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!


Life Bellissima’s Peanut Butter Fudge

I’ve only attempted fudge a few times in my life- and not very successfully. It seems like it should just be something in one’s repertoire. Like every homemaker makes fudge, at least in my mind. Once I even tried making a sugar-free fudge for my diabetic grandmother, which was a disaster. I live hours away from Mackinac Island, where they produce world famous and delicious fudge. It’s just like one of those things that has been a part of my life all of my life. Making good fudge is important! Is it a Michigan thing? Is any of this making sense?

Then came Anna of Life Bellissima. She shared a Peanut Butter Fudge recipe that was special to her, because it’s the same recipe her dad used to make. And I thought to myself, “I’m going to try again.” And I can now feel comfortable saying that I do make fudge- good fudge, successfully (at least one kind of it). I have my own family recipe! My husband and kids loved it, and my kids had fun helping me make it.

My favorite tip was that Anna said to pour it onto a plate! My first reaction was no way, it’s going to go everywhere and make a hot mess! But, mind you, I’ve never been successful at fudge making. And I thought about the times I’ve tried to dig it out of a baking dish… or try to prep a dish with wax paper. And I trust Anna, and if she said that’s how she does it, then by golly that’s how I’ll do it! I dumped that hot peanut butter fudge right onto a large (buttered) dinner plate, and it worked!

Without further ado, straight from Life Bellissima:

Sue’s Easy 15-Minute Peanut Butter Fudge

*I prefer to use organic ingredients

-In medium saucepan, combine:

1 cup raw cane sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

-Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to softly boil. Cook to 240 degrees. (For some reason, mine tends to heat fairly quickly, and I take it off of the burner at 230 degrees.)

-Remove from heat, and add:

1 cup mini marshmallows (or homemade marshmallow recipe here)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

-Mix with a wooden spoon for several minutes. Candy will become creamy, thicken and start to lose it’s gloss.

-Spread onto a buttered dish (Dad and I always used a large dinner plate.)

-This recipe can easily be doubled.

Thank you Anna for a great new recipe!

And I’ve had a request for Life Bellissima’s Homemade Marshmallow recipe too. Which she got from, who got the no-fail recipe from her mother-in-law, Mabel’s cookbook. Don’t you just love modern conveniences? She includes some great step-by-step photos too. (Just click on the website above!)


Thanksgiving Desserts

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only two days away! Last year at this time I was almost to my due date with my fourth child. In fact, I went into labor on the night of Thanksgiving. (I really just wanted to sleep.) But this will be my little turkey’s first Thanksgiving dinner and I’m so excited. (Although that is the first time I’ve ever called him that. I’m just really getting into the holiday.) To top off my excitement we have been enjoying our first snow fall of the year. The chill in the air declares the season!

I thought it would be a good idea to share some suggestions for the holiday, and as I was compiling a list of ideas… it became very clear where my priorities lie. The following are some tried and true sweet treats I can suggest without hesitation that you could proudly serve your family. At least I will be serving most of them to mine.

A classic rustic dessert: Sweet Potato Pie

A tasty twist on a long time favorite: Maple Pecan Pie

It’s a sweet bread, actually being served with dinner: Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

A decadent family tradition: Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s just the best: Mom’s Apple Pie

Okay, this is not a dessert but I had to add it because I will be eating this goodness during the parade and food preparation so it clearly evokes the day: Smoky Cheeseball

Happy Baking & Making!


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.)