Thursday, October 27, 2011

Warm and Gooey Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars

 Have you noticed that some of the messiest desserts are the most delicious ones?  Well, this dessert certainly fits the bill!  I'm in love with these ooey, gooey s'more bars!  If you like the classic campfire s'mores than you'll love these toasted marshmallow topped bars that are incredibly easy to make.  They only require 5 ingredients!   

These bars will go fast at any gathering--I've made them for movie nights with friends--but I find they're especially perfect this time of year!   Graham cracker-cookie crust is a nice base for the melting milk chocolate and finished with the marshmallows that will stretch and pull as you cut yourself a slice.  

These sure are a *love* recipe out of my kitchen, so I hope you all like them, too!!!
(Going to my parents for a campfire this weekend. Yay!)

Leslie :)

Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars

1 pouch (1 lb. 1.5) Sugar Cookie mix

1 c. graham cracker crumbs
(I usually crush my own.)

1 c. butter, melted

3 c. milk chocolate chips
(I didn't have milk choc. chips, so instead used broken Hershey bar and semi-sweet morsels.)

4 1/2 c. mini marshmallows

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix cookie mix and cracker crumbs . Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms.  

In ungreased 13x9 in pan, press dough evenly.  Bake 18-20 minutes until set.

Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.  Let stand 3-5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt.  Spread evenly over crust.


Set oven control to broil.  Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate.  

Broil with top 4-5 inches from heat for about 30 seconds or til marshmallows are toasted.  (Watch closely, for they will brown quickly!)

Cool for 10 minutes, and eat while still warm.  Store tightly covered.

Enjoy every gooey bite!

I'm linking up with:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Gift!

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4

This is just one of the wonderful scriptures that come to mind as I'm telling you this story of how God used a thoughtful and generous person in my life to remind me of just how much He knows me.  He loves me. 
He loves us.....

God truly cares for even the small details in my life.  Really.  This shouldn't be a revelation after years of serving Jesus Christ as my Lord, but there are times in my life that He-- as any loving father-- wants to surprise us with something that we never expect.

Anyone who knows me very well at all knows that my husband and I have been struggling for years trying to have a family.  
(No, I'm not pregnant (yet!) so that's now what this blog post is about...but I assure you that day is coming!)

We have been blessed with a beloved baby girl in Heaven that we'll spend eternity with!
I'm not extremely open about this subject, because it's a very personal and delicate issue between my husband and I. It's huge that I'm sharing even this with you all right now, for this is something I can't help but feel very emotional about.  Wanting children is part of the core of my being.  I wanted to share this with you, just to give you all a bigger picture of why this story is just so special to me.  The past 5 years have been filled with the most extreme highs and lows in my lifetime.  I won't candy coat that there have been many hard times my husband and I have encountered together in our short married life, but I can still confidently say with a shadow of a doubt that, God is still good!!!

I'm a very optimistic person, and all of you who know my parents know that I was born that way!   I love my family and I love my husband and have an amazing life with them...I love cooking, baking, beautiful days, snowy days, holidays, I really love life!  Everyday is not an easy one, and the past 5 years there have been more bad ones than good.  Thankfully, I serve a God who not only knows my future but also has plans for me.  Awesome plans, that are better than we had ever dreamed about.  When you follow Christ and seek Him for guidance in your life, and tell Him that "my life is for Your glory"... I believe that He will turn the plans we envision for our life into something far better than we could ever hope for.  I want my life to be a testimony of the Mighty God I serve!

So anyways, God has not forgotten about my hearts desire to have children, and last week He reminded me of that by showing us that He knows and cares about even the smallest things that we care about.  The things that we can live without.  The things that are definitely trival in the grand scheme of things. 

...Because He wants to pour His love on us.


October 9th, I put as my Facebook status, 

"You all can have your new iphones, but all I REALLY want is a candy apple red or buttercup yellow Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a glass bowl!!  One day..."

Simple! No biggie, really!  Just saying that I've basically been pining to have one for years now, but I don't want to complain because I have a fine hand mixer. (Fine as in okay, as in, gets very hot when mixing meringue or anything else for over 3 minutes.) With Mr. Cozy in Med school, needless to say, our funds don't really give us everything we want.  

Thankfully, we have a Heavenly Father that will supply all my need according to HIS riches in glory! (Phil. 4:19)

I have never prayed for a mixer, I have never even asked for a mixer (from anyone at all!) and I haven't put much thought into dreaming about one when I knew there was no need to wish for something so trivial.  Although my mind would occasionally wonder, how much easier and even more fun would it be to bake in a kitchen with a beautiful stand mixer, like on Dessert First or Barefoot Contessa?! :) After all, I do consider myself an avid baker and would get so much good use from something as wonderful as that!!!


October 13th.  I got off work late that night, as I always do on Thursdays.  When I pulled into my driveway it was dark outside and I was making sure all my little kittens were okay as they frolicked around me.  

What was by the back door?  What was in this enormous box?  Did Mr. Cozy order, I don't know....a book?  A whole lot of them?? Umm...confused.

I'm actually on the phone with him as I'm walking up to the house.  He has no idea what the box is.  It says Bed, Bath & Beyond and looked like some postal service dropped it off.  Weird, I thought.  I tell him and he still doesn't know!  I'm getting a little excited just from the mystery of it all.  I open the door and put him on speaker just so I can bring the box in.  It's heavy! VERY heavy!!  I wasn't expecting to have so much trouble trying to get it through the door!  Hmmm.

I open it up and stand amazed.  It looked like another box inside with the picture of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer?!!  I'm squealing, and I'm sure he thinks I'm frightened when in fact I'm quite the opposite. Mind you, there is no return address, note, name, or any facts whatsoever to link back to the giver of this gift. 

This is unbelievable.  I open the box to find a Candy Apple Red, Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a glass bowl!!!!!!!!

Ok.  "Oh, Honey!!  I love you, thank you!!!!"
How can we afford this right now?

"It's not from me.  Seriously...I'm confused.  I know nothing about this!" he claimed with sincerity.

Hmmm.....I'm baffled  and thrilled at this point and so is he!  After getting off the phone with him, we both call our parents.  I'm pretty sure that mine probably wanted to surprise me with an amazing gift of my dream mixer!

No. They were excited, but clueless. Really.
(Friends, trust me I know my hubby and parents well enough to know they're telling the truth, and they were!)

To this day, we have no idea who the very wonderful person is that secretly sent me my heart's desire, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer!  We do know, however, that God used that person to restore hope.  He gave me something I thought I would probably have to wait years before getting--and I would've been okay with that--but He had other plans, better plans than I had for myself!  Miraculous!  
This gift felt like a big, warm hug.

I only hope that one day we can do the very same thing someone in need, or want.  I'm assuming this person doesn't want us to find out who they are.  What a huge gift, this humble and kind person gave to me. God knows who you are and will bless you in return!  THANK YOU!


So there you have it, Folks.  Thanks for listening to my story!  I'm excited to bring you recipes with help of my new mixer!  It seriously takes baking to another level of joy!!!

God works in mysterious ways!  

See how it sparkles on my counter?

Have a blessed Autumn weekend!


I'm linking up with:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cozy Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread

I'm glad to be off work today, for I woke up to rumbles of thunder and a nice rain shower.  The bedroom was very chilly, indicating that the temperature had dropped last night!  It was one of those mornings that would've been difficult to pop out of bed.  So, over to the coffee I went and I decided to make some delicious pumpkin bread to warm me up!  Here's a few quick pics of my cozy little kitchen today...

These blustery, chilly autumn mornings seem to cry out for some heartwarming pumpkin bread to get you going!  This is a wonderful recipe that always seem to turn out perfect!  I like making them into the mini loaves so that I can share with friends or freeze a couple for later when I want a quick, homemade breakfast or snack.  (They freeze beautifully, really!)

I hope you enjoy all that this beautiful season has to offer, in the kitchen and outside with hayrides, bonfires, and raking leaves!  We'll all miss the beauty of fall in a few months when the grass has dried and the trees are bare.  (Then, we will have snow to look forward to--Hooray!)  

Happy Fall Ya'll!!!

Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread

3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

4 eggs

2 c. sugar

15 oz. can pumpkin

1 c. oil

1/4 c. applesauce, no sugar added

1 c. chocolate chips

1/2c. butterscotch chips

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside.

Beat together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and applesauce in a large mixing bowl; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  

Fold in chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Pour into 2-8x4 in. loaf pans, or 5 mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes for large pans or 40-50 min. for mini pans.
Test with toothpicks to ensure they are done.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing to finish cooling.  

These would be delicious with a simple glaze or also delicious without! :)

{You all may have seen a new, beautiful addition to my kitchen!  I am so excited to share with ya'll about getting my "dream" kitchen appliance...but I'll leave that for the next blog.  It's a story you will not want to miss out on.  God is so good!!!}

Linking up with:


It's a Keeper


Saturday, October 8, 2011

*Nana's Best Loved Apple Pie! *

So, this is it...  
This is the day I reveal the recipe to the best apple pie-- ever!!!  (Well, at least it is in this family!)  This is Nana's apple pie, and it's basically the best dessert in my husband's family!  This Apple Pie was one of the very first posts I put up on The Cozy Little Kitchen, and I didn't share the recipe.  Now I am. :}

Starting 10 yrs. ago when Mr. Cozy and I began our committed dating relationship, I swiftly found out that Nana's apple pie was his very favorite dessert, understandably so, and he said that nobody can make it like Nana.

Well, my goal was to someday make it just as well as she does!

The first time I made it was for his 18th birthday. You have to realize that I had not even had the pleasure of  having this apple pie to eat yet! I thought I would surprise him by calling up Nana and getting her recipe for it and baking it for a special birthday surprise. 

Little did I know that no one else makes this pie in the family.  It's like a sacred recipe or something--others are afraid to touch it!

I was thrilled to present the pie to him, and the first thing he says is...
"It doesn't look like Nana's."

Can you believe it??  You have to realize that my husband is a very kind person, and usually sensitive to my feelings.

Not that day, Ha!
(I can laugh about it now.)

I didn't realize what I was up against, trying to make this famous dessert!  Don't worry, he ate it and of course said that he liked it and how thoughtful it was for me to make it.

But I could tell, that it wasn't like Nana's.

After her mentoring me on the art of baking family pies and cakes, several times making it, and 10 years later....I can almost say, I think it tastes like Nana's!!!  I have actually heard my sweet Mr. Cozy also say those words! :)

Some basic requirements for this delicious pie are two simple things.

1. Jonathan apples:  they are the perfect blend of tart and sweet and melt like buhtta!  My sad attempt of an SNL impression. Too bad these apples are only around in the autumn months!

2. Very thinly sliced apples.  I couldn't achieve such thin slices when I first started cooking, but lots of practice and a better knife has allowed me to make them very thin!  A kitchen mandolin also works, but does take away a bit of nostalgia that I like when making apple pie.

The combination of the thinly sliced Jonathan apple produces a beautiful blend of all the butter from the crumble top and cinnamon to cook down the apples, making each bite melt in your mouth!

 If you want a new to you, old fashioned apple pie recipe to try please consider this one.
It's really that good!!  It sums up the feeling of a brisk fall day, colorful leaves, gathering pumpkins and a hayride all into one bite, if that makes sense!  It will fill your kitchen with the best aroma and hopefully your heart with a simple joy!

I share with you a family heirloom of a recipe.....

Nana's Best Loved Apple Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust

4 c. thinly sliced Jonathan apples

1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
(This is optional! I added this myself just to try it out.  It tastes great with or without!)

2/3 c. butter

3/4 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar

Enough cinnamon to lightly dust over the top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel your apples.

Thinly slice.

Toss the apples with sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, if using until evenly coated.

Cut the cold butter into the four and sugar until crumbly.

Prepare your crust and I like to give it a egg or milk wash and shower the edges with sugar so they'll glisten!

Pour in the apples.

Pour the filling over the top and spread around evenly.  Dust with cinnamon.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Hot out of the oven!  See what I mean by crumbly, buttery topping and a glistening crust? :)

I'm linking up with:

Jam Hands

It's a Keeper