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Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

Cars 3 Play Date

This post is sponsored by Mattel. All opinions are my own.

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!| The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

What kid likes to do chores? My kids certainly do not. I definitively do not like chores either.

However, if someone were to offer me a lunch at my favorite restaurant or a massage to clean my room I would absolutely get my chores done! 

That concept of rewarding good behavior is exactly what I have done with my 6-year-old son Matthew this summer.

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

Matty loves his toys and Matty loves to make a mess of his toys.  I suppose that’s true of all kids his age.  

However, I’m trying to also teach Matty the value of cleaning up, living in a home that isn’t messy and cluttered all the time, and being rewarded for good choices.  

There are a lot of ways to keep track of your kids chores.   

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel by creating a new chart, however the internet is already full of some really great charts and trackers.

This website has some great ideas.

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

For Matty’s reward, he wanted to invite our new neighbor boys over for a Cars 3 Play Date! 

I called my neighbor Chelsea and we set a date for her two boys Grayson and Cohen to come over one morning.  

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

Mattel supplied us with so many great Cars toys from Walmart that Matty wanted to share them with his friends. 

Each boy got to pick their favorite Cars toys to play with and keep.  

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

The boy had so much fun shooting the cars out of the launcher! 

Cohen, the little guy, carried around Lightening Mcqueen like the car was his best friend.  So cute! 

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!| The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

The incentive for new Cars toys from Walmart has really encouraged and excited Matty to get his chores done.  

Of course, there are days where I have to ask him over and over to pick up his toys… but on a whole, the reward system really worked! 

Reward your kids who do their chores by letting them pick out their favorite Disney-Pixar Cars toys at Walmart and a Cars 3 Play Date!! | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #Cars3AtWalmart #ad @Walmart @Mattel

I also made jumbo blueberry muffins for the kids to snack on.  Grayson and Cohen weren’t fans, but Matty and Chelsea loved them!  Get my bluebery muffin recipe here

So if you’re looking for a way to reward your kids for good behavior, make a chore chart and then head to Walmart to let your kids pick out some super fun Cars toys! 

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars

This post is sponsored by OXO, however all opinions are mine.  

The marriage of crisp almonds and chewy cake bring these Swedish Visiting Cake Bars to life making them a classically delicious dessert!

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

I’m thrilled to be participating in Cookies for Kid’s Cancer again this year!  

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by two OXOnians (OXO employees) who were inspired by their son Liam’s battle with pediatric cancer, a disease which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides inspiration and support to allow anyone to easily get involved in fundraising to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

OXOnians regard each other as family. The news of Liam’s diagnosis hit them hard and they have been personally involved with this worthy organization from the beginning.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

As part of Cookies for Kid’s Cancer this year, OXO selected group exclusive group of bloggers to to receive an exclusive recipe and a set of coordinating baking products and tools to make that recipe.

For each blog post and recipe shared, OXO will donate $100 to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer (up to their $100,000 commitment).

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

How incredibly awesome is that!

The recipe I was given to recreate is Dorie Greenspan’s Swedish Visiting Cake Bars.

Dorie shared her thoughts on particiapting in Cookies for Kid’s Cancer saying,

I have been a supporter of Cookies For Kids Cancer from before Day 1 and with good reason: It’s a targeted source of funding for research into pediatric cancer treatments. That pediatric cancer is so prevalent and so poorly funded is a terrible paradox. Cookies for Kids Cancer is changing this and I love helping them reach their goals.

These are a mash-up of two recipes I love: almond-meringue topping, which I usually use on fruit tarts and (a variation of the) Swedish Visiting Cake, which is usually unadorned. I can no longer remember when or why I married these two, but once I did, the knot was tied for life — the crisp almonds and chewy cake make a perfect couple.

The cake is supremely satisfying and the topping is unusual in that it bakes to a meringue finish, but there’s no whipping involved. You just mix egg whites and confectioners’ sugar together — I do it with my fingers — swish sliced almonds around in the mix and spread it over the batter. The oven does all the work.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Since 2011, JavaCupcake has participated in raising awareness and money for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. 

We started with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and now we’re working with OXO!

Thanks to OXO for providing me the following products: 

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

It’s a fantastic way to give back to the community with my fellow bloggers. 

OXO and it’s chef-supporters of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer hope this inspires people to host their own Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales! 

Join in the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer challenge by registering your event online.  If you mark that you were inspired by OXO when you register, we’ll match proceeds from your bake sale up to our annual commitment.

Check out these cookie recipes from past Cookies for Kid’s Cancer fundraisers! 

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! | JavaCupcake.com
2013 – Apple Snickerdoodles

This is a sponsored post on behalf of OXO. 

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

Shortbread Cookies

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.

Simple, buttery, and delicious, these shortbread cookies made with Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour are the best treat to make for the holiday season!

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

I love giving the gift of baked goods, especially shortbread cookies.  There is just something special about a batch of homemade shortbread cookies in a bakery box, tied with a bow, and accompanied by a sweet note that makes the recipients heart happy.

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

So when Bob’s Red Mill asked me if I wanted to bake some cookies using their flour to give as a gift, I  knew the answer was yes! Bob’s Red Mill provided me with the highest quality all-purpose flour I’ve ever used which really made these shortbread cookies shine!

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

As long as I’ve been baking and blogging, I’ve been gifting my baked goods to my friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers.  Whether it was Valentine’s day gifts or biscotti for Emily’s teachers or desserts for soldiers & families at a dinner at an overseas military base in Germany… I know that it feels so good to give to others.

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

I recently read an article that listed the benefits of cooking for others.  This article said that cooking for others:

  • Is an altruistic act, but also so much more…
  • Is a form of nurturing…
  • Can create bonds and build community…
  • Is a form of self-care…
  • Is a practice of mindfulness.

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

Mindfulness is something I try to practice daily and it makes sense why baking and mindfulness go hand in hand.

The article goes on to say… “That’s one of the interesting things about cooking, is that if you look at all the psychological benefits, there’s a cumulative effect: it’s self care, it’s taking care of others, it’s physical care, it’s mindfulness, and it hits on meeting basic needs for yourself and others. There are a lot of pieces that come into cooking a meal for others.”

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

These shortbread cookies were made with one person in mind.  My new boss Kevin at ThanksUSA.  I met Kevin last year because he’s also on the Board of Directors at Dog Tag Inc. where I was a Fellow in their program.   I didn’t know much about him then, but knew that he had accomplished great things as a Lt. Col in the Marine Corp and then as the founder of Hiring Our Heroes.

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

I realized quickly what an incredible leader Kevin is and found myself excited by his ability to see the leadership potential in me.  For me, this meant everything.   The last 3 years have been full of uncertainty and for Kevin to see so clearly in my abilities was the reassurance I needed that I had made the right decision to take a full time position with ThanksUSA.

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

So, one Friday after a busy morning of presentations and meetings… I stopped Kevin in the parking lot and said I had a gift for him.  I handed him the box of shortbread cookies with a note and told him I baked them, hugged him and wished him a good weekend.

It felt good to acknowledge how much his leadership meant to me.  It felt good to do something nice for him.  It felt good to bake something that I know would brighten his day.

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

And that… that is why it’s so important to bake and give to others.

The past week on two separate days, I had cookies and brownies for all the neighborhood kids as they got off the bus after school.  One of the mom’s looked at me and said, “Oh… so you’re THAT MOM.”

Shortbread Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #sponsored #BobsRedMill #Bakesgiving

Yes.  I am that mom… and nothing will ever change that.

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 8 dozen
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4½ cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
  • nonpareiles
  • melted chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cold butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add the salt and 3½ cups of the flour and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
  4. Replace paddle attachment with the dough hook. Sprinkle ½ cup flour and turn the mixer on low-medium. Allow the hook to knead dough adding as much of the remaining ½ cup flour as needed to make the dough soft, pliable, and similar to play-dough, not sticky.
  5. Divide dough into three sections and pat into a disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or until slightly firm enough to roll out.
  6. On a floured surface, roll disc of dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place each cookie inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. If decorating with sprinkles, pour sprinkles into a bowl and press the side of each cookie into the sprinkles and then place on the baking sheet.
  8. Using a fork, poke holes in the top of each cookie.
  9. Bake 12-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. The bake time will depend on the size of your cookie cutter. Smaller shapes 1in-2in will need 12-15 minutes - while larger shapes will need up to 20 minutes.
  10. Repeat with the remaining dough, working in batches so dough stays chilled and workable.
  11. Cool completely on wire rack before serving.
  12. Store cookies in an air tight container at room temperature.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
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