Happiness Project Recipe #60: Anniversary Cookie Bars & Snickerdoodle Frosting Dip!



10 years. May 15th was an incredibly special day for my Husband & I. Because May 15th represented an entire 10 years of being together. An entire decade. Of facing more challenges than many would face in their entire lifetime, more or less 10 years. A story most of you know very well. Because being expressive about all the ups, downs and most beautiful things and people in my life thus far, is who I am. Most especially in regards to my Husband. Who I knew I was meant to spend the rest of my life with, 10 years ago, on our 3rd date, on a darkened beach in Santa Cruz. 10 years of happiness, joy, tears, & pain, but most importantly, love. Real love. Grown up, every day, loving-this-one-person-through-everything-kind-of Love. A Love that has journeyed through fire & back yet come out better and brighter, in the best of ways. This Love between this one man and I. A Love like no other. Real Love.

So to honor this most beautiful day, I gave this Man of mine another little a piece of my Heart. Through a whisk and a spoon. A little bit of cinnamon and a whole lot of sugar. Because this is one of the most significant ways that I give to those I hold so dearly within my Heart. This gift of myself through my kitchen.

Hence his favorite dessert flavor of all time. Snickerdoodles. With a side of cookies. In the yummiest form ever: cookie bars! Which are perfect, seriously perfect, for dunking.

From my Heart to your Kitchen, may you enjoy this special treat just as much as my Husband does.


1 cup salted butter

1-1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of kosher salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly spray one 8×10 inch glass baking dish. Line the sprayed dish with parchment paper, leaving just enough excess on each side to create an overhang.

In a stand mixture, cream the butter, sugar and eggs at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in each egg, one at a time, until well mixed. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, adding the heavy cream as needed, until throughly combined. This dough should be a stiff not soft texture. If it’s too soft to handle, cover and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Break out that pastry board (marble is always preferred over wooden) and rolling pin. Quick tip, one of the most valuable things I learned while in Pastry School is that rolling pins are NOT all created equal. The most efficient rolling pin for cookie dough? The classic wooden pin with no handles.

Once the cookie dough is stiff enough to roll into a large ball, lightly flour your pastry board AND rolling pin (so that the dough doesn’t stick to either surface while being rolled out). Roll out the dough to about 1 inch thick. Now gently and loosely transfer the rolled out dough into the prepared baking dish. Once transferred, using another piece of parchment paper, gently but firmly press the dough into the full baking dish.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pan cookie is firm to the touch and slightly browned on the very edges of the dish. Let cool in the dish for 10-15 minutes. Now before you go on removing the giant cookie with the overhang of parchment paper, use a small pairing knife to cut that giant cookie into cookie strips (or bars). Then remove the entire cookie from the dish with the parchment paper. Set aside to cool throughly.

Next up: the Frosting Dip!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/2 tablespoon fresh ground cinnamon

On your stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

Drop the mixer speed down to low and gradually add in the 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until fully incorporated.

Switch your mixture speed back up to a higher setting and add in the kosher salt, followed by the heavy whipping cream. Whip for 3-4 minutes until the frosting has nearly doubled in size.

Lastly, but most importantly, add in that ground cinnamon. Which kinda MAKES this frosting, in my Husband’s opinion.

AND spread onto those cooled cookie bars! Or use as a cookie dip. Which is even more FUN!

Happiness Project Recipe #59: Strawberry-Lemonade Toddler Ice Pops!



Oh my sweetness, my friends! Spring is officially upon us! Ehr…those of us in California, that is. Which means warmer weather. For better or for worse, depending on if you actually like warmer weather. And strawberries. Beautiful, lush, ripe strawberries. Ultimate Mommy happiness. And did I forget to mention prime Popsicle-making season? It tis! Especially for Toddlers. Okay, and maybe for those of us adults who are also kids-at-heart, too. I promise I won’t tell any of the “other” adults.

Anyhow, back to this glorious, long anticipated Popsicle-making season. I’ve been wanting to create my own Daughter appeasing fruit popsicles for a few months now. But had to wait for the perfect strawberries. And well, here they are! Strawberry-Lemonade Ice Pops! With the lovely tang of sweet lemonade and juicy bits of chilled strawberries. The best of everything a picky Toddler and busy Mom could ever want.

Point in case? Even though it only took me maybe 45 minutes (from start to finish) for these pops to become the perfect frozen consistency, my Daughter consumed 3 of these in less than 10 minutes. I kid you not. Less than TEN minutes. And then ran back up to the fridge, while enthusiastically hopping up and down, saying, “More!” Yes, I did said, “No.” 3 of these is quite enough for one mere Toddler sitting. I swear I’m not a mean Mom. I swear!

Ready for a taste? Here ya go!

3-4 cups fresh lemonade

1 cup sliced or diced fresh strawberries, washed before hand

12 baking cups with a wax interior molding (the easiest baking cups to unmold once frozen)

12 wooden popsicle sticks

Arrange up to 12 baking cups onto a small baking sheet. In each cup, pour in enough lemonade to fill the cup all the way up to the top edge. Place the lemonade filled cups into the freezer for about 20-25 minutes.

While the lemonade cups are firming up, wash, slice & dice the strawberries until you have 2 to 3 strawberry pieces per lemonade cup.

Before adding in the strawberry pieces, check that the lemonade cups have firmed up enough to be slightly harder than a slushy (consistency). Gently push 2 to 3 strawberry pieces into each cup before placing the pops back into the freezer. Again with the freezer, I know.

Once the pops have been in the freezer for another 10 minutes, remove them from the freezer and push in each popsicle stick, into the direct center of each cup, from top to bottom. Freeze again until fully frozen.

Once you’re ready to serve them up to all of those hungry Toddler tummies, simply peel away each baking cup and hand em over.

So. Ridiculously. Easy.

Just promise me that you’ll save at least 1 for yourself, okay?

Happy Spring, my friends!

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