Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--Just a cookie mix and a bag of Reese's miniatures and you've got yourself a great dessert!

Let me just start out by saying that I love peanut butter.  I’ll scoop it out of the container and eat it straight off the spoon.  Peanut butter and jam sandwich with extra crunchy peanut butter?  Yum.  But I especially love peanut butter in desserts.  This recipe I’m about to share with you today is one of my favorites and the bonus is that they are super quick and easy to make.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

Let’s just take a look at what you’ll need:

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--Just a cookie mix and a bag of Reese's miniatures and you've got yourself a great dessert!

See?  Easy peasy.  I try to keep one of these Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mixes on hand at all times just in case I need to make a dessert for something or other.

To make these, preheat the oven (determined by what kind of pan you’re using).  Then you follow the directions on the back of the bag by combining the mix, water, oil and egg together in a medium bowl.

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--Just a cookie mix and a bag of Reese's miniatures and you've got yourself a great dessert!

Since I’ll be pressing Reese’s miniatures into the cookies after baking, I like to use a mini muffin pan to help keep the shape.  Plus, these babies are rich so anything bigger than bite-size might be a little much.  Make sure you spray your pan well to make removal easier.

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--Just a cookie mix and a bag of Reese's miniatures and you've got yourself a great dessert!

Next, roll the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and drop them into the center of each muffin cup and pop them in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown (but you really shouldn’t need more than 10 minutes).

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--Just a cookie mix and a bag of Reese's miniatures and you've got yourself a great dessert!

While they are baking, unwrap your Reese’s miniatures so they are ready when the pan comes out of the oven.

When you pull them out, softly press one Reese’s into the center of each cookie.  Let them cool in the pan for 5-6 minutes.

To remove them, gently loosen the cookie by twisting it and then lifting it out and letting it finish cooling on a wire rack.  If the cookie hasn’t cooled enough and you try to take it out, it could fall apart.  There’s no harm in letting it cool in the pan for a little longer.

You can eat the cookies while they are still a little warm or after they’ve cooled completely, but whatever you do, make sure to grab yourself a glass of milk to enjoy with them!

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--Just a cookie mix and a bag of Reese's miniatures and you've got yourself a great dessert!

Store the cookies in an airtight container or in a gallon ziplock bag on the counter or in the fridge.

Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
(makes about 30 cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp water
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 12-oz bag of Reese’s miniatures 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven (according to the kind of pan you’re using) and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Follow the directions on the back of the bag by combining the mix, water, oil and egg together in a medium bowl.
  3. Roll the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and drop them into the center of each muffin cup.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown (but you really shouldn’t need more than 10 minutes).
  5. While they are baking, unwrap your Reese’s miniatures so they are ready when the pan comes out of the oven.
  6. When you pull them out, softly press one Reese’s into the center of each cookie.  Let them cool in the pan for 5-6 minutes.
  7. To remove them, gently loosen the cookie by twisting it and then lifting it out and letting it finish cooling on a wire rack.
  8. Store the cookies in an airtight container or in a gallon ziplock bag either on the counter or in the fridge.

What are some of your favorite go-to desserts?

    Awesome Non-Candy Alternatives for Halloween

    Awesome Non-Candy Alternatives for Halloween--Some great ideas for non-candy items to give out to the kids on Halloween!

    Phew!  Is it just me, or does it feel like October flew by?  I was realizing that I just celebrated my birthday at the end of last month and here it is already the end of another month.  That being said, Halloween is going to be here in three days and there are going to be lots of little (and maybe not so little) people coming to your door looking for a goody to put in their bags.  As a kid, I’d come home with my loot and dump it out on the table then sort it according to type: candy bars in one pile, tootsie rolls in another, etc.  (I still sort my M&Ms by color and then eat them in a pattern.  I’m weird, I know.)  Then I’d pick a few, eat them and save the rest because I remembered my mom’s warning: “Eat as much candy as you want, but you’ll have to have milk of magnesia afterwards.”  That right there stopped me from eating more than 3-4 pieces.  (Have you ever had milk of magnesia?  Imagine trying to swallow an entire mouthful of pasty chalk.  Disgusting.  Just the thought of it makes me cringe. *shudder*)

    Now that I am a parent and I have to worry about my own children’s health (and pay the dental bill), I’ve been thinking about alternatives to candy that I can give out on Halloween and I’ve put together a list for you to consider if you’d like to give out something different.

    This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

    Hot Chocolate/Hot Cider One year, my mom had the brilliant idea to fill our big thermos drink dispenser with hot chocolate and give it out to the kids who came to our door.  She got the little Dixie cups and filled a few at a time so they were slightly cooled by the time someone came to our door.  It was a cold night out and everyone who came to our house was so happy for a warm drink.  There were even a bunch of kids who came back for another cup before the night was out.

    Pinata Fillers There are bags of small toys that you can buy to fill a pinata with items such as, rings, mazes, bouncy balls and noise makers.  I’ve seen some at Walmart in the party section right next to the pinatas.  You could buy a 2 lb bag with both toys and candy for $6.  (You could also browse the party favors and there can be good deals there too.)  You definitely get more for your money and kids can choose if they want candy or a toy.

    Awesome Non-Candy Alternatives for Halloween--Some great ideas for non-candy items to give out to the kids on Halloween!

    Stickers I know a lot of little kids who would choose a sticker over candy.  The great thing about stickers is that you can buy so many for so cheap!  My kids go through stickers like crazy so I just buy sheets of them from the dollar store.  Then you can cut them up so they get a few on one smaller sheet.

    Glow Sticks I don’t know what it is about glow sticks but they are so much fun to play with!  An added bonus of giving these out is that because they glow, the kids will be easier to see in the dark while trick or treating.  Just get them all glowing before you hand them out for the night and encourage them to put them on before they head off to the next house.  You can buy 100 glow sticks for $9-$10.

    Awesome Non-Candy Alternatives for Halloween--Some great ideas for non-candy items to give out to the kids on Halloween!

    Wendy’s Jr. Frosty Coupons Wendy’s sells a coupon booklet for $1 for 5 free Jr. Frosty coupons, plus $.85 goes toward the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.  Obviously these don’t have to be purchased just for giving out at Halloween so you could also stock up on a few for yourself as well.  But don’t wait because they are only sold from about mid-September through October 31, then they are good from November through February.

    Peanuts/Pretzels  This is a fairly healthy alternative to offer if you want to give food but not candy.  You can buy individual bags like the kind they give out on airplanes.  If this is what you decide to give, you may want to have at least one other option available since there seem to be a lot of kids out there with peanut allergies.

    Fruit Leather/Fruit Snacks I guess some people might count this as candy because of the sugar, but at least there is fruit in it too right?  *wink*  I love the Stretch Island Fruit Co. fruit leather from Costco, which is about $10 for 48.  Costco also sells boxes of fruit snacks for around $10 for 80.

    Awesome Non-Candy Alternatives for Halloween--Some great ideas for non-candy items to give out to the kids on Halloween!

    Are there other non-candy alternatives that you like to give out on Halloween?  Please share so I can add it to my list!

    How to Make A Bouncy Ball

    How to Make a Bouncy Ball--My kids love to make and play with these fun homemade bouncy balls.  So much cheaper than buying them when I know they'll just get lost!

    My 3.5 year old daughter is at the stage where she will take an afternoon nap about 50% of the time.  This means that some days I have kid-free time and other days I need to think of something to do with or for her that will keep her entertained so I can have some semi-kid-free time.  A while back I had seen a recipe for how to make a bouncy ball.  This sounded like something that my daughter would be interested in and I thought it seemed easy enough to do.   I did have to do a little planning ahead for this activity since it calls for Borax and white glue, which I didn’t have on hand.  I didn’t mind buying the items since I’ve seen other activities call for Borax and white glue is dirt cheap.  I already had corn starch and food coloring so when nap time didn’t happen, I was ready.

    How to Make a Bouncy Ball--My kids love to make and play with these fun homemade bouncy balls.  So much cheaper than buying them when I know they'll just get lost!

    I had to be the one to actually make the bouncy balls since my daughter isn’t quite old enough, but she watched the whole process and asked questions about what I was doing.  She also chose the colors for the balls.  I would say that a child ages 5+ could do this (with adult supervision).

    The first step is to heat the water up in the microwave (or wait for the tap water to turn warm).  Then you add the borax and let it dissolve.  
    In a plastic cup, mix the cornstarch, glue and food coloring.  Using a spoon, drop the glue mixture into the water.  You can put as much or as little as you want.  (I ended up with 2-3 balls of each color, each about an inch across.)

    How to Make a Bouncy Ball--My kids love to make and play with these fun homemade bouncy balls.  So much cheaper than buying them when I know they'll just get lost!

    After 10 seconds, use a fork to get the glue mixture out.  It will have formed a soft shell, but the inside is still gluey, so squish it in your hands and then put it back in the water. 

    How to Make a Bouncy Ball--My kids love to make and play with these fun homemade bouncy balls.  So much cheaper than buying them when I know they'll just get lost!
    Count another 5-10 seconds, depending on the size of the ball and how much squishiness there was.  Take it back out and roll it between your hands until a ball forms.  It took me a couple of tries to figure out the best way to get the glue to form into a good, round(ish) ball.  I found that if the water had cooled off too much, it was harder to get a good ball so working quickly if you want more than one big ball is best.  Also, if my hands were too wet, it took longer to form the ball.
    *The instructions mentioned using disposable rubber gloves and if I’d had some on hand, I think I would have used them because you’re working with glue, which is, by nature, sticky.  Instead, I just used my hands and had to wash them off a couple of times during the process.
    My daughter was so excited when the bouncy balls were ready for her to play with.  She bounced them all over the kitchen, counters and wall.  Since they weren’t completely round, the direction it bounced wasn’t predictable which made it more fun for her.

    How to Make a Bouncy Ball--My kids love to make and play with these fun homemade bouncy balls.  So much cheaper than buying them when I know they'll just get lost!

    *Note: When you’re ready to put the balls away, store them in a small container or plastic bag.  They will flatten a bit, but rolling them in your hands should bring them back into shape.
    Homemade Bouncy Ball
    Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 1 Tbsp Borax
    • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
    • 2 Tbsp White Liquid Glue
    • Food coloring
    • Disposable rubber gloves (optional)
    Instructions:
    1. In a cup, mix the warm water and the borax.
    2. In another cup, mix the glue, cornstarch and food coloring.
    3. Pour the glue mixture into the water-borax cup.
    4. The glue mixture will form a soft shell after 10 seconds.  Use a fork to take it out of the water.  If it is still sticky, squish it with your hands and put it back in the water.
    5. Roll the mixture in your hands to make a ball.  The more you handle the mixture, the more firm it becomes.
    6. Play with your new bouncy balls!

    Find 7 other colorful hands on kid activities HERE!

      6 Simple Ways to "Halloween-ify" Your Home {plus a FREE printable}

      So…Halloween is next week and you might be like me and realize that there’s not much Halloween-ish-ness going on at your house.  While I do like to decorate during the holidays, I generally just have a few places in the main living area that I put up decorations.  (I’ve also got littles in my house who like to play with the decor if it’s not out of reach.)  I’m not into creepy or spooky so my Halloween decor leans more towards pumpkins and witches, rather than skulls and zombies.  But whatever your Halloween decorating style is, there are a few staples that you can’t go wrong with.

      Chalkboards:  Chalkboards are a great year-round decor piece because they are so easy to change.  I feel like chalkboards are especially fun in the fall.  Depending on the size of yours, you can put a simple “Happy Halloween” or something a little longer like “Something wicked this way comes…”.  I have a couple of chalkboards in different sizes and shapes that I change out.  I found a cute one at Hobby Lobby the other day for $4 and used my 40% off coupon.  Talk about inexpensive!

      Pumpkins:  Maybe this one goes without saying, but I love to decorate with pumpkins in the fall.  Halloween is the obvious time of year with all the jack-o-lanterns popping up everywhere.  Real or fake, carved or not, putting a couple pumpkins on the front porch or on a table will instantly Halloween-ify your home.

      Balloon spiders:  My kids love the balloon spider we have up in our front room!  It’s so easy to make and inexpensive too.  You could put multiple ones around the house or on your front porch.  Just pick up a bag of balloons and some crepe paper at the dollar store next time you go.  Unless you’re planning on using black balloons and crepe paper at some other time during the year, you’ll have supplies left over for next year which is that much less that you have to spend on decor.

      Spider webs:  There are two different kinds of spider webs you can do: the white polyester kind or black yarn webs.  I usually do the polyester kind but this year I did the black yarn webs and they look so fun around the house!  If you’d like to do some too, check out this tutorial.  Either type of web would look awesome with the balloon spiders (or any spiders).  You can put these webs almost anywhere, including outside on your porch.  Plus, neither one cost much to buy.

      image via design.wash.rinse.repeat

      Apothecary Jars:  These jars come in all different shapes and sizes, so feel free to mix and match to create interest.  I bought a couple at Hobby Lobby last year when they were running a sale on their glass items and they only cost me $3-$4.  To make it more Halloween-ish, you just fill them with water and food coloring and finish them off with a label.  I used a chalkboard label and chalk pencils to label my “contents”.  If you don’t want to deal with chalkboard labels, there are lots of free printables available.  I like these labels from Lia Griffith.  If you like the labels from the above picture, click on the link in the caption.

      Printables: Speaking of printables, they are easily one of the least expensive ways to change up your decor any time of the year and there are endless possibilities and styles to fit everyone’s preferences.  I have a couple of frames that I cycle through depending on the color scheme I’m using.  And if you like printables, or just need a new one, I’ve created a fun FREE 5×7 printable for you to print out and pop in a frame of your choice.  Put a couple pumpkins next to it and voila!  Instant Halloween-ification!

      *Note: Due to differences in monitor colors and printer profiles, there may be some variation with the printed product.

      I hope you found some fun ideas to Halloween-ify your home!  What other easy ways do you decorate for Halloween?

      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels

      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

      With the changing of seasons, I’ve been swapping out my summer decor for more fall themed decor.  I was looking around the house today and noticed that the credenza (fancy word for table) in the front room was looking a little bare and I had two words pop into my head: burlap and runner.  I ran downstairs and grabbed some burlap remnant I’d bought who knows how long ago thinking it would be nice to have on hand.  (I have a hard time resisting the remnants bin.  It’s a problem…)  Turns out that I had the perfect amount to make a cute and easy table runner.

      Have you ever used burlap?  Let me tell you some things about it: Burlap is awesome because it gives a little bit of texture, it’s durable, easy to work with and creates a slightly rustic and imperfect bit of decor.  It also feels very fall to me so using it as a table runner for a couple of months out of the year just made sense.

      The first thing I noticed when I unrolled my burlap was how curled up and creased it was.  The easiest fix I know of for wrinkles is to iron it.  So I grabbed a squirt bottle and my iron and turned it up to the highest steam setting (which for me was cotton/linen).  I used a fair amount of water on each crease, but not so much that it was soaked.  Then I ran my iron along the creases and wrinkles until it was nice and flat.  Make sure you keep the iron moving across the burlap and don’t let it rest in any one place too long.

      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required! 
      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

      Next, I figured out how long and wide I wanted to make my runner.  I had approximately 1/2 yard x 1 yard of burlap, which happened to fit my table perfectly, but it wasn’t cut straight so I evened up the edges really easily by cutting right next to one of the strands all the way down.

      Once I had the length and width figured out, I decided to wanted to pull out a few strands on the long sides to give it a little less of a defined edge.

      To do the tassels, I pulled about 2 inches of the strands off the ends.  I set those pieces aside to use to tie up the tassels.  It’s really just a preference how long you want the tassels so just keep pulling strands out until you are happy with the length.  (If you pull out too many, you can always just trim the ends to get it back to a length you like.)  Then, gather about 10 strands together and use the pieces you pulled out to tie a nice little knot.  Cut the ends fairly close to the knot so they don’t poke out at a funny angle.

      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

      And there you have it!  A cute, incredibly easy, no-sew burlap table runner!

      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

      DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner with Tassels--Make this easy burlap table runner.  No sewing required!

      What are some of your favorite ways to use burlap?

      Welcome to Sunshine and Munchkins!

      Sunshine and Munchkins--blog about family, marriage, parenting, food, kids activities and more 

      Hello!  Welcome to Sunshine and Munchkins!  (And before you ask, no, this blog has nothing to do with The Wizard of Oz…)  My name is Shani and I’m so glad you decided to stop by.  I am mom to two beautiful kids, a girl (3) and a boy (1), who I get to stay at home with.  They are both crazy, curious, happy kids and they keep me on my toes!  I am also married to the best husband in the world.  (Can a girl get any luckier?)  I love to read, craft, scrapbook, DIY, cook/bake, dance, laugh, take pictures and soak up the sunshine any chance I get.  I graduated in Marriage and Family Studies and love applying the things I learned in college to me and my family’s life. I love sharing and discussing new ideas and viewpoints and am fascinated by the way people think and their life experiences that got them to where they are now.  I am a self-proclaimed “ambivert” so while I enjoy getting out of the house and doing things with family and friends, I’m also perfectly content to read a book for hours alone (which with 2 kids pretty much never happens, but I can dream, right?).

      The idea to start a blog of my own has been in the back of my mind for a while, but it wasn’t until recently that I thought, ‘What the heck?  Let’s do this thing!  Maybe I’ve got something to say that someone else will find helpful.’  And I hope that’s the case.  But I also want to hear from you!

      On this blog you’ll find a little bit of everything, from recipes to crafts, holiday and seasonal activities to marriage and family topics, with a little bit of hair and beauty tips thrown in for good measure.  I am not an expert in any of these areas, but I do have a passion for them.

      So join me as I raise my little munchkins and search for and share the sunshine in this beautiful, crazy thing called life!