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I love my pal Scott’s balls!  I mean, these things are so amazing – holy yum!  I used to work with Scott at Orca Bay Seafoods.  He is hilarious and gives better advice than anyone I have ever met in my life.  I think it is because he has 7  sisters (give or take a few).  He also makes a mean cheese/meat plate that we would pass over our shared cubicle wall while talking on the phone to each other even though we only had 3 feet between us.  

Here is a pic of Scott with his cute son Hayden that I stole from his Facebook.

While I worked at Orca Bay, Scott would bring in these amazing chocolate peanut balls and the ladies at the office would swoon.  People would practically beg him to bring them in more often.

 I have missed his balls so much since I left Orca Bay almost 2 years ago.  Well, the other day, I was the very fortunate recipient of a fed-exed package of balls!!  They lasted about 3 hours and then they were all gone and I felt very ill. However, it was worth it! They are like little bites of chocolate peanut butter heaven.

He not only sent me these balls, but also was generous enough to share his coveted recipe.  I would recommend making these now.  You will not regret it.

Scott – Thank you again very much!  Ricardo would so be proud. I miss Ricardo stories greatly.

Scott’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Printable recipe here.

1 Cup    Powdered sugar (sifted)

1 Cup    Finely chopped pecans

1 Cup    Peanut butter (creamy Jif, of course)

1 Tbsp  Melted butter

1 Tsp  Vanilla extract

1-12oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine all but chips into bowl and mix well. I find doing it by hand is the only way to get it mixed really well. Put the mix in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. After the mix hardens a bit, roll into 1″ balls, and put back into the fridge for 30-40 minutes. This just keeps it from getting too mushy when it gets dipped in the chocolate, which gets quite warm.

Melt chocolate ships in double boiler (with a little parafin wax for a nice sheen) and, using two standard teaspoons, drop the balls in the chocolate and cover generously, then drop onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet, and return to the fridge. I usually do this in the evening and leave the balls in the fridge overnight, so i am not sure exactly how long it takes to get the balls into their mouthwatering goodness. This recipe usually makes about 20 balls, so I almost always double it. – Scott

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Happy Valentines Day!    Of course, this is one of my favorite holidays, only because there is so much pink stuff in the stores during this time.  It takes me a lot longer to get through a store during this time of year.  I did restrain myself and only purchased three additional pink household items this month.  Only one of which was for Mavie.  I think he might be getting a little sick of pink.  This is the look he gave me when I told him we wanted to buy him a pink raincoat.

You may have noticed that there is a considerable lack of desserts on this blog.  This isn’t because I hate sweets – definitely not the case.  It is only because I royally suck at baking.  I am just terrible at it.  All that measuring, preheating exactness makes me sweat.  I think it is because I inherited my dad’s lack of attention to detail – We are more big picture people and assume things will work themselves out in the end :) .  Baking doesn’t really work that way, apparently you need to make sure and have the correct ingredients in the right measurements.

 I have tried to post dessert recipes before only to realize that I could never tell other people how to bake.  Here are some of my past results:

I was at Target and saw the cutest “I Heart U” pink cookie cutters.  Of course, I had to have them.  

This meant that I would need to bake something.  I asked Jav what his favorite cookie was and he said “those chewy molasses spice cookies”.  I decided I would attempt these for Valentines Day.

I did some searching on the internets and chose to combine a few recipes I found.  See! This is how I bake.  I read once that you should have all of your ingredients at room temp when baking.  Who has time for this?  When I want sweets I don’t have time to sit around waiting for eggs to gently warm up! So I improvise and heat things up in the microwave.  When dough needs to be chilled for hours, I speed it up and just place it in the freezer.  Don’t listen to any of this – I should not be teaching anyone anything about baking.  However, these cookies turned out really good!  Jav liked them a lot.  Just follow the directions.   That is the hardest part for me.

 Chewy Molasses Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Step 1- Pour yourself a large glass of wine.


3/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves)

½ cup white sugar

In a bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses together until combined.

 In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices until well combined.  Add dry ingredients to the molasses mix. 

 Cover and chill for an hour in the fridge (don’t recommend the freezer).

Preheat oven to 375.  Roll dough into small balls in your hand and then roll in the white sugar.  Place cookies 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool and then frost with cream cheese icing.  Eeks. Went a little crazy with the bright pink.

 The icing isn’t necessary, but I thought it was yummy!

Cream Cheese Icing  (adapted from the Repressed Pastry Chef magnificent cream cheese icing)

I really like this icing recipe because it is the only one I have found that is pipeable. 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – COLD
1 cup powdered sugar (divided in two parts)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use clear, so it doesn’t turn it brownish)
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese – room temperature (not this again- eyeroll), divided in three parts
1 tablespoon shortening

Beat ½ cup sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and combine very well. Add the first third of the cream cheese and combine very well. Add the shortening and combine very well. Add the remaining cream cheese one piece at a time, combining very well after each. Gradually add the rest of the sugar and combine thoroughly until light and fluffy.


I have gotten a few requests to add printable recipes.  Click here for a printable recipe of the cookies and icing.


Hope your day is filled with fun!





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The yearly wild women cookie exchange has become a tradition among my circle of friends. I started hosting this party at my home in my early 20s and haven’t missed a year yet.  When we first started, it was more about guzzling champagne than exchanging cookies. In fact, at the inaugural party there were 13 ladies in attendance and 14 bottles of champagne drank :O.  But now as we approach our thirties, it seems to be more about socializing and gathering all the cookies you need to serve at your holiday events. However, there are still always a few diehards who stay late and drink the last of the champagne with me.  These are my favorite guests:


Every woman who attends the party must bring 5 or 6 dozen cookies to exchange. I supply the take-away boxes which are purchased at the dollar store for three for a $1.  Most people bring homemade and copies of their recipe, but there are a few who claim to have no baking skills and bring store-bought.  We try not to give them too hard of a time.   We actually did not have anyone bring store-bought this year!


I love hosting this party because it is a great way to get all my best girlfriends together and celebrate the season.  It makes the holiday rush easier, because it is held the weekend before Christmas and everyone gets about 15 different cookies to bring/serve at their holiday events when they only baked 6 dozen of 1 kind. 

This year was a fantastic party!  In fact, while I am writing this, we are still drinking champagne.  Here I am typing away with my friend Michelle:

 We had so many wonderful cookies!  And a LOT of drinkers this year. Which always makes the party more fun. 

 Here are a few of my favorite brown-haired drinkers:

 Since we are drinking champagne, it is best not to make the women subsist on only cookies. Here is this year’s menu and subsequent recipes:

On the Menu

Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche

Fresh Fruit with Brown Sugar Yogurt Dip

Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Barb’s Curry Chutney Brie

Winter Green Salad with Pears

Pomegranate Brandy Champagne Cocktails

Bailey’s and Coffee


Chicken-Apple Sausage and Irish Cheddar Quiche



Fresh Fruit with Brown Sugar Yogurt Dip

Assorted Fresh Fruit Cut-Up

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Cup Sour Cream

¼ Cup Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ Teaspoon Coconut Extract (totally optional)

Mix yogurt, sour cream, brown sugar, extracts in a bowl.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Serve for fruit dipping!

Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms

20-30 Mushrooms Stems Removed

1 8oz Package cream cheese (room temp)

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

1/3 Cup Mayonnaise

6 Strips Bacon Chopped

5 Green Onions Chopped

1 Clove Garlic Minced

1 Cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded

1 Egg Yolk

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar (secret ingredient)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, bacon, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.

 Fill each mushroom with a teaspoon or so of filling.  Put in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. 

 Barb’s Curry Chutney Brie
This is another favorite recipe from my friend Barb. Love it.

1 large Brie Wheel (Costco has a good price)

1 Tablespoon Curry Powder 

½ Jar Major Grey Mango Chutney (4.5 oz)

½ Cup Whole Pecans

Crackers etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Rub brie all over with curry powder.  Spread with chutney.  Top with pecans.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with Crackers!

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I found this recipe on Annie Eats.  I forgot to take a pic but it was great!

Winter Green Salad with Pears

5 or 6 Cups of Spring Mix Greens

2 Ounces Crumbled Blue Cheese

2 Pears Sliced

1 Cup Candied Pecans – Recipe Below

Shallot Vinaigrette – Recipe Below

Mix together all ingredients in large bowl.  Toss with vinaigrette.

Candied Pecans


½ Cup White Sugar

2 Cups Whole Pecans

Heat sugar over medium high heat in large skillet.  Once it starts melting it will look like this:

At this point you need to turn the heat down to low and throw in the pecans.  The sugar will burn very quickly at this point so you need to watch it carefully.   Toss pecans in sugar.  Once coated remove from heat and set on foil to cool.

Shallot Vinaigrette

1 Shallot Minced

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon White Sugar

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Blend ingredients together in blender of food processor.  Pour over salad.


Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream

Is any brunch is complete without this lovely treat?

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktails

 I had these last week at the Drake Cooper holiday party and knew I had to serve them. 

2 Pomegranates seeded (Go here for instructions)

½ fifth of Brandy

Lots of Champagne

Soak seeds in brandy refrigerated overnight.  Add a tablespoon to each glass of champagne.
I thought this pic was hilarious:

By the way, I LOVE Christmas and my house is decked out in holiday gear.  I even wrap all of the wall pictures/hangings in wrapping paper and make my poor dog wear a santa suit.   Here he is with little Grace!

The Cookies

Let’s get to the delicious cookies! I think the exchange is everyone’s favorite part of the party.  Here is a  silly little video of the exchange taken by Katie Shamalangadingdong.

I made Saltine Toffee Cookies, which I make every year. They are amazingly simple and tasty!  Here is the recipe.

 While, I wish I could post everyone’s recipe, I am a little lazy.  So here are a few of my favorites that made an appearance at the party:

Katie’s Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich CookiesRecipe here

Sarah’s Oreo Truffle BallsRecipe here

These are incredibly rich and yummy!

Michelle’s Chocolate Cranberry FudgeRecipe here

Cortnay’s Mint Chocolate BrowniesRecipe here

As you can probably tell, there was no shortage of cookies.  Here are a few more fun pics from the party:
Katie with Kate’s little guy James

Crissie baking her delicious sugar cookies

Rose’s delicious Almond Cookies

Myself and Miss Michelle C.

Mavie and Kelsay bonding

Jaime and Betsy discussing the art of cookie baking

I had a blast at this year’s party and am incredibly thankful for all of my wonderful friends.  Thanks to foodbuzz for letting me participate in this great event.  And a big thanks to Crissie and Katie for helping me document the craziness.

Happy holidays!!



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