Homemade Snowman Marshmallows

Homemade Snowman Marshmallows

Homemade snowman marshmallows are a fun way to dress up your winter hot chocolate. It’s the perfect day to make marshmallows. Snowmageddon has hit the east coast.  Why bother digging out?  The roads are closed, flights are cancelled and the family is all in doors playing games. It is the perfect time to try something new. If you have never made homemade marshmallows it needs to go on your baking bucket list. They are delicious.


For printable recipe, click here.

Adapted from Alton Brown

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Nonstick spray

1. Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

2. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat and stir continually. Place a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat. This is not the time to multitask. Many things can go wrong if you leave the boiling sugar.

3. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour in the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once all of the syrup has been added, increase the mixer to high speed. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 18 minutes. You definitely don’t want to under mix the marshmallow mixture. If you do the marshmallows can become weepy. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

To make into Snowman marshmallows:
1. Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. To make the thin marshmallows you will need a large jelly roll pan. I use a 16×12.

2. Lightly spray the metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Use a sifter and dust the entire pan. Coat the bottom and the sides. Leave the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

3. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining powdered sugar. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.


While your snowman marshmallow batter is resting this is the perfect time to get together the colors for decorating. There are two options that you can choose from. You can either melt orange and black candy melts or you can use royal icing. Candy melts is the easiest to use. You can find Candy Melts at Amazon, Wal-Mart, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby. You just follow the directions for melting the chocolate on the back of the bag and place in a plastic disposable pastry bag. Snip the tip of the bag and you are ready to decorate. Or you can make royal icing and color one small bowl black and one small bowl orange. Here is a great link to a recipe for a small batch of royal icing. {LINK} You want a thick consistency, so don’t add too much water when you prepare your royal icing.


Now it’s time to cut out your snowman marshmallows. Take a small 2″ or smaller round cutter. I took my circle cutter and placed it inside my hot chocolate mug so I could find the perfect size. Spray the cutter with vegetable oil or coconut oil. Spraying your cookie cutter will help keep the marshmallow mixture from sticking. Dust the sides of the marshmallows with powdered sugar and set in a large bowl.


Now that all your  snowman marshmallows are cut out, we can decorate them. Line up your homemade snowman marshmallows on a plate. Then dust off the tops of the marshmallows. If you do not dust off the tops you will become frustrated. Just ask me.  The royal icing or candy melts will not stick to the marshmallow if there is too much powdered sugar.  Next, take your pastry bags that are filled with royal icing or candy melts and place two small black dots for the eyes, the orange carrot nose and the black dots for the mouth. Let them sit out to dry.


Once you let your homemade snowman marshmallows dry, you can plop them in your favorite hot chocolate or package them up in mason jars as adorable gifts. I love the cute hot chocolate tins from Swiss Miss. I love giving a mason jar filled with the homemade snowman marshmallows alongside a tin of hot cocoa mix as a hostess gifts.



Enjoy and have fun!

homemade snowman marshmallows









The Fear of Making Macarons

The Fear of Making Macarons

Do you know dogs and bees smell fear? I am pretty sure that pastries can smell it from a mile away as well.  About a year ago macarons were popping up everywhere, except in Arizona of course. At first I didn’t pay much attention, but then I became intrigued.  I started reading about making macarons. It is at this point that I became incredibly frightened by these little devilish desserts.  I am pretty sure most bakers are frugal.  The thought of wasting $5 in eggs, $10 in almond flour, $5 in butter and two hours of my time for a finicky dessert that may or may not turn out seemed like a little too much to risk.

making macarons

Fast forward a year. This summer we went on vacation to the Napa Valley, the home of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery. I was finally going to try one of these temperamental desserts. Hello, amazing. I am pretty sure macarons are the best gluten-free dessert on the planet.  I decided it was high time I move past my fear of making macarons and get the job done, even if ingredients had to be wasted.

making macarons

It was at this point my interest went from intrigued to obsessed. I had to learn how to make them.  As soon as I got home I grabbed my Bouchon Bakery cookbook and got to reading. I am pretty sure I read the directions 50 times. I swore the first time I made macarons that I would write a blog post for all those who are scared of making them.  I was going to write and take pictures regardless of how they came out. If I had cracked shells, so be it. If they completely failed, so be it. But they didn’t. Were they perfect? Nope. Were they delicious? Yes. After I tried Thomas Keller’s recipe, I decided to try some others. What did I learn?  Not all recipes are created equal.  I would love to share Thomas Keller’s recipe with you, but the copyright in the book does not allow it.  I want to share my experiences making macarons and what did and did not work in the my kitchen. It doesn’t mean recipes are bad, they just didn’t work for me.

making macarons

Thomas Keller’s book is a great investment. Did you know they tested the recipes in home kitchens to make sure they would work? There are so many amazing recipes in this book; if you have never had Oh Ohs! or TKO’s you must give them a try.

A Good Macaron starts with the Meringue

I totally believe that difference between a good macaron and a great macaron is the meringue.  There are a couple of different methods you can employ when making macarons. There is the Italian method, Swiss method or beating the egg whites until they are stiff.  In Thomas Keller’s book you use the Italian meringue method. Prior to making macarons I had only used the Swiss method of making meringue.

  • The Italian meringue method is where you heat  water and sugar to 248 degrees, then added to whipped egg whites. The meringue forms stiff peaks and is extremely shiny.  Italian meringue can take about 15-20 minutes to make.
  • Swiss meringue is essentially the same but you create the meringue by cooking the egg whites and sugar over a double broiler until the mixtures reaches 150 degrees. Then you whip it on high speed until the meringue is formed.  Swiss meringue takes about 9 minutes to make.
  • The last method is whipping the egg whites until the form soft peaks.

When I am making macarons I either use the Swiss or Italian method. I swear by it.  I believe it is this type of method that gives the meringue the most wonderful chewy texture after they are done baking. I also believe when you use this type of meringue the cookie shells are less temperamental.

I tried a recipe were you don’t cook the egg whites but you whip them.  These failed miserably. The comments and reviews I had read by so many people happened to me. Cracked shells. They didn’t have that amazing chewy texture that I love. Nothing is more depressing than spending two hours of your life awaiting the completion of these amazing little goodies only to get depressed and cracked cookies.

I personally love the Swiss Meringue method. You will get the same results as the Italian method but in less time.  When you make Italian meringue it can take up to 10 minutes for the sugar syrup to go from 200 degrees to 248. It’s almost like it stalls.  The same exact thing happens when you are making marshmallows.

Egg Whites: To Age or Not to Age

I do not think you need to age your egg whites if you are making a cooked meringue. The egg whites do need to be at room temperature.  There are two types of recipes when making macarons. Some recipes have you divide the egg whites and mix some with the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture. Others have you whip all the egg whites and combine with the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture.

Failure:  whipping all the egg whites without cooking, combining all the whipped egg whites with the entire mixture of almond flour/powdered sugar, these are looser when piped

Success:  Both Italian and Swiss Meringue.  Combining a portion of the egg whites with the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture and then folding in the meringue.

making macarons

Almond Flour

The recipe I used said to measure out your almond flour and then place it in a food processor.  Once you place it the processor you want to be careful because you don’t want to transform it into almond butter. Oh nuts. These are the kind of directions that freak me out. How long does it take to turn into almond butter? Two pulses? Four?  In the process of reading some other blogs I came across one that suggests that you place the powdered sugar and the almond flour together into the food processor. Brilliant! It is much harder to create almond butter by mixing them both. Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in the food processor together and pulse until combined. Then sift the mixture. You will find some larger almond pieces. You can either throw them out or reprocess them.

  • Even if you buy premade almond flour don’t skip sifting
  • Allows process almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor together
  • Did I say don’t skip the sifting?
  • If your almond flour is too oily this can make the macarons crack. Probably due to the extra fat and moisture.

In the bowl above you see a picture of a gooey mess. That is a portion of the egg white (not whipped) combined with the almond flour/powdered sugar.  It forms a pasty substance.  At this point I decided I wanted to add lemon zest to the batter.  The other recipe I tried out did not employ this method. You whipped all your egg whites and then folded them into the mixture. When I did it this way the mixture was much looser and ended up cracking when I baked them.

making macarons

When I piped the shells above I was terrified. Every where you read, it will tell you that macarons are finicky. When the directions said hit the pan against the counter, I lightly tapped it. I was so afraid I would “hurt” them. I was thankful when Esther, from the Frosted Cake Boutique , messaged me and said,  “do you want to know how to get rid of the peak?” Of course! Those little pointy tops will go away if you hit the pan hard enough. Don’t be afraid to whack it. Or lightly take your fingers and press them down.  Yes, your macarons will still come out just fine.

Should I let my macarons sit on the counter before baking?

The first time I made the macarons once I had them piped on the parchment, I put them right into the oven. They still came out perfect. The second time I made the recipe I decided to let them sit out for 20 minutes. They came out exactly the same as they did before. Again, I think this has to do with using the Swiss Meringue method.

making macarons

When the timer went off, I was scared to look in the oven. The looming question. Will there be feet? I was so excited. Oh yes, I danced around my kitchen singing, I got feet, baby!  I am not ashamed or embarrassed but then there is that moment where you think, I waited a year to make these. What was I so afraid of?  It’s hilarious, now my husband asks, “will you make me footie cookies?” My answer, “you want me to make cookies that look like feet?” He retorts, “No, I want footie cookies.  It’s all about the feet right, thus footie cookies.”

making macarons

This time I was not afraid to whack my pan against the counter. No crazy peaks, just nice smooth tops.  The other thing that tapping the pan against the counter does is release trapped air.

making macarons

They may have had peaks but they were absolutely delicious. Chewy lemon goodness.


You might be thinking how do I store macarons. Macarons are wonderful at room temperature for about 2 days. If you are not going to plow through 20 cookies in two days I would suggest freezing them.  They freeze wonderfully.  I place about 6 in a sealed container on the counter, then I place the rest of them in a freezer bag lying flat.   They keep wonderfully for over a month.

Making Macaron Resources:

What issues have you run into making macarons?



Birthday Cookies for Nana

Cookies for Nana

There is nothing quite like creating a unique gift for a very special person.  This week I was blessed to be able to make birthday cookies for Nana.  Aleene Wilcox, born February 17, 1920, is my Nana.  She is known for her hospitality and grace to all who come in contact with her.  Aleene, came from a different era. An era I admire. That era had a modesty of character and beauty that I miss.  You can see it in their pictures. You can hear it in their stories.

Cookies fo Nana

 Grace. Humility. Modesty. Beauty.

Cookies fo Nana

How cute are they? My grandparents. They have loved each other all their lives.  Such a testimony of enduring love, commitment, and the beauty of love that lasts through the ups and downs that life can bring.  One of my favorite memories of my grandparents is being at their home. When you would wake up in the morning and come down to the kitchen you would find them doing devotions together. One day she would read and the next day he would read. They took turns each day of their lives.

Cookies fo Nana

The challenge in creating custom birthday cookies is to capture a little bit of who people are in the cookies.  But it is the very process of capturing their personality that makes birthday cookies so fun. As I sat down to sketch out my ideas I began to brainstorm. What reminds me of my Nana?

Her delicate teacup collection

lace that adorns her tables

pinks and mauves; colors you will often see here wearing

and my most precious momento: her silver

This box is most precious to me. I love all the scratches that adorn the outside and the beauty that you behold when you open the box. My Nana, handed down to me her silver. It has been handed down from generation to generation.  My Nana’s silver is over 120 years old. I treasure this gift. Every time I use them I am reminded of her and her hospitality.
Birthday Cookies

My Nana looked so beautiful on my wedding day. She is so striking in the color pink.

Birthday Cookies

If you were to visit her home you find touches of pink and mauve throughout the house.  Her dining room table has the most beautiful lace covering. I could not think of a better way to commemorate that beauty than to pipe lace patterns on her birthday cookies.

Birthday Cookies

For the past couple of months, as I have been working on these birthday cookies in my head, I wanted to do english roses. My Nana has so many teacups that have these delicate roses painted on them. I am so thankful for Arty McGoo. Just last month she posted a video tutorial of how to make these very kind of roses. Just in the nick of time. Happy Birthday, Nana! Thank you for all you do for your family, friends, and neighbors. We are all so thankful for how you have enriched your life. I hope you have a very special day.

Valentine Cookie Kit

Valentine Cookie Kit

Yes, I know what you must be thinking. A valentine cookie kit, already? {Collective sigh} I just got my Christmas tree down. I know what you mean. When I walked into the grocery store on New Year’s Eve they were putting up the Valentine’s Day cards.  It seems like we just move for holiday to holiday these days. One of my customers helped me come up with a great new product during Christmas that I am so excited to share with you.  She wanted to decorate cookies with her family but her girls find cookie dough frustrating. She ordered plain cookies for her family to decorate.

Valentine Cookie Kit

 Then it hit me, why not offer a simple a valentine cookie kit. That way you don’t have to worry about the mess, cookies spreading, or figuring out how to get them to be the right thickness.  Hassle free. This frees you up to enjoy a fun day of decorating cookies with family and friends.

 Valentine Cookie Kit $30

In our cookie kit you will receive the following:

Valentine Cookie Kit

1 Package of CK Royal Icing Mix (1lb)

(all you have to do is add water and your favorite extract of choice)

3 KopyKake Pastry Bags

Valentine Cookie Kit

16 of our signature sugar cookies

8 Valentine’s Day Message Cookies

4 Large Fluted Heart Cookies

4 Plain Heart Cookies

Don’t be afraid to put in your order early. The great part about plain sugar cookies is that they freeze very well. Can I share a secret with you? I actually like our cookies better after they have been frozen. Weird, I know.   Then you can pull the cookies out when it is convenient for you and decorate.  The CK Royal Icing mix is really easy to make. It gives you directions for stiff icing and making flood icing. I know that some companies offer the icing already made in the bags. The reason I shy away from doing this is that royal icing can separate.  The last thing I would want is to ship your valentine cookie kit out and then by the time it arrives the icing separates. Plus, this allows you to mix the colors you would like to use!

We hope you have fun with your family this Valentine’s Day. Let us know if we can make a Valentine cookie kit for your family!

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus!


Tomorrow is a very special day that my family loves to celebrate. We have just a few Christmas traditions that we do every year. One of our favorites is making Jesus a birthday cake. And yes, we sing Happy Birthday Jesus! After all it is celebration of His birth.  It started when my son was young.  A visual picture to help remind him of the significance of what Christmas was all about.

Birthday Cake for Jesus

Now my son is older. Yet he still loves this tradition.

It is really neat for me as a mom to see 14 years later what a traditions affect is on a child.

We always make a simple cake. Nothing fancy.

The simple cake symbolizes that this King was born in humble surroundings.

He was not born in a palace. He did not have well known parents. Yet, He is called the

 King of Kings.

The world we live in today is obsessed with wealth, power, and prestige.

It is fascinating to me, that God himself, chose that Jesus would

be born in stable.

Happy Birthday Jesus

I love this carol. The thought of hearing angels singing gives me chills.

But what strikes me even more, is that the angels appeared to shepherds.

Shepherds were looked down upon. They were the nobodies of society.

God chose that these nobodies would behold angels.

Angels that would herald Christ’s birth.

What an amazing picture of God’s love and grace.

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I am so thankful that God so loved the world,

that He sent His son.

We wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas this year.

Rainbow Themed Baby Shower Cookies

Who doesn’t love a baby shower, right? I am so excited to be apart of the this rainbow themed baby shower for Meaghan Mountford, from The Decorated Cookie.  Have you seen her book, Sugarlicious? Better yet, have you seen her new little bundle of joy, Violet? Violet came a little sooner that expected but she is absolutely precious. Congratulations, to the Mountford family.

Michelle, from Sugar Swings and Kathia, from Pink Little Cake, organized a fun virtual shower.  As I was debating what I should bring to the baby shower, so many thoughts went through my mind. Should I use one of the ideas from Sugarlicious? Should I do cupcakes with little rainbows? Should I doodle on marshmallows, like Meaghan does? Then it hit me, as long as chevron is still all the rage, I am going to use it.

Weclome to the world, Miss Violet!

You and I have something in common.

 We have birthdays just a couple of days apart.

baby shower

 As luck would have it, I picked just the right bow! The best part is I even debated on what color it should be.

Should it be pink?

Every newborn girl has a pink bow, right?

But, I am so glad I went with violet.

baby shower

Rainbow’s make everything bright, cheery and happy.

Don’t you think?

baby shower

You have to go visit all the other amazingly talented women and their creations for the baby shower.

baby shower


1.  Vanilla Bean Baker – Baby’s First Christmas

2.  Not Your Momma’s Cookie – Rainbow Swaddled Baby Cookies

3.  Crazy for Crust – Rainbow Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

4.  Dollhouse Bake ShoppeRainbow Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

5.  Creative Food – Rainbow Pancakes

6.  Hoosier Homemade – Rainbow Jar Cupcakes

7.  Kitchen Fun with My 3 SonsRainbow Smores Pops

8.  Pink Little Cake – Baby at the End of the Rainbow Cake

9.  Love From the Oven – Rainbow Cake Pop Cupcakes

10. Munchkin Munchies – Rainbow Balloon Cookies

11. The Baked Equation – Rainbow Baby Shower Cookies

12. Sweetology – Marshmallow Baby Pops

13. Sugar Swings – Rainbow Madeleines

14. Pint Sized Baker – Rainbow Meringue Tarts

15. Bird on a CakeRainbow Petal Cake

16. Haniela’s – Rainbow Centerpiece

17. Miss CandiquikMarshmallow Baby Bottles

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Clove Crisps

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Clove Crisps

I am so excited to be apart of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what recipe I was going to make. I finally narrowed it down to three different cookies, but one cold evening the cookie I choose spoke to me. Yup, that’s right my cookies speak to me! What is better on a cold winter night than a spicy cookie with hot coffee or tea?

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

A few weeks ago social media sites were buzzing about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012, a cookie exchange being organized by Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen.The premise of this cookie exchange? Sign up to receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Bake three dozen cookies and mail them out to your assigned food bloggers … then wait for three dozen cookies from other food bloggers to appear on your doorstep! It sounded like so much fun, I signed up immediately. It was really neat this year because OXO sent each of the bloggers a nifty cookie spatula. 50% of the proceeds of each cookie spatula will go to pediatric cancer research. Not only is this Spatula a great cooking tool, but it’s a constant reminder to “Be a Good Cookie.”

Clove Crisps

  • 15 ounces unbleached flour {sifted}
  • 3 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup butter {room temp.}
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Praline Liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp. pure orange extract


  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and salt. In another small prep bowl, place the egg, Praline liqueur and orange extract.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg, praline and orange extract. Mix until well blended. Scrap the bowl down. Added the sifted dry ingredients in two additions on low speed.
  3. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough forms a smooth disc. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Let the dough sit for at least 4 hours to let the flavors develop.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out about 1/8 inch thick. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. This is based on a 2.5″ round fluted cookie cutter.
  5. Let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe inspired by Fine Cooking Cookies Holiday 2012

 I had the priviledge of sending cookies to Kristin over at Kristin Pot Pie, Kristin from Per L’Amore Di Cibo, and to Esme from Chocolate and Croissants.  Now let’s talk about the yummy cookies I received. I posted pictures on instagram if you want view the yumminess.  The best part is these bloggers picked some of my family’s favorite flavors. Butterscotch and bacon are my boy’s delight.

Caylas Cookie Jar:  Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Chip Chip Hooray:  Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Bakeaholic Mama:  Maple Bacon Sugar Cookies

Do you feel like you missed out this year? I know this happened to me last year. Just go to this link and sign up. You will receive email updated about the next Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: http://fbcookieswap.us2.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=66bf80afd570fcb3c6194e49e&id=317a470233


Christmas Tree Cookie Collaboration

Homespun Christmas Tree Cookie Collaboration

A couple of weeks ago Pam, from CookieCrazie, invited me to be a part of a collaboration to create something special with the homespun christmas tree cutter we had received at CookieCon.  Before I get to my Christmas tree cookie creation, have to tell you a little about Pam. It was about a year ago, I was strolling through pictures on  flickr and stumbled across Pam’s cookies. Then I read her bio! Then I got so SUPER excited. She makes cookies to raise money for her church missionary efforts in the Ukraine.  Oh my gosh! I make cookies to raise money for our mission efforts in the Sudan. Now you have to keep in mind, back then I had no idea that a cookie world existed. I mean no clue.  I had no idea of how many women bake amazing cookies to raise money for different causes. I sent Pam an email, I was so excited to find someone doing somthing similar to what I was doing. I started stalking, I mean following her blog. If you have not been to Pam’s blog it is a wealth of knowledge for the cookie maker. It’s like I had hit the jackpot. At that time I was still trying to fill a cookie with out it being a complete disaster.

Christmas Tree Cookies Needless, to say, I was beyond excited when Pam asked me to be apart of the Christmas tree cookie collaboration. There may have been dancing and some singing but we will keep that on the down low. Do you love this cutter? You can get a homespun Christmas tree too, over at Karen’s Cookies. Want to know a unique little fact about this cutter? The proceeds from the sale of the homespun christmas tree cutter go to the mission effort in the Ukraine.

Have you been listening to Christmas music lately? I have. I love Josh Groban’s Christmas album. His voice is so amazing.  My favorite song that he is O Holy Night. Feel free to click over to the youtube video, so you can listen as you stroll through the Christmas tree pictures. Last year I had such great plans for my Christmas cookies. But it never came together in time. I wanted to take my favorite Christmas carol’s and put them on cookies. Now I finally have an excuse to get this done.

Christmas Tree Cookies

 I would love to put all my favorite carol’s on cookies.

But for now, I choose my favorite lines for O Holy Night.

Christmas Cookies

Can you imagine?

A night where no street light could drown out the beauty of the stars.

A night, not like any other.

Christmas Tree Cookies

This line has always fascinated me.

Ever since I was a little girl.

Can you imagine hearing angel’s sing?

I love the sound of the human voice in beautiful song.

But what must angel’s sound like?

O, night divine.

Yes, what a divine night that must have been.

Christmas Tree Cookies

Oh wait, we are not done yet. There are a lot more Christmas tree cookies to see.

Christmas Tree Cookie

What could be better than more cookies? I was so excited to get to see all the amazing creations from a list of fabulous women.

  1. Laurie from Cookie Bliss
  2. Andrea from Cupookie
  3. Christine from Sugar Cravings
  4. Heather from Sugar Nosh Treats
  5. Lorraine from Lorraine’s Cookies
  6. Nancy from Seasons of Joy
  7. Jen from Posh Pastries
  8. Elizabeth from Lizy B
  9. Stephanie from Ice My Biscuit
  10. Melissa from The Baked Equation
  11. Elizabeth from Arty McGoo

Black Friday Shopping Deals

Can you believe it? It’s Thanksgiving weekend. A weekend filled with sales from Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.  I am having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that the end of the year is right around the corner. Want to hear a secret? I still have trouble writing 2012. Normally, you only have that problem in January but I still have trouble believing it is 2012. Now 2013 is right around the corner? I don’t know if I am ready for this! So, I have to know? Are you the kind that loves to scout out the Black Friday sales? Do you wake up at 4 am, head out into the bitter cold to get that perfect gift at the right price? I have all the respect in the world for you.

On the other hand, I am deathly afraid of Black Friday. My fear of Black Friday started the year of my son’s first Christmas. I decided to brave the elements to get him the coveted bouncing Tigger at 4 am in the morning. But that morning I saw the side of human nature that makes me sad. People willing to trample others to get a s$25 gift.  That kind of stuff ruins the moment for me.  It saddens my heart. I love giving gifts but I would never want to trample someone to get it.  Tonight on the news I heard that people are already in line at certain places waiting for Black Friday. Seriously?  Really? You are going to miss Thanksgiving dinner with your family for a deal? I don’t mean to be Debbie downer, but come on.  Well, thank goodness for the internet. And thank goodness for so many of my friends who own small businesses. I thought I would share a few of them with you and the discounts they are offering for Black Friday.

Black Friday

Seriously, how cute is he?  It’s crazy to thing that it was 13 years ago.

Since I will be staying in, I thought I would share some Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals with you!

Captain Leisure T-Shirts

Black Friday

Captain Leisure T-Shirts is offering 15% off any Cakey & Bakey T-Shirts and Hoodies

Coupon Code: BAKEDEQ

The code is good from Thanksgiving Day 11/22 through Cyber Monday 11/26

The Smart Baker

Black Friday

The Smart Baker is having a Cyber Monday Sale

Their aprons will be on sale and deep discounts on their other products. They aren’t tell yet! BUT IF…

You head over to their website and sign up for their newsletter you will be the first to know. On Suday when the newsletter is released you will get the codes and sale items

for Cyber Monday!

Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe 

Black Friday

Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe makes the cutest edible topper for cupcakes and cakes.


Christina is offering 10% off on everything in her Etsy store. Starting on Black Friday through December 1.

Shop Crystal Faye

Black Friday

 Crystal’s store is so fun. You can’t beat her fabulous monogrammed rainboots and chic assessories.

I adore her notecards.

She is offering 15% off everything in the store on Black Friday


JuJu’s Tutu’s

Black Friday

 I think if I had a little girl our house would be filled with tutus. I can’t get over how cute they are. But since I have a boy you guys will have to buy them for me!

Jujus Tutus Etsy Store

Black Friday Deal:  31% off all Holiday themed tutus.


Small Business Saturday:  24% off with a Partner Purchase


Cyber Monday:  Free Shipping


Set in Stone by Janet Greene

 Black Friday

Do you have a pattern you like? Do you have a specific picture you adore? Janet can customize that on your own personal coasters.

She is offering 10% off for any purchase over the weekend.


The Baked Equation

Black Friday

Black Friday: 10% off all custom custom dessert orders

Small Business Saturday:  15% custom cookie orders {min. order 1 dozen}

Cyber Monday: 10% off custom cookie Christmas set {min. 1 dozen}

Copper Gifts 

Black Friday

Last but not least CopperGifts.com. I had to share with you their new cutter set. The 12 days of Christmas.  When I saw the 12 Days of Christmas Set at CookieCon, I loved it. I thought what a neat keepsake to have.

But Georganne, from LilaLoa, brought the cutter set to life.

Not only does she show you how to make the cookies but

she is currently taking us on a 12 day tour of Korea. It is breath taking.

If I owned the 12 days of Christmas cutter set, I would love to have a decorating party.

I would invite all my family and friends over.

Give them each a set and let each family decorate them.

How fun would that be?

Well have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Be safe!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

I was going to wait till the beginning of December to post my Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes recipe.  But this weekend when I walked into Starbucks all the signs of fall were down and  the quintessential red and white cups now fill our little neighborhood Starbucks. I figured if Starbucks isn’t going to wait till after Thanksgiving, then I guess I do not have to either!  I love mint and chocolate. Love is an understatement I think. I loose all sensibilities around mint and I don’t know why.  I seriously can not be left alone with Thin Mints. Just ask my friend Tammy. I have no manners when it comes to mint and chocolate, even at a friend’s house. If I ever come over, hide the mint and chocolate. Here are the specific items to hide from me: M&M’s Premium Mint candies, Thin Mints, Andes Mints, After 8 Dinner Mints and most of all the caffeinated version, the Peppermint Mocha.  I promise I am well behaved around all other kinds of foods.

I love adding coffee flavors to my chocolate recipes. Coffee and espressos bring out the wonderful nutty flavor of chocolate. I thought I would give Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha Via’s a try in this recipe.  I went a little crazy this past weekend. I have made peppermint mocha cookies, peppermint mocha brownies and my favorite of the bunch peppermint mocha cupcakes. Since I am awful at keeping surprises, I decided why not stay up late on Saturday night and share the recipe.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes 

  • 1 cup King Arthur Flour {sifted}
  • 1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg {room temp}
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peppermint mocha via {lukewarm}
  • 1/4 buttermilk {room temp.}


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a standard cupcake baking tray with 12 liners.

On the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Via directions it says to mix with hot milk. Instead of milk, mix the Via mixture with 1/2 cup of hot water. Stir and set aside.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In separate bowl beat sugars and butter on medium till light and fluffy. Approximately 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beat till combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with liquid, starting with the buttermilk. Don’t over beat. Scrape down the side of the bowl and the bottom area. Beat on high-speed for 30 seconds. This helps the batter develop.

Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the baking cups. Fill approximately 3/4ths full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then release from the pan and transfer to a baking rack.

*Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

 Peppermint Buttercream

  • 6 oz. unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar {sifted}
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. half and half + 1 tsp.
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 3 drops of pure peppermint extract or oil
  • 1/2 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips


In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter & salt for about 4 minutes till light and fluffy. The texture of the butter will change. Add half of the powdered sugar and the half and half to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined.  Scrape down the bowl again.  Beat on high-speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.  Place in a pastry bag with the tip of your choice. Decorate the cupcakes then sprinkles Andes Peppermint baking chips on top.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes