Christmas Cookies ~ Chocolate Dipped Coconut Caramel Cookies, Samoas

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A buttery shortbread cookie base, covered with salted caramel and toasted coconut, and then dipped and drizzled with smooth dark chocolate...mmm a match made in heaven, or the kitchen, whichever you prefer ;)
Happy Christmas Eve everyone, it's officially my favorite day of the yearI really wanted to squeeze in one more cookie recipe before Christmas, and I got it done! This one is one of my husbands favorite cookies and it's been on my to-make list for awhile. This is a copycat version of the yummy and much loved, Girl Scout Samoa Cookies.
Here's what you'll need to make these delicious babies...
Ingredients for Cookies:
  • 1 cup, 2 sticks of Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups Al Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Ingredients for Coconut Topping
  • 3 cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 15 oz. Caramels, soft store bought or homemade, I used Kraft
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 10 oz. Dark Chocolate, I used Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsals
Directions for Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients together and then slowly incorporate them into the butter mixture.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl well and the add in the milk and vanilla until blended.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. Once the dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and plastic wrap, and roll out on a floured surface until it's about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch, little thicker is better. 
  7. Cut out cookies using a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter and two-liter lid like me :)
  8. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  9. Bake for 9 minutes. You want a nice pale golden color, don't over bake them.
  10. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Directions for Coconut Topping:
  1. Spread coconut out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes until a light golden color. Watch it very closely and mix it around frequently, it will burn quick!
  3. Remove it from the oven and put the toasted coconut in a medium sized bowl to cool.
  4. Melt the unwrapped caramels, milk and salt in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir frequently until it's smooth.
  5. Pour 3/4 of the caramel over the toasted coconut and mix it together.
  6. Working in small batches, about 12 cookies at a time, I did it like this because the caramel starts to dry before you get all the topping on them, take the remaining caramel and thinly coat the cookies. 
  7. Then take the coconut mixture and gently, gently press it on top of the cookies, if you're too rough with them while pressing on the topping they will break, and you will cry
  8. Alternate putting the caramel and then coconut on until all the cookies are coated. If the coconut or caramel gets to stiff to spread between batches, just put it over the double boiler again to soften it up.
  9. Let the cookies cool and set for 30 minutes.
  10. Melt 10 oz. of dark chocolate in a double boiler and stir well.
  11. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the chocolate and place on waxed paper.
  12. Drizzle the tops of the cookies with the remaining chocolate.
  13. Let the chocolate set and then enjoy, and if you're inpatient like me you can sit them in the fridge for a couple minutes to hurry things along lol

I followed this recipe from, but I did make a few changes and have some things to take note on.

*First of all the recipe says it will take 2 hours, that is not even close, it took me 4! There are a lot of steps and your hands are all up in the cookies business from start to finish. These are a lot of work!

*Use salted butter, I always bake with salted butter.

*I rolled the dough out in between 1/8th and 1/4th of an inch, and it will stick so use plenty of flour on the board and pin. An I used a biscuit cutter and 2 liter bottle lid to cut out the doughnut shape.
*The cookies only needed to bake 9 minutes, not 10-13, and I only baked one pan at a time. I also recommend buying silicone mats, I always use them for baking.
Good news is that they cool quickly!
*The coconut burns easily and fast. As soon as you think it's about done, take it out, don't leave it on for another minute or else you'll be running to the store 2 days before Christmas for just a bag of coconut and end up waiting impatiently in line forever to check out.
 After...toasted, not burnt :) Second times a charm!
*Stir the caramels often and remove from heat as soon as it's smooth.
*I have an extra double boiler that I put the coconut & caramel in so I could remelt the mixture when it got too stiff. A glass bowl will also work.
*You have to put the thin layer of plain caramel on the cookie first, don't skip that part, I tested it on one cookie, the coconut caramel layer won't stick very good if you don't.
*I used 10 ounces of chocolate and after dipping the bottom of the cookies I put the remaining chocolate in a ziplock, cut a small hole in the corner and drizzled the tops of the cookies.
That's it, sorry it was such a long tutorial, but I wanted to document how much work fun these were to bake. Thanks for reading :)

Thank You...Thank You...Thank You

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I just want take a little time and thank all of you for following along and reading my blog. Thank you for all the likes, shares, comments, and encouragement, it means so much to me to have your support. Thank you for taking the time our of your day to read a little bit about what's going on in my life.

It's not easy for me to put myself out here, I have always feared rejection, and the world is not always so gracious, so you all and your kind words mean the world to me.

I follow this person, heysweetpeaon Instagram, and wanted to share her post of encouragement about how I'd like to be more on social media. I couldn't have wrote it any better myself. Here's her post...
"heysweetpeaDear one: You don't owe social media. So forget all the should and should nots, and start sharing what you're ready to share. 
Post that awesome selfie when you weren't wearing any make-up. Post that big camera photo that makes you feel so ridiculously beautiful. Post that blessing, that behind-the-scenes, that crazy obstacle you've overcome.
But above all: Share with courage. Listen for the words you're supposed to say. Care about the lives your stories will touch.
And then wait. Not for the likes, or the comments, or the numbers. But for the one person who says, "I needed to hear that today." Because that's it. That's the only checkbox you need to check. You do NOT need to be everything to everyone. You do NOT need to be more authentic, or more popular, or more like that "one girl" you follow on here. You just need to show up as you are and share what you're ready to share. Because there, nestled in between all the should and should nots, is a feed (and a person) so ridiculously worth following."
I hope that someday I can be that person for someone...

To live a life where you put other's needs first. That someday something you say will be exactly what someones needs to hear, and it will give them comfort. When you can honestly say that you are good enough.

Thank you again for your love & support, I appreciate each and every one of you so much and I hope you have an amazing day!

Merry Christmas & Have a Happy New Year!

Congratulations Winners! Christmas Giveaway Announcement

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Today is the big day!!!
I'm so excited to announce the lucky winners for my Christmas Giveaway!
Congratulations to...

1. Holly Jolly Hair ~ Kayla Milburn
 2. Festive Fragrances ~ Darla Bowers
 Peaceful Pampering ~ Jordan Benson

Thank you to everyone who entered, there were a lot of you, 93 to be exact!! I couldn't believe it when I was tallying up all of your entries!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, surrounded with the love of family, and the joy of the season.  And to the winners, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!

Christmas Cookies ~ Cocoa Crinkles

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The snow is falling, Christmas music is playing, and I am in the kitchen baking up a storm! Well, not a storm, but a delicious batch of cookies! I wanted to try something new and I came across this recipe for these cocoa crinkles at Hershey's.
They look so pretty with the powdered sugar coating. The only down side to this recipe is that to takes 6 hours for the dough to chill, but they are well worth the wait!
 These cookies are what's made when a cookie and a brownie have a baby ;) Gooey, chewy, chocolatey, and with just enough crunch to know it's a cookie. They are really delicious! And so pretty! Just look how pretty these are...
This is another great cookie recipe for a cookie exchange and Santa ;)
Here's what you'll need to make these adorable cookies...
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar, to roll the dough in

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil; add cocoa, beating until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. 
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to cocoa mixture, beating well. Dough will be sticky.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until dough is firm and easy to handle, like the consistency of peanut butter cookie dough.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat and lightly grease. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar to coat. 
  5. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. I put 12 cookies on each cookie sheet because they will expand a little bit.
  6. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes and then remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two. 
  7. Remove cookies from baking sheets and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Yield: about 4 dozen

Here's a few tips I found helpful along the way.
  • Use canola oil, I've tried other oils and for some reason they don't turn out as good.
  • Spray your hands with a little bit of cooking spray when forming the cookie balls to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
  • Between batches, put the cookie dough back into the refrigerator to keep it cool and at the right consistency.
  • When rolling the dough in the powdered sugar make sure and coat them pretty heavily
  • Don't over bake, it's better to under bake than to over bake when it comes to these cookies.
Let me know how you like them and if you bake them up this holiday season.
Thanks for reading :)

CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!!! These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

Monday, December 14, 2015

For me it always feels better to give than receive, so in the spirit of the season, I am doing my very first GIVEAWAY!!! Actually, not just one giveaway, but THREE!!! I am so excited to put together these gifts! Each one is filled with a few of my favorite things! There will be 3 winners, one for each giveaway! You can read more about my favorites here & here

Giveaway #1 Holly Jolly Hair
  • The Body Shop: Paddle Hair Brush  
  • Kenra: Platinum Blow-Dry Spray  
  • Loreal: Total Repair 5, Damage Repairing Balm    

Give Away #2 Festive Fragrances
  • Bath & Body Works: Mini Candles (Marshmallow Fireside, 'Tis the Season, & Winter)
  • Marc Jacobs: Daisy Roller Ball Perfume  
Giveaway #3 Peaceful Pampering
  • Ulta: Ultra Soft Spa Bathrobe, Size S/M  
  • Ulta: Nail Polishes (Tink-Her-Bell, Ruby Slipper, High Roller, & Super Mauve)   
  • Lindt Lindor: Assorted Chocolate Truffles 
  • Bath & Body Works: Shea Infused Lounge Socks  

Here is what you need to do to enter to win...
  1. Follow me on Instagram
  2. Like & Tag 3 friends in my giveaway photo
  3. Share/Repost the photo
For a second entry
  1. Follow me on Pinterest
  2. Pin my giveaway photo
For a third entry
  1. Follow me on or on and comment on this blog post to let me know you've done all three.
That's it!! Do one, or two, or do all three for a better chance at winning!

Contest ends Sunday, December 20th 2015 at 5pm MST. I will draw the winners randomly. Then I will announce, tag, and then Direct Message the winners on Instagram to get their addresses. Goodies will be shipped out on Monday the 21st :)


Merry Christmas to you all and good luck! Thank you for following me on this adventure :)

*I am not sponsored or being compensated by these brands or companies. These are my own opinions and everything was bought with my own money. All items are brand new and come from a smoke and pet free home.

Christmas Cookies ~ Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Chip Mini Pudding Cookies

Friday, December 11, 2015

Today I am sharing my second recipe for Christmas Cookies, Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Chip Mini Pudding Cookies! Whew that's a mouthful! But it needs to be because these bad boys are bursting with flavor! These are for the chocolate lovers and they are delicious!
These cookies are so cute! They remind me of hot cocoa with little marshmallows on top! These are made almost exactly the same way as the other pudding cookie recipe I shared with you here, so you know they're going to be good and easy! And they are another great choice for your cookie exchanges, holiday parties, and for Santa's midnight snack...he told me he loves these ;)
Here's what you'll need to bake up these beauties...

  • 1 cup Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 small box Instant Chocolate Pudding, dry mix
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1/4 cup White Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees & line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. 
  2. Yield: 80 mini cookies
  3. Mix together butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, dry pudding mix, baking soda and vanilla until combined, do not over mix.
  4. Add in the flour and mix on low until it's incorporated.
  5. Add in peanut butter chips and white chocolate chips, and mix on low a until evenly distributed throughout dough.
  6. Scoop dough on to cookie sheets using a mini scoop (I fit 20 mini cookies onto 1 baking sheet).
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, do not over bake.
  8. Remove them from the oven, let them cool in the pan about a minute, and then transfer them onto a wire rack.
  9. Enjoy with a nice glass of milk and store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! Happy Baking :)

Christmas Cookies ~ Mini M&M Pudding Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Is there anything cuter than mini food? How about mini Christmas cookies!!! Today I am sharing my first Christmas cookie recipe of the season, Mini M&M Pudding Cookies with Chocolate Chips. These cookies are sooo easy to make and they turn out so dang cute! Just look at these darlings...
These are so festive and fun! They are perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges, holiday parties, snacking on while wrapping gifts, and sitting out for Santa on Christmas Eve :) The little red and green mini M&M's make me so happy and put me in the mood for holiday baking! My husband and his co-workers will sure be excited!
 Here's what you'll need to whip up these cute and festive cookies...

  • 1 cup Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 small box Instant Vanilla Pudding, dry mix
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Mini M&M's
  • 1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees & line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Yield: 80 mini cookies
  3. Mix together butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, dry pudding mix, baking soda and vanilla until combined, do not over mix.
  4. Add in the flour and mix on low until it's incorporated.
  5. Add in chocolate chips and mix on low a until evenly distributed throughout dough.
  6. Pour in the M&M's and mix them in by hand (or else the mixer with break them apart and you'll end up with M&M pieces).
  7. Scoop dough on to cookie sheets using a mini scoop (I fit 20 mini cookies onto 1 baking sheet).
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, do not over bake.
  9. Remove them from the oven, let them cool in the pan about a minute, and then transfer them onto a wire rack.
  10. Enjoy with a nice glass of milk and store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Bake up some love this holiday season and share it with your family & friends!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Baking!

Christmas Home Tour | Holiday Housewalk 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I think I have finally finished up all of my Christmas projects, crafts, and decorating! Yay! Now it's time to finish my Christmas shopping and relax. Here's just a few pictures of my Christmas decor this year. This is my first Holiday Housewalk...
I am in love with my tree this year! I was wanting a winter wonderland look and I think I nailed it lol!  White, silver, and champagne colors are my thing this year! I found all of my tree decorations, tree skirt and stockings at Hobby Lobby this year. I also love that darling little rocker, my dad had it forever and then he refinished it and gave it to me!
This snowflake pillow is so gorgeous! I found it at Kohl's the day after Thanksgiving.
I just LOVE this handmade BELIEVE sign I bought from my friend Jennifer, you can see her stuff on Instagram at #jenndesignco
A few presents all wrapped up and ready. Wrapping paper is from Target.
Someday I'll have a mantle, but until then I can improvise :)
These pretty winter branches and pitcher are from Michael's.
My most favorite candle ever is from Bath & Body Works, Marshmallow Fireside.
And YES! That's snow on the ground outside! Yippee!
Quick tip: if you have a large picture on your wall that isn't Christmas-y, wrap it in wrapping paper.
Pretty little pictures from Hobby Lobby, 'May your days be Merry & Bright' and 'comfort & joy'.
The latest and last of my DIY projects I made at a craft party, reversible blocks. The other side says 'Count your blessings'.
Console table decor, I decided to throw in a little bit of red here and there. What's Christmas without a little red?
The block calendar was another one of my DIY projects.
I love this sweet little hand stitched sign I bought from a friend at a craft bazaar :) Seriously, how cute!?!
I love this cute shabby red drawer, I put the Christmas cards I receive in it.
Pretty little floral arrangement I put together. Everything is from Michael's.
 There's just something so cozy about this pillow from Cracker Barrel and throw from Target, I just love them.
End table decor, complete with my little Charlie Brown tree in my grandma's old Mason jar and marquee 'let it snow' sign from Michael's, 
 My adorable DIY Handmade Christmas Trees brighten up my dining room.
 Dining room table decor. I thought that this was a fun way to incorporate my grandmas pearls into the centerpiece.
 The top of my fridge is where my late mother-in-laws cherished Santa cookie jar sits.
 Bathroom decor, my mom's antique bell, and an apothecary jar full of ornaments for a splash of color.
 The sweet little penguin footprints of my niece and nephews! This was seriously such a fun DIY project! This was Mason at 4 1/2 years old, Millie at 4 months, and Bennett at 6 weeks.
 My home is not large or fancy, and it definitely doesn't look like a picture in a magazine or Pinterest...but I do love what I have, so that's the most important thing, right?

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