1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 cup JIF or SKIPPY creamy peanut butter
6 teaspoons PURE vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups QUALITY semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup spiced rum
1 cup golden raisins

Up to 48 hours before you plan to make the cookies pour rum over raisins, cover and let raisins absorb the rum.

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Drain any remaining rum off raisins.
  • Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth.
  • Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla, mixing again until smooth.
  • Sift in flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix in old fashioned oats and chocolate chips until well blended.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Using a large scoop arrange cookies on cookie sheets. (Cookies will not flatten very much.)
  • Bake 11-15 minutes until edges are golden.
  • Allow cookies to rest 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.

NOTE: I make a gluten-free version substituting almond flour 1:1 and gluten-free oats 1:1 that is actually tastier to me 😀


CHOCOLATE SNAPS yield 2 dozen cookies
Adapted only slightly from Cook’s Country

With crisp edges, chewy centers and crunchy sugary crackled tops these cookies are always a hit, but never more so than at holiday time.

14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (168 grams)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (230 grams)
3/4 cup Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (300 grams)
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
1 LARGE egg plus 1 LARGE egg yolk
1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or SILPAT mats.
  • Melt your butter and allow it to cool.
  • Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
  • Whisk together brown sugar, vanilla, and melted butter until no lumps remain, scraping down bowl as needed.
  • Whisk in whole egg and egg yolk until smooth.
  • Stir in flour mixture JUST until combined.
  • Layer granulated sugar in a shallow bowl; set aside.
  • Roll 2 tablespoons dough at a time into cookie balls.
  • Roll each cookie ball in the granulated sugar to coat.
  • Arrange dough balls evenly on prepared sheets.
  • Press each ball flat until they are 2 inches in diameter.
  • Evenly sprinkle remaining granulated sugar over cookies.
  • Bake 15 minutes – 1 sheet at a time – until cookies are slightly puffy and edges have begun to set (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem undone AND THAT’S OKAY), rotate sheet halfway through baking time.
  • Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire rack.
  • Let cookies cool completely.


These are still a bit of a work in progress. The second time I made these I did them on a jelly roll pan in a single layer and they were amazing. Next time I’m going to try milk chocolate chips, maybe even mini chips.


18 1/2 ounces Fritos corn chips
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter

  • Grease a 13×9 cake pan.
  • Sprinkle half of the corn chips evenly over the bottom.
  • Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over the corn chips.
  • In a heavy sauce pan combine the sugar and corn syrup, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Cook 1 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  • Pour half the mixture over the corn chip layer.
  • Top with remaining corn chips followed by the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Pour the remaining peanut butter mixture evenly over the last layer.
  • Let stand until set.
  • Cut into bars.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
6 tablespoons WHOLE milk
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 cup JIF peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon PURE almond extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
10 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained WELL and chopped FINE

  • In a large mixing bowl add the quick cooking oats and cherry pieces. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, butter, milk and baking cocoa.
  • Over a medium heat melt butter and bring mixture to a boil,cooking and stirring continuously for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in peanut butter and extracts, stirring until combined well.
  • Pour mixture over oat mixture and mix until oatmeal is well coated.
  • Drop the mixture tablespoons onto wax paper lined cookie sheets.
  • Chill until set.
  • Store in airtight containers.



Adapted from Like Mother Like Daughter

Sweet and salty, loaded with gooey caramel, chocolate chips and pretzels to make THE PERFECT cookie!

1 cup UNSALTED butter, COLD
1 cup PACKED dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pretzels
1/2 bag Kraft caramel balls (2 balls per cookie)
1 tablespoon flaky sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment or silpat.
  • Cut your butter into slices.
  • Add butter slices to a large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beating until it starts to smooth and get creamy. 
  • Add in sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes more until smooth and well combined.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla extract beating JUST until incorporated.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  • Add the flour mixture, beating on low speed until the wet and dry ingredients are combined.

  • Fold the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces into the dough.
  • Scoop dough by the tablespoon.
  • Press the dough flat and place 2 caramel balls in the middle.
  • Roll the cookie dough around the caramel.

  • Bake 8-12 minutes, or until the cookie top and bottom are golden.
  • Sprinkle the tops of the cookies immediately with coarse sea salt.

  • Allow the cookies to rest on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. 

  • Store cookies in an airtight container, or ziplock bag for 3 to 4 days.

NOTES: Add 1 tablespoon at a time more of flour if dough is too wet and sticky.


I found this recipe in one of the old antique recipe boxes I’ve collected. They had labeled it Molasses Cookies, but after I made them changing the name to “SNAPS” worked better because they were so crispy. I added extra ginger and cloves to make them spicier. When these are baking all you can think of is gingerbread houses and smile.

3/4 cup Crisco
1 cup extra fine sugar
1 LARGE egg
2 cups flour
2 1/2-3 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2-2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons warm water
1/3 cup molasses
2-3 teaspoons FRESH grated ginger
3/4 cup sanding sugar

  • Cream together the Crisco and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add egg, scraping down bowl and blending well.
  • Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves in a separate bowl.
  • Set aside.
  • Dissolve baking soda in warm water.
  • Add baking soda mixture to shortening mixture, blending well.
  • Alternately add the flour mixture, molasses and FRESH grated ginger.
  • Cover with saran and chill 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Add small shallow bowl
  • Roll 1 tablespoon at a time into balls.
  • Roll each balls in the sanding sugar and place on greased baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until dry around edges.
  • Let cool on baking sheet until set before transferring to cooling rack.
  • Store in airtight container at room temperature – which makes them a GREAT cookie jar cookie.

NOTE: Be sure to roll into tight balls of dough. They will cook perfectly round and look professionally done 😀


OAT NUT CARAMEL BARS aka CARMELITAS adapted from Donuts 2 Crumpets

OMG these are the BEST cookie bars EVER! It has layers of buttery oats, rich chocolate and creamy caramel which make them a SUPER delicious gooey treat.

Prep Time 25 mins Cook Time 25 mins Total Time 50 mins

2 (11 ounce) bags Kraft caramel bits
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup FINELY chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt the caramel bits and whipping cream together in a large saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix the oats, brown sugar, flour and baking soda until combined well.
  • Stir in the meted butter until you have a crumbly mixture.
  • Put half the oat mixture in a greased 9×13 pan.
  • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips and walnuts over the baked base.
  • Drizzle the caramel over the chocolate chips (they will be swimming in it.)
  • Crumble up the remaining oat mixture into small chunks and gently cover the caramel in as even a layer as possible.
  • Bake 15 minutes more.
  • Let cool at least 4 hours!


  • Let cool for at least 4 hours on a wire rack, but the longer the better, over night is best. Eating it any earlier results in a gooey mess, not bars!
  • At holiday time I use disposable pans that can be easily cut away from the cooled bars for quicker assembly of dessert plates.

When I cut off the edges I mush all the leftovers together and roll it into balls that I then coat with chocolate for a little extra treat.


1 cup JIF creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips* see note
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

  • Cream together the butter and peanut butter.
  • Add powdered sugar, beating until fully combined.
  • Refrigerate mixture 15-20 minutes to firm up.
  • Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.
  • Cover and return to fridge or even the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Melt together the chocolate chips and coconut oil until smooth.
  • Coat each peanut butter ball in the chocolate and place on wax paper to harden.
  • If using sprinkles, be sure to add them while the chocolate is wet enough for them to stick.
  • Keep refrigerated.

NOTE: IF available, almond bark is a much simpler way to coat these. You also do NOT need the coconut oil if using the almond bark.


Some of the best recipes of the Christmas season are those that double as gifts, like this homemade cranberry infused vodka.


1 cup FRESH cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 large strip of orange peel
2 cups QUALITY vodka (Absolut is best)

  • Place the cranberries, sugar and pineapple juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved, the cranberries pop and the pineapple juice is absorbed. 
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 
  • Transfer the mixture into a large mason jar.
  • Place the orange peel in the mason jar, and pour the vodka over top.
  • Screw the lid on tightly and set the jar on a counter at room temperature for at least 3 days, and up to a month.
  • Shake once a day.
  • Strain into a decorative bottle, tie with festive ribbon and gift with a cocktail recipe in which to use it.



A YUMMY and SUPER DELICIOUS fudgy brownie base with a layer of caramel, nougat and peanuts throughout that tastes exactly like a Classic Snickers Bar.

1 Box Supreme Triple Chunk Brownie Mix, or flavor of choice
1 – 11 ounce bag Kraft caramel balls
2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cashews, chopped
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 – 7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
1/4 cup c
reamy Peanut Butter
1 – 16 ounce package milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 classic Snickers bars, chopped into small chunks

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Prepare the brownie mix as per the package instructions.
  • Bake the brownies 20 minutes, then remove to COMPLETELY cool.
  • Add caramels and 2 tablespoons of the evaporated milk to a small bowl.
  • Microwave on medium heat, stirring every 20 seconds until the caramels have completely melted.
  • Pour this mixture over the top of the cooked brownies and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle nuts evenly over the caramel layer then put into the freezer while you move onto the next part.
  • Add the sugar, remaining evaporated milk and 1/3 cup butter to a small pan over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble around the outer edge. You want to reach a “soft crack stage”. Turn off the heat as soon as you see a rolling boil.
  • Stir in the peanut butter and the marshmallow creme until smooth.
  • Pour this nougat mixture over the top of the caramel peanut layer and place back in the freezer.
  • Sprinkle the chopped Snickers chunks on top of the caramel peanut layer.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add the chocolate chips, remaining butter and heavy cream. Microwave on medium setting for 20 second intervals until totally melted.
  • Pour over the nougat/snicker bits layer.
  • Add back to the freezer for another 10 minutes, just enough to set the chocolate layer.
  • Cut into squares and serve.



1 box of brownie mix and the ingredients it takes to make them or a batch of homemade
3/4 cup chocolate frosting
15 ounces almond bark
1 jar maraschino cherries (see note)

  • Bake the brownies as directed and let cool completely. Do not overcook the brownies, crunchy brownie bits don’t make for good bombs.
  • Crumble the made brownies and mix in about 3/4 a cup of chocolate frosting – you want a similar consistency to cake pops. You may need to add a little more, but you want to start out on the low side and add more as needed. You want a consistency that stays together easily, but isn’t too sticky to roll into balls.
  • Use about 1 1/2 of brownie frosting mixture and roll it into a ball, but then make a hole in the middle.
  • Add one cherry into the center and fold the brownie ball in over the cherry making sure to seal the cherry in.
 Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Once you have all your bombs made, pop them in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  • Melt your almond bark. You may need a little more or a little less depending on how heavily you coat the bombs.

  • Remove the bombs from the freezer but keep them in the refrigerator.
  • Working with one bomb at a time, drop it into the melted almond bark, pull it back out, and tap off the excess chocolate.

  • Place it on wax paper and wait for it to dry completely.
  • If you want to add sprinkles do so IMMEDIATELY as the almond bark will dry quickly.


STRAWBERRY COBBLER BARS – SQUARES 18-20 pieces adapted from REE

3 cups chopped FRESH strawberries
1/4 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1 SMALL lime, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon Malibu rum

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Add the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, rum, lime zest and lime juice to a mixing bowl.
  • Toss to combine and set aside.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed and chilled, plus more for the pan
1 cup PACKED brown sugar 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
1/2 cup FINELY chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar 

  • In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, brown sugar and baking powder.
  • Pulse until a loose crumb forms; continue to pulse as you add the cream.
  • Grease a 9-X13 baking dish with butter.
  • Spread two-thirds of the flour mixture onto the prepared pan and press flat.
  • Top with the strawberry mixture, spreading it into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture by dollops, followed by the turbinado sugar.
  • Bake the bars until the top is golden and the strawberry layer is thick and bubbling, 28 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to cool before icing.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth.
  • Cut the cobbler into small squares and drizzle with the icing.
  • Add to a platter and serve.

NOTE: Other flavor do work like cherries, peaches, blueberries and even raisins elieve it or not, but strawberry is the best we’ve tried. If using blueberries be sure to use the small WILD ones. If trying the raisins, substitute 1/2 cup of the fruit for figs and/or chopped walnuts.