Confession: I don’t bake. Pretty much ever.
It’s partially because I don’t need the temptation lying around the house, but mostly, it’s because I just don’t like doing it.
Even during the holidays, I have a hard time getting into baking, and will usually resort to the old white-chocolate-dipped-Oreos trick (which, by the way, is an amazingly tasty trick). It doesn’t help that there already seems to be an excess of cookies everywhere we go during the month of December—who needs mine??
But this past weekend, I broke my anti-baking streak, with these:
Don’t worry: I didn’t go that far outside of my comfort zone. I maxed out at 4 ingredients, and the combining of said ingredients took all of 2 minutes.
I’d been planning to make a slight variation of the ever-popular cake mix + pumpkin cookies by adding peanut butter, but when I opened the pantry door to grab the PB, my eyes landed on the jar of TJ’s cookie butter.
If you’ve never tried TJ’s cookie butter, it tastes exactly like pureed gingersnaps. In my head, gingersnaps + chocolate + pumpkin sounds like a winning combo.
So here’s the ingredient list I ended up with (photo touched up with the “super grainy nighttime” setting):
1 box of chocolate fudge cake mix (unprepared), 1 can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup cookie butter, and an unpictured cup of dark chocolate chips.
I zapped the cookie butter in the microwave for 45 seconds to soften it before incorporating it with the cake mix and pumpkin, tossed in the chocolate chips, dropped the batter onto a greased cookie sheet, and baked the cookies at 350 for about 15 minutes.
Brent says they’re better than regular chocolate chip cookies. Which, I think, is like saying that any day of the year is better than Christmas.
–You have to know what you’re in for with these: they taste more like cake than cookies. As a soft-cookie lover, I see that as a good thing, but I know not everyone is into that.
–Do NOT try these right out of the oven. Not just because they’re hot, but because they don’t taste good right away. I can’t explain why. All I know is that I almost tossed the whole batch out and called it a failure—until they cooled. Then they were swoon-worthy. It’s the craziest thing.
Anyway. The rest of my weekend basically looked like this:
Do we have to rake the leaves?? (Kind of an honest question…) They’re insanely pretty. I’m kind of obsessed.
By the way, Mason is a completely different kid, now that he’s finally getting over his ear infection.
It’s amazing—I feel like he literally hasn’t been living with us for the past two weeks, and he finally came home. This kid actually smiles! He babbles! He doesn’t scream bloody murder if you look at him the wrong way!
It’s hard to sort out exactly how much of his behavior was related to sickness vs. a reaction to starting daycare, but I’m starting to think the ear infection was the main driver of drama. He’s been getting great reports at daycare every day, and I think he’s really liking it there.
On Saturday, we met up with some friends to “watch football,” which really meant “dress in team-appropriate garb and then talk in the kitchen while mowing chips and dip and barely glancing at the TV.”
It was awesome.
The guys watched, at least. As guys can often be counted on to do.
I spent Mason’s naptimes on both Saturday and Sunday at a coffee shop, studying for my NASM exam. (Which, by the way, I ended up pushing back to December, since the whole job-starting thing kind of majorly threw me off my study plan.)
I don’t mind the studying at all—especially when it means I also get good coffee. (I have no idea what a caramel macchiato actually is, but it tastes incredible.)
While studying at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, I scored a new calendar for my office:
I looooove the art, and the phrases on each page really speak to my ever-blossoming hippie side.
When I got home, I even downloaded some of the same style art and set it as my desktop wallpaper. Feel free to check out this gallery if you want to do the same!