Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving and get to spend some time with family and friends. If you are panicking and not sure what to bring to your get together tomorrow, make sure and check out my party from last week for some recipes and fun ideas!

With all the spectacle of Christmas and the end of year Holiday season, it sometimes seems like Thanksgiving gets overlooked a little. Even this weekend, it seems like the holiday gets interrupted by shopping... I mean I love Black Friday shopping as much as the next person, but it is important to spend some time thinking about what you are thankful for. I don't know about you, but sometimes I get wrapped up in my stress and busy schedule that I forget how much I truly have to be thankful for.

Here's just a little of what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving:
  • God, salvation, and my faith - I am thankful every day for His blessings and love for us!
  • My husband
  • Our loving and supportive families
  • Having a job - even on rough days I have a new perspective after 8 months of unemployment
  • Our country and freedom
  • A warm place to sleep at night and food to eat
  • Health
  • Cake, cupcakes, and all things sweet!
  • And last, but not least, YOU - my blog followers and readers!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and check back Monday as I kick off my "12 Sweet Posts of Christmas" series! Between December 2 and December 23, I'll be sharing 12 festive posts covering recipes, crafts, gifts, activities, and more. There will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Ideas for Thanksgiving: Subway Art

It's my final day of my Thanksgiving link party. So far this week I've shared tons of recipes and adorable edible treats. Here's a recap of my week on the blog:
I hope you have enjoyed these posts this week and got some new ideas to sweeten up your family's Thanksgiving! Hopefully you will be able to relax some and enjoy time with family this week. I am looking forward to a couple days off of work and heading home to be with both our families. I'm also excited about Black Friday shopping! We don't go too crazy, but my dad has a tradition of taking my sister and I shopping on Friday. It's always fun, regardless of if we find good deals.

It's already the last day of my party, this week has flown by! Today I'm not sharing a recipe or edible creation, but rather a digital treat! Besides desserts and recipes, I also like making crafts and graphics for my blog. PicMonkey is one of my favorite tools, I spend so much time using it. I wanted to make a fun graphic for my blog, but also something that could be printed and framed to add to a Thanksgiving themed mantel.

Anyone else really like Subway art? I don't about you, but I love it! So I decided to make a Thanksgiving themed version. I really like how it turned out. This graphic is great for your blog, but it is also great to print out and place in a frame. It'd be cute as a part of your Thanksgiving decor, especially on your mantel! Feel free to download and use. You can also share on your blog, or social media, just make sure and share a link back to where you got it. Thanks!

I've uploaded the file and placed it on the Google drive if you would like the file at the original size, so you can print out whatever size works best for you. 

I also wanted to announce something I'm doing that's a little different for December. Starting the beginning of the month, I will kick off my "12 Sweet Posts of Christmas" series. I will be sharing 12 posts before December 25 on a variety of topics. From recipes, crafts, gift ideas, winter snacks, to fun traditions and festive activities, there will be something for everyone no matter how you celebrate this festive time of year. Make sure and check back starting December 1st!

Ideas for Thanksgiving: More Recipes!

This week has been a blast so far. Have you checked out all of my ideas, as well as the link-up from Tuesday? I'm getting so excited for Thanksgiving, all these recipes are making me hungry! So far I've shared a turkey themed veggie platter, Pilgrim/Native American cupcakes, and a round-up of delicious desserts perfect for your family dinner.

Today I have another round-up of dishes for you to bring, or serve at your get together next week. Two of them are muffins, two are crock pot drinks, and one is a savory side. None of the ideas are probably dishes you immediately think of for Thanksgiving, but I think they'd be a great addition to your family dinner.


Pumpkin Spice muffins

Full of warm Fall flavors, these muffins would be a great addition to the dinner table for Thanksgiving. These muffins will tickle your taste buds with flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pumpkin is a perfect addition to Thanksgiving, and why not include them in delicious muffins?

Zucchini muffins

I have another great Fall flavor-packed muffin, perfect for your family get together. These zucchini muffins are full of warm spice flavors. Not a veggie fan? Don't worry, while the zucchini adds to the richness, you can't detect the flavor of the veggie. Trust me, my niece LOVED these muffins, but wouldn't have dared try them if I had told her what was in it!

One of my favorite drinks for Fall is Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks. Nothing says Fall like a warm apple cider with caramel - yum!! I love this drink so much, but you can spend quite a bit of money on them. This copycat recipe is easy and tastes very similar to the real thing. It would be great to serve at Thanksgiving because you can make it in a crockpot and it serves a large quantity.

Cinnamon Roll White Hot Chocolate

Enjoyed the last recipe? Here's yet another tasty crock pot recipe. This one is a white chocolate version of hot chocolate. It's filled with cinnamon flavors and topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. The drink is perfect for a crisp Fall day, perfect for Thanksgiving.

Ok, this next dish might seem a little out of place, but it is one of my favorite dishes at potlucks. I don't know about your Thanksgiving dinners, but with ours everybody pitches in and helps out, not unlike a potluck dinner. One of my favorite dishes that people bring to church dinners and potlucks is this amazingly delicious chinese coleslaw. This recipe is easy to make, you use ramen noodles, broccoli slaw, and several different sauces and spices.

Ideas for Thanksgiving: 5 Desserts for Your Dinner

Hope you are enjoying this week's Thanksgiving party. So far I've shared a turkey themed veggie tray, Pilgrim/Native American cupcakes for kids, a Thanksgiving themed cake, and hosted a link party for you to share your ideas. The link party is still going live, so make sure and link up your Thanksgiving ideas, let's all share some fun recipes and crafts!

Today I have a round-up of some delicious desserts you will want to include at your holiday dinner. There's lot of choices including cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more! Each dessert is perfect to share with your friends and family for your holiday meals. These are all recipes I have shared in the past, but wanted to share specifically for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies -

What goes better with Thanksgiving dinner than a pumpkin dessert? Pumpkin pie is always great, but there's other desserts that pair well with pumpkin. This Fall twist on a classic cookie is perfect for your cookie fans. The pumpkin flavor isn't overwhelming, but that along with the nutmeg/cloves/cinnamon help create a spiced version of the cookie. It's delicious and easy to make!

Apple Dumplings

Apple dumplings are a staple at my family's Thanksgiving. Every year my aunt makes delicious apple dumplings that I look forward to for months. On a recent episode of Trisha Yearwood, I saw her make dumplings that looked exactly like the ones my aunt always makes. I decided to try them out, and it has to be the same (or at least very close) to the actual recipe. My husband and I were thrilled and had the hardest time not pigging out on these. You really need to try this recipe out, it is AMAZING!

I recently made this amazing dessert for my and my husband's co-workers, they were a big hit! I loved them so much that I'm making them for my husband and my family get-togethers. These snickerdoodle cookies are pressed into muffin tins to make cookie cups. The delicious cinnamon cups are filled with rich and delicious pumpkin cream cheese icing. They are packed with flavor, but small enough to keep you guilt-free. That is unless you eat a bunch of them...

I made these cupcakes over a year ago for a church potluck, they were a big hit. The cupcakes have apple butter baked in the cupcake. The warm delicious flavors pair perfectly with the spiced-filled cinnamon buttercream. These cupcakes would be a perfect compliment to your Thanksgiving meal.

Next up is another apple themed dessert. Caramel apples are a bit more popular at Halloween, but they are always a hit in the Fall! The only problem with caramel apples is they are hard to eat...and a bit messy. This next treat solves the issue of being hard to eat. It's also easy to customize for your tastes and preferences.

What is it about Thanksgiving meal that makes you sleepy? I remember as a kid we would all eat lunch and then lay around and be lazy all day. We were usually at my Grandma's and stayed there, so we really didn't have to do anything until we got up and fixed some leftovers for dinner. Things have changed, though, and our Thanksgiving is a bit more hectic now. 

My husband and I are lucky that are families live close, but that means we squeeze in two Thanksgiving meals all in one day. We barely have time to let our food settle from lunch before it is time to rush off to meal #2. No time for getting sleepy! If you have family members who have a hectic day, why not feed them something to wake them up a little? What better to do that than with some coffee? These coffee infused brownies are sure to make your guests happy, and give them a bit of a pick-me-up.

Check back tomorrow for five more recipes that are perfect for your Thanksgiving meal!

Ideas for Thanksgiving: Holiday Cake

All week this week I'm celebrating Thanksgiving early, by hosting a party of ideas for your Holiday get together. Before I tell you about today's idea, though, make sure and check out my link party to share your ideas. 

Last year I had my blog going, but I didn't post a lot. One thing I ran into around the Holidays was I would make something for the occasion, but then it seemed too late to share it. I could do a recap post of my holiday ideas, but no one was currently looking for them... BUT, since I didn't share them last year, I have them to start sharing this year. So, really it worked out pretty well! Last year, I made two main treats for our get-together. First off, I made the adorable cupcakes I shared on Monday. Secondly, though, I made a cake for the adults to enjoy as well.

Ideas for Thanksgiving: Link Party!

I hope you've been enjoying my week-long party, "Ideas for Thanksgiving." So far I've shared a turkey themed veggie tray, and Pilgrim/Native American cupcakes. Today is the day for you to share YOUR ideas. I'd love to see what Thanksgiving crafts, activities, or food you have come up with.

Don't forget to check back all week for more ideas. I have a special Thanksgiving cake, round-up of recipes, and more! Make sure and follow my blog to keep with all my latest ideas.

Here's a quick way to follow me on my social media sites:

Sarah Lynn's Sweets

Link up and have fun checking out the other projects!

Ideas for Thanksgiving: Pilgrim and Native American Cupcakes

Welcome to Day 2 of my week-long "Ideas for Thanksgiving" party. This is my third week-long party, and I have a blast planning for them and sharing the posts. Over the summer I did a "Crazy for Chevron" party and then an "All About Apples" party this past September. I started off the party yesterday with an adorable turkey themed veggie platter, perfect as an appetizer for your Thanksgiving meal. Today's treat is another adorable creation, though it is not quite as healthy.

Last year for Thanksgiving, I made some cupcakes specifically for the kids at our dinner. There are six kids at our family get-together and I thought it would be fun to have a cute treat just for them. I looked around online and found some adorable toppers on Pinterest via the blog Hoosier Homemade. My cupcakes are slightly modified from those, but definitely fun and festive. They were a big hit with the kids, and would be great for the kids (or kids at heart) at your Thanksgiving meal!

Ideas for Thanksgiving: Veggie Tray Turkey

I'm celebrating Thanksgiving a little early here at Sarah Lynn's Sweets! All week I will be sharing ideas to help make your Thanksgiving extra sweet and special. Check back each day for a new idea. First up, today, is an adorable Thanksgiving appetizer with a bit of a backstory.

Two years ago I had an important life change occur...I joined Pinterest. Okay, don't laugh too much. Joining Pinterest may not sound very important, but it did have a major impact on my life. Two years ago I was definitely not the same person that is working on this blog. My idea of baking was to take cookie dough out of a package and place onto a cookie sheet. My idea of cooking was actually using the stovetop instead of just fixing dinner in the microwave. But, two years ago I was engaged and decided to join Pinterest to get wedding ideas.

In between looking at invitations and dresses, I started noticing some of the tasty treats out there. I was especially drawn to some of the cute and creative edible cupcake creations. I kind of just stumbled onto my love for cake decorating by trying different cupcake ideas I found online. My very first creation, though, was a special veggie tray shaped like a turkey. It might sound silly, but I got so excited making this treat to share with our families that I kind of caught the creative food bug! After that I tried some Christmas and New Year's Eve cupcakes and it kind of got the ball rolling.

All Aboard! Cake Decorating Series: Train Cake

Today is the second part of my "All Aboard! Train Decorating Series." If you missed the first part, the series was inspired by my nephew's birthday party last weekend. Jaxson turned 4 and had a fantastic train party! This past Monday I shared some adorable train toppers perfect for the train enthusiast in your life. The toppers make cupcakes extra special and were a big hit with the kids at the party.

There was one more special treat for the party though - a cake for the birthday boy! I wanted it to match the cupcakes, so I used the same design for the train engine. The cake was cute, fun, and perfect for the birthday boy! The engine is followed by three cars, with the birthday boy's name on it. I had a blast putting this cake together.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I'm sure you've seen a thousand pumpkin recipes lately. From Halloween to Thanksgiving, it seems everything and anything is done with a pumpkin twist. Well hopefully you aren't sick of pumpkin yet, because I'm going to add yet another recipe to your list! The past couple weeks I have posted pumpkin themed posts. First, there was my post on how to bake pumpkin to make your own homemade puree. Next up, I shared a tasty sweet treat using Snickerdoodle cookies and pumpkin cream cheese icing. Today's treat is a little less dessert, and more breakfast themed. I'm sharing a tasty pumpkin spice muffin!

Like the zucchini muffins I've made before, these muffins are filled with the flavors of Fall. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves all tickle your taste buds in this tasty treat. Much like the zucchini muffins, the pumpkin adds a richness to the muffin, but not an overpowering flavor. These muffins are warm and tasty, topped with cinnamon sugar that crusts when baked. These would be great with a cinnamon butter - or even with nothing on them. There's so much flavor packed in the muffins, they don't need much help!

All Aboard! Train Decorating Series: Part 1

All Aboard! Today I am kicking off a two-part series on train cake decorating. This past weekend was my nephew's birthday party. Jaxson loves trains and my sister came up with a perfect party idea - renting out a car on an actual train! Jaxson and his buddies got to take an 1.5 hour train ride, visit a museum, and got some train goodie bags. It was great watching the boys have fun and get excited about the train ride. Of course I had to get involved and make some sweets for the party!

To make it easier for the train, I decided to make cupcakes for the kids. I made a small cake for Jaxson and his family to enjoy, I'll be sharing that next Monday. For the cupcakes I wanted some cute fondant toppers, I wanted them to match the party decor. My sister sent me a pic of Jaxson's shirt for the party, and I based the train shape of the toppers.

Something Savory #9: Stuffed Peppers

Do you have certain dishes that you like to eat, but your spouse/significant other/family/etc doesn't like? My husband and I have surprisingly similar tastes in food. We enjoy a lot of the same restaurants and have almost identical favorite foods. We are almost 100% compatible food-wise. There's just one little thing...my husband hates anything with peppers and onions. Now he likes spicy food, and loves adding spices to food (including crushed pepper or onion powder). But he just hates the texture of onions and peppers. I, on the other hand, love anything and everything with peppers and onion. Off the top of my head, I can think of about a dozen restaurants where my go to dish includes peppers and onions. We've learned to find ways for us both to get what we want in dishes we cook, but we never make anything where the peppers/onions are the star of the show.

Last week, though, my husband was out of town for work. He was getting in late, so I decided to experiment in the kitchen with something that only I would like. Last time he was gone, I experimented with an onion and pepper filled cajun chicken pasta. I went in a different direction this time, but kept the onions and peppers. My experiment turned out well, so today I am bringing you my next installment of my Something Savory series - Stuffed Peppers!

Owl Toppers - What a Hoot!

I'm excited to finally have some new cake decorating posts to share. In reality, it's only been about 6 weeks since I've made a cake, but it feels much longer. For most of 2013, I've had at least 2-3 cakes a month to make! Things have slowed down this Fall, but I think they are starting to ramp back up again. I just finished a cupcake topper order and have a big project coming up next weekend. I don't want to give it all away, but if you have a little boy (or girl) who loves trains, you will want to check out my two-part series starting next Monday! But, today I'm sharing my latest order I just finished - baby shower cupcake toppers.

Have you noticed how popular owls are recently? I've seen so many owl decorations for this Fall, but even in the summer it seemed they were everywhere. One of the more popular places I have seen owls are in children's clothing and baby items. I was excited to create toppers following this trend when I was asked to make some for a friend's baby shower. Now I've made toppers for a wedding shower, tons of kid's parties, and some other Holiday get-togethers, but I hadn't made baby shower toppers yet!

These toppers were a "hoot" to make. Sorry, you had to know that pun was going to be used somewhere... I had a blast making them and hope the mother-to-be loves them. We will be out of town for the shower, so I'm glad we were able to help contribute to the special day.

When making toppers, I like to have some sort of pattern I use. Whether it is a cookie cutter, or printed template, I like to try to keep the shape and size uniform on the toppers. Thankfully I found an easy way to do this for the owls, they were really simple to make! I hope you enjoy this tutorial and share it with anyone having an owl themed party.

Owl Topper Tutorial:
  • Dye fondant the color of the owls
  • Roll fondant to around 1/16 in
  • Cut out oval shapes around 2 1/4 in long (I actually bent my 2 in round cutter, I had multiple ones that size)
  • Using the cutter again, cut down about 1/2 in from the top - keep the piece off to the side, you will use it for the wing
  • Use a "C" shaped tool (common in the fondant tool sets) to indent into the owls body, starting about 1/3 way down. Do 3 indentations in the first row, two in the second, and one in the third. These help create the look of the owl's ruffled feathers.
  • Roll out white fondant paper thin
  • Cut out two round circles for each topper, I used the lid of an edible marker that was roughly a 1/2 in diameter.
  • Attach eyes by painting gum glue on the back with a paint brush (gum glue = small balls of fondant or gum paste dissolved in small amount of water, the ratio doesn't have to be precise)
  • Color a black dot in the center of the eyes using an edible marker
  • Dye a small amount of fondant orange
  • Roll out orange fondant paper thin
  • Cut out small triangles for the beaks and attach them with gum glue
  • Get scraps of owls that were cutout from the top to use as wings. Use a rounded cutter to round off one side to serve as the top of the wings. You will only have 1/2 the number of wings since the scraps only made one. Cut out additional wings using extra purple fondant. 
  • Use gum glue to attach the wings to the body

Enjoy! Feel free to share this post on social media. See the buttons below for easy sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! Check back later this week for some delicious recipes. 

Fall Cookie Cups - Snickerdoodles & Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

Hope you had a Happy Halloween with your friends and family! The weather was nasty here, so the city postponed the official trick-or-treating to this evening. I hope we get some trick-or-treaters! I've never been a huge fan of Halloween (I hate getting scared), but this is our first time we have lived somewhere that might get kids coming by. We even carved a pumpkin this year, I love how it turned out!

Nothing spooky here - my happy monkey pumpkin!

To celebrate Halloween, I baked a special treat for my husband and I to take to our workplaces. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, but I knew it needed to have pumpkin in it somehow. I decided I wanted to think outside of the box and not going down the cupcake/cake path. It dawned on me that Snickerdoodle cookies would be pretty great paired with pumpkin cream. The more I thought about it, a sweet pumpkin cream cheese icing and Snickerdoodle cookies sounded like the perfect combination. Instead of making cookie sandwiches, or iced cookies, I went with cookie cups. I think the mini cups, filled with icing, look so adorable and are easy to eat. It's very similar (in style) to my fruit cream cheese cookie cups I made last summer.

I searched around online and discovered I was sadly not the first person to come up with this idea (isn't that always the case?). So I decided to just use a slightly altered version of the cream cheese icing I found from The Crunchy Mamacita's blog. This icing is packed with fall flavors - pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. What more could you want in a Fall treat?! I was pressed for time that night, so I actually used store bought cookie dough (shhhh!) for the cookie cups. The Snickerdoodle cookie dough was delicious, but I want to try it sometime with a homemade recipe.

These cookie cups were quite the hit at our workplaces! I'm going to make them for our family Thanksgiving meals this month. If you are even the slightest pumpkin fan, you will want to try this recipe! Feel free to share with friends, or on social media! My recipe makes 48 cups, but can easily be cut it in half for one batch of cookies.

By the way, if you want to learn a great way to make your own pumpkin puree, check out my post from earlier this week.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups w/ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing ingredients (yields 48 mini cups):
  • Dough for 48 Snickerdoodle cookies (~walnut size balls of dough)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups w/ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray
  • Place one ball of walnut sized dough in each spot, press down slightly in the middle to get it to spread out
  • Bake 8-10 mins
  • Use the backside of a teaspoon to make an indentation in each cookie, this will give you room for the icing
  • Allow cookies to cool for around 5 minutes, and then take them out of sheet, cool on rack
  • Beat together pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth
  • Mix in spices
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, around 1 cup at a time
  • Pipe icing on completely cooled cookies using a piping bag and the 1M tip (used for piping cupcakes)
  • Enjoy!