Cake Batter Puppy Chow {Revisited}

Remember this little guy?




Well, he turns 1 this weekend (this photo made his invite) and since his Mom is my BFF from this picture, I begged volunteered to help out with birthday treats!  She put in a request for some appetizers, so of course, I made everyone’s favorite Sorority Spinach Dip.  And since she knows I’m a big fan of the puppy chow, she suggested a bowl of that.


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For a first birthday party, only one kind of puppy chow is appropriate…Cake Batter Puppy Chow.  I actually learned about this recipe at a first birthday party, and it has appeared on the blog before.  Per usual, I had my unwanted kitchen helper : )




Whose nose I was able to keep out of the bowl of chocolate covered Chex.




The secret ingredient to this recipe, is cake mix!




You cover your white chocolate coated cereal in mostly cake mix, with only a little bit of powdered sugar.




For that perfect cake-like taste!




I’ll tell you that it doesn’t have to be a birthday party to dig into this bag of goodness!




Wondering what to do with your leftover cake mix?

Cake Batter Fudge is totally the WAY TO GO!





Cake Batter Puppy Chow

From The Girl Who Ate Everything



6 cups Chex cereal

10 ounces white chocolate chips

1 heaping cup yellow cake mix

1/4 cup powdered sugar




Pour Chex into a big bowl.

Melt white chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second increments until smooth.  Stir well and pour over cereal, using a spatula to distribute evenly.

Immediately sprinkle with sprinkles.  Pour yellow cake mix over cereal.  Use spatula to mix.  Pour powdered sugar over cereal and fold everything together so that all of the pieces are covered.

Add more sprinkles if desired.

Sore in air tight container at room temperature or in the freezer.


*Recipe easily doubles to use up one full box of Chex and cake mix.

White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

As you read this, the BOY and I are most likely sitting at Pints and Pancakes drinking some GREEN beer and celebrating St. Patty’s Day in St. Louis!  Woo Hoo!


We have close friends who live on the Illinois side of the city (the same friends we partied in Las Vegas with last year), and it has been WAY TOO long since the four of us have gotten together!




We always have a ton of fun when we are together, and I’m sure St. Patty’s Day will be no different.




I knew that there was no way that I would show up in St. Louis empty handed.




So on Monday, I pulled out butter in the morning with intentions of making cookies.  A quick view of the pantry confirmed that I have an overwhelming amount of peanut butter chips, white chocolate chunks, and dried fruit, including raisins.




The only thing missing was the oats, which I was able to pick up at the grocery store, and I was all set to make oatmeal raisin cookies.  There are plenty of oatmeal raisin cookies out there, and I’ve made my fair share of cookies on this blog.




I went with a new to me recipe from a close friend’s blog.  She has tons of incredible desserts and makes some of the prettiest cookies that I’ve seen!




Oatmeal raisin cookies are the BOY’s favorite, and I’ve met few people who can say no to a soft and sweet gooey dessert.




In honor of St. Patty’s Day, I added a little green ‘flair’ to a few of the cookies.




This recipe made more than enough cookies for me to bring into work and still have plenty to freeze for this weekend.




The warm white chocolate melts in your mouth and compliments the plump golden raisins perfectly!




This is a delicious combination!


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You won’t be able to eat just one!




The BOY was excited to dive into these cookies, but I know he will be even more excited when our friends offer him homemade deer jerky this weekend!


Happy St. Patty’s Day



White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Adapted from The Sugar Coated Chef

Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies



    1 cup unsalted butter

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    3/4 cup brown sugar

    2 eggs

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    1 1/2 cups flour

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

    3 cups rolled oats

    1 1/2 cups raisins

    1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips



      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.

      Combine dry ingredients. Stir them into the butter mixture until well blended.

      Add raisins and white chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful onto a lined baking sheet.

      Bake about 11 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges. Cool on a wire rack before storing in an air tight container.

      Freeze leftovers.

      Holiday Barks

      Along with these adorable Chocolate Pretzel Rings, I made a few holiday inspired barks this year.  This is a tradition that I started a few years back (these are last year’s barks), and I love how creative you can get with melted chocolate. 

      Warning: this post has a lot of recipes and fun ideas!




      First Up…

      Peppermint Bark!




      This recipe seems to be everyone’s favorite, especially this time of year.




      It’s so simple that I can’t believe I haven’t made it before.




      But I will definitely be adding it my yearly list!




      This bark makes a beautiful holiday gift, so I recommend making 2 batches…one for yourself and one to share with your friends!





      Moving On…

      A new and innovative recipe from Crazy For Crust for Scotch Krispie Bark.




      Starring butterscotch chips…yum!




      Covered in Rice Krispies, chocolate, and then smothered with peanut butter!




      It was hard to wait for this one to harden because I was eager to taste it!




      I’m a huge fan of the sweet butterscotch and crunchy krispie combination!




      And although I love peanut butter, it wasn’t my favorite for this bark, so next time I will probably just omit it.


      Getting Back to Peppermint…




      I was inspired by these Peppermint Pretzels to create an original bark.




      I stirred the chopped pretzels into white chocolate and then covered it with Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips and crushed candy canes.




      Super festive…right?




      This mish mash actually turned out pretty awesome!


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      Who doesn’t love S’mores?




      This mixture of mallows and grahams creates a complex texture.




      That I guarantee you will enjoy!





      All of these barks make for easy, fun, and mouth watering gifts.  And because they store so easily in your freezer, there is always something for you to snack on.  I recommend storing them in freezer safe ziploc bags and remove as much air as possible.  Chocolate barks and candies are really forgiving, so you can use all of your leftover baking supplies to create your own sweet treats!  No measuring required!



      Peppermint Bark

      From Back to Her Roots



      8 peppermint candy canes

      12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

      12 ounces white chocolate chips



      Cover a large cookie sheet in aluminum foil. Set aside.

      Remove candy canes from wrapper and place in large plastic, ziptop bag. Using a mallet, bottom of a glass or rolling pin, mash the candy canes until they are in small chunks.

      In a double boiler (or microwave) melt semisweet chocolate chips. When completely smooth, pour onto cookie sheet and spread into a thin later (about 1/8"). Don’t worry if chocolate doesn’t spread to edge of cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in freezer.

      Using a clean double boiler, melt white chocolate chips until smooth. Mix in all but 2/3 cup of the candy cane pieces.

      Remove cookie sheet from freezer, carefully spread white chocolate over the dark chocolate in a thin layer. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of reserved candy cane pieces on top. Place cookie sheet in freezer.

      Once bark is completely cooled and hard. Remove from cookie sheet and break into large pieces.



      Scotch Krispie Bark

      From Crazy For Crust



      1 bag butterscotch chips

      1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

      1 ½ cups Rice Krispies Cereal

      ½ cup peanut butter (I’d say this is optional)



      Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 1 minute, stir, and then add increments of 30 seconds until chips are melted and smooth. Spread on cookie sheet.

      Sprinkle Rice Krispies cereal on top of butterscotch layer. Press down with your hands.

      Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave, again using 50% power, stirring after 1 minute and continuing to heat at 30 second intervals until chips are melted. (If chocolate doesn’t seem smooth, add about a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil and stir.) Spread over Rice Krispie layer.

      While spreading chocolate layer, melt peanut butter in microwave. Drizzle over spread chocolate and swirl with the back of a spoon.

      Chill to harden bark, then break into pieces and serve.



      White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Bark



      1 bag of TJ’s Peppermint Pretzel Thins, crushed

      8 ounces White Chocolate

      Candy canes, crushed

      1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips



      Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

      Melt white chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.  Do not over heat!

      Stir in pretzel thins and Andes Peppermint Chips.

      Spread over cookie sheet and sprinkle the top with candy canes.  Use a spatula or your hands to push the candy canes into the chocolate.

      Freeze or refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.

      Then break into pieces.



      S’mores Bark



      1 cup graham cracker crumbs

      8 ounces candy melts or chocolate




      Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

      Melt chocolate and mix in your graham cracker crumb and half of the marshmallows.

      Pour and spread across a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

      Sprinkle on the remaining marshmallows and press them into the chocolate.

      Freeze or refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.

      Then break into pieces.



      What is your favorite chocolate bark? 

      I’m always looking for new ideas recipes!

      End of Year Cookies

      I am on the road….to recovery AND to Costco!


      I haven’t run in over a week and it seems like forever since I’ve posted about exercise, so I am taking one last day to rest up, and then I am exchanging sick posts for active ones. Much more exciting : )




      Speaking of exciting…you HAVE to make this Gingerbread recipe and then the next day you HAVE to turn into Gingerbread French Toast.




      It was the perfect combination of spicy bread and ooey gooey breakfast.  I’m not sure that there is any other way to start the day!




      I don’t know how you make your French toast, but this morning I quickly scrambled together 2 eggs, 1/4 cup almond milk, tons of cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla. Then dunked in each slice and fried them up on the skillet.




      Topped with some syrup and a few blackberries.  The BOY and I ate our breakfast standing in the kitchen we liked it so much!


      These past few days, I have had some extra down time, so I have been catching up on all of my favorite blogs.  It seems that this has been the year of the cookie!  Okay, maybe not officially, but as I read through everyone’s End of Year Recipe Wrap Up, there seem to be a lot, and I mean A LOT, of mouth watering cookie recipes and pictures out there.




      These posts are dangerous because they make you want to drop everything you are doing to go preheat your oven.  That’s exactly what happened when I was reading through Sally’s Post.




      Luckily, I have tons of leftover baking ingredients scattered throughout my house including the driedcranberries and white chocolate chunks I used in these cookies.




      A few things I learned while baking these cookies…




      Number 1- Adding cornstarch to all purpose flour creates cake flour, and cake flour makes for fluffy cookies!




      Number 2-Chilling the dough is important!




      Number 3-There is a difference between light and dark brown sugar when baking cookies.  Sally recommends using dark brown sugar in these cookies!




      These were great lessons to learn!  Not only because I made these soft, beautiful, and delicious cookies, but because they will help with many cookie successes in the new year.




      Packed full of bright cranberries and white chocolate chunks, these cookies make a great hostess gift for your New Year’s party!


      I have definitely baked up my fair share of cookies this year, here are a few of my favorites:

      Ginger Molasses Cookies

      Double Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

      Oatmeal Scotchies

      Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

      Chocolate Mint-Thins



      White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

      From Sally’s Baking Addiction


      3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

      3/4 cup dark brown sugar

      1/4 cup granulated sugar

      1 large egg, at room temperature

      2 teaspoons vanilla extract

      2 cups all-purpose flour

      2 teaspoons cornstarch

      1 teaspoon baking soda

      1/2 teaspoon salt

      3/4 cup white chocolate chips

      3/4 cup dried cranberries



      Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.

      In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in white chocolate chips & dried cranberries. Chill dough (covered) for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

      Preheat oven to 350F. Drop balls of dough (1.5 tablespoons each) onto cookie sheet OR used a standard-sized cookie scoop. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT cook them longer than 9 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack.



      What are you baking this weekend?

      Candy Cane Puppy Chow


      I can’t express how exciting it is to read your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s Blogger-Versary post.  Ya’ll are incredible!




      I left sunny Florida (and my family) behind this morning, but plan to share warm, bright photos to melt winter’s chill until April : )  The BOY picked me up at the airport and after almost a week, it was great to see him!  We had a quiet day planned leaving me time to get prepped for Christmas Day and a take 2 hour nap!!! 




      The BOY and I head separate directions on Christmas Day each with our own traditions.  In the morning, I will be celebrating Christmas with my brother, his girlfriend, and her wonderful family.  In the afternoon, we move on to Jewish Christmas with a movie and Chinese food.  Surprise, surprise, I was put in charge of dessert.  Thankfully, he left me more than enough treats in the freezer to snack on and put together for tomorrow’s holiday.  However, I also wanted to make something for some of our friends who are gluten intolerant.




      Puppy Chow is always a fan favorite and can be made gluten free by using Chex Cereal.  I was inspired by our Halloween success with the pumpkin spices kisses, to try Hershey’s kisses puppy chow again…this time with my favorite candy cane kisses!


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      What I didn’t expect was the bright pink color, but I loved it!  I was only sad that I didn’t have any green decorations to sprinkle throughout.  I did have some Andes Peppermint Crunch chips, so I sprinkled those in for an extra peppermint kick!




      Then doused everything in powder sugar while the BOY stood by watching, waiting for his taste test.




      What can I say…you just can’t go wrong with puppy chow?!




      This recipe just melts in your mouth leaving a fresh peppermint aftertaste!




      I was quite pleased with my creation and know it will taste even better once it is frozen.  I think I should make a tshirt that says ‘I heart frozen puppy chow!’  I quickly made a batch of these flourless peanut butter cookies.  Along with some bubbly, I am all set for tomorrow’s celebration!  Tonight we are headed out for our annual Christmas Eve dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Coopers Hawk!


      Wishing everyone a happy and safe evening with family and friends!



      Candy Cane Puppy Chow

      Adapted from Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow



      1 10 oz bag of Candy Cane Hershey kisses, unwrapped

      6 cups Chex cereal

      2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

      Andes Peppermint Chips( optional)



      Pour Chex mix and ~1/2 cup Andes Peppermint Chips into a large bowl.  Set aside. 

      Melt kisses in the microwave ~1 minute. Pour melted kisses over Chex cereal, stirring to coat (I find a spatula works best).

      Fold in powdered sugar and more Andes mints if desired.

      Store in air tight container or freeze.

      White Chocolate M&M Cookies

      In my search for holiday cookies, I came across this colorful M&M cookies on Two Peas & Their Pod.



      I loved the bright colors and this unique twist on an M&M cookie.

      Candy canes and white chocolate???  Yes please!




      I also knew that the BOY would get a kick out of their IU colors (especially during basketball season).




      Although I actually made the cookies last week, I am watching the Indiana/Florida Atlantic game as I write this post.  If only they were playing in Florida, I could have gotten tickets to the game (FAU is located right near my family down here). 




      I thought it would be fun to make these in my mini whoopie pie tins for some thick rounded cookies.  Since I only had one pan, I made some of the cookies this way and the rest as drop cookies.


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      Both ways yielded perfect and flavorful cookies!




      You will loving sinking your teeth into these soft and chewy cookies with a strong peppermint aftertaste!





      Hint: you might want to run out and grab a bag of these seasonal M&M’s before it is too late!

      Even though the BOY and I are many miles away, I did rock my new Indiana tshirt today in support of tonight’s game!  In all honesty, I didn’t actually know they were playing until after I put it on, but I did rock the red and white while hanging out with the family all day and stayed up late to watch the game.




      Good Night!





      White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

      From Two Peas & Their Pod



      3 cups all-purpose flour

      1/2 teaspoon salt

      3/4 teaspoon baking soda

      1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

      1 cup light brown sugar

      1/2 cup granulated sugar

      2 large eggs

      1 tablespoon vanilla extract

      1 cup white chocolate chips

      1/2 cup crushed candy canes

      1 cup White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s



      Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

      Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.

      Cream butter and sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in the white chocolate chips, candy canes, and M&M’s.

      Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.


      Note: These recipes turn out nicely in a whoopie pie pan if you have one!

      Sugar Coma

      If I ate every sweet that was in my house right now, I would be in a total Sugar Coma!  As it stands, I have baked tons of cookies and made a bunch of dips, and we are fully stocked up with the good stuff.




      Funny story about that…the BOY calls me last night around 7:15pm while I was still at work.  ‘Bad News’, he says.  I forgot to bring the nice tin of cookies you made for my parents to their house today.  ‘Good News’, he continues.  I liked everything in it! 




      Yup…that happened!


      Our house is loaded with tupperwares full of cookies, yet he dove right into the nice arrangement I made for his parents. Typical right : ) I had to smile when I walked in the door and saw the bright red tin sitting next to his big comfy chair.  Luckily, there is more than enough to go around so I can restock the tin.




      With what you ask?  Here is the next recipe from this weekend’s baking spree!


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      Looks good…doesn’t it?




      When I saw this recipe for Cranberry Bliss Bark on Cookies & Cups, I knew I had to make it.




      My hands were busy throughout, and my Mom was baking cookies, so we didn’t get tons of pictures of the prep work.  When everything was set and done, I had a major foil problem!




      But it didn’t foil my toffee.




      It just took some extra work to get these sweet and crunchy bites of happiness!




      Lesson learned for next time and for when I make my next batch of Christmas Crack.  No foil!  Just lots and lots of cooking spray.  Sally confirmed that this is the way to do it!




      My slices of bark aren’t nearly as beautiful as the original, but they are just as tasty!




      I recommend storing it in the freezer, but I like most of my sweets frozen.






      Frozen or not, this one won’t last long!




      For more holiday BLISS, try making these Cranberry Bliss Bars with your leftover dried cranberries!



      Cranberry Bliss Bark

      From Cookies & Cups


      18 Graham Crackers

      1 cup butter

      1 cup light brown sugar, packed

      1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

      8 oz white chocolate or almond bark, chopped finely.

      1 cup Craisins



      Preheat oven to 400°

      Line a 15"x10" jelly roll baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. If using foil, make sure that your foil lays over the edge of your pan for easy removal.

      Line the pan with graham crackers in an even layer, breaking to fit the pan if necessary.

      In a large saucepan melt butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat. Heat until mixture boils and then boil it for 2 minutes.

      Remove from heat and stir in sweetened condensed milk.

      Pour over graham crackers.

      Bake for 7-8 minutes until bubbling. Remove from oven and let it sit for 1 minute before sprinkling white chocolate evenly over top.

      Let white chocolate sit for 3-4 minutes (I put it back in the oven) until softened and then spread with a spatula or off-set spatula evenly over toffee layer.

      Immediately sprinkle Craisins on the white chocolate, pressing gently to stick.

      Let cool completely before cutting into pieces.  Freezes well!