Nutella Red Velvet Cupcakes

Nutella Red Velvet CupcakesClassic red velvet cupcakes smothered in decadent and rich Nutella buttercream frosting with a sprinkle of chopped milk chocolate and drizzle of dark chocolate.  Chocolate and red velvet are the perfect match in these Nutella Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Nutella Red Velvet CupcakesQuick, what do you always think of when someone says Red Velvet?  Cream cheese frosting, right?  BORING…Let’s break this mundane cycle people.  I’m here to show you that red velvet’s partner in crime doesn’t always have to be cream cheese.  I mean, just look at how insane these are! And just to make sure you get the idea, I used three kinds of chocolate in this cupcake.  Three!

Nutella Red Velvet Cupcakes First is the creamy and smooth Nutella buttercream frosting which is absolute perfection.  Then I topped them with a little chopped milk chocolate.  I used Cadbury.  The mother of all milk chocolate. (Thank you Great Britain…) And then to shake things up a bit, I drizzled some melted dark chocolate on top.  Seriously, these Nutella Red Velvet Cupcakes will make you wonder why you always settled for boring old cream cheese frosting.

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Caramel Apple Cookie Sandwiches

Caramel Apple Cookie SandwichesSoft and chewy apple spice oatmeal cookies sandwiched with brown sugar and cinnamon buttercream frosting and drizzled with salted caramel.  Think of the perfect caramel apple pie you can eat with your hands!

It’s cookie swap time people!  I’ve only been to one cookie swap party which was back home in the states.  I really wish I had participated in more because now that I’m living overseas in Dubai I haven’t heard of anybody doing that sort of thing.  I think they’re too beautiful and fit to be swapping dangerous and decadent cookies between one another.  I’ve done a cookie swap through the mail before, so I thought that would work until I remembered it costs about 75.00 to ship a box to the U.A.E.  Whoever gets stuck with me would probably sneeze all over my cookies.

Caramel Apple Cookie SandwichesI haven’t hit the peppermint craziness yet.  I’ve still got apples and pumpkins on the brain. That’s why these Caramel Apple Cookie Sandwiches are perfect for a cookie swap party.  There’s always someone in the group that’s a little too stubborn to let go of Fall.  So while the tables are full of chocolate peppermint meringue cookies and red and green sugar cookies, these cookie sandwiches will be sure to stick out.  Plus, salted caramel.  I would be grabbing anything with salted caramel drizzle.  I used my Apple Pie Cupcakes as inspiration for these cookie sandwiches.

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Pear and Fig Baklava

Pear and Fig BaklavaLuscious layers of buttery phyllo dough nestled between gorgeous layers of cinnamon pear, pistachios, and pecans.  Baklava was never meant to be boring.  It was meant to be epic like this Pear and Fig Baklava!

I hope everyone is ready for a fabulous New Year’s Eve!  I’m going to live vicariously through all the cool kids tonight.  First of all, I’ve never been able to stay up past midnight.  Don’t think that’s because I’m a parent, or old, or have two early to bed kids.  I’ve been that way since my 20’s.  It’s so sad!  I blame it on my old soul.  Secondly, I do have two little kids who can’t seem to keep it together past 9.  In our house 9 P.M. is the witching hour of tantrums, whiny little voices, and utter melt downs.  So every New Years Eve it’s hot chocolate, a cozy blanket, and the good old fashioned New Year’s countdown from my quiet little television.

Pear and Fig Baklava

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Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies Chewy chocolate chip pecan cookies that taste just like buttery pecan pie!  These Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies will be the hit at your next cookie swap party!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies

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Apple Pie Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Brown Sugar ButtercreamSoft and fluffy spiced apple cupcakes topped with brown sugar buttercream and tart apple pie filling.  It’s America’s favorite pie turned into perfect holiday cupcakes.

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Brown Sugar ButtercreamToday the weather in Dubai has finally hit the perfect temperature!  It has been so beautiful lately and taking a walk doesn’t render you useless for the rest of the day.  I usually feel like I need a 3 hour nap after a stroll due to the heat.  Not anymore!  Oh, and the breeze doesn’t feel like a hot blow dryer.  We don’t get those gorgeous red and orange Fall leaves, but we get perfect beach weather.  I think that’s a good trade.

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

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The Best Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

The Best Chocolate Chip Pumpkin BreadThe most delicious, moist, chocolatey pumpkin bread you will ever eat.  That’s why I’m calling it The Best Chocolatey Chip Pumpkin Bread.  Ever.

The Best Chocolate Chip Pumpkin BreadIs anyone sick of pumpkin yet?  No?  I didn’t think so, but if you are one of the few on the outs with pumpkin this season,  stick around.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Just one bite of this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and you will be back on that happy little pumpkin bandwagon again.

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Biscoff Pumpkin Brookie Bars

Biscoff Pumpkin Brookie BarsDark chocolate brownies swirled with moist pumpkin blondies, then smothered in a Biscoff chocolate ganache. These Biscoff Pumpkin Brookie Bars are the perfect way to indulge this November.

Biscoff Pumpkin Brookie Bars

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Pumpkin Spice Oreo Magic Cookie Bars

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Magic Cookie BarsMagic Cookie Bars just got a Fall time makeover!  With a buttery Oreo cookie crust, and pumpkin spiced chewy filling, these Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookie Bars will always go faster than pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Magic Cookie BarsOh, America how I miss thee.  I miss your Christmas decorations that come way too early, your change of seasons, and your mountains of canned pumpkin puree.  That last part is really pulling on my heart strings.  I live in Dubai, and canned pumpkin does not come easily.  At home I usually can grab some year round and go pumpkin crazy.  In Dubai, not so much.

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Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Coffee CakeEasy boxed cake mix turned into soft pumpkin cake baked with a perfect crunchy pecan and chocolate chip streusal.  This Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Coffee Cake is so easy you’ll never buy coffee cake again.

One of my best friends Jennifer came to visit me from Florida last week.  We did all the Dubai things I was too afraid to do on my own.  Like brave the chaotic streets of the Old Dubai Souks in Deira.  She is pretty much like me when it comes to shopping.  Our motto to every store employee or shop owner is “Don’t talk to me”.  I’m not sure if that’s an American thing or a I don’t have any idea how to haggle thing.  Our first mistake we made was arrive hours before the shopping rush.  No one was there but the little shop salesmen.  Is that what they’re called?  Imagine Agrabah from Disney’s Alladin on steroids and the only customers are two scared white girls who don’t want to be talked to.  Every salesman was on us like flies on a date.

Dubai SoukPhoto credit to Smeggys

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Sweet Potato Cupcakes and Maple Walnut Frosting

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Walnut FrostingSweet potato pie meets cupcake!  Moist sweet potato cupcakes topped with luscious maple walnut frosting and a fluffy toasted marshmallow.  Choosing between your favorite pumpkin cupcakes and these Sweet Potato Cupcakes and Maple Walnut Frosting will be the hardest decision you make this holiday!

It’s amazing how life can change so drastically in such a short amount of time.  In April we were doing our Florida family thing…kiddie pools in the backyard, Disney on the weekends, and flip flops everyday.  I never ever would have thought our family would be moving to the Middle East.  Especially within a few weeks of my husband getting a job offer.  We sold everything in two weeks, put the house up for rent, and started our new chapter.  With all the excitement also came all the fears.  Are the kids going to do well in a foreign school?  Will I get bit by a deadly snake?  Will the sandstorms be just like Mission Impossible?  You know, perfectly reasonable questions for moving a family to the desert.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Walnut Frosting

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