SMiLes by Meg

Small Batch Boxed Mix Brownies

In my former life as a teacher, I used to bake for my students as a treat every so often. I’d make some really big batch of a recipe (usually cookies) so I had enough for all of my classes and anyone else that stopped by. Want to know what their absolute favorite thing I ever made was? Boxed mix brownies. Just plain old Duncan Hines brownies. As a baking blogger who thinks that she makes brownies much better than what a box can do, I was pretty offended. But there really is something about a boxed mix brownie that’s

Small Batch Olive Oil Lemon Bars

Happy Valentine’s Day! Erik and I just finished a feast and I’m writing this as I’m about to slip into a food coma powered by Schitt’s Creek on the couch. We ordered cook at home hot pot and it was perfect – lots of delicious food, a fun thing to do. Highly recommend. If you’re in the DC area check it out – Fat Choi Hot Pot. Also in the Valentine’s Day trend, Erik has been talking about how much he loves lemon bars for weeks now, and I thought it was probably a good time to make him some.

Small Batch Magic Bars

If you’ve known me at any point in my life, you know that a constant is my all time favorite dessert: magic bars. I’ve shared my favorite recipe for them before, and even tried some seasonal variations, but I haven’t made any since COVID started because I know myself and my complete lack of self control. If I made a full pan of magic bars, I would eat a full pan of magic bars. Then, this weekend, Alexandra sent me a recipe for a salted caramel pretzel version that looked great, and reminded me that I was really missing a

Flourless Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Ends of vacations are the worst. Though as COVID vacations go, this was a pretty good one. Erik and I spent a few days at a cabin where we could go for paddles on my stand up paddle board in the marsh. We saw lots of cool birds. We saw the wild horses at Assateague National Seashore. It’s snowing out right now. And I made these really good mini cakes, the last of which I just ate for second breakfast (first breakfast was cold pizza and a smoothie to cancel out the cold pizza). I bought the mini Bundt pan

Peanut Butter Miso Cookies

I’ve had these cookies on my list for months. Originally they were going to go in my Christmas cookie boxes, but we had red miso, not white miso, in the fridge, and I like to follow recipes exactly (much to Erik’s general dismay). But now that I’m back in the baking game, I needed to give them a go, especially because they seemed like a perfect cookie to bring with us on our mini vacation this week. I made these cookies last night right before we were going to try an at-home fancy 5 course meal where the restaurant sends

Buttered Marshmallows

This is the last recipe from my cookie boxes! And just in time, honestly – I’m finally back to the point where I miss baking and want to try to make something fun again. Maybe some mini Bundt cakes? Gruyere thyme crackers? The peanut butter miso cookies I’ve been meaning to make for months? The possibilities are endless! These may seem like a weird concept (buttered marshmallows), but hear me out. I made marshmallows before, and became obsessed with homemade marshmallows. These ones are a bit different. Less gelatin, no cornstarch, more vanilla, and butter. The result is a unique

Peanut Brittle

Back to Christmas cookie boxes this week with one of the two non-cookie recipes I put in the boxes this year: peanut brittle. I think it’s fitting to still be sharing cookie box recipes because some of the cookie boxes I mailed out (3 day priority mail about 2 weeks before Christmas) just this week got to their destinations. USPS needs its funding restored. Anyways, peanut brittle went in the boxes this year as a compromise. I really wanted to try to recreate Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark, but then once I started looking at recipes realized it was a project in

Devil’s Food Cake

Taking a break from cookie box recipes this week to share with you a very delicious cake that we had on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s has always been a quiet holiday for me, so for the first time this holiday season, it didn’t feel all that different. In college, I was always home at my parents’ for New Year’s. They would go out with another couple for dinner, and my brother would go out with his friends, and I’d have the house entirely to myself. This almost always meant opening some red wine and getting the most comfort-food-style baked

Peppermint Oreos

Looking back over the years, I’ve tried to make Oreos a few times. When I first moved into my apartment in Boston after law school, I gave them a go with this recipe. Then, a couple months later, I tried to recreate the Trader Joe’s candy cane Oreos with this recipe for my Christmas cookie boxes. Both seem to have been successes at the time, but they also both pale in comparison to the ones I made for my cookie boxes this year, a much more impressive looking and subtly peppermint variety out of BraveTart’s cookbook, of course. Christmas for

Checkerboards

Week 2 of cookies from my cookie boxes this year is checkerboards! When polling friends who got a box, this was a big favorite, which I think is probably more due to the fact that they look really impressive than anything else. Oh and also the butter. I first made checkerboards in my pre-blog life sometime in college. Cate was visiting my parents’ house with me, and I remember making them at the kitchen counter while she made wedding cookies. Or maybe I’m totally making up this memory but I think that’s when I first made them. I was surprised