Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars

Hey all!  Hope everyone had a great summer!  It’s been a while since I made anything worth blogging about.  A business law class (whose dumb idea was it to take THAT in a 5 week condensed summer session???) left me pretty burnt out  and uninspired.  I have spent the last few weeks hiding out in the air conditioned glory of my living room and watching Naked and Afraid XL on the Discovery Channel.

Leave it to my favorite season to bring me out of my baking funk… About two weeks ago all kinds of fall themed goodies started popping up in my Pinterest feed, and then I saw an article about the newest seasonal flavor of M&Ms – Pecan Pie!  I managed to get my hands on a bag last week and then these Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars were born!

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars
Adapted from Samoa Magic Bars by The Domestic Rebel


Cake Base
1 box of Butter Recipe cake mix from Betty Crocker
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted

Brown Sugar Crumble
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup Pecan Pie M&Ms
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.  (I used a metal, nonstick pan.  The baking times may vary if you use glass.)
  2. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and melted butter until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough is baking, make the brown sugar crumble by combining the melted butter, flour and brown sugar with a fork until crumbs form.
  4. When the 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and pour about 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk on top of the cake.  Next, evenly cover the cake with the dried cranberries, chopped pecans and Pecan Pie M&Ms.  Drizzle on the remaining sweetened condensed milk and then top everything with the brown sugar crumble.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the crumble begins to brown.
  6. Remove from the oven.  Allow the bars to set at room temperature until cool before cutting into bars.

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

These bars would be perfect for a fall bake sale, or a Thanksgiving dessert table – not that you need a specific reason to make them.  Sometimes you just want something to stuff in your face snack on while you watch Fear the Walking Dead (why is it so stressful?  We KNOW what happens!!).

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Whatever your reason for making them, you will find these magic bars an easy treat to whip up.  If you can’t find the Pecan Pie M&Ms the Harvest Blend M&Ms would make an excellent substitute.  I just love the fall color palette!

Now, I just need Mother Nature to get on board with my seasonal obsession.  Today’s forecast high is 94 degrees!  Not quite pumpkin picking weather just yet…

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Operation Cookie Takeover – Easter Edition!

Every few months the awesome people at Operation Cookie Takeover ask for volunteers to bake and ship cookies to our deployed troops.  I’m proud to say I have participated in every round!  This time I was assigned a Marine stationed in Japan.  I sent out an email to my department at work saying that if anyone wanted to send a card, note, or small treat along with my cookie shipment that I’d be glad to add it to my box.

Today I shipped three large flat rate boxes full of cookies, Easter candy, crackers, toiletries, cards, Tastykakes and other goodies.  I work with some awesome people.  Here is a shot of all my cookies and just some of the other donated items:


And here are some closeups of my cookies!

Easter Bunny Cookies - Shake Bake and PartyPatriotic Easter Bunny CookiesIf you want to check out all the amazing cookies being shipped out this week head over to Operation Cookie Takeover’s Facebook page, or search the hashtags #OCT2015 and #operationcookietakeover on Instagram!  If you know a deployed soldier be sure to follow their Facebook page and when the next mission rolls around you can sign up your soldier to be a cookie recipient!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Strawberry Fluff Filling

I’m back, and I brought more Strawberry Fluff!  I think I might ask it to be my Valentine.

These rich Devil's Food cupcakes filled with Strawberry Fluff Cream are the perfect treat for your #Valentine!We could go for long walks on the beach, have picnics in the park, or snuggle up on the couch for a Netflix binge-fest.  The only thing that would come between us would be a spoon…  Or I could just fill some Devil’s Food cupcakes with it and then top them off with some Godiva Chocolate Liqueur spiked butter cream frosting.

Devil's Food cupcakes filled with Strawberry Fluff cream.  The perfect Valentine's Day treat!Yup.  Had to throw some booze in there.  What says “Will you be my Valentine?” better than some Godiva chocolate?  Ok, maybe some sparkly jewlery, but you can’t eat that with Strawberry Fluff.

To make these, bake a batch of your favorite Devil’s Food cupcakes.  I used the Pillsbury box mix, which made 18 appropriately sized cupcakes (ahem, Pillsbury).  After the cupcakes have cooled use a cupcake corer or a knife to remove a section from the center of each cupcake.  Next comes the Strawberry Fluff Cream Filling.

Strawberry Fluff Cream Filling  (adapted from I Heart Cuppycakes)

1-7.5 oz jar of Marshmallow Strawberry Fluff
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

In a large bowl, whisk the marshmallow cream and butter until smooth.  Transfer into pastry bag and squeeze into the center of each cupcake.  You can push the bits you removed back into the top or you can just eat them.  : )  Now it’s time for the frosting!

Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Butter Cream (adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat until well combined.  Luckily for Pillsbury this recipe makes just enough frosting for 18 cupcakes.  I like a lot of icing on my cupcakes, so you may be able to stretch this to cover 24 cupcakes depending on your frosting technique.

I topped these off with a strawberry marshmallow heart but you can decorate them any way you wish!

Devil's Food Cupcakes filled with creamy Strawberry Fluff filling!  Perfect for Valentine's Day!What’s your favorite cupcake filling?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!



Valentine’s Day Fluffernutter

Did you know that STRAWBERRY Marshmallow Fluff existed?  I had no idea until I saw it in the World Market section at Bed Bath and Beyond the other day.  I immediately grabbed a jar off the shelf.

I wish I hadn’t.

I wish….

…that I had grabbed three or four!  It’s SO GOOD!!  You know the first thing I had to do was make a fluffernutter sandwich, right?  Did you grow up on these things too?  Gooey marshmallow and peanut butter slathered onto good old white bread.  I could have eaten one every day for lunch and never gotten tired of it.

Of course, I had to take it up a notch.  We are talking about STRAWBERRY Fluff, people.  And what goes with strawberry??  That’s right – chocolate!

This strawberry and chocolate Fluffernutter is a fun and easy treat to make with the kids for Valentine's Day! It’s Monday morning, and I’m pretty sure that you know how to make a sandwich so I am going to spare you the directions.  Strawberry Fluff, your favorite chocolate nut spread (I used Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams but I am thinking Nutella would be AWESOME with this) and white bread are all you need to make this fun Valentine’s Day treat.

Strawberry and Chocolate come together in this fun sandwhich for Valentine's Day!The kids will love this and so will you because strawberry and chocolate, that’s why.  Now pardon me while I go continue eating this Strawberry Fluff straight out of the jar.

Yes, Strawberry Fluff exists and it's AWESOME!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

‘Tis the season for all things red and pink so I’ve hopped onto the bandwagon and made you some strawberries and cream cupcakes!

Sweet strawberry cupcakes stuffed with Lindt Lindor Strawberries and Cream Truffles!Even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day you’ll be sure to fall in love with these cupcakes.  Sweet strawberry cupcakes, frosting made with heavy cream AND a strawberries and cream truffle stuffed into the center?  Good stuff.

Strawberries and Cream CupcakesThese cupcakes are really easy to make!  Bake up a batch of your favorite strawberry cupcakes (I used a boxed mix) and a minute or two after you take them out of the oven unwrap a truffle and just push it down through the top of the cupcake.  I used Lindt Lindor Strawberries and Cream truffles but you could use white, milk or dark chocolate truffles too.  Any kind of chocolate + strawberries = yum.  Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost them with this:

Butter Cream Frosting (adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream


Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Strawberries and Cream cupcakes with a surprise inside! Perfect for Valentine's Day! From Shake Bake and Party