Coffee Break

Giant chocolate chip cookie in hand

Let’s catch up again today!

How was your Easter? We had a low key weekend. Family came over yesterday for an Easter egg hunt and we had a potluck style Easter supper including some favorites like scalloped potatoes, glazed ham, maple glazed carrots, roasted asparagus, and coconut cream pie. We’ve been so busy lately that we ended up purchasing the glazed ham to make the day a little easier. And, to be honest, it tasted better than any we’ve made before. Give yourself a break when you can, right?!

Last Easter, Noelle was only 6 months old and couldn’t really participate in Easter egg hunts. This year, she was ALL about it and found 6 eggs! We’ve been practicing for weeks. I hid eggs around the house and she squealed with excitement when she found one. The sparkle in her eyes is absolutely priceless. Best part about Easter this year!!

I also made easy cinnamon rolls for breakfast and served mega large soft chocolate chip cookies, too. I added an extra 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and used 1/2 cup of cookie dough per cookie. Bake time is about 20 minutes. Recipe yielded about 7.

They were huge and they were awesome.

Cinnamon roll on white plate

Grief and guilt. They’re both a natural part of life and, unfortunately, we all experience them at some point. We’re mourning the loss of my grandmother, my dad’s mom who passed away last week. I’m lucky to have had two wonderfully loving and inspiring grandmothers. But losing both as an adult doesn’t make loss any easier. In fact, it’s harder because guilt and complicated emotions can take over. Should I have visited more? Called more? Sent more cards? And then you don’t only think about your own loss, but the fact that my father lost his mother and how it felt to say goodbye to her for the last time. It’s been a difficult few weeks for my family.

cherry trees

Noelle Update

Can you believe my girl is 19 months old? This bright-eyed girl is a ball of energy. To say she’s fun is an understatement. We’re constantly in a state of playing! In fact, I always joke that Noelle only knows 2 speeds: running and sleeping. This stage came at the perfect time of year because now we can burn up our energy outside. The weather is warming up and Noelle loves to discover everything in our backyard. Noelle’s Official Outdoor Activities: bringing mom and dad small rocks, collecting sticks, blowing bubbles, picking dandelions, “throwing” the tennis ball to the dogs, and riding in her wagon. It’s so nice to play outdoors, especially after a long and cold winter. I’ve never appreciated the start of spring more!!

She’s very chatty– wonder where she gets that from– and her favorite words include: pizza (pronounced pee-ZAAAA), yeah, and ball. She loves to snuggle on the couch, sit in your lap when you read books, and hide her stuffed animals in the cupboards. Oh, is that a frog in my mixing bowl?

We love to get out and do classes! We’ve done swim class and gym class. Now we’re in music class and I’m thinking of something new for the fall season when she turns 2. Do you have any suggestions? Might just stick with swim class and music class!

Monthly Newsletter

We’re bringing back the newsletter! We launched a weekly newsletter a couple years ago and when work began piling up, I put a temporary pause on it. I’m ready to ramp it back up and I’m switching it to monthly. (I have a lot of content ideas for it and weekly would be too much.) We’ll send it out at the end of each month beginning next week!

Some things we’re including:

  • Latest behind the scenes happenings
  • Photos of readers’ recipe creations
  • Reader recipe reviews
  • Sally’s Baking Challenge updates
  • Current favorite baking tools
  • Upcoming recipes!!

If you’re currently on my email list, you’ll automatically receive the monthly newsletter. If you’re not and want to sign up, use the form below. I’ll send you new recipes and recipe updates as I publish them on my blog. If you prefer, you can select to receive my new recipes weekly in a round-up instead of daily. This is a new feature we added! (If you’re currently on the list and want to switch to weekly, there is a link at the bottom of each email that says “get a weekly round-up.”) 🙂

Sign Up Using this Form

New headshots courtesy of my dear friend Megan Brodie Photography.

This is my favorite apron and I got it from Anthropologie. I also have the matching oven mitts. They’re even more gorgeous in real life! Cake stand is also Anthropologie, but I can’t find it online anymore. Can you tell I like their kitchenware?!

Sally’s Baking Challenge

Can you believe we are almost at our 30th Sally’s Baking Challenge? Expect big things this July! A monthly tradition I launched in 2017, the monthly baking challenge has become an enormous piece of my blog and business. There’s only a few days left to join the April Baking Challenge (dinner rolls). The purpose of the baking challenges is to have fun and try new recipes. No competition, just a fun group effort to try new recipes each month.

May Baking Challenge is coming next week, stay tuned!

Joining is really easy:

How to Join Sally's Baking Challenge

  1. Recipe: On or around the 1st of each month, I publish a new challenge recipe. Sign up for instant email updates so you’re alerted as soon as a new challenge recipe is published!
  2. Bake & Comment: Bake the recipe during that month, then come back and comment on the recipe and tell me how it went.
  3. Share: Share your photos using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page or Facebook group. By sharing your photo, you are automatically entered in that month’s giveaway, which is usually an Amazon $250 gift card. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the challenge recipe. There is always an alternate challenge recipe just in case you’re not into the recipe published. Here is a landing page dedicated to all things Sally’s Baking Challenge.

Some of your dinner rolls this month:

Sprinkle Discount

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I love Sweetapolita sprinkles. Rosie is graciously offering Sally’s Baking Addiction readers a special discount on them. Use code SALLYSBAKING15 for 15% off your Sweetapolita sprinkles purchase.

This sprinkle medley is called “birthday party.”

Rainbow sprinkles heart

Pupdate!

The dogs are doing well, as always! Franklin turned 3 in February and Jude turned 11 in March. Remember when we got Franklin? What a little guy! The Quinn family birthday tradition is to enjoy birthday dessert on a special birthday plate. This, of course, must include the dogs too. I spread a peanut butter number on the plate and they lick it off. And as I type that, I realize how strange it is. Do you want to hear the sweetest thing? Whenever we go into Noelle’s room to get her up in the morning, Franklin comes barreling in at full speed and sticks his little nose through the crib slates waiting for her to get up. Noelle ALWAYS starts giggling. Makes my morning! I hope it never stops!

Updated Recipe Photos

One of my 2019 goals is to update old blog posts with better photos, new recipe videos, and/or added success tips. I love working on new recipes, but I also enjoy giving old posts a little facelift. Here are 4 posts I recently updated:

  1. Chocolate Chip Muffins – Big bakery-style goodness. I added butter and sour cream for extra moisture and noted that in the recipe.
  2. No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars – I made a slight recipe change here too. The peanut butter bars are thicker now!
  3. Banana Scones – Banana bread in scone form! I slightly reduced the yogurt/sour cream. As a result, the scones are a little flakier.
  4. Champagne Frosting – This is actually a recipe I’ve been using for awhile and finally created a separate post for it. Cheers!

I’ll let you know when I update more!

Bakery style chocolate chip muffins

Overhead photo of no bake chocolate peanut butter bars

Banana scones

Champagne frosting on spatula

Baby Shower Desserts!

Our dear friends welcomed a baby boy in March and I was thrilled to help organize the baby shower a few weeks prior. I made a handful of desserts including animal cracker cookies, homemade brownies, and lemon bars. I’m also preparing the desserts for another friend’s baby shower in June. She’s requested confetti cupcakes and a fruity dessert. Thinking I’ll stick with the lemon bars since they’re usually a hit at showers! Have you ever hosted a baby or bridal shower? What are your favorite desserts to serve?

Animal cracker cookies for baby boy baby shower

I think that’s about it. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

78 Comments

  1. Your baby girl is adorable. Love, love, love your recipes and blog. It’s abojt the only baking recipes I like to make because everything turns out especially with your helpful hints. I love reading about the science behind the ingredients. Thank you for all you do. Glad to see the newsletter come back!

  2. I don’t bake nearly as often as I’d like to, but you are my Go-To Girl to find the best recipes. Your hints are helpful, and as a science teacher long ago before having kiddos, I love the science explanations as to the why and what makes the best baking results. I’m looking forward to your newsletter.
    Your little girl is a doll! Pups are cute, too.
    Thanks for doing what you do and sharing with all of us!

  3. I made your spectacular carrot cake for Easter today, and my family loved it! I’m very sorry about your grandma, it’s always so, so hard to lose a loved one 🙁
    Your daughter seems like the sweetest little girl ever, and your dogs are adorable! I’m a huge fan of yours and I love your blog because it has so much more than just recipes on it. The love and hard work you put into every post is obvious, and it’s super fun to try baking new things. Thank you Sally for being so inspirational and amazing!

  4. I’m so sorry about your grandmother, Sally. I lost my grandfather three weeks ago and it still doesn’t feel real, but yes, the worst part is seeing my mother go through that grief, just like your father. I hope she’s in a better place and that you and your family are able to heal. Thank you for sharing stories about Noelle and the pups, they’re always so lovely to read! Happy spring to you 🙂

  5. I always love your coffee breaks and life updates Sally!!! I cannot believe that Noelle is 18 months already! She’s so grown up and adorable ❤ (and so are the dogs 😉 )
    I am so sorry about your grandmother – losing someone close to you is always incredibly hard…..thinking of you and your family!
    I’m also very glad the newsletters are returning – I’ve been following your blog for a long time and I missed the newsletters when they stopped! 🙂 Can’t wait to have them back again…

    1. I blinked and Noelle is almost a toddler. It’s crazy! Thank you so much for your kind words. And I’m really excited about the newsletter making a return, too!

  6. So sorry about the loss of our grandmother. We are never ready to give a love one up.

    Loved reading all your news. Noelle has grown way too fast. Goodness it seems only a few months ago she was born. She will be 2 before you can turn around. HA!

  7. Love the updates on Noelle and the pups!
    Sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing. I lost my mother in December, and my father in 2011. They were both way too young. It’s never easy losing someone close to you.
    Looking forward to the newsletter again! Always enjoy the recipes and your blog!

    1. I’m so so deeply sorry for your losses, Kristin. I hope you feel surrounded by so much love. Baking always brings me joy, too, and I’m glad you enjoy the recipes on my blog. Thank you!

  8. Very sorry for your loss! Today is my mother’s birthday, and she passed in 2015. I celebrate her life and reflect and remember her on days like today. I light a Yahrzeit memorial candle, and bake a cake to celebrate. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Your daughter and dogs are so adorable and love hearing about them. Love your peanut butter on the plate idea for the dogs. I am a regular reader and user of the recipes you share and absolutely use them as my go to cooking and baking inspiration! Thank you for your hard work as it sure makes my life easier!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing how you celebrate your mother. It’s so special (and helpful) to read how others cope with loss. The peanut butter on a plate is very much appreciated by the pups!

  9. Sally,

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother! It’s so hard to lose a grandparent!

    Made the carrot cake for Easter dessert it ver perfect! For a family that doesn’t believe it is a dessert if it doesn’t have chocolate in it, it was loves by all.

    As always,
    Thank you!

  10. My dog does the same thing as Franklin with the crib! It melts my heart. I’ve been meaning to get my 17mo enrolled in swim lessons, but I’m in the first trimester with #2 and bobbing around in water doesn’t sound too good to me yet. Little Noelle is as beautiful and precious as ever. I’m looking forward to the newsletters starting back up! And I’m so sorry to hear of your grandmother passing; mine passed away around the same time. Praying your family feels at peace. Love these Coffee Break posts as always, Sally! Glad you’re doing well.

    1. Thanks Victoria. So sorry to hear about your grandmother as well. Hope you feel surrounded by love during this hard time.

      We love swim classes so whenever you are ready for the water, definitely sign up!

  11. So truly sorry for the loss of your grandmother, Sally! I lost my mother last month, and a brother in law last year, in February. It’s ok to give yourself time and permission to grieve.

    Noelle is precious! She has your beautiful eyes. But how is it possible that she’s nearly two already?! I swear you just told us yesterday that you were pregnant! Lol.

    Looking forward to your new newsletter. I made your soft dinner rolls and fluffy coconut cake for Easter dinner. Both were perfect! Your blog is always the first one I go to, when looking for a dessert recipe. I just wish my desserts looked as picture as yours!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts, Laura. Same outpouring of love to you, too. ❤ I can’t believe Noelle has grown so much. She’s in the 95th % for height!

  12. I love reading your blog post. I’m so sorry about your grandmother, I understand the guilt of thinking did I do enough, I went through that when my grandmother passed. Prayers for peace and comfort for you and your family. ♥️

    I’m excited for the monthly newsletter!! Your little one is growing up, she’s adorable. Enjoy your time with her, it goes by way too fast. Thanks for sharing with us!

  13. Hi Sally, so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. Keeping your family in my thoughts!

    I love your Coffee Break posts. They are always a good read! Can’t wait to hear about the next baking challenges 🙂

  14. So sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. All we can do is keep them in our hearts.
    I’ve printed the peanut butter bar recipe since my grandson and son-in-law are big fans of pb. I especially love the recipe because I don’t have to turn the oven on now. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Most likely, I’m going to try the chocolate chip muffins. My mouth is watering.
    Thanks for sharing pictures of Noelle. She is beautiful. Also, thank you for your great recipes. My diet doesn’t stand a chance when I make one of them.

    1. Thanks so much Ann. Let me know how you like both the PB bars and the chocolate chip muffins. The PB bars have been a family favorite for years and I love the thicker filling now!

  15. I’m sorry about your grandmother for your loss and also for your fathers loss. It is so hard to lose a parent.
    Noelle is adorable! Looking forward to your newsletter.

  16. Your daughter is so precious, the doggie are cuties. So sorry about your grandmother. Maybe start your daughter into a craft shop, sewing, knitting. My granddaughter is 4 and I have babysat her since she was born, I started teaching her my weaving that I do and she loves it. Working with yarn and weaving in different colors, she calls them yarn rainbows.

  17. I was just thinking we hadn’t had a coffee break in a while. I can’t get over how big Noelle is getting. My stepdaughter was the same way. Its fast or stop, no in between. I love that you hid Easter eggs earlier in the week to get her ready. Sorry to hear about your grandmother, I hear on the loss and guilt. I had one pass away when I was 19 and I felt so much guilt for not visiting enough. Can’t wait for the new newsletter, I like the little extras that are in them. Glad to hear the pups are doing well, I know they have had some health issues in the past. Who else could be Noelle’s alarm clock when she’s older, no one but Franklin. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Courtney! Franklin is already the alarm clock for the two of us– he knows its breakfast time as soon as the sun comes up. Ha!

  18. Love to read your family updates and watching Noelle grow (the pups, too). She is absolutely precious. Enjoy these times as they are gone in a blink. Thank you for sharing your incredible recipes and keeping us so in the loop. Have made many of them and have NEVER been disappointed. You make me feel like we are friends and that I know you personally. So sorry for your loss, it is never easy to lose a loved one. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    1. Thanks for all your kind words Maxine. I enjoy writing these posts and need to get back in the habit of posting them more often!

  19. Sally, Thank you for letting your baking friends be a part of your amazing life! I have a dear friend that tells me …You know there are other recipes besides Sally’s ….I think not.. I do have old family ones , but yours are by far my go to recipes ..you continue to ROCK in more ways than one!

  20. Sally,
    I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Prayers sent your way. On a lighter note your daughter is adorable. I have a granddaughter about Noelle age and she is a spit fire. Your recipes are amazing. I ended up making your carrot cake this Easter. It was delicious. Thank you so much for everything you do.

  21. Hey lady- first, I am SO sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. Losing them as adults is so hard- and you are correct, not only to you have your own grief to contend with, you have to be strong for your dad, too. Sending a big virtual hug your way. On a lighter note, I made your lemon cupcakes and Easter Egg buttercreams this weekend and both were huge hits. Your lemon cream cheese frosting is divine. It sounds like you had a great weekend with your family. I’m so glad to hear that. And I hosted a bridal shower for my now sister-in-law in 2017 (They got married the same day Noelle was born!!) And I made cupcakes with your champagne frosting! Pavlova is also a nice light option especially for summer showers.

    1. September 23rd 2017 is a special day for so many reasons 🙂 I love hosting showers and champagne frosted cupcakes are always so special for bridal showers. Thank you for all your kind words!

  22. Reading through your coffee break update this morning was like sitting down with a friend. I loved the updates on Noelle and your two fur babies. I am sorry for your loss of your grandmother. Losing someone you love is never easy but they are always with you in your heart and your memories. Take care.

  23. Sally, I made your classic cheesecake recipe for Easter yesterday and it was a HUGE HUGE hit! I mean, everyone said it was the best cheesecake that they have ever had, it was that good. I did add the grated peel of one orange and one lemon and 1/2 tsp. of Fiori di Sicilia to the other ingredients to give it a more citrusy flavor, but other than that, it was made as the recipe specifies. The process of baking is key; what you’ve developed produces a perfectly creamy and light cheesecake that melts in your mouth.
    I’m sharing the recipe with others today, per their request. Thank you, thank you! (PS Your little girl is a cutie!)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing my recipes with others! A little orange zest sounds like the perfect addition for an Easter cheesecake.

  24. My sister and I hosted a baby shower for one of our other sisters almost 3 years ago now. She hadn’t found out the baby’s sex, so our theme was “pick your side,” and we had pink and blue versions of each thing. We did puppy chow with pink and blue “sixlets” mixed in; and I made your classic yellow cupcakes with either your strawberry buttercream or blue colored vanilla frosting. Those are the only pink/blue foods I remember, maybe pink lemonade and blue koolaid? Hosting was so fun! I’d love to help plan one again, or maybe a “sprinkle” for someone expecting a 3rd, 4th, or 5th baby (I know women in all these categories ha!) who may need to freshen up her stash.

    1. That sounds like such a fun shower and I love the puppy chow/sixlets idea! I’m definitely going to suggest that for a few baby showers I have coming up this summer. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Whatever other activities you decide to do with Noelle, I would encourage you to stick with swim! I started my daughter at 9 mos and now at 6.5, in addition to being a good swimmer, more importantly she has confidence around water, understands water safety, and has never been afraid of water. Of certain skills, yes (jumping in off the side without holding a hand for a long time comes to mind!) but not of the water itself. It is so fun watching them grow and spring is indeed such a relief when going through life with kiddos!

  26. Sally, thank you for sharing a little of your personal life. So sorry for the loss of your grandma. I am blessed to still have my 2 grandmas (95 and almost 97) and they really do still bring a lot of joy to the family although I sometimes also think that I should visit more often…
    Love seeing photos of your gorgeous daughter! They grow up so fast!

  27. Thanks for the update! I recently moved from where I was born and raised in San Diego to rural Missouri to help dad on the farm as he’s getting older and needs the extra help. A couple things that really resonated with me…
    First, on loss. Dad sometimes drives me up the wall, but I try to remember to treasure these moments with him and nurture feelings of gratitude that I get this special time with him. My sincere condolences on your recent losses. We do our best to share our lives with our loved ones, and I’m confident that you did that with your grandmothers. *hugs*
    Second, on spring. For the first time in my life, I get what all the fuss is about! Never before have I experienced the changing of the seasons. The windows are open and the sun is out. The air is new and different. The snow is gone. What is this wonderful new world? I’m planting a garden for the first time, and I have no idea what will happen. The Outdoor World is so exciting. I’m so glad your daughter is sharing that in a way that’s new for you as well!
    The chickens are finally laying enough eggs that today I’ll bake my dad’s favorite: Angel Food Cake. It will be my first time, wish me luck!

    1. Spring is a new chapter for many, in many different ways. It’s a beautiful and wonderfully healing time of year. Glad you’re making the most of it too and thank you for all the kind words!

  28. Hi Sally, Well, I finally tried one of your baking challenges, dinner rolls yesterday for Easter Dinner. I consider myself a competent baker, but don’t make much on the yeasty side. The dough turned out way too wet. I even weighed the flour to be sure I wasn’t using too much. It rose, but just too wet. I haven’t given up, but we did end up heading to the store for Kings Hawaiian….

    1. I’m so sorry you had trouble with the dinner rolls! The dough should be a little wet and soft. If you ever decide to try again– if the dough is still too wet to handle, add a little more flour. Thank you so much for trying it.

  29. Oh Sally…so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I miss both of mine every day. Noelle is getting so big…she is just darling. Your fur buddies are so cute. My crazy german shepherd granddog does not like peanut butter. Loved your idea with the PB smear on the plate.

    Thanks for all your hard work to bring us such great recipes and ideas.
    I was raving about your blog on Saturday while attending a wedding. Baking brings so many people together.

    1. Thank you so much, June. Baking DOES bring so many people together! I appreciate you trusting and baking my recipes 🙂

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

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