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Nutella Cupcakes

This Nutella Cupcakes Recipe features some delicious Nutella-filled chocolate cupcakes, topped with a heavenly Nutella frosting.

A few weekends ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning and just felt like baking. My calendar was open, the day was cloudy and cozy and cool, and I had a new jar of Nutella that was calling my name. So I padded to the kitchen in my slippers to make a warm cup of coffee. And then perhaps for the first time in a long while, I decided to actually take my time baking this batch of Nutella cupcakes. It was wonderful. I don’t know about you, but so often when I’m in the kitchen, I find myself falling into extreme-efficiency mode. And for better and worse, I’ve become pretty darn good at it. I can whip up a batch of fudge, saute a pan of fajitas, play fetch with my dog, return a few emails, and watch an episode of “Friday Night Lights” at the same time, and somehow things usually (miraculously!) turn out ok. But in the rush and chaos of it all, I too often miss out on some of the simple joys of cooking. So I decided that this particular Saturday morning would be different.

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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

One of my favorite things about holiday baking is bringing out my cookie cutter collection.

When I moved into my loft with practically zero storage, I had to do some serious kitchen downsizing. Just about anything that was not multi-functional and/or used within the past 6 months got the boot. It was kind of sad for a food blogger, but simplifying still always feels so good. One of the few practical exceptions I made was for my massive cookie cutter collection. It takes up way too much space in my tiny pantry, and I admittedly mostly only use it at Christmastime. But whenever the occasion arises, it makes me so happy to go digging through the set on a scavenger hunt for that “perfect” cookie cutter.

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Easy Mini Pecan Tarts

Anyone planning to make pecan pies this Thanksgiving? Well if you’re looking to save a bit of time, and still make a total crowd-pleasing dessert, allow me to recommend these adorable little Easy Mini Pecan Tarts!

They are everything you love about pecan pie, but when made “bite-sized” with my favorite little phyllo cups, they can literally be made from start to finish in 20 minutes. Boom. And I’m pretty sure they will be the rockstar of your dessert table. There’s something about mini desserts that draws everyone in. And who can resist that classic sweet pecan filling paired with the crisp flaky brilliance of phyllo?! I’m pretty sure they were a match made in heaven.

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Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

I love coming up with creative new cupcake flavors. And I love being served creative new cupcake flavors. But at the end of the day, if given a choice between, well, pretty much any kind of cupcake and a vanilla cupcake, that delicious little white cupcake almost always wins.

I don’t know what it is about it, but I love a good vanilla cupcake. Always have. Always will.

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No Bake Caramel Apple Cheesecakes

Holiday baking season seems to have officially arrived. But for the days (or holidays) when you may not have time to bake the day away, I’m a big fan of no-bake cheesecakes. Especially these no-bake caramel apple cheesecakes!

These little guys are all of the goodness of caramel apples “no-baked” into fluffy, creamy individual cheesecakes that everyone will love! The crust is a buttery pecan mixture (or you can go nut-free with graham crackers). Then the filling is a smooth creamy cheesy mixture made with applesauce. And of course, I like to add a little extra whipped cream and caramel on top. So good! And much easier to eat than a caramel apple. ;)

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Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Oh yes. That is one big skillet chocolate chip cookie.

And even better — the recipe is featured in the new Picky Palate Cookbook from a blogger I absolutely adore — Jenny from (you guessed it) Picky Palate!!!

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Puppy Chow (a.k.a. “Muddy Buddies”)

So after a few weeks of eating pretty healthy in the new decade, I totally caved to a craving this week. One of my friends had mentioned making puppy chow to enjoy with some friends for her pup’s first b-day party, and I couldn’t seem to get it off my mind.

So pretty sure I woke up on my morning off and whipped this up…before breakfast. And of course, enjoyed some of it…for breakfast. :) And enjoyed “chowing” on every bite. Yum.

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Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (A La Red Lobster)

Once upon a time, there were two friends who moved in together as roommates just after college. One was continuing on with a master’s degree in therapy. One was beginning a new job at a church (the size of a small town) leading a vocal ministry.

Exciting times. Fun times. But often, overwhelming, frustrating, and stressssssful times.

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