Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Drizzle

chocolate cupcakes with caramel drizzle

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve baked cupcakes! But it felt so good and put me in such a good mood last night! :) It’s my amazing coworker Michelle’s last day at work today and we are going to miss her dearly, so I thought I’d send her off with one last taste of my baked goods. Because my chocolate cupcakes are always a hit (not trying to toot my own horn) I chose that flavor to make. To add a little twist, I wanted to drizzle some homemade caramel sauce over the top.

So I baked my classic chocolate cake recipe:

Chocolate cupcakes
Yields 12
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  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. ...
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Samoa Cookie Dough Pops

Girl scout samoa cookies dough bites pops

A few weeks ago, I was thinking how it’s “that time of year” and I should *hopefully* be hearing from the Girl Scouts main office about their annual recipe contest soon. Well, about a week went by, then there it was–an email in my inbox about the recipe contest! Yippee!

This year, in celebration of the Samoa cookie’s 40th birthday, the contest is all about Samoas! Fine by me, because they are my absolute favorite!

While I’ll be experimenting with a few different recipes, this was the first one I wanted to try. The past couple Monday nights when the girls and I get together to watch The Bachelor, we’ve been going a little cookie dough crazy, so I thought I’d take that theme and go with it. Behold, Samoa cookie dough pops...

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Healthy Cookie Dough Balls

healthy cookie dough balls

Since I would be hosting my girlfriends to watch The Bachelor (guilty pleasure) I needed to come up with snack ideas. It’s been an unhealthy start to the year, so I thought I’d try something a little different, and came across this healthy no-bake cookie recipe.

I was a little uncertain about using cashews because I’ve never used them for something like this before. And my past experience with unusual ingredients (black beans in brownies) did not go so well. But I forged ahead anyway and purchased some raw cashews. It’s a personal choice not to consume agave nectar since it’s processed, so I altered the recipe slightly and came up with the following, which is delicious and healthy, by the way!

Feel free to experiment with different spices– next time I think I’m going to add some cinnamon a...

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Christmas Cookie Platter

christmas cookie platter

Merry Christmas!

This year, I decided to make my first cookie platter. My coworker had asked me a few times if I was going to do one, and I decided, what the heck. Let’s do this!

So this past weekend, I put together a menu of 5 items and made everything all in one day!

What I made:

christmas fantasy fudgeFantasy fudge topped with crumbled candy cane (making it taste like peppermint fudge)

almond peanut blossom cookiesAlmond blossom cookies – the traditional peanut blossom cookies, but made with almond butter instead!

gingerbread cookiesGingerbread cookies – including festive (but ugly) icing and sprinkles!

macaroon cookies coconutCoconut macaroons – because they were so amazing the first time.

Rice crispy treats – topped with red, white, and green sprinkles.

Altogether, this was enough to make four large cookie platters! I brought one to a Christmas party, one to work, one t...

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Festive Fantasy Fudge

christmas fantasy fudge

Who doesn’t love fudge? I could probably eat an entire pan… which is why it’s a definite must every Christmas season. I love making fudge the “old fashioned” way with a candy thermometer so that it comes out absolutely perfectly silky and sweet. This year, I decided to crunch up some candy canes and sprinkle them on top for a cute aesthetic appeal.

The recipe was found on the back of the Kraft marshmallow fluff can. :)

Fantasy fudge

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
  • ...
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Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies are a classic Christmas favorite, so there was no question that they would be included in my cookie platter this year.

Not-so-surprisingly, these cookies took the most time to make. There’s the dough, then rolling out the dough, using cookie cutters, rolling out the scraps, using cookie cutters, rolling out the scraps (repeat until all scrap dough is used). Then baking, then cooling, then making the icing, then decorating the cookies, then letting them air dry for days until the icing has solidified (so the cookies don’t stick together when stacked).

That said, I still enjoyed every  minute of it, and the end product is oh so tasty, even if they aren’t all that pretty!

The following recipe is from

Gingerbread cookies

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Peanut Blossom Cookies with Almond Butter

almond peanut blossom cookies

In my quest to put together my first Christmas cookie platter, of course peanut blossoms came to mind because they are a classic. Well, one of my coworkers is allergic to peanuts, and if one cookie on the platter contained them, then it would likely “contaminate” all of the other cookies and she wouldn’t be able to have any of them. So with her in mind, and in the spirit of trying something new, I decided to make this recipe with almond butter instead!

I simply took the popular recipe from Allrecipes and replaced the peanut butter 1:1 with almond butter from Trader Joes. (I also swapped out the shortening and used butter instead because I am not a big fan of shortening...

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Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Of course I decide to blog this recipe after my coworkers have devoured all of the muffins and I realize I didn’t get a photo. Typical me.

With it being fall and pumpkin flavor being everywhere, I decided to purchase a can of pumpkin and keep it on my shelf. Of course, it didn’t last long, because I decided to try my hand at paleo pumpkin muffins over the weekend. I didn’t see any recipes that intrigued me, so instead, I took the paleo banana muffin recipe from PaleOMG and altered it. And because I happened to have some toffee bits that I had previously purchased to keep on my shelf, I decided to add those, too.

If you like the taste of real pumpkin (not just “pumpkin spice”) then you will love these muffins! Be sure to bake them a little longer than you might think in order to fully co...

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Blueberry Crumb Bars

blueberry crumb bars

This weekend, I went blueberry picking with a few of my coworkers! It was sweltering at 90 degrees with no breeze or shade to speak of. But the end result was well worth it, and I walked away with about 2 pounds of berries for only $2!

I had no idea what I would do with my loot, but ultimately decided that some bars would be easy and yummy. I’ve done cupcakes and muffins before, so I wanted to try something new.

While putting together my version of this recipe for this blog post, I realized I accidentally left out the last bit of sugar and cornstarch–oops! My “filling” was simply plain blueberries. Though the bars still tasted wonderful, I’d love to try them with the extra sweetness...

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Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls

I have been dying to bake a delicious homemade cinnamon roll. I’ve tried them before a while back and they weren’t that impressive, so I set out on a search for the “best” cinnamon roll recipe. What I ended up doing was using the dough from the best recipe on and the filling from the Alton Brown recipe (though I used less brown sugar and it turned out perfectly).

These were pretty easy to make, but it definitely takes patience with dough to let it properly rise. I tried to make “small” rolls, but when they rose and fluffed up, the size turned out pretty average/perfect.

When they were fresh out of the oven, they were utterly delicious! I wanted to eat the entire pan!! We only ate two of them and I brought the rest to work the next morning...

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