March Madness Bake-Off

So a few people at work decided it might be fun to have a March Madness-style Bake-Off. There are a number of people (myself included) who regularly bring in baked treats for the office: my office-mate and I alternate bringing in monthly treats and send out a Happy Birthday email, naming the employees who have a birthday that month; my direct supervisor bakes THE BEST chocolate chip cookies for her son’s school every few weeks and brings in half the batch; another coworker makes the most beautifully decorated cupcakes and tries out new recipes on us — basically, we’re an office that loves our baked goods.

So the rules were simple:

1. Everything must be made from scratch (within reason – obviously chocolate chips and sprinkles, etc. were allowed, but adding store-bought candy was not)

2. Week 1/round 1 had to be a cookie, week 2/round 2 had to be cake/cupcakes, and week 3/round 3 was “anything goes”.

3. Competitors were given random numbers and the office wouldn’t know who baked what or when each person was going.

4. Voting would be done anonymously via surveymonkey.com polls.

There were 9 of us for week 1: 3 people each brought in cookies on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The top 2 from each day progressed to week 2, where 2 people each brought their choice of cake/cupcakes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. One winner from each day was chosen and progressed to week 3, where it was a winner-take-all competition on April 2.

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Flourless Brownies

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been busy, and got distracted – sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’ve been trying to eat healthier and exercise more to lose a little bit of weight, but there is one thing I can’t give up – baked goods! I LOVE me some cookies and brownies and cupcakes! So I’ve been trying to come up with healthier alternatives.ย I found this flourless brownie recipe – with a secret ingredient ๐Ÿ™‚ – on AllRecipes.com; don’t be scared off by the original title of the recipe because I promise that everyone I served them to LOVED them!!

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Soft Pretzel Bites – 2 ways

Do you ever get a craving for bite-sized food? What about “football food” – snack-sized food traditionally served while watching football (even though I never watch football) – like nachos, pigs in a blanket, or wings? I think soft pretzels are a great addition to that list, and when you make soft pretzelย bites instead of full soft pretzels, that’s a winning combination!

Normally I’m all for the classic salted pretzel, but sometimes I want a sweet snack. Like, cinnamon-and-sugar goodness, with a sweet dipping sauce. Ahhh I’m in heaven. And by eating bite-sized pretzel pieces, I feel 100% less guilty. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

Tip: You can make these ahead of time: simply freeze on a baking sheet before the boiling step. When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. When you’re ready to make them, proceed as directed (no need to thaw before boiling).

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