Creamy Christmas Fudge

Merry Christmas!! I tried to make a fudge recipe that claimed in the title to be “no fail” – and it turned into a big ugly brick of chalky mess. Boo :(

The next day, I pulled out a recipe I’ve had forever. It turned out to be a total winner! Smooth, creamy, and totally addicting. I need to give more away before I eat it all!

Hope you enjoy it!

My husband, mom, brother, sister, and her boyfriend all give their stamps of approval!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Christmas Fudge
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 15
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Line a 9x9 inch pan with foil, letting the foil hang over the edges, and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the mixture starts to boil, continue stirring for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add marshmallow creme and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
  6. Add vanilla and stir.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and let cool to room temperature.
  8. Score fudge into 1-inch squares, then place in refrigerator until firm, 1-2 hours.
  9. Remove fudge from pan by lifting sides of foil and cut through the scored lines.


Making Sugar Cookies with Ada

Every Christmas growing up, we would make sugar cookies for Santa with my mom. I remember learning how to roll out dough, cut out shapes, and decorate cookies. When I told Ada that I used to do this with her Nonnie, she just laughed and said, “That’s weird!”

Unfortunately, these cookies didn’t make it until Christmas. We’ll just have to make another batch for Santa :)

It’s really hard for me to give up control (especially in the kitchen), so baking with children is a good exercise for me. I just try to relax, know that it’s going to be messy, and keep my cool. Ada couldn’t help but lick her fingers every time they got dough on them, so we made many trips to the sink to wash them yet again! Ah, lessons in life.


She did such a good job! I loved watching her little hands at work.

Sugar Cookies

This recipe is great for children because it doesn’t require the dough to chill in the refrigerator. Which means you get your cookies faster. Wahoo!!

sugar cookies

We used a simple buttercream frosting and decorated with festive sprinkles. I just love a thick sugar cookie with a buttery frosting and crunchy sprinkles on top. I know Santa will be happy!


I hope you and your children will try making these together! It’s messy but worth it.

I mean really, look at this face.



So worth it :)

Simple Sugar Cookies
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Total time
Recipe type: Cookies
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add egg and mix. Add the powdered sugar and beat well, scraping down sides as needed. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out dough to about ½ inch thick. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Cut into desired shapes and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.

Easy Buttercream Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: frosting
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until very soft and light, about three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!!

This post was originally featured on Mom it Forward on 12/15/13.

Ada’s Nutcracker Suite 4th Birthday Party & Sugar Plum Surprise Cupcakes

My first baby is 4 years old! She had a party with her Sunbeam class, cousins, & playgroup friends.

I was pretty proud of the invitation I put together on PicMonkey (I don’t do Photoshop)! I blurred out our address, that’s why it looks funny.

We decided on the theme because I’ve had these adorable cupcake toppers and liners for a couple of years and still hadn’t used them! We were watching the Nutcracker ballet on Netflix one day and Ada loved the dancing and everything so this idea was born and she loved it!

We had pomegranate lemonade and water to drink, chips, carrots, broccoli, & dip, orange slices, grapes, raspberries, and apples to eat. I love living near a Fresh & Easy again!! I made sure we had all finger food for little hands :)

I borrowed my best friend’s beautiful Nutcrackers to decorate with…they were perfect! Thanks T :)

We had Nutcracker magnets the kids colored (& left on my fridge…I brought them to church the next day to give to everyone).

Then we played pin the star on the stable with a wall-cling Nativity that a Secret Santa left for us. The kids were adorable while playing it and helped each other out so much. A couple of them (including the birthday girl) didn’t want to wear the blindfold. Kind of defeats the purpose of the game, but they were all still so tickled when someone put the star on top.

Then we sang Happy Birthday to Ada and she blew out her candle. Lovely see food :)

Ada requested pink and purple cupcakes with pink frosting just like the sugar plum fairy. Then I told the kids that if Ada was a good girl then the Nutcracker would show up at her birthday party!


Ada & Evelyn were both stoked on Mr. Nutcracker, the rest…not so much. It turned into beat up the Nutcracker!!

Everyone keeps telling me what a good sport Matt is, but the truth is that he loves it :) We both do!

We had the Nutcracker Ballet playing on TV; such beautiful music. Reminds me of being a snowflake and soldier when I was in it as a little girl!

In the party favor bags we had a Nutcracker sticker scene, assorted Nutcracker Christmas tree ornaments, and bouncy balls.

Thank you to all of you that came and showed Ada love on her birthday! She’s still talking about the time that all of her friends came over and played and ate cupcakes :)

Gray, Evelyn, Emma, Ada, Lola, Sephora, & Ava. Cole & Darby didn’t want to be in the group shots :)

Everyone just needs to look at Ava (white coat) in this picture!! bahaha

Happy Birthday Miss Ada! Love you and your independent, smart ways. Can’t believe you’re a big 4-year-old already! xoxo

The cupcakes were so much fun to make! I used the flavorings and food colorings that McCormick sent me, along with the OXO cupcake corer!

We had the Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker, Christmas Tree, and Rat King. Ewww. Nobody wanted him!

Aren’t they pretty?

I flavored the batter and frosting with raspberry extract, then used the food colorings for dusty rose and purple.

And here’s the surprise! M&Ms tucked into the center of the cupcake :) It was so much fun to watch everyone get to the middle!

Sugar Plum Surprise Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: cupcake
Cuisine: dessert
Serves: 24
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting
  • M&Ms candies
  • Food coloring
  • Raspberry extract
  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Add 1 Tablespoon raspberry extract and mix to incorporate flavor.
  2. Divide batter into two equal parts.
  3. To one half, add 12 drops red food coloring and 4 drops blue to make dusty rose.
  4. To the other half, add 24 drops red food coloring and 16 blue drops to make pretty purple.
  5. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners.
  6. Drop Tablespoons full of the pretty purple cake batter into the liners. Top with Tablespoons of the dusty rose cake batter.
  7. Bake cupcakes as directed, until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
  8. Let cool completely before coring and frosting.
  9. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, use your OXO cupcake corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes.
  10. Fill each cupcake with M&Ms candies (I found that 1 teaspoon was perfect).
  11. For the frosting, add 6 drops of red food coloring plus 2 drops of blue to make dusty rose. Add 1 teaspoon raspberry extract to flavor. Mix until the color is completely even throughout.
  12. Frost cupcakes starting in the center to cover the candies and work your way to the edge.
  13. Enjoy!


Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Bars

This year, I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again! It was once again hosted by Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil. For the second time, I have been amazed at how they pulled something like this off! Over $13,700 was raised for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and I am so honored to have been a part of that, however small.

It was kind of a crazy time…coming home from MixedCon in Virginia, Thanksgiving(s), then having to make cookies, photograph them, and ship ’em off to three people! But with a little help from my mom’s old Betty Crocker Cookbook and my best friend (who watched my girls for a few hours), I got it done.

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I looked for an easy cookie recipe that wouldn’t take very long. The second I read about these Toffee Bars, I knew they were the winners.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Bars -

They may look like chocolate chip cookies, but don’t be fooled. They have a crisp, buttery bite instead of a squishy, floury one. They are perfect for large gatherings because one recipe makes 48 bars. Bar cookies are also an easy way to save time and not have to keep scooping dough and baking batches. One time and you’re done!

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Bars -

I hope my cookie swap matches liked them, (I know one did)! My family and I sure loved them & I will be making them again soon. You should too :)

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 48
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly cream butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla together.
  2. Add the sifted flour and mix well until combined.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed, then pat dough into an ungreased 15½ x 10½ x 1 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
  5. While warm, cut into bars, then let cool completely before removing from pan.



Thanksgivings 2013

The day after we got home from Virginia, we just took it easy around the house. There were cookies, princess buns, and dress up.

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The next day, we went to visit Nana & Bobba. They have the cutest playhouse for the girls in the backyard that they love :)

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Wednesday night, I got down to baking for Thanksgiving with Matt’s family the next day!

I made Sweet Potato Muffins (recipe coming soon),

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Apple Pie (recipe coming soon),

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And stuffing. No pictures of it alone because it just doesn’t photograph well! It’s in the pic below on the plate…covered in gravy :)

I was up until 3 AM and got it all done but was too tired to join in the 5K my sister-in-law puts on every year, I was so bummed :(

Marsha hosted down in Lompoc & everything was wonderful at their new place.

Ada & I in a happy food coma! Poor girl got knocked to the ground by her cousin swinging at the park. Why is it that kids just walk in front of swings? It makes me so sad. She hit her chin and it’s looked like a little goatee bruise for the past weeks.

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The whole Miller bunch!

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Love these ladies: Lori, me, Kandie, Karina, & Alissa

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We headed over to Matt’s parent’s for PIE + truffles!

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I found a meat cleaver in the drawer and it was the same height as the pie, so I thought, “Why not?!” Alissa wielded that thing with strength and fortitude.

Princess cousins & pie!

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Lola after a long day!

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The next day, we had Thanksgiving with my family! We had planned on getting our Christmas tree in the morning, but it was raining so we went the next day. I was grateful for the extra sleep & got to making Nana’s rolls!

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Devin & Liz hosted and everything was beautiful!

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I’m hungry again…

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We went and saw Catching Fire the next day with Matt’s siblings & spouses and I loved it! I only read the first book, so it was fun to see what happened next. Excited for the 3rd!

I am so grateful to have so much family in the area and to be living close to them now. It was so fun cooking in my own kitchen and being with family and friends this year! Hope you all had great Thanksgivings too!

How many Thanksgivings do you usually have? – 2 this year. We trade off Thursday and Friday between families every year.

Anyone else see a movie over the holiday weekend?

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Matt signed me up to make a treat for a church meeting (he knows I love this stuff) :) When he told me, I said, “Would cinnamon rolls be good?” He said, “That’s what I thought and someone else said at the meeting!” So, cinnamon rolls were meant to be.

This was actually my first time making them! Crazy, right? I’ve made my Nana’s Christmas Bread which is like a cinnamon bread braid loaf, but never rolls before. Ever since I saw these in my Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook, I’ve wanted to make them. My friends the Hammetts have raved about them and now I know why!

Start with a floured surface and your basic dough…

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Roll it out nice and evenly (I always have trouble making it a perfect square or circle).

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Spread that melted butter on…

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar…PW doesn’t say to spread it, but I just had to. There’s nothing worse than biting into a huge chunk of cinnamon that has no sugar accompanying it. Mix it up!

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Roll it up as tightly as possible…my first attempt was much better than my second.

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Check out your log…then slice it! I used unwaxed & unflavored dental floss. Worked like a charm. Who says that?!

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Look how pretty they are! Let ’em rise…

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Bake and make your icing. My whisk was dirty so I used the girls’ giraffe whisk :)

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Add some maple flavoring…mmm!

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

Pour it on top! Oops, I got a little crazy with the icing…got some on the tea kettle!

PW Cinnamon Roll Recipe -

ENJOY!! :)

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 50
  • Dough:
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (4½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups melted butter
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Maple Icing:
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon maple flavoring
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar over medium heat. Stir until warm but don't let boil. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk mixture, letting sit for 1 minute.
  3. Add 8 cups of the flour, stirring just until combined. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Take the towel off, adding the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 cup flour. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Split the dough in half. Flour your work surface and turn out one half of the dough, rolling into a rectangle about 30 x 10 inches.
  6. Pour one cup of the melted butter on the rectangle of dough, spreading liberally to cover.
  7. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon and one cup of the sugar over the buttered dough. Spread and mix with a spatula.
  8. Beginning at the edge farthest from you, start rolling the dough towards you. Work slowly, keeping it as tight as possible.
  9. When it is completely rolled, pinch the dough together, forming a seam.
  10. Slide unwaxed, unflavored floss underneath the dough log to slice. You will get about 20-25 rolls from each log.
  11. Spray pans with cooking spray and place sliced rolls inside, making sure not to overcrowd.
  12. Repeat the process with the second half of dough.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  14. Cover all of the pans with kitchen towels and let rise for about 20 minutes before baking them.
  15. Remove towels and bake for 13-17 minutes, until golden brown. I cooked mine a little longer to ensure all of the dough was cooked through.
  16. While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
  17. In a large bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Add the maple flavoring and whisk until the icing is smooth.
  18. Once the rolls come out of the oven, drizzle with icing while they are still warm.



I love that my girls are getting older and enjoying the holidays more. With Halloween around the corner, Lola has been practicing saying trick-or-treat. It usually ends with her just yelling, “CANDY!” She’s basically got it down :)

We decided to make some JELL-O JIGGLERS Monsters and it was so much fun! It couldn’t be any easier. Just add boiling water to the JELL-O mix and refrigerate. We used Lime & Orange flavors, then picked out a bunch of different sizes of containers to put our Monsters in. Little bowls, plastic containers, and such. The small guys are my favorite!


Lola’s Scaaaary Monsters:JELL-O JIGGLERS Monsters

Ada’s Monsters that she named Koogie and Nonna:IMG_0938

I bought mini marshmallows and used food coloring pens to draw on bloodshot eyes and other different types of eyes. The girls had a blast picking out eyes and mixing them to make funny looking monster faces! We even added teeth to some, using toothpicks to stick them in.



I just love watching my daughters get so excited about fun holiday activities like this. I wonder if it will become a tradition? My mom said that if she did something for a holiday one year, the next year I would say, “Mommy! We have to do it again! It’s tradition!” She’s such a great mom for keeping them going just for me.

Here are some other fun ideas for creepy Halloween JELL-O goodies:


Have a Happy Halloween everyone! Enjoy this time making memories with your family and friends. What is everyone dressing up as? I can’t wait to show you pictures of our family this year! :)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wild Blackberry Ice Cream

Behind our place, there are wild blackberries everywhere! There are also racoons and bums at night, but we’ll focus on the positive and talk about how we can go back there and pick wild berries all summer long :)

I took the picture below while Matt was gathering berries with the girls and I was standing on our balcony. They all waved at me with their left hands…which either means that they were mimicking me, or I’m rubbing off on them! IMG_0895The girls were fascinated by the ice cream maker…our little helpers. IMG_0899
The finished product is such a pretty purple color! The ice cream kept in the freezer for a good 3 weeks. My great-great Grandmother Ada embroidered the beautiful birds and flowers. I love them :) IMG_0905

Wild Blackberry Ice Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pureed blackberries, refrigerated
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir the milk and sugar together over medium-high heat until just about to boil.
  2. While the milk is on the stove, place a large bowl on the counter and pour the heavy cream inside it. Cover the cream and bowl with a fine mesh sieve or strainer, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Carefully pour the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Then, pour the egg & milk mixture into the saucepan that you used for the milk.
  4. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once thickened, strain the egg & milk base into the heavy cream. Once all liquid has been pushed through the strainer, stir in the blackberry puree and fresh lemon juice.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, until thoroughly chilled.
  6. Remove blackberry mixture from the refrigerator and churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
  7. Enjoy!


Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

You should make these these, and soon. They are not overly-sweet because the dough is a true biscuit dough and the chocolate is dark and semi-sweet. With a little sprinkle of sugar and melted butter on top, they are just perfect!

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

I found this recipe on Bakerella’s site, and she found it in the book Deep Dark Chocolate by Sarah Perry. Thank you! These were so good that as we were leaving church, I saw Matt pulling out a baggie with two biscuits in it. I said, “Oh, little snack for later?” and he replied, “Well, I actually brought them for Ada, but then decided I wanted to eat them instead!”

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10-12
  • Dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • Filling:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Topping (optional)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • Sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  3. Using fingers, two forks, or a pastry blender, work butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.
  4. Add the milk and stir with a fork until a loose, sticky dough forms.
  5. Turn dough out on a floured work surface. Flour your hands and form dough into a ball. Then gently knead it 8-10 times.
  6. Flour surface and hands as needed, and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 13x11 inch rectangle.
  7. Place the dough with the long side in front of you.
  8. For the filling, spread softened butter over surface. Sprinkle dough with sugar and cover with the chocolate.
  9. Roll the dough up like you're making cinnamon rolls, and cut into 10-12 equal sections. (Do the best you can, mine weren't perfect but it's okay!)
  10. Place cut biscuits on your baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  11. Add topping if desired. Mix egg yolk and milk together and brush on tops. Then sprinkle with sugar.
  12. Bake for about 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden and puffed up.
  13. Serve warm with more butter on top. Enjoy!

Coconut M&M Oatmeal Cookies

Have you ever tried Coconut M&M’s before? This was my first time, and I was VERY pleasantly surprised! I bought them on a whim in the Easter aisle at Target. They’ll never replace my #1 M&M love, Peanut Butter, but they are a great addition to the M&M family. I thought I’d experiment with them and make cookies…it just might be the best decision I’ve ever made. Coconut M&M Oatmeal CookiesI love the teal Easter egg color!Coconut M&M Oatmeal CookiesHad to add coconut to enhance the flavor of the chocolate.Coconut M&M Oatmeal CookiesThey are so good! Chewy oats and coconut in the middle, crunchy golden edges, with smooth coconut M&M’s sprinkled throughout. They’d be a perfect addition to your Easter spread with those pretty little eggs showing through.Coconut M&M Oatmeal CookiesMy friend is a Coconut M&M’s lover and told me that they are available year round, so you could make these cookies anytime with the non-seasonal variety. Enjoy!

Coconut M&M Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • ¾ cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 9.90-ounce (scant 2 cups) bag Coconut M&M's
  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix to incorporate.
  4. Add the flour, oatmeal, and M&M's. Mix on low speed just until combined.
  5. Place on a cookie sheet in rounded 2 Tablespoon scoops.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. The centers may look a little wet, but they will continue to cook and set as they cool.