Sugar Cone Cornucopia

Sugar Cone Cornucopia - Such a fun idea for Thanksgiving!

I love when a simple idea makes a big impact!  These adorable Sugar Cone Cornucopias are quite simple to make and just perfect for Thanksgiving!

A couple of years ago a crafty friend made these cute ice cream cone cornucopias for her daughter to give out on the last day of school before Thanksgiving break.  I had seen the general idea before, but seeing them in person made me realize how truly adorable the idea is!  This year, I’ve prepared a batch of these mini cornucopias for the “kids table” at our house on Thanksgiving.

Feel free to mix and match your choice of snacks to fill these cornucopias… cereal, nuts, dried fruit, m&ms or other little treats would be perfect.

Sugar Cone Cornucopia - Such a fun idea for Thanksgiving!

How to make a Sugar Cone Cornucopia…

1.  Heat a pot of water until boiling, then turn off heat.

2.  Use a heatproof measuring cup to scoop up some water and then pour the hot water into a sugar cone, filling it about halfway.  Immediately dump the water from the cone back into the pot.

3.  Dip the bottom half of the cone into the hot water (just dip and immediately remove), then place the cone in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until the cone has softened a bit.

4.  Gently (and carefully, the cone will be hot) use the rounded handle of a wooden spoon (or something similar) to roll/bend the end of the cone up.  I held the cone (flat) against the counter and pressed the spoon where I want the cone to bend, then applied pressure to roll/bend the cone.  Hold in place 15 seconds or so while it cools to help it retain the new shape.

There is a bit of a learning curve and you will likely break a cone or two.  You’ll have to experiment a bit with how much moisture and how much heat is needed to soften the cones just enough, without them becoming totally soggy.

5.  Set the cones upright (cone opening on the counter) and allow to dry (this will take an hour or so).

Once fully dry, you can place the cones in an airtight container (such as a ziplock bag) and set aside until you are ready to fill them with goodies.

Fill cornucopia cones with snack mix, cereal, m&m’s, popcorn, nuts, or any assortment of snacks.

(Note – Please be careful!  Clearly, working with a pot of hot water can be very dangerous and is not a child appropriate activity.)

Ice Cream Cone Cornucopia - Such a fun idea for Thanksgiving!

I love the look of the “overflowing” cornucopia as a place setting, but if you want to package the sugar cone cornucopias as little favors or classroom treats, use a bit of plastic wrap to cover the open end, secure with a rubber band, then cover with raffia or ribbon.

Happy treat making!


Prop Note – Wooden plates pictured are from Pacific Merchants.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Filling

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Filling - Nothing beats the flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate!

Peanut butter and chocolate just seem to belong together!  This classic combo is celebrated in these delicious Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Filling.

The peanut butter cookies are delicious on their own, but the additional of chocolate filling makes them extra special!  And anytime I can eat two cookies and call it one, I’m pretty happy with that math!

This recipe is simply a variation of my Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe.  For these sandwich cookies I like to make the cookies nice and thin and bake them until they are a bit crisp on the edges.

The finished cookies are rich, flavorful and sure to satisfy any peanut butter and chocolate fan!

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Filling - Nothing beats the flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate!


Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Filling

Classic peanut butter cookies with a delicious chocolate ganache filling.

Yield: Apx. 20 cookie sandwiches (40 individual cookies)


3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural)
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

additional sugar for rolling

Chocolate Filling
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream


Prepare cookies

In a medium sized bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk together, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend softened butter, peanut butter and honey. Add brown sugar and (white) sugar and continue to blend. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and beat all ingredients until well incorporated.

While mixing, slowly add the bowl of flour.

Blend just until all the flour is incorporated.

If the dough is very soft, chill dough (in the fridge) about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*F and line baking sheets with a Silpat liner (this is what I used) or parchment paper.

Using a 1 tablespoon sized scoop, scoop dough, then roll in your hands slightly to form a ball. Drop balls of dough into a small bowl of sugar, and roll to coat. Place balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet, then flatten to about 1/3" tall using the bottom of a glass.

Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven when the edges appear baked, but the centers appear slightly underdone. The cookies will continue to bake on the baking sheet as they cool. Cool 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully move to a cooling rack.

Make the filling

Measure chocolate chips and place in a medium sized bowl.

Heat heavy cream in a microwave until very hot, but not boiling.

Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, and allow to sit (without stirring) about one minute. Stir slightly, just making sure all the chocolate chips are submerged in the cream, then allow to sit another minute or two until the chocolate is nearly melted. Stir as needed until the chocolate and cream are fully combined and smooth.

Place chocolate mixture in the fridge and cool until thick enough to spread. Check and stir slightly every 10 minutes or so until desired consistency is reached.

Use an offset spatula to spread the filling onto the bottom side of a cookie, then top with another cookie.

Recipe source - Glorious Treats (based on my Peanut Butter Cookie recipe)

I opted to make small cookies (about 2 inch diameter) but feel free to make any size cookies you wish. You will need to adjust the baking time based on the size and thickness of your cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Filling - Nothing beats the flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate!

Love peanut butter and chocolate together?

Try these…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Mousse with Chocolate Cookie Crumble, a favorite from my book, Glorious Layered Desserts, shared by The Little Kitchen.

Frosted Fudge Brownies

Rich, fudgy and oh so amazing!!  Frosted Fudge Brownies

These rich and delicious Frosted Fudge Brownies are a chocolate lovers dream!

If you’ve been around here any length of time you might have noticed I like chocolate… a lot!  When it comes to dessert, if I’m given the choice I’ll almost always chose something chocolaty.

I love brownies and have already shared my favorite Fudgy Homemade Brownies recipe.  I still love those classic fudge brownies… but sometimes I really crave a frosted brownie!

These Frosted Fudge Brownies are a nice balance between fudgy and cakey… I still used the word “fudge” in the title because when you add the frosting, the overall dessert is rich and fudgy, and oh so delicious!

Rich and delicious!!  Frosted Fudge Brownies


Frosted Fudge Brownies

The brownie base is nicely balanced between fudgy and cakey. When you add the frosting, the overall dessert is rich, fudgy and oh so delicious!

Yield: 1- 9"x13" pan (apx. 24 brownies)


3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup Challenge unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 cup chocolate chips

6 Tablespoons Challenge butter (unsalted or salted), softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (whole milk is preferred, if using fat-free, mix it with a bit of cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line a 9"x13" baking pan with parchment paper (leave a bit of parchment hanging up from the sides).

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl of your choice), add cocoa powder and baking soda. Stir in butter, then add boiling water and continue to stir until well combined. Add sugar and blend well. Add eggs and vanillla and blend until fully combined.

3. Add flour and salt and blend until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, then pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

5. When the brownies have cooled, prepare frosting by beating the butter in a medium bowl. Add cocoa powder, then powdered sugar and blend. Slowly add milk (while blending), then add vanilla. Spread frosting onto cooled brownies.

6. For easiest cutting, chill the entire pan a brownies in the fridge, then remove brownies from pan by pulling up on parchment paper. Cut using a sharp knife, and wipe off knife between cuts, as needed.

Recipe source - Hershey's Cocoa Cookbook, 1979

I recommend "natural" style (not "dutch processed") cocoa for this recipe. I used (and love) Ghirardelli brand.

I used Challenge brand butter, but feel free to use any high quality butter of your choice.

Grab a glass of milk and share these with someone you love  =)

Happy baking!

Double-Decker Fall Decorated Cookies

Double Decker Fall Decorated Cookies with step-by-step directions

I love baking year round, but there is something extra special about baking in the fall!  Cooler weather seems the perfect background for a warm oven and fragrant fall spices!

These double-decker fall decorated cookies are as delicious as they are beautiful!  I started with my Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookie Recipe and then took decorating inspiration from Decorating Cookies Party, a new book by the lovely Bridget of Bake at 350.  Bridget makes all kinds of cute cookies and treats on her site, and she has a super sweet personality to match!

Fall Decorated Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe

When I first looked through this pretty book I was drawn to some adorable double-decker wedding shower cookies (pictured below).  Bridget first popularized this fun double-decker cookie idea a couple years ago and it’s seriously brilliant!  I mean what’s better than one cookie… two cookies of course!

Although I love Bridget’s wedding shower design as is, I thought I could take the inspiration and turn it into something perfect for fall.  I used the same base cutter, a scalloped oval, and used a simple mix of stripes and polka-dots for the background, just as Bridget did.  Then I added mini pumpkin and leaf cookies in place of the wedding themed cookies.  I really love the way they turned out!

Fall Double Decker Cookies - Inspired by Decorating Cookies Party Book

Here’s the simple step-by-step decorating tips…

Start with a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough.  I used my Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe, but feel free to use my basic Sugar Cookie Recipe.

You’ll also need a batch of Royal Icing.

For each cookie you can follow the step-by-step photos below.

The basics are as follows…

Mini pumpkins- Pipe stem with piping consistency, allow to set up.  Add pumpkin segments that are not touching, using medium/flood consistency.  Allow first segments to set up before adding final segments.

Mini leaves- Outline (using a piping consistency), then immediately flood.  Allow to dry, then add details, as pictured.

Scalloped oval- Outline, then allow the outline to dry a bit.  Flood with a contrasting color (if desired).  Immediately add stripes or dots to the wet icing.  Allow to dry before adding mini cookie (with a bit of icing).

Fall Decorated Cookies step by step


Fall Decorated Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe

This general concept could be adjusted countless ways!  The addition mini cookies onto a larger base creates such a fun and unique treat!

This design is just one of the beautiful and creative ideas in Decorating Cookies Party, which is currently available on Amazon for $10, what a steal!!

And if you hop on over to Bake at 350, Bridget’s celebrating her book launch with an awesome giveaway (P.S. a KitchenAid Mixer is involved!!).

Happy Baking!

Cake Stands, Cookbook & Mystery Box Giveaway!

Cake Stand & Cookbook Giveaway!

I could create quite a long list of things in this life that I love and am passionate about… baking, crafting, photography, party planning, those would all be on the list.  But the items on the very top of my list would be God, my husband and our two daughters.

I have only mentioned this once before, but the number one reason I started this blog was with the plan and hope of being able to make enough money to send my daughters to private Christian school.  I have met that goal and feel so thankful everyday!   I feel so amazingly blessed to have a job I love, one that allows me to use my creative gifts, and can provide for my girls to attend an amazing school.

Our school is small and it has been a perfect fit for our family.  The level of passion, love and commitment from each teacher and staff member is really amazing!  The character qualities I see being built in our children, and the other students at our school makes me feel hopeful that these children will make a positive impact on our world.

Because our school is small and private (and as such receives no government funding), it is very difficult (near impossible) to balance the school budget on tuition alone.  We have to rely on a couple yearly fundraisers to keep our school afloat.

I’ve written and re-written this post several times.  I want to defend our choice to send our girls to private school… I want to assure you we are not rich snobs raising entitled children… I want to share with you the personal (and financial) sacrifices our family makes so our girls can attend a school we deeply love and believe in.

But I think this post can be much simpler than that.

Do you love this blog?  Do you feel like you’ve gained something from my site?  Do you appreciate the ideas I share here?

If the answer is yes, might you be willing to participate in something that is deeply important to me, simply because I am asking?

Would you partner with me in raising money for our school?

I hope your answer is yes… but I’m prepared to sweeten my request =)

What you can win…

I’ve gathered some of my favorite baking supplies, ingredients, props and pretty packaging items and filled a box full!  The exact contents is a mystery (to you), but I am quite confident the recipient will have fun with all of these goodies!  In addition, I purchased a set of two pretty scalloped cake stands, and I have a signed copy of my book to add to the heap of fun!


How to help our school…

You may simply use the button below to donate money in any amount ($5, $10, $50, etc).


Using the donate button above will send money to my personal pay-pal account. As soon as the giveaway ends I will write a check directly to our school with 100% of any money donated.

Our school is a non-profit organization, and as such you can donate directly to the school to receive a tax write off.  If you would like to receive the tax write off for your donation, leave a comment below with the amount you’d like to donate. You do not need to leave your e-mail address in the (public) comment section, because I can see it (on my end) from the comment form itself.  You will receive an e-mail where you can easily donate directly to the school, along with the school’s tax id for your records.

If you have any questions about our school (Summit Christian School, located in Fair Oaks, California), please e-mail me directly at and I would love to chat with you about this school I deeply love.


How to enter the giveaway…

Simply leave a comment below with what you hope is in the mystery giveaway box.
Also, please feel free to mention if you were able to donate.


Giveaway details – Giveaway ends Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 9pm Pacific.  The winner will be chosen using  Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  One entry per person.  Donating money is greatly appreciated, but is not required to enter.

Thank you in advance for partnering with me to support a charity that is deeply important to me!  Any amount donated, however small is greatly appreciated!