Tasty Tuesday: Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Thank you Baker by Nature for today’s recipe….

Prep: ook

Cool: ield: 2 dozen

 

Ingredients

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
  • 2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (don’t pack the flour into the measuring cup!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
  • 24 pecan halves, for decoration, optional

Instructions

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.

For the Brown Butter:

  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes – stirring almost constantly – until the butter has browned.
  2. Pour the brown butter into a heatproof bowl, being sure to scrape all of the “toasted” bits into the bowl as well.
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the butter is at room temperature. You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation. It should not be liquid at all.
  4. Once the butter is at room temperature, you’re ready to get baking!

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.
  4. Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.
  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt right when they come out of the oven. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Remember if you submit a recipe to me and I use it in my blog, YOU will receive a FREE gift from me….What is your favorite recipe during the holiday season?

Pack up those holiday cookies and take them with you as a hostess gift to your next party.  Thirty One’s Little Carry Alls are perfect for this…These novelty Littles Carry-All Caddys are also the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks, candy and seasonal home décor.  Lots of choices for everyone in the family.  You can even use these as a stocking stuffer instead of traditional stockings.

Tasty Tuesday: Oatmeal Raisin Bites

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Tasty Tuesday is courtesy of Jen at THE HAUTE MOMMY HANDBOOK.  I LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies.  Maybe it is because I can trick myself into believing they are healthy.  I mean oatmeal is good for you, right?  The funny thing is I can remember NEVER wanting to eat oatmeal as a child.  In fact, I didn’t even put milk on my cereal.  Who wants to eat soggy Frosted Flakes?

When I joined Weight Watchers many years ago, oatmeal was a staple on my shelf.  I used to love to make Hungry Girl’s GIGANTIC Oatmeal Bowls for breakfast filled with any combination of apples, bananas, blueberries or cinnamon.  I have even changed them up since I am gluten free and dairy free………they are still YUMMY!

I am still working on making these bites gluten free.  Despite many attempts, I can’t seem to get the almond flour right.  I feel like I should be using less.  Who is a pro at “alternate” flours, I would love some input.

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup + 6 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat oven to 350° F.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.
  • Beat eggs and vanilla in separate bowl, then add to large bowl. Beat all wet ingredients well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well with wet ingredients.
  • Add oats and raisins. Mix well.
  • Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fork inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets, then move to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen of bite size cookies.  They don’t spread when baking.

If anyone makes a batch and needs a taste tester, I’m available!!!

Why not make a batch and “boo” someone?  Grab one of Thirty One’s Little Carry Alls, fill it with yummy treats and leave it for a friend as a surprise. These are  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks, candy and seasonal home décor.

Have a blessed day!

Teacher Solution Sets

I can’t believe Summer is almost over.  It won’t be long (maybe a week or so) before many will be leaving the sunshine and sand while they head back to school.

Summer may be leaving BUT  it isn’t so bad when there’s so much fall fun to look forward to! Cozy sweaters, leaf piles and of course the hustle and bustle of back to school are right around the corner. I can see many moms doing the happy dance now.  LOL!

Who knows more than teachers about starting the school year off right? From classroom heroes to bus duty buddies, here are eight of  Thirty One’s top styles to create save-the-day solution sets for the ones who put the cool in school (or anyone else who needs to get organized)..

For taming the desk mess

From paperclips and pencils to staplers and snacks, teachers ask a lot of their desks. Make it more manageable with the desktop organizing combo of a Littles Carry-All Caddy (or two), Get Creative Slim Pouch and Get Creative Rectangle Pouch.

This durable, wipeable caddy is perfectly sized to fit a small box of tissues or extra coffee pods for your morning brew, while its exterior mesh pocket can stow paperclips, sticky notes and rubber bands at hand. Pop your markers, pens and pencils into the slim pouch, and use the rectangle pouch for large index cards or to keep loose bits and bobs in one place. Plus, both pouches are made of clear PVC, so you’ll always be able to see what’s stashed inside!

 

For manic mornings and laid-back lunches

One of a teacher’s many superpowers is getting up and ready before the sun, so make mornings a little brighter with a tote-ally perfect pairing that’ll pull double duty. The Crossbody Organizing Tote is one of our top styles for the season, and teachers know why! With all the pockets you could ask for and a spacious design, this tote is an organizing dream. Perfect for the ones who have to take their work home with them (we’re talking grading papers galore), plus the adjustable crossbody strap means hands-free organization, even on the go.

This functional work tote only gets better when paired with our tried-and-true Thermal Tote, its lunchtime partner in crime. Make lunch hour sweeter with an insulated tote in tons of fun prints, and add a personalized embroidered design for a thermal tote that’ll be the talk of the teachers’ lounge. Getting up early might be tough, but packing your lunch in the morning doesn’t have to be!

For classroom clutter

With kids comes mess, but that mess doesn’t have to equal stress. Meet your new all-star organizing team: the Large Utility Tote (our #1 style for the season!) and Double Duty Caddy. With its top handle and two side compartments, the Double Duty Caddy is just the structured sidekick teachers need to store cleaning supplies, art materials, papers or even plates, napkins and plastic utensils for classroom parties!

You already know there are a thousand uses for the LUT, so here are just a few ideas fit for the classroom. And don’t forget to add a custom embroidered message or design in Thirty-One’s personalization studio – just click the “personalize” button under Large Utility Tote to see your design come to life!

  • Stash toys and stuffed animals for indoor recess
  • Fill with books for a portable classroom library
  • Stow pillows and cushions for story circle time
  • Tote playground equipment to and from recess
  • Organize craft supplies for art projects
  • Make a portable lost-and-found!

For after-school fun

When the backpacks are packed and students are on the bus home, it’s time for teachers to take some time to unwind and focus on themselves. No matter the after-school destination, whether it’s a dinner out with the family, running to a yoga class or going out for drinks with the girls, the Boutique Backpack and Perfect Cents Wallet are your go-to duo.

Backpacks are perfect for the ones who are always on the go, and the Boutique Backpack’s faux leather finish elevates it to a statement piece that can also hold all your essentials with ease! And we can’t forget a coordinating wallet to keep your cash, cards and ID neat and organized.

For even more great back-to-school solutions, browse our hand-picked collection of school-ready gift ideas!

How To Make Fabric Scrap Ornaments

Thank you Vickie Howell and Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I think I have just found the perfect use for those retired fabric swatches.  New angels on their way….

If you don’t know Vickie Howell, you definitely need to check her out!  She  is a TV host, designer, ambassador and entrepreneur in the DIY space. She has LOTS of great tips on her website!

Here is a great way to use those sewing scraps and leftover fabric pieces (or if you are a consultant – those retired fabric swatches.  This is a fun indoor activity for the kids, too.  Let them design their own to give as gifts this holiday season.

Raid your closets and find some fabric scraps – you know the ones you were saving!  We never want anything to go to waste. Admit it, crafters – you have a spot in your closet just like this! I might even have more than one!  Here is what Vickie came up with as a fun way to give old fabric scraps and swatches new life as sweet home décor or heartfelt gifts.

Follow the steps below to decorate your own Christmas tree, fireplace mantel, front door wreath or dining room table centerpiece with ornaments handmade from materials around your home!

Materials needed:

  • Clear plastic bulb ornaments (get them online,  at your local craft store or even the dollar store)
  • Scraps of fabric, trimmings and/or yarn
  • Scissors
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Optional: Glitter, buttons, sequins

How-to:

  1. Gather scraps and cut them into different lengths. (1″-4″ pieces work great!)
  2. Organize scraps and other trimmings by color family.
  3. Get creative! Combine a small handful of scraps from the same color family – or create your own palette – and insert them into a bulb.
  4. Tie a decorative ribbon onto the bulb’s wire loop for hanging.

Wrap your ornament in a little tissue paper and pop it into a Thirty One Little’s Carry All to give as a gift.  Small in size, but big on benefit, it is  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for a gift basket, small toys, crafts, office desk supplies and wrapped candy.

Feel merry!  Show us how crafty you are! Share your photos using the #partywithHope  Who knows you may find some happy mail headed your way.

Love to get crafty? Be sure to check out Thirty-One Gifts’ Get Creative line of portable craft storage bags and more, including totes, work mats and clear pouches.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Halloween Party Fun

 

Boo! It’s the time of year, when the ghosts and goblins appear and an added bonus is Thirty-One comes out with some adorable Halloween-themed printables!  So whether you are a room mom, a home schooler, or  just like to have some plan old fun with your kids…. you are going to LOVE these Halloween fun and festive decorations inspired by Thirty One’s fall-exclusive Littles Carry-All Caddies and Icon-Its!

Gather your supplies….

  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon, twine, yarn or string
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape
  • Pen or marker
  • Optional: glue or glue stick
  • Optional: stapler

First up is a Trick-or-Treat (or just some fun holiday decorations) banner…..  Thank you Thirty One for these great ideas…

Choose the printable banner to match your space! Use bats for a crisp, black-and-white color scheme, or go for monsters for your little one’s Halloween celebration with friends! You can also spice up your banner with other phrases like “Boo” or “Happy Halloween” by drawing and cutting out your own letters!  My favorite is the little monster….What about you?

Directions: Print and cut out the letters and enough bats, skeletons or monsters to span your space. Use a hole punch on each printable where marked and thread your letters and characters on twine, yarn or ribbon. To make sure the printables don’t slide around on the string, reinforce holes with tape or staples.

Tip:  Let your little ones choose their favorite character and make a mini-banner to hang over their bedroom door during October.

Are you a make your own costume kind of gal?  I made all of Belinda’s costumes for years.  I remember when funds were tight (the early years of recovery), we were all DUCKS!  Yup!  Yellow sweatshirts & sweatpants with masks made of craft foam.  It was a fun year…  Here are some Lil’ Monster masks (and more!)

So, if you are not a big costume person and want to have some fun with your kids.  You may  enjoy “wearing” this easy and casual look!  Match a bat mask with an all-black outfit or the monster with a cute green shirt for a Halloween “costume” you can easily flip on and off.  I”m thinking of doing one of these for my vendor events in October, which one would you pick?

Directions: Print and cut out your choice of masks. Cut out holes where marked (eyes, mouth, etc.). Then use glue or tape to attach the top portion of the popsicle stick to the side of the mask where marked for your handle.

Tip:  If you’re looking to go the extra mile and keep your hands free all night, or you know the kids will end up needing both hands to grab twice the candy, punch holes on either side of the mask and attach string instead of a popsicle stick. Tie it on and trick or treat away!

I will admit, I am not must on decorating anymore…. what about you?  Do you go all out for Halloween or do you just put the light on to hand out candy?  Here are some easy candle or cup wraps to add a holiday touch to what is already on display at your home.

Cup wraps are a great way to jazz up plain party cups for a Halloween-themed bash! Go with bats for a classic black and white look, or spice things up with colorful monsters and skeletons.

Directions: Print out wraps. For candles, cut along the outside of the rectangle. Wrap around your candle and tape into place. For cups, cut along the dotted lines. Wrap around your cup with the longer edge near the top of the cup and tape into place.

Tip:  Go for candle wraps to create a unique and festive table centerpiece. Add pumpkins, fake spiderwebs or candy for a fun and spooky look that your guests are sure to love.

Are you a mom business owner (even if you are n to a mom, these are fun) Why not hand out some candy bags (with your business card) to the parents as they walk around with the kids.

Whether you are looking to give out something a little different than the same old candy this year or you what to share your business with some parents, why not try these fun tags.  These tags add a little something extra for trick-or-treaters or party goers! These easy printables can help you make sure even the smallest details of your Halloween celebration are special and spooky.

Directions: Print out tags. Use scissors to cut tags out and then hole punch where marked. Use ribbon, twine, yarn, string or a stapler to attach the tags to gift bags of candy. Or, tape an individual piece of candy to each tag.

Tip:  Besides fun decorations, these tags are also useful for categorizing your candy! Use a bat tag to denote nut-free goody bags or a monster to label treats without milk or eggs. This will make it easier for your trick or treaters and their parents to have a sweet night!
Can’t wait to see how you use these AWESOME printables……
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Printable templates: