Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

My youngest daughter has  always had a weakness for those brightly frosted, festively sprinkled sugar cookies that they sell at the mega market. You know the ones. There they are, right up at the front of the store, all puffy and fluffy, the frosting and sprinkles reflecting the theme of an upcoming holiday.  I almost bought some for her recently and I stopped myself.  I’m a baker.  Surely I can recreate a sugar cookie! But I’m also inherently lazy.  I mean, I’m always moving, but I don’t want to do more than necessary to get a job done (work smarter, not harder.) I didn’t want to make a dough that had to be chilled, rolled out, and cut out… ugh 😩 so much to do before cookie eating time. So, I took the idea of a frosted sugar cookie and turned it into Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars!  Less work, no need to chill or roll or cut, just press the dough into a pan and bake to deliciousness! (Read more…)

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again: A cupcake is the perfect food.  It’s compact, portable, portion controlled by design, and, in a pinch, it’s breakfast!  I mean, it has wheat AND dairy, just like a bowl of cereal!  You’re welcome 😉  And here, I’m adding a legume topping: Peanut butter frosting!   Get on board with my new food pyramid.  The view is great from the top! (Read more…)

Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars

The Saga of ‘foods Cynthia was kinda “meh” about, but now likes’ continues.  Today’s chapter is all about the lowly marshmallow.  Even as a kid marshmallows never excited me.  I was never really into S’mores, didn’t have a Rice Krispy treat until just recently, and as a child of the South, never ate a Moon Pie, with or without an RC Cola (😱 clutch my pearls!)

The one “food” that finally brought marshmallows a little closer to my mouth (and my heart), is Breyers Rocky Road Ice Cream, which may or may not disappear from my freezer at a rapid rate, on occasion. Dark chocolate ice cream, laced with ribbons of marshmallow, and big pieces of crunchy chocolate covered almonds?!  Oh, heck yes!!  I have tried to recreate the flavor and fun of that treat with these Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars.  Soft bits of mini marshmallows and crunchy toasted nuts are mixed into rich chocolate and layered over a buttery chocolate shortbread crust for an unforgettable bite.  Sometimes I’m all in with almonds and sometimes I’m nuts about walnuts, but I’m always over the moon about these Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars! (Read more…)

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I may have mentioned this before (see my Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake), but I am not the biggest fan of bananas. They are singularly squishy, make a horrible noise in my mouth when I eat them, and the smell seems to be everywhere when you throw away the peels  (I mean, can we just take the trash to the curb? 😖)  But The Boy continues to buy bananas whenever he goes to the store. He rarely eats them, but oh man does he buy them.  Like buying bananas is required by law.  Go shopping, buy bananas, no jail time.  I don’t know what to do with all the freakin’ bananas!! I just can’t freeze any more bananas that he will ultimately forget to use in smoothies, so I’m always trying to find ways to hide them in baked goods.  I may have finally found the ultimate solution.  A chocolatey brownie that stays extra moist thanks to mashed up bananas, gussied up with swirls of peanut butter, and topped with another banana for fancy reasons.  Plus, the combination of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter is delicious enough to bring Elvis out of hiding!  (Read more…)

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


I grew up a child of the 60’s and 70’s, a time when fresh baked pastries meant whacking a tube of Pillsbury  Cinnamon Rolls on the edge of the kitchen counter and hearing the sudden POP that meant sticky goodness was only 13-17 minutes away!  If you didn’t eat the frosting out of the little plastic tub while you were waiting.  Which I usually did.  It wasn’t enough to cover all the cinnamon rolls anyway, so…

But I’ve been a grown up for awhile now and, although Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are delicious (still not enough frosting though tbh), it was long past time I learned how to make my own cinnamon rolls.  This recipe is basically a  cinnamony brioche dough slathered in butter, sugar and more cinnamon, and rolled up and baked into puffy, gooey delights that you can cover in all the frosting your heart desires.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that! (Read more…)

Maple Butterscotch Cookies

I feel like a recurring theme in this blog, and in my life, is things I hated as a kid that I love now.  Butterscotch is one of those things.  To me butterscotch evokes memories of that etched glass candy bowl that all grandmothers had in their living rooms with hard candies in them.  If you were lucky, your grandmother had lemon drops or Jolly Ranchers.  My Grandma Olga Mae kept plastic wrapped butterscotch candies.  😖  In MIssissippi, plastic wrapped meant the plastic was perma-stuck to the now sticky, overly sweet, weirdly savory tasting candy. Poor eight year old me.  Fast forward many, many (many) years to randomly hearing someone on TV say that the quick cheater caramel I’ve always made with brown sugar, butter, and cream is actually butterscotch?! 🤯  You mean butterscotch isn’t that sickly sweet little sticky disc Olga Mae kept in that bowl for years on end?  So when I saw a bag of Nestlé Butterscotch Morsels, I instantly wanted to try them!  And what better way then to add them to a cookie?  A rich Fall Maple Butterscotch cookie!!  No sticky plastic wrapping required. (Read more…)

Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings

In the chicken wing world, there are two distinct camps: dry rub or wet wings, or as I like to call them: Right or Wrong.  With the exception of Korean Fried Chicken, which is its own category that we will explore in depth in a future post, I am firmly on Team Dry Rub.  With wet wings you fry or bake your wings in advance and toss them in a sauce.  Big whoop 🎉  With Dry Rub Wings, you are curating a blend of seasonings and spices, with just enough heat and the perfect balance of sweet,  and cooking them into the wings with the intention of developing an exceptionally textured and flavorful wingsperience 🔥 Or you can, you know, flop your wings in some wet stuff.  Your choice (pick dry rub! pick dry rub!) (Read More)

Homemade Cracker Jacks

I remember my excitement as a kid when opening a box of Cracker jacks 🎉 I would usually pour all the caramel corn out into a bowl,  just to get to that prize at the bottom (might have done that with cereal too).  Either I’ve become jaded as I’ve gotten older, or the prizes just aren’t that good anymore, but now my excitement is all about that caramel corn!  Well, I’ve decided to bypass the purchasing of a tiny box of Cracker Jacks with its disappointing prize and go straight to making myself an enormous batch of my very own version.  I say “myself”, but I should probably share.  It’s the right thing to do after all.  Probably.  And I can buy my own prize.  I’m a grown up.  (Read more…)