Brownies for breakfast! These coffee cake brownies are rich, fudgy, and lightly spiced, with a thick layer of buttery crumb topping.

Can we all agree that breakfast brownies need to be a thing?

I mean, I’m not here to tell lies. I have, on occasion, enjoyed a Cosmic Brownie during the wee hours of the day. It wasn’t awful.

“It’s no worse than a donut,” I tell myself. Incidentally, the donut comparison is one that I make every time I want to justify bad choices.

So I’m having a splash of wine with lunch…it’s no worse than eating piles of fried dough with frosting first thing in the morning, right? So I lied to my children about having a headache so I could hide in my room and binge Dr. Phil and eat gummy bears. Is that really worse than eating a maple bar before I start my day? A new pair of shoes I don’t really need? Well, you can’t wear donuts.

As you can see, sometimes the comparison works, sometimes it doesn’t. Can’t have everything in life, ya know?

These brownies are basically everything we never knew we needed. Lightly spiced, fudgy, and perfectly chewy brownies topped with an equally thick layer of buttery crumb topping.

You might make a mess eating one. Crumbs will most likely fall down your bra and stick to your lip gloss.

And it’s one million percent worth it. It’s always fun when I take my bra off at the end of the day and food falls all over the floor. It’s like a grab bag, never know what you’ll find.

If you’re thinking that cinnamon and chocolate sound like an odd combo…trust me when I say, “TRUST ME.” I am not a weird person, and these are perfectly perfect. The cinnamon is just enough to make these taste warm and cozy. And there might be a pinch of cloves in here too, but again with the trust thing.

These are the perfect compliment to your morning coffee. Or wine! At least it’s not a donut, am I right?

Coffee Cake Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray thoroughly with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa and melted butter. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, and cloves until combined. Stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in vanilla. Fold in flour JUST until you no longer see flour streaks in the batter. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Add cold cubes of butter and mix with your hands until the mixture is combined and forms crumbs. Sprinkle over brownie batter, gently pressing into the top.
  4. Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs but no raw batter. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Enjoy, friends! Have a great day!

Buttery and sweet, these Maple Praline Cupcakes taste like Fall – a little woodsy, warm, floral and slightly spicy.

Maple Praline Cupcakes Picture

Do these cupcakes sound cozy OR WHAT.

I’m currently torn between fall and winter baking. But in a good way! It’s the perfect time of year where we can have the best of both worlds — sugar cookies and cocoa one day, warm cider and maple cupcakes the next.

I’m not hating it, tbh. Can we say “tbh” in blog posts? I think it might be my new thing.

Maple Praline Cupcake Photo

So here we are, with the coziest little cakes in all the land. They’re like the plaid scarf of food, ya know? Like a hug made out of sugar.

The maple praline frosting sets up to a fudge-like consistency that I’m not hating one bit. There’s just something so satisfying about biting into it and that’s that.

We all know what I’m talking about.

Maple Praline Cupcake Image

If you’re looking for the recipe, click HERE where I’m sharing it on Imperial Sugar. So simple and totally homemade — I think I found your weekend baking project!!

Speaking of BAKING…Imperial Sugar is currently hosting their Homemade Holidays Baking Giveaway! There are 125 (125!!!!!!) winners, so you’d be crazy not to enter. Pop over for details — it’s super simple.

Enjoy, friends! Thanks so much for reading!

 

Looking for a good book to snuggle up with? I’ve got suggestions!

YOU GUYS I AM SUCH A LOSER.

Also, I have been told that blog readers exist who get upset when people say, “you guys.” Is this a thing? Ever since reading some nasty replies to “you guys,” (on other blogs, mind you — for whatever reason, my readers are exceptionally kind), I get paranoid every time I type it out. I mean obviously, I realize that not all of you are “guys.” Whatever. Is this even worth talking about?

I AM A LOSER. I forgot that November ENDS THIS WEEK. Like we are straight up marching into December like ain’t nobodies business. What day is it? Who am I? Where did fall go, thanks so much.

So here I am telling you what books to read this month like there aren’t only a few days left. I’m sorry. I’m basically a giant shankshow (I normally use a different word, but that’s my clean internet version) around here lately. And why? Kids. House. Being a mom. Working. Doing laundry. Holidays. Petting dogs. You know…life stuff.

On a good note, I’ve got some dang good books for you this month that I’m pretty sure (hopefully) you’ll love!

Let’s get started.

When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

I’m not sure how this book came across my radar, but I was able to borrow it for free with Kindle Unlimited. I was SO glad that I did because it was really good! I love books with intersecting characters and stories that slowly unravel, and this was really well done. Sad, hopeful, at times there were also mystery elements to it. Definitely worth a read.

Via Amazon:

When the sound of sirens cuts through a cool fall night, the small town of Worthy, Georgia, hurtles from triumph to tragedy. Just hours before, they’d watched the Wildcats score a winning touchdown. Now, they’re faced with the deaths of three cheerleaders—their promising lives cut short in a fatal crash. And the boy in the other car—the only one to survive—is believed to be at fault. As rumors begin to fly and accusations spin, allegiances form and long-kept secrets emerge.

At the center of the whirlwind are four women, each grappling with loss, regret, shame, and lies: Marglyn, a grieving mother; Darcy, whose son had been behind the wheel; Ava, a substitute teacher with a scandalous secret; and Leah, a cheerleader who should have been in the car with her friends, but wasn’t. If the truth comes out, will it bring redemption—or will it be their downfall?

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

This book came out over a month ago and how it escaped my notice is honestly beyond me! If you loved Practical Magic (book OR movie), add this prequel to your list! I haven’t read it yet but the reviews are SO good and I can’t wait to dive in! With all the chaos that can come around the holidays, it’s nice to have a magical escape every now and then. A glass of wine wouldn’t hurt, either.

Via Amazon:

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle

This book is several years old and was only a few dollars on my Kindle. This is another book that I somehow randomly came across, but was instantly drawn by the subject matter. This book tackles sexual abuse and the guilt and emotional damage that follows in it’s wake — both for the survivors and for those who never had a clue that it was happening right under their noses. This is a good book — it’s entertaining and will keep you reading — but it’s also a great read if you want to understand a little bit more about the minds of children who survive this type of trauma.

Via Amazon:

Sarah Laden, a young widow and mother of two, struggles to keep her family together. Since the death of her husband, her high-school-age son, Nate, has developed a rebellious streak, constantly falling in and out of trouble. Her kindhearted younger son, Danny, though well behaved, struggles to pass his remedial classes. All the while, Sarah must make ends meet by running a catering business out of her home. But when a shocking and unbelievable revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another young boy into her already tumultuous life.

Jordan, a quiet and reclusive elementary-school boy and classmate of Danny’s, has survived a terrible tragedy, leaving him without a family. When Sarah becomes Jordan’s foster mother, a relationship develops that will force her to question the things of which she thought she was so sure. Yet Sarah is not the only one changed by this young boy, and as the delicate balance that holds her family together begins to falter, the Ladens will all face truths about themselves and one another — and discover the power of love to forgive and to heal.

Powerful and poignant, The Kindness of Strangers is a shocking look at how the tragedy of a single family in a small suburban town can affect so many. Katrina Kittle has created a haunting vision of the secret lives of the people we think we know best. Through gripping and heartrending storytelling, The Kindness of Strangers shows that even after the most grave injuries, redemption is always possible.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

I had this book on the short list for my book club last month but we decided on Colleen Hoover’s latest instead. This sounded so good that I knew I had to add it to my reading list, though! I love a great YA and this book had gotten a ton of buzz.

Via Amazon:

Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle’s escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.

I still have to choose a book for December book club, so let me know what you’ve been reading lately!

Snickerdoodle White Hot Chocolate is creamy and perfectly spiced, making it a great choice to cozy up with on chilly Fall nights.

I consider the fact that I do not like coffee to be one of life’s great injustices.

I have tried. I honestly have. And it’s just not happening.

I’ve tried fluffy frappes and foam-topped cappuccinos. A few sips in and my palms are sweating, my heart palpitating and my eyes darting around nervously.

Half a cup and the caffeine begins coursing through my veins like electricity – I feel my teeth hum as I nervously tap my feet and fight nausea. Is this why coffee people are so skinny?

NO WONDER THE WORLD IS CRAZY.
White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Photo

The worst part of not liking coffee is that it’s more than just a drink. It’s a whole culture.

People are all, “I’m not human until I’ve had my coffee in the morning,” or they have those special “you may speak now” coffee mugs.

Me? There’s no magical beverage to transform me into a morning person. I’m just naturally a jerk until around noon.

Of course, I can always meet friends for a coffee date, but it’s not the same when you’re the one sipping on tea or cocoa. I could be imagining things, but I swear that I’ve seen friends give subtle high fives to fellow coffee fiends while I sit nursing my childish hot chocolate.

There aren’t enough beanies and ironic t-shirts in the world to help me fit in at my local Starbucks.

A new coffee-free beverage recently piqued my interest – Snickerdoodle White Hot Chocolate. And because I respect myself too much to spend forty-three dollars on a drink that doesn’t even have alcohol in it, I decided to try my own version at home.

I have to say, it was a major success. This is hands-down my new favorite hot beverage – the creamy vanilla white chocolate and cinnamon sugar is the perfect cozy accompaniment to your favorite chair and a great book.

You can also find this White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa Recipe on Food Fanatic, where I am a regular contributor of all things sweet. Enjoy and have a great day!