The Best No Flour Monster Cookie Bars + A Cookie Bar Mix Gift Idea

We’ve whipped up these deliciously satisfying No-Flour Monster Cookie Bars and are sharing how you can create your own Monster Cookie Bar Mix to gift to friends this holiday season. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySweetness #CollectiveBias

Holiday baking season has arrived! And you know what that means? Lots and lots and LOTS of dishes in our home. Because when we bake, we bake. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but the kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. And when Christmas rolls around, we stock up on all of our baking necessities (like the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® from Sam’s Club). We wouldn’t want to run out mid-holiday baking. 

One thing I love about baking during the holidays is that it’s an inexpensive way to share our love with others. We don’t necessarily have the budget to purchase a gift for everyone we know so we can make fun little platters filled with goodies for others to enjoy. And one of my new favorite gifts to make are these fun cookie bar mixes so others can make our favorite recipes at home. That way we can whip up a batch to share with them now and provide them with a mix to make them later. Hey, who knows? Maybe they’ll even use the kit to make some holiday goodies for their loved ones! 

Red & Green Holiday 52oz. Bag of M&M’S® are a festive and colorful treat to bring into your baking, decorating and every aspect of your holiday celebrations. The Stand-Up Pack will keep your M&M’S® fresh and ready-to-go in an easy resealable package. Heck, if I wasn’t baking with them, I’d probably give these bags as gifts! What says, “I love you,” better than a big bag of M&M’S®, right? 

But for now we’ll stick with gifting some delicious cookie bars and mixes.

Print

No Flour Monster Cookie Bars

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup M&M'S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9-inch metal baking pan with foil.

  2. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,

  3. Cover bowl with dish towel and mix on lowest setting. Once mixed up a bit, increase speed and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. 

  4. Spread mixture onto prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

  5. Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer foil and bars to a cooling rack. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

Remember how I said you could GIFT these bad boys to your friends and family in a fun mix? Well here’s how! 

Monster Cookie Bars Mix

What you’ll need: 

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup M&M’S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 32 oz jar with lid
  • ribbon
  • hole punch

What you do: 

Layer each ingredient in the order it’s shown above into a 32oz plastic or glass jar with lid

Place lid on jar and close tight. 

Print out Monster Cookie Bar Mix printable and cut out and attach to jar with ribbon.

Gift to the ones you love! 

Click on image to download printable

You can find the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® in the candy aisle of your local Sam’s Club. And while you’re there, stock up on the rest of your holiday baking items! That’ll save you a few trips in the long run. 

And right now you can sign up for a free Ibotta account and earn $2 off with the purchase of a 52 oz bag of Red and Green M&M’S®. Offer valid from 11/1/17 until 12/25/17. 

Don’t forget to check out more awesome ideas you can make with M&M’S® by checking them out on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

Love this recipe? Check out these delicious bites: 

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5 Ways to Make Potty Training Fun + Sweet Incentives

We’re celebrating potty success with help from our sponsor, Pull-Ups Training Pants! Check out these 5 ways to make potty training fun plus a recipe for crazy cake below.

We’ve been on our potty training journey for a few months now and I’m happy to tell you that our youngest is now 100% potty trained. And we couldn’t have done it without the help of Pull-Ups Training Pants. Pull-Ups products are all about providing parents and kids with tips and advice to help make potty training easy and fun, plus they provide plenty of tools specifically designed to keep children engaged throughout the potty training journey. Pull-Ups has potty trained 50 million Big Kids and counting – so I’ll take this one from the experts.

Potty training success starts with attitude. And if you don’t have the right attitude, neither will your kid. This is such an important milestone for toddlers and it’s also an opportunity for parents to work together with their children to reach the end goal: potty training success! It sounds daunting to so many parents, but why not make it fun?

5 Ways to Make Potty Training Fun

1. Purchase your first pack of Pull-Ups – 

Pull-Ups Training Pants help your child recognize potty training as a significant milestone in their development by providing independence, teaching physical and cognitive skills, and offers a consistent representation to your child of their potty training journey.

With different design options, let your child choose a package that they identify with to make the process fun! 

2. Singing the “Time 2 Potty” song – 

Following the fun path, sing the Time 2 Potty song with your kid to get them used to the idea of being a big kid and all that being a big kid entails. 

Time2Potty Song:

We’re gonna do this together, 

we’re gonna stick to the plan. 

Do everything we can to make it easy and fun,

It’s time to potty everyone!

They’re designed like underwear, 

special friends make ’em fun to wear.

So boys and girls sing out loud:

I’m a Big Kid now!

3. Donate unused/leftover diapers – 

Find a local diaper bank that needs diapers or donate your unused diapers to a friend or family member with a baby to help your child get used to the idea of transitioning out of diapers and into Pull-Ups. By removing the diapers from your home, you’re preparing for the potty training journey and removing any crutches.

Once your child has transitioned from Pull-Ups to underwear, you can do the same thing with your unused Pull-Ups. My daughter decided to gift our Pull-Ups to her 1 year old cousin (hence the bow on the package in the photos). She may be too young just yet but my daughter knows that all the Pull-Ups were given to her cousin and we don’t have any more in the house to use. 

4. Print, color, pose and post with a Potty Training Certificate –

Grab a Potty Training Certificate and print it out for your child. Let them color and personalize it, then snap a photo of them with it to commemorate the moment. You can do the same thing when they’ve successfully potty trained to commemorate their progress and their “graduation” into big kid underwear.  

5. Celebrate potty training success with sweet incentives – 

When your child has transitioned into Pull-Ups and starts to have accident free weeks, consider a sweet incentive to encourage them even more. We would use lollipops and other small prize rewards to give to our kids when they successfully went on the potty, when they had an accident free week, and finally, when they transitioned from Pull-Ups to big kid underwear, we celebrated with a Crazy Cake! 

Cakes mean celebrations for us and this Crazy Cake recipe is one that my husband’s family has been making for years. It’s a super easy recipe that the kids can help with AND it’s egg and dairy free. Most of the ingredients are staple pantry items. 

Chocolate Crazy Cake Recipe

Print

Chocolate Crazy Cake

Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water

Instructions

  1. Sift dry ingredients together directly into a 9 x 13-inch ungreased baking pan.

  2. Let your child make three wells in the dry ingredients. Pour the oil into one well, vinegar into the second well, and vanilla into the third well. Pour cold water over everything and stir well with a fork.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Frost with your favorite icing.

What sweet incentives would your child love to celebrate with? 

Loved the tips we shared in this post? Check out these other potty training tips: 

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How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies Your Guests Will Love

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday cookie this season then look no further than these Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies! Your guests will love their small perfection. Plus they pair perfectly with milk, cocoa, and coffee! 

How was your Thanksgiving? We spent the day baking in the morning with the kids and then enjoying a wonderful meal with our extended family. It was perfect. One of the things we decided to bake up that morning to bring to dinner were these deliciously perfect chocolate peanut butter crinkle cookies. They’re small, bite-size cookies that aren’t too sweet so they were perfect to pair with the pies and enjoy with a cup of coffee or cocoa to drink. 

Normally we make chocolate crinkle cookies but this time my older daughter wanted to add something a bit different to them to change things up. The addition of peanut butter was the perfect touch and added a great flavor combo to these classic cookies. I may try adding a pinch of cinnamon next time too! 

This recipe is one of many we’re sharing on the Houseful of Cookies tour this year. Last year we made another fun cookie recipe: Pfeffernüsse Cookies. You have to try them if you haven’t made them yet! The rest of the cookies on this tour are linked at the bottom of this post. 

When making cookies with the kids I always try to measure everything out before we start mixing so they don’t just dump everything out without knowing what they’re putting in. It helps them to understand the quantities needed for each recipe. 

But one thing we are working on is adding one egg at a time while mixing so each can be incorporated before the other is added. The 2 year old prefers to dump them all in at once! 

This dough is a thicker dough that, once all of the ingredients are combined, form a ball in the mixer. This makes it easier to get out to refrigerate once mixed up. 

And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Even though the recipe does say to chill for 1 hour… I don’t always let it chill. I’ll divide the dough up into two halves and place one in the fridge but will start rolling out the other right away. 

This is a great cookie to make before guests come over if you’re looking for something little to nibble on. Or to give as gifts during the holidays because they’re small and do well in an airtight container. 

Print

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons butter cut into 10 pieces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Put the butter, sugar, and chocolate in that order into a 2-quart saucepan. Put the pan over low heat and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted and smooth. Scrape everything into the bowl of a mixer.

  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

  3. Working with a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the eggs are well blended into the chocolate. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny; it will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Then add the peanut butter and stir in until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form firm, shiny balls. (If the dough breaks as you work, squeeze and knead it a bit, then reroll it between your palms.) Add to a small shallow dish filled with powdered sugar and roll in sugar until lightly coated. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and lightly press each one down a bit with your thumb.
  6. Bake the cookies for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and crackled across the top. (It’s better to under- than over bake.) Remove the sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes, then, using a wide spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a rack; cool to room temperature.

  7. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches. 

Looking for more deliciousness to enjoy this holiday season? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the Houseful of Cookies tour! 

Houseful of Cookies 2017 Blog List

Houseful Of Nicholes – Slow As Molasses Cookies

A Crafty Spoonful – Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

A Real Urban Mom – Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dash Of Evans – Cranberry Hootycreeks

Divas With A Purpose – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Everyday Party Magazine – Simple Caramel Cream Sugar Cookies Swirls

Fab Haute Mama – Belgian Waffle Cookies

Good Girl Gone Redneck – Perfect Holiday Saltine Toffee Treat

Happily Homegrown – Old Fashioned Hermit Bar Cookies

Her Life On Purpose – Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

Honest & Truly! – Triple Chocolate Dipped Cookie

How Was Your Day – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Hysterical Mom – Lemon Sugar Cookies

I am the Maven® – Moldy Mice Cookies

Keep Calm & Teach Fifth Grade – Winter Wonderland Sugar Cookies

Kenya Rae – Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kiss My Tulle – Chunky Christmas Cookies

Mom On The Side – Hopscotch Crunchies Holiday Cookies

More Than Thursdays – Mint Surprise Sugar Cookies

Mother Of The World – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Our Crafty Mom – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Peyton’s Momma – Houseful Of Cookies 2017             

Simplify Live Love – Double Chocolate Pomegranate Cookies

Teachable Mommy – 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

The Analytical Mommy – Favorite Lactation Cookie Recipe

The Biswolds – White Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

The Olive Blogger – Gingerbread Biscotti

We’re Parents – Cranberry Cheesecake Cookies  

How to Make 11 Awesome Thanksgiving Desserts That Your Kids Will Love

Finding a dessert that makes all of the kids happy can be a difficult challenge. So we’ve rounded up 11 awesome Thanksgiving desserts for kids that meet a handful of kid-friendly requirements! 

Kids are weird. No, no, listen. They really are. One minute they hate whipped cream, and the next they’re trying to shoot it straight into their mouths because they love it so much. And trying to find a dessert to make them happy can sometimes be difficult during the holidays when the options aren’t cake, brownies, or ice cream. So we put together a few of our favorite Thanksgiving desserts for kids so everyone has options this holiday season. But make sure you have plenty of whipped cream. 

pumpkin pie with coconut milk, pumpkin pie made with coconut milk, dairy free pumpkin pie filling

11 Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Milk from A Crafty Spoonful

This pumpkin pie is great for those who may have dairy allergies. It tastes just like regular pumpkin pie but is made with coconut milk instead. And no, you can’t taste the coconut in the filling. Pair it with some coconut whipped cream and you are set for the holidays! This recipe is also perfect to use for mini pumpkin pies as well if you don’t want to make the whole pie. 

Candy Apple Dump Cake from A Crafty Spoonful

Still have leftover Halloween candy you’re hoarding away? I’m not judging. But if you want to get rid of some of it, this is the recipe to try! This dump cake is not only easy, all you need is one pan (no separate bowls) to make it! Less dishes = winning in my book. And the kids go crazy over the chocolate + apple combo. 

Mini Pecan Pie Bites from A Crafty Spoonful

Oh, these sinfully sweet little bites of heaven are the perfect grab-on-the-go dessert for the littles. The butter cracker hooks the kids and the chocolate drizzle on top of the pecan filling keeps them coming back. Plus, there’s not too much mess with this recipe. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites from My Suburban Kitchen

For those with a more sophisticated palate, these pumpkin cheesecake bites totally hit the spot. They’re very portable, just like the mini pecan pie bites, and pack a punch of flavor with a combo of gingersnaps and pumpkin. 

Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Dip from My Suburban Kitchen

What kid doesn’t love dip? And this deliciously sweet pumpkin pie dip is the perfect way to enjoy those holiday cookies or a few graham crackers. Just make sure there isn’t any double dipping.  

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Trifle from Flour on My Face

Who doesn’t love a good layered trifle? Kids can dig in and eat a layer at a time or go for the gold and scoop all the way down for a few layers of goodness in one bite. Plus these are a fun recipe to let the kids help assemble! 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake from Flour on My Face

In case your child has a gluten allergy, or if they’re just avoiding gluten as part of an elimination diet, you need to try this pumpkin cake. You can still stay festive and enjoy all the flavors of the holidays even when you’re gluten-free! 

Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake from Flour on My Face

Speaking of cake, if your kids are more in a cake and frosting kind of mood, this pumpkin pecan bundt cake is a delicious option. I’ve made mini bundtlets for individual kid portions before and it’s turned out great! 

Pumpkin Spice Dessert Bars from {Not Quite} Susie Homemaker

Another quick and easy go to that you can make ahead and bring with you are these pumpkin spice dessert bars. They’re made with pumpkin and applesauce AND have a delicious cream cheese frosting! 

Individual Apple Pies from The Love Nerds

What’s Thanksgiving without apple pie? In our house we always have pumpkin and apple pies in addition to the other dessert options so these individual apple pies are perfect for the kids table. A classic recipe with a fun spin. 

Favorite Pecan Pie from Unexpected Elegance

And if your kid loves the classics, you can’t go wrong with a pecan pie. Some kids are turned off by this tasty dessert but for those who want to venture out and try new things, this is a great recipe to start with! 

What are your go-to Thanksgiving desserts for kids? 

Love what you read? Check out these great posts! 

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Easy Apple Cider Donut Recipe + Tips for Cooking with Kids with our Hands-Free Faucet

We’re making magic in the kitchen with this easy apple cider donut recipe sponsored on behalf of GROHE and Millennial Blogs! Learn how to make these delicious donuts with your kids as we share our favorite tips for cooking with kids (plus a cool hands-free faucet from Grohe that makes our life even easier!). 

One thing that always makes my heart happy is when my kids want to come into the kitchen and help us. Whether it’s making dinner, putting away groceries, or planning out a special treat, each of our kids has expressed an interest in helping in the kitchen and we love to use these moments as teaching moments. This weekend, in celebration of fall finally arriving here in San Diego, we decided to try out some easy apple cider donut recipes and landed on one favorite. 

We don’t make donuts all that often because they do take a bit of work with frying up but it’s so worth it once you find the right recipe. This donut dough is a sticky dough so be prepared for a little mess ahead of time. The kids loved watching the dough transform from a sticky, hard to work with batter in the bowl to actual donuts coming out of the frying pot. And I love that this is a simple batter with no yeast so we don’t have to wait too long to start working with the dough after it rests in the fridge. We can even make it the night before, put it in the fridge, and bring it out when we need it the next morning. 

Tips for Cooking with Kids

1. Teach your kids how to properly wash their hands before starting – 

While this may seem like a given, there are too many times when my kids start to reach for ingredients before washing their hands. And when they can’t find their favorite stool in the kitchen, they rely on us to help them out. Luckily with our new Grohe foot control faucet, we can do this with ease without manhandling our kids too much. 

2. Be prepared with the right tools – 

As I mentioned previously, the kids almost always need to have their stool on hand in the kitchen. I recommend having a simple 2 step folding step stool that can fold up and be stored easily either on the side of a cabinet or side of the fridge. That way the kids can go and drag it out themselves to help out where needed in the kitchen. Also, having age-appropriate kitchen utensils can help build confidence in skills. We have a set of special kid-friendly knifes for our kids to use so they can learn proper knife skills before “graduating” to our regular knife set. 

3. Find the right job for their age – 

My 8-year-old helps us with a lot more than my 2-year-old does but we don’t let them know that. With a little planning before tackling a recipe, I can ask each child for help with a specific age-appropriate task. For instance, the 2-year-old is a pro with stirring up a batter or cracking eggs, but the 8-year-old can now start helping with stove cooking (with proper supervision). As you continue to work with your children in the kitchen, you can build upon the skills they learn at each stage so they have a good grasp on basic and more advanced kitchen skills. This comes in handy when the 8-year-old can make the 2-year-old scrambled eggs in the morning! 

 

Making Easy Apple Cider Donuts

While many are enjoying the delicious flavors of pumpkin, we’ve turned our sights back onto the delicious flavors of apples. My husband knows how much the kids loved the apple cider donuts we picked up when we were visiting Boston a few years back and has been dying to try his hand at making them on our own. The only thing that has been holding him back was the mess he expected they’d make as we started making them. 

As I mentioned before, the dough is a wet, sticky dough and not easy to work with unless you have a well-floured surface. We didn’t flour the bottom of the board we were prepping the dough on when we first rolled/patted it out to cut out the donuts so we had to scrape everything back into the bowl the first go-round and re-flour everything. So our biggest tip is to make sure you’re prepping your workspace with flour so that the dough doesn’t stick. 

When you take 1/2 of the dough and pat it down to 1/2 inch thick, use flour on the top of the dough to make it easier to pat down. And don’t use a roller, it’s much easier to simply use your hands to do this job. Little kid hands are perfect to help out with this step! 

Next up would be cutting out the donuts. We use our favorite biscuit cutters to do this and flour the cutters liberally before cutting the dough. I found that using a floured spatula to lift the donuts from the cutting board helped them keep their shape as we walked them over to the fryer to fry up. 

By using a thermometer in the oil, we could make sure that the temperature stayed where it needed to be during the whole cooking process. This helped ensure that the oil wasn’t too hot or too cold. Too hot and the outside would cook faster than the inside, too cold and the dough wouldn’t cool very well and would stay oily/greasy. 

I think you’re ready for the recipe now! 

5 from 2 votes
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Easy Apple Cider Donut Recipe

Servings 1 dozen donuts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring cider to a rapid boil and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

  2. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, and cooled cider; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour (up to 24 hours) or until firm enough to shape.

  3. Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2-inch thickness; sprinkle with flour as needed to reduce stickiness. Cut with a floured 3 inch biscuit cutter. Make hole in the center of each 3 inch circle with a 1 inch biscuit cutter. 

  4. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 325°. Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the oil temperature throughout the frying process. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Fry doughnut holes, a few at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels; cool slightly. If desired, toss donuts in spiced sugar after draining but while donuts are still hot. 

Recipe Notes

Spiced Sugar: In a shallow bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar and 2-3 tablespoons ground pumpkin pie spice. Toss with warm doughnuts. Yield: 3/4 cup.

Keep Clean and Germ-Free with Grohe

You know how sometimes there’s that one product or feature that you find and never knew you needed? Well, our new Grohe Foot Control faucet was just that. Whether we need to fill up a heavy pot for pasta, or quickly rinse our vegetables, GROHE Foot Control gives us greater mobility in the kitchen by freeing our hands and allowing us to use them for whatever we need. We just tap the base of the cabinet with our foot to turn the faucet on.

The best part about it is that it’s innovative, easy to use, and immensely practical. When I have raw egg or raw meat on my hands, I don’t have to touch the handle and spread bacteria (or germs from the kids). And if my hands and my kids’ hands are messy, I can easily pick them up and wash both of our hands at the same time while controlling the water flow with my foot.

With GROHE Foot Control Technology, you can switch the water flow on and off with a tap of your foot on an activation plate installed discreetly in the toe space of the kitchen cabinet. And yes, your kids WILL figure this out quickly. That means that when they get messy and can’t reach the faucet handle, all they have to do is touch the plate, pull up their stool, and wash their hands on their own! Believe me, it took the 2-year-old a mere afternoon to realize that we had changed the faucet out on her and replaced it with this cool hand’s free option (don’t worry, there’s an automatic safety stop after 60 seconds).

Have you tried apple cider donuts before? Have you made them from scratch? 

Love this recipe? Here are some more to check out! 

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Mini Dessert Pizzas with Creamy Glaze

In preparation of the fun camping trips we have planned this summer, I made this delicious mini dessert pizza to enjoy with a cup of coffee. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DunkinCreamers #CollectiveBias

Whether you’re camping in in the wilderness or in your own backyard, there’s nothing like a delicious, slightly sweet treat to begin (or end) your day. And what else tastes better with a sweet treat than a deliciously caffeinated cup of coffee? With a little Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer stirred in, of course. 

These mini dessert pizzas are so fun to make! Plus, they’re so versatile. And I love that we can make them on the grill when we’re out in the wilderness or at home in the oven. We always bring fruit and creamer with us when camping and occasionally have pie crust for hand pies and other desserts but usually only use one of the two crusts that come in the package. I love that this recipe uses up that other pie crust AND can be made with the creamer we already have on hand. 

Another bonus about this recipe? the fact that the kids can help make it. While they try and sneak my coffee in the morning, I can distract them by asking them to help make these with me. That means I get to enjoy a HOT cup of coffee while they work on finishing up the recipe. And then I can enjoy another cup when we’re eating these up. Yum! 

Since the recipe is so simple, it’s important to layer on the flavor. From the dough to the strawberries to the glaze, we kick up the flavor at every step. Cinnamon is the perfect addition to sprinkle onto the dough, and macerating the strawberries in sugar and vanilla just add a little extra boost. But then when it comes to the final touch… the glaze… we save the best for last! 

Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer is made with real sugar, milk, and cream for a wonderfully rich and smooth taste. The perfect choice for coffee purists. And it tastes amazing in this simple glaze. You can also sub Dunkin’ Donuts® Vanilla Creamer for another pop of flavor. 

We’re sharing one flavor – strawberries and cream – but there are endless possibilities when it comes to making these. Looking for more flavor options? 

Here are a few of my kids’ favorites: 

  • S’mores – mini baked pie crust round topped with marshmallows and 1 square of chocolate placed under the broiler until golden then drizzled with creamy glaze made with Dunkin’ Donuts® Vanilla Creamer and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs.
  • Apple Pie – mini baked pie crust round topped with diced granny smith apples that have been cooked up in a skillet with sugar and cinnamon and drizzled with creamy glaze with Dunkin’ Donuts® Caramel Creamer
  • Bananas & Cream – mini baked pie crust round topped with a little banana pudding and sliced bananas and drizzled with a creamy glaze made with Dunkin’ Donuts® Caramel Creamer.

5 from 2 votes
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Mini Dessert Pizzas with Creamy Glaze

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 package pie crust
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees. 

  2. Using a round cutter, cut pie crust into circles and place onto pizza stone or parchment-lined cookie tray. Sprinkle a little cinnamon onto each round. Place in oven or on grill and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

  3. Dice strawberries and place into a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and add vanilla. Stir until sugar dissolves. 

  4. Mix together powdered sugar and Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer until smooth and glaze forms. 

  5. Once pie crust has cooked, let cool 5 minutes then layer mini pizzas. Add 1 tablespoon strawberries to each round then drizzle with glaze. 

What’s your favorite dessert pizza flavor? 

Looking for Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer to make your morning extra special? Head over to Walmart and pick up one or two containers from the Dairy aisle. 

Love this post? Check out these great recipe ideas you can use creamer in: 

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Classic Homemade Brownies The Kids Can Make

These classic homemade brownies are the perfect dessert to let the kids help make! They’ll love mixing, cracking eggs, and baking from scratch. 

One thing I absolutely love doing with the kids is watching them learn how to bake. And my 6-year-old just graduated from baking brownies from a mix to baking from scratch. Her suggestion! 

After talking about how easy it was to make homemade brownies with my husband, she asked me if I could help her make them. So we got all of the ingredients out and started baking. 

What I love about this recipe is its simplicity. 

The fudgy goodness is absolutely perfect and the brownies pair so well with a glass of cold milk. Sure you can dress them up or add in some fun flavors, but these can stand on their own.

You can also add some espresso to enhance the chocolate flavor. We just didn’t have some on hand right now so we went without.  [Read more…]

Pfeffernüsse Cookies To Share The Holiday Spirit

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This time of year is magical, isn’t it? The holiday cheer, the smiles on everyones faces, and the loads of treats and goodies around every corner. We continue the holiday season even after Christmas is over by celebrating our own Christmas with my husband’s extended family. And that celebration has been dubbed Cookie Christmas. 

Why? You ask? Because we get together the day before the event and bake up 10+ different kinds of cookies to serve the next day. My husband’s aunt spends countless hours the week before the event making all of these doughs to bake up together. And then we all come together on Cookie Christmas to enjoy them all (and bring them home in tubs and bags to enjoy for weeks after). 

Each year there’s one or two recipes we try out to see if it can earn it’s place in the Cookie Christmas line up. We have our classic chocolate chip, our snickerdoodle, yummy sugar cookies decorated by the kids with frosting and sprinkles, etc. This year I thought I’d try out a new recipe or two to see if I could put it on the list of maybes to introduce to Cookie Christmas. And this recipe? It’s a winner! 

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Pfeffernüsse Cookies

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir the molasses, honey, shortening, and butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until creamy, stirring consistently. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the eggs and combine.

Mix the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Roll the dough into quarter-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar. Or get the kids involved and dump 1/2 a cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bag, then add a few cookies, seal the bag and shake shake shake! 

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Interested in trying out some more new cookie recipes? You need to check out the #HousefulofCookies recipes being shared all month! YUM! 

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Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

This post featuring Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies originally appeared on our site on November 6th, 2012

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

With Halloween past us, the one thing I needed to do was get rid of all of the leftover Halloween candy. Especially the ones I loved… anything containing chocolate. So we went with a simple plan. We were going to turn our chocolate treasure into new, yummy treats to share with our friends and family.

This year we had not one but two trick-or-treaters and let me tell you that two adorable children in costumes are magnets for the good stuff. Yes, look at our score of yummy chocolate candies! 

So I had to act fast and turn the above into something I could giveaway as a homemade goodie bound to attract attention and hungry mouths no longer wanting holiday candy. Good thing our extended family loves sweets! It took less than 2 days for the whole batch of blondies to be completely demolished. A few crumbs left in their place. And oh were they worth it!

If you’ve never heard of or made blondies before, think of them as the brownies’ distant cousin. Still ooey gooey but without the cocoa. You can basically put just about anything into a blondie. They’re a great catch all for any ingredients you have on hand and want to combine. We stuck with the Snickers, Reeses peanut butter cups, and Baby Ruths for these blondies. The m & ms are earmarked for cookies and the rest will be taken to work by my husband.

If you have any leftover candy in your cupboards or on your countertop you should definitely try to make these delicious bars of gooey goodness. 

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, almost melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup diced candy bars

Candy Blondies Ingredients

 Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8×8 baking pan. Cut up candy bars.

2. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy

Candy Blondies sugar and butter

3. Add in the egg and beat until well combined.

4. Add vanilla and salt and mix again.

5. Take bowl off stand mixer. Fold in flour until just combined.

6. Fold in candy bar pieces until just combined.

7. Spread mixture into pan and cook for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

8. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

9. Turn onto a wire rack and let cool completely before digging in.

10. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 16 servings

If you’re like me and cant wait to dig in, grab a small piece from the edge and enjoy it’s yummy gooeyness while everything’s still warm and hasn’t set. You’ll be glad you did. Then enjoy the rest when it’s cooled completely to enjoy the full effect of the melded flavors and crisp edges.

Do you have a great recipe for leftover Halloween candy?

I’d love to hear it!

The Perfect Pairing: Strawberry Black Pepper Scones + a Chai Latte

Starbucks disclosure
Strawberry Black Pepper Scones - the perfect pairing with a nice hot chai tea latte

After each kid there’s always been this awkward transition from being in bed by 8am because I’m exhausted from pregnancy or having a newborn, to becoming a night owl again and finding my rightful place back with those who do their best work while burning the midnight oil. So it’s only fair that I help my body out a bit with a night-time indulgence or two. And these strawberry black pepper scones paired with the rich, creamy taste of an authentic TAZO® Chai Latte fit that bill perfectly. Every sip and bite providing a spicy and sweet escape.

I used to just sip on my favorite TAZO® Refresh when I was working through the night – after getting hooked during those long nights of class at college – but then I heard about the new TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods and wow are they good. A creamy, spicy drink that immediately relaxes me and allows me to focus on my work is exactly what I need whether it’s morning or night! And the fact that I can easily make it at home with my Keurig®? Double bonus!

It reminds me of how my grandmother used to make us tea when we were growing up – the English way with cream and sugar – but with the fun spicy twist of chai.

Tazo Chai Classic Latte in the KeurigTazo Chai Classic Latte

This delicious drink is part of the new Sweet Meets Spicy Collection and totally inspired me to think outside of the box when I was considering treats to pair with it. Sweet and spicy combos are one of my favorite so when I settled on one of my favorite scone recipes, I knew I had to bump it up a notch. I grabbed the carton of strawberries from my fridge – LOVE strawberry season! – and then headed to the pantry to find my next ingredient… black pepper!

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones ingredientsStrawberry Black Pepper Scones doughStrawberry Black Pepper Scones ready to bake

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 350 with pizza stone inside.

Using a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and baking powder together. Then add the cold butter and pulse until pea size pieces form in the dough.

Add vanilla, heavy cream, and egg to dry mixture and pulse until combined and dough forms.

Transfer dough to a bowl and fold in strawberries. Chill for 30 minutes.

Scoop dough onto the preheated stone and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy with a cup of chai tea!

The Perfect Pairing Strawberry Black Pepper Scones + a Chai Latte

We’re definitely a TAZO loving family. As I mentioned before, I’m a Refresh. And my husband is definitely an Awake. There’s nothing like a good cup of tea and luckily we get just that with ever cup of TAZO we brew.

TAZO has partnered with New York Times Bestselling author and host Padma Lakshmi to celebrate the release of the new K-Cup® pods. Learn more at TAZO.com/chaiFind where to buy TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods at TAZO.com/wheretobuy.

Strawberry Black Pepper Scones and a Chai Latte for breakfast

What’s your favorite sweet meets spicy combo?



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