Lazy Monster Cookie Bars

Today is Friday, which only means one thing for me in the summer… Road trip! And who goes on a road trip without snacks? I had a lot going on yesterday when I made these, so I wanted to keep it simple. These bars are just that. SIMPLE. I am usually not one to purchase cake, cookie, muffin, etc., mixes from the store, but in a pinch they can be a huge time saver. When I use a store bought mix, I always try to vamp it up somehow. This time, I added a ton of candy. FullSizeRender Candy is always a good idea. FullSizeRender (1) Even though it is totally not like me to use cookies mixes, the dough was still delicious! FullSizeRender (2) If this is wrong I don’t want to be right. FullSizeRender (3) It is so pretty! M&Ms always bring out my inner child. And I love it. FullSizeRender (4) This meant I couldn’t eat anymore dough. Depressing. FullSizeRender (5) Loving the flecks of color from the M&Ms. FullSizeRender (6) Aren’t you?! FullSizeRender (7) Okay, I’m done with the dough pics. I just really love how colorful it is! FullSizeRender (8) If you could smell the kitchen when these come out of the oven. Holy moly.FullSizeRender (10) Hello beautiful. FullSizeRender (12) Chewy, chocolaty, peanut buttery, heathy, greatness.FullSizeRender (11) This is going to be a good road trip! Ingredients:

  • 1  package of peanut butter cookie mix + its required ingredients
  • 1  package of oatmeal cookie mix + its required ingredients
  • 1  cup  mini M&ms
  • 1  cup  Heath candy pieces
  • 1  cup Hershey milk chocolate chips
  • 1  cup Reese’s peanut butter chips
  • 1  cup old fashion oats

Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare a sheet pan with a silicone mat, parchment paper, or plenty of nonstick spray. In a large bowl add the cookie mix and the ingredients required for each. Stir until combined. Add the M&Ms, Heath pieces, Hershey chocolate chips, Reese’s Peanut butter chips, and oats. Mix the dough until everything is evenly distributed throughout. Spread the dough into one even layer in a prepared sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let it cool completely and then cut in into squares. Enjoy! Much love, MT

Red Hot Apple Pie

I love making apple pie. It is so classic. So satisfying. So American. Last 4th of July I made a plain-jane, traditional apple pie. Nothing wrong with that, but this Independence Day I decided to pay tribute to the red color in our beautiful flag. Red Hot apple pie offers a little something extra. I got the idea after I had dinner with my fiance and his family. His mom made this Red Hot apple pie dump cake and I just could not get enough of it! I was amazed at how well the candies paired with the apple in the cake. I was hooked!

Red Hots make a lot of since in an apple pie, actually. You see, there is already a hint of ground cinnamon in regular apple pie, so why not enhance that flavor with a little sweet and spicy surprise? Have you ever had a candied apple? A lot of people use Red Hots to make those! The two are a match made in heaven.

Apples and Red Hots go way back.

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A good start to any apple pie.

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I don’t know a soul who likes to peel apples. My great grandpa served in the last Calvary, the soldiers on horses, old school stuff. His horse’s name was Moonshine. Anyways, the nickname he earned in the Army was Spud. If you asked him how he got that name, it was because he was the only one nice enough to volunteer to peel potatoes. Anyone else will tell you it is because he got in trouble so often in the Army they made him peel potatoes. Either way, few people enjoy peeling stuff back then and even now! 189

Peeled, cored, and finely sliced. That is a lot of apple!191

Its about… to go down.196

Oh you thought this was regular apple pie? 197

Why not spice things up a bit? Literally. 200

Cinnamony goodness.201

I LOVE what the red color does to this pie. So beautiful and absolutely perfect for Independence Day! 204

I have no words for this. Everything about this is flawless. 206

I mean, this is one of my most favorite days out of the whole entire year. This top was a no-brainer. 222

And is is just so pretty! See how some of the Red Hots melted into the pie? It makes the whole thing rich looking and tasting. They say you eat with your eyes first… Well, this pie will satisfy your eyes and your taste buds!

Ingredients:

  • Pie crust  (top and bottom), store bought or my recipe for a Perfect Pie Crust
  • 6  granny smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
  • 3  teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 5  table spoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1  cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 3/4  teaspoon of apple pie spice (I used McCormick)
  • 2  teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1  teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1  teaspoon of water
  • 3/4  a cup of Red Hot candies

Do not preheat your oven! First, prepare your pie dish and set aside. Peel, core, and slice all of the apples about 1/8 inch thick, error on the side of too thin. Put all of the apple slices in a large bowl and set aside. In a very small bowl combine the cornstarch and the water to make a paste. Add that paste and the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the apples. Mix this until all of the apple slices are evenly coated with all of the ingredients. I mixed it with my hands for about 1 minute to assure everything was evenly distributed. Pour this into your prepared pie dish. Turn on your oven to 375 and bake for 50 minutes. Let it cool slightly, top it with some ice cream (or not. RIP Bluebell) and enjoy it in the best country in the world!

Much love and have a very, very happy 4th of July!

MT

PS. If you are in an extra patriotic mood, here is a list of my favorite organizations who strive to promote patriotism on a daily basis. Buy some cool t-shirts, gear, or just check them out!

http://www.bootcampaign.org/

http://www.chriskylefrog.com/

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

http://lonesurvivorfoundation.org/#

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie is the catch-all of cookies. I mean, come on. Just look at its name! It is the epitome of the prefect dessert. Are you craving peanut butter? Has it. Do you have a hankerin’ for chocolate? Got it. Would rich, soft caramel hit the spot? Done. Want to make sure it’s not too sweet? No problem. LITERALLY PERFECT.

I’m a usually a pretty simple gal, but I can get a little crazy with my dessert inventions, which is exactly what happened as I was making these cookies. I opened the pantry and saw ingredients for caramel, but then I saw the chocolate chips sitting there looking pretty, then the peanut butter caught my eye (what’s new?), and finally I remembered why I went searching in the first place…… Cookies. So naturally, I combined everything I saw into one delicious cookie that is sure to satisfy any craving with its combination of ingredients and multiple dimensions of flavor.

I think I’ll start combining my cravings from now on! Who knew packing so many flavors into one bite could be so tasty? I’m hooked. Oh and I forgot to mention, they are so super easy to make. Like… boiling water easy. And just look at these beauts. COME ONNNNNNNNNNN.

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Morsels are deliciousness. What could make them any better?

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Caramel. Caramel is what can make them better. But everyone knows caramel is better with……….

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SEA SALT. Duh. Do not skip this step.

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Thinking about framing this.Too far? Probably not.

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Baked to gooey golden goodness.

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See that part of the caramel that slid off the cookie and got a little well-done? THAT is pure greatness. Eat that part.

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YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY.

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If this doesn’t convince you to make these cookies, I’m not sure what will.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • 1/2  Cup of peanut butter
  • 7  Ounces of sweetened condensed milk (half a can)
  • 1/4  Teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2  Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  Teaspoon of baking soda
  • Soft Salted Caramel recipe (Or store bought soft caramels + sea salt to top)

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Add the salt, flour, and baking soda and combine. Roll the dough into a log, wrap it in parchment or wax paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. After the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and slice the dough into 1/2 inch slices (just like you would do for slice and bake cookies from the grocery store). Lay out the cookie dough on a cookie sheet and top each one with a 1″ x 1″ piece of caramel. Sprinkle each with sea salt and bake for 11-12 minutes. Let them cool completely and enjoy!

Soft Salted Caramel

Since salted caramel has become so trendy in the past couple of years, I probably don’t need to do any convincing on its part. You have probably tasted it and are probably just as in love with it as I am. This already scrumptious candy and insanely sweet treat got a little bit better when someone has the guts to top it with coarse sea salt. And that person deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. At least. No one, I mean NO ONE can resist the sweet and salty phenomenon that is salted caramel. Even when it is a little scorched…….. Oopsies. Keep reading and you will see what I’m talking about.

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It is important to cover the bottom AND the sides so caramel doesn’t sneak under your foil.

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First picture: Butter and brown sugar

Second picture: Butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk

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I walked away from my caramel for like .00000005 of a second and the bottom of my pan started to burn. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON. But if you are, its okay. I’m that person about 99% of the time I make homemade caramel and guess what? It taste delicious even when it is little well-done. Actually, I prefer it a little darker. Maybe I’ll create a new trend that makes burnt caramel cool. I’ll call it speckled caramel. BOOM.

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YES PLEASE! Look at that speckled caramel! ;)

But really. This stuff is ridiculous rich and irresistible. Sort of like the perfect man. But better. Because its caramel.

Soft Salted Caramel 

  • 6  tablespoons of butter (3/4 of the stick)
  • 1/4  cup of light brown sugar
  • 1  heaping tablespoon of light corn syrup
  • 7  ounces of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  teaspoon of vanilla
  • Coarse sea salted to taste

Prepare a loaf pan by lining it with foil and spraying the foil with nonstick spray. Melt the butter in a small pot. Add the brown sugar and stir until it is melted and combined with the butter. Add the corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk and stir until combined. Bring to a slow boil for about 7 minutes stirring constantly. Take it off the heat, stir for 1 more minute, add the vanilla, and combine. Pour this mixture into your prepared pan and sprinkle two or three (depends on your taste buds) pinches of sea salt over the caramel. Cool in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 3 hours. It really is best to let it chill over night.

Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes

HAPPY (late) MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Every Mother’s Day I make it a point to wake up a little bit earlier than usual to make my mom breakfast. After all the years she made me breakfast, it is the least I could do! This year we are headed to the Gulf Coast at the crack of dawn on Mother’s Day Sunday, so she got her breakfast a day early.

If you have ever wondered who I got my sweet tooth from, wonder no longer. You might not think this is possible, but my mom loves sweets more than I do. Honestly. Her favorite foods are sugar, syrup, and… well… more sugar. I am definitely my mother’s daughter! I usually make regular ole pancakes for her Mother’s Day breakfast, but this year I decided that wasn’t enough. I know she loves cinnamon rolls (who doesn’t) and pancakes (duh), so I married the two. It is my pleasure to introduce for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Cinnamon Swirl Pancake!

Sweet. Cinnamony. Heavenly. And best of all, easy. They look so impressive, but take no time at all!

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Dry + Wet = Pancakes

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Just as easy, twice as good as boxed pancake mix.

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If my mom was awake, she would have been hovering over me waiting for me to walk away so she can stick a spoon in this mixture. I can’t blame her though. Butter, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon… What’s not to love?

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After a light boil for a couple of minutes, it will start to thicken.

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This is the consistency you are looking for! I stuck mine in the fridge for a few minutes to get it to this point.

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No fancy piping tools here. Just a glass and a baggy.

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Pour pancake batter in a buttered skillet like you normally would and immediately pipe a cinnamon filling on top!

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Wait for it to bubble up, then flip!

Tip: Let it cook almost all the way through on low-medium heat with the swirl side UP. If the sugar swirl spends too much time in direct contact with the skillet, it will start to burn.

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Almost cooked though and ready to flip! Looks like a cinnamon roll doesn’t it?!

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Oooooooooooooooh. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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Never making regular pancakes again.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Ma!

Pancakes:

  • 1  cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4  cup of granulated sugar
  • 2  teaspoons of baking powder 
  • 3/4  cup of milk
  • 1  egg
  • 1  tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1  teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cinnamon Swirl Filling:

  • 4  tablespoons of butter
  • 4  tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1  teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1  tablespoon of cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until just combined. A few clumps are okay. Set the pancake batter to the side. In a small pan over medium heat, melt and combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring this to a light boil for about 1 minute stirring constantly. This mixture needs to cool slightly so it won’t melt the bag you put it in for piping. In the meantime, put a sandwich baggy in a cup and fold the top of a baggy over the sides of the cup. Once the sugar mixture has cooled a little bit, scoop it into the baggy in the cup. Get any excess air out of the baggy and zip it closed. Cut a 1/4 inch sized snip off a corner of the baggy. Wha-la! You have a piping bag. Pour about 1/3 cup of pancake batter into a buttered skillet on low-medium heat. Immediately pipe  a swirl design on to the pancake. Let it cook for about 3 minutes, or until it is bubbling all over. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds-1 minute. Repeat until all of your pancake batter is gone! Enjoy!

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Mom approved!

Much love,

MT

Colossal Carrot Cake

Because of my Southern roots and possibly the rate at which I consume a slice of red velvet cake, most people are reasonably lead to believe it’s my favorite flavor. While red velvet is definitely near the top of my “Favorite Cakes” list, carrot cake has to take first place, specifically this Colossal Carrot Cake. There is something about the combination of warm spices and little bits of softened carrots all covered with a blanket of white chocolate cream cheese icing that makes this particular carrot cake so special. Not to mention it is 4 layers, which is where the name Colossal Carrot Cake comes from.

My cousin and I came across this recipe from allrecipes.com and through the years I have adapted it to make it absolutely flawless. This year, I made it for Easter and it was a huge hit! By the time we got back home there was only one slice left. I took that as a good sign.

Never in my life (and no, I’m not just being dramatic) have I had a cake this dense, moist, and delicious. If you like carrot cake, this will change your life. If you don’t think you like carrot cake, this will change your mind. Gar-ron-teed.

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Ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon… “The three best friends that anyone could have!” -Alan from The Hangover

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Sugar and oil. A great start if you ask me. But what do I know.

So now I’m going to be really honest with y’all….

I did not take anymore picture of the baking process. WHOOOOOPSIES. I’m not sure if I got too excited for it to be done or if I was just tired because I was making this puppy into the wee hours of the night. Either way… I only have a lot of “after” pictures. But really, that is all you need to see how amazing this cake looks!

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Like I said… Colossal.

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Going…

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Going…….

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GONE! Well, almost. This is proof that having a sweet tooth is genetic. WAY TO GO FAM!

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HOLY.

MOLY.

YUM.

Colossal Carrot Cake:

  • 3  cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon of salt
  • 4  teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4  teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2  teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 3  teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 1/2  cups of white granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup of light brown sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  cup Canola or vegetable oil
  • 3  teaspoons of vanilla
  • 4  cups of carrots, finely shredded

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing: 

  • 4  oz. of good quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli), melted
  • 8  oz. of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2  cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1  teaspoon of vanilla
  • 5  cups of powdered sugar
  • 3  tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
  • 1  cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare two circular cake pans with parchment paper and non-stick spray. In a small pan over low heat, melt the white chocolate and set aside for later. In a food processor, shred enough carrots (I used baby carrots) to make 4 cups and set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and baking soda. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the sugars and the eggs until they become slightly lighter in color. With the mixer on low-medium speed, slowly add in the oil. Add the vanilla. Beat this mixture on high until it turns light and airy. Pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the carrots.

I only have 2 circular cake pans. For this reason, I had to bake the cake two layers at a time. Here is what I did:

Pour 1/4 of the mix into a cake pan and another 1/4 in another cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-18 minutes. Let the layers cool completely and carefully turn them out onto a cooling rack covered with parchment paper. Prepare the two cake pans again and evenly distribute the remainder of the batter into each. Bake these two layers for 17-18 minutes too and let them cool completely.

If you have 4 circular cake pans and a big enough oven, bake all 4 layers at the same time! If layered cakes aren’t you thaaaaaaang, this recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.

To make the icing, in the bowl of a stand mixer add the cream cheese and butter and beat it until it is smooth. Add the cooled white chocolate and vanilla and combine. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Remember to scrape down the sides of your bowl! Add in the heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time. After each addition whip the icing on high speed for about 10 seconds. This should get your icing nice and fluffy!

To assemble your cake, put a thin layer of icing on the base of your cake stand to make sure your cake won’t move. Lay down the first layer, top with icing, and repeat until all 4 layers are assembled. I never ice the sides of my cakes, but you can ice it however you want! Lastly, sprinkle the nuts on top and you are FINALLY done!

This cake is a labor of love, but it is SO WORTH IT.

Enjoy!

Much love,

MT

Oreo Cheesecake (Birthday Edition)

First of all, HAPPY (late) 23RD BIRTHDAY to my sweet, strong, steady, and bearded fiance! While he is sweet, he doesn’t really like to eat sweets, especially cake. This makes my job a little challenging when it comes to his birthday “cake” every year. Lucky for him, this year I thought to make a cheesecake. Not just a regular cheesecake, but an Oreo cheesecake. Not just an Oreo cheesecake, but a birthday cake Oreo cheesecake. Not just a birthday cake Oreo cheesecake, but a… just kidding, I’m done with that.

I’ve been making Oreo cheesecake for a while now and it has become popular among my friends. This decadent cheesecake is often requested, understandably so! When Oreos meet cream cheese, something magical happens. The two were meant to be together! Nabisco should invent an Oreo with a cream cheese filling. Life. Changing. In the mean time, we can all just keep making Oreo cheesecake! This version is festive, fun, a little colorful, and extra rich. Not to mention, it is the easier dessert I have ever made. Take a look!

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The line up! Can’t go wrong here.

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Add some sugar, sugar.

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Whip until it is all creamed together!

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Whipped topping; its good for the soul. And the hips.

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The whipped topping, cream cheese, and sugar mixed together to make the fluffiest filling ever!

Recommendation: Steal an Oreo, dip it in this mixture, and enjoy with no regrets.

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These birthday cake Oreos are SO FUN!

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Match made in heaven.

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I used a store bought pie crust. Shhhhh. Don’t tell the baking gods.

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I mean come one! How good does this look?!

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Birthday boy!

Ingredients:

  • 2  blocks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 1/2  cup of granulated sugar
  • 1  tub of whipped topping (8 oz.)
  • 1  package of Birthday Cake Oreos, separated
  • 1  Oreo brand, ready-made chocolate pie crust

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer), add the room temperature cream cheese. Whip until smooth and then add the sugar. Whip again until smooth. Add the whipped topping and gently fold it in. Do not use a mixer once you have added the whipped topping because it will flatten out its fluffy texture! Mix in two rows of Oreos that have been crushed. Save the third row for the top. Scoop this mixture into your pie crust and smooth it all out. Add the rest of the Oreos on top in any way you would like. Let it cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!

Seriously, the easiest dessert ever. It looks so impressive, but takes such little time and effort! You won’t be disappointed!

Much love,

MT

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies. Also known as Governor Cookies, Texan Cookies, or President Bush Cookies. This recipe has been passed around for years now and has been renamed multiple times. It became famous in 2000 when the lovely First Lady, Laura Bush, made these beauties for a bake-off and won first place.

So, lets recap real quick:

Cookies that originated in Texas, good.

From a recipe developed by Laura Bush, great.

Who is married to one of the best Texans to ever live, better.

I mean come on, what more can you ask for?

These melt in your mouth cookies have something in them to satisfy everyone’s cravings. They are packed full of chocolate chips, oats, coconut flakes, and pecans all mixed into a soft dough with a slight hint of warmth from a pinch of cinnamon. Like I said… What more can you ask for?

A small part of me is hoping they got the name Cowboy Cookies because a beautiful young lady made them for the best looking, sweetest, most hard-working cowboy around. He took one bite and they lived happily ever after. Maybe I’m just on a fairy tale kick ever since I saw the new Cinderella movie last weekend…… But if “a dream is a wish your heart makes,” I’m dreaming of these cookies because my heart loved them.

So, make these Cowboy Cookies while you watch Cinderella and dream about meeting your cowboy. Or having a waist as small as Cinderella. Maybe one day. HA. Just kidding, I ate too much cookie dough for that.

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The culprit to my not-so-Cinderellaish waist.

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See the coconut poking out of the cookie?! Told you they are packed full.

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The perfect dozen. 1 for you. 11 for me.

I would never actually eat 11 cookies.

Only 10.

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Ooey gooey chocolatey coconuty peacany oaty goodness.

Here is Mrs. Bush’s recipe: 

  • 3  cups of flour
  • 1  tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1  tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1  tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon of salt
  • 3  sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2  cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2  cups of light brown sugar
  • 3  eggs
  • 1  tablespoon of vanilla
  • 3  cups of semisweet chocolate chips (I prefer less, so I only used 2 cups)
  • 3  cups of old-fashion rolled oats
  • 2  cups of sweetened coconut flakes (I just used my entire bag, which was 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2  cups of pecans, finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set that aside. In the bow of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it is smooth. Add in both sugars on low speed, scarping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add each egg one at a time, mixing after each addition. Finally, mix in the vanilla and add this to the flour mixture. Stir this (there is a lot of dough, so I got it started with my hands) and then add the chocolate chips, coconut, oats, and pecans. Combine this well, making sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough to assure each cookie is equally delicious! Roll the dough into heaping tablespoon sized balls and place about 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15-16 minutes at 350. Serve to a cowboy. Live happily ever after.

Much love,

MT

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

If we are being honest, bananas are not my most favorite things in the world. I like them on their own, but if they are mashed up in something I’m usually not a fan. Usually. This cake though, is an exception. A moist, flavorful, dense, exception.

We had a few bananas laying around that had about .238546109 seconds before they went bad. Because dessert is on my mind 24/7, naturally I saw these poor bananas and thought of a recipe to give them new life! Banana bread? Too expected. Banana pudding? Too traditional. A multi-layered banana cake with chocolate chips, chocolate ganache, and chocolate butter cream? Perfection. Let me just stop talking and give you a visual of this beaut…

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Whip it. Whip it real good. The butter, sugar, and eggs that is. 056

Mashed bananas and lemon juice. Ew. Thank goodness this gets put into a cake.  057

Flour, baking soda, salt, ya know… Your basics.  060

The batter is almost complete! Just have to add mashed bananas and chocolate chips! This is my go-to vanilla cake at this stage. So good!

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There is something so satisfying about getting both layers out successfully. This task has tested my patience over the years……

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I always put a thin base layer of icing on the cake stand to keep the cake from sliding. Otis says “Hey. I’ll take some of that.”

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First,  Ganache!

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As if that wasn’t enough, add some chocolate butter cream. Wowzer. 070

How could this be bad? Not possible. 073

More cake, more ganache, more yum. 074

Top it off with one more thick layer of butter cream…. 081

Oh. My. Wow. Would it be crossing the line if I make this picture my desktop background…?

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Just look at that. If that doesn’t do your soul some good, I don’t know what will. 086

This might be my new favorite cake. Shhhhhh… Don’t tell Red Velvet.

Banana Cake:

  • 3 bananas
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated (white) sugar
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of heavy cream

Chocolate Butter Cream:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate ganache (from the portion you already made!)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons heavy cream

This cake takes quite a few steps, but it is SO worth it. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray two circular cake pans and line each bottom with a layer of parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and oil together until smooth. Add the sugars and vanilla and beat until smooth again. Lastly, add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Once combined, beat it on very high for about 30 seconds. Alternately add the flour and milk into this sugar, egg, and butter mixture. ALWAYS start and end with flour. Mix well after each addition of milk and flour. Do this until both milk and flour have been completely combined. Add the chocolate chips and mashed banana mixture to the cake batter and beat on low speed until completely combined. Pour the batter equally into both prepared cake pans. Drop the pans against a hard flat surface to rid of some air bubbles. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

While the cake is baking, make the ganache. In a medium pan, add the chocolate chips and butter and stir until melted. Add the heavy cream and stir until combined. Set aside until needed.

For the butter cream, in the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and beat until smooth. Combine the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add the heavy cream and chocolate ganache, Beat on very high speed until combined and fluffy. Put this in the fridge until you are ready to ice your cake.

Once the cake is completely cool, ice the cake. Put down one cake layer, top with half of the ganache, then half of the butter cream. Place the second layer of cake on the first, top with the rest of the ganache, then the rest of the butter cream. Smooth it all out, lick your icing utensil, eat 13 pieces of cake, and feel no shame. Then repeat.

Much love,

MT

Pecan Pie Muffins

Sometimes during deer season I would gladly take on the responsibility of bringing a meal to camp. Since camp was a tiny travel trailer, bringing things that require a lot of dishes was not ideal. I already knew I wanted to do something like muffins or cupcakes for dessert because they don’t require plates or utensils. But why pecan pie muffins? My fiance’s dad is the inspiration behind that idea. You see, pecan pie is his favorite dessert. Everyone else there also happened to love pecan pie, so it was an obvious decision.

Now, I’m about to get real with y’all… The first time I made these I was a little disappointed in their appearance. They did not look like a fluffy muffin. I gave them a chance though, and I took a bite. LIFE. CHANGED. The texture wasn’t like a muffin at all, and I am SO GLAD! These are literally little pecan pies in muffin tins. They taste exxxxacccctlyyyyyyy like pecan pie. Exactly. Maybe even better than real pecan pie actually. I love it when “mistakes” lead to one of the best desserts I have ever made!

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I even put them in camo muffin tins since they would be traveling to the deer lease. I’m so festive. 094

Do you see how  these would be disappointing if I was wanting fluffy muffins?093

Well don’t be disappointed! Because they are sooooooooooooooooo good. 092

You see how the sugar in them crisped up and created a delicious top crust to the gooey soft inside?!

Yum. I want one. And by one, I mean twelve.

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark, doesn’t matter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened (which is one stick, plus 3 tablespoons, plus 1/3 of a tablespoon)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • 2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a muffin/cupcake tin or use paper liners like I did and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, pecans, and cinnamon. In a different bowl, beat the eggs and butter together. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fill your muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degree for 15 minutes. They will be a little gooey, but give them a chance to cool and they will be perfect! Enjoy!

Much love,

MT

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