Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

On a trip to Penzey’s Spices, I idly picked up the catalog as I purchased my delicious shallot salt. As Bill drove us back home, I was perusing the listings and recipes when I stumbled across this muffin recipe. Since Bill is a HUGE fan of cinnamon, we both love muffins, and it looked super-simple, I decided to make muffins for dinner that night.

Since then I have not been able to stop making these muffins! Bill took them to school of the first day, I made them this weekend for a lacrosse coaches meeting, and I think we’ve had them for breakfast every other weekend for a few months now.

It’s basically a one-bowl recipe, no mixer required, and I have all the ingredients on hand in my pantry just by default. Try them, and let me know if your family loves them too!

Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour, separated (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. sugar, separated
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oats (any kind will work)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, ¼ sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the oil, egg, vanilla, and milk. Stir only until moistened.
  4. Gently stir in the oats.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. S
  6. Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
  7. Sprinkle each muffin with topping.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

based on recipe from Penzey’s Spices


S’mores Crunch Cookies

S’mores Crunch Cookies

These cookies are one of those baking miracles that occasionally happen. Let’s say you suddenly remember you want to make cookies for your husband’s co-workers one evening after work, but didn’t prepare at all and don’t really have an idea in mind. So, you comb through your Evernote “Cookies” notebook, looking for something you can make with what you have in the house.

You stumble upon Toffee Crunch Cookies from Shugary Sweets, a recipe you saved years ago and completely forgot about. The ingredient list looks a little intense and random, but behold! the pantry contains everything you need. Plus, your husband loves toffee. The cookies come together quickly, only dirtying one bowl, which your dishes-hating self loves.

So, you make the cookies as he attends some weird coaches’ training and are shocked to discover, upon removing the cookies from the oven, that they taste NOTHING like toffee. But they are delicious! A renaming is in order as you nom your delicious cookie, crunchy with rice crisps, hearty with oats, and chockful of little baby marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Well.. duh! They must be s’more crunch cookies! All of the delicious flavors of the fireside treat, plus the crunch and heartiness you remember from the elementary school’s cowboy cookies, and a side of wonderful, ooey, gooey baked goodness.

Take them to your husband’s co-workers. They will love you, they will be impressed. Take them to your co-workers. They will love them, they will demand the recipe 🙂

S’mores Crunch Cookies
(makes approximately 28 medium cookies, or two cookie sheets worth)

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening (or another stick of butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1-¼ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • I think that pecans or walnuts would be delish as a mix-in too. Customize the shiz out of them!


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with a silpat or parchement paper.
  3. In your mixer bowl, beat butter, shortetning, sugar, and brown sugar together on medium until light and fluffy.
  4. While the beater runs on low, add eggs one at a time, then add almond extract.
  5. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder to mixer bowl, then beat on medium until well-combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer, and fold oats, Rice Krispies, chocolate chips and marshmallows with a spatula until everything is well distributed.
  7. Roll batter into 1-2 Tablespoon balls, and place on cookie sheets, 1-2” apart.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until centers are set.
  9. Cool on the cookie sheets for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!
  10. Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Based on a recipe from Shugary Sweets


Lovely and Liquor-ish: Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lovely and Liquor-ish: Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friends! We’re back in the world of recipes, and I’m bringing you a boozy doozy 🙂


Bill’s dungeon-master-ing a group of fellow teachers on an adventure once a week, so I’m having college D&D flashbacks. Since the fellas can’t meet at our apartment (they’re allergic to the Finnmonster), I’m trying to be a good DM’s-wife/hostess by sending some snacks along with my boy to their meetings.


This week, I was stocked up on cooked turkey bacon from a recent household addition (did you know it’s so much better for you than normal bacon? and still tasty?), and had been in a bourbon mood, because that’s the sort of girl I am. Bourbon, bacon and chocolate go together that peanut butter and jelly, so my obvious choice was to make some delicious ‘adult’ cookies for my full-grown nerds to enjoy 😉


This is based on my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, with just a hint of bourbon-y goodness and some salty bacon to take it to the next level 🙂

Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon (or more, to taste)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 4 slices of crispy, cooked bacon (or turkey bacon), diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350◦ F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add in the egg, extracts, and bourbon.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Slowly mix the flour into the butter mixture, until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in chocolate chips and diced bacon
  5. Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls. Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes.




The Sweet Basic: Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Sweet Basic: Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Apparently I’m on of a bit of a cookie run here on Mancktastic! Today, I’m pleased to bring you my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. These little buggers are soft, sweet, and tasty, which makes them a great base for customization or a staple to enjoy.


I whipped up this batch in their most basic format as a last-day-of-Latin treat for Bill’s seniors. In the past, I’ve turned these into almond joy delights, confetti cookies and even triple chocolate cookies, but who doesn’t love a warm, tasty, plain ‘ol chocolate chip cookie?


These come together in about 20 minutes total, which makes them a great school night treat. Simply cream together butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla, then beat in flour, salt and baking soda to create the buttery, soft basic dough. Mix in itsy bitsy chocolate chips studded throughout the cookies, roll them into Tablespoon-sized balls, and pop ’em into the oven to bake.


Since they’re smaller than your average cookie, they bake up quickly which means they can be in your belly extra-quick! I love the little hint of almond extract in these cookies; it really sets them apart from your average bear with a delicious, sweet flavor.


Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chocolate chip
  1. Preheat the oven to 350◦ F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Slowly mix the flour into the butter mixture, until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in both sizes of the chocolate chips.
  5. Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls. Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes.

Based on a recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod


PS The lovely husband got me a new camera! I’m still tweaking the manual settings and my Photoshop workflow, but hopefully you can tell a positive difference in the photography. I think they’re at least better than my iPhone, yeah? 🙂

Cinnamon Sugary Delights: My Classic Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon Sugary Delights: My Classic Snickerdoodles

Last week, with fingertips covered in cinnamon-sugar and an oven full of cookies, I found myself reflecting on how tied together recipes and memories can be. Cherry cream cheese pie will always take me back to hurried pie making at my parents’ house and sesame chicken reminds me of Bill and I’s courtship. Snickerdoodles send me right back to college though; to my first apartment, to friends clustered around couches and hanging out in the green room…

One of my first big starts into culinary-dom in college was when my friends figured out that I knew how to make the Holy Grail of cookies: the Snickerdoodle. Sure, I made dinner for my friends at least once a week and kept them stuffed with every variation of dessert, but the ‘Doodles were what they always seemed to circle back to.


I’m not sure why, but they were all under the impression that somehow the Snickerdoodle was a magic cookie, produced only by restaurants and stores, never to see the light of a kitchen. I’ve never encountered a single person who doesn’t like a ‘Doodle, but no one seems to have ever made them. It’s a shame because they’re a simple and delightful cookie!

I remember one ‘dinner party’ my senior year of college: after a simple (and cheap) chicken, veggie and pasta dish for dinner, we watched Stardust in my tiny ‘loft’ apartment while I whipped up the ‘Doodle dough and let them do the cinnamon-sugar honors before baking. I felt like a little Momma, letting the kids “help” with dessert on a special occasion. There was such a happy sense of community attached to the whole evening that it gave Snickerdoodles a whole new importance to me. I didn’t have a fancy mixer or many groceries, my kitchen was basically a hallway, but I had an apartment full of friends enjoying something we’d baked together. 🙂

At least some of the folks I made the ‘doodles for.
Bef, Bert, Me and Goo 🙂

I included Snickerdoodles in my graphic design capstone project, a cookbook called “The Collegiate Kitchen Companion” with tips for young folks starting with their first dorm ‘kitchen’, going through apartment cooking, impressing their significant other with a fancy dinner, and breaking in their first ‘real’ kitchen after graduation. It seemed fitting that this cookie would be part of the summation and proclamation of all I had learned and designed.

What you’ll need:

The streak of appreciation continued when Bill found out that I was a practitioner of the hidden Snickerdoodle arts. He’s a huge cinnamon fan, so of course he loves these soft, sweet cookies with their delicious cinnamon-sugar coating. I try to keep them as a bit of a special cookie since they’re so memory-full for me, but I’m always glad when the occasion calls for them.



  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine flour, cream of tartar and baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, then the vanilla extract, and beat until well-combined.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low, then slowly add the flour mixture. mix until a cohesive dough forms.
  5. Combine cinnamon and ⅛ cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then coat with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and place on cookie sheet (about 1 inch apart).
  6. Bake cookies until they’re crinkled and set, about 12 minutes. Allow them to rest for 1-2 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.


Fluffy and Buttery with Summer Fruit: Strawberry Shortcakes

Fluffy and Buttery with Summer Fruit: Strawberry Shortcakes

I don’t know if it’s the same where y’all are, but down here in South-ish Texas we’re starting to get really delicious and cheap produce already! Nothing screams “Spring is here and Summer is coming!” more than juicy, fresh, affordable strawberries and watermelons in the grocery store, just waiting to be taken home. While I’m not really looking forward to 100°+ weather or all of our kids graduating and leaving (sniff), I am glad that it’s warming up so I can exist solely on fresh fruits and veggies for a while : )

This week’s amazing deal at HEB was strawberries for just $1/lb! After grabbing one package Friday night, I went back and snagged 3 more Sunday morning because I just couldn’t stop eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. First, it was this tasty breakfast Saturday morning of decaf caramel coffee, sourdough toast, eggs over medium and fresh strawberries, with a side of the amazing graphic novel Relish by Lucy Knisley about her life experiences with food. Highly recommended, especially the awesome illustrated recipes at the end of each chapter (one of which is coming later this week!)


This breakfast didn’t staunch my cravings for berries, though, so it was time for my favorite strawberry vehicle: Shortcake! I went to my reliable red Betty Crocker cookbook (before she started just recommending Bisquick in everything) to whip up this fluffy, buttery shortcake for Bill, Keri and I to enjoy. By Sunday night, I’d had it for at least 3 meals, plus I used some extra whipped cream in my Sunday morning decaf ; ) This is a extra-rich, buttery shortcake that’s perfect for strawberries and homemade whipped cream! You could also use this sweet and tasty shortcake with any other deliciously ripe fruits all summer long. I also love to crumble the shortcake over a bowl of strawberries and cream for a yummy crumb topping.

Strawberry Shortcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1-2 cups whipped cream
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter and flour bottom and sides of a 9″ round pan.
  2. In medium bowl, mix flour, ½ cup sugar, the baking powder and salt. Cut in butter, using pastry blender, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk and eggs just until blended.
  3. Bake shortcake 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown. While shortcake bakes, combine chopped strawberries and ½ cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve topped with the strawberries and whipped cream.

IMG_1571 copy

Based on a recipe from Betty Crocker

Click here to download a PDF of this recipe!

I still have about half of a shortcake left since it’s so rich, but then again there’s still 2 pounds of perfect strawberries in the fridge… I don’t think either of those will last long! Are y’all starting to get fresh summer-y fruits where you live or will you have to make shortcake with frozen berries, dreaming about warmer times?