Jan 30, 2014

Welcome to the New The Cookie Puzzle

Notice anything different?

See anything new?

Do you like what you see?

I do!

I am in love with my newly 

I could just squeal it is so pretty!

So...let me tell you about how all this came about.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I thought it
would be a good idea to spruce up my blog.

My first stop was Etsy.  On Etsy, you can 
purchase pre-made blog templates.

Well, I found a few that I "Liked" but none
that I really loved.

So, I sat on the idea a bit.

I then started looking at blogs that 
I liked, and created a Secret board on

Did you know you could do that?

You can, and it is so helpful.
You can collect ideas, and no one can 
see them, unless you invite them to the board.
One note though, you have to follow them, and they have to
follow you, for them to be able to be invited.

So...I made my board, 
I pinned blogs I liked, commenting specifically, what I
liked about then, "I like the search bar" or "Love the colors"
I pinned fonts I liked, I pinned colors I liked, anything
that might help a designer get a feel of what I was looking for.
Then I started to 
look for a designer.

I found one that I really liked.

I sent an email on Saturday afternoon, 
and within 30 minutes, I got a email back from the designer.

I found the website for 

       Adorability Designs

entered my life.

Ya'll Melanie she is AMAZING!

She is talented!

She is skilled!

She is a dream to work with.

In just a few minutes, we agreed
to work together, I sent her an
invite to my Secret Board on Pinterest.

By Monday,as in not even 48 hours, 
she sent me her first graphics.

I was in love.

In four short days, and 60
emails, yes 60, back and forth,
I had a totally new blog!

Four days!

Ya'll...who can do that?

Melanie can!

She was sooo easy to work with.

She listened to what I wanted, 
and what I did not want,
and made my dream a reality!

She guided me though the process,
answered my silly questions,
let me make HORRIBLE 
design choices, then gently
guided me in the right direction.

She would send me an
amazing graphic, I would suggest
a color change, she would make 
it and send it to me, I 
would say "eww, I was wrong, she was right"
and I would go back to her original design.

See...that is why she is 
a designer and me...
I hire designers!

I can not even begin to tell you
how happy I am with my new look!

I love everything about it, 
every color,
every little puzzle piece,
every little button
and font.

All of it makes me happy!

Thank you Melanie
you made my dream come to life!

If you are in the market for a
blog makeover, a new graphic for your 
blog, a facebook cover page,
a signature for your blog,
anything at all, 
I can not recommend 
Melanie enough!

Her talent is second to none, 
and her customer service
is a standard that all should strive for.

I find myself trying to
figure out what else I can have 
her do for me.

What could have been 
a scary and stressful
process, was
made enjoyable and fun
by her!

I will be forever grateful!

I would also like to give a special thanks to
my sister , Susan, who as a non-blogger, 
helped me figure out what people like, 
what was easy to read, and what looked good.
She looked at every graphic and gave me her honest input.
Her insight, helped so much, Thanks Susan

A supersized thank you also goes to my
best friend, Melissa of Simply Sweets by Honeybee.
Her guidance has been incredible!
She held my hand throughout this entire process,
from my choice of designer, to color palette
to each little graphic, Melissa offered a bloggers
eye, that I simply don't have.
Thank you Melissa...I am so grateful that blogging
brought you into my life!

Now that I have a new look

I am ready to take my blog
in a new direction.

While I started this blog
to share my love of
decorated cookies,
I find that "life"
has prevented me from
making them like I used to.

So...while I might 
share a decorated cookie
every now and again,
primarily, I will be share
quick and fun recipes, mostly
baked goods, as I don't cook much.

I would also like to 
start crafting more too.

I find it fun and rewarding,
and need to make time for that.

So..while you are here..look around
Melanie has given me
little treasures all over my new blog.

Don't forget to grab my new blog button
which has been updated.

And...if you are looking for a 
little face lift for your blog, 
Melanie is your gal.

You can find her Here on the web
Here on Facebook.

Until next time.


Jan 27, 2014

My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe

I have made a lot of decorated 
sugar cookies over the years.

While my techniques and skills have
changed a lot, one thing has stayed 

I have used the same sugar
cookie recipe!
Yes, I have made a few changes
along the way, simple 

But, for the most part it is the same.

 I have been thinking for some time that I wanted
to share my go to recipe, and when 
a reader sent me a sweet email, asking 
if I share my recipe, I thought today
would be the perfect time.

Now, I want to talk about WHY
I love this recipe so much, why it works for me.

This is a recipe that is designed to give a 
thick and soft cookie, if you like thin
and crisp cookies, this is not the recipe for you.

This recipe requires sour cream, if sour cream
grosses you out, move to another recipe.

I roll my cookies THICK, 3/8 inch thick.

This recipe cooks SLOW and LOW.
A cookie that is 3.5-4 inches thick,
requires a baking time of 22-23 minutes.

I think it is very important to NOT
over crowd your cookie sheet,
I typically, only put 6
cookies on a sheet at once.

I use the convection setting on my oven, 
set at 300, and bake 
two sheets at a time.
My oven automatically adjusts when using 
the convection setting, I set it to
325, and it adjusts to 300.

These cookie will "puff" a little, 
if you want a flat surface for decorating, 
as soon as they come out of the oven, 
gently smooth the tops with a fondant smoother
or spatula.

This cookie is NOT very sweet.
It works great for me, as I only decorate using
Glaze, which is very sweet, so the 
cookie and the glaze together, 
yield a perfect amount of sweetness.

This recipe is very adaptable, flavor wise.

Like orange flavor, add orange extract.

Want a chocolate cookie, take out
1/2 flour, and add 1/2 cocoa powder, 
you will get an almost brownie like cookie.

Want a simple cookie, you can color the dough,
dip them in sanding sugar, and no 
decorating required.

I have made cookies 5 inches big,
and cookies 1.5 inches, just adapt the
baking time.

In a hurry, cool, this recipe requires
not chilling time, mix it, roll, cut and go.

Love butter cream?
These cookies taste great topped with
butter cream and sprinkles.

Fan of Nutella?
Spread Nutella on it...YUMMY!

So there you go..my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

If you are interested in my glaze recipe, 
let me know...I would be happy to share that
sometime in the future.

My Favorite Sugar Cookie
Printable Version

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lb 10oz all purpose flour *
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla, & sour cream. Blend in dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough to desired thickness ( I do my 3/8 inch thick). Cut into shapes. Place cookies on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake approx 20 minutes or until middle is set (firm to the touch). I like to let them cool, on the cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
This recipe yields approximately 20- 25 medium cookies.

*note about the amount of flour…sometimes this varies…I usually start with 4 ¼ cup and then add flour until the dough is not sticky….you don’t want it dry and crumbly….but not sticky, I like it the consistency of play dough…sometimes 4 ¼ cups gets me there…sometimes I add up to 5 cups.  I mix my dough in a KitchenAid mixer…when the dough does not stick to the bowl anymore, that is perfect.

I hope you enjoy...happy baking.

-This post might be linked up at the link parties found Here.

Jan 26, 2014

Pieces of my Puzzle 1-26-14

Happy Sunday!

I wanted to start off by apologizing for being so sparse here.

Life...well...it is crazy here at The Cookie Puzzle.

So....what has been going on?

Well...this week, I posted some really
cute mini Farm Animal cookies.

After receiving the mini cookie cutters for 
Christmas 2012, I am happy how they
turned out, and to get them off my bucket list.
Do you have a bucket list?
I do....and it is so long, I am not sure I will ever get to it.

I have been really enjoying joining Link Parties lately,
and this week, I was honored to be featured in not
one, but TWO link parties.

These little bites of yumminess were featured at 

Do you like link parties, I do, I love them.
They are a great way to gain blog traffic.
They are a great way to meet amazing new blog friends.
AND... you can find wonderful new blogs to follow!

To see a list of blog link parties I join, click Here.
If you host a link party, or join one that I don't, please let me
know...one can never Link Party too much!

Ok...now....I want to share something with you.

I try to keep my personal life, well, personal, but
my personal life has been preventing me
from blogging and baking like I normally do.

I have been working on a BIG PROJECT!

The biggest project I have ever taken on in my life.

I would say it has consumed every weekend since

Wanna know what it is?

Well...here is a little hint.

Then this happened.

Then this happened!

Have you figured it out?

My family is building a new house!

And by WE...I me...WE!

We contracted the concrete, framing and roof, but
most of everything else is US!

Well..we are having a little help from close friends,
but most of what is being done is being done
with our own hands.

So most weekends, I am yielding a hammer
in place of a whisk.

So....if I am MIA for a bit..
I have not disappeared...I am just a little

I work a full time job, and have 2 days to
try to work on the house, bake recipes, take pictures,
edit pictures, write blog posts, join blog parties

Sorry..please don't take it personally,
I still love you...and still love baking and blogging.

I am not sure how much of the new
house I will be sharing here, maybe
a little update here and there, but
I don't want to chronicle the whole
process here, this is a baking blog, right.

AND...we have a pretty distinct taste in house styles.

When people see it, we get mixed reactions.

If you follow me on Pinterest my
House Ideas, will give you a gimps of our decorating
and design taste.

So...there you go

that is what I have been up to.

Until next time


Jan 23, 2014

Farm Animal Cookies

My dear niece gave me a set of
mini farm animal cookie cutters for Christmas.

Not Christmas 2013, but Christmas 2012!

As soon as I saw them, I knew
exactly what I wanted to do with them.

And being the super on top of things type of person I am
I FINALLY made them.

As in January 2014!

These are just like those Grandma's Frosted Cookies, but in
farm animal form.

So easy and so cute, I just used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, dipped them
in white glaze and sprinkled them...easy peasy.

Perfect for snacking...lunch boxes...or late night TV watching.

I have been thinking for some time about 
sharing my go to sugar cookie recipe.

Is that something you want to see?

How about a post of my favorite Pins of the week?
Interested in that?

Life has become super crazy for me lately, and 
my baking time has been cut by A LOT, and
I enjoy blogging, and don't want to give it up.

So...what do you want to see here at 
The Cookie Puzzle?

Round ups?
Pinterest Finds?
Me rambling on about reality TV?

Sound off....I need a little help here.

Oh....and make sure you come back on
Sunday....I will share a little about 
what has me busy lately in my
Pieces of my Puzzle Post!

This post might be linked up at the link parties found Here.

Jan 16, 2014

Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Bugles

Previously, on The Cookie Puzzle,
I made
Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Bugles.
The following takes place between
this post and my next post.
Have you heard?
My favorite show is coming back for
a 12 episode mini-series in May.
Jack Bauer is BACK!
Yep...that is right.
24 baby!
I am beyond excited!
I love me some Jack, and having Chloe back just makes
the world a better place!
Actually, I made these last week, but have not had
time to post them yet, mainly because, well, I did
not know what to write in the post.
See...these are crazy easy, no real recipe per se,
and well I have been racking my brain, trying
to think of a "story" to tie in with Bugles.
Since I heard the news about 24, I thought I would
talk about it, cause I am super nerdy, and only
a twisted mind like mine would think,
"Hey, 24 is back, sound the bugles"
Did you catch that?
But oh well, I get to share this
super easy treat.
I grabbed a bag of Bugles, sorted out the "good" ones, by
good ones, I mean the ones that all whole, with a hole to fill.
I then put some peanut butter in a piping bag, or a sandwich bag,
would work too.  I then filled the bugles, and then dipped them
in melted almond bark, chocolate would work too.
I placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and
sprinkled them with sprinkles, because sprinkles make
everything better.
Jack told me that.
"Dammit Kim, I need those Sprinkles, NOW"
Yep....I am a cornball.
So...sound the Bugles...24 is back baby!

Love Bakes Good Cakes

-This post might be linked up at the link parties found Here.

Jan 14, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Confession time.  Don't judge me, ok?

I can not make Rice Krispie Treats.  There...I said it!

My name is Kim, and I can not make Rice Krispie Treats!

Is there a group for that?  Where you stand up and make your confession...

:"Hi, My name is Kim......and I can not make Rice Krispie Treats."

"Hi Kim"

Ok...I don't know what the problem is.  They always come out either one of two ways...they are either
rock hard....or...they are so soft that you have to eat them with a spoon.

But never fear....I found a solution.  If you are like me and all "I can not make Rice Krispie Treats" like me.  I can hook you up.

I found this recipe in the Better Homes and Garden New Cook book that I got when I got married.  I am not sure why I have never found it before...but it is life changing.  Now I can make Krispie treats.  I changed it up a little and used Jiff Whipped Chocolate Peanut butter, but I am sure regular peanut butter would be great...or Nutella....or Biscoff....or maybe marshmallow cream...YUMMY!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
Printable Version

2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter, I used Jif Whipped Chocolate Peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
Place Rice Cereal in a medium bowl, set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, bring corn syrup and brown sugar to a boil. 
 Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. 
 Pour over Rice Cereal and stir to coat. 
Press  firmly into a 9x13 pan that has been lined with waxed paper. 
 Chill for 1 hour, cut into squares and enjoy.
Adapted from Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook

This post might be linked up at the link parties found Here.

Jan 9, 2014

Warm Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

Sometimes...Pictures can be deceiving!
Have ya'll seen those pictures on the internets?
You know the ones that show
how you can use Photoshop to make
someone look younger, prettier, thinner?
Well....I used no Photoshop...but I want to show
you how you should never judge a
picture at first glance.
See this cake?
Not to pretty or appetizing looking, is it?
BUT!  Looks can be deceiving,
because this cake....THIS CAKE!
OMG...I die!
Cut into it, and you will find layers
of warm fudgy cake, and creamy smooth pudding!

Now...I know you are thinking,
"Wow....that is magic"
"That must be way hard to make"
But hold on to your bloomers.
If you know me at all...you know I am all about
simple....fast....and easy.
This recipe takes me back to my
childhood.  I used to make it all the time,
in fact, it might be the first recipe I made
without the help of my sister or mom.
It is from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.
I adapted it a little, using Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate,
but other then that...it is just as I remember.
Now...a few notes about the cake.
It is a small cake, baked in a 1 quart casserole dish.
This is NOT a cake to take to a church potluck or
family dinner.
This is a cake that you make at home...and then eat...like right away.
It is eaten warm, as once it cools...well...it ain't so good.
You can whip it up, put it in the oven, and by the time you
have eaten dinner, it is ready to eat.
OR...you can make it, and eat it right out of the pan,
while the kids are at school and the hubby is at work.
Whatever works for you...I don't judge.
So...make it...enjoy it...it is so worth it!
Warm Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate)
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Sift together flour, the 1/4 cup sugar and the 1 tablespoon cocoa.  Add milk, oil and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Transfer batter into a ungreased 1 quart baking dish, smooth to even batter.  In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.  Gradually stir in 3/4 cup boiling water. Pour evenly over batter in baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Serve warm.
This post might be linked up at the link parties found Here.

Jan 8, 2014

Crochet Infinity Scarves

It is the start of a New Year, and a New Month.
That means it is time for the Monthly
Inspiration Challenge, hosted my
This month's theme was
Warm and Fuzzy.
I decided to jump out of my comfort zone a little
and try my hand at crochet.
I have done it before.
But I am no expert.
I can chain.
I can single crochet
I can double crochet.
Heck, I can even triple crochet/
What I CAN NOT do is follow a pattern.
Especially one that is all kinds of complicated.
I need simple.
One that is the same thing over and over again.
No, do this the first row, then this the second row.
And the repeat from * to *.
UGGH...I ain't got no time for that.
 So,  I went to YouTube and found  This video.
And using this video I made this scarf.

Cute isn't it?
I used  Nebrah Norville Yarn in Stormy that I got at JoAnne's
 and a size J crochet hook.


I had so much fun making this one, that I made another one.

For this one I used Caron Simply Soft Paints in Peacock Feathers and
a size H hook.

I think it is so cool that you can use the same pattern, but different yarn
and a different size hook to get totally different looks.

So there you go...my Warm and Fuzzy Project for this month.

Make sure to come back next month, the theme is "Love"!

Head over to Simply Sweets by Honeybee to see all the creations!

You have until the end of the month to create your own
Warm and Fuzzy project and link up too!

Until next time

Stay Warm!

This post might be linked up at the link parties found Here.

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