Loving Lately 🎅🏻

There aren’t enough hours in the day to make all of the Christmas cookies on my list. Also, I don’t think I could possibly fit in the exercise to balance the caloric intake. But I really want to try (the first part). Thank you Aisha Yusaf for perfectly capturing the essence of my cookie desire in the featured image with your Jam Tarts.

How much more holiday does it get than Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies from Mom on Timeout? I think everyone in Michigan has a relative who lives in Florida who sends or brings them a bag of oranges this time of year. (Maybe I’m naive.) And why does a mom timeout sound like a vacation? I could use a vacation, with a box of shortbread cookies.

I’m kind of crazy about biscotti. I could do a whole post on biscotti alone (and probably will). This Gingerbread Biscotti from If You Give A Blonde a Kitchen, sounds like the perfect dose of Christmas medicine… along with a coffee creamed with egg nog. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I just like to play one on my blog.)

Of course, there are the traditional sugar cookies (I’ll be posting a recipe soon). I have neither the patience nor the talent to make them as intricate as these. But wouldn’t they be awesome to serve? I’d be like “Oh, these little things… I just whipped them together…” I would really like to give someone the credit that is due… unfortunately, they got lost in the world of Pinterest.

Have you guys and gals checked out the blog, Once Upon A Chef? It’s really worth mentioning. My friends and I haven’t been disappointed by anything we’ve made from it. And I’m really looking forward to trying these Gingerbread Men, because I bet they are as delicious as they are adorable. Although, I know of one little boy who’s going to be very upset this year if one doesn’t run out of the oven when we sneak a peek.

My blogging friend, Marisa of Marisa’s Italian Kitchen, is wildly talented. Everything she does looks like it came out of a magazine… including these Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Cookies. Aren’t they gorgeous? She makes biscotti too, just sayin’.

It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without Pecan Balls, such as these beauties from A Healthy Life For Me. You know, they have to be passed in a tissue lined tin… or displayed like a pyramid. And if by chance you happen to take a breath before you bite into one, you will probably choke on powdered sugar. Good times… The best of times!

Merry Christmas Cookies!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

In general I thinks kids young and old love chocolate chip cookies. And nothing compares with fresh baked, warm out of the oven, homemade chocolate chip cookies. My oldest son is always asking me to make them. Actually he is always asking if he can make them; which I know means that I will be making them. Making cookies from scratch seems like a large task until you start- and realize it’s basically throwing all the ingredients in one big bowl, mixing it up and dropping spoonfuls of batter on a baking sheet. We got this. It’s so worth it.

As organic as possible:

From the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book:

1/2 cup Shortening

1/2 cup Butter, softened

1 cup packed Brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp Baking soda

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 – 12 oz. package (2 cups) semisweet Chocolate chips


In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and better with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.


Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Sadie tip: I always round the granulated sugar! 😉


Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Sadie tip #2: I always splash in a little more vanilla! 😉



Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.


Stir in chocolate chips.


Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an uncreased cookie sheet. I like to use an ice cream scoop, because we like big cookies. 🙂


Bake a 375° oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.


Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Woot woot! Eat ’em warm. Or whenever you want.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1/2 cup Shortening
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 - 12 oz. package (2 cups) semisweet Chocolate chips


  1. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and better with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  2. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an uncreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake a 375° oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.


Election Day

It’s here! Can we all agree we like cookies? (Probably not, but I bet it’s safe to say majority rules in favor.)

Be safe and remember to love your neighbor regardless of their political view. It’s the only way we all win!
Featured image courtesy of

Farmhouse Rules’ Chocolate Toffee No-Bake Cookies

From the moment I watched Nancy Fuller make these cookies in her idyllic farmhouse kitchen I knew that I was going to replicate them in my pretend farmhouse kitchen. No-bake cookies are a family favorite, and the toffee addition just seemed like a stroke of genius! Of course I also tend to gravitate towards treats that I can make with my kids. So even if my garden is in reality a pool, and my cows and chickens are actually neighbors in my subdivision; by golly, I can eat like a fuller farmer! (I didn’t make that up, it’s the name of her blog 😉 )


The original recipe can be found on

As organic as possible:

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Combine the oats, peanut butter, bitter and semisweet chocolate chips, toffee bits, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate chips melt, 3 to 5 minutes.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet and sprinkle each cookie with extra toffee bits. Freeze for 15 minutes before serving. The cookies can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 1 week.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Fuller

Read more at:


Isaiah’s Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

School’s out. So what do you do when your mom thinks she’s a home-ec teacher circa 1991 and you have a hankering for a chocolatey treat? You get out the measuring cups and mixing bowls so you can make yourself something awesome! I’m so proud of him, I’m beaming. And I’m eating some outstanding deliciousness. Chocolate and peanut butter are such a great combination. But don’t take it just from me, let’s hear Isaiah tell us about it: “They’re made with peanut butter, and they’re cookies.” (Cue the crickets)

Adapted from William-Sonoma’s The Cookbook for Kids

As organic as possible:

For Cookies

1/2 cup Butter

3/4 cup Brown sugar

1/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Chunky peanut butter

1 Egg

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 1/4 cup Flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt


For Chocolate Dip

1 1/4 cup Semisweet chocolate chips

1 Tbsp Vegetable shortening



Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed until blended.

Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, placing 12 balls at least 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Using a fork, press twice into each cookie to make a crisscross pattern. Bake the cookies until golden, 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the shortening. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir. Then microwave for 30 seconds longer or until melted.

One at a time, dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When all the cookies are dipped, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator just until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Warning! This may attract on lookers.


Another Warning! This is messy.


But they’re worth it.


Lollipop Sugar Cookies

Kids love sugar cookies… Adults love sugar cookies… And I have no idea why, but let me just tell you that if you put them on a stick and call them “lollipop” cookies it increases the awesome factor by 100%. Because everyone loves Lollipop Sugar Cookies! They holler “Look at me, I’m so fun! I taste like candy!” As far as great baking projects to do with the kids go, these are at the top. Just put out the toppings and let their imaginations soar! It really doesn’t get much easier. (And you can even refrigerate the dough ahead of time until you’re ready to let the amusement begin! Bonus!)

As organic as possible:

1 1/4 cups Sugar

1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening

1/2 cup Butter

2 eggs

1/4 light Corn Syrup

2 tsp Vanilla

3 cups Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

24-26 Popsicle Sticks

Variety of Toppings (Sprinkles, colored Sugars, nonpareils, miniature candies, etc.)


Cream the sugar, shortening and butter in a large bowl by mixer or hand until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, continuing to mix, followed by vanilla and corn syrup. Mixture should be light and creamy.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir together with a whisk until incorporated. Add to creamy egg mixture about a third at a time, mixing until all is combined.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a couple days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 – 2 inch balls. Place a popsicle stick into the center and place on a baking sheet. With the palm of your hand press to slightly flatten the dough (about an inch high), to create a surface to decorate. Top the lollipop sugar cookies however you’d like! (Decorations may need a gentle pat to stay on.) Then bake for 8 1/2 – 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to sit about 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. When completely cool serve your Lollipop Sugar Cookies and watch the kid come out in all!


No-Bake Cookies

I know, I know- everyone has a no-bake cookie recipe. But I don’t think I could have a food blog without mentioning my family’s go-to cookie. In fact, this is my second published no-bake cookie recipe. My kids and I make these often, and like to play around with ingredients, chocolates, etc.. But this is the original tried and true recipe. I got it from a book, a gift- from a collection of recipes from the Trinity Wesleyan Church in Jackson, MI… but I know it by heart.

As organic as possible:

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter (I like salted for this recipe) *And sometimes I add a pinch of salt anyway

2 cups Sugar

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 cup Peanut Butter (rounded)

3 cups Oats

In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder stirring often. Bring to boil and let it bubble for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. When it’s all melted and mixed well, add the oats and stir until all of them are coated with chocolatey goodness. Use a spoon to drop little mounds onto sheets of waxed paper. Allow to cool and harden slightly before eating.

Happy Eating!

Hershey Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms

Does everyone in the world make these cookies? Well for the one person out there who may not have had them, this recipe is for you. Because something this special deserves to be had by all. And if you haven’t had them, please do yourself this favor. These cookies are the perfect little chewy packages of peanut butter and chocolate. They are like the best little sweet one-bites ever. (Ok, maybe they’re like 2-3 bites.) Now if only Hershey would make organic kisses, what a wonderful world it would be.

Via a Hershey Kisses magazine ad cut out a decade ago:

48 Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates

1/2 cup Shortening

3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

1/3 cup granulated Sugar

1/3 cup packed Light brown sugar

1 egg

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Granulated Sugar (for rolling)

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add 1/3 cup granulated and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar; place on engrossed cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a Kisses Chocolate into center of each cookie. Rem from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

I’d like to add that this recipe can be easily doubled, which I do when bring them to a gathering (or up north for a weekend getaway at the cabin)… because they go fast. Everyone from kids to adults love them. I remember my Aunt Lynn making these when I was a kid. They seemed so special, probably because they were enjoyed on a holiday. But don’t wait for a holiday. You should enjoy them today. And every day. And you should share. And then every day will feel like a holiday. And work will be that much better. (Unless someone has a peanut allergy.)

Loving Lately ❤️ & a Recipe

Loving Lately #1: Oatmeal Cookies

A few of you may be aware that I have been searching for the perfect chewy oatmeal cookie. And the truth is I have been hoping to discover something amazing that has been hidden and that I could reveal to the world, as if the oatmeal cookie wheel hadn’t been invented. Then my good friend Molly came over to my house bearing the best kind of gifts, food. She brought the softest, chewiest, yummiest perfect little oatmeal cookies. Knowing what a talented baker she is, I asked her excitedly, “Molly did you come up with this recipe?” To which she replied “it came from the back of my Quaker Oats.” Of course it did, not sure why I hadn’t thought of that. My apologies and sincere thanks to Quaker Oats for letting me using their Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie recipe with my other brand organic rolled oats.


1/2 Cup(s) (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 Cup(s) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup(s) granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon(s) vanilla
1-1/2 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon(s) Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon(s) salt (optional)
3 Cup(s) Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 Cup(s) raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Serving Tips: Bar Cookies: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 24 BARS. VARIATIONS: Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Substitute 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolate pieces for raisins; omit cinnamon. Substitute 1 cup diced dried mixed fruit. HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.

Molly didn’t even put raisins in hers, and they were great. And to those of you who sent me more oatmeal cookie recipes to try, I can’t wait to make them too. I think I just like oatmeal cookies.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever?

A life-long friend of mine knows I’m into food blogging. So when she came across a recipe that said it was “The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe We’ve Ever Tried,” she passed it along my way. How sweet is that? Thank you Monica! Of course, being a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies, I had to try it. The recipe came from the Wall Street Journal. I don’t know if I’ve ever made a recipe of theirs before. Apparently there is a newly opened restaurant in Manhattan, and rumor has it they have a good cookie!

The first thing I noticed that was different from what I’ve done before is that the instructions said to soak the raisins in hot water for 30 minutes. I wondered if that would make the raisins juicy and plump? I wasn’t disappointed- I do think it made a difference! They also mentioned using old fashioned or rolled oats, which I always do, and agree that they are best for oatmeal cookies. The recipe called for adding the egg and vanilla at the end, after adding the oats and raisins; that was another thing I had never done before. Lastly it was recommended to allow the batter to sit for 4 days, which I will admit I did not do, although it gave me a pass. Something I would not do is bake them again for 17 minutes. There was no leeway. The directions specifically said 17 minutes, and that was too long, at least for my pans and oven- unless my goal was awesome granola.

The result was delicious, almost candy like. They kind of had a shiny sweet exterior that I thought was different from my regular batches. The cookies were big and chewy (when cooked about 14-15 minutes). And I have to say my kids loved them. They baked round and flat and firm. To be completely honest I think they are perfect for ice cream sandwiches! And although I am not disappointed, my quest for the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie is still on. Of course I have been heavily persuaded by the organic “Aussie Bites” from Costco. I think they’re on to something! However, my dad disagrees whole-heartedly. This much I know is true: personal taste is subjective. Am I rambling?

As Seen in the Wall Street Journal:

Active Time: 10-15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, plus 4 days for chilling dough Makes: 14 cookies

1 cup raisins
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1½ sticks slightly softened butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
1 extra-large egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Soak raisins in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down frequently. Take care not to overbeat.

4. Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in oats, followed by drained raisins, egg and vanilla.

5. Use a ¼-cup measure to scoop dough onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Flatten each blob with base of measuring cup. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 days (optional).

6. To bake cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until cookies are golden-brown on the outside but still soft in the middle, about 17 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

—Adapted from Melissa Weller of Sadelle’s, New York City

Thank you Monica! This was a lot of fun!