Baking with Sofia: Confetti m&m Sugar Cookies

As you may remember, B and I recently babysat our niece and nephew. They spent the night at our downtown apartment and were in awe of everything downtown – from the trolley to the lake – which made for a fun sleepover.

What else made for a fun sleepover? I had a baking buddy! That’s right, Sofia and I baked cookies together. She was an awesome helper – helping sort through m&ms  (to find the non-crushed ones for me), helping pour sugar, and also even helping to shape the dough! Oliver tried to help – but he ended up just eating lots of m&ms. Oh well, there’s still time for him to learn!

We ended up making some fun colored m&m sugar cookies. Sofia and I decided that with the crushed up AND full candies they looked like confetti  – and confetti m&m sugar cookies were born! Here you go. I highly recommend you bake them with your favorite niece/nephew or baking buddy!

confetti m&m sugar cookies | I Crashed The Web

Confetti m&m Sugar Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ c butter
  • ½ c shortening
  • ½ c  granulated sugar
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ c m&ms (1 c crushed, ½ c whole)
  • ½ c white chocolate chips
  • ½ c any of your other favorite candy (crushed, optional)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or spray with a nonstick spray like butter flavored Pam!
  2. Take about 1 c. of M&Ms and crush them. I tried using my blender but that didn’t work so I put them in a bag and smashed them with a meat mallet. Very good way to beat the stress! Set aside the ½ c remaining M&Ms and keep whole.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar together in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter, shortening, white sugar and confectioners’ sugar together until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
  6.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and blend.
  7.  Add in crushed m&ms, whole m&ms, white chocolate chips and your other favorite candy. I know, it’s hard to choose just one. I crushed a few Butterfinger bars (this time in the blender) for my other candy.
  8. Shape dough into rounded tablespoon-sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  9.  Bake at 375 degrees F  for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then enjoy!
Posing before pouring the sugar for the cookies

Posing before pouring the sugar for the cookies

Sofia pours the sugar

Sofia pours the sugar

carefully shaping the dough into balls

carefully shaping the dough into balls

"Aunt Melissa, is this right? Can you do the rest?"

“Aunt Melissa, is this right? Can you do the rest?”

confetti m&m sugar cookies | I Crashed The Web

All done! Ready to enjoy some cookies.

Lemon Bars!

Once, in high school, I made lemon bars. And every year during the holidays since then, my Uncle Mike requests lemon bars as one of the many desserts we have. I haven’t taken him up on his request – mainly because I haven’t had time to find the recipe, search for a new recipe, and because I’m convinced nobody really likes lemon desserts.

Well, this year, I changed my mind. I mean, I LOVE lemon bars and lemon pound cake and many lemon desserts … so maybe other people do too? And while I was home for the holidays, I was browsing through a cookbook my mom had on hand, I happened to find an easy looking recipe my mom had marked – for lemon bars! I asked my mom what she thought and she encouraged me to try it. After all, Tate’s Bakeshop has some amazing chocolate chip cookies that my mom had replicated (we enjoy their cookies on Fire Island), and my uncle had been asking for lemon bars for quite a few years.

I’m glad I tried them out – they came out amazing! I’ll be definitely using this easy, and fast, recipe for years to come.

lemon bars
Luscious Lemon Bars
Here’s what you need:
For the crust/base:
  • 1 cup butter, softened (I used 1 stick salted, 1 stick unsalted)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
For the top/filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • Grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (According to the interwebs, you may need up to 4 lemons to make this … I luckily found a LARGE lemon and was able to obtain 1/2 c juice from just ONE!)
 Here’s what you do:
For the crust/base:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, flour and sugar with your hands till the mixture is well blended. I actually used a hand mixer on low to get the butter and flower well mixed, then used my hands to evenly distribute all the ingredients.
  3. Place the mixture in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Pat the mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

For the top/filling:

  1.  While the base is baking, beat the eggs.
  2. Add the sugar and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the flour and mix until everything is incorporated.
  4. When the base is done, remove the pan from the oven. Add the lemon juice to the sugar/lemon zest/flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour it over the warm base and bake the entire thing for 20 minutes.
  6. When cool, cut into squares or triangles (makes more bars). Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of finished bars just before serving.
  7. Enjoy some of the best lemon bars you’ve ever tasted!

labeled crust

labeled filling

labeled lemon bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Today, in addition to watching the Browns game, doing laundry, going for a run and doing some work, I was a baking and cooking machine. I roasted tomatoes, made fresh pesto, baked banana bread and even made some cookie dough balls. That’s right – cookie dough balls. Who needs cake balls when you have these tasty treats? And of course, they’re egg free – so not only delicious but a safe way (and perfect excuse) to indulge in the best part of baking – cookie dough!

chocolate covered cookie dough bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

(borrowed from this recipe)

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used 1% but may try almond milk next time)
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz bag of milk chocolate candy coating

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add milk and vanilla and mix on high speed with an electric mixer (or your beloved KitchenAid).
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
  4. When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ round balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place dough ball-filled sheet in freezer and let chill for  at least 30 minutes (I went for a run and let mine chill for about an hour).
  6. After cookie dough balls have hardened in the freezer, it’s time to dip them in the melted chocolate! Melt chocolate candy coating in the microwave or according to package directions. Using a toothpick, dip cookie balls into melted milk chocolate and coat completely.
  7. Return chocolate-covered balls to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill until set.
  8. Enjoy! They’re pretty awesome.

chocolate chip cookie dough balls

Butterfinger Cookie Bars

This week, my office his hosting another event to support this weekend’s Pelotonia event – and this time we’re hosting a potluck! I of course wanted to use the occasion to bake something from my ever-growing baking recipe wish list and Pinterest cookies page, but how to choose? I decided to share my baking Pinterest boards with Samantha, whose birthday is the same day as the potluck, and asked her what she’d like to try. As soon as she mentioned the Butterfinger Blondies recipe, I knew that was it. I had to make them! And they came out divine! Love Butterfinger candy? Love cookies? Then you’ve gotta try out this simple recipe.

butterfinger cookie bars and butterfinger cream frosting

Butterfinger Cookie Bars with Butterfinger Cream Frosting (from Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Here’s what you need:

For the cookie batter:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs (I used 1/2 c Eggbeaters)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups roughly chopped Butterfinger Bars (I chopped up 17 Fun Size bars)

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 5 Fun Size bars)

Here’s what you do:

For the cookies:

  1. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl.
  2. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) until just evenly mixed.
  4. Using a spatula, stir in the chopped Butterfinger bars.
  5. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish. Batter will be sticky!
  6. Bake for 25 minutes at 350° preheated oven. Toothpick inserted into cookie bars should come out clean when completely done.
  7. Cool before frosting.

For the Butterfinger cream frosting:

  1. Cream the butter and shortening until mixed together.
  2. Slowly add in you powdered sugar. After desired consistency is achieved, mix together thoroughly.
  3. Stir in about half the chopped Butterfinger.
  4. Spread Butterfinger cream frosting on your cooled cookie bars.
  5. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped Butterfinger on top of the frosting after spreading.
  6. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Super Easy Peanut Butter & Fluff Bars

This week, my office hosted a bake sale during Walnut Wednesday to support Pelotonia, a bicycle event in Columbus that a few of my coworkers are participating are in (as you know, my lack of bike riding skills make it a little hard for me join) and I was looking for something new to make. I wanted to bake something delicious and unique – but also easy, because I knew  I’d be short on time this week. Betty Crocker’s website offers a variety of cake mix and cookie mix-inspired recipes, and of course I found exactly what I wanted there. I introduce you to, what I’m calling, Easy, Crunchy Peanut Butter & Fluff Bars.

peanut butter and fluff cookie bars

Easy, Crunchy Peanut Butter & Fluff Bars (from

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) peanut butter cookie mix (I told you it was easy!)
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tb water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 c mini marshmallows
  • 2/3 c light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 bag (10 oz) peanut butter chips
  • 2 c Rice Krispees
  • 2 c salted peanuts

The ingredients – not pictured, the corn syrup. She was shy.

Here’s what you do:

  1. In large bowl, mix peanut butter cookie mix, oil, water and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in 13×9-inch baking pan prepared with Pam or another cooking spray.
  2. Bake  in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over crust and bake 2-3 minutes longer or until marshmallows begin to puff.
  3. In a 5-quart saucepan, cook corn syrup, butter, vanilla and chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted.
  4.  Remove saucepan from heat; stir in cereal and nuts. Immediately spoon cereal mixture evenly over marshmallows.
  5.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. When cooled, cut into bars or triangles.
  6. Enjoy!

The Perfect, Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

Did you know that yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Day? I didn’t either, until my coworker Cari told me. I must have been psychic, though – I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies and bring them into work.

I’ve been on a quest to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie for quite a while. They tend to either come out flat, or too doughy, or too floury tasting. Well, the wait is over – I’ve found the PERFECT recipe. I am never using a different recipe again. These came out not only tasting great, but also looking perfect (if I do say so myself). And of course, I’m sharing the goodness with you!

best chocolate chip cookie recipe

How to Make the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie:

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature and slightly soft
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in the vanilla.
  3. Mix together baking soda, salt and flour. Add to sugar mixture and DON’T over mix.
  4. Stir in chocolate chip with a spatula. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven, or until edges are slightly browned. Watch closely to make sure they don’t burn.
  6. Cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!

perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe