Christmas baking begins!

This recipe doesn’t really count as baking, but it’s been a staple on our Christmas cookie tray every year. This inspired recipe comes from my mother’s kitchen!

White Chocolate Pretzels

Vanilla Candy Coating
Christmas colored M&M’s
Big glass mixing bowl
Wax Paper

Most of this is based on estimation, so make adjustments where you feel the need! Start by putting  4-6 blocks of the candy coating in the glass bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between each time. After candy coating is melted, add some pretzels to the bowl. Stir until coated, and then progressively add more until evenly coated. Pour M&M’s in and mix until there are enough to make you happy. Spread the pretzels out on wax paper and let harden.

It’s really simple. And really delicious. The perfect Christmas party food — part dessert and part snack!




Baked with Love

Last November, there was a girl who liked a boy. This girl knew that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach … and through the help of a great friend, got him to invite her over to bake cookies. The pumpkin chocolate chip cookie is now remembered and celebrated as a delightful treat that started a journey of love between two people.

It’s been almost exactly a year and it was time to make the cookies again.  I was a little worried that the feelings of love and the sparks of a new relationship were the reason we thought the cookies tasted so good. But now I know, if you bake the cookies with love, the magic continues a year later.

I thought I’d share the recipe since we’ve had such good luck with these cookies. The pumpkin taste is the perfect amount that it’s not overwhelming, but you can still taste it. The pumpkin also keeps them moist and chewy … no crumbly cookies here! Somehow the combination of pumpkin and chocolate is exquisite!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
  • Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips.


Scoop the cookie dough by heaping
tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.