I’m sharing a list of the best books I read in 2014!

My favorite Books

As you probably know from my Monthly Reading Lists, I love books! I read every night before bed — it’s the perfect way to help my brain turn off.

I rarely find a book I don’t like, but some are definitely better than others! If you haven’t had time to read all the books on last year’s reading lists, here are the highlights. I compiled a list of the best books I read in 2014!

To see the list, click HERE, where I’m sharing it as part of the EBay Influencer program.

Confessions of a Cookbook Queen Favorite Books of 2014 Image

There really is a little bit of everything, from comedy to mystery and even a romance or two. I think you’ll love them!

Let me know what the best books YOU read in 2014 are! I’m always looking for new ones.

Enjoy and have a great day!

**This post is sponsored by One2One Network on behalf of ACH Baking. I am an ACH Baking Ambassador.

Giant Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookie Cake Photo

One of my all-time favorite treats are one of those expensive cookies from the place in the mall. You know the places – they serve chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with super sweet frosting. Or for a special occasion, you can order a huge decorated cookie “cake”, which is what I request every year on my birthday.

There are two problems with these mall cookies cakes – one being that they are crazy expensive. What are these cookies made with? Is there real gold ground into the flour? Every time I see a mom lined up at the cookie counter with her four kids, I wonder what the interest rate is on the loan she took out to buy them their snack.

The other problem is the frosting. Is it delicious? Sure. But I’m almost positive that it comes in a can, which we all know is inferior. Real frosting is so simple to make yourself, and the difference is a millions times worth the tiny bit of extra effort.

Giant Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookie Post Image

I decided to take those sad cookie cakes to infinity level by stacking one into TWO layers with a generous dose of homemade frosting and sprinkles in the middle. Who needs a little ol’ sandwich cookie when you can have one made for a GIANT, that’s what I want to know.

The cookies have a chewy texture, thanks to Karo® Light Corn Syrup, which is also used in the frosting. I love Karo® Light Corn Syrup in frosting – it gives it a creamier texture that is perfect for spreading onto cakes, cookies and cupcakes!

Karo Corn Syrup Post Image

The cookies bake right up in two 9-inch round cake pans. This impressive cake takes only about 20 minutes of prep time, which is well worth the results. This cake is the perfect birthday treat for the cookie lover in your life!

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Picture

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

  • CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE CAKE:
  • 3/4 cup butter OR margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Karo® Light Corn Syrup OR 2 tablespoons Karo® Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Argo® Corn Starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 2 TBS whole milk
  • 2 TBS Karo® Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Additional sprinkles for sides of cake, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper or waxed paper for easy removal.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup in a large mixing bowl. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Mix into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Divide dough evenly between the two cake pans, spreading to cover bottoms of pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until cookies are light golden brown. Cool completely in pans on wire racks.
  4. Prepare frosting:
  5. n the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla on medium low speed until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating on low until just mixed. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 1 minute.
  6. Place one cookie bottom side up on a plate. Spread frosting to edges, then top with additional cookie. If desired, you can reserve a small amount of frosting for the top of the cake as well.
  7. With sprinkles cupped in your hand, gently pat them around the cookie along the frosting edge.

Enjoy, friends! Have a happy Tuesday!

Your little Lego lover will go crazy for these Lego Krispie Treats! Included are FREE Lego Movie Valentines Bag Toppers — perfect for passing out to friends or classmates!

Lego Krispie Treats {Free Lego Movie Valentine Printable} Aren’t these the absolute CUTEST?!

My son has reached the age where he’s officially TOO COOL for cute. He rarely gets excited over ANYTHING. What he has, is an advanced degree in Shrugging. It must be an online course he took via the YouTube app on his iPod. He recently got his first girlfriend, and he shrugs about that, too.

I never had a boyfriend at that age but apparently, you go weeks at a time without even talking to one another. I don’t understand it. They are both on the Student Council, and when I tell my friends that my son is half of a power couple, he gets angry. I’m like…you don’t talk to each other, I can’t throw your names around to impress people…what’s the point? Whatever, dude. Whatever.

You can imagine my surprise when I created these Lego Krispie treats the other day and Jon David basically thought they were magic. It was  amazing. My opportunities for majorly impressing my son are few and far between, friends, so I was soaking this up like you wouldn’t believe.

Lego Krispie Treats Image

He kept saying, “you can eat them?”

Yes.

“What’s the red stuff?”

Unicorn tears, cotton candy sugar, and melted candle wax.  Just kidding! Melted white chocolate.

“Can we throw one at each other’s faces? Like for a joke?”

No. But your face is a joke. Now eat the darn thing.

Goodness gracious, I don’t know where he gets his weirdness from.

Lego Krispie Treats Picture

To make these adorable treats, all you need are some Krispie Treats, some regular sized marshmallows, and some candy melts (colored almond bark wafers — you buy these on Amazon, Walmart, or craft stores).

I made Krispie Treats the way I normally do — I use THIS recipe (the old standard off the Rice Krispie box), DOUBLING the recipe and pressing it into a 9×13 pan. The doubling part is up to you — I wanted fatter Lego bricks, but if you want to save on cost or just want to go smaller (these were pretty darn fat), just do the standard recipe.

A couple things — really PRESS those treats FIRMLY into the pan. You want firm, packed treats, not loose, fluffy ones. Those are NOT ideal for dipping into melted chocolate — they’ll fall right apart. Also, make sure your treats have cooled for a couple hours before you get started! You want firm, cooled Krispie Treats for best results.

Lego Krispie Treat Instruction Image

Melt your almond bark according to package directions. For one 9×13 pan, I needed about 3 bags but again, if you don’t double the recipe, you’ll need less. If you make more pans, you’ll need more.

I cut my treats into rectangles that were just big enough for two marshmallow halves to be placed on them like Legos — maybe 3 1/2 – 4 inches long and a couple inches wide.

Cut marshmallows in half horizontally and attach to the treat with melted candy, cut side down. Let cool until chocolate has cooled and marshmallows are firmly attached.

Line a large baking sheet (or a couple small ones) with wax paper. Dip treats in the melted candy, letting the excess drip off. Place back on the wax paper. Once you fill up your baking sheet, pop in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up.

Krispie Treat Legos Post Image

And there you have it!

If you decide you want to stick these in bags and label them real cute for Valentine’s Day, I have some adorable bag toppers you can print off for free!

Lego Baggie Topper Image

Just click THIS LINK to download and print off as many bag toppers as you need. Another option would be to put these treats on sticks, or put them in a little bag tied up with a smaller tag. HERE are some small Lego tags that are perfect for that! There are some adorable girly ones, too!

These are for home use ONLY. Not for resale or commercial use.

I hope your little Lego lovers enjoy these as much as we did! Have a great day!

 

**This post is not endorsed or sponsored by Lego.

Welcome to my weekly meal plan, where I’m sharing quick and easy meals for the pickiest of eaters!

Happy Saturday, guys! Here’s what looks good to me this week — don’t forget to print out a free grocery list. All the items you need for dinner through the week are filled out, so it’s super handy! Just print one out and head to the store!

If any of these meals don’t float your boat, feel free to peruse previous meal plans. Lots of good stuff to inspire you there!

Baked Cream Cheese Taquitos

Monday: Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

I’ve never made this recipe, but it looks yummy and simple and the comments on it are great!

**photo credit

Crispy Baked BBQ Chicken Fingers

Tuesday: Crispy BBQ Chicken Fingers

These have been one of my favorites for AGES. I’m not even a big BBQ person, but these are so so yummy.

**photo credit

Crockpot Cheeseburgers

Wednesday: Crockpot Cheeseburgers

How good do these look?

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Crockpot Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs

Thursday: Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken Thighs

We love this simple recipe. The chicken is so tender and full of flavor. Great with veggies and mashed potatoes!

**photo credit

Tater Tot Nachos Friday: Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos!!!)

I have been obsessing over these since I saw them, and I’m finally going to go for it!

**photo credit

 

That’s it for this week! Enjoy your weekend!