There's something about having a name in the title that you can just tell immediately whatever it is, it's going to be delicious. That's how I felt about Mrs. Siggs Snickerdoodles before I made them. Every time I see a recipe with "My grandmother's..." or "Mrs. ---..." I feel obliged to make it on the spot. It's kind of like what I said about church cookbooks, you just trust the recipes more. I made these for the first time last week and have since made 5 batches. It's a little excessive, yes, but these get eaten up so fast I've got to keep making them. The flavor is absolutely delicious and this is another recipe that falls in the "always turns out right" category. They bake to reveal perfect little cinnamon cracked surfaces, YUM! I'm a chocolate person so it takes a lot for me to make something without a hint of chocolate in it but these cookies did me in. Am I turning into a sugar cookie person now? No. But I've got to make something every once in awhile for those types! And considering I'm pretty much obsessed with these, I guess it's not so bad.

Mrs. Siggs Snickerdoodles
Recipe from


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Every Christmas we give away trays of baked goods to all of our family friends. We've been doing it for as long as I can remember and it's a tradition I love but this year we decided to change it up a little bit. We get lots of trays of goodies every Christmas and they're great but after Christmas you've got so many leftover desserts of your own you don't need all of the old mixed assortments. So, this year we gave everyone little vases of Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks rolled in candy cane sprinkles. I honestly think these look twice as good as any tray we've ever given out. Granted, the homemade buttermints and cream puffs are a treat but these are simple and delicious. I found the sprinkles at Freshmarket and just used regular Rold Gold pretzel rods for the sticks.

Pretzel Rods Dipped in Chocolate
1 12 ounce package pretzel rods
One package bark coating or 11.5 ounce package chocolate chips
Sprinkles of your choice (I used the candy cane ones)

Melt chocolate according to directions but be careful not to burn it. I usually use the defrost setting on my microwave on medium and stir it every 2 minutes or so. Once coating is melted take a spatula or spoon and with pretzels one at a time spread evenly over 3/4 of pretzel. It is best to let the chocolate pour over the end and then shake off the excess chocolate on the edge of the bowl. Shake sprinkles over all sides of pretzels and set on parchment paper.

Finished product!

By this point everyone has made oreo truffles or cake balls. They are both simple, yet over-the-top amazing little treats. Last week we celebrated my brother's college graduation from UNC and so to celebrate I made a few trays of these in carolina blue and white. I come from a family of Duke fans so having the house turn Carolina blue for one day was great. A little drizzle is something that really impresses the average person despite its simplicity. Because of this, I put drizzle over everything. Even simple cake or oreo balls get the bakery-style touch depending on how you choose to decorate them. I'll put the recipes up here just in case you don't have them. In all the rush of the day and the graduation party I forgot to take any pictures of the inside, guess you'll just have to make them to see!
Even though these recipes have circulated around a lot of recipe sites I know the cake balls come from Bakerella and she has the oreo recipe on her site as well.

Oreo Truffles
1 package oreos
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 package candy coating

Crush oreos (cream filling and all) until fine. In a large bowl combine crushed oreos and cream cheese. Work cream cheese in with hands until incorporated. When finished roll mixture into balls and dip in coating. Decorate however you'd like!

Cake Balls
Recipe from Bakerella

1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

1. Make cake as directed on box and let cool once removed from oven.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1/2 can frosting
3. Roll mixture into small balls and place on cookie sheet
4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

I got this recipe off of Sugar Cooking and I honestly don't know what I would do without these cookies. They are delicious! Don't you love those recipes that turn out perfectly every time? Perfect shape, perfect texture, perfect taste...these cookies are just perfect. I like to have cookies around my apartment at most times and usually this is the batch you'll find. These cookies sent me on a peanut butter craze. After baking one batch, next thing you know I've got peanut butter cakes, peanut butter ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter pie-there is no end. I'm a Jif person, and I always use reduced fat jiff. It's funny how 30% less fat (or whatever it is) makes me feel so much better about eating it. No need to tell me it's just the same, I've got my mind set. I tried these with Peter Pan peanut butter the last time I made them and though the results were still good the peanut butter flavor was much stronger and the texture a little different. The recipe originally comes from Baked cookbook,

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe from Baked

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped


1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and peanut butter until just incorporated.
3. Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

These biscuits are my family's go-to for any big occasion. Even though we all love a warm batch of Sister Schubert's, it's hard to deny that homemade bread is better. The recipe comes from my step-sister and her husband, they gave it to us last year with a few jars of homemade jam and we've put it to good use ever since. They're amazing right out of the oven, never dry and very flavorful. Because we're a family full of butter addicts we inevitably slap on the butter to the individual biscuits but they're fine without it as well. I know for a fact we'll be making two batches of these easy biscuits for Christmas tomorrow.
Merry Christmas Eve!

Touch of Grace Biscuits
Serves: 10 biscuits

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups Southern self rising flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp shortening
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray 8-9" cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine self rising flour, salt, and sugar in medium mixing bowl. With your fingers, work the shortening into the flour mixture until there are no lumps bigger than a pea. Stir in the cream and buttermilk. The dough will be wet and will look like cottage cheese. Spoon a biscuit into the all-purpose flour to coat the outside. Pick it up and shape into a small round while shaking off the excess flour. Place the biscuits into the pan tightly against one another so that they will rise up not out. Bake just above the center of the oven until slightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Then brush with melted butter. Cool 1-2 minutes, then serve immediately.

I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie so this year for Thanksgiving I decided to go with a peanut butter dessert. There's nothing about peanut butter that screams Thanksgiving so it was a bit of an odd choice but because it was so good I don't think anyone minded. It's Christmas now, so I'm just a little late for my Thanksgiving post but I've slacked on putting up about 10 recipes and now that I finally have time I'm putting them all up at once. This dessert is nothing too impressive but it's full of flavor and a sure crowd pleaser. We had a big range of ages, from 19 to 85, and everyone thought it was great.

Giant Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich
Recipe from Taste of Home Joann Belack
Yield: 12 servings

2 packages (16 ounces each) ready to bake refrigerated peanut butter cup cookie dough
6 whole chocolate graham crackers, crushed
1 cup cold milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1- 1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

1) Let dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. Press into two ungreased 9-in springform pans; sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until set. Cool Completely.
2) In a large bowl, whisk the milk, cram, and pudding mix for 2 minutes or until soft-set. In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add pudding and ice cream; beat until smooth.
3) Spread over one cookie crust. Remove the sides of the second pan; place crust, crumb side down, over filling. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
4)Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Place hazelnut spread in a small microwave safe bowl; cover and microwave at 50% power for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, stirring twice. Remove the sides of pan, cut dessert into slices. Drizzle the hazelnut spread.

A good ganache is hard to beat. So the other night when I was browsing through cookbooks looking for something good to bake for dessert the simple, but elegant chocolate ganache cake stood out. I got this recipe from Inspired Cooking, First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC's recent cookbook. If there is one thing I've learned about church or junior league cookbooks it is that almost everything is good. First of all people only want to give their best recipes if their names are attached to them but secondly you're much more likely to run into recipes that have been passed down in families through generations.
This recipe is ridiculously easy but because the taste is so different from a regular chocolate cake people automatically assume you've put a lot of work into it (love those kind of desserts!) I served it alongside vanilla ice cream with raspberries. My stepdad commented that he liked it because it was "not overly chocolaty", which is something I have had to learn to take as a good thing despite the fact that overly chocolaty is what I look for in desserts. Basically, this dessert is too easy and good to not at least try.

Chocolate Ganache Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 can (1 1/2 cups) chocolate syrup, preferably Hershey's
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add syrup and vanilla extract. Add flour and mix to combine. Do not over mix. Butter an 8inch round cake pan and place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean. Let cool in pan. For the ganache, place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until smooth and warm, stirring constantly. Place cake upside down on rack and pour ganache evenly over cake. Do not refrigerate.

Serves 8
(We made it work for 12)

Until yesterday I worked at a great Italian restaurant where I live. It is Americanized Italian and absolutely delicious but I decided waitressing just wasn't for me. Though I love meeting people and I like the restaurant environment, I'm not a fan of working nights during the school year. I did take a lot away from working there though, I think working at a restaurant is something that everyone should experience. Overall people were great, as always some people weren't but hey, that's life.
Anywho, the restaurant had a fantastic black bottom peanut butter mousse pie called the "Millionaire Pie" which was a customer (and server) favorite. I couldn't find a good recipe in any of my cookbooks so I checked online and decided there were two that I liked different parts of. So here is my combination of a Black Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie recipe and another Peanut Butter Mousse Cake recipe, both from the Bon Appetit recipes on Epicurious.
It was different than the Millionaire pie, but still delicious. I liked it better after having it chill in the fridge overnight, it gave the chocolate and crust time to harden. The best part about peanut butter mousse is that it takes a thick ingredient, peanut butter, and makes it really light. Granted, a slice of this pie will still fill you up for hours but I love to justify unhealthy foods and the lightness is my justification.

Had I for once in my life been patient, the chocolate on top may have turned
out better. So don't forget to give it time to cool!

Black Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie
Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit

8 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
Chocolate layer on bottom
1 1/3 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 18-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups chilled whipping cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(From Recipe #1)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Blend graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture over bottom and up sides of prepared pie dish. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips, 2/3 cup cream, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium heat until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Whisk until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of crust. Freeze 10 minutes.
(From recipe #2)

Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and cream cheese in large bowl to blend. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract and beat until well blended. Using clean dry beaters, beat 2 cups whipping cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form; fold into peanut butter mixture in 4 additions. Spoon filling into prepared crust.

Combine 1/2 cup cream, 1/4 cup sugar and espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until espresso powder and sugar dissolve and mixture comes to simmer. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool topping 5 minutes. Spread topping evenly over filling. Refrigerate cake until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover cake and keep refrigerated.) Serve cake chilled.

(sorry about the poor quality pictures, I was working with a bad camera here)

Since I purchased Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours, I've oggled over every page at least 15 times. I've baked 5 or 6 recipes from it, needless to say all of which were delicious. The book is failproof. But this basic chocolate chip cookie recipe I hadn't tried yet. My favorite in the book is a blueberry crumb cake that I will undoubtedly post once I find some cheap berries but for now I decided to stick to something new and simple.
I polled the roommates on which recipe I should try, a chocolate chip cookie one or the chunky oatmeal and peanut butter chipsters, and they all answered the peanut butter cookies.. apparently I had already picked out which one I wanted based on the fact I didn't choose the chipsters though, whoops! I think I have a tendency to ask for people's opinions when I already know my answer. I had a chocolate craving and the others required 2 hours of fridge time so voila, Dorie Greenspan's "Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" with cocoa powder to give them the extra chocolate I was craving. These turned out perfect and all in under 20 minutes.

Dorie Greenspan's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour *
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped into chips, or 2 cups store bought chocolate chips (I used a mixture of bittersweet and semi-sweet which worked fine too)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

*The original recipe calls for 2 cups of ap flour, but if you would like to make chocolate chocolate chip cookies you can sub 3/4 cup cocoa for 3/4 ap flour

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed t low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. If you'd like, you can freeze rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they're solid. There is no need to defrost the dough before baking-just add another minute or two to the baking time)
Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake the cookies--one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point--for 10-12 minutes. They may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remainder or the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Grab a cold glass of milk and enjoy!!!

I discovered the recipe for this chocolate chip cookie tart about 2 weeks ago and I've made it three times since. I found it in Elinor Klivans' the essential chocolate chip cookbook, and it's so good that even though it's the only thing I've made from the book, I feel confident in saying this cookbook is amazing. I love a good cookie cake but I almost always encounter some sort of problem with them. The cakes always get crispy on the outside and by the time the inside cooks it's either burnt on the bottom or the whole thing dries out in a day (the latter of which is just one of the many good reasons to eat things straight out of the oven).
Anyways, since I've made this recipe twice already straight from the book I decided today to give it a little Halloween twist since I absolutely love Halloween.
I meant to go by the store and buy some orange food coloring but it was one of those days when I went to Harris Teeter and bought just about everything but what I intended to buy so I stuck with the black and white color scheme. The recipe normally calls for a layer of whipped cream on top of the chocolate filling but today I made a white chocolate filling instead and did my best attempt at creating a spider web design.
The cake with the whipped cream topping is amazing but the white chocolate on top adding the extra frosting is pretty darn delicious too. This recipe is a must try! It comes out perfectly every time and you can also do different variations for the topping on the cookie base, can't get better than that.

Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cream Tart
Elinor Klivans
Mixing time: 20 minutes for crust, filling, and topping
Baking: 350 F for about 17 minutes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup packed ligh brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (6 ounces ) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the crust
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smoothly blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake just until the top begins to turn golden but the center is still soft, about 17 minutes. Cool the crust in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the filling
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter melts. The mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175 F on an instant read thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove pan from heat, add chocolate chips and let mixture sit for 30 seconds to let chips soften. Whisk chocolate together smoothly and add vanilla. Let the mixture cool and thicken at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Spread sauce over crust leaving a 1-inch edge uncovered, refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm the filling.
If making a spider web design, cut around the edges making semi circles, if not leave as is.
Topping (this is where I changed it around)
For regular tart:
In a large bowl beat cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until firm peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling, mounding it slightly in the center. Serve or cover carefully and refrigerate. Serve cold.
For spider web:
Repeat the filling instructions but with white chocolate chips, use piper (or do it on the college student budget and cut the end off of a ziploc) and make your best spider web possible-add fake spiders if you want!


I've been meaning to make a blog to follow my baking for about a year now but am just now, at 3:15am the night before a 9am midterm, getting around to it. It's funny the things you decide to do when there are a million other things you should be doing. Although I don't have a recipe to post at the moment, my last midterm is tomorrow so there will definitely be some celebratory baking going on. I have a feeling I would be baking even without this being the case though seeing that the unhealthy to healthy food ratio in my apartment right now is way off for my taste. I've got lots of favorite recipes and no pictures yet but this blog should motivate me to bake more so I can get them all up! 

Thanks for reading!