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      Recipes — cookies

      Lemon Vanilla Madeleines

      Lemon Vanilla Madeleines

      My son loves madaleines. He was introduced to them by the sweetest teacher getting his team ready for an academic decathlon. They were learning about art, particularly art found in the Louvre. To get them excited, she brought all kinds of Parisian confections. It worked! He remembered all the facts for the competition and fell in love with madaleines. It’s been years since then, but he’s still asking for them!  These are the perfect cakey cookie.  And the lemon and vanilla flavors go so well together.  Add a little dusting of powdered sugar and they will be calling your name! Thank you Ms. Mueller for introducing madaleines to a bunch of 5th graders:).



      • 2 eggs, plus one egg yolk
      • 3/4 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
      • 1 1/2 tsp of VanillaPura Madagascar/rum vanilla extract
      • zest of half a lemon
      • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
      • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) melted butter
      • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar



      1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the wells of the madeleine pan with butter.
      2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with an electric hand mixer until they are pale yellow and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add sugar and blend.  Add vanilla paste, lemon zest, and lemon juice and blend again.
      3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture to the batter and gently fold it in by hand.
      4. Slowly pour in the melted butter and fold the batter gently by hand until completely incorporated.
      5. Spoon the madeleine batter into each of the prepared wells, filling them 80-90 percent full.  Or you can fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe them through a large tip into each well.  Tap the pan on the countertop to settle the batter and release air bubbles.
      6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown and tops of the cakes are just dry and springy to the touch.
      7. After cooling in the pan for 1-2 minutes, invert the pan and cool the madeleines on a cooling rack before dusting with powdered sugar if desired.

      Kudos to the lovely little kitchen for sharing this recipe.

      Cookie Butter Ice Cream

      Cookie Butter Ice Cream

      Are you looking for that perfect summer dessert? This is it! No cook homemade cookie butter ice cream.  I have to admit… I’m a cookie butter cookie junkie!  Trader Joe’s has me at hello… Where are your cookie butter cookies!!!

       I hide them from my kids, because its just my special little secret treat that I have absolutely no desire to share.  I know it sounds a little selfish, but every mom has got to have her secret treat that she nibbles on while watching her favorite show… uninterrupted!

        I thought the cookies were that special treat. But now that its summer and it’s hotter than Hades, I’m in need of some summer sustenance,   meaning…ice cream! 

       Maybe it was magic or just destiny, but I came across this recipe from cute Tessa at Handle the Heat.  Cookie butter AND ice cream!!  This is a little harder to hide from my 2 boys so I’ve ended up sharing after all.

       I love love love this ice cream! It's so easy to make and no cooking required!

      Important tip...

      Make sure the ice cream mixture is completely chilled before churning. If it’s not cold enough it’ll just be soup and never thicken into ice cream.
      Same goes for the ice cream freezer bowl. Ensure it is completely frozen before churning.


      • 3/4 cup cookie butter spread, divided
      • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, chilled
      • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
      • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
      • 1 tablespoon Madagascar vodka VanillaPura extract
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 12 Speculoos cookies, chopped into small chunks



      1. Place 1/2 cup of the cookie butter in a heat-safe bowl and microwave until just melted. Let cool.
      2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cookie butter, milk, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, Madagascar vanilla, and salt until combined. Place in the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. In the last few moments of churning, gradually add in the Speculoos cookie chunks until and continue churning until incorporated.
      3. Slightly melt the remaining 1/4 cup cookie butter spread. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container in batches, spooning the Speculoos spread in between layers of ice cream in a swirled pattern. Cover the ice cream surface with plastic wrap and freeze until the ice cream is firm and flavor is ripened, at least 2 hours.

      Have fun cooling off with this summer gift of goodness!

      Worry Free Cookie Dough

      Worry Free Cookie Dough

      Ok, do I have any cookie dough lovers out there?  Who doesn’t, right? I made chocolate chips cookies last week for the boys for a little after school sweet surprise.  The funny thing was, the first thing they said when they got home wasn’t, “hey Mom thanks for the cookies!”  It was,“ Is there any cookie dough left?” Of course they ate the cookies too, but their first thought was, cookie DOUGH!  They know I always have left over cookie dough, because I make a double batch, so I have enough to scoop up the rest in my cookie scooper and freeze. This is great for those last minute late night chocolate cravings.

       I’m not a cookie dough Nazi. If they want to snitch some dough from the bowl, I’m good.  We collect our eggs everyday from a cute little coup in our backyard. The eggs are fresher than fresh.  Although, if they prefer to eat more cookie dough rather than cookies, maybe I need to re-think this and find a recipe without eggs.  But wait, not only are the raw eggs potentially harmful,  I just learned that raw flour is too. What?! I can’t tell you how many undercooked rolls I’ve eaten in my life.  Not to mention, the bowls and bowls of cookie dough. So, even though I’ve never fallen deathly ill, it may be a good idea to find a safer recipe option without eggs and raw flour and try it out.  But...I'll never give up my vanilla!:)  



      Toasting flour in a 350F oven for just 5 minutes we kill off any harmful bacteria, allowing us to eat this edible cookie dough without fear.

      To make it:

      1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (this will make transferring the flour so easy).
      2. Measure out your flour and evenly spread it over the parchment paper.
      3. Bake in your preheated oven for 5-7 minutes.

      To ensure that the flour is really safe, I recommend using an instant read thermometer to verify that the temperature is at least 160F. Allow flour to cool before proceeding with recipe. During the heat treating process, I found that some of the flour has the tendency to clump or bake together.  To keep these clumps out of your cookie dough, run the flour through a sifter before stirring it into your edible cookie dough.  Also, make sure you let it cool!  It cools quickly, but too-hot flour can melt your other ingredients, leaving you with nothing but an edible mess.


      • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (215g)
      • cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature! (226g)
      • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, tightly packed (250g)
      • 1/4 cup sugar (50g)
      • teaspoon VanillaPura Madagascar rum vanilla extract
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1-2 Tablespoons milk optional*
      • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips I recommend using a mix of mini and regular sized (85g)

      Optional Mix-Ins:

      • creamy peanut butter
      • colored sprinkles
      • crumbled Oreos


      1. Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread flour in an even layer over the parchment paper.
      2. Bake on 350F (72C) oven for 5-7 minutes**
      3. Allow flour to cool, then run it through a sifter to break up any clumps that may have formed while baking.  Set aside.
      4. In a large bowl (preferably a stand mixer), combine softened butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Use an electric mixer to cream together until very creamy and very well-combined, 1-3 minutes.
      5. Gradually add cooled, sifted flour, stirring until completely combined. If dough is too stiff after thoroughly stirring, add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
      6. Stir in chocolate chips (and any additional add-ins you might like!)
      7. Store cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Cookie dough will firm up some in the refrigerator, so for best enjoyment let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before enjoying leftovers

      Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies ( AKA Peanut Butter Blossoms)

      Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies                            ( AKA Peanut Butter Blossoms)

      These peanut butter kiss cookies are my go to when I’m needing a sweet, salty, and chocolatey fix:). They've been around forever!

      Actually, they’ve been around since 1957. As the story goes... Freda Smith intended to make a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies then realized she was out of chocolate chips. I hate when that happens. It’s usually because my kids have just gone in the pantry and eaten them all,  except for maybe 10 left in the bottom of the bag. I went in the other day and there were three bags, each left with about 10 chips. Go figure?!  I caught one of them sitting on the flour bucket with the light out door closed, bag in hand with the biggest smile!:)  I shouldn’t be surprised though, he’s the same one at the old age of two, drinking the Hershey syrup straight out of the bottle. Ha! That kid has a sweet spot for chocolate.:).

      Enough about my son’s love of chocolate back to Frieda... Being the resourceful baker she was, she grabbed a bag of Hershey's Kisses instead and baked them atop of that salty sweet confection. The story goes on, Ms. Smith entered her great mistake into the ninth annual Pillsbury Bake-off competition.  Can you believe she didn’t even place in the contest?  Come on! Really?

      Years later her recipe lives on in many, SO MANY wonderful variations.  My favorite version of dear Freda’s peanut butter blossoms come from  Still, I make my own tweeks. Don't forget the Madasgascar/rum Vanillapura extract. It makes these cookies even more buttery and sweet. And don’t go easy on it. I used about 2 1/2 tsp and it was perfect!

      Oh!  Roll those babies in sugar before you bake um. Topped with that melted chocolate kiss, they are irresistible!


      YIELD: 2-3 DOZEN






      • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
      • ½ teaspoon salt
      • ½ teaspoon baking soda
      • ½ teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
      • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, softened but still cool
      • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
      • ¾ cup granulated sugar
      • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
      • 2 large eggs
      • 2 teaspoons Madagascar/rum Vanillapura extract (I add a little more;)
      • 1-2 bags of Hershey's Chocolate Kisses (any variety), wrappers removed. My favorite are just the classics.


      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure an oven rack is positioned in the middle of the oven. Line two aluminum rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
      2. In a medium bowl, whisk together, 1 ¾ cups flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a food processor or blender, process the remaining 1 cup flour and 1 cup peanuts together until finely ground and well-combined. Stir the peanut flour mixture into the bowl with the flour, salt and baking soda/powder.
      3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer), until the mixture is light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and continue to beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, then beat in the vanilla, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, if necessary. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes until it is fairly stiff.
      4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (and dip them in a bowl of sugar:) ,space them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes, until the outsides are set and the edges are just barely beginning to crack. Working quickly, remove the sheet from the oven and press one Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another 1-2 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden and the Hershey Kiss is glistening (but not melted into a puddle).
      5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before removing the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and Hershey Kisses.



      Nostalgic Sugar Cookies

      Nostalgic Sugar Cookies

      Do any of you have that friend that everything they touch turns to gold?  I do:). My dearest friend Rebecca, truly IS, the most talented lady I know.  Everything she bakes, cooks, photographs... turns to gold! We were neighbors, just across the street. There was a worn path from our home to hers.  Really, we considered her and her family, our family. It was a magical time. My most beloved and cherished recipes come from her.  She now lives far away, but every time I use one of her recipes, its like she's still JUST across the street. Do any of you have a recipe that takes you back to a magical place?

      Oh, and yeah, these really are the best sugar cookies you'll EVER bake:). You won’t be disappointed. Every bite is filled with that perfect vanilla, buttery, soft sweet goodness, you deserve from the perfect sugar cookie.

      Every Christmas we have a holiday cookie decorating party. My boys would always ask, “When are we having our cookie party?” Now my niece’s and nephew’s littles are asking. Everyone has their favorite cookie cutter. I have collected too many through the years. But some how they all get used:). I love traditions at Christmas. So fun to make and even better to eat! 



      • 4 cups flour
      • 1 tsp. baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 cup butter
      • 2 beaten eggs
      • ¼ cup milk
      • 1 tsp Madagascar Vanillapura extract
      • 1 heaping cup of sugar
      • 1 tsp soda



      1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and butter, until you get a cornmeal texture.

      2. In a separate bowl, add well beaten eggs, milk, vanillapura. Mix in the soda with the sugar. Beat all ingredients together.

      3.Pour the sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Add just enough flour to the dough to make it workable. Roll out onto a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.

      4. Bake @ 375 degrees for 8 minutes.