S’More Cookie Bars

S’More Cookie Bars.

What S’more fun than S’mores?!

And what s’more perfect with hot cocoa or coffee than s’mores.

And what s’more delicious than campfire s’mores?

S’more cookie bars any time of year!

I love these adorable little cookie treats I learned from my daughter-in-law, Colleen, who first served them at a holiday cookie exchange she hosted a couple years ago.

They are simple.   They are fun. They are beautiful.  And best of all, they are SCRUMPTIOUS!

The teeny tiny miniature dehydrated marshmallows totally make them!  I purchased them locally at Make a Cake, a local, charming little cake and candy decorating shop, but they are also available online if you can’t find them near you.

Here is how to make them.

S'more Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

Directions:

After breaking all graham crackers and chocolate bars into rectangles, place one chocolate rectangle between two graham cracker rectangles forming a sandwich.

Melt Merckens milk chocolate one pound at a time in microwave.  Heat for 1 minute on high.  Stir well.  Heat 20-30 more seconds.  Stir well until smooth.

Dip each graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich into chocolate – coating 1/2 – 2/3 of cookie.   Let excess drip, and place on sheet of wax paper to cool and harden.  Dip 4-6, place on wax paper, and sprinkle with marshmallows.  Working in groups allows the marshmallows to stick to the melted chocolate before it cools to harden.  Continue until all are coated and sprinkled with marshmallows.  Allow to cool and harden.

They are ready within 20-30 minutes to enjoy or store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  If you are local, I made these to share at the Berry Vine Gifts Christmas in the Woods Open House, which starts today, Friday, November 17th (10-6).  It also runs through the weekend, Saturday, November 18th (10-6) and Sunday, November 19th (12-4).  Come munch on one with a cup of cocoa while you browse the beautiful holiday handmade crafts, antique furniture, and gifts in this one-of-a-kind shoppe (including my art and Colleen’s rustic pallet signs!) 

Let the Rain Fall

Goldfinch in the Rain - Autumn, Mars, PA

Goldfinch in the Rain – Autumn, Mars, PA

Let the Rain Fall.

I watched you as you sat proud and beautiful
while the rain fell on and around you.

You didn’t need
the sun to make you shine.

In fact,
you stood out even brighter in the cloudy drizzle.

And I was reminded
true beauty comes from within.

It can’t be soaked or drenched
or washed off.

It can’t be dampened or doused
by the storms of life.

Let the rain fall.
Let the storms crash.

And continue to shine
your authentic beautiful self.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Light

Chandelier at Omni William Penn Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA - 11/2017

Chandelier at Omni William Penn Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA – 11/2017

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was at a meeting this week at the beautiful Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.    The Omni is a gorgeous historical classic that was built in 1915 and hailed as the “Grandest Hotel in the Nation” when it opened in 1916.

During a tour in preparation for an upcoming conference I’ll be part of, I couldn’t help but snap a picture of one of the gorgeous chandeliers that hangs in the ballroom.  I thought of all of the galas and weddings and celebrations that took place under their sparkling light.  I thought of all the love that was shared….  all the victories celebrated…  all the accomplishments recognized.  And the chandeliers became more significant.  They represented over 100 years of “light.”

May we all shine as bright.
May we all be the light.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Snowy Pines Watercolor

Winter Snowy Pine Reflections Watercolor - 11x14 140lb cold press

Winter Snowy Pine Reflections Watercolor – 11×14 140lb cold press

Snowy Pines Watercolor.

Is anything crazier or more unpredictable than the weather?!

Where I live, we went from record highs one week
to record lows the next.

From open windows and shorts and bare feet –
to snow flurries and wool socks and sweaters.

And one cold day I painted this winter scene
(inspired by a photo I saw that I cannot find credit for).

It’s funny how the cold scene
gives me a warm feeling.

Almost as crazy as the weather!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

LOVE is all you need

Love Heart Abstract Watercolor 11x14 140lb cold press

Love Heart Abstract Watercolor 11×14 140lb cold press

LOVE is all you need.

In these days of…
terrorism,
war,
shootings,
suicide,
drug abuse,
social pressures,
revelations of sexual abuse allegations,
fights over politics,
disagreement over religion…

Can’t we simply
seek
Love?

Why is it so hard…
to just Love?

 

Today is Sunday.
Our family will be gathering
to watch football
and eat together.

To me – that is love…
being together,
being there for each other,
spending time together,
supporting each other.

Let’s seek love
for ourselves,
for others,
and for the world.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

11-11

Angel Wings in Watercolor 11-11

Angel Wings in Watercolor 11-11

Today is November 11th.   11-11.

There are those that believe the meaning of 11-11 (or 11:11) is a sign that angelic beings are close by.  They come with love and protection, and they want to bring you clarity and guidance.

Not sure if I believe in angels being especially near at 11:11 or that making a wish will come true, but it is a pretty awesome number….. 1111…

and a fun opportunity to paint angel wings with glittery numbers and count my many blessings.

Happy 11-11!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Mixing it Up with Mixed Media

Mixed Media Holiday Poinsettia - 12x12

Mixed Media Holiday Poinsettia – 12×12

Mixing it Up with Mixed Media.

Feeling a little crazy…
Feeling a little creative…
Feeling a little loose…

I painted a bright, bold, red poinsettia
on some newsprint,
and then I went crazy.

I glued,
and I taped,
and I splashed,
and I sprinkled.

I tore,
and I tied,
and I buttoned,
and I pearled.

And when I was done…
I framed,
and I smiled,
and I sighed in contentment.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Falling for Fall

Falling for Fall -Mars, PA - November 8, 2017

Falling for Fall -Mars, PA – November 8, 2017

Falling for Fall.

The days may grow shorter with darkness coming earlier….

but then we get to enjoy the warm glow of candlelight,
and breathe in the scents of pumpkin spice and cinnamon.

The air may grow crisp and the temperatures colder….

but then we get to wear flannels and hoodies and knit sweaters,
and sit by crackling warm fires under fleece blankets.

The leaves that once brought shade may turn dry and fall from the trees….

but then we get to kick and roll in the heaped, crunchy piles
and wait for sparkling white snow to stick to the bare brown branches.

The change of each new season…

brings opportunities for us to Fall for each one,
and embrace the joy and blessings it brings.

Fall for Fall!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi*

*A Born-Anew Autumn Lover!

 

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies.

When it comes to Butter Pecan….. I am an absolute FANATIC!

The way some people feel about chocolate………..
That’s my butter pecan.

Can anyone relate?

As early back as I can remember – even as a child going to Kerber’s Dairy with my grandpap for ice cream, I chose Butter Pecan.

Not chocolate, not strawberry, not chocolate chip, not vanilla……

But creamy, buttery, salty, crunchy, nutty Butter Pecan.

So when I came across this recipe at BakerbyNature for Butter Pecan cookies, I had try it, and O M G!

BROWNED Butter is the secret to these little delights.

And I will not be baking these often, because these – I cannot resist!

Make them if you dare!

Butter Pecan Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 1 lb. (4 sticks) butter (salted), melted and browned
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  •  2 tsp baking soda

Buttered Pecans

  • 3 cups pecan halves, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter (salted)

Additions for Decorating:

  • 50-60 pecan halves
  • Coarse raw sugar

Directions:

Prepare Buttered Pecans by melting butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 mins, until lightly toasted.  Remove from skillet to a bowl to cool.

In same skillet, melt 4 sticks of butter for cookie batter.  Bring to a boil until butter just begins to brown, and then remove from heat.  (Watch carefully, as butter can turn from browned to burned quickly.  It takes about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, but it is so key to get it to the “browned” stage.)

Using electric mixer, combine sugars with browned butter on slow speed until fully combined.  Add vanilla and then eggs, one at time, beating until fully combined.

Add flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda – folding in with rubber spatula until fully incorporated, and then fold in the buttered pecans.

Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

If you have refrigerated overnight – let dough sit to room temperature to become scoopable.

Place golf-ball sized scoops of dough 1-2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly and press a pecan half in center.

Bake 8-9 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar.  Let sit on baking stone/cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

ENJOY!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe slightly adapted from BakerbyNature