Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Icing

Dark Chocolate Peppermint-Iced Holiday Cookies

Hi, everyone!  Happy holidays!  Like most food bloggers, my month of December turns into one long baking and cooking marathon . If you’re looking for me this month, I am likely in the kitchen, sprinting around the grocery store like a contestant on “Supermarket Sweep” (don’t you miss that show and its ridiculous 5-pound blocks of cheese?), or running around the house, trying to prevent a certain

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal from The 8X8 Cookbook

  It’s officially fall.   This means that, for the next 6 months, it’s also officially Casserole Season: holiday potlucks, visitors, and hearty meals for cold weather and over-scheduled families. Fortunately, my talented and very smart friend Kathy has come up with the answer to all of your What-casserole-am-I-going-to-make-next? dilemmas: The 8X8 Cookbook: Square Meals for Weeknight Family Dinners, Desserts and More — In One Perfect 8X8

Grilled Chicken Nicoise Salad

Grilled Chicken Nicoise Salad

This past May, my mom and I took a weeklong trip to Paris, and it was delicious. As you can imagine, most of the trip revolved around eating, from our pastry making class to our food tour of Le Marais (cheese, charcuterie and chocolate, oh my!), to my daily morning trek in search of the perfect croissant……which I finally found three miles from our rented apartment. Oh yeah.  I

Tropical Banana Nut Bread

Tropical Banana Nut Bread

Your search for the ultimate banana bread ends NOW. That’s a pretty bold statement, huh? First of all, I’m assuming that you have been searching for the so-called “ultimate”, never-fail, can’t-stop-eating, wish-I-had-made-more-than-one-loaf, don’t-even-think-of-asking-me-to-share-it-with-you banana bread. Then again, everyone needs a good, reliable banana bread recipe up their sleeve. Why?  Because…..everyone, at one time or another, ends up with a bunch of overripe bananas in their

How to Make Spinning Pinwheel Cookies!

How to Make Spinning Pinwheel Cookies

What’s better than a decorated pinwheel cookie? A decorated pinwheel cookie that actually spins, that’s what! I had this crazy “what if” idea the other night, and I just had to give it a try.  After a trip to Michael’s craft store, one to Office Max and one to Target, I felt like the MacGyver of baking, assembling potential pinwheel cookie-toys in my kitchen. Fortunately,

Summer Cobb Salad

Summer Cobb Salad 5

Don’t you love it when someone makes a pretty, thoughtful salad for you?  I’m usually in such a hurry that, if I do make a salad for lunch or a solo dinner, it involves haphazardly tossing a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and drizzling them with balsamic vinegar and then olive oil (because who has the 20 seconds that it takes to make a

How to Decorate: Ice Cream Cone Cookies

How to decorate ice cream cone and sno cone cookies using one cutter!

Hi everyone! Show of hands: Who loves getting two things for the price of one?  That’s what I thought — ALL OF YOU DO!   With this in mind, I’ve decided to start a series within my cookie-decorating tutorial series, entitled, “One Cutter — Two Cookies!”  Just as the name implies, this series will teach you how to create two different cookie designs using one cookie

Grilled Peach Upside Down Cake

Grilled Peach Upside Down Cakes

Every Saturday morning, I make a trip to Trader Joe’s with the intent to stock up on necessities for the week.  Sometimes, things end up in my cart that might not be classified as “a necessity” (tater tots), but for the most part I stick to my list. One of the highlights of late spring / early summer is when I walk into Trader Joe’s

How to Decorate 4th of July Cookies

Fourth of July Decorated Cookies

  Hi there!  Here is the step-by-step photo tutorial referred to in my YouTube video, below, so that you, too, can make these patriotic cookies for your Fourth of July festivities. Apologies for the less-than-stellar quality of the photos.  I had a few GoPro issues that day….grrrr. Feel free to contact me with any questions! Step 1: Make your favorite sugar cookie dough recipe, such

Grilled Summer Corn Soup

Grilled Sweet Summer Corn

I’m a girl who loves to grill.  I’ve been known to grill in the pouring rain, and I’ve been known to grill when it’s 108-degrees outside. So, perhaps I’m a crazy girl who loves to grill. My philosophy is, “If you can cook it, why not try to grill it?”  That philosophy hasn’t always worked out for me.  The Grilled Egg Incident of 2010 comes to

How to Decorate Beautiful Butterfly Cookies (Video)

How to Decorate Butterfly Sugar Cookies

If you’re new to Peanut Butter and Julie, welcome!  I’m so glad that you’ve stopped by for a look, and I hope you’ll return again and again…..and again.  If you’re a regular reader (welcome back!), then you might have noticed that I’ve made a few changes around here.  There’s a new layout, a new design and a brand spankin’ new email newsletter for my lovely

Brown Butter Banana Bread Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting

Brown Butter Banana Bread Bars 3

It turns out that I hate the taste of matcha. Ummm…. That’s interesting, Julie, but what does that have to do with this post? This post would never have happened if I didn’t dislike that grassy green tea powder flavor as much as (I recently discovered) I do. This has been a week of recipe fails for me.  I’m OK with the fails.  It happens

Frozen Grasshopper Chocolate Mint Tartlets

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Those of you who are not part of the food blogging community are probably not aware of the many “food holidays”  that serve as inspiration for food bloggers’ recipes and blog post.  There is at least one holiday for each day of the year.  For example, in March we celebrate National Crown Roast of Pork Day, National Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day (OK, that’s a bit too specific) and

Mini Baked Brie and Blueberry Chutney Strudels

Mini Brie and Blueberry Chutney Strudels

There’s something extra-special about being served your own personal mini treat, as opposed to a slice or a piece of a bigger dish.  An individual pot-pie served in a pretty ramekin looks like it was prepared just for you rather than a portion scooped from a large casserole dish and plopped onto a plate.   A tidy lemon tartlet covered in a circle of meringue with

Dark Chocolate Decorated Cookies for your Sweetie


I always need a little bit of chocolate after lunch and dinner……and yes, sometimes even after breakfast.  Hey–don’t judge; mornings can be rough. When it comes to satisfying my post-meal sweet tooth, only dark bittersweet chocolate accomplishes the task, although I enjoy semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate on occasion (and by “on occasion”, I mean any time I am out of dark chocolate.) The

Decorated Christmas Cookies

Decorated Christmas Cookies from Peanut Butter and Julie

Eric, Gigi and I are celebrating Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming this year.  If you’ve read this blog for awhile, then you probably know that Jackson is one of our favorite places in the world, so we are excited to introduce Gigi to all of the things that make it so wonderful.  Eric is certain that she will be the next great addition to the U.S.

White Chocolate Gingerbread Biscotti

White Chocolate Gingerbread Biscotti

  Gingerbread is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday flavor.  I love the combination of spices and rich, sweet molasses, which seems to become more intense a day or two after baking (if, in fact, whatever I have baked lasts that long.) It’s fun to come up with new uses for gingerbread, other than the standard cut-out cookies and, well, gingerbread itself.  Over the years,

Hazelnut Apple Crisp Doughnuts

Hazelnut Apple Crisp Doughnuts

I’ve been thinking about doughnuts quite a bit, lately.  Doughnuts have always occupied at least a portion of my mind, but their territory has been rapidly expanding over the past few months. Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been very lucky — no bouts with morning sickness, little fatigue and minimal aches and pains.  I also have not experienced any of the odd food combination cravings that you

Peach Shortcakes with Blueberry-Cornmeal Biscuits

Peach, Blueberry and Lemon Cornmeal Shortcakes

When I was growing up, we used to spend some time every summer in New Hampshire, right by crystal-clear Lake Sunapee.  In that area of the country, blueberries grow in abundance, so every morning before my brother and I started our trek down to the beach armed with towels and picnic lunches, my mom would task us with picking one pint each (which seemed like

A Little Announcement……

Baby Announcement Cookies 2

My mom and dad thought it would never happen.  Most of our friends thought that it would never happen.  Even as recently as a few years ago, I’m not sure that Eric and I thought it would ever happen. Well, it is indeed happening.  Coming this October to the Las Vegas Hession household: a baby girl! At first, I said that I wasn’t going to