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Epic Monster Cookies!

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Every once in awhile I run into a dessert that I simply HAVE to try making. These cookies are that dessert. Recently, my husband and I were invited to be a part of a good friend’s wedding in Georgia. At the rehearsal, the groom’s mom handed out little bags filled with these cookies… and the rest is history. I’ve had monster cookies before… but I’ve never had ones that tasted this good! Thick and full of oats- kind of like the oatmeal no-bake cookies… but better. Seriously– you need to try them!

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So I got the recipe from Debbie Howard, mom of my recently married friend Josh. It was a really old recipe in one of those church cookbooks where everyone submits recipes. It had alterations scribbled all over the recipe, so it took me three tries, but I finally perfected the recipe. You need to make these exactly as instructed though- or they won’t work as well- and believe me- when they work….? Epic. Cookies.

My biggest mistake was not refrigerating the dough before scooping them out- and they flattened into thin crispy puddles :/ You need to refrigerate- so give yourself at least 2 hours extra time for that. Otherwise, they are fairly easy cookies and worth every bit of effort!!  Want the recipe? Here you go! (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of extra crunchy peanut butter
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned kind- not instant!)
  • ½ cup M&Ms
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together and add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  • Add peanut butter and beat together until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, toss salt, baking soda, oats, pecans, M&Ms and chocolate chips together.
  • Add bowl of dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for about two hours (you must do this, or the cookies will spread thin and crunchy when baked). Dough should be just hard enough to still scoop, so test the time a bit, as refrigerators vary in temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 365F degrees.
  • Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to place cookie dough on a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. Roll them smooth with your hands and then flatten them a little bit before baking. Leave room between cookies to allow them to spread a little. 
  • Bake at 365F degrees for 10-12 minutes. They should be just turning brown on top when you remove them. 
  • Slide cookies off sheet, still on parchment paper, and allow them to cool on counter- they will seem fragile until they cool and harden up.
  • Enjoy!

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My thoughts: Well, I already said this once, but these are really delicious cookies. They are thick and chewy and so peanut-buttery! Store them in an air-tight container and they keep for a long time (we are still eating ours a week later!) Enjoy! ~r

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We have other epic cookies here- click on a photo to see the recipe!

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Chocolate Cake Roll with a Cinnamon Caramel Filling

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Cake Roll1I love my pumpkin roll recipe. It’s one of my favorite parts of baking in the Fall. I’ve been highly unsuccessful, however, in finding a chocolate cake roll recipe that I love- either it tastes great but cracks like crazy, or it rolls well buts tastes like cardboard. One of my goals over the past 2 years of blog-absence was to create a chocolate cake roll recipe that works AND tastes great.

This is it! It rolls beautifully (I had only one small crack) and tastes like a rich, but not-too-sweet, fudge brownie. Perfect!

Of course you can fill this roll with a multitude of things, but I chose a creamy Dulce de Leche caramel filling with cinnamon.

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Ready to try this? Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Filling:

  • 3 sticks (1.5 cups) of salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • One can (13.4 oz) Dulce de Leche (I used Nestle’s La Lechera)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder (mix them together in a small dish)

Directions:

Cake:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a 17 x 12 inch jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper with about an inch of extra paper on the 17-inch sides (so you can lift the cake out of the pan easily once it bakes). Note: make sure your paper is nice and flat- the non-stick spray will help hold it down. Mine folded a little and you can see a few bumps on my roll where the batter baked over the fold.
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl stirring gently until just combined.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar for about 1 minute until thick. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, and beat together until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix gently until just combined. The batter will be like a runny brownie batter.
  • Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan, and bake for 12-16 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched.
  • Carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface. Then slowly, using your hands (careful, it will be hot!), roll the cake  – rolling from one short (12-inch) end to the other— until it is completely rolled up.
  • Wrap tightly in a towel and place in refrigerator until completely cooled (an hour or so).

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  • While the cake is cooling, make the caramel and cinnamon filling (see below).
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, place it on a flat surface, remove the towel, and unroll it carefully until it is flat again (it’s ok if the ends curl up a bit).

Filling: (make while cake cools)

  • Place butter in mixing bowl and beat on high until whipped and smooth.
  • Add Dulce de Leche and cinnamon to butter and beat on high for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Assembly: 

  • Spread the filling evenly over unrolled cake, leaving a small border on all sides (the filling will spread out as you roll it back up).  Then carefully re-roll the cake, gently peeling away the parchment paper as you roll until you can completely remove and discard it. Tightly wrap the chocolate roll in plastic wrap or Press-n-Seal and refrigerate at least one hour until completely set.

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  • Lightly dust with cocoa powder and cinnamon mixture (you could also add a chocolate glaze to the top if you have cracks or you want the dessert to be sweeter).
  • To serve, remove and unwrap the chocolate roll, transfer it to your serving dish and slice.
  • Keep leftovers tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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My thoughts: Yum! I loved this cake roll- I almost feel like it should be called a brownie roll because it is so dense and rich. This is not a super sweet dessert- my husband said it would be better with a sweet chocolate glaze on top- but I loved the rich cocoa/cinnamon flavor. If you like a not-so-sweet but rich and cocoa-y dessert, this one’s for you! Enjoy!! ~r

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I’m MARRIED!!! (plus a great recipe for fondant…)

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My last post here was two years ago yesterday. I was beginning to feel like creating content for this site was work instead of joy, and a hobby should always bring joy! I’ve just started to feel like I miss creating and sharing recipes though, so I am back, checking in with you all, and hoping to share new things here again- maybe a little less frequently than my usual one time per week though!

So… a lot has happened in these two years! Just after I posted my last recipe here, I began walking every morning with a friend I’d known for about 8 years named Nick. We walked all that fall, winter and spring and became really close friends. Last summer he asked if I’d be interested in dating (which I was!), in December he proposed, and we were married 5 months ago! It is such a wonderful thing to have someone to walk life with. He is an incredible man, and I’m so thankful that God brought us together!

Plus he loves desserts as much (maybe more!) than I do!

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So obviously our wedding cake was a really important element of our wedding! My dear friends Megan and Wendy Davis from Happily Ever After Cakes did our cake and it was incredible on several levels.

First: They live almost 10 hours away. They made the cakes, drove them cross-country and assembled them here.

Second: Our wedding theme was confetti, and they matched our colors perfectly in fondant.

Third: It was a 5 layer cake- and each layer was a different flavor with a different filling. And all of the flavors were epic. I tried them all (of course!)

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Wendy and Megan make delicious cake (top secret recipe) and amazing fillings, but what puts their cakes over the top is their made-from-scratch fondant. I usually want to peel fondant off to get rid of it- but not this. It’s soft, and sweet, and absolutely delicious.

Megan shared their recipe with me on a visit several years ago, and I posted about it here. I thought it was worth a second share though- just in case you missed it the 1st time, so here you go: (printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • gel colors to color fondant as desired

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.
  • Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
  • Add clear vanilla and mix well.
  • Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.
  • Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
  • Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.
  • This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  
  • Have your cupcakes or cake all made and cooled.
  • Make enough fondant to cover your item(s).  Here is a great chart by Wilton to help you determine how much you’ll need for various projects.
  • Make up some  thick buttercream icing (recipe here) and you are ready to go!

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My thoughts: YAY! It is fun to be at a place where I can jump back into sharing my ideas here again. I’ve missed you all! Until the next recipe….

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Enjoy!

 

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Bites

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These little clusters of almond, coconut and dark chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet!

I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year, and so far I’m doing really well (even with a baking blog!). My friend Laura and I walk each day and when we do we talk a lot about things we crave that could be made healthier. She was telling me that she craves chocolate so much that she takes a few dark chocolate chips and adds some almonds for a snack each night. I was in the process of making some coconut cut-out cookies and I had extra toasted coconut. We started brainstorming ways to make a cookie with relatively low calories and carbs. This is the result 🙂 They are delicious (!!) and as far as I can tell, they are about 85 calories each and 6 carbs. Which is perfect. Just perfect.

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They aren’t very pretty- but who needs pretty when you can have yummy and relatively healthy? 🙂

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of toasted coconut (buy it toasted, or toast your own…)
  • 1 cup of lightly salted, roasted almonds
  • 2 plain rice cakes
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place toasted coconut and almonds in a food chopper and chop to small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Crumble up the 2 rice cakes into very small pieces and add to bowl.
  • Melt chocolate chips, and pour them over the top of mixture. 
  • Stir until well-blended and then use a medium cookie scoop to spoon out evenly-sized cookies onto a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. (My batch made 22, and calories and carbs were calculated accordingly.)
  • Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until cookies harden up. Enjoy! 

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My thoughts: These are really, really good. I bagged mine up in individual cello bags and tied them shut with a twist tie. That way, I wasn’t tempted to eat more than one at a time! These are a perfect “gotta have some chocolate” treat. Lots of protein from the nuts, healthy oils from the coconut, and a little bit of crunch from the rice cakes. Enjoy! ~r

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Other yummy (slightly less healthy!) cookie recipes here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Seashell Oreo Pops!

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Turn your Oreos into a celebration at the beach! Sand Dollars, Sea Scallops and cute little fish. So much delicious fun!

 

There’s just something about the beach that makes my heart happy! Have you ever been to Sanibel Island in Florida? It’s right by Fort Meyers. Growing up, our family spent nearly every Thanksgiving at a little condo on the beach there. They have some of the best seashell hunting in North America. As a little girl, I had a shell identification book and a big pail, and I spent hours and hours combing the beach for shells. Sand dollars were one of my favorites!

This past spring, I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds in several projects, and thought about how much they remind me of the little centers of sand dollars. So I had to try! I also made some sea scallops using…wait for it… Wheat Thin crackers to make those little shell points (and they are a super yummy salty-sweet combo!) 🙂

 

Here is how we made these little Oreo pops:

Fish Oreo Pops are from an earlier recipe here on Easybaked. You can find them by clicking here.

These were featured in our cookbook for kids, Life Is Sweet: 12 Baking Devotions for Kids.

Sand Dollars:

Ingredients: (makes about 24 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags of Wiltons Candy Melts in white
  • Chocolate covered sunflower seeds (I used blue)
  • 24 Lollipop sticks
  • Small pearl decorating sprinkles
  • Small treat bags and ribbon, if you want to package them up to give away.

Directions: (Need a little visual help?  Click here.)

  • Carefully twist apart all Oreo cookies.  Do this slowly and gently- and expect that some will break. 
  • Melt about 1/4 cup white candy melts using a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Use a lollipop stick to make an indentation in the white filling of an Oreo.
  • Dip the end of the stick into the candy melts, spread a little on top of the white filling and then press the stick into the indentation.
  • Place the top of the Oreo back on and allow the candy melts to harden and cement the cookie back together with the stick inside. I like to stick these in the freezer to get nice and hard.
  • While you wait, melt your remaining white candy melts in the same manner as previously.
  • Once the cookies are firmly hardened back together, pick one up (using the stick) and dip it into the bowl of white candy melts. 
  • Spoon candy melts over the top and sides.
  • Gently lift the Oreo out of the candy melts, and tap the stick on the side of the bowl to allow the excess melts to drip off.
  • Slide the bottom of the Oreo against the edge of the bowl to remove excess candy melts.
  • Gently set the coated Oreo on clean parchment or wax paper.
  • Immediately, set the sunflower seeds as shown at the center of the cookie.
  • Place pearl sprinkles as shown, between sunflower seeds.
  • Serve as-is, or package up for giving away by sliding each cookie into a little treat bag and tying with a ribbon.

Scallops: 

Ingredients: (makes about 24 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 3-4 (12 oz.) bags of Wiltons Candy Melts in various colors
  • A few wheat thin crackers
  • 24 Lollipop sticks
  • A toothpick to pull through colors and make design.
  • Small treat bags and ribbon, if you want to package them up to give away.

Directions: (Need a little visual help?  Click here.)

  • Carefully twist apart all Oreo cookies.  Do this slowly and gently- and expect that some will break. 
  • Melt about 1/4 cup candy melts (any color) using a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Use a lollipop stick to make an indentation in the white filling of an Oreo.
  • Dip the end of the stick into the candy melts, spread a little on top of the white filling and then press the stick into the indentation.
  • Set 1/2 of a Wheat thin cracker on top of candy melts at the top (so just the points poke out when the top is back on).

  

  • Place the top of the Oreo back on and allow the candy melts to harden and cement the cookie back together with the stick inside. I like to stick these in the freezer to get nice and hard.
  • While you wait, pick your “main color” and melt those candy melts in the same manner as previously.
  • Also melt smaller amounts of two to three other colors. Spoon these into zip top bags and seal them up. Wrap them in a warm towel to keep them melted and smooth.
  • Once the cookies are firmly hardened back together (about 10 minutes in a freezer), pick one up (using the stick) and dip it into the bowl of candy melts. 
  • Spoon candy melts over the top and sides.
  • Gently lift the Oreo out of the candy melts, and tap the stick on the side of the bowl to allow the excess melts to drip off.
  • Slide the bottom of the Oreo against the edge of the bowl to remove excess candy melts.
  • Gently set the coated Oreo on clean parchment or wax paper.
  • Immediately, clip a corner off a bag of colored candy melts and pipe a couple curved lines on top of Oreo. 
  • Repeat these lines with other colors and then place bags back inside warm towel. 
  • Use a toothpick to pull lines up from the bottom through these colors (see photos)

  

  • Sprinkle with a little gold sugar and add a candy pearl if you want.
  • Repeat this process with remaining Oreos. You may need to repeat the melting process for the  small bags of colors. If you need to do this, try making one of these colors your “main” color and decorating with the others!
  • Serve as-is, or package up for giving away by sliding each cookie into a little treat bag and tying with a ribbon.
  • ENJOY!

My thoughts: I experimented a little with the sand dollars. I had some butterscotch candy melts that I used with brown sunflower seeds- they are cute too- but I love the white ones best! I was really happy with how these turned out, and they really aren’t too difficult to put together- especially if you have made Oreo pops before. I hope you get a chance to try these for your next beach party! Happy summer to you!!!!  ~r

Other fun beach- themed ideas here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see a recipe):

White Chocolate Lemonade Cups

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Creamy, whipped, lemonade filling spooned into cute little white chocolate cups! A fun, fancy and delicious summer dessert!

Did you know that there are silicone molds for little shot glasses?!? You would think I’d have seen these somewhere along my road of dessert blogging, but I hadn’t. I stumbled on a clearance rack full of them and lightbulbs started going on in my head with ideas for fun ways to use this mold! SUCH a fun idea!

Aren’t they cute?!? I made my cups out of white chocolate and then filled these with a creamy lemonade filling that I use quite a bit here for various desserts. You can eat it straight (I may have sampled a bit as I was filling cups…), pipe it on cupcakes, layer it in cake, ooooorrrr serve it in tasty little chocolate cups! Fun….!!!!!

Here is how we made them (makes 8- 10 filled cups): (printable recipe here)

First of all, you need a Wilton’s shot glass mold (and if you get it from my link on Amazon I will get a small percentage of what you pay, making it possible for me to buy brownie ingredients, which is the next fun project I have in mind for these shot glass molds!)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 bags of Wilton’s Candy Melts in bright white.
  • 1/2 package (4 oz) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 packet of Kool Aid drink mix (any flavor~ if you use a lemonade, add it to taste, as it will be more tart than the other flavors)
  • 1 (7 oz) jar of Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip (thawed in refrigerator, divided)
  • Fun sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  • Melt Candy Melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  • If desired, drop a few sprinkles into each cavity of the mold (that is how I got the colors at the rim of the “glass”).
  • Carefully spoon melted white chocolate into molds (I placed the melts in a zip-top bag, zipped it shut tight, clipped a corner and piped it into the molds to make sure I got it all the way to the bottom without bubbles). 
  • Tap on countertop and set (level!) in freezer for 10-15 minutes until hard.
  • Pop cups out of molds and set aside. 
  • While cups are hardening, make filling by creaming together lemonade/other unsweetened drink mix flavor with cream cheese.
  • Fold in marshmallow and then fold in 1/2 of Cool Whip until smooth.
  • You could spoon this into the little cups, but I piped the filling in (again- to make it easy to get all the way to the bottom of each cup). 

  • Spoon remainder of Cool Whip into a zip-top bag that has been fitted with a large decorating tip. Zip it tightly shut and pipe swirls on top of each cup. 
  • Add sprinkles (and I added a little bit of a straw to each one too, because….soooo cute! 🙂
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are such a fun idea for showers and other celebrations that call for something unique and yet yummy! You’ll want to keep these refrigerated (cream cheese and Cool Whip) until you serve them, but pull them out and let them soften up before serving (the chocolate is really yummy to break apart and eat with the cream!!!) Enjoy! ~r

Other mini- desserts that are party-perfect! (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Lemony Ginger Snap Cups

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Creamy lemon pie inside of a chewy gingersnap cookie cup! A perfect summer treat!

I am usually several week to months ahead in this blog. In January I am thinking about Easter, at Halloween I am baking Christmas cookies. But today- I am behind! Goodness, I’ve had such a busy spring and summer. I was 2 months ahead and now I’ve got nothing planned for the coming weeks. All that to say- I needed something SO easy and quick this week. These are a perfect recipe for easy and quick! 🙂

They don’t LOOK easy and quick- but 30 minutes, including baking time, is all you’ll need! Love it!

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • One tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • About 3 cups of gingersnaps cookies (you’ll need 2 cups of them crushed)
  • One can of lemon pie filling
  • One container of Cool Whip (or make your own whipped cream if you prefer)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use clean hand to knead together 1 and 1/2 cups of cookie crumbs with the refrigerated cookie dough. 
  • Divide evenly into 12 muffin tins and press into bottom. 
  • Bake for 16- 20 minutes.
  • Use a tart shaper or a wooden spoon to press the centers in, forming a cookie cup (photo below is from an earlier cookie cup recipe, but shows how you should shape the cups. It is easier if you shape them in the tin and allow them to cool, which is not what the photo shows- sorry!).
  • Allow cup to cool completely and use a small knife to pop each cookie cup out of the tin.
  • Spoon or pipe lemon pie filling into each cookie cup.

  

  • Top with cool whip (I used a zip-top bag, fitted with a piping tip, to pipe mine on in swirls). 
  • Sprinkle remaining crumbs on tops. 
  • Keep  covered and refrigerated until serving. 
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: Easy and delicious! The ginger snap crust is a perfect combination with that lemon filling! Delicious summer flavor combination. I hope you get a chance to try these!!  Enjoy! ~r

Other fun summer recipes on Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

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