Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Being The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I couldn’t help but get into the holiday spirit by making these simple, yet sweet desserts. And I’m proud to announce the end of the sticky mess in the kitchen era from my track record of making Rice Krispie treats {thanks to that unhelpful recipe on the cereal box.} These Rice Krispies are buttered to perfection & easy to make for those short on time.

A little extra effort is needed for “Lumps of Coal,” but the idea was too cute to pass up. Maybe someone out there can relate to getting a “lump of coal” type gift for Christmas, like myself. One year my best friend from junior high & I exchanged gifts. She gave me this huge white box that had me lit with curiosity and excitement. Every day leading up to Christmas I’d walk by the Christmas tree, just dying to know what was awaiting for me inside that box. It wasn’t until Christmas day arrived, that I would discover the mystery behind it. After purposely saving the gift for last, I untied the bows and popped open the lid to find ….. A ROCK. A BIG, BORING ROCK. That was the last year we exchanged Christmas gifts. If she’s lucky, I may send her some Rice Krispie coal this year…or just a bag of real coal.

Happy Holidays. XOXO....little j Y

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Pops
Recipe Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
Concept Courtesy of: Twig & Thistle

1 stick butter, unsalted + extra for the pan
1 10oz bag mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 bag dark cocoa candy melts {optional}

Start by buttering insides of 8x8 pan or any sized pan of your choice. Then butter insides of large bowl. Pour Rice Krispies cereal into bowl & set aside.

In medium-large pot, melt butter over medium heat. After butter has melted, continue to stir and watch as it transitions from a foamy state to a clear golden color. Reduce heat to medium-low & just as the butter turns a golden, nutty color, remove the pot from heat. Stir in mini marshmallows. If marshmallows don’t melt completely, return to low heat on the stove until melted. Pour marshmallow mixture onto Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until combined.

Pour mixture into 8x8 pan. Use buttered pieces of parchment paper to firmly press into pan. Let cool completely.

Once cooled, cut Rice Krispies treats into popsicle-sized rectangles or sucker-sized squares. Finish by adding a ribbon-donned lollipop stick.

holiday party at the hospital :)

Rice Krispie “Lumps of Coal”
Idea Courtesy of: I Heart Nap Time

LOOK at all them LUMPS of COAL!
Prepare recipe as shown above. After marshmallows have melted completely, add black icing dye. Stir in enough until desired color is reached. Pour marshmallow mixture over Rice Krispies & mix until combined. Use buttered hands to form odd “coal” shapes. Let cool on parchment paper. Place coal in bags tied with a ribbon and “Lump of Coal” decorative sign. 

Find free printable here that you can size edit using word doc or email me at for a smaller version :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas!

What time of the year is it?! GIRL SCOUT cookie time, that’s what! Except I didn’t feel like waiting till Spring to get my snack on, so I spent my day off making my favorite Girl Scout cookie….the beloved Samoas! Humongous in size and sweet with delight, just one of these cookies will leave you feeling satisfied :)
XOXO....little j Y
Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas!
*Adapted from: the little epicurean
Makes about 26 cookies

Cookie Dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp whole milk

Coconut Caramel Topping:
2-3 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

Dipping Chocolate:
1 bag dark cocoa candy melts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder salt, vanilla, and milk. Add in a sprinkle of flour if dough comes out too sticky.  Cover dough with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes.

After chilled, roll out dough to desired thickness. Cut into 2-3 inch rounds then place onto the baking sheet. Cut a smaller hole out of the center. {Get creative if you don’t have cookie cutters lying around the house. I used a water bottle cap to make the holes!} Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

For the topping, keep oven at 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with layer of coconut. Bake until lightly toasted, occasionally stirring to keep from burning. Set aside to cool.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt sugar on medium high heat. As sugar begins to melt, reduce heat to medium. Stir as needed with a whisk until sugar liquefies and turns amber brown. Add butter to pan and whisk until melted. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in the cream until combined. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce and set aside. Stir the toasted coconut into the rest of the caramel sauce in the pan until thoroughly incorporated.

Assembling the Cookies:

#1 Spread cooled shortbread cookie with thin layer of reserved caramel sauce.
#2 Add layer of coconut caramel topping. Set aside to harden.
#3 Melt dark cocoa candy melts according to instructions on bag, then dip bottom of cookie into melted chocolate. Flip cookie upside down to let chocolate harden and cool.
#4 Once chocolate bottom has cooled, flip cookies back over with the coconut-side up. Drizzle leftover chocolate over cookies using piping bag or zip lock bag with small tip cut off the end. Let chocolate cool.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Baked Brownies

BAKED brownie

I’ve had this BAKED Brownie recipe tucked away for a while now & finally was able to try it last week. It’s claim to fame was supposedly after being announced as one of Oprah’s favorite things, but I have my faulty DVR to thank for missing that episode! The recipe comes from the baked shop in NYC & is known for it’s rich flavor & fudge-like consistency. I had my expectations set high in believing this brownie was going to rank high as THE best brownie ever. Was it good? Yes. Was it intensely rich? Yes. Was it THE best? No. Sadly, not for me. But, I am a milk-chocolate loving girl & the flavor of these brownies was just too rich for my taste-buds. But none of us are alike, and gosh darn if Oprah loves them, then I’m sure there’s a lot of others out there that will too! Put this recipe to the test & decide for yourself, or just go the lazy route & pick up The Baked Brownie box mix at Williams-Sonoma :) XOXO....little j Y

The Baked Brownie
Adapted from: baked NYC's BAKED Brownie

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
 5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. In a large bowl set over simmering water, stir together the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder until melted and smooth. Keeping the bowl over the water, turn off the heat and add the sugars. Whisk until combined.

Remove boil from double boiler and let cool to room temperature. {Pop in the fridge or freezer for 5 minutes to speed up the process.} Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, add 3 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the 2 remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Stir in the vanilla.

Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Do not over mix the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares & serve.

take a bite into BAKED goodness.....a brownie like no other