Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

These Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes are SO MUCH FUN to make (and eat!) and very, very rich.

If you’re a chocolate lover, then you need to try these!

To make them a little less decadent, you could make regular cupcakes in place of the brownie base, and even try a milder flavor like yellow cake dyed orange.

But I was in need of some heavy-duty chocolate.  This hit the spot.


The first thing I did was make some of my Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins with my girls.  We made them the day before.

Then we melted some white candy melts to make the chocolate bones using this skeleton mold from Wilton.

We crushed up a handful of Oreo cookies in a plastic bag for our graveyard “dirt,” and we baked up some box brownies according to the package directions.

I’d thought about making the brownies in a big pan to construct a large graveyard scene, but then switched to the cupcake idea.

I was going to use regular cupcake lines and write RIP in icing on some Milano cookies for the gravestones, but then I found these cute graveyard cupcake liners that come with their own paper gravestones on toothpicks.  I happened upon them at Walmart, but there are similar products online and at other stores, too.


We let the brownies cool completely, then iced them with chocolate icing.

We pressed in the graveyard picks and some pumpkins and bones into the icing, before sprinkling over a little of the Oreo dirt.  (If you sprinkle the cookie crumbs first, the chocolate pieces won’t stick into the icing.)

Then we savored the festively decedent chocolate culinary celebrations.

I recommend you share them, and not attempt to eat 18 thick piles of chocolate all by yourself.  Because:  wow.  ;)

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween Baking!

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Spider Web Peppermint Patties


I am enchanted by these Spider Web Peppermint Patties!

Seriously easy and super cute Halloween treats are my favorite.  Like my Vampire Donuts or Oreo Ghosts or Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns.

And these are in that vein.  (Is that a Halloween pun??)

Candy plus icing, and done.

I used peppermint extract to flavor the icing, which was nice with the peppermint candy, but you could also use vanilla.

Spider Web Halloween Peppermint Patties

I made icing with a scoop of powdered sugar, a sprinkle of meringue powder, a dash of peppermint extract, and a splash of water.

(You can see the actual recipe on my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but here I used peppermint extract instead of almond.)

I put the icing in a baggy, snipped off the end, and drew the webs with the icing on top of the York Peppermint Patties.  I drew an asterisk, then made a swishy circle in the shape of a spider web.

I lost the plastic spider-shaped rings I thought I had, which would have looked cute in the photos, but the candy still looked good.  And the kids were super happy!

Happy Halloween Snacking!

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Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon cookies for awhile.  And, apparently, my new obsession is dipping things in chocolate.

This particular recipe is a thick, cake-like cookie with a strong hint of cinnamon and an emphasis on brown sugar.

And the chocolate just makes it incredibly amazing.

Plus – and this is my favorite part – that thick cookie soaks up warm coffee like it was born for it.  It’s like the perfect breakfast.  (And dessert.  And snack.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

All the good stuff.

Theoretically you could use light brown sugar … but then you’d be missing out on the extra oomph of molasses.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 4

We’re getting there…

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 5

Coming together…

(I’m getting excited.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Not that I promote eating raw cookie dough or anything but… ohmygosh this stuff is like a gooey pile of heaven.

But it’s a little sticky too, so use nonstick cooking spray to coat your hands before spreading it in the pan.

It will be thin, but that’s okay – it’s gonna rise.  Just make sure there are no holes allowing the pan to show through.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Yum!  Good stuff right here.

Don’t overbake it, though.  I probably could have cooked this one right here about a minute less, since it’s going to keep cooking just a little when you pull it out.  The cookie needs to cool completely in the pan.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

When you cut your cookies, they will present a nicer display if you trim off the crispy edges.

You can see my “edges” in the photo above.  They were a little larger than necessary, but, you know, those were the parts that didn’t make it to the pot luck.  ;)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 9

You could dip them into chocolate any way you want, but I certainly recommend using dark chocolate.  It has a nice deep flavor that complements the cookie.

I like the way it looks when you dip the corner, but technically you could dip just the bottoms or a full half of the cookie instead.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 10

Or drizzle the chocolate over it.

Were you still thinking about those “edges” I mentioned?  Here they are (above).  I drizzled the leftover chocolate over them.  For parties I think the dipped corners are gorgeous, but the drizzle does the job too.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 11

Did I mention these were amazing with coffee?

Did I only mention it once?  ‘Cause these are uh-mazing with coffee.

(Even if you accidentally put too much creamer in your coffee.  Still amazing.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
10 oz. dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Line a 15 by 10-inch jelly roll pan, or baking sheet with sides, with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.  Stir in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.  Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined.

Spread the dough onto the baking sheet.  It is easier to work with if you lightly coat the parchment paper and your hands (or spoon) with nonstick cooking spray.  The dough will be a little wet and it will be very thin in the pan.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.  Place pan on a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool fully in pan.

Slice the cookies into bars by first trimming off the crispy edges.  Cut three rows lengthwise, then slice those pieces about an inch thick.  You’ll have about 4 dozen cookies that measure about 1 by 3 inches.

Melt the chocolate according to the package directions.  Dip each cookie into the chocolate then place the cookie onto parchment or waxed paper to allow chocolate to set.  Store covered.


Click below for the free printable PDF recipe with photos:

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Happy Baking!

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Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ginger Cookie Truffles 1

So the other day I was sitting there thinking:  if people make Oreo Truffles all the time, can I make truffles out of other cookies too?

The answer is OH VERY YES.


I chose these ingredients because I’m a big fan of spice cakes and gingerbread cookies and things like that.  My mom can practically live off of ginger snaps.  And fall is on its way.  (Or maybe it’s already here.  I’m not sure:  I live in Florida.)

Ginger Cookie Truffles 2

Anyway, these truffles are basically a combination of cookie crumbs and cream cheese smushed together and dipped into white chocolate.

Then, for a fun touch, drizzled with a little cinnamon chocolate.  Just ’cause.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 3

It took me a little bit of forever to crush up all the cookies because my food processor broke, but it wasn’t difficult.

I like these ginger thins because they’re pretty crispy, which made for great crumbs.

I’m sure you could substitute a different cookie, but you might have to adjust your amounts, and – you know – these ginger thin cookies are incredible so why would you??

Unless you come up with something better – then please let me know.  Food is my favorite type of experiment.  ;)

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I picked up all of my ingredients at Walmart.  But you can also get them online if you can’t find these things locally.  I totally swear by those Ghirardelli wafers.  They seriously rock both in the ease-of-use and taste categories.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 4

The end result?

A silky smooth creamy center exploding with spice and encased in a mildly sweet chocolate that’s decorated with just a hint of cinnamon.

They look good and taste even better.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 5

Ginger Cookie Truffles


10.5 oz. (2 boxes) Anna’s Swedish Thins or other ginger cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers)
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Crumble the ginger cookies in a food processor or by hand until finely ground.

Mix the cream cheese into the cookie crumbs until well combined and smooth.

Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the cookie mix and shape into balls.  Place the balls on a tray lined with parchment paper or tin foil.  Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate according to the package directions, stirring until smooth.  Take out the cookie balls and dip them into the chocolate using a fork, one at a time, until fully coated.  Shake the fork to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.  Set the truffles on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper until chocolate hardens, using the side of a second fork to push the truffle off the first fork.

When all the truffles are done, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of cinnamon into the remaining chocolate, depending on how much chocolate is left, and stir to combine. Then use a clean fork to drizzle the cinnamon chocolate over the truffles.

Allow to fully set, then store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen.


Click here to print the free PDF of the recipe:

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Happy Eating!

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Polka Dot Peanut Butter Bananas

polka dot peanut butter bananas

I gotta tell ya . . . ever since I was a kid, I could just never get into Ants on a Log.

You know those things where people spread peanut butter over pieces of celery and dot the peanut butter with raisins meant to resemble little bugs?

Yeah.  I can’t stand celery.

It’s one of those things that I do – very, very occasionally – cook with.  Like in soups.  BUT, I dice up the celery super small and use less than what’s called for.

In other words, if I don’t like the taste and texture of something, I’m not going to eat it as a “snack.”

So, especially considering that I’m not a huge raisin fan either, Ants on a Log was never a thing for me.

Until now.

See, bananas I like.  And combine them with peanut butter and chocolate chips, and BOOM:  super awesome.

Seriously.  The combo kind of tastes like cookies or cheesecake.  It’s like a dessert, but in a slightly healthy snack.  Well, it’s fruit anyway.  And you could use any type of nut or seed butter.

Best part?  The kids can make these treats themselves.

I went ahead and sliced the bananas in half and then in half again (to make four quarters out of one banana, which was easier for their little hands to hold), but then I gave them plastic knives to scoop and spread the peanut butter, and I put out a little dish of chocolate chips for them to stick in the peanut butter.

So it was interactive for them and they got to eat something they made.

Ridiculously simple and ridiculously good.

Happy Eating!

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A Mom’s Counting Primer [A Poetic Parody]

blocks 123

So, a couple of weeks ago I had these nagging words in my head that needed to be written down.

It really started as a kid’s book.  Some sort of humorous counting primer.

It didn’t stay a kid’s book long.

It became a poem for moms who know what it’s like to count.  You know, the you’d-better-do-what-I-told-you-to-do-before-I-get-to-three type of counting.

But the mom in the poem is nice.  She goes up to ten.  (Kind of.)

I recently joined Wattpad, so I posted the poem there.  Grab a glass of wine and head on over to check it out (seriously, I think the whole thing is shorter than this blog post).  Then please share it with all the moms you know that could use a little “time out.”  ;)

Here’s the poem:

A Mom’s Counting Primer [A Poetic Parody]


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I Have Seen Beyond Infinity

From Beyond Lovecraft Quote

As you may have noticed, if you follow my blog, I read a wide variety of genres . . . but there’s a special place in my heart for horror.

I love how there’s so much you can do with horror, how it can encompass everything else, from science fiction to romance.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a little Lovecraft lately, and while he has many quotable phrases, this particular bit stuck with me enough that I felt I should illustrate it.

So I made this graphic.

It reads:

I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars . . . I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness . . .

The imagery conjures something vast, something terrifying, but in words that translate the concept of cosmic horror with a sense of beauty.

Or, it does for me.

This quote can be found in From Beyond, a story from the collection The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft.

The photo features a small but very active galaxy in the Camelopardalis constellation and can be found on NASA’s website.

And you can find more images like this that I’ve made in my Quotes section.

Enjoy.  :)

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