Cottontail Cookies

Cottontail Cookies

These cute little cookies are so fun to make and just as easy! You could whip up your own sugar cookie dough and frosting, or save time and use store bought. I went with store bought because the fun for me was in the design!

Ingredients

Sugar cookie dough

Vanilla frosting

Pink food coloring

Marshmallows

Pink m&ms

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350F. If you use store bought sugar cookie dough, two squares makes the big cookie and one square makes the small cookie pictured above. One fourth of a square makes the foot. Divide and roll the squares into balls. Bake the foot pieces for 8 minutes and the bodies for 12 minutes.

Divide the frosting and add food coloring to half. Once cookies are cooled completely, frost all cookies, feet and bodies. Assemble the bunnies as pictured and garnish with marshmallows and m&ms. If you use regular m&ms, you won’t need to half them. I used mini egg m&ms, so I halved them to better fit on the cookies.


Happy Easter!

xoxo,

Katie

Blueberry Oat Muffins

Blueberry Oat Muffins

Hey friends! Happy Easter week. It’s crazy that now, over a year ago, the world “shut down”. What a year it has been. And yet, Easter comes just as sweet

This week, I wasn’t feeling a super indulgent bake. This was probably because Dylan and I ate at the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House in Hapeville on Friday night, which included us consuming 2 giant slices of pie. While it was amazing in the moment, we both felt the weight of those pies in our stomach the next morning during our workouts.

Anyways… I decided to try and make a healthier version of one of my favorite treats – a blueberry muffin. The recipe I used definitely doesn’t cut down on the butter, but it does cut down on the sugar. As a result, these muffins are “heartier” and less cake-like.

I used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction (she never does me wrong). While normally, I make edits to recipes I find online, this one I followed pretty much to a “T”. She does a great job explaining exactly what you need and the “why”. Instead of writing the recipe here, I’ll just share some notes…

  • I wish I would’ve let the oats soak up the milk longer. I ended up mixing them in after 20 minutes on the nose, but wished I had let them soak for another 10-20 minutes.
  • I cut back on the honey in the recipe because I thought it seemed like a lot. However, I wished I had added all of it.
  • I didn’t have enough batter to completely fill all 12 muffin cups – I wished I would’ve divided the batter more evenly so that it would’ve stretched to fill 12. Instead I filled about 10 muffin cups almost to the brim.
  • I baked for the 5 min, then 16 min. However, I wished I would’ve baked them for shorter. I would recommend starting with 5 min, raising the temp, baking for 12 min more, and then checking from there.

That’s it! Hopefully you enjoy this hearty treat.

Happy baking,
Morgan

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I’m a sucker for a good streusel. Maybe that’s why I like sweet potato casserole so much… Anyways, when I came across this recipe from Southern Living and saw the TWO layers of streusel I knew I wanted to try it.

And I was not disappointed! It is so yummy. We had some down time on a work call this week so someone asked what everyone had for lunch. I had to embarrassingly admit that I had eaten coffee cake for lunch.. but if they had known how good it was they would’ve understood!

Recipe Notes

– One review said that the streusel was too salty. The streusel was salty, but I did not find it overly salty!

– I used walnuts instead of pecans because that’s what I had and I loved how it turned out. I also did not toast them.

– Full disclosure, I typically do not add batter and flour in layers the way recipes designate. I certainly did not do that here, and I do not think the outcome was affected.

– I used a bundt pan instead of a tube pan because I do not have a tube pan. Again, worked out the same.

– Mine baked for 45 minutes almost exactly. However, when I pulled it out, I did not let the cake cool in the pan and half of it collapsed when I turned it out because the cake around the middle layer of streusel was a little undercooked still. If I had let it cool in the pan, that part would’ve likely continued cooking a bit and firmed up, not collapsing my cake. All that to say, because of the middle layer of streusel, it is imperative to let this cake cool in the pan first!

– Often when recipes call for streusel, I make a little bit more because I’m usually disappointed by how little following the recipe makes. That was not the case here! I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to fully coat the batter with both layers, with even a little leftover.

Hope you enjoy!

xoxo,

Katie

Very Cherry Cupcakes

Very Cherry Cupcakes

When I was little, I thought Maraschino cherries came off a tree. As you can imagine, I was very disappointed when I tasted a natural cherry. I remember being so confused about why they were so bitter and I just assumed Maraschino cherries were a different variety of cherries that were much, much more delicious.

Fast forward to the present, and I still don’t really eat cherries. I think I was so disgusted when I was younger that my brain still tells me cherries are too bitter. Maybe it’s about time to give them a second chance! Just not today… Today is allllll about the Maraschino cherries in these Very Cherry Cupcakes.

Ingredients

1 box white cake mox

1 3 oz package cherry jello

4 large eggs

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice

1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries

Frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

6 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole milk

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients until well combined. Mix in eggs, oil, and cherry juice until batter is smooth with no lumps. Fold in chopped cherries.

Line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Spray liners with cooking spray. Fill each cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350F for 22 minutes. Let cupcakes fully cool.

Prepare frosting. Beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in powdered sugar, salt, and cherry juice until completely combined and smooth. Beat in milk until you have reached your desired consistency. Frost cupcakes and garnish with cherries.


Y’all. These are SO. YUMMY. Especially if you love cherries- they are bursting with flavor! You have got to try these.

xoxo,

Katie

Mint Chocolate Chip Dome

Mint Chocolate Chip Dome

Happy Pi Day! While I hope you celebrated our favorite mathematical constant today by eating some delicious pie, my sights were set on St. Patrick’s Day when crafting this week’s dessert. Honestly, I’m not that into celebrating St. Patrick’s Day; however, I AM into anything mint chocolate chip. I just couldn’t let this week pass without making something minty, “chocolately”, and yummy.

Couple disclaimers about this one… You do have to buy a good bit of special ingredients. Also, this is not low calorie, but the indulgence is worth it. Honestly, this is a showstopper-type cake. It turns out beautifully and will “wow” an audience. My family has already requested I make it for Easter just based off of the pictures – it looks that good!

I started with this recipe off of Tasty’s website; however, I made a few modifications, so I’ll share those below.

Here is what you’ll need…

  • 1 package of brownie mix – prepared to the package’s instructions. Typically you’ll need 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1/3 cup of water, and 1 egg for this. Is it bad that I’ve memorized the Ghirardelli boxed brownie mix recipe? 🙂
  • 3 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream, plus 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream for later
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons of peppermint extract (really to taste)
  • 6-10 drops of green food coloring (to preference)
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of mini chocolate chips
  • 1 package of Mint Oreo cookies or 2 boxes of thin mints – I actually used a mix of both

Here is what you’ll need to do…

  • Preheat your oven to 350 and bake the brownies in a round cake pan. Grease the pan generously – you’ll thank me for this later. Once they are done, you’ll want to try to get it out of the pan like 1 solid level of cake. If you mess this up though (like I did), it’s not the end of the world. The freezer is forgiving. I also noticed that the brownies cooked faster in the cake pan so keep an eye on them after about 30-45 minutes. You’ll want to let them cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat the 3 1/4 cups of heavy cream and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar with a hand mixer until it thickens. Usually when you read recipes like this, you can easily do this in your standing Kitchen Aid mixer with the whisk attachment. Well, you probably can here, but I made a big mess trying. It’s MUCH easier to use a hand mixer since you are whisking a good bit of cream. You can also whisk by hand if you’re brave.
  • Once thickened, fold in the peppermint extract and green food coloring until you get the desired color/ taste you’re looking for. I would over index on making this too green because the color fades a good bit when you add the cookies. Notice mine lost a lot of it’s green color.
  • In a separate medium bowl, pour in the 1 cup of white chocolate chips. Heat your other 1/2 cup of heavy cream – I did this in the microwave for about 1 minute. Pour the hot heavy cream over the white chocolate chips. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir so it mixes together in an even consistency.
  • At this point, I would go ahead and prepare your bowl with cookies. You’ll need a 10 inch bowl. Essentially, you are going to put 1 cookie in the bottom center of the bowl and then make circles of cookies surrounding the initial cookie until you’ve got cookies all the way up the sides. I would do this first and then just use the cookies you have left over in the whipped cream.
  • Crush the remaining cookies.
  • Next, you are going to fold in the white chocolate mixture, crushed cookies, and 2 cups of mini chocolate chips into the whipped cream mixture. Here is where I would taste it and make sure you have the right balance of flavors.
  • Now, carefully spoon the whipped cream mixture over the cookies. Make sure to smooth out the top.
  • Then you’ll want to place your cooled brownie “cake” on top, face down. Mine wasn’t quite cool yet, so I went ahead and put the bowl in the freezer and added the brownie later.
  • Cover and place in the freezer for 5 hours to overnight so that the inside solidifies.
  • Once hardened, the dome flips out easily of the bowl since the cookies make up the outside. I was shocked at how easy it was to flip it out!
  • You can store this in your fridge if there are leftovers.

Enjoy! We loved this one, so I hope you will too.

xoxo,
Morgan

Mint Chocolate Brownies

Mint Chocolate Brownies

Mint chocolate has long been a favorite flavor of mine. My family used to go to the Monster Truck Rally in Atlanta every year and we would get ice cream at the Varsity afterwards. I always got mint chocolate chip! The rest is history.

I thought a green and minty dessert would be fun for St. Patty’s Day, so I decided to go with Mint Chocolate Brownies!

Ingredients

Brownies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup all purpose flour

21 Andes mints, chopped

Mint Filling

3 oz cream cheese

3 oz (6 tbsps) unsalted butter

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp water or milk

1 tsp mint extract

3-5 drops green food colorong

Chocolate Ganache

1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips

3/4 heavy cream

2 tbsps light corn syrup

Instructions

1. Make brownies. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine butter and chocolate in a small sauce pan. Melt over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat once melted and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Combine both sugars and butter mixture in the bowl of a stand mixture. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and salt and mix well. Add flour and beat until just combined. Do not over mix.

3. Stir in chopped candies and pour into greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let brownies completely cool.

4. Make mint filling. Beat cream cheese, butter, and salt until smooth and fully combined. Add powdered sugar and milk and beat well. Add extract and food coloring and mix until fully incorporated. Spread mint filling over cooled brownies and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5. Make ganache. Heat heavy cream until almost boiling. Pour heated cream over chocolate chips on a glass bowl. Stir until smooth. Add corn syrup and stir until smooth. Pour ganache over brownies, covering entire surface. Add extra Andes mints (sliced) on top for garnish. Let ganache harden before serving.


Hack: Make this recipe easier by using boxed brownie mix. No one will be the wiser!

This may seem like a long recipe, but if you do each step in stages it is manageable! And the end result is definitely worth it!

xoxo,

Katie

Kitchen Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kitchen Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey folks! It feels like it has been awhile since I’ve written. The past 2 weeks have felt like a whirlwind. I don’t know about you, but it seems like things are starting to get back to “normal” (whatever that means now). With more and more people getting vaccinated, more and more things we used to enjoy are returning. I mean, there is finally hope that Disneyland will open soon! Can you believe it? Ha!

As I was thinking about something to bake this week, I realized I had an unused box of Betty Crocker white cake mix in my pantry. Katie has been the queen of doctored up cake mix recipes, so I knew she would be proud of me for giving it a go. My husband has also been asking me to bake more chocolate goodies (I tend to drift toward fruity desserts), so what’s more “chocolately” than a great chocolate chip cookie?

I found this recipe on Betty Crocker’s website and I noticed it had great reviews – well, this recipe didn’t disappoint. It was easy and delicious! In fact, I brought a bunch to a family gathering and they ate them up. I called them Kitchen Sink Cookies because it felt like I was adding a bunch of ingredients from my pantry, besides the Kitchen Sink of course.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) of butter
  • 1 box of cake mix – I had white cake mix on-hand (which worked fine), but this recipe technically calls for yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter (probably better if it’s creamy and not crunchy) – Just a disclaimer… these cookies don’t look like they have peanut butter in them. My brother is really allergic so I wouldn’t have brought these to something he would be at – just in case. You could probably leave this out, but I do think this helped with the creaminess.
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup of M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Set your butter out on the counter 1-2 hours before you want to bake – this makes it much easier to mix
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Cream the 1.5 sticks of butter and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, so they are combined – I put this in my KitchenAid mixer on medium speed, but you could use a hand mixer as well.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the box of cake mix, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 egg – Mix on medium speed until combined. It’ll really start resembling cookie dough.
  • Pour in your 2 cups of quick cooking oats and mix on “stir”/ low until combined
  • Add the 1/2 cup of M&Ms and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and mix on “stir”/ low until combined
  • Now you are going to scoop portions onto a baking sheet. I used a little cookie dough scoop like this one so that my cookies were evenly sized. The trick here is ensuring the scoop is equally filled with each cookie. Using this size scoop, I ended up making about 30 small cookies.
  • How long to bake the cookies is going to depend on the size of them… Using balls of dough the size of the scoop I mentioned, I baked them for about 12 minutes. You’ll want to watch for the edges of the cookies to go slightly brown, then pull them out (even if they don’t look done on the top). I would say you’ll probably need between 10-15 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to a plate or wire rack to fully cool.

And you’re done! These are really easy and delicious, so I know you’ll love them. Happy baking!

xoxo,
Morgan

Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies

Got another easy box mix to cookie coming at ya today! While these were good, I’m kinda questioning their purpose. They are cookies that taste like brownies that use brownie mix…. so why not just make brownies? I really don’t have an answer for you! The one major perk is that they only took 10 minutes to bake, as opposed to 40+ for brownies. Also, powdered sugar is involved and that’s always a perk right?! Recipe is below.

Recipe

1 box brownie mix

1 1/4 cup all purpose flower

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 water

1 cup milk chocolate chips or walnuts

Powdered sugar, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine first five ingredients. Mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips or walnuts. In a separate bowl, place 3/4 – 1 cup of powdered sugar. Using a cookie dough scoop, drop balls of dough one at a time into the powdered sugar. Roll the ball around until it is covered and place on a cookie sheet with parchment. After all cookie dough balls are covered with powdered sugar, bake for 10 minutes.


And there you have it! Hope you enjoy.

xoxo,

Katie

Caramel Frosted Pound Cake

Caramel Frosted Pound Cake

I think I’ve been in a baking rut. Maybe I overdid it during the holidays, or I’m just busy at work right now. Either way, I couldn’t bare the sight of another cookie in my kitchen. I wanted to try something new, so when I happened upon this Southern Living recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. I’ve only made one pound cake before and happened to not even eat a slice. Besides that, I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve eaten pound cake in my life!

Do you know why it is called pound cake? The original recipe called for one pound of each ingredient: flour, eggs, sugar, and butter. Pretty easy, huh? Apparently additional ingredients in the “true” pound cake such as flavorings are a hot topic. Might be interesting to throw one pound of the aforementioned ingredients together and see what happens.

The recipe was pretty straightforward, especially for the actual cake. I’ve listed my notes below.

  • I do not own a tube pan so I used two loaf pans and it worked out perfectly. I baked for the same amount of time and at the same temperature as suggested in the recipe.
  • I also do not own a candy thermometer. I do own a meat thermometer which is what I used for the frosting. My frosting set up nicely without the candy thermometer!
  • After heating the 1/4 cup of sugar to an amber color for the frosting, you are supposed to add it to the boiling milk mixture. I would suggest bringing the milk mixture to a boil first. By the time my sugar had turned an amber color, my butter had not melted completely into my milk. I poured in the amber sugar and it hardened like candy. Luckily, as the milk mixture boiled, the candy like sugar melted also. Ultimately, I think having the milk at a higher temperature and pouring the sugar more slowly would have stopped this from happening. Regardless, it did not affect the outcome of the frosting.
  • The recipe says to let your frosting cool for 20 minutes. Mine took at least 30 before it was thick enough to even think about putting on the cake. Even then it wasn’t thick enough to spread, just to pour.

Y’all. This recipe is going in my recipe box and I will definitely be making it again! Try this one out!

xoxo,

Katie

Monkey Bread Muffins

Monkey Bread Muffins

Happy weekend! Man it is cold outside… While I am so thankful that we haven’t gotten any snow in Georgia, I’m relieved that friends in Texas and other places are starting to get relief from the crazy weather. 2021 is sure off to a weird start!

We didn’t have many plans this weekend, so I decided to tackle a more adventurous recipe – Monkey Bread with homemade dough. This recipe is great because you can definitely skip the homemade dough and just use canned biscuit dough if you’re not quite feeling as adventurous or don’t have a ton of time. I started with this recipe from Baking with Josh and Ange (they are my favorites!). However, I will say… The muffin tins made this a bit trickier. Next time, I’ll probably use a bundt pan like they do in this recipe, just to make things easier.

Here is what you will need…

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup of warm milk (between 110-115 degrees) – I put the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds and checked the temp with a meat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, I would just microwave for 30-45 seconds and go with it.
  • 1 package or 2 1/2 tablespoons of instant dry yeast – We buy these in individual packets from the grocery store and 1 package worked perfectly
  • 2 eggs at room temp – Try to pull these out of the fridge a couple hours before you’re planning to make the dough
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

** This dough turned out perfect! Honestly, I might use this same dough recipe to make cinnamon rolls soon. However, If you don’t want to make your own dough, just buy 2 cans of biscuit dough.

For the coating on the dough bites:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 1/4 cup of sugar – I added a little extra here from the original recipe because I ran out and had to add more.
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon

** There was also a glaze recipe included in the original recipe. I opted to not include that here because I don’t think you need it. There is enough sugar as is 🙂

Here is what you will need to do…

For the dough:

  • I started by getting out all the ingredients, warming up the 3/4 cup of milk, and melting the 1/4 cup of butter
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cup warmed milk and yeast packet until mixed – I didn’t whisk for too long here.
  • In your KitchenAid mixer (using the whisk attachment) or just with a whisk, add 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix until combined
  • Pour the yeast/ milk mixture in the mixer and mix until combined (how many times can you say “mix” in 1 sentence?!)
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the 3 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment on the KitchenAid mixer. Then, slowly add half of the flour mixture, while continue mixing on low (you can also combine this by handing using a spoon).
  • Add 1/4 cup of melted butter, then slowly pour in the rest of the flour (all while mixing on low). The dough will get sticky!
  • Swap out the paddle attachment for the dough hook attachment and knead it on low for about 3 minutes (you can also hand knead for about 5 minutes).
  • Butter a large bowl and put in your dough ball, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for the dough to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours

For the coating and assembling the muffins:

  • When the dough is almost done rising (you are looking for it to double in size – taking a before picture helps you know when it’s done), preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12 cup muffin tin pan with cooking spray
  • Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in 1 small bowl
  • Mix together the 1 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in a separate small bowl
  • (Ignore this step if you are using canned biscuit dough) When you remove the plastic wrap, punch the dough initially to get any large air bubbles out (here is your chance to get out any pent-up aggression ha!) and then roll out the dough using a rolling pin on a floured surface. I ended up rolling mine to be a thin/ pizza looking shape.
  • You need to ensure you have 4×12=48 individual pieces. I used a pizza cutter to create 8 columns and 6 rows = 48 pieces.
  • At this point, I wish I had rolled the individual pieces into balls before coating them, so I would recommend doing that. It’ll make your muffins prettier.
  • Now you are going to create an assembly line. Roll the dough piece into a ball, dunk in the butter, coat with the sugar/ cinnamon mixture, then put in the muffin tin. You are going to add 3 balls on the bottom of each muffin tin then 1 on the top. Just a callout… Make sure to arrange them in a way that looks pretty – this is how they are going to rise/ look when they come out of the oven.
  • Bake for ~15 minutes – they won’t look like they are done, but they are! I would also add a baking sheet underneath the muffin tin to catch any butter that leaks while baking. I ended up smoking up my kitchen with excess butter here… Oops.
  • Let the muffins cool for a couple minutes then remove them from the muffin tin. I let mine cool completely on a cooling rack before storing them.

And that’s it… Happy baking!
xoxo,
Morgan