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This is my favorite shopping season.  Heart season. Stores are decorated in red and pink, and hearts abound everywhere. Heart-shaped purses, spatulas, cookie cutters, boxes of chocolates, bowls, earrings...I'm a sucker for them all! ♥

While I'll be working on several valentine desserts and cookies in the next couple of weeks, I wanted to give you a few (ok, 10) ideas to get started. Click the titles to go to the recipes and/or tutorials.

1. Take a Little Pizza My Heart Decorated Cookies

Those heart-shaped pepperonis get me every time.

2. Heart-Shaped Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies 

Seriously delicious. Seriously cute.

3. Olive You Decorated Cookies

An oldie but a goodie. Still one of my favorites.

4. Black-Outlined Ombre Hearts

Big impact for minimal work. A black outline makes any cookie pop!

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!

Please excuse our Trader Joe's review hiatus. I blame the holidays, two cases of the flu, one case of mild pneumonia, pink eye, and oh yeah...just general laziness on my part.

So, after reading about flu and pink eye, would you like to talk about cookies? (This post is really heading in a direction I didn't plan to take it.)

ANYHOO. Jack heads back to school tomorrow, so I thought he could help us out with one review while he's home. Today, we're reviewing Trader Joe's Stelle di Notte (Stars at Night) Cookies. They're described as cocoa hazelnut crispy cookies and come in a 12.3-ounce bag. I, of course, lost the receipt, so I can't tell you the price.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!
Strata, strata, strata. I only wish I'd mixed one up to have ready this morning.

Over on The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends, I'm talking the basics of making stratas, along with recipes for four variations. Really, though, the varieties are kind of limitless.

Come on over to Ree's and let's talk STRATA!

You're all in trouble. Why did no one tell me about freeze-dried strawberries? I bought a bag on a whim last week thinking I'd use them to top yogurt. Well, I opened the bag when I arrived home from the store and almost consumed the entire thing.

A post shared by bake at 350 : bridget edwards (@bridget350) on Jan 4, 2018 at 2:24pm PST

When I posted about them on Instagram, I got a brilliant comment from Marcie who said she adds them to her chocolate chip cookies. Do you think I bought a second bag and used them to top my yogurt? No, ma'am. I went right for the cookies.

The strawberries add an unexpected bit of sweet-tart to the cookies, as well...

I know, I know that I should re-make this pie with lots of pretty pictures to post on the blog. This was our Christmas dessert...Mr. E wanted fruit pie and Jack did not want pie...unless it was French Silk. I'm not even sure how he knew about French Silk pie as I've never made it or bought one. I'm glad to see he's learning the important things at college. (I mean that sincerely.)

You should not wait for me to re-make and photograph this recipe.
You need it and you need it NOW. 

I always assumed French Silk got its creamy texture from cream...or from folding in Cool Whip, or something of the sort. Not so! French Silk gets its luscious texture and fluff from...eggs! Ooo-la-la!

I followed Ree's recipe to the letter but wanted to point out a few specific ingredients that I used and worked perfectly.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!
While I think we'll be forgoing cocktails around here this New Year's Eve/Day as Mr. E has mild pneumonia and I have the flu (and we're trying so hard not to breathe on Jack), YOU should definitely have one...or two. In the meantime, can you please send us chicken soup? ♥I love so many things about this cocktail...1. St. Germain. It's an elderflower liqueur and comes in the prettiest bottle ever.2. The's bright and cheerful, just like I hope 2018 is for us all.3. It's not champagne. I love champagne in a mimosa, but not so much straight up. (I can't believe I just said that out loud.) I'm sharing the recipe for this cocktail: Elderflower + Orange, over on The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends today. Make it, and toast to...

I'm embarrassed to say just how many cookie dough pretzels I've made since Thanksgiving. A LOT ought to cover it. Actually, I shouldn't be embarrassed by how many I've made, just by how many I've eaten. Again, A LOT ought to cover it.

The idea and the basis for this recipe come from Sally's Baking Addiction. Gorgeous photos...always, always delicious treats over there.

These cookie dough pretzels will be the ultimate treat for New Year's bring to a party or to eat at home while wearing your jammies. I'll give you one guess as to what I'll be doing.

I knew I'd be making these for lots of people, and even though I ignore that "don't eat raw flour" warning for myself, it was running on repeat in my brain as I thought about making these for a crowd. The cookie dough here doesn't have egg, so no worries was the flour.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!
One more! Can you handle one more cookie idea before Christmas?

I made more gingerbread cookies this week. I'm smitten with gingerbread cookies. As some wise soul said on my Instagram page, I love them a latte. I DO! I DO!

For the cookies, I used my tried-and-true, favorite gingerbread cookie recipe. They're decorated simply with royal icing.

I want to know what cookies you're making this Christmas (and what you're setting out for Santa)! 

In my mind, there's something about ice cream and cold weather that goes hand in hand...or cone in hand, or something like that. I love ice cream year-round, but add hat, gloves, and mittens and it seems extra special.

This chocolate-ribboned peppermint ice cream practically screams HOLIDAY! The ice cream has a creamy, vanilla-peppermint base. Scattered throughout are bits of festive red and white peppermints. The swirl...the swirl is a thick, rich, peppermint fudge sauce that is, well, sublime. As in, hide all of the spoons in your house so some actually ends up IN the ice cream.

How CUTE are these simple white pint containers tied up with baker's twine? Pretty darn cute!

Are you bringing a cookie platter to a party? Or helping with a dessert table at your child's school? Do you have guests coming for Christmas dinner?

*this post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar.

I have JUST the thing for you...a Christmas Tree Cookie Platter. 
It is seriously SO cute!

Tree cookies are layered and stacked in a larger tree shape. The edges are adorned with colorful ornament cookies, and strung across the center are cookie "twinkle lights." Make it as big or as small as you want. Stack the cookies in a couple of layers, or stack it high. It's really perfect for any size crowd.

Y'all...I've been decorating cookies for almost 20 years and piping circles still gives me nightmares. Never fear!!! I have an easy technique that's much quicker and makes for the perfectly iced circles.

I mean, seriously....take a good look at that circle. After years of ugly, wonky, shaky circle piping, I could stare at that ALL day.

Jack has his first college finals this week...all while the campus is covered in a blanket of snow. I'm picturing the students bundled up in scarves and drinking hot cocoa while they study, happily gazing out the windows at the magic now and then. What do I know, though? I'm not the one taking chemistry and calculus 2. I'm at home making cookies. It's possible I may be romanticizing things. (Ya think?)

I put together a little care package for Jack for finals week...a box of some of our favorite Trader Joe's cookies, a bag of Jack's beloved cheddar Goldfish, a "prayer bouquet" of specific prayers I'd offer for him on each test day, AND a bunch of Notre Dame gingerbread cookies.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!

I never, ever want birthday cake again. I WANT CHOCOLATE BABKA. I'm not even kidding.
(Pssst....Mr. E, you have 10 months to prepare.)

Chocolate babka might just be the dreamiest thing I've ever baked. It's a combination of two of my favorite food groups: bread and chocolate.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!

Blame it on that twilight period when you're not asleep, but still not entirely awake. That's when the vision of the chocolate and pink "snow" covered trees entered my brain. I knew that the idea would either make super cute cookies or be really, really weird. I was willing to take the chance.

You'll start by making cookies on popsicle sticks. The trick here is to insert the stick AFTER they're baked. I know it sounds wrong, but it works. Just like with these ice cream pop cookies, as soon as the cookies come out of the oven, insert the popsicle sticks from the bottom. Leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Why does this work? As the cookies cool, the dough adheres to the popsicle stick. On the other hand, if you bake the stick, the dough forms around the stick in the oven, but as the cookie cools, it can loosen. Note: be sure to buy food-grade sticks, not those for crafting which can be treated and have splinters.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!

Friends, if you haven't been to Trader Joe's recently, get your heinies over there! The store is chockful of holiday treats and goodies. It occurred to me yesterday as I was filling my cart that I think Trader Joe's has become my new Target. Somehow I wind up at checkout with a cart full of impulse purchases and have forgotten what I walked in to buy in the first place.

Today, we're reviewing Trader Joe's Winter Tea Cookie Duo. It's a one-pound of cookies in a decorative box. Two varieties of cookies are inside: gingerbread and hot cocoa. The box costs $5.99.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!

If you've been a regular reader of Bake at 350, you may have noticed our love for the 7-Layer Cookie. I've made dipped them in chocolate and put them on a stick, I've made them into drop cookies, I've even made 7-layer cookie ice cream (ohmygoodness).
Over on The Pioneer Woman today, I start with the traditional. if you've never made them need to. I also cooked up a couple of variations: Caramel Toffee and Chocolate Peanut Butter. So, yeah. You need to get over to The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends for all of the details. It IS baking season, you know! 

Do you need one more dessert? A non-pie option to round out the dessert table? An easy and delicious little something to bring to a Thanksgiving feast?
I have it for you: Frosted Hazelnut Cappuccino Bars

I always crave hazelnut in the fall. It's such a warm flavor...and with vanilla and coffee, it's irresistible! These bars are for the coffee-lover. While the taste of coffee isn't overpowering, it's definitely a coffee dessert.

These are the stars of the show: hazelnut and vanilla extracts + espresso powder. My grocery store stocks espresso powder in two places - in the coffee section (duh.) and with the Italian items. You can also find it (along with with everything else you need in life) on Amazon. Stir these together and you'll be tempted just to drink this as a shot. It smells heavenly.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!

We had this kettle corn from Trader Joe's picked out to review last Sunday. We went to Mass as usual and went to see one of those movies full of symbolism and meaning. One of those movies that really keeps you thinking all day - Daddy's Home 2.

Anyway, the review totally slipped our minds. We're sorry.

Here we go with a review of Trader Joe's Cocoa Drizzled Kettle Corn. A 5-ounce bag costs $1.99.

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!
Guys, this was tough. Tougher even than choosing the 10 favorite decorated cookies. We're going to power through. Let me mention here that I keep a long list of favorites right here on the blog.

If you missed yesterday, we're celebrating 10 years of Bake at 350. 10 years of sugar. 10 years of cookies. 10 years of awkward stories. 10 years of way too many ellipses...

Let's do this... (see what I mean?)
Click the title links to go to the recipes.

1. Twix Brownies

This is the recipe most requested by Jack's friends. Jack even asked a girl to prom with them. ♥ There are no actual Twix in these brownies. There's a thick, fudgy brownie, topped with shortbread cookies, covered in caramel, and slathered with chocolate frosting. Make them. Shred your bikini.

2. Pecan Chewies

My mom's classic recipe. My uncle's favorite. Every time I make them, someone asks for the recipe.

3. Yellow Cake with Cookie Dough Filling and Fudge Frosting

Just from the name alone, it deserves a place on the list.

Ten! (10!!!!!!!!) This Sunday marks 10 years of Bake at 350.
How in the world did this happen?

Once upon a time, my sister and I had a little (private) blog where we shared complete randomness, recipes, and horrible photos. (My photos were horrible...hello, flash!...hers were actually good.) After almost a year, I decided that maybe I'd try a new blog where I could share with relatives who were interested how I was decorating cookies.

Never in a million years did I think that anyone else would read it. From this little post (with one photo...ONE!), Bake at 350 was born. Fun fact: Mr. E came up with the name "Bake at 350." I think I was zeroing in on "Bridget's Cookie Blog." Thank goodness for Mr. E.

Today, to celebrate 10 years, I thought I'd share my 10 favorite decorated cookies. (This was tough, as I still have many more favorites.) Here they are, in no particular order.
(Click the links to go to the original posts.)

1. Double-Decker Stripey Hearts

So simple, but I love them so. The stripes, the double-decker-ness, the black and white. These speak to me.

2. Painted Christmas Trees

Christmas cookies...

As much as I love pie, and I do, I also want a non-pie dessert option at Thanksgiving. Let's be'll need Thanksgiving desserts to last all week. There's nothing better than waking up and remembering there are still cookies and pie waiting in the kitchen.

*this post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar

Inspired by Sweet Sugarbelle's pumpkin pie slice cookies, I decided to go the pecan pie route. Not only are these decorated like pecan pie, but the cut-out cookies are a nod to the traditional pecan pie flavors.

My husband took a big batch of these to work and called later in the day to say,
"These are the BEST decorated cookies I've ever eaten!" 
That man has been eating decorated cookies for as long as I've been making them...about 18 years!

CLICK TO READ MORE...more sugar this way!