Bird Nest Easter Cookies

Today’s post is sponsored by Nestle Toll House, but my love for their Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets is all my own!

Use pre-made icing and refrigerated cookie dough to make these easy and adorable bird nest cookies! #Easter

These Bird Nest Easter Cookies just make me happy every time I look at them.  I love the bright colors, and I love how EASY they were to make.  All you need is some yummy Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and pre-made icing to make these adorable little treats.

Use pre-made icing and refrigerated cookie dough to make these easy and adorable bird nest cookies! #Easter

When I was growing up my Mom would make Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies for me regularly after school.  Looking back, she was probably bribing me with hot cookies so I would sit and tell her about my day.  Well played, Mom.  Needless to say, now that I am a Mom, Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough has become a staple in my refrigerator.  The refrigerated dough makes it so convenient to just pop them into the oven a few at a time.

I thought it would be fun to dress up some cookies with a little Easter spirit for my girls.  I used pre-made icing and coconut tinted with green food coloring to create little bird nests for little marshmallow birds.  Just open the package of icing and mix in 2-3 drops of green food coloring with a knife.  Place 4-6oz of shredded coconut in a bowl with 3-4 drops of green food coloring and mix well with a fork.  Top each Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie (baked as directed on the package) with icing and coconut.  Set a cute little sugary marshmallow bird on top and voila!  These would be so cute for an Easter brunch or get together.

Use pre-made icing and refrigerated cookie dough to make these easy and adorable bird nest cookies! #Easter

My kiddos loved helping me make these easy Bird Nest Easter Cookies.  I love keeping products like this on hand that help me get creative in the kitchen, and make it easier to include little helpers.  Sophia loved breaking apart the cookies to bake them and topping each little nest with a bird.  For more Springtime baking ideas visit Nestlé Toll House and check out their new Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets

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Girl Scout Cookie Protein Shake

Girl Scout Cookie Protein Shake- delicious, packed with protein, and can be made with different cookies

Do you think it’s a coincidence that Girl Scout Cookies are sold each year in January?  I mean, here you have all of these people pledging healthy resolutions and next thing you know then there’s a Girl Scout on every corner.  They get you when you come out of the grocery store, presumably after filling your cart with nothing but fruits and vegetables, but how can you possibly say no to those sweet little faces?  I know the feeling… as Mom of a Brownie, my office is full of cases of Girl Scout Cookies.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year and generally adhere to ‘everything in moderation’, but I did vow not to eat as many cookies this season as I did last year.  I got a little out of control and way above “moderation” with the Thin Mints. 

Girl Scout Cookie Protein Shake- delicious, packed with protein, and can be made with different cookies

I have a protein shake every day, usually after my workouts, and today I noticed that the Peanut Butter Patties were just sitting there inconspicuously beside my Blendtec.  I like to add a scoop of peanut butter or PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter to my protein shakes with an occasional drizzle of chocolate, so when I saw the cookies I had a light bulb moment.  I tossed in two cookies with my usual almond milk, banana, and protein.  (This is the brand of protein I buy.)  The result was delicious and with only 65 calories each, I really don’t feel bad about adding them in.  I’m going to have to try Thin Mints next! 

Girl Scout Cookie Protein Shake
 
Girl Scout Cookie Protein Shake- delicious, packed with protein, and can be made with different cookies.
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 cups ice
  • 8 oz almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2-4 Girl Scout Cookies of choice
  • 1 banana
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well.

 

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Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookie Twists

Valentine's Sugar Cookie Heart Twists- perfect if you don't want to roll and cut out cookies

I have this delusion that I can draw.  I look at something and think, “I can totally draw that”.  But any time I actually attempt to draw something it looks like I used my feet with my left hand behind my back and my eyes closed.  There’s definitely some disconnect between what my brain thinks I am capable of and what my hand can actually produce.  I have the same issue with cookie decorating.  In my head, I can totally do it.  I wish I could decorate gorgeous sugar cookies like some of the amazingly talented cookie decorators out there (Sweet Sugar Belle, The Baked Equation, Bake at 350… just to name a few), but I’ve come to accept that it is just not one of my talents. 

I do still love sugar cookies though, especially when they’re soft with just a little crisp around the edges.  I made these sugar cookies last Christmas as wreaths (you can find them in my FREE Holiday Cookies eBook here) and decided to try them as hearts.  I think they turned out super cute- and best part, no icing needed!  Sometimes simple is best.

Valentine's Sugar Cookie Heart Twists- perfect if you don't want to roll and cut out cookies

These Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookie Twists would be perfect for Valentine’s Day!  If you’re able to send homemade treats to your kid’s school, these would be a great option.  I know my daughter’s teacher would appreciate that they are less mess and less sugar without icing or sprinkles.  :)

Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookie Twists
 
Author:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp red gel food coloring
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla at medium speed until creamy.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and slowly blend together.
  4. Beat until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Divide the dough in half.
  6. Add the red food coloring to one half.
  7. Shape each color of dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill at least one hour.
  8. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  9. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  10. Shape ½ tbsp - 1 tbsp of red dough into a 6- inch rope.
  11. Repeat with the plain dough.
  12. Place ropes side by side and twist together about six times.
  13. Form twisted ropes into a heart, gently pinching where the two meet.
  14. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until just golden brown on the bottoms.
  15. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

 

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Holiday Cookies eBook: Free Download

Today is the big day!  I switched my site over from my previous SweetBellaRoos.com to Grace and Good Eats.  This change was a long time coming and I am so excited to begin 2015 with my new site.  When I started Sweet Bella Roos it was a semi-private blog, affectionately nicknamed after my daughter, and my Mom was my only reader.  I never imagined it would grow to what it is today or that I would still get so much joy from sharing a little piece of my life with all of you.  I struggled with a bit of an identity crisis, afraid to commit to being a “food blog”, but as my recipe development and food photography skills have (immensely) improved over the past five years, I’m finally ready to wear the title proudly.

To celebrate I’m giving away a free download of my Holiday Cookies eBook! 

FREE DOWNLOAD: Holiday Cookies- 10 delicious cookie recipes for the holidays and beyond

This digital cookbook features 10 of my most favorite cookies (never before seen on the blog).  Most of these recipes are my go-to, tried and true, recipes- with a few new ones thrown in to the mix.  These are the recipes I would pull out when I needed to bake some goodies to bring to work for a holiday celebration, to a potluck event at church, or even just a rainy Saturday deserving of cookies.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Holiday Cookies- 10 delicious cookie recipes for the holidays and beyond

Holiday Cookies is a 24 page PDF with 10 recipes, full page color photographs of every cookie, tips and methods, and includes:

  1. Chai Spice Cookies
  2. Browned-Butter Shortbread
  3. Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Sandies
  4. Lemon Sandwich Cookies
  5. M&M Monster Cookies
  6. White Chocolate Cherry Macadamia
  7. Peanut Butter Blossoms
  8. Oatmeal Cranberry
  9. Sugar Cookie Wreaths
  10. Mint Chocolate Fudge

These are all simple, easy to follow recipes that don’t require any crazy ingredients.  I’ve included a mix of chocolate, fruit, and spice so you are sure to find something to please everyone.  While these cookies are perfect for the holiday season, they can certainly be made any time of year!

DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK HERE

I hope you enjoy baking and sharing (and eating!) these cookies.  And I hope you will follow along with me on my new site.  I’ve changed the name of most of my social media accounts, so please make sure you are following me under my new accounts!

emily_grace

 

 

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies- chewy and delicious, perfect for cookie swaps!

I feel like I really failed you when photographing these cookies.  I didn’t save any white chocolate chips to add to the tops before baking.  I remembered as I was mixing in the nuts and chocolate, but it was too late.  So now you’re left with plain, chunky, mounds of brown cookies haha.  The good news though- still taste delicious! …

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Mom’s Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies just like Mom used to make #recipe #cookies

My mom was always baking cookies- whether as an after school treat for me or to send in my Dad’s lunch.  I’m pretty sure my Dad’s love language is frozen M&M cookies; and I can’t tell you how many days I came home to fresh, hot from the oven chocolate chip cookies.  I think it’s funny that both my husband and my first born prefer savory to sweet, and neither of them are that impressed to come home to warm cookies. …

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Watermelon Cookies

watermelon_cookies

I haven’t done much baking this summer, instead I’ve relied pretty heavily on my crock-pot. I saw these super cute watermelon cookies shared on Instagram made using refrigerated dough and thought they would be delicious made using my Very Vanilla Pudding Cookies recipe.  These are so perfect for summer and would be a hit at any backyard bash.  Truth be told, I don’t actually like watermelon… but I do love these!

Watermelon Cookies- made from sugar cookies with pink frosting and mini chocolate chip "seeds". So cute for Summer!

Get the cookie recipe here.

Remember to add green food coloring to tint the cookies. I used a silicone spatula to slice the cookies in half while they were still warm on the baking sheet. Let them cool 1 minute before slicing, and then allow to cool completely before moving to a wire rack. It took quite a bit of icing to cover all of the watermelons. Top the cookies with mini chocolate chips before the icing has time to set.

Take these with my Cheeseburger Cupcakes to your next BBQ or cookout!

Easy Icing
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Instructions
  1. Slowly add the milk to the powdered sugar using a stand mixer until you've reached your desired consistency (thick enough while still easy to pipe, but not too thin or it will run).
  2. Add the vanilla and food coloring and incorporate fully (add more powdered sugar now if the consistency has changed).
  3. Add the icing to a piping bag and decorate the cookies.

 

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Red, White Chocolate, and Blue Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Use Ready to Bake sugar cookie dough to make these festive 4th of July cookies!

I got the idea to make these cookies when I was grocery shopping last weekend.  I knew I was running out of time to share some 4th of July recipes, so I was trying to think of something easy and cute.  The Pillsbury Ready To Bake Sugar Cookies caught my eye and I knew they would be perfect for my plan. …

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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Can I tell you a secret?  I may, or may not, have just decorated my Christmas tree today.  Would it be better if I told you the naked tree has been up for two weeks but I just got around to decorating it?  No?  Not better?  Seriously, I don’t know if it was Thanksgiving being so late, or the fact we were on vacation the first week of December, but I can’t believe Christmas is only a week away!!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies I was so excited about being in our new house this year for Christmas.  We had plans to go all out with lights on the house, and instead we have none… in fact, if I’m being honest here (we’re all friends right?), I just took down my pumpkins from the sidewalk yesterday…!  I wanted a huge real tree, as tall as our new, higher ceilings would allow but settled for our old fake tree because it made more sense with all the timing.  At least I have been keeping up with Charlotte, our Elf on the Shelf, right?  Bonus points for that.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad- blogger kids don’t know what holiday it is anyway.  We start baking pumpkin treats in August and peppermint in October.  Which I guess means I’m really late with these Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies. I hope they help you get more in the Christmas mood!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 pkg. chocolate pudding mix
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peppermint candies, crushed
Instructions
  1. Cream softened butter and sugar; blend in eggs and vanilla.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the wet mixture.
  3. Drop by spoonful onto ungreased or silicone lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and immediately top each cookie with a marshmallow.
  6. Return to the oven until the marshmallow begins to melt and spread, about 5 minutes.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool before removing to a wire rack.
  8. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 50% power for 30 second intervals until smooth.
  9. Spoon hot chocolate on top of each cookie.
  10. Immediately sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy.

 

Looking for more Christmas treats?

emily_grace

 

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with M&M's #recipes #cookies

I made these Peanut Butter M&M Cookies for my first year participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Yummy cookies to fight kids cancer?  Count me in!
  http://i0.wp.com/www.fbcookieswap.com/images/fbcookieswap2013_white.png?resize=400%2C400

Wanna know how it works so you can be involved next year?  You sign up online, pay a small fee to participate- which is actually your donation, get paired with three matches, and send out one dozen cookies to each match.  While you’re shipping your cookies, three others get your name and send you a dozen cookies!  The proceeds go to the fight against kids cancer, and this year we raised over $13,000! ($13,778.40 to be exact!)  A special thank you to all of the brands that helped us exceed our goal by matching donations: OXO, Dixie Crystals, Grandma’s Molasses, and Gold Medal Flour.

This year I sent cookies to:

And received cookies from:

All of the cookies were so yummy!  It was so fun to see what everyone chose to bake.  I hope Melissa, Katie, and Rachel enjoyed my Peanut Butter M&M Cookies!  Click on the links above to see the recipes from all the other bloggers.

Soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with M&M's #recipes #cookiesWhen I went to the post office to ship these cookies, an older lady asked me if I needed any help.  I was in a hurry to get in and get out, and politely told her I could manage it on my own.  That didn’t stop her from coming over to chat and help me anyway.  It probably took me a good 20 minutes longer with her than it would have on my own.  She was the sweetest lady and told me stories about working in the post office years ago as she held the boxes so that I could tape them closed.  It was such a nice reminder to slow down, enjoy the moment, and to be kind to someone else.  Who knew a trip to the post office during the busiest shipping time of the year would restore my faith in people.  So to the girls who received my cookies- they were packaged up with extra love!

Soft and chewy Peanut Butter Cookies with M&M's #recipes #cookies

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pkg M&M candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter, peanut butter, and sugars until creamy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, blending until a smooth creamed mixture.
  6. Stir in the M&M's.
  7. Drop by cookie scoop onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake 10-13 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

 

Do something nice for someone today!

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