My Mom's Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies.jpeg

My Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies


Note from The Girl In The Apron:

Growing up my mother wouldn’t bake as much as she cooked, but when she did bake… Oh. My. Goodness. My Mom had her staple sweet confections she would whip up and they were irresistible. Her Peanut Butter cookies were one of those staples. The perfect amount of peanut taste and never dry, these cookies are a home run in my book. And you guessed it, they’re quick and easy!!! 

Happy Baking!



1 Cup Butter or Shortening

1 Cup Peanut Butter (My Mom likes to use JIF Creamy Peanut Butter)

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Unbleached Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda


How You Do It:

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Whip at medium-high speed for about 2 mins, or until fluffy. Add peanut butter; mix until combine. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add vanilla. Blend in flour and baking soda. 

Shape into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Using a fork, make a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie. 

Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan.


National Cookie Day 2017: Spice-y Snickerdoodles

Spice-y Snickerdoodles


Note From The Girl In The Apron:

Happy National Cookie Day! Cookies are one of my favorite sweet treats. Coming in all different varieties, cookies always pack a tasty punch. I overlooked the Snickerdoodle for years until a friend of mine mentioned it was his favorite cookie. For his birthday, I made him a batch and my love of Snickerdoodles were reborn. I’ve jazzed my doodles up with a 3 spice combo that packs a spice-y punch. They’re quick, easy and always a crowd favorite. 

Happy Baking!



1 Cup Butter, softened

1 Cup Shortening

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

4 Eggs

4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

5 1/2 Cups All Purpose Unbleached Flour

4 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

2 teaspoons Baking Soda


Spice-y Sugar Mix:

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

2 teaspoons Ground Cardamom

1 teaspoon Ground Allspice


How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Whip at medium-high speed for 3 mins, until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix to combine. Blend in flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Shape dough into rounded tablespoon balls.

Mix together spice-y sugar mixture. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.

Bake for 13 mins, or until golden brown on the top and cracked slightly. 


Thanksgiving 2017: Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Note From The Girl in the Apron:

When I moved from Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee, I was introduced to the world of Sweet Potato Casserole. On first taste, I instantly fell in love and wanted to make it a part of our families Thanksgiving tradition. Over the past 10 years, I have been improving this recipe and making it easier. The Sweet Potato Mash can be made the night before if you’d like to save some extra time. This Sweet Potato Casserole is topped with a Cornflake and Pecan Topping and the ever so delicious and fluffy, mini marshmallows. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have. Be sure to share with your family and friends. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Baking!



6 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes, cooked and peeled

1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 teaspoon Ground Cardamom (optional)

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Cornflake and Pecan Topping:

1 1/4 Cup Cornflake Cereal, crushed

1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted


1 1/2 Cups Mini Marshmallows


How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes and butter. Beat together with an electric mixer. 

Add Brown Sugar, Eggs, Milk, Spices and Vanilla Extract. 

Mix to combine. Beat sweet potato mixture on high for 1 minute, until lighter in color and fluffy. Spoon mixture into a greased casserole dish.

In a small bowl, combine cornflakes, pecans, brown sugar and butter. Mix together. 

Using a toothpick, draw diagonal lines (roughly 2 inches apart) on the top of the sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle topping alternately between rows, leaving rows blank for marshmallows later on.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between the cornflake mixture, bake for 5-8 minutes, until marshmallows are lightly browned.

Serve and enjoy!

Thanksgiving 2017: Mom's Thanksgiving Stuffing

Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s that time of year for long overdue naps, elastic waistbands and carb overload. And what better way to carb overload than with some delicious homemade stuffing. I absolutely LOVE my Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing. I remember being a young girl and my sister and I would smell that melted butter in the house; we knew instantly Mom was making her oh so famous stuffing. We would pull up stools to the stove, since we couldn’t quite reach yet, and help Mom pull apart the bread. This recipe is made best with fresh bread; either Whole Grain White Bread or good old Classic White Bread. My Mom has always made this stuffing the night before, but it can be made day of. I hope you enjoy this McAvoy Thanksgiving Tradition and the recipe makes a start studded appearance on your Thanksgiving table!

Happy Cooking!




1 Cup ( 2 sticks ) Unsalted Butter

1/2 Stalk Celery (appox. 4 Cups), chopped

2 Cups Onion, diced

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Egg

2 Cups Milk

1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries (ie Craisins Lightly Sweetened)



How You Do It:

In a large pan, melt butter over medium-high heat.

Add celery, onion, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Sauté over medium-high heat until tender, roughly 10 minutes.

Turn off heat. 

Take 4-5 slices of bread in hand and pull off small chunks; adding to celery onion mixture.  

Add egg, raisins, cranberries and milk. Mix well. 

In a greased 13x9 dish, add stuffing. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm.


Thanksgiving 2017: Tried and True Cranberry Sauce

Tried and True Cranberry Sauce

Note From The Girl in the Apron:

I LOVE Thanksgiving! I love family being in town, gathered around one big table and the opportunity to be truly thankful for their love, friendship and the year that is almost past. But I also LOVE Thanksgiving Food. It is honestly one of my favorite plates of food all year. And one of my favorite sides on that Thanksgiving plate is the Cranberry Sauce. I’m a sucker for a good sweet and tart combination. I remember the first time I made Homemade Cranberry Sauce. I was about 12 years old, I had gotten a Cuisnart Food Processor and was obsessed with it. I decided to blend fresh cranberries, fresh oranges and a little bit of sugar together to make a Fresh Cranberry Relish. In theory is was a good idea, however I didn’t add nearly enough sugar. So that Thanksgiving the Cranberries were practically inedible, but if you ask my Dad it was the delicious. Thanks Dad :) Even though that first go didn’t go off as planned, it began my love of making Homemade Cranberry Sauce every year for the Thanksgiving. Over the years, I perfected my recipe and turn to my Tried and True Cranberry Sauce. It slows cooks over the stovetop with cinnamon sticks, cloves and brown sugar. It’ll leave your whole home smelling like the holiday season. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s only 5 ingredients. Make this recipe ahead of time and store in the fridge. 

Happy Cooking!



2 Cups (16 oz) Fresh Cranberries 

1/2 Cup Water

3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 Cinnamon Stick or 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves


How You Do It:

Wash and clean cranberries throughly.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cranberries, water, brown sugar and spices.

Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Cover.

Reduce hear and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Transfer to bowl and chill overnight or up to 4 days.

Serve and Enjoy!

Grandpa's Apple Pie

Apple Pie.jpeg

Grandpa's Apple Pie

Note from The Girl In The Apron:

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The autumn leaves, the brisk air but most importantly, the PIE! I’ve been making pies since I was a young girl with my Grandpa. I remember climbing the mulberry tree in my Grandparents backyard, bringing my bounty in and making the most delicious pies with my Grandpa. But one of my most cherished childhood memories is learning how to make my Grandpa’s Apple Pie. My family and I having been picking apples at the same orchard for over 50 years, Legend Hills Orchard, in Utica Ohio. We’d pack up our truck and head out into the country with my Mom, Dad, Sister and Grandparents. We’d pick our apples, feed some roadside country pigs, eat at our favorite restaurant and grab a scoop of ice cream at Ye Olde Mill on the way home. I usually make my Apple Pies with those famous Ohio Apples every year, Golden Delicious Apples to be specific, but your favorite apple variety is great. I like to taste test the apple before baking to measure how much sugar to add. And since we’re all about quick and easy here at The Girl In The Apron, I’m using my pie baking best friend, Pillsbury Pie Crust. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!



1 Pillsbury Pie Crust, unrolled and placed in pie pan


8-9 apples, peeled and cored

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Ground cinnamon, sprinkle till it covers the apples (roughly 1/4 cup)

2 Tablespoons butter


1 cup flour

1 cup sugar 

1/2 cup butter, softened


Preheat oven to 375. 

In a large bowl, place peeled and cored apples, cut into large chunks. Add sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon over top of apples to cover. Mix well.

In prepared Pillsbury Pie Crust, place 2 Tbsp. butter on top of the crust at bottom of pan. Add apple filling, stacking apples high.

In the same large bowl, combine flour, sugar and softened butter. With a fork, blend flour and sugar into butter. Mixture should be crumbly and butter should be the size of peas. 

Place pie pan in the kitchen sink for easy clean up. Evenly distribute topping over top of the pie.

Bake pie at 375 degrees  for 20 mins. After 20 mins, drop oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 mins, or until pie is bubbly around edges and apples are soft all the way through when toothpick inserted. 



Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes.jpeg

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Note from The Girl in The Apron:

Happpppyyyyyy Halloween! There's always a joke in my house that Halloween is the first day of the beginning... Let me explain! It's the first day of the beginning of the holiday season! My favorite time of year! I smell turkey roasting in the oven, jingle bells ringing and feel that oh so incredible baking fever! So of course we have to start the holiday season off right with some Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes! If you're looking for a great and easy party treat, these are the ticket! They'll be a show stopper (second to your costume of course!)! Wilton Cakes makes some of the best and cutest decorations! I use their decorations and kits every year! They have everything from  liners to edible toppers to "fake blood" gel! They make baking fun and easy! I hope you'll try out this spook-tacular recipe this Halloween! 

Happy Cooking!



Chocolate Cupcake


1/2 cup butter softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup sour cream

1 cup hot water

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whipped Buttercream Icing (See recipe)

Garnish: Wilton Cupcake Decorations


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar at medium speed until well blended and light in color, about 3 mins. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended. Add melted chocolate, beating until just blended. 

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour to chocolate mix alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with sour cream. Add baking soda, beat until just blended. Gradually add hot water in a slow and steady stream to chocolate mixture. Mix in vanilla extract.

Spoon batter into lined cupcake tins, filling 3/4ths of the way up. 

Bake for 15-20 mins, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before icing and decorations. 


Lizzy’s Whipped Buttercream Icing

1 cup shortening

1 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1/8 tsp. almond extract or vanilla extract


In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and shortening together until smooth. Add powdered sugar, mix at low speed until combined. Add extract. Beat icing at medium-high speed for 5 mins, icing should double in size and be lighter in color.

Oven Roasted Garlic Green Beans

Green Beans.JPG

Oven Roasted Garlic Green Beans

Note from The Girl in The Apron:

Green Beans are one of my absolute FAVORITE vegetables! I can eat them raw, steamed, fried and one of my personal favorites, oven roasted. I had never oven roasted green beans before until a friend of mine mentioned how much she loved her Mom's roasted green beans. She was missing home so I thought I'd whip up my own rendition of Oven Roasted Garlic Green Beans. If your in a pinch and looking for a healthy side option (or in my case a main meal:), this recipe is for you. It's made all in one pan and an easy clean up. I hope you enjoy! 

Happy Cooking!



2 pounds French green beans, washed and trimmed (I used French green beans so no trimming is required)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic, fresh or jarred


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

On the cookie sheet, place green beans. Pour olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic over top of the green beans. Stir to coat with either a spoon or your hands.

Bake green beans for 15 mins. Stir and place back in the oven for an additional 10 mins.