Rocky Road Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

If I didn’t have work on the coldest day of this polar vortex, you can bet that I would be snuggled under a blanket with these brownies in the oven. Strangely I wasn’t a fan of rocky road when I was little, but as I have grown a liking for nuts in desserts over the years, I have come to like this classic flavor. These brownies are fudgy and rich, and topped with additional chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and chopped nuts. But if you just want some plain, classic brownies you don’t have to add the toppings! This recipe is easy to make and truly perfect for a winter day!  

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Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Ok so these cookies aren’t your typical kind of cookie. They are actually healthier than normal cookies! They are not sweet. Yes, yes I know it is a crazy concept to make a cookie non-sweet, but hear me out. Instead, these cookies are source of energy thanks to their wholesome ingredients, such as whole wheat flour, rolled oats, coconut oil, honey, and superfoods like seeds and raisins. I don’t know about you, but during the holiday season - a time that is filled with sugar cookies, fudge, gingerbread men, etc - it’s nice to have a break from the sweetness and instead have a healthy treat. This dessert (or should I say snack) recipe is incredibly easy to make, and takes minimal time to do so!

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Homemade Baklava

Homemade Baklava

Baklava is a Middle Eastern pastry comprised of a walnut cinnamon mixture sandwiched between countless layers of phyllo and soaked in honey. It is my absolute favorite thing to get at the annual Greek Festival in Minneapolis because it is so amazingly good. It is incredibly rich too, so you don’t need much to feel satisfied. It isn’t difficult to make - it can just tedious in the preparation when creating all of those layers. But trust me, it is definitely worth the effort!

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Ginger Chai Whoppie Pies

Ginger Chai Whoppie Pies

These ginger chai whoppie pies are the perfect fall treat! The cookies are rich with the flavors of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and molasses. Sandwiched between is a maple buttercream frosting. The taste reminds me of eating a gingerbread cookie while enjoying a cup of chai - a combo that I have never done before, but it’s something I can imagine. The recipe is easy to make, and the aroma that the cookies emit as they bake is heavenly!

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Iced Maple Oatmeal Cookies

Iced Maple Oatmeal Cookies

These Iced Maple Oatmeal Cookies have a similar taste to the store-bought ones, and yet are very different. Unlike the store-bought ones, these cookies are not hard and crunchy, but rather, they are soft and moist. The maple flavoring is distinct without being overpowering, and works wonderfully with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices to create the PERFECT spiced, fall treat. Once baked, the cookies are dipped in a powdered sugar icing to add additional flavoring and sweetness. These cookies are easy to make, and makes 3 dozen cookies - so this recipe works great for large groups…

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German Chocolate Millionaire Bars

German Chocolate Millionaire Bars

Alright let’s talk about these German Chocolate Millionaire Bars. So, if you don’t know what a millionaire bar is, it is essentially a Twix bar. It has a shortbread cookie base, with a caramel middle, and topped with chocolate ganache. I made a few adjustments to this combo though by moving the chocolate ganache layer to the middle, and switching the caramel for the coconut pecan filling of German Chocolate cake. And it turned out, GREAT. The cookie base provides a nice crunch, while the chocolate and topping will simply melt in your mouth. The chocolate ganache is made with evaporated milk, which helps keep the chocolate soft and easy to bit into. I added a sprinkle of sea salt onto the chocolate ganache layer, providing the perfect amount of sweet and salty to the overall taste. To be extra fancy, I added a chocolate drizzle on top…

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Tiramisu Sandwich Cookies

Tiramisu Sandwich Cookies

These cookies have more chocolate flavor than traditional tiramisu. The cookie base is largely made up of melted chocolate, which leads to a brownie like taste and texture to the cookies. Layered in between is the mascarpone filling. Beaten together with butter, powdered sugar, and a touch of brandy this rich, yet light, mascarpone filling perfectly complements the chocolate-espresso sandwich cookies. For added fanciness, I sprinkled cocoa powder over the mascarpone filling…

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Brown Butter English Toffee and Pretzel Cookies

Brown Butter English Toffee and Pretzel Cookies

If you read last week’s blog post, you would already know that we have been having car troubles. We took our car to the Subaru dealership where we normally service the car, and found out that the transmission needs to be replaced, which would cost more than the car is worth. WHYYYYYYYY (insert all sorts of angry and sad emoji faces)?! So naturally after hearing this news we started frantically thinking about how we would get my car out here from California. We found cheap one way tickets to…

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The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

I would argue that the chocolate chip cookie is THE most classic dessert around. It is beloved by almost all and is everywhere! Whether in ball parks, cafeterias, bakeries, weddings, birthday parties, conferences or meetings the chocolate chip cookie is suitable for all types of occasions. Now there are two camps of people when it comes to determining…

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Matcha Pistachio Coconut Macaroons

Matcha Pistachio Coconut Macaroons

Since graduating college almost 4 years ago (how has it been that long already?!) I have started Kayla’s Itsines’ BBG workout program about 5 times. I tend to always stop around week 8. It either happens because I am busy doing something else and lose endurance or simply because I become disinterested in it. So, I made it one of my new year’s resolutions this year to finally complete the entire program! Anddddd right at week 8 again, I stopped ahah. But it’s because

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Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Blondies

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Blondies

Recently we found out that Alex has some unexpected time off from school this coming May. Seeing as he RARELY gets time off, I am always the first one to yell, “So where are we going??” as soon as any window of opportunity arises. It got me thinking back to our first international trip together. When we were seniors in college we traveled with a small group of students who were also interested in the healthcare field to

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

The day after this past Christmas, Alex and I headed north to a resort on Lake Superior for a mini getaway to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary! The weather that week was even more freezing than normal. The coldest day had a high of -15°F (feels like -35°F), and the warmest it ever got was 2°F. Like, why?? On the way there we stopped at REI and gifted each other new, fancy Norweigan gloves as our “cotton” anniversary present...

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Flourless Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter S'mores Cookies

It has been a busy last couple weeks, filled with traveling, the holidays, hosting, and working. We were so fortunate to have our friends Josh and Cate come to visit us for New Years. They live in the Bay in California – and when California friends voluntarily come to the artic tundra that is Minnesota during the winter to visit you and your husband, then you know they must really love you lol. Unfortunately was unusually colder than normal while they were here – staying below zero degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of the time, with the “feels like” temperatures ranging between -30F to -15. But they were troopers...

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Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

Today is the one week mark until Christmas! I can remember back to when I was growing up - I would get a chocolate advent calendar every year. Each morning, as soon as I woke up, I would eagerly open that little cardboard door, exposing that day’s treat. Each chocolate would have a different Christmas associated design on it, such as a Christmas tree or an angel. I used to love seeing if I could guess the design each day before opening the door – I was usually always wrong lol. To be honest...

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Butterscotch Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Butterscotch Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

We kicked off the month of December with the spirit of giving. This is my first year participating directly in charities that give Christmas gifts to families who otherwise may not receive them - and I love it! My unit at work has "adopted" a family in the need for the holidays, signing up to purchase specific gifts for the family members, ranging anywhere from household cleaning products to Lego toys. Additionally our small group through church participated in Angel Tree, an organization that helps children with an incarcerated parent feel loved, valued, and not forgotten by their parent far away. One of the ways they do this is ...

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Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

One of our favorite things to do Sunday afternoon is to watch the latest Bucketlist Family video on YouTube. If you’ve never heard about them, they are a young couple with 2 of the cutest kids in the world, who sold everything a couple years ago and now are a full-time traveling family. When we found out that they were also visiting Iceland and Norway this summer,  I was so excited! The thought of potentially running into them (yes, yesI realize how unlikely that would actually be) had me as giddy as a kid on Christmas. Sadly I don’t think that will happen as they recently left Iceland and will likely visit Norway before we get there. But seeing...

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Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Funfetti Sugar Cookies

The Anaheim Packing House is probably one of my new favorite places to go in Southern California. It reminded me of Chelsea Market in Manhattan, expect that it felt more crowded and it focused more on hip and trendy foods. (To give you an example, there was a dessert called Dragon Breath, which is milk condensed into little balls via liquid nitrogen, creating that cool dry ice effect). We met my college roommate and her boyfriend at Ecco, which is an Italian restaurant located at the end of the packing house, allowing for an outdoor patio. I got an Ace pineapple cider and a prosciutto and arugula pizza. And this wasn’t just any pizza…

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Easter Candy Cookies

Easter Candy Cookies

It's a gloomy kind of day. Normally I LOVE overcast days but today I'm not feeling it. Probably because the weather predicted that today would consist of all day rain/thunderstorms, and yet as the hours go by, the rain keeps getting pushed back. I'm convinced that rainstorms and snowstorms only happen when I am at work - aka when I am not able to fully enjoy it by curling under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. (Clearly I'm a tad bitter.... ). Instead, today I have had little energy and, let's be honest here, I took two mini naps while writing this blog post. Probably because...

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Whoopie Pies with Maple Buttercream and Bacon Bits

Whoopie Pies with Maple Buttercream and Bacon Bits

There is a beloved donut shop in my college town that has both mastered unique and classic flavors. It was the site of hangouts with friends, fundraiser events, and studying sessions. One of the most popular items and one of my personal favorites was their maple bacon bar. So to introduce our friends here to the flavors of home I took the maple bacon flavor combination and applied it to whoopie pies! If you like sweet and salty combinations, then you will love this one! The freshly cooked bacon...

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Brown Buttered Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Brown Buttered Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Years ago my now husband and I traveled to Ecuador to volunteer at a mobile medical clinic. We spent the week traveling to villages in the Amazon shadowing physicians, distributing medications, and playing with the children. While we were not able to provide much direct medical help to those in need at the time, the experience impacted our journey to our own healthcare professions. To help raise funds to cover some of our travel expenses I put on an online bake sale for a couple months. My most popular item...

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