Cinnabon Rolls

I have an inherited disease. It’s a love of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. Once upon a time, before Google and Pinterest were things, before restaurants released “secret recipes,” and my mother was a stay at home mom, she made many batches in an attempt to replicate the Cinnabon Roll. They used to be much more popular than they are today. It is once in a blue moon to come across a store/stand. I am lucky enough to have a mall that has a Cinnabon kiosk. *Yes, be jealous.* Thankfully we are beyond the Pintrest-less years, and most recipes can be found online. Even though I’d just had Cinnabon Center of the Rolls on Wednesday, I needed some more. So I made them. Prepare yourself for butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and frosting, to take over your weekend breakfast.

Depending on how tall you cut your rolls, this batch makes 8-12 cinnamon rolls. I suggest cutting them at least 2 inches though.

Ingredients:

Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup softened butter (not melted)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
Filling
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup softened butter
Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
Half the juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk until desired consistency
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a stand mixer with a sprinkle of sugar. Let sit a minute or two.
  2. Add sugar, eggs, and half of the flour flour to the bowl of a mixer and mix well using the dough attachment.
  3. Cut and add in the soft butter along with the rest of the flour. Continue to knead until well combined.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 12736031_10208509233113451_1755304200_n.jpg
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. My dough patch was HUGE!
  6. To make filling, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.12736046_10208509232873445_184962519_n.jpg
  7. Spread the filling butter on the surface of the dough. I literally squished it in my hands to soften and spread it. Dump and spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. 12746440_10208510359821618_423696633_n.jpg 12769407_10208510359661614_741690829_n.jpg
  8. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut I used a cerated knife. 12736431_10208510227058299_249941488_n.jpg
  9. Place the cut rolls in a lightly greased pan. Cover them with a . Let them rise again for another 30 minutes until they double in size. 12736337_10208510226618288_1088431460_n.jpg
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. I baked mine for 18 and they were perfect!  12767385_10208510226298280_1408391615_n.jpg
  12. While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all ingredients and whisk until combined. Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer would add additional fluff if you like that sort of thing.
  13. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.12721777_10208510225178252_1344450237_n.jpg

EAT WARM! If you can’t eat them right out of the oven, warming them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds is PERFECT! Drink with a nice hot cup of coffee or tall glass of milk!

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

My most favorite Christmas cookie ever is the Chocolate Crinkle cookie. I realized while making them the other night that it’s pretty close to a brownie batter…maybe that’s why I love them so much! They are soft, chewy, chocolatey and classic.

Ingredients:

1/2 vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups of flour

4 oz bakers chocolate

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

  1. Melt your bakers chocolate in the microwave
  2. In a mixer combine sugar, vegetable oil and melted chocolate
  3. Very SLOWLY add in your 4 eggs. The chocolate is hot so if you dump them all in at once they’ll scramble!
  4. Sift 2 cups of flour with baking powder and a dash of salt- slowly add to your chocolatey mix. Your batter will be thicker than a cake batter, but not as dry as a regular cookie batter.
  5. Transfer to some plastic wrap to chill in the fridge. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! 3hrs-over night is best. I left mine in over night.
  6. In a bowl add powdered sugar. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

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  1. Using teaspoons or a small ice cream scooper, scoop small portions of chilled dough, roll and drop into powdered sugar to coat.

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  1. Place on parchmented cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE or they will end up crunchy and they are best nice and soft. I bake mine for 9-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack.

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ENJOY! These guys are best with a giant glass of milk and no care for your waist line. This is a hard cookie to have just 1 of. 🙂

Makes about 5 dozen cookies!

Strawberry Blueberry Pie

Guys. I am sooooooo far behind. Summer is usually my time of frequent posts, desserts, gardening, and all of the fun things. I have spent my summer doing all of the usual things, with the exception of working a full time teaching job and a part time job at a craft store- yeah, cuz I need that temptation. SO, between the two things, I have had no life and blogging has sadly fallen to the wayside. BUT alas, I am FINALLY able to find time to blog again. In the next 2 weeks, I will catch up on my summer. By the time that is done, I will be starting my student teaching!!! Along with my regular foodie posts, I will be posting about activities and fun! Oh yeah, not to mention WEDDING THINGS! Not for me, but I’ve got plenty of them coming up to blog about! Woo Hoo!

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, now it is time for me to finally post my recipe for my strawberry blueberry pie that I made for the 4th of July….yeah. I’m way behind. But, it’s PERFECT for a picnic and even boasts red, white and blue!

To start, you will make a double crust pie crust. I always use the tried and true Betty Crocker recipe. You can find that HERE! I do add a tablespoon or 2 of sugar to the dough when making a sweet/fruit pie. But it’s not a necessity.

Filling-

1 qt strawberries cut

1 pint blueberries

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 tablespoons flour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

  1. Rinse and cut strawberries into smaller pieces. Rinse blueberries.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, combine strawberries, blueberries, flour, sugar, and water.
  3. Stir regularly to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will begin to thicken and break down. Mine too about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, roll out the pie crust into the bottom of a pie tin/glass. Poke holes in the bottom and bake for 15 minutes to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
  4. Pour the strawberry/blueberry mixture in to partially baked pie crust.
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  6. Roll out the rest of the crust, using a cookie cutter, I used a star, cut out pieces. Lay out your cutouts on top of the pie. I tried to do mine in some kind of circular pattern that allowed you to see the fruit underneath.
  7. Bake until the top crust is browned and the fruit is bubbling. Mine took 20 minutes.

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Sadly, this was eaten so quickly I was unable to get a picture of what it looked like done. Serve warm with nice cold vanilla ice cream!

 

St. Patricks Day

I know I’m a few days behind, but I’m sure the leprechaunS forgive me. I have always loved St. Patrick’s Day. I am very fortunate to have a family that enjoys history and keeps track of who and where our family came from. I am off-the-boat Irish. My family came over in the late 1800s-early 1900s.

1922459_10203369528264042_1221351795_nWhile I was wandering around Victoria Square in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I came across a picture of the family crest!

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Now that I’ve been to Ireland, my adoration for the holiday has grown…if that’s even possible! You can read all about that trip HERE! St. Patrick’s Day is also a mostly American thing because it is a celebration of where we came from and our heritage…not just a day to drink cheap green beer. Since I was home for the day, I made 2 St. Patty’s day treats.

First, I made a shamrock shake

Ingredients:

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon sugar

Green food coloring

Peppermint Extract

Handful of ice

Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Add food coloring until it is the desired shade. Serve with a cool shamrock straw.

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The second thing I made was green chocolate chip cookies. It’s a relatively basic cookie recipe with…you guessed it…green food coloring.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 stick butter

1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)

Chocolate chips of your choice- I used dark chocolate

1. Cream butter and crisco, add sugar, vanilla and eggs.

2. Add green food coloring to desired shade. I used about 10 drops.

3. Combine flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Slowly add it to the “wet” ingredients.

4. Mix in 1 1/2 cups, or half a bag of chocolate chips. It will look like mint-chocolate-chip ice cream.

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5. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Trust me. Don’t skip this step. Longer is better. But at least an hour.

6. Pre-heat the oven to 350, bake for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven etc. The cookies will JUST start to turn brown around the edges.IMG_5336

EAT, with a nice big glass of milk!

And now, for some Irish fun facts to make your St. Patricks day a little educational-

-Only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads.

-A book only needs to sell 3,000 copies to top the Irish bestseller list.

-There have never been snakes in Ireland. St. Patrick did nothing with snakes.

-Gaelic is Ireland’s official language, but English is most commonly spoken

Frosted Strawberry Raspberry Bread

My dad has this guilty pleasure- the frosted fruit bread from Shady Maple. It’s pretty awesome. With everyone home and my favorite guest joining us for the weekend, I figured I’d make an extra treat. I was going to make this recipe as muffins, but we didn’t have enough muffin papers sooo I changed my plans a bit and went for the full loaf. I am really missing my summer berries and decided to bite the bullet and just go get some to bake with and eat the next few days. If I do say so myself….I don’t think we’ll need to spend money to buy them anymore! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 white sugar

1/4 light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and the rest milk, let sit a few minutes to make buttermilk)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Dash of cinnamon

Chopped strawberries, raspberries or fruit of choice

Glaze- 1 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 2-3 tablespoons milk (until reached desired consistency) Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk until you’ve reached a thick, glue like viscosity.

Pre-heat oven to 350, grease and flour a 9×5 bread pan

1. Whisk the egg and sugars until there are no brown sugar lumps.

2. Add in the buttermilk, vanilla and vegetable oil.

3. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda and salt. Add a dash of cinnamon.

4. Hand mix in the chopped fruit.

5. Pour into bread pan. I added some additional strawberries and raspberries on top. Loosely cover with foil so that the top doesn’t burn.

6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until a knife comes out clean. Mine took an hour and 5 minutes.

7. LET COOL. Remove from baking pan onto a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. Drizzle the top with the glaze. I added additional berries on top, because WHY NOT!?

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This same recipe can be used muffin size, just bake 16-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a knife comes out clean. Other goodies to throw in include black berries, blue berries, and any combination with strawberries and raspberries! I would also dice/chop up the fruit a bit smaller and use the same batter in my mini-donut maker! YUM!

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

I did it again! I managed to somehow make great cupcakes without following an actual recipe, for a great cause- my Mama’s birthday! 😀 We’re kind of best friends. ANYWAY. She requested chocolate cupcakes, so I obliged.10690149_10205874357163199_588961454879716748_n

Ingredients Cupcakes:

1 stick of room temperature butter

1/2 granulated sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup HOT coffee (if you do not like coffee, this can be substituted by hot water, hot milk….it just has to be a hot liquid)

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (milk is ok too)

1/3 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking POWDER

1 1/2 teaspoon baking SODA

1 3/4 cup flour

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. In a mixer, cream your butter and sugar. Add in your eggs, heavy whipping cream, vegetable oil and sour cream. It will be smooth and creamy!

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2. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Slowly add in the sifted dry ingredients and coffee alternately. You will get a nice light and fluffy batter.

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3. I used a large ice cream scoop to fill my liners, but about a 1/4 of a cup is perfect.

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4. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. For my oven, these guys were perfect after 18. Remove to a cooling rack and let COMPLETELY cool BEFORE icing!

Ingredients Buttercream

2 sticks room temperature butter

1 1lb bag of powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon on vanilla extract (almond, peppermint or orange could be good here as well)

Milk (heavy whipping cream or flavored creamer can also be used)

Food dye (optional)

1. In a mixer with the whip attachment, cream the butter until it starts getting nice and fluffy.

2. Slowly begin adding the powdered sugar on the LOWEST SETTING or you will have sugar flying everywhere. It will start to stiffen up. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, slowly add milk a splash at a time. DO NOT add the whole 1/4 cup at one shot or you will have gooze. Add in food dye to desired color.

*The thing about buttercream is that it is not an exact science. You may need to go back and forth adding little bits of milk and powdered sugar until you get the amount of frosting that you are looking for and the consistency that you need.*

3. I like my frosting nice and whipped/fluffy so I let mine go for a few minutes once the powdered sugar is incorporated.

TO FROST- I wish I would have taken more/better pictures. I saw this method a few weeks ago, and I can’t even remember where, but it is brilliant.

Tear off a good sized piece of surran wrap and place it on the counter. Dump the majority of your frosting on the wrap. Wrap the frosting and twist the ends like a Tootsie Roll. Feed one of the twisted ends through your piping tip. I used a simple round. Get a medium zip-lock bag and snip the corner just enough that the piping tip sticks out. Feed the tip and the twisted surran wrap through the sniped hole of the bag. It’s going to look something like this.

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Cut off the twisted tail of surran wrap, make sure the bag is zipped shut, and you can now pipe your frosting relatively mess free without fear of frosting coming out of the top and getting everywhere!

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Valentines, Sugar Cookies and Babysitting

I wouldn’t be seeing the kids that I babysit on Valentines Day, so I decided to do it a bit early. The idea started at Target, and really, don’t most great ideas start there? In their Dollar Spot, they had these cute scratch ‘n’ sniff puzzles for Valentines day. The kids love puzzles so I grabbed one!

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As I walked around, part II came to mind- “I should make sugar cookies with the kids!” So heart-shaped cookie cutters, hot pink vanilla frosting and some Valentines Day themed sprinkles were all juggled to the counter. After purchasing everything I asked Mom if this activity was pre-approved. She was ALL FOR IT!

The kids had all had their Valentines Day parties at school on Wednesday since they don’t have school Thursday/Friday this week so they were all hyped up on the holiday spirit! After Mom left for class, I dumped the puzzle out on the island. Because I am evil, I would not let them look at the box, it would have given away the surprise! They had to complete the puzzle to know what the surprise activity for the night was!!!

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By the end of the puzzle we’d lost one….he was hiding near by!

While the kids ate dinner, I pre-measured out all of the ingredients so that they could help me dump!

Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup sugar

2 sticks room temp/softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cold water

*Pre-heat the oven to 350

1. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. I had one of the kids sift the flour/salt/baking powder at this time.

2. Add in 1 egg and vanilla until well mixed.

3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. This is a very dry/crumbly dough and it will be in lots of little crumbly pieces.

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4. Slowly add some water until it starts to form a better ball.

5. Dump on a lightly floured surface, you might want to wet your hands to knead/work the dough a bit. I split the dough into 4 small balls, lightly floured the surface for the kids, rolled out the dough and let them go to down with the cookie cutters.

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6. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. I found that 7 minutes was perfect.

While the cookies were baking/cooling I prepped our decorating area. Using their kiddie divided dinner plates, I poured in the different sprinkles for them. Each kid also got a small bowl of hot pink frosting and baby spoon to frost their creations.

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We had a great evening of (early) Valentines Day fun, food and decorating! Because nothing says I Love You like a giant heart cookie smothered in frosting with half a pound of sprinkles and candy hearts! ❤

“I DID IT!” Chocolate Chip Cookies

The original recipe came from Host the Toast. I was quietly minding my own business the other day when my friend Emily messaged me, “ANNA I swear to God the best chocolate chip recipe I’ve ever made. They are aamaaazinggggg!” It is a running joke in my life that I can’t make chocolate chip cookies, hence her sending me this recipe. I’ve had a few solid batches here and there but they just never work. I can make really hard recipes perfectly the first time but can’t make a basic batch of chocolate chip cookies. I was skeptical, but promised her that I would try them. This is what convinced me to make them-

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Ingredients:

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, melted and cooled

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I used dark brown sugar, but either will work)

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups dark chocolate chips

1. Soften butter, add in sugars and mix until combined and fluffy.

2. Add in the eggs and vanilla until incorporated.

3. Sift together flour, salt, cornstarch, and baking soda. Slowly add it into the bowl until JUST combined, do not over mix.

4. Fold in chocolate chips by hand to help keep from over mixing.

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5. Cover and refrigerate for at least a half hour. I put mine in for 20 minutes, then turned my oven on to pre-heat to 325 and let them stay in the fridge until the oven was pre-heated.

6. The original recipe says to use 1/4 cup dough per cookie, I just used the larger ice cream scoop to make them uniform. I fit 9 per cookie sheet.

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7. Cook for about 12 minutes or until just golden brown. I put the dough back in the fridge between batches.

8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transporting them to a cooling rack.

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9. Enjoy with a large class of milk, like my dad likes to do.

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Oh yeah, check out that beard 😉

The cookies are awesome too. Emily was right. However, we both discussed and decided that we would probably add just a little bit more flour to give them a bit more body, more like 2 1/2 cups of flour.

2 Ingredient 5 Minute Fudge

One day I will read a book again and post another book review…I’m still working on that since finishing the semester. So for now, it is recipes and planner things. This happens to fall under the latter of the two.

My mom makes awesome fudge. Melt in your mouth best stuff ever. But I was watching The Pioneer Woman on Food Network the other day and she made this two ingredient stuff. I don’t know how Ree Drummond came up with this recipe, and I don’t care. It is AWESOME! You can find the original recipe HERE.

Ingredients:

1 bag of chocolate chips- I used dark chocolate, the recipe says semi-sweet, I’m sure you could use peanut butter or combinations of them

1 14 oz can sweetened condense milk

Pre-line a container with foil, suran wrap or wax paper so that the fudge pops out once it has cooled. I would not use a dish any smaller than 9×9.

1. Set a pot on the stove with a metal bowl or use a double boiler and get it going

2. Dump in the bag of chips and can of sweetened condense milk- whisk or stir until all of the chips have melted and the chocolate and milk are combined

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3. Once the mixture is fully melted, mixed and smooth, dump the goodness into the lined dish.

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4. Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours

5. Pull the lining with the fudge out of the dish and put on a cutting board. Cut the fudge using a serrated knife. You can replace the fudge back in the dish in the lining to reduce clean up.

Oh yeah. EAT IT! 🙂

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Possible additions- peanuts, walnuts, peppermints, orange zest, or anything else you like with chocolate!!!

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars

I’ve never had pumpkin. I have yet to have a pumpkin spiced latte, I don’t eat pumpkin pie. Something about it wigs me out. But my ma made a pumpkin roll and didn’t use the whole can of pumpkin puree. Obviously we had to do SOMETHING with the left overs. Thanks to handy dandy Pinterest, I came across this lovely recipe on A Kitchen Addiction! She titled them Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars. I adjusted the recipe just a TINY bit and didn’t do the frosting. Here is how I did it…

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ C all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1. Mix all ingredients except the flour together until well blended.

2. Slowly add flour and mix until well incorporated

3. The dough is thick. Do not fear! Press the dough into a baking dish. I used an 8×10. The original recipe suggested a 9×9 or 8×8.

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4. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Mine turned out just fine at 15! Poke the center with a knife to check it.

5. Let cool and eat slightly warm.

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For the frosting recipe, check out the original blog post at A Kitchen Addiction!

Happy snacking! 🙂