Can you believe that of all the years I have been baking I have NEVER made a snickerdoodle? Isn't that craziness?! It is such a traditional cookie, but I've just never been inspired to make them. That all changed this week when I stumbled upon this special recipe saved on my computer that I had completely forgotten about. It is a wonderfully soft snickerdoodle, no crunchy flat hockey puck cookies here! And the secret is all in the chilling process, so whatever you do don't even think about skipping that step!! You really must try them, they make your house smell so delicious, cinnamon almost makes me have a warm feeling.

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place in refrigerator to chill. Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer (with the paddle attachment) cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, combining well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually stir in flour mixture at a low speed until completely blended. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes (do not skip this step, it helps the cookies keep their beautiful shape). While the dough is chilling in a small bowl combine the 3 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Scoop about 1-inch balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 10 minutes. Make sure to chill baking sheets and dough between batches.
Lemon Heavens are the perfect mix of sinfully delicious melt in your mouth cheesecake, with a hint of smooth white chocolate, and just enough citrus to tickle the tongue! Topped with white chocolate curls and arranged on a elegant cake stand, makes this presentation a winner for any party. And their mini size allows for easy handling so guests are free to grab one or two, while still being able to socialize. But don’t let there size foul you, from the first bite to the last these lemon sensations will tantalize your taste buds, leaving you more then satisfied.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar

2 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 squares premium white baking chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup lemon curd mixed into batter
1/3 cup lemon curd warmed to spread on top

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix Crust ingredients, press evenly into bottoms of 12 (2-1/2-inch) paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 7 min.Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Mix in Batter Flavorings. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in Mix-Ins. Spoon batter evenly into prepared cups, filling each two-thirds full. Bake 25 min or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Warm lemon curd to spread on top. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Ripe bananas always equal banana bread in my book! I wanted to make something a little different then just plain jane bread, so threw some coco powder, sour cream and chocolate chips into the mix! Hope you enjoy the new recipe, next week will be cheesecake style so get ready for some rich deliciousness.

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
6 medium super ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened coco powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 2 9x5 loaf pans or 2 muffin pans. Cream together butter, sugar and eggs (one at a time) in a large mixing bowl. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla. In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking soda,cinnamon, salt and coco until well combined. Slowly incooperate a little of the flour mixture at a time into banana batter. Blend in sour cream until well combined, then add chocolate chips & mix well.
If you can believe it, all the years I have been baking and trying countless recipes, I've never made blondies! Now chocolate brownies are some what of a traditional treat in my family, most of them are chocoholics and sometimes find it hard to venture away from that rich coco taste. But this week I decided to change it up a little, after all they say blondes have more fun right? The blondie recipe I've developed is not the generic version that many would consider, just not my style to be boring! Instead I incorporated some smooth white chocolate and for some more texture a few semi-sweet chips. But whats really wonderful about this batter is that you can change it to fit your desire so easily, instead of adding a few chips, why not try some M&M's, nuts or even swirls of peanut butter or nutella mmmm. Although these are pieces of buttery heaven, I myself prefer a rich chocolate brownie, but they are definitely worth a try!

White Chocolate Blondies w/ Semi-Sweet Chips
8oz white chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x9 baking pan, set aside. Melt white chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler, over simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth and set aside. Using an electric mixer beat eggs until foamy. With the mixer still running gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Drizzle the melted white chocolate mixture slowly into batter. Combine the flour and salt and fold into the white chocolate batter. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before cutting into bars.
Mmmm the spanish doughnut, also known as churro. I have many fond childhood memories of these cinnamon sugary delights. The aroma especially is what always attracted me to them as a child. And there is something so simple and fun about them, who doesn't like to dip things in chocolate, right? I've seen other recipes for such cupcakes but I wanted to develop it a little further. I made 2 different versions of these scrumptious cupcakes and used Dollhouse Bake Shoppe's churro recipe as my base.

I first did a cinnamon graham cupcake with a chocolate ganache filling and a cinnamon graham cream cheese frosting.

The 2nd type was the same base cinnamon graham cupcake but instead of filling the cupcakes I simply used the ganache as the frosting and dusted them with cinnamon + graham cracker crumbs.

So far the verdict in the family is they enjoy the simplicity of the 2nd version but are in love with the frosting in the first so it is hard for them to decide. If you make these, come back and let me know the version you went with and what you thought, I'd love to hear others opinions :) Happy Baking!

Churro Cupcakes
(Cinnamon graham cupcakes w/ chocolate ganache filling and cinnamon graham cream cheese frosting)
3 1/4 cup cake flour, shifted
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cup sugar
5 large eggs (separated into 5 yolks, reserving only 3 egg whites)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cup whole milk, room temp

8oz chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 8oz packaged cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups confectioners sugar

Cake-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, set aside. Combine graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar in a small bowl and pour in the melted butter. Stir until combined, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat about 3 minutes more, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract and cinnamon. On low speed, mix in 1/3 flour mixture and 1/2 the milk, repeat alternating between the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over beat once the flour mixture is added.

With an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium-stiff peaks form and fold into the batter. Fold in the graham cracker-brown sugar mixture. Scoop the batter into the lined cupcake pan. Bake 22 minutes for mini cupcakes or 27 minutes for regular-size cupcakes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Ganche-Place cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 2-3 minutes (watch cream, when it begins to boil take it out). Put chocolate in a medium sized bowl and pour hot cream over the top. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir or whisk until well combined and completely smooth. Chill the ganache to a thick spreading consistency. Best to leave in the fridge over night, but if your inpatient like me placing in the freezer for a bit works awesome too ;) Using a knife, in the center of the cupcake cut out a cone, slice off the "pointy" end of the cone, leaving just the circular base. Fill cake with the ganache and place the circular piece onto as a plug to seal the filling in.

Frosting-Combine the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar in a small bowl and pour in the melted butter. Stir until combined and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Reduce the speed to low, and add the confectioners' sugar until well blended. Increase the speed to high and beat about 3 minutes more, or until light and creamy. Fold in the graham cracker-brown sugar mixture. Place the icing in pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip. Pipe the icing on the cooled cupcakes. Garnish the cupcakes with graham cracker crumbs, a piece of cinnamon sugar graham cracker, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Don't even try to argue with me, chocolate and peanut butter married together is pure bliss! This recipe came about because #1 currently can't leave the house due to recovery from a recent surgery, which meant no going to the grocery store, had to use what I had. And #2 brownies sounded like fun, but I'm completely and utterly addicted to making what was left to do?...combine the 2!! Brownie mix + extra chocolate + peanut butter frosting, really does it get any better then this?! These rich cupcakes are so delicious and make the house smell INCREDIBLE. Just try not to give yourself a tummy ache with all the bowl licking you'll be doing while making the scrumptious frosting.

Double Chocolate Brownie-Cupcakes w. Peanut Butter Frosting
Chocolate fudge brownie mix
3 eggs
2 oz good quality dark chocolate
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp milk

Peanut butter frosting
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 12 cup muffin pan (or line with cupcake liners if preferred). Set a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until chocolate is melted. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm. Whisk eggs in a medium-large bowl to combine; add milk, water and vegetable oil until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Gradually add in brownie mix. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 28-35 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and cool to room temperature before icing.

PB Frosting: Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the heavy cream,beat on high until light & smooth.

Are you a fan of peanut butter, chocolate chips, oatmeal? Well these are most definitely for you! Such a wonderful combination of smooth peanut butter, a toasted oat flavor with a touch of sweet chocolate. The texture is perfectly crisp on the outside with a chewy indulgent middle. This scrumptious recipe is from one of my favorite baking bloggers Brown Eyed Baker, make sure to take a peak at all her other fabulous recipes!

Peanut Butter & Oats Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup all natural creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy)
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl; set aside.

3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and mix together for another minute. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

4. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: The cookies will not look 100% “done” when you pull them out of the oven, but they will continue to bake on the hot baking sheet once taken out of the oven. If they are slightly brown, and are puffy in the middle they are ready to come out promise :)

Makes about 18 cookies

Is your mouth watering yet? Now I personally am not a fan of jelly doughnuts (I'm more of a glazed girl myself) BUT these cupcakes might have me changing my mind! The perfect combination of moist cake with a kick of sweet jam in the center and of course a jelly doughnut is not complete without the powder sugar on top! Your eyes do not deceive you, this is indeed another cake mix recipe-the simplicity and ease of developing new textures and flavor combination's is too wonderful for me to resist lately! Hope you all enjoy this fun, scrumptious cupcake. Next weeks recipe will be 100% homemade goodness with a chocolate theme, be on the look out!

Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

1 (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

1 (3.4 ounces) cheesecake (or vanilla) instant pudding mix

1 cup milk

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1 jar (12 ounces) strawberry preserves

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, milk in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time making sure to incorporate fully. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling them two thirds of the way full.

Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 1 12-15 minutes. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before filling.

Fit a pastry bag with a metal tip that has a large round hole and spoon preserves into the bag. Insert the whole tip into the top center of the cupcake. Generously squirt 1 to 2 Tablespoons preserves into each cupcake (you may need to wipe the tip clean as you go). Continue filling the cupcakes, refilling the pastry bag as needed. When done, sift the cupcake tops with confectioners' sugar.
OH MY GOODNESS all you lemon lovers out there are in for a treat with these little pieces of heaven!! My mom and grandma are both huge lemon fans, and went nuts for these! A wonderful combination of both sweet and tart; a refreshing flavor perfect for those blistering hot summer days. Normally if I'm going to bake I want it to be 100% homemade and I honestly get joy out of measuring every small detail that goes into my goodies. BUT sometimes you just want fun and simple! When I came upon this fast and equally scrumptious recipe by Paula Deen (whom I adore) I just had to try it. I did adjust the originial glaze recipe to give it a bit more of a kick. Hope you enjoy, and don't forget to check back next week for the latest update!

Lemon-licious Cupcakes

1 package yellow cake mix
1 3.5oz package instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
grated zest of 1/2-1 lemon
1 tbsp butter (vegetable oil can be substituted)
2-3 tbsp milk

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, and oil in an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to incoperate completely each time. Pour batter into lined muffin tin, half way up each cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes until bouncy to the touch. Let them cool for a minute or 2, and while they are still hot turn onto a tea towel.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl add sugar, lemon juice, zest and oil, combine well. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time until reaching the desired consistency for dipping.

With your fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they are still warm, covering the entire top of cupcake. Place on wire racks with wax paper underneath to catch any glaze that may drip. Let the glaze set (for about an hour) before storing in air-tight containers.
Introducing Pretty in Pink Sweet's recipe of the week! Every week I will be posting one of my favorite recipes that I turn to time and time again for special occasions, homemade presents, and just those days when you want to share a yummy treat with family and friends :)

Peanut butter cookies are one of those cookies that stand out as a childhood favorite. I have tried many a recipe, but continue to come back to this recipe originally developed from Taste of Home. Why are these so amazing? It is the perfect rule of thirds:thick, soft, AND chewy! They have such a wonderful texture that will have you going back for 2nds with a tall glass of milk, I can promise that. I DON'T suggest substituting butter for the shortening in this recipe-it effects the amazing texture, there is a science to baking folks I promise you it will effect it (although I'm sure they would still be tasty). Enjoy, and don't forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

"Oh Honey" Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
Sugar, for rolling the cookies

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening, butter, peanut butter and honey. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and beat just until incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Roll the dough into 1½-inch balls, and roll each dough ball in sugar. Place the dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet, a couple inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container.

sources: Annies Eat's/Taste of Home

Valentine Cupcakes:
Chocolate cupcakes with pink fluffy buttercream frosting and chocolate heart toppers.

Margarita 21st Birthday Cake:
10" round with 2 HUGE layers of double chocolate cake, raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. fondant details in neon pink,orange and yellow

Purple & Gold Wedding Cake:
Each layer is covered in white fondant, fondant flowers w. candy centers and ribbon around the base of each cake.

1st tier=vanilla cake with cream cheese icing.
2nd tier is marble cake with a chocolate ganache center and buttercream covering.
3rd tier=double chocolate cake with a raspberry filling and buttercream covering