Friday, December 17, 2010

Life: beautiful (and snowy!)

Have you read this magazine yet?

If Martha Stewart were to become a devout Christian, this is the magazine she would publish. The photographs are beautiful, the recipes delicious, the craft ideas genius and the articles are... ok, I need to read the articles. I've started a few of them, but I just can't stop looking at the pictures!

This magazine inspired my holiday baking this year. There's an article on a cookie exchange and I decided to try some of the recipes. My husband wanted a few boxes of cookies to hand out to some of his clients, so I told him I was up for the task. I woke up the next morning and saw this:

I knew it was a day for baking...

...and playing! This is our front entryway before shoveling. Ian is trying to climb up the mound to come inside after playing in the snow.

Turned out to be a major snowstorm! This view is from our patio door. I knew we were going to be homebound for a while. Cookies anyone?

Some of these were actually made earlier with my friend (see previous post), but this one in front I made a few days later. I had fun with swirling the frosting for some cool effects! This technique is also seen in the Life:beautiful magazine cookie exchange article.

Next I tackled citrus icebox cookies (lemon, lime and orange). I thought with all the heavy chocolate of the season, some light citrus-flavored cookies might be nice.

Here's the box of cookies all put together. The other two types of cookies I made were cranberry pecan tassies and brownies with marshmallow and crushed candy canes (incredible!).

The cookies are now packaged and ready to go! I hope they enjoy them. These recipes were keepers and if you haven't checked out Life: beautiful magazine yet, DO! It's well done. I've only been able to find it at Barnes & Noble. Let me know how the articles are!

I think I've done more baking this month than this entire past year! While it's been fun, I think I'm ready to join the kids next time we get snow!

I got a request to post the recipe for the brownies, so here it is:

Avalanche Brownie Bars (from Life:beautiful magazine, holiday 2010)

2 C granulated sugar
1 C butter, melted (I used unsalted)
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 -1/2 C flour
1 C semisweet or milk chocolate chips
8 peppermint candy canes, crushed (I used a bit less so the peppermint wouldn't be too overpowering)
1 10-oz. bag mini marshmallows
1 6-oz. bag (1 cup) semisweet or milk chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9x2" baking pan. In a medium bowl combine sugar, butter, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; stir in 1 cup choc chips.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While brownies are still hot, sprinkle with half of the crushed candy canes, followed by the marshmallows and remaining crushed candy canes. Drizzle with melted choc chips. Cool completely. Cut with a sharp knife.


  1. I wish I was your husband client....Those looks awesome. Good job Andrea. going to save some for our bachelor party. hahaha

  2. Those look delicious! And that sounds like a great magazine - I want to check it out! I was just thinking I needed another magazine to subscribe to. :)

  3. Could you post the recipe for the marshmallow candy cane brownies? I'd love to make them for Christmas. Thanks!

  4. Nicole, I posted the recipe on my post. Enjoy! :)

  5. THANK YOU!!! I can't wait to make them...