Pink and White Cookies to Kick Off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month- Pinktober

By the time October starts the fall season is in full stride, leaves are turning, pumpkins are everywhere, costumes are being dreamt up and football is underway.  The big deal about October that sets it apart from the other autumn months is the focus on boobs.  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the time of year when the Pink Ribbon becomes as iconic as the Halloween Pumpkin.  The sweet little pink ribbon reaches millions, and unfortunately most people have their own story to share. 

I shared my story last year publicly for the first time.  It was a big deal for me to write about, and to open up about it.  I hate being in the spotlight, getting unwanted attention, especially considering my experience with breast cancer was so minimal compared to others. 

Since I told my story I have had several friends and strangers come to me with their experiences, or come and tell me that they always felt Breast Cancer was one of those, “can’t happen to me” things- and that reading my story taught them it can happen to them.  There is even been a sense of humor about it; High Fives to the Pink Ribbon Warriors, as if we were a club!  In the end of the day, I am glad that I was able to affect even just a handful of people. 

The last year I was blessed to avoid another occurrence, as I have had Phyllodes Tumors, which have the habit of regenerating, rather than spreading.  There was a long month that the doctors had found what might have been a reoccurrence, luckily it was discovered as benign.  The worst part of Phyllodes Tumors is that we are always waiting for a reoccurrence, but my family is getting pretty good at handling the stress of waiting.   

And while I am on my soapbox, here is a new twist on a New York favorite cookie-

Slightly modified recipe from Martha Stewart


  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  2/3 cup cake flour, not self-rising
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  2 large eggs
  •  3/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1/2 cup milk
  •  6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  •  2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •  2 tablespoons light corn syrup, plus more if needed
  •  1 individual Raspberry Ice Crystal Light On The Go or Raspberry extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, and whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter and extracts. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a smooth dough. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking pans with Silpat nonstick baking mats. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per pan, 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water, and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, ice half of each cookie. Return cookies to rack to drip, if necessary.
  4. Sprinkle Crystal Light Powder/Raspberry extract to remaining icing. Stir until smooth adding more until you reach desired shade of pink.  Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Spread pink icing over second half of each cookie. Allow cookies to set, about 10 minutes.

Check your breasts, don’t believe you’re invincible.  In the meantime, support Breast Cancer Awareness, take part in this important cause- raise money, talk to friends, volunteer, make cookies, feel boobs, wear pink!


Pimento Cheese and Strawberry Filled Cookies

I saw the cookies first, and knew I had to make pimiento cheese so I could make the cookies.   I’m a sucker for crackers, crisps, biscuits, ect- especially when Sweet meets Savory!  These cookies are delicious- if you prefer substitute the strawberry preserve for another- raspberry or lingonberry would be great!  You could even use your basic grape jelly- who doesn’t love cheese and grapes!

Southern Treats


Pimento Cheese and Strawberry Jam Cookies Mise En Place



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup refrigerated pimento cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry preserves


1. Beat together flour and pimento cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 1 minute. Add pecans and butter; beat until blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 2 hours.

"Off the Hook" Dough Ball


Roll the dough thin for a crisper cookie

  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Place dough on a well-floured surface, and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 48 rounds with a 2-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps once. Arrange half of rounds 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets; spoon 1/2 tsp. strawberry preserves onto center of each round, and top with remaining rounds, pressing edges to seal.

Just a Dollop of Jam


 3. Bake at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Cheese, Spice and Jam- Great Combination!


 This recipe is from Pawley’s Island Specialty Foods, Palmetto Cheese, Pawley’s Island, SC.  Found in Southern Living.

Whenever a rolling pin is involved, good things follow!
Sweet Southern Beauties………………….

Oatmeal Cream Pies- Move over Little Debbie!

And on the 12th Day of Christmas Cookies I discovered good things were worth waiting for.  Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies are by far the favorite new cookie that I made this year.  They are just plain awesome.  Taste just like Little Debbie’s version, except they are so much better.  Chewy and delicious; kind of ridiculous. 

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

I discovered the recipe at the Beantown Baker.   


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp boiling water


  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 packets)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup water (divided)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces vegetable shortening

These will take you back to Elementary School!

Make the cookies

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside (or use parchment).

Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture. Add the cinnamon and oats. Mix well.

In a small dish, add the baking soda to the boiling water, and then stir the mixture into the rest of the batter. Mix well.

Drop by the tablespoon onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake until the cookies are firm and just starting to turn golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack or a plate.


Make the filling

In a small measuring cup, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Let stand, stirring once or twice until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup hot water until well blended. Continuing to stir, raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil. Continue boiling for 30 seconds. Immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatin mixture until it completely.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the vanilla.

With a mixer on medium speed, beat for 20 seconds. Gradually raise the speed to high and beat until the mixture is stiffened, white, very fluffy, and cooled to barely warm, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar.

Add the shortening and beat until completely smooth.

The filling will set up as it sits, so wait until it is thick enough to spread or pipe before filling the cookies.


Little Debbie Who?

Hope you enjoy the last Day of Christmas Cookies, in my opinion- I saved the best for last!

Happy Baking!


On the 11th Day of Christmas Cookies I made the cookie that started it all- The Buckeye, a true crowd pleaser.   Years ago a friend included me in her yearly Cookie Extravaganza and I was in charge of the Buckeyes.  It was a full day of baking, from early in the morning to late at night, I might have complained a bit, a lot actually, but there is always a smile on my face when I think about these days.   The Annual Cookie Extravaganza was the inspiration for the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies for sure, and how could I not deliver on my responsibility of the Buckeyes!

Ohio's Treasure, the Buckeye!

Is Peanut Butter and Chocolate ever wrong?     


  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening



1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar blending until the dough is smooth.  Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.

3. Melt chocolate and shortening together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.

4. Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.

Makes about 5 dozen pieces of deliciousness

Forget the Reece's Cups!

My yearly tribute to The Cookie Extravaganza and all the Cookie Girls out there!

Penuche Fudge

And on the 10th Day of Christmas Cookies I made my Dad’s favorite.  We weren’t a big “fudge” family, but I do recall his love for Penuche!  As a young girl I didn’t understand why he liked it so much, since there was no chocolate in it. I guess I just figured it was a “grown up” dessert, like his love of Mincemeat Pie.   I might not have understood or like Penuche back then but that story has changed for sure! 

Penuche Fudge

Penuche Fudge has butterscotch and maple overtones, due to its caramelized brown sugar.  You can leave the walnuts out if you prefer, but they really do add a great texture.


  • 4 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar (2 lb.)
  • 1 c. evaporated milk, undiluted
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. chopped walnuts
    Seriously melts in your mouth!


In a large saucepan, mix sugar, milk, butter and salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Allow it to cook until 238 degrees registers on candy thermometer*. Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm, 110 degrees. Add vanilla and walnuts. Beat until mixture is thick and loses its gloss. Pour into buttered 9 inch square pan. When firm, cut into squares.

*If you don’t have a high temperature thermometer another trick is to determine when the candy has reached the right temperature is to take a small amount of mixture and drop it into cold water.  If it forms a soft ball you are in ready to remove from heat.

Makes about 3 pounds

No chocolate, but it's still got dessert "cred"!

Fudge is pretty easy to make- it’s all about cooking the candy to the right temperature.  After that it’s simple!!

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies- The Forgotten Cookie

And on the 9th day of Christmas cookies, I made a cookie that I have been making since high school.  One I can make in my sleep, literally in my sleep.  Forgotten cookies were my “go to” cookie in high school, any friend’s birthday, a big game, or even the dreaded Senior Speech.  I went to a high school that required all graduating senior students to deliver an eight minute speech, to the entire upper school.  It was eight minutes that most of us dreaded for years leading up to it; somehow we thought getting cookies on your “Speech Day” would make it a little easier !

They're like little snow puffs!

Chocolate Meringue Cookies, AKA Forgotten Cookies are delicious and so easy.  Just mix them up, drop them on to the cookie sheet and pop them in the oven.  Go to bed and pack them up in the morning! 


  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. chocolate miniature chips

    Melt in you mouth!




Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy. Add all other ingredients to egg white mixture gradually. Drop by teaspoon on non- stick pan. Put in oven preheated to 375 degrees. Turn off heat and leave overnight.

Yield is about 4 dozen

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

It’s been almost 20 years since I made my senior speech, wow….and over 20 years of making Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies.  And now I feel just a little bit older than I did when I started writing this post!

These cookies go absolutely wonderful with the amazing products sold at

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

On the 8th Day of Christmas Cookies I remembered why I fell in love with Crackle Cookies a few years ago!  It is the season for Christmas cookies and at work many friends bring in plates of cookies to share.  It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday season and to try new types of cookies (and fall off the diet).  I fell for this cookie at first bite!

Good Things Come In Small Packages

There are a ton of recipes for the popular Crackle Cookie, some use dark chocolate, some semi-sweet chocolate, and some even add nuts- hazelnuts or pecans.  My favorite is simple with semi-sweet chocolate as these cookies are so rich. If you are a dark chocolate fan, you can just substitute bittersweet chips in place of the semi-sweet chips.

Of the many recipes for Crackle Cookies I have tried, the recipe below from Culinate is my favorite.


  • 6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  •  ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  •  ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  •  3 large eggs
  •  1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  •  2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  •  1 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  ½ tsp. baking powder
  •  ½ tsp. kosher salt
  •  ¾ cup powdered sugar

Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside!


1. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, until evenly melted. Set aside to cool down to warm, about 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and then, one at a time, the eggs. Stir in the vanilla extract and the espresso powder.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter will have the sticky consistency of brownie batter.

3. Scrape the batter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap the dough into a large ball. Place in the fridge for at least two hours (up to eight hours) or in the freezer for 30 minutes, to firm up the dough.

4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper or silicone baking mats on cookie sheets.

5. Put the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Roll chunks of the chilled cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar until evenly coated. Arrange the balls about 1½ inch apart on the cookie sheets.

6. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes (the baking time will vary, depending on how cold the cookie dough is), until puffed and cracked on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing the cookies with a spatula to wire racks to finish cooling.

7. Serve warm or at room temperature. Keep in an airtight container for a few days. (Do not freeze, as freezing makes the powdered-sugar coating soggy.)

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

I can’t believe I went so long in life without meeting this cookie! 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

On the 6th Day of Christmas Cookies….Things didn’t go my way.   Another recipe from the Ritz Carlton at Amelia– Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, the most favorite cookie I have ever met.  Sir Wes has even gone to our local Ritz to see if he can find them- no luck.  Alas, the kind Pastry Chef sent us the recipe to try ourselves.  At the hotel, these cookies are huge, so soft, decadent and chewy.  A cookie you will never forget. 

Mise en Place

They cookies I made…not the same.  They taste awesome and are moist inside, but definitely fell flat.  I am quite sure it was the baker, not the recipe so I want to post it anyways! 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • ½ cup and 1 tbsp. milk chocolate chips
  • 2 ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ stick butter
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. espresso extract (2 tbsp. Water and ¾ tsp. instant espresso)
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cake flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Sir Duke is very curious at the mess that's been happening in the kitchen lately!



Whip Eggs and sugar in mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Over a double boiler melt the milk chocolate, dark chocolate and butter.  When melted slowly add chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture.  Add espresso and vanilla extracts to the chocolate mixture.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl and then slowly add the flour to the chocolate mix.  Gently fold in the semisweet chocolate chips.  Refrigerate batter for an hour or longer.  Preheat oven to 350 and scoop golf ball size balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Put in freezer for 10 minutes before baking for 15 minutes.   Cool on wire rack.  This recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies- We froze half of the dough and they baked the same.

The dough is pretty soft, I put it in the freezer to be able to scoop it!

I can’t be sure where I went wrong, but these guys didn’t turn out the way the cookies are at Amelia Island.  That’s not saying the cookies I made aren’t delicious- they were trust me…. There will definitely be a “Take Two”

Very moist inside, light and flaky outside!

Not bad for a “Mistake”!

A glass of milk is a must!

Rosemary Walnut Shortbread

On the Fifth Day of Christmas Cookies….I was running short on sugar.  Decided to go down the savory road- these are still a little sweet, but a great alternative for the strange people that don’t enjoy sweets!

The rosemary is great for holiday parties!

Martha Stewart has some magical recipes, and they are always perfectly written and tested.  I know that half of a cup means half of a cup with her recipes!  These cookies are delicious on their own, but serve them with a bit of blue cheese to them and you will never forget them!


  •  1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  •  1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  •  1/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  Raw sugar, for decorating


Rosemary Walnut Shortbread Cookies


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk flour, nuts, rosemary, and salt in a large bowl.

 2. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until lightened, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until dough comes together and is smooth, about 3 minutes.

 3. Turn out dough onto parchment paper, and pat into a round. Place parchment paper on top; roll into a 12-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

 4. Cut out cookies using various sizes of heart-shape cutters (1/2 inch to 3 inches); transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. (Keep same-size cookies on same sheet.) Roll scraps; cut out. Gently press raw sugar onto edges of cookies.

 5. Bake until just golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

Add a hunk of good blue cheese and savor it!

 Take these and a wheel of blue cheese to a holiday party!  Woot!

Chocolate Mint Thumb Print Cookies

And on the Fourth Day of Christmas Cookies …I found some Andes Candies!

Chocolate Mint Thumbprints

Taken from Burghilicious– They just look so amazing.  The recipe can also be found in Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.

For the cookies

  •  2 ounces dark chocolate
  •  2 ounces mint chocolate or Andes mint chocolate candies
  •  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  3/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
  •  1/3 cup granulated sugar
  •  2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  •  2 egg yolks
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1 cup coarse sugar for rolling

 For the mint ganache

  •  3 ounces high-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  •  3 tablespoons heavy cream
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

    Olive Garden should give these out instead of Andes Candies!



 Melt together the dark and mint chocolate in the microwave using 30 second bursts. Whisk until smooth, and then set aside to cool.

 In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the white and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and continue beating until combined. Add the cooled chocolate and mix gently until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add the flour-cocoa mixture. Mix on a low speed until the dough is smooth, but only just. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a disk. Wrap it up and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

 When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and let the dough soften on a counter for a few minutes if it got really hard. Pour the coarse sugar into a shallow bowl and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

 Form tablespoon-size dough balls, taking care that they have no lumps or cracks, and try to make them all the same size. (A cookie scoop is awesome here.) Roll each ball in coarse sugar and place it on the cookie sheet. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

 Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the sheets from the oven and re-make the indentations (aren’t you glad you used that wooden spoon and not your actual thumb!) Swap and rotate the cookie sheets when you return them to the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes. Pull the cookies out of the oven at the very first sign of cracking and cool completely on a wire rack.

 To make the mint ganache, put the white chocolate in a glass measuring cup with a pour spout. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it boils, about 30 seconds. Pour the heavy cream over the white chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the peppermint extract. Use the measuring cup to fill the thumbprints with the ganache and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

Chocolate and Mint! Yum!!

 These cookies freeze beautifully and thaw in minutes. …..if you can get them to the freezer!