White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

White chocolate or dark chocolate?  Now, that is a question.  Make everyone on your holiday list happy with this yummy White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Cookie swaps are so much fun!  I was really excited to be invited to join my first ever “virtual” cookie swap hosted by Julie Espy from White Lights on Wednesday.  One of the best parts about blogging is being able to meet so many fun people that share my same interests.  Julie is one of those fun people.  She is an Arizona blogger and is hosting her 3rd Annual Christmas Cookie Swap.  So, when she put out the invitation to join her, I jumped at it!

For the swap, Julie paired us up with other bloggers and we traded recipes instead of actual cookies.  I love that!  I was also excited to learn that I had been paired with Krayl Funch from An Appealing Plan.  

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Merry Christmouse Cookies—Easy Christmas Cookie Recipe

These adorable Christmouse Cookies will completely steal the show at every holiday party or cookie swap this year. Pssst… no one has to know that they are one of our easy Christmas cookie recipe.
Christmas Mouse Cookies Recipe


Don’t you love these cute little cookies?  I love baking around the holidays.  Especially cookies.  I love baking all of my family’s favorite cookies and putting them all on a giant tray at the same time.  You know, all at once, together in one place.  Little things make me happy, what can I say?

Most of my boy’s favorite cookies are big, hearty, rustic type cookies like peanut butter and oatmeal raisin and massive chocolate chip cookies with lots of nuts.  Delicious but, not that cute and certainly not pretty little dainty things.  So, I always try to put a surprise cookie on the plate, a cute cut out cookie or one with fancy frosting ( I even made a pink cookie once… once).  Most cute little cookies are just for fun and to make people smile.  But, these cute little cookies are actually good!  They are made out of a firm sugar cookie dough that is shaped like little mice and the ears, eyes and tails are put on after baking while the cookies are still hot.

We were invited to share easy Christmas cookie recipes with several of our fellow bloggers …

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Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue

Yes!  You can make these cupcakes today!  Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue are a delicious treat and no one has to know you made them at the last minute.

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue


They don’t call me the Queen of Last Minute for nothing.  These cute little cupcakes are made with a cake mix as the starter then, you add pumpkin puree and spices to turn it into a moist, cinnamon-y dessert.  The toasted meringue on top takes the place of frosting and is actually lighter in calories and fat but, who has to know that?

I shared this recipe with a blogging buddy of mine last month.  Candi Elm featured them on her blog, A Day in Candiland  for a cute Halloween treat but, I don’t see why these easy pumpkin cupcakes can’t be served on Thanksgiving or any other seasonal event.  I actually bake with pumpkin all year ’round and the toasted meringue adds a flavor that tastes like s’mores so, why not bake them in the summertime?

Head on over to A Day in Candiland to get the recipe and while we are talking about cupcakes, don’t forget about my Fall Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Pumpkins (also perfect for Thanksgiving) that I shared on Summer Scraps.

After you get the recipes, come back and enter our fun Snowflake Snack Giveaway.  We have more treats than the Sugar Plum Fairy!  Just use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post to enter.

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Chipotle Cinnamon Brownies

I’m Candi from A Day in Candiland, and I would like to thank Sandra for letting me visit with her readers today and show you my chipotle cinnamon brownies as part of my Easy Brownie Recipes. I was at a party a few years back and the food was prepared by different dessert vendors. So naturally, I had to stop my each table and taste their treasures.

Chipotle Cinnamon Brownies

I fell in love with these chipotle brownies from one of the sweet ladies there. Ever since that night I wanted to try to make them. They had just a little kick at the end of each bite. The first time I made them I used a different type of chili powder and it just wasn’t the same. Once I got the ground chipotle chile pepper, I knew it was the one. Also, adding some cinnamon, gave it a nice flavor. I thought this recipe would be great to try with Sandra’s readers since they like the Southwest flare. …

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Old Fashion Banana Cupcakes with New Fangled Nutella Ganache Recipe

This is not your grandmother’s banana cupcake. These moist, old fashioned banana cupcakes are topped with new fangled Nutella Ganache for a chocolate-y, irresistible icing.
Nutella Ganache on Banana Cupcakes
There are some recipes you just don’t change. Aunt Elee’s banana cake is one of them. This recipe has been in my family longer than I have and yes, I am risking my inheritance sharing with you and everyone on the worldwide web. But shhhh, don’t tell anyone!
I did make a slight change to her recipe when I published it on Mother’s Niche last month. I turned it into cupcakes with a thin, chocolate-y Nutella Ganache instead of the cream cheese icing. I’d call it a taste of our old family heritage mixed with our newest generation (Sophie, I’m talking to you) and their obsession with Nutella or We can just say that it is about time bananas and Nutella collided!
Head over to MothersNiche.com to get the full recipe but, be careful! You will find yourself putting Nutella Ganache on anything that isn’t nailed down.

Then, come on back to Everyday Southwest and enter our Halloween DVD Giveaway filled with old fashioned scary movie fun!

Mill Creek Entertainment Halloween
DVD Collection Giveaway

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Sarsaparilla Tiramisu with Caramel Sauce

Tiramisu just may be the perfect no-bake summer dessert recipe.  You won’t believe how easy it is to put the Southwest flavors of caramel and sarsaparilla into this creamy, classic and turn it into a summer dessert for the whole family.

Sarsaparilla Tiramisu with Caramel Sauce Recipe
Finally! A dessert fit to wrap up our annual Spaghetti Western Fiesta celebrating Clint Eastwood’s birthday! I know you have been waiting on pins a needles in anticipation.  I  mean really, how do you wrap things up without dessert?  And, what is the most Italian of desserts?  My favorite, tiramisu.

It’s true, it’s true, cowboys do love their coffee but, caramel and sarsaparilla are the perfect Southwest combo to go with the creaminess of the tiramisu. It is a very subtle flavor and not at all as strong as you would think. I also add a little Mexican chocolate to the sarsaparilla to dip the lady fingers into. The chocolate adds some of the “bitterness” of the coffee and actually adds to the sarsaparilla flavor….

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Grilled Mango with Honey and Pistachios Recipe

Grilling mangos brings out their natural sweetness. Just drizzle them with a little honey and a sprinkle of chile powder for a fast and easy grilled dessert or side dish.

Grilled Mango Skewers with Honey Chile and Lime

Summertime is not the time for heavy desserts around these parts.  I like to go a little lighter by throwing some fruit on the grill to caramelize the natural sugars without adding any additional sugar.  Grilled mangos are my personal favorite but grilling pineapple and peaches make a fantastic dessert too.

Serve the grilled mangos with a nice green salad or pile it on top of a bowl of ice cream.  Don’t forget the spritz of lime juice!

I’ve added this recipe to the Clean Eating Challenge that I am co-hosting with a great group of other bloggers who want to make it easy for our families and foodie friends to find good, healthy recipes to help their families “clean up”  the food they are eating and find new, healthy additions to the family table.

Try these Grilled Mango Skewers with Honey and Pistachios and then head on over to my fellow blogger’s sites to see the yummy things they have cooked up.

Clean Eating Challenge- 

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Mini Chocolate Pie Parfaits Recipe

Sometimes you just need a fancy little dessert with all of the creamy, lusciousness of the Ultimate Classic Chocolate Pie wrapped up in a pretty package.

Chocolate Pie Parfaits with Pecan Graham Cracker Crumbs

My super-secret, needs two keys to access the code, Chocolate Pie Recipe is out of the pocket.  Until last month, I had never shared this recipe with another living soul that did not have Hoopes as their last name.  Yes, that means that I did not share it with my very own mother, or my blogging sister, or… anyone.  But, after making this pie for “my” side of the family on Thanksgiving this year, the secret was out and everyone began asking for the recipe.  What can I say?  I was tough.  I held firm and kept my 35 year old secret recipe secret throughout the entire holiday season.

After months of questioning, I finally gave in to my little brother John’s  “enhanced interrogation  tactics.”  This time, he asked for the recipe saying that he wanted to make the pie for his corporate holiday party.  It’s just a tiny, little corporation, really.  You may have heard of his corporation before, it’s called… DISNEY!  Yes, that little ol’ corporate holiday party.  The idea of my little secret family recipe served to The Mouse, himself, was just too much to take.  I gave in.  I caved. I started singing like a canary.

Chocolate Cream Pie Filling for Parfaits

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