2015 Christmas Cookie Boxes


Well Christmas came and went like a whole season of Parks & Rec AM I RIGHT?  I can't believe I haven't posted anything on here about my cookie boxes! HELLO! 

Well anyway, here it is! 

Here are most of my ingredients. See.. I'm that type of person that likes to take one trip from the car to my kitchen when I come back from the market. Imagine that.....  

Here are most of my ingredients. See.. I'm that type of person that likes to take one trip from the car to my kitchen when I come back from the market. Imagine that.....  

This year was especially stressful for me because I had tons of friends and family asking for Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies.  

Let me just warn you... Gluten-Free and Christmas DO NOT MIX. I used brown rice flour for almost all of my cookie doughs and after making over 6 dozen cookies, I realized that they tasted like sand. BLEH!  

So I had to start from the beginning, toss all of my cookie doughs and get back on track... However, after all of that went down, I'm very happy with how the cookies came out.  



Here they are!  This year I made:

1. Chocolate Salted Rolo Cookies  

2. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

3. Almond Biscotti

4. S'mores Brownies

5. Cookie Dough Fudge  

5. Jam Spritz Cookies

6. White Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Sticks  

7. Lemon Bars

8. Coconut Macaroons  


Recipes for these babies coming soon!  

If you want tips on managing baking TONS of cookies over a span of 1-2 days, feel free to ask! This is my 3rd year doing it and I feel like I have it down. Uh-oh's and all ;)  


Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish

Hey friends! I hope you are all having a great week. As we get ready for the holidays, I'm sure we can all agree on how quickly this year has gone by. Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving? Today, not only am I sharing a great recipe with you, but I'm using this post as a reminder that life is short and it should be spent with those that you love- especially this time of year! I know how easy it is to get caught up in work and business but life will fly by before you know it.. so cherish it. Don't forget how important it is to be happy, to make others happy, and to live your days doing what you want. That being said, if you're like me, I'm sure baked goods fit somewhere in all of that. If you love to eat sweets AND love being able to make them in a few simple steps, I have a feeling this will become on of your go-to recipes.

These Danishes are extremely simple to throw together and taste like they took forever to make. They're made with puff pastry, a sweet cream cheese, strawberry jam and a very easy-to-make icing.

Did you ever eat Toaster Strudel growing up? You know, the pastry that Gretchen Weiners' dad invented? These remind me of those, but they're home-made! Can it get any better than that? The puff pastry is flakey and buttery while the cream cheese and strawberry jam are soft and sweet, giving this pastry the perfect balance of "oh that's good" and "Dang I gotta make these again." Try it out!

Recipe makes 32 danishes. 


For the Danish:

1 box Puff Pastry, thawed  (I got mine from Trader Joes)

8oz Whipped Cream Cheese

1/3 Cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 Cup Seedless Strawberry Jam

1 egg, beaten

For the icing:

1 Cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract



1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.

2. If your puff pastry is not already thawed, leave it out for about 15 minutes until it reaches a slightly warmer temperature. While it is thawing, make the cream cheese filling. In a medium sized mixing bowl or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese, sugar and salt. Set aside.

3. Once your puff pastry is thawed, roll one sheet out (leave the other sheet in the refrigerator until just before you use it, otherwise it will stick to the paper) and cut it vertically into 3 long strips. Then cut again 3 times horizontally so you now have 16 small rectangle-shaped pieces. Place the rectangles about 1 inch apart on your cookie sheet.  With a sharp knife, score each rectangle. You want to trace a smaller rectangle about 3/4 inch from the edges- DO NOT cut all the way through! Just make small lines with your sharp knife so that the outsides of the pastry can rise easily. Once your pieces are all scored, place about 1/2 heaping Tbsp amount of the cream cheese mixture inside the scored rectangle. Then top with a small about (about 1/2 tsp) or strawberry jam. 

4. After adding the cream cheese mixture to all of the pieces, lightly brush the outsides of the pastry with the beaten egg. (I used a small paint brush) Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the outsides of the pastry become golden brown and flaky. Let cool completely.

4. While you are waiting for the danishes to cool, make the icing. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Mixture should be thick. Drizzle icing over each danish- enjoy!

PB&J Protein Pancakes

It's the weekend!! Is anyone else in LA loving this weather lately? It has been cold and cloudy and the sunrises and sunsets have been beautiful! This is a photo of the sun rising yesterday morning. I love pink clouds! 


I have been very inspired to make protein pancakes lately and I love the way these turned out. I LOVE peanut butter so I thought about what goes well with peanut butter (HA, what doesn't go well with peanut butter) and then it hit me. HELLO. JELLY! So here is my healthy version of PB&J pancakes recipe. I hope you like it!



For the pancakes:

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats, pulsed to a flour (I used Trader Joes Gluten-Free rolled oats)

1/4 Cup almond milk

2 egg whites

1/2 scoop protein powder

2 Tbsp PB2 (or regular peanut butter) 

1 Tbsp nonfat greek yogurt 


For the jelly topping: 

1/4 Cup blackberries (or any berries of your choice)

1 Tbsp almond milk

2 Tbsp protein powder (I used vanilla) 

1 Tbsp nonfat greek yogurt  



1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Let sit for at least 2 minutes before cooking. 

2. Heat a pan on the stove and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour dollop size amounts of batter onto the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes and flip. Cook for another 2 minutes.  

3. To make the jelly topping, microwave the blackberries for 10 seconds in a small bowl. Mash with a fork and then add the almond milk, protein powder and greek yogurt. Mix until combined and pour into pancakes. Enjoy! 


For the pancakes: 

calories:  311

fat:  5g 

sugar:  4g

carbs:  35g

protein:  34g


for the topping: 

calories:  63

fat:  1g

sugar:  2g

carbs:  7g

protein:  9g

Almond Spritz Cookies With Strawberry and Blackberry Jam

You will be surprised with how simple and amazing these cookies are. You can make them in no-time and everyone will love them. 


If you don't have a spritz cookie maker, I strongly suggest you get one. I bought mine at Michaels Arts & Craft store. They come with different "slides" so you can make tons of different shaped cookies such as pumpkins, Christmas trees, flowers, etc. 



1 Cup Salted butter, softened

1 Cup sugar

1 egg

1 Tbsp whole milk

1/2 Tsp almond extract

1/2 Tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

2+1/2 Cups flour

any type of jam/jelly you prefer (I used strawberry and Blackberry)



1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Once its combined, add egg, milk almond extract and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl as needed. 

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.

4. For the next step, you can either roll the dough into small balls with your hands and press your thumb into them OR you can put the dough in a spritz cookie maker and press them onto the baking sheet using whatever shape you prefer (make sure you use a slide that presses enough cookie dough out to where your jelly will not be directly on the pan. This will result in it burning and that is never fun!) and press your thumb into the shaped cookie so there is enough space to hold the jelly. These cookies do not spread much so feel free to place the dough an inch and a half apart. Once all of the dough is pressed and ready, place a small amount (about half a teaspoon)of jelly in the middle.

5. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!

Adapted from the recipe that came with my spritz cookie maker**