. Ok enough getting weird…

I hatched the idea because:

1) Wyatt wanted to make cookies one day, and I’m easily talked into sweets (just ask Brian). I love finally having a little cohort by the way. It’s much more fun to bake for no reason with someone else that thinks it’s a great idea.

and

2) We somehow had a bowlful of 8 or 9 lemons. We had no plans for them, and they weren’t getting any younger. Why not, right?

I decided to use basically the same cookie dough base as my Christmas Snickerdoodles  because, well,  it’s awesome. I added lemon zest and juice into the dough, and then opted for lemon sugar instead of cinnamon sugar for rolling. It seemed so easy to switch up that I wondered if it could possibly work? The answer is “Oh my God YES!”

My mom and sister Mandy were over helping watch the newest addition to our family, Ruby, while Wyatt and I made our experiment. I ended up sending about half of the dough home with them after they tasted these because they loved them so much. We all decided they are Lemondoodles – partly because it’s insanely accurate, and partly because it’s fun to say.

These cookies are little bites of light, chewy, buttery, lemony perfection.

I can’t believe you’re still sitting here. Go make them right now!

Lemon Snickerdoodles Recipe

Meal type Dessert

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (basically the zest of one lemon)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Lemon Sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the zest of one lemon and 1/2 c sugar together to create the insanely fragrant lemon sugar.
Step 2
I think it's a good idea to make the sugar first, so that it has awhile to infuse with that lemon flavor before you roll the cookie dough in it later.
Step 3
Hold the sugar to the side while you move on to making the dough.

Next drop the butter, shortening, sugar, and 1 tsp lemon zest into the bowl of your mixer.

Cream on medium high for about a minute or so until it's light and fluffy.
Step 4
Add the eggs and lemon juice, and mix again on medium until it's all well incorporated and a beautiful pale yellow.
Step 5
Sift or whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry mixture in several rounds until each is just barely combined.
Step 6
Once the last round is just incorporated, carefully scrape down the sides and especially the tricky bottom of the mixing bowl.

Give it all one last very quick mix to make sure all of the dry ingredients are thoroughly worked into the dough.
Step 7
I have a feeling that any size cookie dough balls would work out wonderfully at this point. You'll just need to add a few minutes here or there to your bake time if you opt to go bigger.

I received three different sized cookie dough scoops for Christmas from my mom, and I don't think I can ever go back! I've settled on the large size for my chocolate chip cookies. But for these the medium scooper which makes around a one and a quarter inch ball is perfect.
Step 8
Of course this is not an exact science. You just need a scoop of dough... don't go nuts.

I like to go ahead and do all the scooping in one quick go.
Step 9
Now roll each scoop of dough into a ball, and give them a thorough rolling in the reserved lemon sugar.


Don't be scared to really coat the dough. The more sugar that ends up on the outside, the more delicious lemony crunch you'll enjoy on the finished cookie.
Step 10
Tada... a full sheet of sugar coated Lemon Cookies (well almost, you still might want to bake them).
Step 11
In case you didn't know, I had a baby 5 weeks ago! Her name is Ruby, and she's amazing!

That being said, I really don't need to eat a full batch of cookies. One of the only sad things about finally having your baby is the realization that you can no longer eat like a pregnant lady. *Sigh*

So, in an act of sheer will power, I only made one pan of cookies (this made 20) and sent away the rest of the dough with my mom and sister.

Look at all the deliciousness that I'm missing out on.
Step 12
If you've just had a baby, and you can guilt yourself into holding back some of the dough or if you're just one of those weirdos that never uses a full batch of dough (sacrilege) simply drop the ball of dough into a ziploc and refrigerate it for a later use.
Step 13
By the way, mom and Mandy rolled and baked these straight out of the fridge and said they turned out great.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Step 14
I really can't decide if these are better warm or at room temperature.
Step 15
I think before I make my final decision on that one I'll need to do some more research...
Step 16
lots and lots of research!

Christmas Snickerdoodles

Happy Holidays!

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I love this time of year! I go a little nuts, especially now that I have my little Christmas cohort Wyatt to help. We decorate, read christmas books, watch christmas movies, make crafts, and of course We Bake!

It’s become a tradition that every year for a few weeks I bake like crazy, while across town my mom REALLY bakes like crazy. Then we get together, and in one day we bag up enough cookies and candies to choke an elf! Okay well I guess it probably wouldn’t take too much to actually choke an elf, but we make and bag enough to give as gifts to: mom’s friends, our families, my coworkers, and all of Brian’s clients. If it doesn’t sound like a lot then I’ve said something wrong… it’s insane! But it’s insane in a fun way, especially since my sister Mandy, Brian, and even Wyatt have been recruited to help with the baking and bagging.

Last year I adapted my favorite snickerdoodle recipe ever so slightly to turn them into Christmas Snickerdoodles! This is Trisha Yearwood’s Snickerdoodle Recipe, and it’s absolutely wonderful! I’ve adjusted the amount of salt because I always have unsalted butter on hand so I use that in place of her salted butter, and I’ve really upped the amount of sugar used to roll them in because… well that’s what makes them so darn Christmasy!

Please make these… I promise everyone on your Christmas list will love them!

Christmas Snickerdoodles Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 heaped tablespoons Christmas sugar
  • 2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

Step 1
Let's start with the ingredient that transforms these from insanely delicious snickerdoodles into insanely delicious "Christmas" snickerdoodles!

You'll need cinnamon, red sugar, and green sugar.
Step 2
I listed 5 tablespoons of Christmas sugar to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon as the ratio for the dipping/rolling sugar mix.

This is just to give you a guideline of where to start, but please feel free to modify that. I know I always do.
Step 3
The thing is that as you start rolling the dough balls, you'll end up using up the sugar and being left with balls that are mainly rolled in cinnamon. These will taste great... however, if you want the pretty red and green cookies as your finished product, you'll need to add more sugar as you go.

By the time I've made a few batches of these back to back (as I end up doing a lot this time of year) I never know exactly how much sugar or cinnamon are in my mixes... I just keep adding both as I see fit.

I make tons of these during the Christmas season, and I've found that the sugar mix keeps great if it's stored in tupperware when you're done rolling.
Step 4
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and get ready to sift the dry ingredients.

Add in the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt to your strainer or sifter.
Step 5
Sift it all into well mixed fluffy pile, then set aside while you ready the creamy stuff!
Step 6
I always crack my eggs into a small bowl first before adding them into the mixer bowl on top of my other ingredients.
Step 7
I've gotten some weird eggs in the past, and let me say that one bad egg can waste a stick of butter faster than Paula Dean!

Stir the eggs up with a fork so that they incorporate into the dough faster.
Step 8
Add the butter, shortening, sugar, and eggs into your mixer bowl.
Step 9
Mix on medium speed for about 1 to 2 minutes.

It should look well blended and creamy.
Step 10
Scoop in about half of your dry mix.
Step 11
Mix until just incorporated, then add the other half.
Step 12
Scrape down the sides and especially the bottom of the bowl, then mix one last time for only about 5 or 10 seconds.

This dough has a perfect soft Play Doh texture, and if I weren't pregnant I'd just want to start eating it right now!
Step 13
To minimize on messy hands and fingers (which wastes more of your colorful sugar mix as it sticks to you instead of the dough) I like to roll all the dough into balls first.

I go ahead and line them up on two large parchment lined cookie sheets.
Step 14
This should make about 50 Christmas Snickerdoodles once they're all rolled out.

Now it's just a matter of getting these guys thoroughly rolled in the red and green sugar mixes... you may need to recruit help for this step.
Step 15
Aren't they adorable already?
Step 16
Pop into the 400 degree oven and bake for about 10 minutes.

When you pull them out, they should be puffed up like this.
Step 17
Let them cool for a few minutes right on the pan, and then carefully transfer them onto cooling racks to finish cooling off.
Step 18
These have become my favorite holiday cookies because they're so stinking cute,
Step 19
and insanely delicious!
Step 20
Merry Christmas!

Nutella Chocolate Cream Pie

I’m not really sure what to say here.

This is a chocolate cream pie made with Nutella! So yeah, it’s pretty much awesome.

I did yet another spin on one of my favorite pies, the Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. A couple weeks ago I made a Biscoff Cream Pie by switching out the Oreos for Biscoff cookies, and the peanut butter for Biscoff spread. It was awesome! So I thought, why not push further? This round I decided to replace the Oreos in the crust with Golden Oreos, and swap out the peanut butter with Nutella. I hate to say I’m a genius, but while eating this pie it was hard not to at least feel kinda smart. Ok, so technically I guess if anyone is the genius here it would have to be Ree Drummond… but I like to think of myself as at least a half bright sidekick.

Alright, I’m gonna stop rambling!

Please try this pie, and let me know what you think!

Nutella Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup Nutella (or another chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 8oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8oz thawed Cool Whip

Crust

  • 25 Golden Oreos
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grab a food processor!

Dump in 25 oreos. The Pioneer Woman has already done the Oreo math for us... so who's to argue?
Step 2
Pulse until you're left with some insanely delicious smelling sand.
Step 3
Remove the blade from the processor, and pour in the melted and cooled butter.
Step 4
Give everything a good stir to ensure that every crumb gets a touch of the butter.
Step 5
Pile all of your buttery crumbs into the center of a pie pan,
Step 6
and press into place using clean hands (you can tell I'm constantly talking to a four year old).

Follow up with a final pressing using a measuring cup.
Step 7
I wouldn't say that pressing pie crusts into pans is one of my talents.
Step 8
Let's just call this one "rustic" and throw it into the preheated oven for about 7 minutes.

This smells soooo good!
Step 9
Now onto the REALLY sinful stuff!

Add the cream cheese and the cup of Nutella into your mixer.
Step 10
Beat on medium high until it's one big creamy mess.
Step 11
Dump in the powdered sugar.
Step 12
Beat for about a minute; scrape down the sides; beat a few more seconds to fully absorb the sugar.
Step 13
Scoop the entire 8oz container of Cool Whip into the mixer, and beat on medium high for about a minute.
Step 14
Thoroughly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Take special care to really scrape underneath the pile of fluff to the bottom to get any dark brown Nutella goodness off the bowl and into the mix!
Step 15
Give it another good beating until it's beautifully creamy and fluffy.
Step 16
Fill your cooled pie crust with your creamy chocolatey goodness, and refrigerate for several hours.
Step 17
Whenever you're ready to serve your pie (or eat it yourself... no one is judging here), I think it's best topped with some whipped cream.

The cream cuts the sweet richness of the pie a touch. Plus it's just not chocolate cream pie to me without some whipped cream.

Pour the cream into your mixer, along with the vanilla.
Step 18
Whisk on high around a minute or so. It should look thickened, and leave a soft peak on the beater when you lift it out.
Step 19
Here's a look inside the bowl at this phase to give you an idea of what to look for.
Step 20
Add the powdered sugar, and whisk on high for a few more seconds to thicken the cream a bit more.
Step 21
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and whisk one last quick time.
Step 22
I wanted my whipped cream nice and thick, but whisk it a little less if you prefer a looser whipped cream.
Step 23
Feel free to plop it right on top of your pie, or you can put it into a fancy piping bag like mine... aka a gallon sized ziploc bag.
Step 24
Snip off one corner,
Step 25
and voila!
Step 26
Look at how rich and creamy!
Step 27
This one is definitely not for the faint of heart!

I think it's actually sweeter than a regular chocolate pudding pie.
Step 28
But if you've got a glass of milk and a can-do attitude... why not?!!
Step 29
Yum, yum, and double yum!

Biscoff Cream Pie

Biscoff cookies are “Europe’s favorite cookie with coffee”. Many of you might be wondering, “The crunchy cookies you get on airplanes?” And to you I say, Yes, the pleasing little crispy cookies served in-flight. They are delightfully crunchy cookies with an almost caramelized flavor. But wait… there’s more!

A few years ago, America was introduced to Biscoff cookie spread! What!?! That’s right… a spreadable cookie cream! I can’t even begin to imagine how that creamy magic is made. All I really need to know is that it’s the texture of peanut butter, but taste like a Biscoff cookie. It’s insanely enjoyable to eat. I’ve mainly had it on apple slices or toast, but a while back I had the crazy idea for a Biscoff Cream Pie.

The idea came to me months ago while I was making one of my all time favorite pie recipes. I wish that I could take credit for this one, but I’ve got to give some serious props to the queen of food blogs herself, Ree Drummond the pioneer woman! Her Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is not only one of my favorite pies to eat, but also to make! The flavor is pure peanut butter heaven, and the texture is just perfect. The phrase “creamy and dreamy” didn’t come about because of the catchy rhyme… it was because of this pie! And it’s almost wrong how easy it is to make. Anyway, thank you to Ree Drummond for your wonderful recipes and inspiration!

At any rate, while I was scooping out the peanut butter for yet another perfect peanut butter pie, I couldn’t help but to compare the texture of the peanut butter to the wonderful Biscoff cookie spread. Much too long of a story short… a new and wonderful pie was born!

This is the perfect cream pie for fall, and I seriously hope you and everyone you know try it today!

Biscoff Cream Pie Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup creamy Biscoff spread (although I'm sure the crunchy kind would be delicious)
  • 8oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8oz thawed Cool Whip

Crust

  • 1 8.8 ounce package of Biscoff cookies
  • 5 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled)

Directions

Step 1
This is a chilled pie, so the first thing we've gotta do is cook off that crust, so it'll have plenty of time to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grab your Biscoff goodies!
Step 2
Of course now I see the coupon I could have used for the spread! Oh well.

Dump the whole package of cookies into a large food processor.
Step 3
They smell so good! I'd say that they're almost like really fancy graham crackers, but that really doesn't do them justice!

Press the pulse button until you're left with sweet sandy crumbs. It was about 10 pulses for me.
Step 4
If you're a priss like me that plans ahead for your garnishes, then scoop out about a tablespoon of crumbs.
Step 5
The crust won't even miss them, and they'll look super cute on top of the pie!

Pour the melted and cooled butter in with the crumbs.
Step 6
Work the butter into the crumbs so that everybody gets a little.
Step 7
Pour the buttery bits into a pie pan.
Step 8
Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of your pan using whatever you've got: a measuring cup, a clean hand, another pie pan, a bottle of wine... you get the idea.

I used a standard sized pie pan, because it was my first time making this crust. I have a larger fancy looking pan, but I wasn't sure if I'd have enough crust to fill that one.
Step 9
This worked great, but it was definitely a thicker crust. The filling is so rich that the thick crust works well, but if you have a bigger pie pan I think you'd definitely have enough crust to go around.
Step 10
Bake the crust for about 7 minutes in your preheated oven, and prepare to swoon when you smell it hot out of the oven!
Step 11
Now on to the filling! Following along with Ree's recipe (I like calling her Ree like we're really friends!) you'll need a full cup of the Biscoff spread.
Step 12
As you can see, it's almost the entire 14.1 ounce jar.

Add the cup of Biscoff spread along with the block of softened cream cheese into your mixer bowl.
Step 13
Cream on high; scrape down the sides; cream on high again.
Step 14
Add the powdered sugar in two batches, scraping down the sides in between mixes.
Step 15
It almost looks like cookie dough at this point. Anyway, enough about cookies... it's time for Cool Whip!
Step 16
The whole container gets toppled into the mixer.
Step 17
Doesn't that look like a bowlful of fun?

As the name implies "whip" the filling on high to get it nice and creamy dreamy.
Step 18
Scrape down the sides, and whip one last time on high.
Step 19
It should look absolutely luscious and fluffy.
Step 20
Pour the creamy goodness into your cooled pie crust, and smooth out the top.
Step 21
Pop into the fridge and chill for at least a couple of hours before you try to cut into it.

This will be harder than it sounds... especially after licking off your smoothing spatula! I won't blame you if you don't give it long enough... as you'll be able to see in a second, I couldn't wait either. It was definitely still on the softer side when I cut into mine.

Once you can't stand the wait any longer, sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs over the top.
Step 22
Now the only things left to do are to cut a slice,
Step 23
and grab a fork!
Step 24
Enjoy!

Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes

“That cupcake was better than any cupcake I’ve ever paid money for!”

That’s a quote from my sister Mandy, after trying one of my Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes. A glowing endorsement of course, but let me tell you a few things about Mandy. She doesn’t like: spice cake, apple cider, applesauce, or any kind of cooked apple. So I’m thinking if she loved these cupcakes that much (which have a spice cake base that’s made extra moist by using applesauce and apple cider, plus they’re topped with a homemade Apple Cider Buttercream) then anyone will!

I made these up the other week to donate for a neighborhood Fall Festival cake walk. I was really trying to think of a seasonal cupcake. Well once the idea for these occurred to me, that was it! I thought they’d be awesome, and as much as I try not to toot my own horn… I’m afraid I’m about to start some tootin’! They really are insanely good. There’s no other way to put it. I’ve made a few notes in the recipe, but the shortened version is: these are insanely moist cupcakes, so don’t bake them too many days before you’re serving them… they just get more and more juicy as time passes!

Please top them with my recipe for Apple Cider Buttercream! It’s the perfect topper for any fall flavored cake, but since these are apple-y already it’s just a match made in heaven.

Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes Recipe

Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable

Ingredients

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • caramel cubes
  • Apple Cider Buttercream (see link to recipe above)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (or according to your cake mix's specific directions), and line a couple cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.

Here's the line-up for these awesome little cakes.
Step 2
Every recipe I've ever looked at for replacing oil with applesauce in baking calls for all natural unsweetened applesauce. Well, all I had was strawberry flavored single serving Mott's... and boy was it perfect! I say use whatever kind of applesauce you like or have on hand.

It was very convenient that my little single serving cup just happen to be 1/3 cup!
Step 3
Go by your box mix's instructions, and replace whatever amount of oil it calls for with applesauce.

Next I measure out the apple cider and water in the same measuring cup.
Step 4
Now dump the cake mix, apple cider, water, applesauce, and eggs into your mixer.
Step 5
Blend together the length of time it calls for on the cake mix box, and watch a fragrant, creamy batter develop.
Step 6
Now set up your assembly line with the cupcake pans, your batter, a spoon, and the caramels.
Step 7
Divvy out the batter evenly amongst the cupcake liners. According to my box's instructions this should make 24 cupcakes.
Step 8
As you can see, I ended up with 22. Once they came out of the oven though I thought they looked perfect so I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Gently press one caramel into the center of each cup of batter. I'm not sure if it will be for you... but this was extremely satisfying for me! I need to find a job somewhere smooshing caramels into cake batter.
Step 9
Bake in your preheated oven, and here's what they looked like 17 minutes later. It's like magic... where did the caramel go?
Step 10
Well a couple of notes on that:

1) Obviously they sank to the bottom. On the first and second day, we had about a 20% chance of the caramel sticking to the liner when the cupcake got unwrapped. None of us really minded, but I just wanted you to be aware to be careful unwrapping. Once we discovered that it could happen, we started peeling more carefully and had very few "sticks" after that.

Step 11
2) These are insanely moist cupcakes. Because of that, the caramel on the inside will be getting softer as the days go by. So, the cupcake I had the day I made them contained a still very chewy and firm candy on the inside. Whereas the cupcake I ate three days later had an almost liquified caramel sauce at the bottom. It was a bit more messy, but I kinda liked it even better! Anyway, keep that in mind and plan accordingly as to when you'd want to bake these for your event or party.

I topped these with my Apple Cider Buttercream.
Step 12
It's the perfect match for the moist apple spice cake! I also topped each one with a quarter of a caramel to give people a sneak peek as to what they'd find inside.
Step 13
I also found these candy apple flavored candy corns, which I think would be a cute topping as well.
Step 14
However you end up topping them, just make sure you keep an eye on your husband and four year old... because they will begin to mysteriously disappear!

Apple Cider Buttercream

This is the only frosting recipe I need for the fall months.

I love trying to cook and bake with seasonal ingredients. Right now (at least in Georgia) you can’t get more seasonal than apples. Our family has easily developed a “5 apples a day” household habit. You’re also guaranteed to find some local apple cider in our fridge during autumn. At first, Wyatt wasn’t so sure about cider. I had to really talk him into trying that first jug this year. He finally relented to taking one sip, and followed it up by saying “It’s dusty, but you were right… I like it!”

It’s the perfect accompaniment to any fall flavored cake. Think of any cake you might make for Thanksgiving: applesauce, sweet potato, pumpkin, caramel apple, golden butter… Apple Cider Buttercream would be the ideal topping.

It comes together in a snap… butter, sugar and cider get creamed into the perfect storm of sweetness. If you’ve got a mixer, then you’ve got no excuse for not making this deliciousness!

Apple Cider Buttercream Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider

Directions

Step 1
It all begins with one creamy and dreamy stick of softened butter.
Step 2
Beat the heck out of it for as long as it takes to get it fluffy.
Step 3
My estimate would be a couple of minutes.

Next, dump in about half of the powdered sugar, and beat on medium low.
Step 4
Scrape down the sides and add in the rest of the sugar.

Beat on medium low... again.

Scrape down the bowl... again.
Step 5
You should end up with buttery little sugar pearls like these.

Believe it or not... all you need now, to turn these buttery balls into a luscious buttercream, is just 4Tbs. of apple cider!
Step 6
Add in the apple cider, and beat on medium until you end up with a velvety frosting.
Step 7
The apple cider scent is absolutely intoxicating!
Step 8
I could seriously eat this on any kind of cake, and be happy!

Candy Corn Cookies

Wyatt’s favorite Halloween candy (and possibly favorite candy of all time) is candy corn. Because of this, we always end up with way more than we need floating around the house this time of year.

This year, I decided to make some Candy Corn Cookies to try something new. I put a spin on the ever so popular cake mix cookies. They turned out great, and we all loved them! I made a batch for a neighborhood Fall Festival (it was really a Halloween Festival but no one calls them that anymore) and they really went over well. I donated them for the cake walk, and was super pleased to see them get picked by the kids that won!

Whether you’ve got a Halloween event coming up, or if you find yourself with too much leftover candy corn after the holiday… these are the perfect quick cookies!

Candy Corn Cookies Recipe

Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • 1 box golden butter or yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup candy corn (chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the two sticks of softened butter into your mixer bowl, and beat on high for at least a minute or so.

You always want to get butter or shortening super fluffy at the beginning of almost any cookie dough.
Step 2
Dump in the whole bagful of cake mix, and mix in on medium speed.

You'll be left with big buttery crumbs like these.
Step 3
Crack in the egg.
Step 4
Mix on medium speed again until blended into a smooth cookie dough paste.
Step 5
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and toss in the cup of flour.
Step 6
Mix in until barely incorporated.
Step 7
For the candy corn I measured out a cup first...
Step 8
not that measuring is super important here.

And then I chopped it all up slightly. I wanted to keep some nice sized pieces, but didn't want to deal with whole pieces while balling up the dough.
Step 9
Just so you know, chopping candy corn is easier said than done. But I still think it was worth it!

Now make sure every single candy corn bit makes it into the mixer.
Step 10
Blend on a medium low setting for maybe 10 seconds or so.

I'm basically trying to spare my hands the work of stirring the candy into the thick dough.
Step 11
Look at that... I mean that's some seriously thick cookie dough.

Plunk the huge blob of dough back into the mixer bowl.
Step 12
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to make balls of dough that are about the same size.

Set them a hefty 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Step 13
Once my cookie dough is balled and lined up like little buttery solders, I like to break off a few more candy corn pieces for something special I do with cookies.

I like to look for blank spots on the tops and strategically press in some extra bits here and there. See the difference?
Step 14
I do this with chocolate chips, or whatever item has ended up in our cookie dough that day. It usually makes for the loaded up cookies you just want to grab!

Pop the pan into your preheated oven, and bake for 12 minutes.

This dough makes enough for two full big pans of cookies. You can either make both now, or make one pan and save the rest of the dough.

I get another fresh sheet of parchment, and scrape the other half of the dough right into the center.
Step 15
Shape the dough into a candy studded log.
Step 16
Then just roll it, rubber band it, and label it... and you'll have a whole new pan of cookies for another day!
Step 17
After 12 minutes, this is what I pulled from the oven.
Step 18
As you can see, these are really light colored cookies. Don't be tempted to keep baking them for more color, because you'll just burn the bottoms and melt the candy even further!
Step 19
These are so buttery and delicious!
Step 20
I hope you love them!

Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits

Here’s another quick and easy Halloween treat for you!

Layers of colorful puddings get topped with sweetened whipped cream and festive garnishes. Use any type of pudding that your family enjoys… as long as they’re flavors that will lend themselves to food coloring. For the toppings you could use all kinds of things: sprinkles, cookie crumbs, candy corn, or any kind of small Halloween treat come to mind. I used some of my Halloween Spider Cookies  and Wyatt loved it!

Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • 1 box cheesecake flavored pudding mix
  • 1 box white chocolate flavored pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (about a one pint container)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • yellow gel food coloring
  • orange gel food coloring

Directions

Step 1
Any light colored pudding flavors would do the trick here. The main thing is making sure that they'll take the food coloring easily.

I liked the sound of cheesecake and white chocolate.
Step 2
So it gets really complicated here.

Mix the puddings according to their package directions.
Step 3
Add a nice sized blob of food coloring.
Step 4
Make one flavor yellow,
Step 5
and the other flavor orange.
Step 6
Place a gallon sized ziploc in a large measuring cup, and fold down the top.
Step 7
Pour in the yellow pudding.
Step 8
Reseal the top, and you have an instant piping bag!

Pour the orange pudding into another bag,

Place both bags into your fridge to thicken up a bit, and move on to the whipped cream.
Step 9
Pour the cream into mixer, and whip on high for about 3 minutes.

Add the sugar.
Step 10
and whip another 30 seconds or until you're pleased with the stiffness of the cream.
Step 11
Repeat the ziploc trick with the sweetened whipped cream, and you'll officially be the proud owner of three bags of sweet goop!
Step 12
Press the pudding back away from one corner of each bag, and snip off a small tip.
Step 13
Now it's just a matter of layering the ingredients into a cute dish!

The yellow goes first.
Step 14
Follow it up with a little orange.
Step 15
Then top it all off with some sweetened whipped cream.
Step 16
They're nice and candy corny as is, but of course I felt obligated to go further.
Step 17
The spider cookies on top might have been a bit much, but hey... it's Halloween.

Halloween Spider Cookies

Here’s another creepy Halloween treat for you! These are a great sweet treat project to make with kids, because it’s only a few ingredients, and they are quick and easy!

I’d seen these on top of cupcakes in a Halloween magazine last year, and I thought they looked like something I might actually be able to make. Well, after whipping these up, I can say that anyone can make these look just as cute as a magazine photo shoot… with the right supplies.

Wyatt and I tried to make these last week, but I learned that all frostings (or glue as Wyatt called it) are not created equal. I could have made homemade frosting, but he seemed just as happy to listen to Halloween music and eat the supplies! At any rate, one more trip to the store later, we made these!

Halloween Spider Cookies Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • Halloween Oreos
  • Reeses Pieces
  • thin licorice (like)
  • chocolate frosting

Directions

Step 1
Here's the original lineup of ingredients I used.
Step 2
The "cookie icing" was definitely the wrong choice for these.

As you can see, it's extremely loose.
Step 3
Wyatt didn't care in the least.

All he wanted to do was eat Twizzlers and Reeses Pieces anyway.
Step 4
On the other hand, I still wanted to make spiders. The next day I bought this cookie creme frosting and it worked great!
Step 5
I also found the chocolate flavor much more pleasing than the other icing.

Anyway, now that I had the right "glue", it was time to start making some spiders!

I started by pulling apart some of the green licorice, and breaking it off into equal sized pieces. After making one with longer legs and another with shorter legs, I found that the shorter legs worked much better.
Step 6
Grab an Oreo, and dollop two globs of frosting where you'd like his eyes to go.
Step 7
Squish on a couple of conveniently colored Reeses Pieces, and BAM!

Step 8
He's got eyes!

Now squirt a generous line of frosting along the side so that you'll have enough room for four legs.
Step 9
I'll give you three guesses what comes next.
Step 10
That's right... spider legs.

Add four more on the other side, and all he needs now is a name.
Step 11
Ok so maybe don't name them, just eat them!
Step 12
And have a Happy Halloween!