Category Archives: Baked Goods

Christmas Recipe Roundup


Here’s the roundup of my favorite Christmas cookies and treats.  Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!!!!


7 Layer Bars

Almond Paste Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

Cranberry & Pistachio White Chocolate Bark

Eggnog Cookies

Gingerbread Loaf w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Hazelnut Shortbread

Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Jelly-Filled Cookies

Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge


Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Chocolate Crinkles

Ricciarelli Cookies

Saltine Toffee Brittle

Thin Mint Cookie Fudge


White Chocolate Chex Mix



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Big News & Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

I’m back! I think my last post was on Halloween??? Sorry for the major vacation. I have a very good excuse though… we’re having a baby!!!! The hubby and I are very very excited and feel very blessed about our little bun-in-the-oven. I’m 18 weeks along and feel much better than I did during the first trimester. I was not baking at all and barely cooking throughout the majority of November. Since I’m in my 2nd trimester, I feel much better and have a little more pep-in-my-step (although I could always use more!).
I have been baking Christmas cookies throughout December, but I decided to hold off blogging about them because I’ve blogged about them before. However, I did try baking a new cookie this year called Hazelnut Shortbread. I’m always intimidated to bake shortbread because it calls for so much butter and sugar, but it’s Christmastime, so excessive calories are justified. I love anything hazelnut and if you’re like me, you’ll def love these cookies. Enjoy!
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (you could use white chocolate as well)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour and hazelnuts; gradually add to butter mixture and mix well (dough will be sticky). Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness. Use floured cookie cutter of choice and place on ungreased baking sheets, 1″ apart.
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before moving cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips until smooth. Drizzle over cookies and allow to set. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 3.5 dozen cookies


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Halloween Cut-Out Cookies w/Royal Icing

I hope everyone on the east coast is safe after Sandy.  We had a few travails here but our power is back on and our roof leak (thanks to a tree branch) is fixed.  We are very fortunate because we still have family and friends that are without power.  Before the storm came, I baked these delicious Halloween Cut-Out Cookies w/Royal Icing.  I love this Royal Icing recipe because it calls for Meringue Powder instead of raw egg whites.  I added almond extract to the frosting and it really makes the cookies taste a million times better.  You can buy Meringue Powder at Michael’s or any other craft store.  This sour cream cut-out cookie recipe is my Mom’s that she’s been using for as long as I can remember.  These cookies are moist and fluffy… the cookie dough is pretty addicting too.  HappHalloween!!

Cut-Out Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Royal Icing (see recipe below)
  • Sprinkles for decorating


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and sour cream until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients.  Beat until batter forms.  Place plastic wrap over bowl of stand mixer and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and turn onto a dusted flour surface.  Sprinkle with flour lightly knead.  Divide dough in 2 balls.  Set 1 aside.  With a dusted rolling pin, roll 1 dough to 1/2″ thickness.  Using cookie cutters of choice, press into dough.  Place cookies onto baking sheet.  Re-roll remaining dough scrapes until  used up.  Repeat with second ball of dough.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

*Yield:  About 4 dozen cookies (depending on size of cookie cutters)

Royal Icing Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  1. In a stand mixer, beat all ingredients until icing forms a peak (7-10 minutes at low speed).  If frosting is too thick, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until desired consistency.
  2. With an icing knife, spread frosting onto cookie.  Decorate with sprinkles while frosting is still wet.  Repeat until all cookies are frosted.  Allow to cool completely before eating or storing in tupperware.

*Yield:  About 3 cups

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Cinnamon Rolls w/Cream Cheese Frosting

I remember going to the mall when I was little and splitting one of those gigantic cinnamon buns with my sister.  They were huge, delicious, and always oozing with unhealthy amounts of frosting.  I haven’t had one of those cinnamon buns in a really long time (this is probably a good thing).  But I’ve seen a ton of recipes to bake your own, so I decided to give them a try.  They are a little time-consuming because they require active yeast, but nothing too crazy since the majority of the time is spent letting the dough rise.  And believe me, that extra TLC that you put into baking them will be well worth the effort.  These Cinnamon Rolls w/Cream Cheese Frosting were absolutely mouthwatering!  My hubby, who normally doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, loved them so much that when I suggested he bring them to work to share, he responded quite seriously with “I’m not sharing them.”  Okay then… enough said!


  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough:

  1. Combine milk and butter in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30-45 seconds.  Make sure to not overheat milk and butter.  If you do, allow to cool until 120-130 degrees.  Pour milk and butter into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  2. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt.  Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 21/2 cups flour.  Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.
  3. Replace paddle attachment with kneading hook and knead until smooth, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes.  Form into ball.  Lightly oil a large bowl with nonstick spray.  Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel.  Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling:

  1. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  2. Punch down dough and transfer to floured work surface.  Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle.  Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter.  Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up.  With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
  3. Spray two 9-inch glass baking dishes with nonstick spray.  Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls).  Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel.  Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40-45 minutes.
  4. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.  Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack.  Cool 10 minutes and then turn rolls right side up.

For glaze:

  1. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Using electric mixer, beat until smooth.  Spread glaze on rolls and serve warm or at room temperature.

*Adapted from Epicurious

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Pumpkin Chocolate Bars w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Last week, the hubby and I were busy around the house (or busy watching someone do work around our house).  We had an electrician come and do some much-needed electrical work inside and oustide the house.  He wired and hung a ceiling fan in our screened-in-porch.  Now, when it’s 95 and disgusting outside, we can actually sit on our porch and enjoy it.  He hung a motion sensor light outside.  He hung a chandelier in our stairway.  He also wired and installed recessed LED lights in the kitchen (Thanks to the hubby for convincing me that LEDs are the better option!).  A professor in grad school once told me that political scientists think about issues that will affect society 4 years from now, but economists think about issues that will affect society 10-15 years from now.  LEDs are more expensive up front, but they will last for up to 28 years.  Seems like a good investment to me!
         In other news, I baked these Pumpkin Chocolate Bars w/Cream Cheese Frosting.  I’m not a huge chocolate fan but paired with pumpkin, these bars are fantastic and slightly addicting.  They’re easy to bake and will put you in a festive fall mood.  Enjoy!


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sprinkles (optional)


  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, applesauce, and pumpkin until well blended.  Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.  Fold in chocolate chips and pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set.  Cool completely.
  2. For icing, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, butter, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.  Spread over cooled bars and top with chocolate sprinkles.  Store in the refrigerator.

*Adapted from Taste of Home


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Caramel Apple Cookies

What’s not to love about caramel apples?  They’re sweet and more sweet.  In fact, when I was little, I used to think they were fairly healthy treats (I was getting my apple-a-day, right?).  I now know that any food covered in caramel sauce is not the healthiest, but I’m still infatuated with this treat anyways.  That’s why I knew I had to bake these Caramel Apple Cookies when I saw the recipe.  These cookies are addicting and delicious.  Enjoy at your own risk! 


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chunky-style applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup caramel bites


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Put butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until combined.  Add egg and applesauce, mix until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes.  Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in caramel bites.
  2. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden and just set, 13 to 15 minutes.  Let cool on sheets 5 minutes and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
 *Adapted from Martha Stewart


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Baked Apple Oatmeal

Can you believe it’s already mid-October?  My favorite season will soon be over, so it’s time to take advantage of as much fall produce as I can.  Hand-picked apples are perfect to munch on or to bake with.  I made this Baked Apple Oatmeal with my favorite baking apple… the Northern Spy.  I actually hand-picked 15 pounds of these Spys when I was up in NY visiting my parents.  I’ve already made apple pies and applesauce, so it was time to get creative and make some other treats.  This Baked Apple Oatmeal is easy to make and is the perfect breakfast treat.  Serve it warm with a drizzle of maple syrup and enjoy!


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 3/4 cup diced apple
  • 2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Maple syrup for drizzling


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and set rack in the middle of oven.  Grease an 8″x8″ baking pan and set aside.  In a large bowl, stir the oats, baking powder, and salt.  Add the pecans, dried cranberries, and apples.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Pour mixture into dish and bake until top is golden brown, 55-65 minutes.  Spoon into bowls and serve warm with maple syrup.

*The Apple Lover’s Cookbook



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Morning Glory Muffins

It’s September which means it’s my favorite time of year!  Even though it’s still 86 degrees outside and the official autumnal equinox isn’t until September 22, it’s fall in my book as soon as Labor Day passes.  Fall is my favorite baking season by far; you can’t beat pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, caramel, concord grapes, figs, etc.  I love all of those flavors, and I’m obsessed with Yankee candles that come in any of a variety of those flavors.  In fact, I just bought a new one this past weekend.  I don’t know about you, but I have to smell every single flavor about 3 times before making my final decision.  I finally went with Spiced Pumpkin, which smells like Beak and Skiff in a jar (an apple orchard near my parent’s house in Syracuse).
In lieu of my excitement over the start of the fall baking season, I made Morning Glory Muffins.  Morning Glory Muffins have shredded coconut, apples, and carrots.  They taste similar to carrot cake and are oh so delicious.  I upped the nutritional value by decreasing the amount of sugar and adding flax seed meal.  Enjoy!


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flax meal.  Add the carrots, pineapple, coconut, and apple and stir to combine.  Add the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla and stir to combine.
  3. With a cookie scoop, divide the batter among two 12-cup muffin tins, 1/2-full.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out to cool for another 10 minutes.

*Adapted from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook



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Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Each week, I bake cookies for my hubby that he brings to work for lunch.  He loves cookies and I love baking, so it works out nicely.  I try to bake different cookies every time to keep things interesting.  Sometimes I run out of ideas, so I check Pinterest.  I found these Oreo Cheesecake Cookies, so I decided to give them a try.  What’s great about this recipe is that you don’t need an entire package of Oreos for the batch.  This is obviously great because it means you’ll have a batch of Oreo Cheesecake Cookies and 1/2 a package of Oreo cookies when all is said and done.  These cookies are scrumptious and probably taste better than they look.  There’s no baking soda or baking powder, so they’re rather flat.  However, what they lack in fluffiness, they make up for in taste.  Enjoy!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs, divided


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.

3. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients are well-combined.  Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated.  Stir in 1/2 cup crushed Oreos with a rubber spatula.

4. Place the remaining 1/2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs in a small bowl.  Roll the cookies into 2″ balls and then roll in the cookie crumbs (Make sure you roll the cookies large enough because they will not rise). Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet and press down with your palm. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges and bottoms are golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.  Yield:  12-15 cookies.

*Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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Blueberry Baked Donuts

July is National Blueberry month and what better way to celebrate then with these delicious Blueberry Baked Donuts. One of my favorite types of donuts, besides peanut donuts, are blueberry donuts. They are delicious and because these donuts are baked, are healthier too! I must have a thing for bluberries because I also love blueberry bagels. Blueberries are chocked full of healthy antioxidants, so be sure to get your fill with these delicious blueberry treats:

Blueberry & Coconut Smoothie

Blueberry & Lavender Scones

Blueberry & Pineapple Smoothie

Blueberry Cheesecake Squares w/Hazelnuts

Blueberry Glazed Doughnut Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

Oatmeal Blueberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Fillet Mignon w/Blueberry Balsamic Reduction (Fileno al Mirtillo)


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray donut pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add yogurt, eggs, and butter and beat until combined. Fill each doughnut cup 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 7-9 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan 4-5 minutes before removing from pan.
  4. To make glaze, combine ingredients and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over donuts and allow to dry on a wire rack.

*Makes 12 doughnuts

Adapted from Wilton Baked Cake Donuts


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