Tuesday, December 11, 2012

the twinnies turn two!

i originally didn't want to throw the twins a birthday party.
i felt like i would be setting some sort of dangerous precedent where they will feel entitled to a party every year and want each year's party better than the last.
but come on, they're two.
it's okay.
calm down, crazy erin.
last year i went all out.
this year i wanted to keep things simple.
so, a milk & cookies party was born.
i scoured the internet for the best sounding cookies and vowed to make them all.
browned butter nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies + sea salt // lemon zest cookies // caramel apple cider cookies were the most popular. 
{recipes at the bottom}
we also had chocolate ginger cookies, peanut butter cookies, cowgirl cookies and sugar cookies! {thanks for making some, lala!}
i made all of the decorations and bought some fun straws.
simple enough, right?
it was perfect.
enough blabbing, here are the pictures!

these were the invitations i designed in photoshop...

and here is the cookie table....

and milk bar.

a little hand drawn chalk art...

and a "decorate your own cookie table" for the littles.

obviously olivia was all about the toppings and not so much cookies.

my mom was such a big help!
{thank you, grammy!}

as well as my dad.
he kept the twins occupied so we could bake.
{thanks, papa!}

my sweet friend janessa was supposed to have baby penelope on the twins' actual birthday {the day before the party}, but went into labor three weeks early just so she could make it to the party.
she did NOT want to miss out on the cookies i had been talking about making forever.

totally kidding.
it was our first time meeting each other's new babes.

sammy and padgett {my sister laura's baby girl}...

the twinnie's cakes...

someone was a little impatient for her cake...


{please keep in mind i juuuuuuuust had a baby....}


opening pressies with daddy...

the girl's each got gift cards from uncle brad and aunt morgan...

...because any time you eat anything in my house, my girls will beg for it.
they will use their big brown puppy dog eyes and sign "more" and seriously not leave you alone until you give them some of your food.
it pretty cute, until they're eating more if it than you are.
and then it's gone and you're still hungry.
 so their gift was hilarious.

auntie a and uncle j got them this super cool alphabet magnet set.
{almost every letter is "EEEEEEEEE!!!!"}

stella loves her auntie a!

and livie loves her papa!

it was such a fun day, thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our {not so} little twinnies!

i had only a moment to catch my breath because sweet ezra was being blessed the very next day and i had to make all of the food for his luncheon!

more on that next time...

now for the recipes...

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from ambitious kitchen.

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball — it doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled! Make sure that the nutella is not seeping out of the dough. Add more dough if necessary. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten with your hand VERY gently. (Really only the tops need to be flattened a bit!)
  5. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies 

1 cup unsalted butter, nearly melted
1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7.4 ounce) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix *Not sugar free*
2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft Caramels

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper. It has to be parchment this time.

2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and all 10 packets of apple cider mix until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, then mix in the baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

3. With a standard (size 50) cookie scoop, scoop the dough scrapping off the excess as you go up the bowl. Flatten the dough slightly in your hand and place a caramel in the center. Work the dough around the caramel sealing well. Place the cookies two inches apart on the sheets.

4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. After baking, carefully slide the parchment with the cookies onto the counter. Let cool until they are no longer soft but still slightly warm. Twist gently to remove, and cool the rest of the way upside down on the parchment or on a cooling rack.

Lemon Zest Cookies
recipe from mommy snark

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture. 
  2. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool 2 minutes on sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread cookies with Lemon Glaze and let set, about 1 hour.
And now for the lemon glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest 
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice until smooth.


  1. Beautiful pics, you are so blessed!

    You look great too, don't waste any time thinking otherwise.

  2. What a fun birthday party! I like how it's simple and fun. I went all out on my son's first bday party last year so I'm looking to keep it simple for his 2nd bday. :)

  3. This looks amazing. Seriously, I think you are superwoman. Everything you do is done with perfection and flair!

  4. good gracious Sissy!!! i cant imagine what you would have done if you had decided to "go all out"!!! Simmer down Mama!!!

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