12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise. 


Welcome to day 2 of my 12 days of Christmas cookies series.

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Sure, they don’t scream Christmas, but they are a classic that will sure to please the taste buds of any recipient. 

I love how hearty these cookies look – they remind me of big, chunky Christmas sweaters. 

The recipe is versatile – you can add in raisins, berries or really whatever else tickles your fancy. I made another batch the last night and threw in some holiday colored peanut M&M’s and they turned out great. 




Pro-tip: just before baking, press a couple of extra chocolate chips into the top of each cookie to make them extra pretty (and chocolate-y)


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
11 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
11 min
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  3. 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  4. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
  7. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 1 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. pinch salt
  11. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the egg, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined
  2. Add oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined
  3. Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for approx. 2 hours
  5. Roll dough into 1" balls and place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  6. In an oven preheated to 350, bake cookies for 11 minutes or until edges are slightly brown
  7. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack
  1. Dough will still look undercooked when cookies are ready to be removed from oven, they will continue to cook so don't worry!
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Adapted from Averie Cooks
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Butter Pecan Cookie

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise. 
Butter Pecan Cookie Recipe

My contribution to our Thanksgiving meal this year was a big platter of cookies. I whipped up a few batches of these butter pecan cookies to add to the spread and, on the drive over, was instructed by Alex and my brother that we weren’t going to tell people how good these were so that there would be more for them. How’s that for holiday spirit? 😉

Of course, I caved as soon as someone asked me which one was best. Typical Natasha. 

butter pecan cookies

butter pecan cookies

We never got to see which cookie was the official crowd favorite since we had to end up leaving for the hospital but, I can tell you that at least half of the butter pecan cookies were gone before the turkey was out of the oven.

Just sayin’. 

butter pecan cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies
Yields 24
Soft, chewy and buttery cookie sure to be a crowd pleaser
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Prep Time
3 hr 30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
3 hr 40 min
Prep Time
3 hr 30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
3 hr 40 min
  1. 2 cups chopped pecans
  2. 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  5. 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 2 1/2 cups flour
  8. 1 tsp cornstarch
  9. 1 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place pecans on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toast in oven for 5 minutes
  3. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl with hand-held mixer), beat the butter until smooth (approx. 1 minute)
  4. Add both sugars to bowl and beat until light and fluffy
  5. Beat in eggs and vanilla on high speed
  6. In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients
  7. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture until well combined
  8. Add pecans and mix an addition 5-10 seconds until incorporated
  9. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 3 hours
  10. Remove dough from fridge and allow 15-20 minutes for it to warm slightly
  11. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  12. Bake in preheated oven for 10-11 minutes
  13. Allow to cool on cookie sheet approx. 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack
  1. For an extra sparkle and a little added sweetness, roll the dough in granulated sugar before placing on baking sheet!
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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Festive White Peppermint Cookies for Santa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias


Does anyone else get super nostalgic when it comes to the holidays? It seems like every smell, song, and decoration bring me back to the days where I would patiently anxiously count the days until Santa’s arrival. Thinking about coming home from church, getting ready for bed and then making sure his cookies and milk (along with notes for Mrs. Claus and carrots for the reindeer) makes me all kinds of giddy.

I am so ready to kick off the Christmas season inside our home but my husband still thinks it’s a little too early for decorations. (boo, right?) He had no qualms about me trying out some cookie recipes for Santa though. Hmmm, I wonder why…


With all of the amazing recipes floating around the blogosphere, I’m sure Santa gets quite the variety of treats on Christmas Eve but, at our house, he still finds good ol’ cookies and milk waiting for him under the tree.

This year, he will probably find a nice spread of cookies at our house (gotta stay on his nice list) including these festive cookies made with Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix and M&M’s®. 


The ingredient list for these cookies is short and sweet (perfect for the busy holiday season) and everything can be found at your local Walmart. You’ll need: 1 box of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix, eggs, coconut oil (or vegetable oil if you prefer), a little bit of baking powder and a package of your favorite holiday M&M’s®. For my cookies, I used M&M’s ® Holiday Milk Chocolate and M&M’s® White Peppermint.

Make sure you use this coupon to save $1.00 on ANY TWO (2) M&M’s® Chocolate Candies, 8 oz or larger.

Using the cake mix as the base for this cookie keeps them soft and fluffy – just the way that Santa likes them. I mixed M&M’s ® Holiday Milk Chocolate inside my batter, and then just before baking, I added a few M&M’s® White Peppermint to the top of each cookie. 


Can’t wait until Christmas Eve to give these cookies a try? I don’t blame you! The good news is, this is the season of giving so nobody will think it’s weird if you make a batch (or 10) of these festive white peppermint cookies to gift to friends, neighbors and any other person you come into contact with from now until December 25th. 

Speaking of giving, the holiday season is the perfect time to make a donation to America’s food banks. Did you know that more than 46 million Americans rely on food banks across the country (including 1 in 6 children?!). These are our friends, neighbors, co-workers and children’s classmates. One of the most requested items for families is milk – a request that, sadly, isn’t met most of the time because the food banks don’t receive a lot of donations of perishable items. 

This year we can change that! Please consider supporting families in your community by making a small donation at www.pourmilklove.com. With every donation, the Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of milk to a family in YOUR local community – providing them with all of the essential nutrients and proteins that they may otherwise be missing out on. PLUS if you purchase any 2 bags of M&M’s ® (9.9 ounce or larger), a gallon of milk will be donated to the drive. May I suggest a gallon of Great Value Milk and the M&M’s® Holiday Peanut Butter?! (aka my favorite mid-afternoon snack as of late)


You can get the full recipe for my Festive White Peppermint Cookies on the recipe card below! What yummy treat is Santa going to find under your Christmas tree?

Festive White Peppermint Cookies
Yields 12
Festive cookies for Santa using M&M's® candies
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
19 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
19 min
  1. 1 box Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate
  7. M&M's® White Peppermint
  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F)
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In large bowl, mix together the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix and baking powder, set aside
  4. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, coconut oil and vanilla together
  5. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir by hand until no dry pockets are found
  6. Gently stir in a handful of M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate
  7. Roll dough into balls (approximately 1 inch) and place onto parchment paper
  8. Flattening dough only slightly, push a few M&M's® White Peppermint into the top of each cookie
  9. Bake 9 minutes - do not let cookies get golden brown
  10. Remove from oven, cool on baking rack
  1. Great tip: Coconut oil can be replaced with vegetable oil if preferred
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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Halloween Snack Fail

With it being Halloween week and all, I thought I would switch up our lunch routine a little bit and make some of those cute banana ghosts. You know, the ones that have chocolate chip faces? Lyla loves bananas and chocolate [ I mean…I’m assuming she does, I wouldn’t know that my toddler loves chocolate from experience or anything 😉 ] so I figured that they would be a home run.


After she woke up from her nap, I sat Lyla on the kitchen counter we built them together. We peeled the banana, sliced it in half and then stuck some chocolate chips inside. Easy peasy. 


She seemed to think it was cute at first. 


But then decided that chocolate chips don’t belong inside of her bananas. 


So she put her serious face on and helped me pick the chocolate chips out. 


Chocolate chip removal is serious business. 


I think it’s safe to say that this Halloween snack was a fail.

Maybe next year.

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Sweet Potato Banana Muffins


These days I can’t step into the kitchen without a certain toddler following me saying “pleeeeaaassseeee”. 


She has discovered where all of those delicious “mum mums” that mom and dad bring to her come from and she wants in on as much of that action as she can get.

A girl after my own heart…errr stomach.

Hearing her little voice say “please” is basically the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard and it’s really hard to turn her down so I figured it was time for me to make something healthy for her to snack on. 


Enter these sweet potato and banana mini muffins. They are quick & easy to make, have only four main ingredients, and are toddler-approved. 




You trying saying “no” to that face. 

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Spooky Snacks for Halloween

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpookySnacks #CollectiveBias


Halloween has become infinitely more times fun since becoming a mom. I’ve always preferred the cutesy-spooky side to the holiday over the downright terrifying and now that we have a little one in the house, my preference totally flies. 

To get us in the Halloween spirit this year, I surprised my family with two spooky snacks — an OREO graveyard dessert and some spooky Shirley Temples made with Fanta. 


The OREO graveyard is a fun twist one of my favorite childhood desserts. When we were growing up, the dessert never really had a name, but my mom always knew she could get some big smiles out of my brother and I if we came home to find our favorite “OREO pudding chocolately goodness thing”  in the fridge. I’m all about bringing big smiles to my family, especially when it has to do with yummy food, so when I saw the OREO packets as part of a spooky snack pack at Walmart, I knew exactly what I was going to do. 


To make an OREO graveyard of your own you will need: 1 package of OREO cookies, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 2 boxes of instant chocolate pudding mix (this requires milk), 1 cup of powdered sugar, an 8 ounce block of cream cheese, a large container of cool whip and some candy/cookies to decorate with. 

Start by making the chocolate pudding and putting in the fridge to set. When your pudding is ready, place most (I saved about 6) of your OREO cookies into a large resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour cookies into the bottom of a 9×13 pan, combine with melted butter and press down to form a crust. 

Next, place your cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until well combined and creamy. Fold in half of the cool whip and set aside.

Now it’s time to layer. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do this part but, if you are wondering, mine looked like this… cookie crust, cool whip/cream cheese mixture, 1/2 chocolate pudding, plain cool whip,   and then the remaining chocolate pudding. 

To turn the dessert into a graveyard, I made some dirt with my leftover OREO cookies that I sprinkled over the top and then added candy pumpkins and some cookie tombstones. It was equal parts delicious and spooky and definitely brought out some big smiles from all of us. 

In true Natasha fashion, I got pretty excited about all of the opportunities for fun Halloween snacks at home and decided that we needed a spooky drink to go along with our graveyard dessert. And, judging by how cute these spooky Shirley Temples turned out, I think I was right 😉

My mind was already on a trip down memory lane with the OREO dessert so when I was thinking up drink ideas, I immediately went to another childhood favorite of mine — a Shirley Temple. 

I knew I had grenadine at home so all I needed to make the drinks was some soda. I decided on orange Fanta instead of a traditional colorless soda to give it that extra Halloween flair. The mini Fanta cans were perfect size for portion control and I was easily able to find an 8-pack in the beverage aisle at Walmart. 

To make a spooky Shirley Temple of your own, simply place some ice cubes into a glass, splash in some grenadine and pour in the orange Fanta. That’s it! You can make them extra spooky by dressing up the cups with some skeleton friends and/or some cotton candy like I did. 



^^ You can find everything you need to make your own spooky snacks at your local Walmart

Make sure you check out the spooky snack social hub for more fun Halloween recipes as well as a custom, Walmart-exclusive recipe using both OREO and Fanta created by the host of CBS’s TV show Recipe Rehab – Evette Rios. 

What is your favorite part of Halloween?

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Caramel Apple and Pecan Pie Marshmallows

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias

caramel apple pecan pie marshmallows

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a busy week here at the Byrd house. We moved into our new place and have been spending every minute getting it unpacked and feeling like home.

Well, almost every minute. 

I’ve also been spending some time getting acquainted with our new kitchen and, judging by how these caramel apple and pecan pie marshmallows turned out, I think we are going to get along just fine. 

Making your own marshmallows is incredibly satisfying. I first tried last year and was so surprised that I didn’t need any special kind of equipment or anything. Just a few pots and pans and my stand mixer. Don’t have a stand mixer? Don’t let that discourage you! You can totally make your own batch of marshmallows using an electric hand mixer too and, when you are done making the marshmallows, you can come back and enter the MARS Bake In The Fun Sweepstakes for a chance to win your own! 


MARS Bake In The Fun Sweepstakes


To make these caramel apple and pecan pie marshmallows, you are going to start by gathering your ingredients. You will need: Mott’s® Apple Juice, 2 packets of unflavored gelatin, a package of a Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake Mix, granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar, caramel, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and a package of M&M’s® Pecan Pie. 

I had the gelatin and sugar already, but was able to find everything else at Walmart. 


In a bowl, combine 2 packets of gelatin mix with 8 Tablespoons of cold apple juice and set aside. While that is setting, grease an 8×8 pan with butter and sprinkle with a coating of confectioner’s sugar. 


In a saucepan, combine 1/3 cup of cold water with 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar. Stir, over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the gelatin mixture to the pan and whisk until boiling. 

Once you have that mixture boiling, pour it into the bowl of your mixer and let cool for about 10 minutes. When cooled, add 1 tsp vanilla extract along with 1/4 each of salt and cinnamon. Start mixing on medium speed for about 10-15 minutes, or until mixture is white, shiny and thick. 


At this point, your kitchen will smell perfectly fallish. You can thank me later. 

Pour your marshmallow mix into your pan, sprinkle with more confectioner’s sugar and put into the fridge to set for a few hours. Oh, and make sure to call dibs on the spatula before anyone else beats you to it. Again, you can thank me later. 

Once you have let them cool completely, it’s time for the fun part! 

I suggest cutting them into squares before you add your toppings. Once cut, drizzle a bunch of caramel sauce on top and then add a whole lotta M&M’s®. When they look something like this…


…you’re done. 

Now, you could just leave these alone and eat them as they are. Or you could take it to the next level and turn them into a filling for a nice, fall s’more. 

Yep, I went there. 


Get one of these bad boys sandwiched between two layers of a Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake and you’ve got yourself a little slice of fall heaven. 

You’re welcome. 

Tons of other bloggers are sharing their favorite fall recipes here and I know that I am looking forward to trying some of them out while breaking in our new kitchen. Which one would you try first?


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