Monday, November 25, 2013

Baking Monday – Chocolate M&M Cookies

Today's Baking Monday comes by birthday boy's request!

Clark wanted chocolate cookies with M&Ms for his school treat. I went once again to Tracey's blog for inspiration, and both classroom teachers asked for the recipe! One change: I used mini chocolate chips in the batter and decorated the top of each cookie with M&Ms before baking. Super yummy and fun!

Oh, this kid. We  have our daily ups and downs. Let's focus on the ups: he loved his birthday goodies, presents, and celebrating at school. His birthday weekend included a fun day in NYC, a relaxing play day at home with Dad, and dinner out at Friendlys.

He also loves his new specs! Just a matter of time when you're a member of the Family Four-Eyes. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More Silhouette Fun

How cute is this little treat jar? Penny will do anything for food. We now laugh and laugh about how a woman at the shelter said that Penny was picky about treats. This is the dog who dug into a random leaf pile and pulled out a quesadilla last week. She will eat absolutely anything and everything that resembles food. Yes, the vet told us no people food, which I do follow, though she and I have an agreement that anything that falls on the ground is fair game. (This weekend, a pancake fell on the floor and Penny thought she hit the jackpot for half a second until I scooped it up and threw it in the trash. Sorry, girl!) The vet also said no treats, but these mini bones make a good low-cal incentive when needed.

Project #2 ... I've been wanting to do this for a long time! Keeping a stash of snacks on hand and food containers all in one place, right under the counter where lunch boxes are filled has made lunch prep go SO much smoother. It also makes it easy that each kid always takes the same thing for lunch. I used to stress about the lack of variety, but turns out that we all prefer the routine. (And happily, Wegmans doubles coupons for the drinkable yogurt that gets packed every single day!) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baking Monday – Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate pretzels are back! I found a great recipe to use up last week's leftovers that I knew would make my cc-loving husband very happy. 

This recipe was great ... don't forget the little sprinkle of sea salt before baking, it adds a nice salty crunch. There are still some pretzels left over, I'm thinking ice cream sundaes, with hot fudge and peanut butter, mmmm.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Baking Monday – Chocolate Pretzel Brownies

Jeff was out of town last week and my pb-loving friend was in charge of dessert delivery, so I went peanut butter crazy with this treat!

I used this recipe to start - had I been thinking ahead, I would have lined the baking pan (9x9") with parchment so I could frost and then lift the whole thing out to cut. But since I didn't think that far ahead,  plan B was to cut the cooled brownies then use a pastry bag to decorate. I think they turned out quite nice!

I used about half the butter suggested for the frosting recipe, and just kept adding confectioner's sugar and some milk until desired consistency. These were pretty good - brownies were dense and chocolatey and I love peanut butter frosting. I made lots of chocolate pretzels, so look for those to make a re-appearance next week!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blob Monsters!

One post-Halloween treat today! I made some eyeballs with leftover icing from the last batch of Halloween cookies. They didn't turn out great - stupid bleeding! But were perfectly creepy enough for some blob monsters. I was looking for a quick treat to bring to a pumpkin carving party and was inspired by these goodies

I went with my favorite mix - melting chocolate with a scoop of peanut butter, then added crushed pretzels and graham crackers. Instead of spreading into bark, I used a mini scoop to drop the blobs onto wax paper, then added eyeballs and sprinkles. Yummy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baking Monday – Banana Nutella Muffins

Always looking for recipes to use up brown bananas (every week, the kids promise they'll be eaten, and every week, I pitch a few more in the freezer!) and these certainly sounded worth a try. (It must be said again: every recipe I've tried from this blog - and there have been many - has been a hit!

Banana muffins alone don't thrill me, I need something else to sweeten the deal. These have peanut butter chips inside (my favorite) and a swirl of Nutella on top. Happily, a good friend brought me a giant jar of Nutella for my birthday (thanks, Jason!), perfect for baking (and spreading on graham crackers for a baking snack).

Yummy. Tracey's cocoa-banana muffins are still probably my favorite, but these will definitely have a place in our brown-banana-baking rotation.