Brownie Batter Pancakes for One

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I am seriously doing a 903 things at once right now.

That may not sound like a lot to you but I’m not too used to multi-tasking and handling a bunch of stuff all at once. I like to give each task my undivided attention. Multi-tasking usually freaks me out.

But today I am trying to find the perfect birthday treat for one of my great friends, make my gma some candied pecans, clean the kitchen, figure out something quick to have for breakfast, look around on Facebook (cus it’s super important, duh!), write this post while uploading pics to my Flickr. See? 903 things! I don’t exaggerate here, I don’t need the drama. And I have to do all that by 11am. It’s 9:18am now. Oh gosh, my life is overrrr!!!

Ahem.

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Good thing that I have the best recipe EVER for THE MOST AMAZING QUICK FIX PANCAKES THAT WON’T KILL MY WAISTLINE!! Yes, I’m yelling at you. I want you to understand the sheer awesomeness of these pancakes. These come together super quick, they are chocolatey delicious, a perfect breakfast (or dinner, or dessert) for one, and the best part about these is that you get about 8 silver-dollar sized chocolate pancakes all for yourself and it won’t kill your diet!!! How can anyone NOT get excited about that?! Now, go chow down on some pancakes!!

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Brownie Batter Pancakes
Yields about 6-8 silver dollar pancakes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (30g) *
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 Tablespoon of Splenda Granulated sugar (or 1 Tablespoon of sugar)
pinch of salt (optional)
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (I used this)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 1/2 Tablespoon nondairy milk**

*There are several options for flour choice, choose what works for you: spelt flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or even a gluten free AP flour.

**Same goes for the milk, feel free to use what you have: soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk (oh, YUM) or plain ole dairy milk, I don’t judge ;)

Instructions:

If you have a pan that can handle the heat (such as a cast iron skillet) set a non-stick pan or skillet over medium-low heat. (I do this before anything else so that once the mix is done, the skillet is preheated and ready to go. I’m impatient, clearly.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together very well.

In a small measuring cup, stir together all the wet ingredients.

Add the wet to the dry and mix until the dry ingredients JUST disappear. You don’t want gummy pancakes.

If you haven’t already, preheat your skillet on medium-low heat and let it get nice and hot (flick some water on the surface of the pan, if it sizzles it’s ready to go!) Pour a very small amount (about 2 Tablespoons, one cookie scoop) worth of batter onto the center of your skillet and let it cook until bubbles start to form and the edges are set. Flip them, taking care not to break the pancakes (they are fragile) and cook them for 30 seconds – 1 minute longer.

Stack, throw on every topping you can think of (not really. Try: powdered sugar, caramel, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sliced berries, nuts, dried fruit, your favorite yogurt and granola, or maple syrup) and dig in!!

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adapted from Skinny Taste

Servings: 1 • Serving size: 6-8 silver-dollar pancakes (one recipe without toppings) • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 172 • Fat: 2.4 g • Carb: 32 g • Fiber: 6.7 g • Protein: 5.3 g • Sugar: 4.7
Sodium: 241.7 (without salt)

Rum, Brown Butter and Pecan Brownies

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If you haven’t been here long, you probably don’t know that I’m a Texan. If you have been here for a while, you’re probably tired of me making references to the fact that I’m a Texan. Not the kind that wears cowboy boots with skirts and rides to work on a horse named sugar, but a Texan no less.

I can’t help it, I’m a Texan. It’s a pride unlike any other.

You won’t find better Tex-mex anywhere, steaks seem just a bit bigger, beautiful bluebonnets transform regular hills into waves of blue, seeing cows from the side of the road is perfectly normal, margaritas are a staple, BBQ is an art form, the night sky isn’t more beautiful anywhere else, and pecans run rampant across this great state.

Texas, I made you brownies. Brownies you wouldn’t mind calling home. They have rum and pecans in them, you’d be proud!

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Do yourself a favor: if you hate rum or aren’t crazy about the strong flavor of rum in your baked goods, don’t make these. There’s a half cup of rum in these, they are not for sissies. If you don’t like pecans, you can sub for any other nut just be sure to toast them or the flavor will get lost. If you don’t like browned butter, you’re in the wrong place ;-) BUT, you can just as easily use regular melted butter in place of browned. If you don’t like chocolate… we can’t be friends anymore*. If you want to smother these brownies in vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a drizzle of dark rum for good measure… I think we can be the best of friends.

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Rum, Brown Butter and Pecan Brownies
yields 12-16 brownies

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter, cut into 16 small pieces
175g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
190g (about 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
75g (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8×8″ pan with foil or parchment paper, taking care to leave an overhang on at least two sides for easy removal later. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter, swirling the pan occasionally until all the butter has melted. After several minutes, the butter will begin to bubble and this is your sign to really pay attention to your butter. The milk solids will separate: stir it frequently at this point, so that the milk solids do not settle at the bottom of the pan and burn (there is no saving burned butter, trust me). Continue stirring as your butter changes from a light brown to a medium brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat. Let it cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, toss in your chopped chocolate and pour the browned butter over it (swirl the bowl a bit to make sure all the chocolate pieces are submerged in butter). Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Using a whisk, mix the chocolate and butter together vigorously until it is satiny and combined. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. When both eggs are in, give it a good vigorous whisking for about 10 seconds. Add the rum and mix well.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour and salt together over your chocolate mixture. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until almost combined and then toss in pecans and fold until combined. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mins, begin checking early to ensure your brownies don’t overbake.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan until room temperature. Remove the brownies from the pan using the overhang, cut and enjoy!

Adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes

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Skillet Brownies

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It’s gloomy here today. I’m talking pitch black at 9am kind of gloomy, rain all day kind of gloomy, flash flooding kind of gloomy, tornado watch kind of gloomy. And I’m ok with that.

You see, I’m one of those people that live in Happy Shiny Fun Land and things are always rainbows and butterflies and nothing goes seriously wrong. Chances are we are not going to get washed away in a flood. We’re probably not going to get swept up by a tornado and crash land in Oz either. Although I wouldn’t mind.

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But it’s that kind of day today. Upon waking, I exclaimed that I’m never getting out of bed (aloud, to myself because I’m weird and it made me feel more validated) but then my bladder quickly reminded me why that was not to be. Sadness.

So, I begrudgingly slumped out of bed and began my day. But I quickly realized that all was not lost. Oh, no. I had a tiny skillet and I knew just how to use it. And then there were brownies. Which I teased you with on Instagram.

These are as close to perfection as you can get: fudgy, chocolatey, quick and since they are baked in a cast iron skillet, everyone gets a SLICE of brownie (which includes the gooey center and the crusty edge all in one piece. WIN!!) No trying to shove foil in all the right places in your square pan and accidentally poking your finger through the foil and cutting yourself (true story, folks!). Just you and your pan, the way it was meant to be.

So if your day is washed away like mine, or if you actually live in Happy Shiny Fun Land, make these. Make them now.

And share with someone you love, it’ll make your heart feel all warm and mushy.

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Skillet Brownies
Yields one 10″ skillet of brownies (8-10 servings)

NOTE: I halved the recipe and baked in a 6-inch skillet for 28 minutes and it was divine. Top with some ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry. And sprinkles, if you’re fancy.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the sugar and eggs together until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

In an oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron, you can use coated enamel, stainless steel, whatever you have that’s oven-proof) over medium heat, add the butter and cream until it begins to lightly simmer and the butter completely melts. Reduce heat to low and stir in the chocolate for one minute. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture looks satiny and smooth. Let sit another 5 minutes to cool.

Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into sugar mixture, whisking the entire time until completely blended. Gently fold in the flour with a rubber spatula and stop mixing once the flour just disappears.

Pour batter back into skillet, and using a rubber spatula scrape down sides if needed and smooth the top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Slice and serve warm from the skillet. Or go family style and hand everyone a spoon and dig in. Enjoy!

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Recipe from Pass the Sushi

Bailey’s Brownies

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I have spent the better part of my time after Thanksgiving worrying, stressing, listing, scratching out and listing again all the things that need to be accomplished before Christmas gets here.

Christmas shopping usually begins on black Friday. Then it’s a mad dash to get everything on our list in the 3 weekends before Christmas, stop at 3 million stores until we have 80% of what we need then decide to “screw it” and buy the rest online (ok that last part might just be me), throw a party for our friends (or friendsmas, as I call it) to get together, wrap gifts, bake enough crap to kill a small horse, box and send everything off, have Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve, leave super late, sleep for a whopping 4 hours, and the get on the road out of town to spend Christmas with the in-laws.

Stressssssss, major.

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During these times I tell myself that pouring a stiff drink would be totally ok, encouraged even. But I never end up reaching for the mini bar we have collecting above our cabinets.

Instead I reach for brownies. And by “reach for” I really mean to say bake some. Because I don’t keep brownies on hand (too dangerous, you understand.) So yes, I stand in the kitchen and bake some damn brownies to calm my nerves.

So on SUPER stressful times like these, I tip some Bailey’s into my brownie batter.

Make some. It’s a good idea. In fact, I encourage it.

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Bailey’s Brownies
adapted from The Craving Chronicles

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil and lightly spritz with cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.

Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-proof bowl and melt in 30 second spurts, stirring in between each interval until completely melted. Set aside to cool a bit. (Alternatively, melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan set over low heat, stirring frequently until melted. Set aside.)

Once the chocolate mixture is warm (not hot!) add eggs, one at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate the eggs. Whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds to incorporate fully. Add sugar, vanilla, and Baileys and whisk until combined.

Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, folding until just combined (the flour JUST disappears).

Pour batter into the prepared pan, give it a quick wiggle to even out the batter. Bake at for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Enjoy and de-stress : )

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Bittersweet Brownies – TWD

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Today has been one hell of a day.

I spent my day at the DPS. (Literally) 5 Hours of waiting for (literally) 2 minutes of signing paper and taking a damn picture.

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I am no happy to say the least. I don’t normally like to complain but today is one of those days when you need a brownie.

I made these brownies a few weeks ago so I’m not 100% certain how I fared with these. I remember that they weren’t chocoaltey enough for me and that the texture was a bit off. BUT to be fair, it could have easily been user error (as I’m pretty sure my brain wanted to read the instructions for the brownies on the other page instead, oi.)

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Either way, these weren’t my favorite brownies but they weren’t disastrous enough to throw away. They rarely are, whew.

For the recipe, head on over to Leslie’s blog Lethally Delicious (or click here.)

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I didn’t get around to the Alsatian Apple Tart but I WILL make this. Heck, I might even hop into the kitchen NOW! head on over to Jessica of Cookbook Habit for the recipe!

Ginger Jazzed Brownies – TWD

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I don’t like to curse. Let’s be real: it happens, but I try to limit it.

Except when it comes to watching my football team.

I’m one of those crazy football fans that you see in tv commercials: jumping, screaming, cursing with the best of them. Don’t hand me a bowl of popcorn while I’m watching my Texans because chances are that it’ll end up all over the floor.

I’m pretty hardcore.

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Don’t mess with me and my Texans. Or me and my brownies.

These brownies intrigued me simply because of the process. It definitely doesn’t follow the normal brownie making pattern. I have made ginger brownies before so I already knew that I would like them. The texture was fudgy and the flavor was rich, slightly chocolatey and gingery. They were pretty tasty, but if I had to make ginger brownies again, I would make my go-to’s.

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Clivia of Bubie’s Little Baker chose these for this week’s TWD post. Head on over to her blog for the recipe. (Or click here)

Classic Brownies – TWD

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Brownies are my kryptonite.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m superwoman. But even if I was, I couldn’t tell you. ;)

But when I give healthy eating my best effort, a brownie is usually what makes all come crashing down in a fiery pit of doom.

Brownies. Warm, fudgy, chocolaty, crackly topped, a la mode… See? Kryptonite.

This particular recipe seems to be pretty fool proof. If I can make these brownies with a whisk, a wooden spoon, a bowl and a foreign (to me) oven… anyone can.

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I did change a few things just to make it all work for me with what I had on hand. I used all semi-sweet chocolate because finding 70% bittersweet chocolate in a tiny town with one grocery store is hard enough already so I took what I could get. Because I didn’t have bittersweet chocolate, I added 3 tablespoons of Hershey’s extra dark cocoa powder. I also didn’t have a brownie pan so I baked in a 8-inch round cake pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray. I omitted espresso powder because I didn’t have any and I baked them for about 10 minutes more than the recipe stated because I was baking in a convection oven that I have NO IDEA how to use. And the fact that my mother in law doesn’t use it often enough didn’t help me out either ;)

All-in-all they turned out wonderful. And I tried to take some nice shots with the ridiculous amount of natural light I had at my disposal, but I got a little side-tracked.

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Thanks to Anne for choosing this week’s recipe and keeping it simple. With two birthday “cakes” to make a week apart on top of everything I was juggling, just simple, delicious brownies were a godsend! Head on over to her blog, Anne Strawberry for the recipe (click here for a direct link).

S’mores Brownie Bars

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You know how some people can’t live without food and water? Or say… air? Me, I can’t live without brownies and s’mores in my life. Seriously. I have a problem.

I have tried a bagillion different brownie recipes. Not to find the perfect one, but to enjoy all the tiny differences each recipe has to offer. As for s’mores, I think I have tried s’mores anything: cereal, granola bars, brownies, cookies, plain old campfire s’mores and even microwave s’mores. S’mores are love. Try not to smile when sitting in front of a roaring fire, wrapped in blankets, with your sister sticking skewered marshmallows into the fire then squashing the gooey, half burnt marshmallow between some chocolate and graham crackers. It really is the epitome of happiness.

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But when it’s 9 million degrees here in Houston (for the umpteenth day straight) it’s just not reasonable to get a roaring fire going to enjoy some yummy s’mores.

Enter these bars. You get the crunch of the graham cracker in the form of a buttery graham cracker crust (which is great because it won’t get soggy while baking), your dose of chocolate comes in the form of a fudgy brownie and topped off with fluffy, melty marshmallows.

S’mores heaven in a bar.

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S’mores Brownie Bars
Adapted from Alice Medrich, as seen here

Yields 16 servings (depending how large you cut the bars)

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
2 tablespoons sugar

For the brownie layer:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the topping:
20 large marshmallows; cut in half

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar and mix until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Allow crust to cool on wire rack.

3. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees F.

4. In a large microwave safe bowl on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together in 30 second intervals, stirring every 15-30 seconds until chocolate is almost completely melted, then stir until smooth.

5. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time until well combined. Then add flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.

6. Let cool completely, then lift out using the foil and place brownies onto a broiler safe pan (I used the same brownie pan once everything was cooled). Move your oven rack about 6 inches from your broiler and preheat your broiler to low.

7. Layer marshmallows (sticky side down) across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (watch this like you have never watched anything before…it can burn QUICK), about 2 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Happy National S’mores Day!! Enjoy!!

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Simple Homemade Fudgy Brownies

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There are days were I just can’t be bothered with things like chopping chocolate, tempering eggs, making ganache or measuring Nutella without making a mess of my kitchen.

Some days I just need a simple way to get simple brownies fast. Something to hit the spot of that nasty chocolate monster that yells at me at 9pm.

Do you have an inconsiderate chocolate monster inside you too? Perhaps inside your kids? Husband? Best friend? Then make these. You’ll all thank me once that monster is fed. He’s quite a nuisance. :)

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Simplest Homemade Fudgy Brownies
Adapted from Good Life Eats

Ingredients:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup flour
A heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chunks, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 square baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.

Set a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Next, add the granulated sugar and extract. Stir well. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl and whisk in with the eggs until well combined. Gently stir in the flour and chocolate chunks, and STOP mixing once flour disappears.

Pour batter into the previously prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely to be able to cut neatly. Cool 15 minutes if you want to dig in much sooner.

Remove parchment paper (with brownies) from the pan. Peel away the parchment paper and cut the brownies into serving size pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

It really is as simple as that!!

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Honey Brownies – TWD

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Oh honey honey.

It’s Wednesday, it’s gloomy but nice outside, and I am stuck inside watching soap operas.

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If I had it my way, I’d be sitting in the big squishy couch at Starbucks sipping a grande upside-down skinny caramel macchiato surfing the web or typing up posts or at the river baking away with friends.

But things don’t always work out the way you’d want them to.

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Kind of like these brownies. They have potential, they have the right idea, but they just can’t seal the deal. A honey brownie sounded SOOO good in theory. I love honey and I LOVE brownies but it just didn’t work out. The honey completely takes over and overshadows the chocolate completely (not surprising when there’s an entire cup in this recipe). I’m thinking of tweaking this recipe to lessen the blow of the honey and up the power of the chocolate because I refuse to believe that honey and chocolate don’t work.

I’m stubborn that way.

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I want to take a moment to say that these brownies aren’t horrible, Dorie rarely drops the ball with my taste buds. With that in mind, I hardly consider them a flop as they disappeared at my mother-in-law’s office and were a hit with all her co-workers. These just weren’t a 100% hit with me. But if you LOVE honey, I suggest that you make these and have them with a cup of tea!!

Thank you to Suzy of Suzy Homemaker for choosing these. Head over to her blog for the recipe (or simply click here!)