Christmas Cookies (Part 2): White Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

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Here’s part 2 of my Christmas Cookies series, make sure you read part 1 (Dark Chocolate-Dipped Orange Sables) from yesterday. I make both cookies every year and can’t decide which one I love more! White Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread is so amazingly decadent and festive! Not only does it look like a Christmas cookie (red & green speckled throughout), it TASTES like Christmas! The salt of the pistachio, the tartness of cranberry and the delicious white chocolate… it’s just perfect!

Christmas is around the corner and I’ve already made one big batch of these cookies, it probably won’t be the only one!

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Christmas Cookies (Part 1): Dark Chocolate-Dipped Orange Sables

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Everyone has their staple Christmas cookie recipes, and this is one of mine. These are delicious and pretty shortbread cookies that never fail! They are a hit at parties and for Christmas gifts, and Santa loves them (of course)! The recipe comes from a friend who writes the blog Sing for Your Supper, it’s a fabulous blog and I definitely recommend it. Her recipes are to die for and she tells great stories about her kiddos, as well.

I’ve been making these cookies and another of her recipes (that I’ll post tomorrow) for Christmas the last several years and I just keep coming back for more!

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Sparkling Cranberry White Cupcakes

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If you are like me, your December is always completely crazy! We never have a free weekend between all of the holiday parties, family events and gatherings with friends. While it can be chaotic and stressful, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! It’s the one time of year you get to see everyone you love and eat like a kid again! I’m always on the hunt for a delicious and pretty Christmas dessert. This is a perfect choice for any Christmas occasion!

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Andes Mint Cupcakes

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It is officially the most wonderful time of the year! I want to bring you some of my favorite Christmas treats over the next few weeks and chocolate and mint is just one of those flavor combinations that is a perfect fit for Christmas time! These Andes mint cupcakes are so so good. You’ll notice the repeat of my favorite dark chocolate cupcake recipe… it will be featured regularly since I love chocolate and I love this recipe (see my Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cupcakes for another delicious option)!

So, while your whipping up Christmas dinner or prepping for a party, these cupcakes will make a great addition to your table.

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Pumpkin Dump Cake

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I love love love this time of year… time together with family, decorating for Christmas, watching “Elf” a million times – it is just the best. Now, don’t let the name of this recipe fool you, dump cakes are a brilliant invention where you essentially dump everything in the pan and bake. If you’ve never had a dump cake the name can be off-putting, but I promise you will love every bite. This cake is only slightly more complicated than a traditional dump cake in the fact you have to mix a few things to get the pumpkin base. It is, however, INCREDIBLE! The pumpkin with the yellow cake is scrumptious and the graham crackers, pecans and toffee create a buttery crunch on top! Serve it hot with some ice cream (I recommend cinnamon or buttered pecan flavors) and you will just melt.Pumpkin Dump Cake-1915

I serve this at all of my Thanksgivings I go to (and yes, there are many) and it is always the most popular dessert! I love pumpkin, but pumpkin pie is not my favorite. This Pumpkin Dump Cake is way better and a fun and easy twist on a traditional Thanksgiving dessert.

I hope you enjoy this time together with your friends and family as much as I do, make the most of the holidays and the magic of Christmas time!

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My Favorite Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Sometimes you just need a warm cookie and a cold glass of milk when it’s chilly outside… I know I do. Cookies were my first foray into baking, I was obsessed with trying all sorts of recipes. Needless to say, cookies are still one of my favorite things. I don’t get to bake them as much as I’d like to these days, but there are just days you need a good batch of cookies!

I really love this recipe, it’s simple and quick plus the cookies taste amazing! What’s wonderful about these cookies is they almost taste better once they are cool and they stay soft for days (if you can even make them last that long)!

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Dark Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting

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It’s Fall y’all! That time of year for sweaters, boots and scarves (oh my)! Of course, in Texas it takes much longer to actually feel like Fall… but that doesn’t stop me from pulling out the Fall decor and, of course, starting to bake with all my favorite Fall flavors! So to kick off the Fall season, I introduce these fabulous Dark Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes with a Swiss Meringue Nutella Swirl Frosting (it’s a mouthful, I know). 🙂

I know I talk a lot about my love for various types of sweets, and Nutella is definitely no exception. On our first trip to Europe, my husband and I tried Nutella crepes in Paris, Nutella Gelato in Florence and again in Rome… I just couldn’t get enough! There is something irresistible about that creamy hazelnut-chocolate flavor, it’s just perfect for any dessert. Here’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy Nutella, in a cupcake! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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White Almond Sour Cream Cake with Piped Cream Cheese Frosting

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White Almond Sour Cream Cake-0583I’ve had the same best friend since I was 4 years old, she’s more like a sister than a friend at this point. When she got pregnant I was almost as excited as she was and now her growing little girl is one of my favorite people to hang out with. So, for her 2nd birthday, I decided to make her an awesome birthday cake and cupcakes. The cake was so popular, there was literally none left!

Now, I’m not usually a fan of using cake mixes because I like to bake from scratch; however, I know some people prefer it for convenience.   This cake is so moist with that perfect melt-in-your-mouth flavor, not to mention it’s white so you can do fun colors for the layers.   This recipe does make enough for very tall layers, so you can certainly scale back for a smaller cake.

I finally found a great cream cheese frosting that I can decorate with, this frosting will pipe to perfection! I have yet to try it on a cupcake but hoping it will work with some of the softer frosting styles (it’s definitely not stiff enough for complex flowers, etc.) The trick – you can’t use both butter and cream cheese. Together they are too soft and melt easily.

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The BEST Funfetti Cupcakes + Classic Buttercream Frosting

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I’ve always been a fan of the more complex flavors in baking, but there is something to be said for the classics. This funfetti recipe is one of my absolute favorites! It’s made from scratch and comes out moist and delicious every time. The batter is so good, it’s almost hard to actually bake the cupcakes… because I could probably just eat the entire bowl of batter off a spatula and be content.

I’ve made these a few times recently for various birthday parties and they are definitely a hit. The frosting is a classic medium/soft buttercream, ideal for decorating. If you are attempting more complex cupcake decorations, you can always add additional powdered sugar to stiffen the frosting more.

The party I made these particular cupcakes for was Doc McStuffins themed – so pink and purple was very fitting. I’ll also have a post soon for the cake from this party, White Almond Sour Cream Cake (and yes, it is SO delicious).

Remember to always make your cupcakes and cakes several days (up to a week) in advance and freeze them. This easy step allows the cupcakes to lock in moisture and makes frosting the cakes easier!

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Decadent S’mores Cake

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Welcome to my blog! This is my first blog post so I want to do a quick introduction… I’m Blaire, a self-taught baker, wife and business woman. I love to venture out and try new things, while traveling for work or Pinterest surfing I am always on the look out for mouth-watering desserts. Recently, I completed my first cake decorating class, now my desserts must taste and look amazing, Sugar B approved! Taste will always be the most important factor for me, I promise that what you see in the pictures will always be the true result of my baking. I hate making a dessert that comes out looking nothing like the picture (this is especially true for frosting recipes). I’d love to hear from you if you have ideas for ways to improve, and stick with me while I work on my photography skills.

IMG_9778And now, onto the important stuff, the sweets! I originally made this S’mores Cake for my husband and his twin brother’s surprise 30th birthday. It was such a big hit (there was literally none left) and I had so many requests for the recipe, it finally pushed me over the edge to start a baking blog. I’m not much for the extra fluff when looking at blog recipes, so I will walk you through my methods but try to keep it short and sweet (pun intended) :).

To start, we make the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. I make it for EVERYTHING.   It is my go to recipe for anything chocolate and, trust me, you won’t regret it!

For the purposes of this post, I only made a small two layer cake, but don’t worry the original recipe was used for the party and it’s definitely perfect!

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