Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Chocolate Candy Cookies


A friend of mine calls me her “personal pastry chef”. She is always asking me to make baked goods for her, especially when there is a party or event coming up. Her son’s birthday was this past Saturday so she asked me to make some cookies and bring them to the party. She said it was because he just loves my cookies, but I am really thinking his mommy loves them too! 😉

I chose these because I thought they were a good choice for a kid’s birthday party with the candy pieces making it look nice and festive. I’ve made these before and I typically am not a fan of using shortening in recipes, but after much trial and error making substitutions, I’ve found that the best way to make these is to just go ahead and use the shortening. These will make 3-4 dozen cookies depending on how big or small you make them. I usually make my cookies about 1”-1 1/2 “ just because I personally like a smaller cookie, plus they tend to keep their shape better and not run together. Make sure you do not skip the refrigeration step. This will save you a big headache in the long run. Also, remember to put the dough back into the refrigerator between batches.

One last word of caution….you will not be able to just eat one of these!! Enjoy!!

M&M Cookies

1 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 bag (12 oz) candy coated milk chocolate pieces (i.e. M&M’s)

  1. Thoroughly cream together shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, except the candy. Add to creamed mixture a little bit at time, beating on low and until well combined.
  3. Stir in the candy and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least an hour up to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. When ready to bake, drop the batter into 1” round balls onto the cookie sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow to sit for 2 more minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
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Cookies for Inspiration


So I’ve been feeling very uninspired to blog this past week. I’ve been cooking up a storm and even have a list of foods I’ve made that I want to share….but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and share my thoughts.

However tonight I made these really good butter cookies appropriately called “Meltaways” because they literally MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!!!

One of my employees had asked if I would be so kind to make cupcakes or cookies for her classroom’s picnic tomorrow.  Since I had just made cupcakes for them I wanted to do something different, however I was met with a challenge since the Individuals we serve have various degrees of developmental and physical difficulties and quite a few of them cannot eat regular food such as a cookie. I was determined to come up with something so I set out on Google and searched for soft cookie recipes. I came across these Meltaways at a blog called Landee See, Landee Do.

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, however my method of adding the ingredients was a little different based on some of the comments that I’d read from others who had tried to make these. I also doubled the recipe and I got almost 5 dozen cookies out of it (unfortunately I wasn’t really focused on making them all similar in size so some got a little bit on the larger side). They came out great and are the perfect texture for our Consumers with special food texture requirements.

These were really easy and quick to make and are a nice change of pace from the usual cookie recipes you come across.

Now…if I could just stop eating them!!!!  (Oh yeah….if you haven’t figured it out…these ARE NOT diet friendly :)!)

Meltaways (Source: Landee See, Landee Do)

1 lb. (4 sticks) salted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 C. cornstarch

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 C. flour
Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
  1. Using a mixer beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes. Stop one time to scrape down the sides.
  2. Add the sugar and beat well until combined.
  3. Add the cornstarch a little bit at a time and beat until well blended.
  4. Mixing on low speed, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time.  Dough should be thick and manageable. If it is too thin add up to the full 2 cups (I used just under 2 cups, about 1 3/4 c.) if it is starting to get crumbly you’ve added too much.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets and gently flatten with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 2 more minutes, then remove cookies from cookie sheet to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Cool completely and add frosting. Be careful when handling these cookies as they are quite delicate!

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until well combined.
  2. Add food coloring, if desired.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ahh, good old chocolate chip cookies. So many different types and I still have yet to find one I don’t like. Crispy & thin, moist & chewy, cake-like…I could go on and on.

This is my go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They are pretty thin so sometimes if I’m making them for other people I’ll add a little more flour. The recipe below makes a thin cookie, crispy around the edges, and chewy in the middle. I love cookies like this!

Chocolate chip cookies should be something everyone knows how to bake. And although I like to try out other recipes, you should always have your favorite “go to” recipe for these cookies. If you can produce a good chocolate chip cookie, you’ll make a lot of people happy!

Of course, I love many types of cookies, but I have to say that chocolate chip is by far my favorite. What are your favorite cookies? How do you like your chocolate chip cookies?

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Yields 2 dozen cookies)

½ cup butter

¼ cup sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup chocolate chip cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a mixer, mix the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla extract and egg and mix until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add this a little bit at a time to the mixer. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto parchment lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
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Celebrate Good Times with Slimmed Down Milkshakes


Today is a good day. “Why?” you ask. Well I’ve lost 10 pounds over the last four weeks! Only 30 more to go! Initially, when I weighed-in this morning, all I could focus on was that I only lost 1 pound this past week. I felt totally disappointed because I had been losing 2 to 2.5 per week. But then I told myself to get a grip and look at the big picture. I then realized I had lost 10 lbs. in one month, thus making me feel much much happier.

So to celebrate, today’s Slimmed Down Sensations are some easy and tasty milkshake recipes.

No celebration is complete without cake & ice cream, right?! I had been seeing cake batter this and cake batter that all over Pinterest and did an internet search on my own to find a cake batter milkshake. The one that looked the best to me was this one from Betty Crocker.

Of course, it had way too many calories for me to be able to enjoy and still stick to my diet, so I played around with it and came up with the version in this post.

And speaking of cake…has anyone tried the special edition Birthday Cake Oreo?

As soon as I saw them I knew I had to try them, but I put it off because I am trying to be a good girl and Oreo’s are not only one of my favorites but are one of my biggest weaknesses. To have a pack of Oreo’s in the house would not be pretty (could probably eat half the pack in one sitting, at least!). Today, however, I gave in and decided to pick up a pack anyway. These are 2 WW Points Plus per cookie, but soooo worth it!  Sooo goood!

I already make an Oreo milkshake, which is basically made the same as the Cake Batter Milkshake with a few minor modifications. Decided I would just substitute one birthday cake Oreo for the reduced fat one I normally would use. This bumped up the WW Points Plus from 4 to 5, but still not bad for such a yummy treat!

So here’s to shedding my first 10 lbs!  Yummmmmmmm!!!

Slimmed Down Cake Batter Milkshake (WW Points Plus = 4)

½ cup almond milk

1/3 cup fat free vanilla ice cream

2 tbsp. vanilla (yellow or white) cake mix

2 tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (i.e. Torani or DaVinci)

1 cup ice

1 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1.  Combine all ingredients except for sprinkles in a blender and blend until smooth and ice is crushed.
  2. Pour into a glass and stir in half of the sprinkles.
  3. Top with whipped cream and remaining sprinkles.
  4. Enjoy!

Slimmed Down Oreo Milkshake (WW Points Plus = 4)

½ cup almond milk

½ cup fat free vanilla ice cream

2 tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (ex. Torani or DaVinci)

1 cup ice

1 Reduced Fat Oreo Cookie

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is crushed and desired consistency is reached.
  2. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Slimmed Down Birthday Cake Oreo Milkshake (WW Points Plus = 5)

½ cup almond milk

½ cup fat free vanilla ice cream

2 tbsp. sugar free vanilla syrup (ex. Torani or DaVinci)

1 cup ice

1 Birthday Cake Oreo Cookie

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is crushed and desired consistency is reached.
  2. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
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