Fast and Furious Peanut Butter Cookies

By Cate Wells
Statistically speaking, we all know that breakups are more likely to happen late at night. After calling your best friend (it’s perfectly acceptable under the circumstances to wake them up), just what are you to do for comfort in the kitchen when it’s dark and lonely? These quick cookies are perfect for anyone who needs a sugar fix after the store is already closed. They may not be as fancy or traditional as the Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies on Epicurious, but we guarantee they will hit the sweet spot. Just three ingredients and no flour means these are the fastest cookies ever to make. And like certain ex-boyfriends, they are highly addictive so consider making a double batch.

Breakup Cookbook Recipe Tip: Use a fork to make a simple cross-hatch design on drop cookies.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350′.
2. Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
3. Drop by spoonfulls onto a greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 12-15 minutes.

It’s National Chocolate Cake Day!

Chocolate cake isn’t just for special occasions, like weekend birthday celebrations and Un-Valentine’s Day parties. It’s also perfect for breakup cooking and for every January 27th—even if it is a weekday.  No matter how many layers, or your frosting preferences, there’s nothing like a chocolate cake to brighten up the darkest of days.  In honor of this special annual event, here are some great baking chocolate and cocoa cake recipes from around the web to drool over.

What’s your favorite chocolate cake recipe? Add a link in the comments below. Or, you can always email us at or

Homemade Truffles: One Sweet Holiday Gift

by Cate Wells

Truffles courtesy Baked Salwa

Truffles courtesy Baked Salwa

Stop stressing over who’s been naughty or nice and start focusing on your gift list (even if your ex was borderline at one point—that’s one less present to wrap). Just in case you still have holiday shopping to do, consider a project that is satisfyingly sweet: making your own gifts at home. (I still have a family get-together for January 2nd!)

A baking friend, Salwa, was inspired to give everyone truffles made from scratch this year. So, here’s a little more chocolate before the new year’s resolution kicks in. Her packaging is the perfect complement to these rich truffles. Check out these amazing flavors:

  • Ancho chile and cinnamon coated in sugar crystals
  • Jack Daniels coated in pecans
  • Cardamom and coffee coated in almonds
  • Peppermint coated in crushed candy cane

You can read all about her adventures in cocoa at Baked Salwa.

Grandma’s Recipe: Spice Cake

by Cate Wells

We’re going Dutch today but not on a date. I just saw this fun silent movie from the Netherlands on how to make Spice Cake—too bad my cooking disasters are not nearly as cute or innocent as this video. I do think this recipe qualifies as Grandma-approved.

Krista’s Heart of Darkness Cake

Heather Quinlan

This particular recipe comes from Bar Americain’s lovely and talented Krista Margies Kunkle, pastry chef to the stars. She describes this cake as such: “The first bite will make you exclaim, ‘Sweet Jesus!’ in a way that what’s-his-name never could.” You know it.

Krista's Heart of Darkness Cake

Read more

Host a Perfect Party: Holiday Cookie Exchange

by Cate Wells

Cookies packaged to exchange‘Tis the season for a girls-only get-together: no drama of who will be your plus one, no office hijinks, no dressing to impress, and no healthy food. We all love to bake but who has time or patience to crank out a variety of cookies for a magazine-worthy display tray? I’m lucky enough to know an organized lady who has kept a Holiday Cookie Exchange tradition going strong for 16 years now. (Thanks Aunt Wendy!) Every guest brings one type of treat but you all go home with a variety sweet drops, bars, and truffles—so you get to become your neighborhood’s new Sugar Mama.

Holiday cookiesYou’re Invited . . .
When: During the holiday season—whether you celebrate Christmukkah or Kwanzaa.
Where: At the home of a hostess with the mostess.
Who: The more ladies invited, the more everyone has to bake so consider a guest list of 6-12 people and be sure to get firm RSVPs.
How: Ask each guest to bring one dozen wrapped for each person plus one extra dozen for nibbling. Supplement some savory snacks and drinks, music, and voila! Festive packaging also doubles as decoration.

Grandma’s Recipes: Welsh Cookies

by Cate Wells

Welsh CookiesWhat do you get when you combine two Welsh ladies, a giant griddle, and an holiday exchange party? Welsh cookies—our family’s traditional holiday treat. I spent a recent afternoon with my mom baking a recipe that comes from generations back as we prepped for our girls get-together. Thankfully there were no men allowed (and no fires like at the start of the Dylan Thomas’s Child’s Christmas in Whales) though bonding and baking is always good for a mother and daughter. I compare the cookies more to biscuits; sometimes they are also called Miner’s Cakes. And you don’t bake them in the oven, instead you brown them on a griddle.

Check out the slideshow to see them in process—complete with wild (non-Welsh) packaging for the party!

Read more

Fresh Start Mint Brownies

by Cate Wells

Limited edition mint and dark chocolate chips inspired me to think outside the box of brownie mix. What better way to move on than a double chocolate and minty fresh cookie combination? And classic cocoa brownies are almost as easy as any mix—make them even more your own and build your cooking confidence by added these morsels just before cooking.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8-inch by 8-inch metal baking pan. On waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
2. In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter on low. Remove saucepan from heat; with spatula, stir in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan.
3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownies 2 inches from center comes out almost clean. Cool brownies completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.
4. When cool, cut brownies into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 4 squares.


MYOB Pumpkin Pie

by Cate Wells


Courtesy absentmindedprof via flickr

The holidays can be stressful for single ladies, as it’s the perfect time for your family to ask “when are you going to find a nice guy and settle down?” between bites of string bean casserole. So remind them that you’re a find on your own with this traditional Thanksgiving dessert that has an extra kick of sweet and spicy*.
Read more