Poofy Cheeks: November 2013

November 28, 2013

Black Friday Deals from Handmade and Small Businesses

As a small handmade business owner I know the importance of word-of-mouth and holiday sales. Being the owner of a business is the toughest, hardest and most rewarding thing so I wanted to invite my fellow small business owning friends to join me in linking up their shops and deals here in one convenient spot.

I know I used to relate Black Friday deals with big box stores but I have come to realize lots of my favorite handmade shops have deals too! Don’t miss out on them!!


Note to Vendors: Link up your shop in the link party below by putting your shop URL, shop name and email. You will be prompted to select an image and my suggestion would be to pick a product image rather than a logo. If you have coupon codes please share those along with the link to your shop in the comment sections of this post. Happy Sales!


November 22, 2013

Red Velvet Cookies by c. jane create

Today we have decadent Red Velvet Cookies, three ways!, from Christa at c. jane create! Enjoy!

Happy Holidays! I'm Christa from c. jane create. I'm so excited to be visiting Poofy Cheeks today to offer up my Red Velvet Cookies for the cookie exchange. They're yummy!

Not just a red velvet cookie - but red velvet cookies three ways. With white chocolate chips, bite-sized, or frosted with cream cheese icing. You can't go wrong with any variation!

I love to bake. Around the holidays I tend to go for the semi-homemade recipes - it's a busy season! So when I decided I had to have a red velvet cookie, I grabbed a sugar cookie mix pouch from the pantry and got started.

Red Velvet Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup (one stick) butter, softened

2 Tbsp sour cream

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 egg
optional: white chocolate chips and/or cream cheese frosting

adapted from this recipie

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the cookie mix, cocoa, butter, sour cream, food coloring and egg until soft dough forms. I found that either an electric mixer or your good 'ol hands work the best for this. Add the white chocolate chips, if you desire.

Using a 1-inch diameter ice cream scoop (also known as a 'cookie drop'), portion out the cookie dough. I used one scoop for the smaller cookies, and 2 scoops for the larger cookies. 

You can scoop right onto the sheet, or roll the dough into balls and place on your ungreased cookie sheet (I pressed the larger cookies down a bit with my hand to keep them from getting too tall). They should be about 2 inches apart.

Bake small cookies for 8 to 9 minutes and large cookies 9 to 10 minutes. *Remember that you don't want to bake small cookies and large cookies together, they will have different baking times.

Let the cookies rest for about 2 minutes, then transfer them to wire cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before icing. 

You could even add some sprinkles...

There, now they are extra festive. :)

These cookies are quite tasty. They are a little cake-y, a little cookie, perfectly soft and chewy in the middle. If you're planning to make these to share - you might want to double up. :) My friends scarfed these down in record time! Enjoy!!

Christa is a graphic designer and blogger living in Columbia, Missouri where she resides with her husband and three cats. You can find lots of yummy recipes or read about her recent wedding at cjanecreate.com. If you think these cookies look good, you might also enjoy Cranberry Chocolate Chunk cookies or Mint Meltaway Cookies!


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November 21, 2013

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies from Yummy Healthy Easy

We are continuing the yummy peppermint theme today with Jen from Yummy Healthy Easy who is sharing her recipe for Peppermint Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies. Enjoy!

Hi everyone! I'm Jen and I blog over at Yummy Healthy Easy. I'm super excited to be here at Poofy Cheeks today to share a Christmas cookie recipe with you!
So…I have 4 boys. They're always hungry. So cookies, like these above, don't really last long at my house.

My oldest is a crazy fiend for sugar cookies, while my 9-year old is all about anything with chocolate chips, particularly chocolate chip cookies. My younger two will just about eat any cookie, regardless.

This recipe is a favorite because everyone loves it! You get more of a sugar cookie texture and flavor but with some mini chocolate chips thrown in. Plus everything tastes better with peppermint, in my opinion!

One of the things I hate about sugar cookies, is the amount of time and effort it takes to make them. You have to make the dough, roll it out, cut it out into shapes, bake, cool, frost, decorate…that's so much work!

With this recipe, you're getting the flavor of a sugar cookie but without all that effort. The dough is quick and easy to make and you just roll it into balls then throw it in the oven. Make a quick glaze to spread on the tops, sprinkle with crushed peppermints and you're good to go!

These are perfect to put in a cute gift bag and give to neighbors or keep them all for yourself to eat with a cold glass of milk. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies with Mint Glaze
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream or milk
  • candy canes, crushed for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Make sure racks are placed in upper and lower thirds of the oven. 
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract on medium-high until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in egg, then flour mixture on low. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  4. Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Rotate sheets around about halfway through cooking. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer cookies to wire cooling racks to let cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract and cream or milk to make the glaze. (If too thin, add more powdered sugar to get the consistency you want). Spread a thin layer of glaze on top of each cookie and sprinkle with candy cane crumbs. Let dry completely on racks and then devour. Enjoy!
Thanks for having me here today! Stop by and visit me soon!

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November 20, 2013

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes with Peppermint Mocha Buttercream

This time of year I love all of the sights, sounds and flavors of the holidays. I love wondering through the stores while singing along to the Christmas music they have playing. I think my very favorite part of the holidays is carrying on and creating traditions with my children. The feeling you get around the holidays is magnified when you get to experience it through your children and relive your own childhood memories.

Holiday baking has become a tradition I am trying to carry on with my children – one that my mom did with us. For the past few years we have baked here and there and then had one big baking day where my brother and sister come over and we make five or six different sweets. We started our holiday baking a little early this year because this coming weekend I am going to visit my brother at FSU and I wanted to take him some holiday sweets. Since he is three hours from home and has a job this year he won’t get to come home until a day or two before Christmas – missing out on all of our baking.

Wondering what we baked up? Peppermint mocha cupcakes with peppermint mocha buttercream frosting… of course! Coffee-mate has their seasonal flavors out and I incorporated the peppermint mocha creamer to make a delicious buttercream frosting!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake with Peppermint Mocha Buttercream

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Ingredients:
  • Chocolate cake mix (and ingredients it calls for on the box)
  • Strong brewed peppermint flavored coffee, room temperature (enough to replace the amount of water the box cake mix calls for)
Peppermint Mocha Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
Yields 24 cupcakes
  • Bake cupcakes according to box directions but replace the water with brewed peppermint flavored coffee. Once baked allow to cool.
  • For the frosting – Use a mixer to whip butter until creamy. Add in powdered sugar and beat on low until well blended. Once blended mix on medium speed for two minutes.
  • Add salt, peppermint extract and Coffee-mate Peppermint Mocha and mix until combined.
  • Once the cupcakes are completely cool frost them and enjoy!
Peppermint Mocha Cupcake with Peppermint Mocha Buttercream

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake with Peppermint Mocha Buttercream

My hint: Since I only wanted a single serving of the peppermint coffee to add into the cake mix I used my French press and put it into the refrigerator for ten minutes to cool before adding into the cake batter.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake with Peppermint Mocha Buttercream

I garnished mine with peppermint chocolate but candy canes would make the perfect garnish too!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake with Peppermint Mocha Buttercream

Don’t forget the other season flavors Coffee-mate has out right now! Make the season better with Dark Chocolate Fudge, Peppermint Mocha and Eggnog Latte.

OH and to sweeten this whole recipe even more Coffee-mate wants to give one Poofy Cheeks reader their own Coffee-mate prize pack (a $50 value!) #CMcantwaitCGC
Coffee-mate Prize Pack Giveaway!

To enter the giveaway leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Coffee-mate flavor is!

Coffee-mate is a wonderful addition to seasonally-inspired recipes. Check them out here or here.
Giveaway winner will be picked 11/22 at 5pm.


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I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Double Gingerbread Cookies from Dukes and Duchesses

This cookie exchange has been so fun. Today, Randi from Dukes and Duchesses shares some Double Gingerbread Cookies for us. Happy Baking!

I'm Randi from Dukes and Duchesses and I'm so thrilled to be part of the Cookie Exchange again this year! Last year I shared my espresso shortbread recipe and this year I'm sharing these delicious double gingerbread cookies. These cookies have the perfect flavor for Christmas and I promise you the kids will gobble them right up!

double gingerbread cookies

To make these cookies, you'll need:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup gingerbread flavored M&M's {if you can't find gingerbread M&M's, you can substitute chocolate chips or regular M&M's}

double gingerbread

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine half of the flour, brown sugar, oil, molasses, egg, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour.

double gingerbread christmas cookies

Stir in the M&M's until thoroughly mixed.

Use a scoop to scoop 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

cookiesThese double gingerbread cookies make the perfect holiday gift for neighbors or a fun afternoon treat for the kids.


And after you finish baking up a batch, pop over to Dukes and Duchesses or follow me on facebook for more holiday ideas!


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