Coffee Break

Christmas Tree

Let’s take a break from the cookie madness (Christmas cookies are completely taking over my life!!) and just catch up! How are you? Have you started to decorate your house and/or tree yet? I’m still working on getting all the ornaments up. I just got back from Texas on Sunday night and I’ve been in the kitchen since, so decorating has been at a snail’s pace over here.

And here is Jude being a complete scrooge.

Jude & Tree

Texas was a total blast. It was the last book tour stop of 2015. I don’t even know where the time went or how so much of the tour is already over! The travel was hectic for sure, but it was all completely worth it when I met each of you. And we could talk, in person, about dessert and baking and clothes and dogs and cookbooks and running and everything in between. 💜

I was in Texas for less than 48 hours, which– I know– is complete madness. Also unfortunate because I wanted to spend at least 100 days in both Austin and Houston! Such cool cities. I planned a short trip trip because I knew at this point in the tour, I’d want to be at home for the holidays. But I’m planning to go back sometime! I loved it there.

book tour - houston

Texas is home to the nicest people on the planet.

(Thank you all for coming!)

book tour- texas

My hotel in Austin had an entire gingerbread village on display in the lobby and I stood and stared at it for 10 minutes straight, blind to anyone else around me.

Christmas Wreath-2

By the way– here’s how to make candy Christmas trees out of Reese’s.

Let’s talk about the Christmas cookie palooza. Are you enjoying it so far? Have you made any of the recipes yet? I try to share a variety of cookie recipes every year, some traditional and some unique, some chocolate and some… well… not chocolate. It’s been fun! Though a little stressful the past two days because I have 500 other things to catch up on. Like my inbox, contracts, invoices, partnerships, friends, family, LIFE. But the odd thing is… baking is a stress reliever for me. But also sort of what stresses me out right now? It’s weird.

coffee break - texas mug

Yesterday afternoon was all like:

Bake peppermint mocha cookies for this weekend. Post white chocolate cranberry biscotti on my blog. Eat toasted pecan snowballs because they’re fabulous!!!

Followed by a 5 mile run outside that felt SO GOOD. It’s been way too long since I had one of those truly incredible runs where you feel on top of the world. Runners: you know what I’m talking about? I ran super slow since I haven’t ran outside in a couple months; it’s really just been treadmill running since September. Total runner’s high right now.

Did you know yesterday was National Brownie Day? It’s not too late to celebrate with the most devilishly rich brownies on the planet. Seriously, bake these classic mint chocolate brownies. It’s unfair to all other brownies how good they are.

Classic Mint Chocolate Brownies Recipe on

And last Friday was National Cookie Day. And how ironic that I posted brownies on cookie day and cookies on brownie day. BUT here are 12 recipes that celebrate the chocolate chip cookie.

Speaking of chocolate! I made another batch of my dark chocolate almond toffee yesterday to bring to my friends this weekend. (Toffee keeps for days and days, great make ahead recipe!) Instead of sprinkling with sea salt and chopped almonds, I topped the toffee with festive sprinkles. Thought you might like the idea too!


This toffee recipe is exactly like the one in Sally’s Candy Addiction. But I published two variations in the book as well– the white chocolate macadamia nut version and my beloved pumpkin spice toffee. I also have a cinnamon almond toffee on my blog! That post has tons of step-by-step pictures, tips, and tricks if you’re a toffee beginner.

Kevin made a K-cup holder! He built and stained it– and it’s the shape of a mug and the most adorable thing on the counter.

K-Cup Holder

Blog recipes coming soon: my favorite slice ‘n bake cookies and the famous Quinn peanut butter chocolate no-bake cookies recipe. Yesssss!


  1. Hi Sally! 

    It must be awesome to be back home and just relax! Well, sorta. Ha! Any chance you’re making it to Atlanta next year for the tour? 

    I hope you have a fantastic holiday!

    1. I hope so!

  2. YES i am LOVING the Christmas Cookie Palooza…. Yay.. Keep them coming Sally 🙂

  3. Sally, I love that wooden craft he made.  Btw, does Kevin try every single sweet thing you make?   

    1. He tries to. But he is very picky! He does not like coffee or pumpkin flavored anything (I KNOW), so those are all solely taste-tested by me or my friends/neighbors/family when others are around.

  4. Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) says:

    i was looking at pictures of the gingerbread house at grand floridan at walt disney world, and i was mesmerized for a good 10 minutes (and they weren’t even the most thorough pictures!). there’s a gingerbread house inside the fairmont in sf, so i am most certainly inviting (dragging?) some friends with me to see it.

    1. Margie Pfister says:

      Heather–While you are at the wonderful Fairmont in San Francisco (the one on Nob Hill), you and your friends should celebrate and have a drink at the Lobby Bar. I discovered a drink called the Cable Car there and it has been my favorite drink ever since! It is absolutely fantastic! Also check out the garden that’s a few floors up–the nice people at the front desk can direct you.

  5. Oh my gosh, Jude is the cutest & just so photogenic! My dog on the other hand is terrified of cameras.. And Christmas lights

  6. I have loved all your recipes so far, and I can’t wait to see the rest! I’m finished with my decorations…and have been since the day after Thanksgiving 😉 I do nonstop Christmas music between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Okay, mid-January 😉 I am so excited because I only have 7 more days of work and then, between vacation and holiday time, I have 18 days off! Woohoo 😀

    1. Well deserved time off!

  7. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says:

    Love your sweet dog and your tree looks wonderful! I just love this time of year. Your Cookie Palooza has been awesome and I love seeing what you bake up! Keep it up girl!

  8. I always love the cookie palooza! I’m baking up a storm lately and made your toasted pecan snowballs (which I always call Mexican wedding cookies) and the soft gingerbread dough is sitting in my refrigerator. I love a good runner’s high. Makes it so worth it! I love the K-cup holder! Nice job, Kevin!

    1. Enjoy all the cookies Erin!

  9. Can you share Kevin’s esty shop again?

    1. He doesn’t have anything up right now, but he’s hoping to open it back up in January.

  10. Hope you’re getting a chance to relax a bit! I’m looking for an excuse to make those peppermint mocha cookies, since actual peppermint mochas are my guilty treat during the Christmas season. All my upcoming items are by request, so no substitutions (gingerbread, chocolate cupcakes for some grads, saltine toffee for my coworkers’ gifts…). I need some cookies for me though, right?

  11. Linda @ Today She Loves says:

    I spy with my little eye my macaron box. That k-cup holder is gorgeous. Maybe Kevin should make a DIY blog? 

    Any tips for someone that hasn’t ran for YEARS? I can only make it around the block and then I’m basically a dead stop. 

    I’ve baked the gingerbread men so far and gotten so many compliments. Can you make a penguin-inspired Christmas cookie? Penguins are my faaveeeee and they only come out around Christmas. 

    1. I texted your idea for a Kevin DIY blog and he said he hates writing, so a blog won’t be in his future haha. And YES that’s your macaron box. Linda, I’m obsessed with them. I ate 3 yesterday. All unbelievably good. You’re so talented. For running– start slow with a low mileage. 1 mile. Then 1 and 1/2 miles and over weeks you can work your way up to 3 or 4 miles. Always go slow if your body needs it and just enjoy it.

      1. Linda @ Today She Loves says:

        Whoa, slow your horses there. No one said anything about writing. I’m happy with just pictures! LOL. 

        Thanks Sally, you’re so sweet! I’m so over baking macarons after December. I need a break. 

      2. Do you sell your macarons? Because you should!

    2. Linda @ Today She Loves says:

      The Texas cottage food law prevents me from doing so in a ‘home bakery’. I mainly give them as gifts! Have you thought about opening a bakery?

      1. A bakery is in my future. I hope so, at least!

  12. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    omg that k-cup holder is adorable!!! Kevin’s amazing!

  13. Serene @ House of Yumm says:

    Love these coffee breaks. And totally agree that Texans are the nicest people EVER (I might just be one) !!!! Do I spy Lil Luna in a pic!? 😉 that Texas coffee mug. I need to get my hands on one!

    1. You can find the mug on Etsy and customize what state, city, and color you want! I brought it to the Houston book signing for Sally to remember her Texan fans by…although I almost kept it for myself! 🙂

      1. SHANNON you’re my favorite person on the planet. xoxo

    2. Yes that’s lil luna! LOVE her.

  14. Hi Sally welcome back! I’m just getting into the Christmas spirit this week too. So far in your cookie palooza, I’ve just made the chocolate crinkle cookies (!!!! Though !!!!) for an upcoming early Christmas celebration this weekend 🙂 

    1. How good are those crinkle cookies? My favorite recipe for them!

      1. YES I taste tested a couple before I froze them and they’re so good. They’re little puffy chocolate clouds 🙂 

  15. Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar says:

    I just love this time of year and I’m loving your tree! Your dog is so freaking cute I just want to squeeeeeze him. All of your cookie palooza recipes have been awesome so far and I love checking my inbox to see what you come up with next! Happy Holidays, Sally!

    1. Thanks Jessica. Happy holidays!

  16. Mary Lagdameo says:

    Are you stopping by North Carolina on your book tour? Hope you are!?!?!? I tried one of your cookie recipes and can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    1. Mary, I hope to schedule more stops in different states in 2016. Not sure if North Carolina will be on the list. But hopefully!

    2. Aria | Purrfectly Inspired says:

      I agree, Mary, she needs to come to NC! 

  17. My hubs and I went to Hershey, PA over the weekend and they have a giant house at Hershey World that’s made out of candy. Like the “bricks” on the side of the house are cookies ‘n’ cream or regular chocolate Hershey bars, and they use Hershey’s Kisses and Hugs for trimming and even some giant 1-pound Hershey’s Kisses on top. And also lollipops hanging from the roof like Christmas lights. I wish I could have gotten really close up to take a good look at it all (and pictures). It was a LOT of chocolate.

    1. I love Hershey! And that house is making my mouth water.

  18. I made your Toasted Pecan Snowballs over the weekend and LOVED them! Such an easy recipe, too! My husband, who isn’t too big on sweets (I know, he’s weird), absolutely loved them also! Yay!! Loving the cookie palooza! Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  19. Congrats on all your accomplishments, Lady! 🙂 I didn’t realize one post could make me feel so lazy! lol My Christmas decorations are barely out, I haven’t made a single cookie, candy or holiday treat, though I am anxiously awaiting your Quinn pb chocolate no-bake cookie recipe, and unless there is a bear, I’m not running anywhere. I prefer a brisk walk. lol My bf is from TX and he’s one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met, so I agree with you there. Also, thanks for the Jude pic, always nice to see him.

    1. I’m posting the no-bake cookies tomorrow Cheri!

  20. Love your blog, Sally!  I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they are all delicious!!  

    Question for you … Do you typically freeze/store your baked creations?  And if so, do they still taste good weeks later?  I want to try out a few muffin/scone recipes but am always nervous about having tons of leftovers.  I give plenty of stuff away but was wondering if freezing could be a good save-for-later technique.  Would appreciate your thoughts!  Thanks! 

    1. I freeze everything! Usually for up to 3 months. I let anything thaw overnight in the refrigerator and no one notices a difference. Things like baked scones, muffins, quick breads, pies, cookies, cakes and cupcakes (without frosting), etc.

  21. Dear Sally I love your blog posts and ur baking recipes. Your posts make me smile and when I bake ur cookies all my clients (my husband and I run a lodge) rave about them. I can hardly keep them on the plate!! My cook book is stained and well used. Thank you so much!!!

    1. A stained cookbook makes my heart happy. That means it is well loved!

      1. Wonderful to hear!  Thank you!!

  22. Christian Roxanne says:

    Thank you so much for coming to Texas! It was so great meeting you in person!! Hope you have a great Christmas break!

  23. Senika @ Foodie Blog Stalker says:

    Yay for all things Christmas!! Kevin is SO talented, love it. Also, Jude? Such a STUD! <3 

  24. My apartment is completely Christmas free, since Boything and I have been so busy. We don’t have many decorations as is; we mainly just put rainbow lights on our balcony. My OFFICE, on the other hand…both my office-mate and I LOVE decorating, so it looks like Christmas (and winter and Hanukkah) threw up all over it. It’s the best.

    I haven’t tried any of the cookie recipes yet, mainly because my Christmas M.O. is take a weekend and go on a cookie baking rampage. It will probably also include a bunch of truffles because I’m in love with my dipping tools, and they make GREAT gifts. 

    1. Aren’t the dipping tools THE BEST? Your office sounds incredible.

  25. Hi Sally,

    I just love reading your post’s especially this one. I can’t find your slice n bake cookie recipe though? Can you pop the link up please, thank you.

    1. I haven’t posted the recipe yet! I’m sharing it on Friday, so check back.

  26. I’m loving all the cookie recipes! I made the chocolate crinkle cookies and had plans to make the snowball cookies and gingerbread ones. But after making a batch of the dark chocolate almond toffee, I’ve set out ingredients for two more batches of those! I don’t even want to try another toffee recipe, I just want more of it. I’m not going to disclose how much I have left from the lot I made on Sunday! The buttery flavor is out of this WORLD!!
    I decided not to put up a tree this year, and will be funneling all that energy into baking! Or making more toffee!
    I’d love a buttery chocolate shortbread cookie recipe. That would tempt me back to cookies away from toffee. And a fruit cake something please?

    1. I’ve never made chocolate shortbread actually! Something to put on my baking bucket list. I knew you’d love that dark chocolate almond toffee!

  27. So glad you liked Texas, Sally! We’d be happy to welcome you back anytime 🙂

  28. Hi Sally.  Do you have a real tree?  Also wondering if you’re burning any scented candles? ❄️☃

    1. It’s artificial. I always burn scented candles. Like, all day long. Right now I’m burning one that smells like pine (I guess because my tree is fake!).

  29. Hey Sally,
    I have been loving your cookie palooza! All these cookie recipes have been keeping me busy during school holidays.
    Thanks for constantly baking new things and sharing them 🙂 

  30. Aria | Purrfectly Inspired says:

    Been loving your cookie palooza, Sally! You WOULD! Of course those lights look like sprinkles. Loooove that gingerbread house. We went to the Ritz-Carlton for tea last week and they had a big, beautiful, edible life-size one! It was so cool. Love the K-Cup holder – I want one! 

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