Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched together with a delicious orange vanilla buttercream to create the perfect dessert.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup PACKED light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick or old fashioned oatmeal

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cream together butter and sugars 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until JUST combined.
  • Add in oats and mix until incorporated.
  • Use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown, turning baking trays half way through.
  • Allow cookies to sit on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk

  • Beat butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the speed down to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar. Continue mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated.
  • Add in vanilla extract and milk and mix until well combined.
  • Turn mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for an additional 3-5 minutes. If needed, add in a little more cream 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.


To assemble the cookies, pipe or spread the cream filling on the flat side of half of the cookies and put the remaining cookies on top.

NOTE: To makes small cookies, use a medium cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) of dough per cookie and bake for 10-12 minutes.


I have a friend with Celiac’s disease so I make quite a few things gluten free when she is involved. She always let’s not get crazy, just gluten free. 😀

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 LARGE eggs
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup QUALITY honey or 1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tins with liners or grease well and then flour.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, honey or nectar and vanilla extract.
  • Blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a mixer until well blended and thoroughly combined.
  • Add 1/4 cup of batter to each muffin cup.
  • Bake 18-22 minutes until cooked through until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan 1 hour before frosting.

3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar

  • In a mixing bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate bowl, whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar until smooth.
  • Gently fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula.

NOTE: Add 1/4 cup cocoa for a chocolate version.


2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup COLD butter, cut into cubes
1 LARGE egg, separated
2/3 cup COLD water
1 cup cornflakes
8 LARGE apples, peeled cored and sliced (10 cups) (see note)
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • With a pastry blender cut butter into flour until coarse crumbs.
  • Beat egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Set aside.
  • Beat egg yolk in another small bowl. Add water whisking to blend.
  • Gradually add egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until dough can be packed into a ball.
  • Divide ball into halves.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll half the dough into a 10-14 rectangle.
  • Transfer dough to a shallow 9×13 baking sheet, pressing into shape.
  • Sprinkle cornflakes evenly over crust.
  • Toss apples with lemon juice and then drain well.
  • Toss apples with sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Scatter apples evenly over cornflakes.
  • Roll remaining dough into a similar rectangle and lay over top of apples, tucking in the edges to seal.
  • Brush top with beaten egg white.
  • Bake 1 hour until golden brown and apples are tender.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla or almond extract

  • Whisk ingredients together until smooth.
  • Brush over warm crust.
  • Cool COMPLETELY in pan on wire rack before cutting into pieces.


  • If using frozen apples, thaw and drain well. Toss with 4 tablespoons of flour before adding the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • You can easily substitute quick cooking oats for the cornflakes.
  • You can heat each slice for a few seconds in the microwave and add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for a treat.


1 1/2 cups roasted walnuts, divided in half
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 1/2 cups AP flour

  • Process 3/4 cup of walnuts in food processor until JUST FINELY ground. Set aside.
  • Beat butter until creamy in a large bowl.
  • Add powdered sugar, beating until incorporated.
  • Add milk, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, mixing to combine.
  • Add flour and combine well.
  • Fold in ALL the nuts until well combined.
  • Roll and wrap dough in waxed paper.
  • Chill 1 hour.

1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  • Shape dough into 2 inch balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mix.
  • Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Flatten balls slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass.
  • Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the cookies.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until bottoms are slightly brown.
  • Cool 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.


  • BE SURE AND ROAST THE WALNUTS! Toasting the nuts deepens their flavor. The same is true of all nuts and coconut too.
  • For the espresso version I added espresso chocolate chips.


For years many trusted name brands featured recipes on the labels – Bisquick, Campbell’s Soup, Quaker Oats, Nestles, Philadelphia Cream Cheese… These days the recipes are fewer and farther between. I did decide to try a recent Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe and found it exceptionally flavorless. A few tweaks later and we love the recipe.


1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
3/4 cup COLD butter

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Line 8 inch baking pan with foil so that it overlaps to create handles.
  • Sift together the flour, sugar and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
  • Use a cheese grate and grate cold butter into bowl. Use a pastry blender or your gloved hands to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse sand. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture to use as topping.
  • Press remaining dough into baking pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.

1/2 cup sugar
16 ounces QUALITY cream cheese
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla
Seeds from one vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon PURE almond paste
1/4 cup sour cream
2 LARGE eggs

  • While crust is baking prepare the filling.
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, vanilla seeds and almond paste together until well blended.
  • Add sour cream and eggs one at a time, mixing on low JUST until blended.
  • Set aside until crust is done baking.

2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon.

  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together.


  • When crust is out of the oven pour the filling into crust.
  • Top with reserved crumb topping.
  • Top with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes until center of cheesecake is almost set.
  • Refrigerate for 4-5 hours before cutting and serving.


While on a holiday shopping trip last October, a bestie took me to a favorite coffeehouse of hers. Funny thing, I ordered iced tea, but she made me try her favorite cookie, a soft and chewy cookie that was LOADED with milk chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and a sweet shredded coconut.

I instantly fell in love – I mean heart thudding, swooning kind of love and had to immediately experiment to recreate these incredible cookies.

Well, I did actually wait until the next day, but boy did I nail it, if I do say so myself 😀

You will want to make these cookies a little on the larger side so that you get lots of chewy goodness in each and every bite.

1 cup cold butter, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon almond paste

1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 1/2 cups of cake flour
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups QUALITY milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups Sweetened Flaked Coconut
1 1/2 cups Macadamia Nuts

  • Preheat oven to 375-400°.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together cold cubed butter, almond paste, brown sugar, and sugar for 4 minutes or until creamy.

  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
  • Add vanilla.
Sift in flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt mixing until JUST combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture into creamed mixture until well blended.
  • Fold in chocolate chips, coconut, and macadamia nuts. 

  • Roll dough into medium-sized balls and place on a silpat or parchment covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  • Let them rest for AT LEAST 10 minutes to set.


Hubby loves a “plain” cheesecake so I FINALLY created a recipe that satisfies us both! Vanilla bean for the cheesecake and flavored glazes for me. This one was for Christmas so it had a cranberry pomegranate glaze.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs**(see notes)
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cups sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Stir all together until well blended.
  • Spread evenly into a 9 inch spring form pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides.

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 vanilla beans, split and scraped for seeds
2 cups whipping cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped small

  • Add 2 packages of the cream cheese, sour cream, cornstarch and sugar to a large bowl and beat on low until well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  • Add butter and vanilla bean paste, mixing until smooth.
  • Pour over graham cracker crust.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until top is light golden brown.
  • Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit for 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Remove from oven and cool COMPLETELY on a wire rack for 2 hours.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla beans, split and scraped for seeds

  • Beat whipping cream in a chilled bowl until you have soft peaks.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until you have stiff peaks. Chill until needed.
  • Microwave white chocolate for 30 second increments until smooth.
  • In another bowl beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
  • Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla bean paste until blended.
  • Fold in chilled cream.
  • Spread over cooled cheesecake.
  • Chill, covered until firm.


  • Crisp ginger snaps make a flavorful alternative to the graham cracker crumbs.
  • This is best made 1-2 days in advance.


11 ounce package dark chocolate pieces
1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Creme-de-Menthe Filling (BELOW)
Dark Chocolate Ganache (BELOW)

  • In a medium saucepan, melt and stir 4 ounces (3/4 cup) of the dark chocolate pieces, butter, and the unsweetened chocolate over low heat.
  • Remove from heat; cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease foil; set aside.
  • Stir sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon JUST until combined.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined.
  • Stir in the remaining 7 ounces (1-1/2 cups) dark chocolate pieces. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • Spread Creme-de-Menthe Filling over cooled brownies.
  • Place uncut brownies in the refrigerator while preparing the Dark Chocolate Ganache.
  • Spread slightly cooled Dark Chocolate Ganache over Creme de Menthe Filling, spreading to the edges with a spatula.
  • Cover and chill about 1 hour or until set. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut brownies out of the pan. Cut into bars.
  • Place brownies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons GREEN creme de menthe
Milk (optional)

  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter.
  • Beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
  • Gradually beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar.
  • Beat in creme-de-menthe.
  • Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. If necessary beat in 1 tablespoon of additional milk to make the filling slightly thicker than a frosting

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 11 ounce package dark chocolate pieces

  • In a medium saucepan, bring whipping cream JUST to boiling over medium-high heat.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add dark chocolate pieces (do not stir).
  • Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  • Cool for 15 minutes.
  • Pour over brownies and QUICKLY spread evenly.

NOTE: You can substitute 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract, and several drops of green food coloring for the GREEN Creme-de-menthe.


adapted from https://donuts2crumpets.com/2016/03/caramelitas.html

These are awesome cookie bars with deliciously gooey layers of buttery oats, rich chocolate and creamy caramel.

2 (11 ounce) bags of Kraft caramel ball bits OR 22 ounces creamy Werthers caramels
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups – 3 sticks melted butter
1/4 cup spiced rum
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Pour the rum over the raisins and let sit 10 minutes.


  • Melt the caramel bits and whipping cream together in a large saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the oats, brown sugar, flour and baking soda until combined well.
  • Stir in the melted butter until you have a crumbly mixture.
  • Press half of the oat mixture in to a greased 9×13 pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Drain raisins of excess rum, saving the rum for a yummy drink later.
  • Sprinkle the raisins and chocolate chips over the baked base.
  • Drizzle the caramel over the raisins and chocolate chips (they will be swimming in it.)
  • Crumble remaining oat mixture evenly over the caramel layer.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes more.
  • Let cool for AT LEAST 4 hours on a wire rack, but the longer, the better if you can. Try to leave them over night. You can eat them sooner (if you must) BUT be warned you will just have a gooey mess, not bars!

NOTE: I like to keep these in the refrigerator! These bars are even yummier cold in my opinion!


At first I thought these were going to be too savory of a dessert recipe, but hubby and the neighbors cleaned their plates and asked for more. The salty and sweet mixed together to make a tantalizing bite that leaves you craving more.They were a HUGE hit!

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 LARGE eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 strips bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1/3 cup small chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar together until smooth and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, oats, baking powder and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
  • Fold in the walnuts and bacon pieces.
  • Spread into a 9×9 greased baking dish.
  • Bake 25 minutes. Cool completely.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth.
  • Drizzle over bars and let set before cutting into squares.


For us, traditional pumpkin pie has become kind of boring and don’t even try and serve one of those from a big box store, they’re so boring and cardboard like. When I found this recipe I just knew this would become our new favorite! I embellished it a bit with changing up the rum to an apple rum we love. I’m also increasing the amount of raisins next time.


1/2-1 cup golden raisins**(see notes)
1/4 cup apple rum
1/4 cup boiling water
2 LARGE eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
15 ounce can pumpkin
8 ounces evaporated milk**(see notes)
Crust for a single crust pie – your choice, homemade or store bought

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Roll dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle and transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. Trim crust to 1/2 inch beyond the plate rim and flute edge. Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with the rum and boiling water. Let them sit 5 minutes. **(see notes)
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, brown sugar, flour, salt and spices.
  • Stir in the pumpkin and raisin mixture.
  • Gradually blend in milk.
  • Pour into crust.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. **(see notes)
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers if there are some.


  • I like to use golden raisins which are naturally plumper and juicier than regular raisins. When I use golden raisins I use all rum and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use the rest of your evaporated milk in your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.
  • Cover edges with foil last 15-20 minutes if edges are browning too quickly.


I’m sure you’ve heard of it on your favorite cooking show, even if you have no idea what it really is. I know I had and even though it was explained, it just wouldn’t register and stay in my brain.

I’m entering a charcuterie board contest on New Year’s Even and chose the desert category. I’ve been looking for not only tried and true recipe ideas, but some new and unusual ones too. I ran across a recipe for chocolate covered cheese. YEP, you read that right, chocolate covered cheese!

I decided to try it three ways, milk, dark and ruby covered with a flake salt. I skipped white as I’m just not a fan – worst discovery of 1930 in my book! I also decided to try it with multiple flavored cheeses. I’m using Jack, sharp white cheddar and a champagnes Havarti. These are the pre-event taste tests> 😀

I figured I should do the research to really understand what Ruby chocolate it. I didn’t believe the cotton colored hue of the chocolate could be natural, but for the most part I was seriously wrong!

Ruby chocolate magically appeared in 2017 after a 13 year development process in Switzerland by the Barry Callebaut company. I say magically because the details of how it is produced are kept closely guarded, but they have noted that the color and unique flavor are products of the bean’s fermentation process.

Nestle released a limited edition KitKat overseas and another version again in 2019 in the UK leaving many companies scrambling to develop their own version.

Ruby chocolate is made from Ruby Cacao Beans which are found in South America; Ecuador and Brazil as well as the Ivory Coast (West African coast). Like specific grapes grown for specific wines, the ruby cacao beans are directly influenced by their growing environment so are cultivated in very specific climates.

So far in my taste testing I’m finding that far more women appreciate the flavor than men do. MEH seems to be the overwhelming consensus of the men I know and even many women can take it or leave it. BUT, it will still be a stunning addition to my charcuterie board 😀

There are NO added berries, flavor or dyes, yet ruby chocolate tastes berry like. The fruity flavor has hints of strawberry and raspberry and is quite smooth in texture, but not milky. While it’s NOT bitter, it does have a slightly tart after effect taste. I did find this image on the company’s website that may explain it better.



8 ounces aged cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Flake sea salt

  • Cut cheese into 1/2-in. cubes.
  • In a microwave, melt chocolate in 30 second increments; stirring until smooth.
  • Dip cheese cubes in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off.
  • Place on waxed paper.
  • Sprinkle with a few grains of salt.
  • Let stand until set.