Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Disclaimer: This is easily THE richest, most decadent thing I’ve ever made, tasted or laid my eyeballs on–figuratively, of course. Though if I could actually lay my eyeballs on it, I probably would. It’d be like laying on a smooth, velvety blanket of happiness.

Everyone loves velvet happiness blankets.

Normally, I really despise making cakes. They’re super hard to frost, mine always turn out lopsided and they just aren’t as photogenic or cute and petite like their younger, hotter sister, the cupcake.

Cakes are bulky and annoying and inconvenient. Cupcakes are cute and sweet and perfectly-sized. You eat a cupcake guilt-free. You eat a cake and suddenly you’re being judged.

But I’m not here to judge you. After all, I’m the one who made the cake. And that meant taking on all responsibility for the bulky and inconvenientness of it all.

I made it mostly because I was kinda sorta in the mood to make anything but a cupcake. Yes, I have those days. Portioning batter? Piping frosting? Ehhhhhhh. Today I was feeling far more lazy and far less fancy. Well, almost.

I mean, I was supposed to save today as a day to catch up on neglected homework and stuff but since I spent the entire day shopping, making a galaxy-print shirt with bleach and acrylic paint and doing virtually everything else except math problems, I decided to make a cake. Lazy on work, fancy on flavor. You hear? Like a mullet, but far more attractive and socially acceptable.

It’s a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake. A French vanilla cake with cookie dough inside, cookie dough frosting and garnished with chocolate chips and freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate chip overdose? Too much cookie dough? Uh, how else was I going to spend my Sunday? Certainly not doing homework (sorry, Professor Lucero).

It’s just that I work ALL DAY, every day (almost) and go to school full-time now. I just don’t have the free time anymore to shop on a whim or wake up late in the day or I don’t know, bake a decadent cake because I’m feeling mullet-y.

And Sunday will come and go and I definitely don’t want to look back when I’m sixty-seven and be like, I spent my first Sunday as a twenty-one year old doing homework! and not making a decadent cake.

I want to think, I spent my first Sunday as a twenty-one year old eating a chocolate chip cookie dough cake and drinking beer because I’m a classy motherf…yeah.

I’ll declare this from the necessary trailer parked in front of my mansion. Half classy, half trashy… kinda like my favorite Beverly Hills Housewives. And I can assure you they would ALL love this cake, mostly because it tastes amazing but also because if they did anything besides accuse Kim of doing meth, they would want to bake a cake instead of frosting cupcakes and they would bake this one. And then go back to accusing Kim of snorting crystal meth. (she totally does)

So why am I rambling? To take up more not-doing homework time. But also because I get chatty when I’m happy and this cake is just so thrilling.

If you have something to do next Sunday, cancel it. Stay home, get in your yoga pants that have never once been to a yoga class, and bake this freaking dream-come-true cake. Then eat it and feel fancy. It’s just something you have to do. Like read your Brit Lit homework. But you actually really have to make this cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake *inspired by Kelly’s version over at Something Shiny

For the cake:

1 pkg French vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste*

For the cookie dough/cookies:

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
4 T milk
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For cookie dough frosting:

3 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
4- 4.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 T milk, if needed
Additional 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 8 or 9″ baking pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in powdered pudding mix and the vanilla bean paste. Evenly divide the batter among the two pans and bake according to package directions or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with light moist crumbs (about 24-27 mins). Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks.
3. Meanwhile, prepare eggless cookie dough. In a large bowl, beat together butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Lastly, slowly beat in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie dough scoop, portion out cookie dough into small balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Save about 8 cookie dough balls and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 8-10 mins and cool. Freeze the rest of the dough balls for several hours or until firm. Once firmed, cut the dough balls in half.

Cookie Dough Frosting 

1. Once your cake is cooled, about 8 cookies are baked and the other dough balls are chilled and halved, prepare your frosting.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until light and fluffy. Add milk if needed (if frosting becomes too thick or pasty during the process).

Assembly

1. Put one cake on a cake board or flat serving surface (like a cake stand). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, take out about 3/4 cup of frosting and stir a handful of halved & chilled cookie dough balls into the reserved frosting. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the cake. This is your filling.
2. Top the bottom tier and filling with your second cake. Begin frosting your cake using an offset spatula for smoothing & spreading. Make sure to evenly coat the cake’s top and sides, adding more frosting as needed.
3. Once the cake is frosted to your liking, begin placing the cookies along the edge of the cake, evenly spacing them. Then, top your frosted cake with the remaining miniature chocolate chips. Place the cake in the fridge for several hours to set (uncovered is fine) then serve. Once cut, store covered in the fridge to maximize freshness.
**Note: so this vanilla bean paste? AMAZING. I can never justify spending $15+ on vanilla bean pods at the store since they’re basically a one-time use. However I spotted this paste by LorAnn Oils at my local ROSS and swiped it. It adds an extra layer of richness to the cake and my frosting (I subbed my vanilla extract for it). It’s optional, but worth it for the jar size and quality. You can find it HERE or try your local ROSS, TJ Maxx or HomeGoods store.

Cake hater or not, everyone will love this impressive and decadent cake!! My family was shocked when they spotted it on the table after dinner and had no qualms devouring it within seconds. I doubt you will, either.

Have a fancy Tuesday!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays

Chocolate-Covered Mallow Pillow Cookies

Alright, I’m a wuss.

Just thought you should know.

I act all big and tough but when it comes to the little things, I am just such a big, fat wussy when it comes to touching things.

Get your mind outta the gutter!

I mean touching bugs. And certain foods. And certain random things that, quite honestly, give me the heebie jeebies bad.

Like a few days ago, I spotted a centipede or something along those lines of disgusting in Jessie’s bathroom. Because I was in a half-asleep, half-hungover (yes) stupor, I only recognized the creepy crawler yet couldn’t manage to muster any strength (mental or physical) to take care of it.

(Sorry Jessie’s mom)

Even if I had been clear-headed and it wasn’t four in the morning, I couldn’t have picked it up. Why? Because I have problems with killing bugs. Creepy ones. Flies are no problem–I don’t mean to brag but modesty aside, I am a really good fly killer. Like sniper status. Give me a magazine, a swatter or even a shoe and they’ll be dead in seconds.

But spiders, centipedes, pincher bugs… whatever. Ew, noooooo.

And I could never understand people who could scoop spiders up in a cup and save them. Or people who could take a measly tissue and smash a bug.

A TISSUE?!?!?!! That’s hardly enough protection between my hand and this CREATURE inhabiting my house with its grossness.

I must have a magazine. And alas, Jessie’s bathroom has nothing around–not even a lonely, old newspaper–for me to kill a bug with. So I pretended it wasn’t there and went back to sleep. In bed, not in the bathroom. That would be weird.

And then there’s certain food. Uck. I really hate touching soggy food. Makes me cringe.

I have a 2-4 minute window of eating cereal. The second it gets soggy, it’s done-for. That’s why, when I eat cereal, I tell everyone around me I’m unavailable for the next five minutes so I can eat my cereal uninterrupted without risk of the bottom pieces going mushy.

And soggy bread, soggy meat, soggy whatever-else? NO WAY.

And no melted ice cream. *shudders*

I used to have problems with marshmallows ever since a Girl Scouts camping trip where our troop leader informed us that we should eat large marshmallows in several bites because death was imminent if a large marshmallow was eaten whole due to the 100% probability of choking.

Fearing marshmallows for um, EVER since then, I’ve kind of avoided the puffy pillows, fearing that even wrongly chewing a mini mallow would send me into a choking fit and I would suffocate and die.

I did see that 1000 Ways to Die episode where the hot girl choked on a marshmallow during a slumber party and died. That could have been me.

But I kinda got over it over time, and now me and marshmallows are cool. Not the best of buds, but close enough. So I wanted to pay tribute to them and remind them they’re still loved despite many years of ignoring them. What better way to celebrate a marshmallow than to stuff it in a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie and coat it in chocolate?

Yup.

Behold: Chocolate-Covered Mallow Pillow Cookies. Like Mallomars, but chocolate-ier.

And uh, I had no problem touching these. Or five of them.

Chocolate-Covered Mallow Pillow Cookies

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup chocolate chips
About 12 marshmallows, halved crosswise
1/2 pkg chocolate almond bark

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray, blotting excess with a paper towel. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, eggs and oil with a wooden spoon until blended and a thick dough is formed. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Portion rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough onto your sheets, about 1″ apart, and bake for approx. 8 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Once 8 minutes is up, remove the pans and immediately press the cut-side of a halved marshmallow on top of the still-hot, slightly-underbaked cookie. Pop sheets back into the oven for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheets for about 2-4 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
4. Prepare chocolate bark according to package directions. Dunk the tops of the cooled cookies into the melted chocolate, coating it completely. Put back onto the wire rack to harden. Store airtight.

I switched things up V-Day style by making half my batch with strawberry marshmallows and topping the melted chocolate with sprinkles. Stuff is awesome.

Have a spectacular Sunday!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet Party, Sweet Treats Thursdays

Strawberry Shortcake Donut Bites

 

Let me put out a disclaimer that these aren’t really strawberry shortcake donut bites. In fact, they’re not really “strawberry shortcake.”

Sorry for that.

But!! this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of things that aren’t really what they seem.

Like the Snuggie.

Okay, so: a blanket that you can wear. Supposed to conjure feelings of comfort and warmth. But um, have you seen the Snuggie commercials? Everyone’s all happy and snuggiefied on the couch but we all know you cannot be happy OR snuggiefied on the couch if A) your couch is neither comfy nor warm or B) there’s nothing good on TV.

Have you ever tried to get comfy on the couch and realized nothing was on? Suddenly your cushions feel like nails and you can’t wait to get off the thing. I just cannot watch crappy TV shows and feel comfortable at the same time. It just can’t happen.

Thus, the Snuggie isn’t all what it seems to be. Not even the leopard print Snuggie can make me feel comfortable if Jersey Shore is on. Blech.

But whatever, I called these Strawberry Shortcake Donut Bites because they’re strawberry-flavored donut bites that are drizzled with vanilla icing and topped with sprinkles. So…. kinda like a strawberry shortcake? Can we just pretend FOR ONCE I’m right?!

Oh wait.

This is my blog. I’m always right. That means pink is THE BEST color ever; the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is THE BEST Real Housewives series (ugh–Atlanta and Miami are Tackysville); and if I make strawberry donut bites out of cake mix and slather them with vanilla icing they’re Strawberry Shortcake Donut Bites.

Now eat up!

Strawberry Shortcake Donut Bites

1 box strawberry cake mix
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 & 1/3 cups water
1 can vanilla icing
Sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a miniature donut pan with cooking spray. You can also make these normal sized–just grease up one of those pans if you have one, too.
2. In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, egg whites, oil and water until blended and creamy. Portion batter among greased donut cavities with a cookie dough scoop (one scoop per cavity).
3. Bake for approx. 5-7 minutes or until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake! If baking larger donuts, bake for about 8-10 minutes or until done. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then gently pat onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Zap the icing in a microwaveable bowl for about 15 seconds or until slightly melted (not completely runny). Drizzle icing on cooled donut bites and top immediately with sprinkles.

Strawberry Shortcake? Yes ma’am. No questions. Just make them and enjoy.

Have a wonderful (relaxing) weekend!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet Party, Sweet Treats Thursdays

Neapolitan Brownie-Bottom Cupcakes

 

Sometimes I wonder how certain holidays got their “classics.”

You know, like how Santa Claus became synonymous with Christmas. Or how come bunnies are associated with Easter?

Last I checked, all bunnies do is poop everywhere and smell like hay. Sure, they’re cute and fluffy… until you have been sold two “male” bunnies by some scary lady hawking rabbits at the park and come home one day to find your “male” bunnies in a cage with a bunch of babies.

And sadly enough, come home the next day to find out the hard way that dad bunnies don’t really like their baby bunnies…

So, yeah, I kinda don’t like creepy baby-eating rabbits to represent a holiday where I’m supposed to hunt for eggs filled with candy and enjoy my once-a-year-egg salad sandwich.

And whatever, I don’t really care if a dude is sliding down my chimney bringing me presents as long as A) he brings me good stuff; B) he doesn’t use our bathroom (ehhh I feel weird about strangers using my bathroom; sue me) and C) he eats only his share of cookies. I mean, obviously in return for presents I’m happy to share some chewy cookies, but seriously, let’s not be selfish pigs here.

Then we have Valentine’s Day. Synonymous with… naked babies shooting arrows? strawberries and chocolate? lots and lots of hearts?

Okay, the heart thing is understandable. Cupid from… whatever. And strawberry and chocolate… check, check.

I guess Valentine’s Day doesn’t have any problems. I mean, you get free stuff from someone who loves you–like flowers and chocolate and cards and jewelry–and there are no bunnies laying eggs around your house or obese men using your toilet.

It’s pretty brilliant, actually.

In other words, did you know I love Neapolitan stuff? I do.

It reminds me of my sweet grandpa, who used to serve me neapolitan ice cream as a kid. The slice kind. Do they even make that stuff anymore? I want another slice of ice cream, please. Or two. Or four. Or, okay, eight and can you pass the whipped cream?

So keeping in the spirit of Valentine’s Day symbols and classics, I made some chocolate & strawberry stuff to appease the masses. Okay, okay, to appease me. And it worked!

Wanna know what’s going down in cupcake town?

I saw these delectable confections on Pinterest, and they were created by Jen at I Heart 2 Stamp, but turns out the Six Sister’s made a version, too! Guess everyone had this idea, too!

Neapolitan Brownie-Bottom Cupcakes *inspired by the two lovely recipes above!

For Brownie Layer:

1 box brownie mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water

For Cupcake Layer:

1 box strawberry cake mix
2 Tbsp oil
1 & 1/3 cup water
3 egg whites

Marshmallow Buttercream (recipe & ingredients follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Place brownie ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until a soft batter forms, about 50 strokes. Set aside.
3. In another large bowl, beat together the strawberry cake mix, oil, water and egg whites until blended and combined, about 2 minutes.
4. Take a heaping Tablespoonful of brownie batter and put it in the bottom of each muffin cup, about 1/3 cup full. Bake for approx. 5-7 minutes, then top with a heaping Tablespoonful of strawberry cake batter and bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely.

Marshmallow Buttercream 

2 sticks butter, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow fluff or cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (32 oz) pkg powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy for about a minute. Stir in marshmallow fluff and vanilla and beat for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Frosting should be stiff yet spreadable. I used my whole bag of sugar, but you may use less.
2. Pipe frosting high onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Valentine’s non-pareils or sprinkles, and a royal icing heart. Store airtight in fridge.

These make for a pretty presentation and the marshmallow buttercream is totally killer. Uhhhhyum.

Have a wonderful Friday! TGIF!

xo, Hayley

Chocolate Cherry Fudge

So for Valentine’s Day, I decided I wanted to do something different.

Jessie and I both work on Tuesdays (boo) so we won’t be seeing each other. And our anniversary is just four days prior, so I think we planned to do a V-Day/anniversary-holiday mashup.

Complete with cheesecake and steak with lots of A-1 (don’t wrinkle your nose at me; the best part of steak is the A-1) and lots of happy times and romance.

Read: flowers. Lots of them. And maaaaybe gifts. I’m partial to jewelry. But he can skip the chocolate. We all know I’m more of a fruit and vanilla girl anyways. Or better yet, he can bring me some chips. I do love chips!

Anyway, while spending hours er, browsing, on Pinterest, I have come across a lot of really unique, really cute Valentine’s ideas and it got me thinking, I wanna be creative and do something different.

Mix things up.

Be one-of-a-kind and all that.

I mean, cards are played (even though I still love them). And I really don’t like “dinner and a movie” dates because frankly, I despise the movies. I much prefer my Triple D viewing at home over some $12 flick I can barely hear because there are a bunch of giggling, asinine teenagers kicking my chair.

I just want romance. Preferably in a unique way. Like, I’m not heavily suggesting anything but I pretty much fell in love with the people who made homemade coupon books and little flippies of “Reasons Why I Love You.”

Though I’m confident Jessie’s “reasons” why he loves me would consist of:

I love that you’re so weird and you talk to dogs and make squeaky noises sometimes.

I love that you aren’t afraid to out-eat me when we’re out to dinner, not just by a few bites but by eating your entire plate, the remainders of mine and still wanting dessert.

I love that you have a horrible singing voice which eliminates any potential of you singing while driving, singing in the shower, singing in the rain, or singing period.

I love that you’re er, compassionate–yeah that’s it–when it comes to animals and besides squeaking at dogs and stuff you also cry when you see really cute dogs. At first I thought it was kinda weird but now it’s endearing. Yeaaah, endearing!

I love that you love bread so much.

I love that I can easily torment you by telling you that you smell like noodles, then pin you down so you squirm and freak out that your pits smell like soup.

Obviously super romantic and charming.

Me, not Jessie.

*makes straight face*

ANYWHO, if you couldn’t already tell I’m kindasorta excited about this two-ingredient fudge thing. I only made Salted Caramel Fudge a few days ago, and I have yet another fudge recipe coming up.

I’m either being really inventive with this fudge thing or I’m in a creative baking rut and am heavily relying on the fact that I can whip up weird flavors of chewy fudge with a can of frosting and some chocolate chips.

It isn’t the last one or anything, why do you ask?!?!?!

Let’s just pretend for the sake of my sanity and emotional well-being and everything that I’m super pretty and inventive and my crying around cute dogs is endearing and my Chocolate Cherry Fudge isn’t basically a repeat of the fudge I made 5 days ago, mmkay?

Now eat some freakin’ fudge.

*charming smile*

Chocolate Cherry Fudge *inspired by my Salted Caramel Fudge 

1 can cherry frosting (found this at Target)
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 bag cherry M&M’s (a Valentine’s day seasonal product but SO good)
Sprinkles or pink sugar, optional

1. Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edge of the pan. Set aside.
2.  In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the white chocolate chips for one minute and stir. Add a splash of canola oil (about a teaspoon) and zap for another 30 seconds-1 minute, stirring at 30-second intervals, until white chocolate chips are smooth and melted. Do not let burn!
3. Stir in the can of cherry fudge until well blended. Spoon into prepared baking pan and evenly smear the top with a well-greased rubber spatula or spoon. Sprinkle with sugar, sprinkles and chocolate cherry M&M’s, or arrange in a fancy pattern, if desired.
4. Allow fudge to set and chill, about 2 hours in the fridge, before cutting into squares.

Y’all really need to pick up a bag or five of these chocolate cherry M&M’s. They’re phenomenal!

If you’re loving chocolate & cherry together, you may like:
Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes by me
Cherry Marshmallow Rice Krispy Treats by Inside BruCrew Life

Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to: Trick of Treat Tuesdays, Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Sweet Treats ThursdaysMingle Monday

Bubblegum Cupcakes and Someone Turns 21…

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to meee…..

Can you believe that toothy little girl is now twenty-one years old?!

Same cheeks. Almost same hair (though opting for side-swept bangs versus my entire-childhood of a straight, thick fringe). Same smile, just with more teeth.

Still loving acting like a princess. Still love cheesin’ for the camera. Still love pink and sparkles and daisies. And sweet, I’m even rocking stripes as a kiddie. I love stripes. In case you didn’t know, 96% of my closet is nautical. I love me some stripes and sailor!!

I know 21 isn’t old, but I feel “old.” Or maybe, older.

I mean, I can’t get away with the same stuff I could as a kid. Certainly can’t acceptably play with Barbies anymore which is a shame because now they’re cheaper (at least, I think so–as a kid, $10 seemed like a lot) and she has better clothes. Then again, I did have the Spice Girls and Mary-Kate and Ashley Barbies so I’m pretty sure my Barbies were superior to whatever-Barbies of today.

Also, since I’m an adult now and can drink and vote and attend all-you-can-eat-crab-feeds on Fridays at the casino WITHOUT a guardian (ahem, lame-casino-who-denied-my-right-to-crack-crab) and need to have a grown-up job, I certainly can’t do this anymore:

At least, mom won’t pay for it anymore.

PS–everyone says I look best with my dark brown hair, but I think I looked pretty adorable with green, don’t you?

Obviously, a lot has changed since then. I don’t take pictures of myself anymore like a conceited teenager obsessed with Myspace; I switched it up and now only photograph cupcakes in front of scrapbook paper. I stick with colored eye shadows rather than colored hair follicles, and I have to say, I am soooo glad I’m not fifteen anymore.

Twenty-one ain’t so bad. I am nearly finished with college, I have an awesome blog, a pretty sweet job, an AMAZING boyfriend, a great family!, super sweet friends, an even sweeter dog, and a pretty damn good life.

So cheers to being 21!! Today, I plan on spending it with Jessie and my mom for some shopping and manicures (uh, mom and I for manis–Jessie is apparently too manly for nail polish) and later, a family dinner. Then bowling with friends. And probably a couple martinis in there somewhere. And maybe a margarita.

And YES I know tequila makes my clothes come off, I need to drink PLENTY of water and stick to one type of alcohol. And have a DD. Done, done, done, done. Now time for FUN!!!!

But first: Cupcakes.

K, so I’m aware most of my stuff looks really appetizing and appealing to the masses. Chocolate, fudge, cupcakes, cookies… all relatively “normal” things to eat, right?

Well, this one is a little wacky. It’s perfectly fitting for the wacky birthday girl, if you ask anyone who knows me.

But I. Love. Bubblegum.

I’ve told you this before so it shouldn’t be a major shock. But since it’s my birthday and I am the Queen for ever the day I decided I’d make a cupcake fit for ME.

My ULTIMATE CUPCAKE.

And uh, it tastes like bubblegum.

Obnoxiously so.

Like, your mouth begins a series of confusing chews, thinking it’s actual gum.

To me, the gum lover, this is PERFECT. I LOVE IT.

In fact, I may or may not have licked both the batter and frosting bowl clean. And may or may not have eaten two or three or five frosted and heavily sprinkled cupcakes the day before my actual birthday.

…..okay, I did. And just so you know, while I love sprinkles on my cupcakes, I actually prefer my cupcake on my sprinkles.

I’m a little obsessed with sprinkles. So much so that, when I worked at a yogurt shop, I would put about 80% sprinkles and 20% yogurt. I love the crunch. Cannot. Get. Over. It. And when I worked at the cupcake shop and had to dust off empty trays of cupcakes, I’d sometimes dust all the sprinkles into a teeny little cup and eat them. Raw sprinkles. No biggie.

I may or may not also have downed an entire bottle of rainbow non-pareils while decorating and smiled at myself in the bathroom mirror, flashing an attractive new tooth color: murky purple.

LOVE MY SPRINKLES!!

So: obnoxious blue bubblegum cake plus hot pink bubblegum frosting plus insane amount of sprinkles and a gumball on top? Perfection has a life form. Being chewed up in my mouth. And it tastes like sprinkles and gum.

Bubblegum Cupcakes 

1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box subbing unsweetened applesauce for oil*
3 drams bubblegum oil, found HERE
Pink and teal food gel coloring
Bubblegum Frosting (recipe & ingredients follow)
Unhealthy amount of sprinkles, gumballs & Blow-Pops, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions, subbing the unsweetened applesauce for the oil. **it makes the cake moister and definitely healthier, in my opinion–and no, it won’t taste like apple. Stir in ONE and A HALF drams of bubblegum oil until blended. Add in teal food coloring until a desired brightness is achieved.
3. Portion batter among muffin tins, about 2/3 full and bake for approximately 14-16 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely.

Bubblegum Frosting (oh boy)

1 pkg (8 oz) fat free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
Remaining 1 & 1/2 drams of bubblegum oil
About 6-7 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp milk, if needed

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter and oil until blended and creamy. Begin adding powdered sugar gradually, about one cup at a time, until a stiff yet spreadable consistency is achieved. Frosting should be light & fluffy. If needed, use milk to thin out a too-thick frosting.
2. Color frosting pink to the shade of your choice. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes, and top frosted cakes with tons of sprinkles. My faves are obviously the non-pareils, but jimmies and shaped sprinkles are always fab.
3. Garnish with a blow-pop or gumball and enjoy!!

OMG, I saw blow-pop AND birthday cake martinis on Pinterest. Someone fetch me some bubblegum and cake vodka and rim my glass with sprinkles!! I’m thirsty.

Have a great Tuesday!!

xo, Hayley

Linked to: Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Dwell On Friday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweet Party 

Cinnamon Bun Krispy Treats

 

There. Are. No. Words.

Do you like cinnamon rolls? Check.

Do you like tasty things? Check.

Do you like a slight chew, a yummy crunch and lots of sweetness? Check, check, check!

Do you like rice krispies? Check.

Do you like all these things rolled up into one sticky, chewy, gooey and portable treat, topped with a swirl of cream cheese icing?

CHECK PLEASE.

Why bore you with inane details of life’s daily doldrums? I made some freaking Cinnamon Bun Krispy Treats, people!!

Cinnamon Bun Krispy Treats don’t understand the word “bore” or “inane” or “doldrums.” They’re all about “happy” and “comfort” and “scrumptious” and “can-I-have-five-more”?

The answer is yes.

Cinnamon Bun Krispy Treats *adapted slightly from Jaclyn at Cooking Classy‘s Cinnamon Roll Krispie Treats recipe 

4 & 1/2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
2 cups Rice Krispies
5 Tbsp butter
1 (10.5 oz) pkg miniature marshmallows
1 cup (give or take a few) Cinnamon Bun marshmallows
1 can cream cheese icing

1. Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the marshmallows and continue to stir until melted and gooey. Once melted, stir in both cereals and continue stirring until cereal is coated and mixture is completely blended.
3. Spoon mixture into your greased dish into an even layer. Allow to set for a couple hours before cutting into bars or using cookie cutters to cut into shapes (round for cinnamon rolls, perhaps?)
4. Place the cream cheese icing into a storage Ziploc bag, seal the air out, and snip off the tip of one side of the bag. Pipe frosting in a swirl pattern on the tops of your krispy treats. Eat at once!

Um…in the words of Britney Spears:

Gimme, gimme more.

Have a great Monday!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to: Trick of Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysSweet Treats ThursdaysMingle Monday

Pixie Stick Cupcakes–and a guest post!

 

Howdy kids!

Today I’m guest posting over at Ashton’s blog, Something Swanky! Ashton is sweet and awesome and has yummy food like Red Velvet Pancakes and Brownie Batter Dip.

Yes, Brownie. Batter. Dip.

But to check out my Pixie Stick Cupcakes, hop on over there!! What are you waiting for?!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Salted Caramel Fudge

 

Some things:

1. Sometimes, after a long and particularly hellish day at work, school or what-have-you, I want nothing more than to get home ASAP and blast the nastiest, heaviest rap I have in my car and allow the bass vibrations to give me a makeshift massage. For this, I always enjoy recruiting Lil Wayne, Jedi Mind Tricks or Ying Yang Twins. Jessie also enjoys watching me rap these songs when we drive together. This is no time for modesty: I’m actually quite good.

2. It’s FINALLY raining here in Sacramento which means drought season is ovah and my driving pet peeves (no lights on, driving excessively slloooow) come out full-force. It also means I can bust out my loyal trench coat and pretend I’m Harriet the Spy like I did when that movie first came out and Rosie O’Donnell was actually relevant. Oh, Rosie.

3. Remember when I was talking about the $30 for 30 days of yoga? Instead, a few days ago I had a half cup of chili at work and was unfortunately informed of the calorie count and felt immediately disgusted, probably how one must feel if they catch their child smearing poop on the bed, or something. I raced home and popped in the only workout DVD I could find and unbeknownst to me, it was a P90X Yoga DVD. Weird.

4. Even weirder? I kinda liked it, weird buff-yoga instructor and yes, seriousness aside.

5. But I’m also super, ridiculously sore. Like, my abs cry every time I move or pretend to hide my mini muffin top. I think they’re crying for more yoga, but I shut their tears up with food and rest because that’s what I’m crying for and it is about me, isn’t it?

6. My birthday is in three days and I couldn’t be more excited–except for the fact that I have one more day of work AND my first day of school standing in my way of ordering my first drink. And after 20 years of putting up with annoying people, I’m REALLY looking forward to that, ahem–“first” taste of alcohol. Preferably Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat beer because um, I “heard” it was really yummy.

7. Also, when I inform people my birthday’s coming up, I have received minimal “happy birthdays” but MANY unsolicited tips on how to avoid hangovers and little cutesy songs about “beer before liquor, never been sicker” and whatnot. The cashier at Walmart even told me “you know the saying ‘tequila makes your clothes come off’? Well it’s TRUE.” Er, thanks.

8. A few days ago, I ran out of my beloved Flash eye shadow by Urban Decay and, not wanting to fork over a hard-earned twenty bucks for a stupid pot of purple shadow, I perused ULTA for shadows with no avail. Apparently, brands like Revlon and L’Oreal don’t believe in bright shadows. Hmph. So I headed over to Dollar Tree (AKA my stomping ground) and was looking for random things when I spotted a trio of bright shadows (a lookalike Flash included) and thought, why not? Well guess what: it works. REALLY well. And now I’m the cheapest beauty queen in all of eye shadow land!

9. After looking at a random ad in Cosmo one day and spotting a model gazing at the camera with a lazy eyeball, I am now obsessed with checking out the chicks in the VS catalogs for lazy eyes. Insecurity? What’s that mean? …

10. And while it was raining and while I was avoiding yoga (abs still hurting, you know) I made some fudge for y’all. To be specific: Salted Caramel Fudge. You should know it’s rich and decadent and really sweet but has that salty kick that’s pretty much perfect. And it’s basically two ingredients. Perfect after all.

After Shelly brought to my world her version of “2 Ingredient Fudge“, I’ve been obsessed with flavor combinations. I made Peppermint Bark Fudge for Christmas, and now I’m making this because salty and sweet make my world go round.

Open wide.

Salted Caramel Fudge *inspired by Shelly‘s fudge recipe

1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 can caramel frosting (Duncan Hines)
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1. Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with foil, ends extended over the sides. Set aside.
2. In a large microwaveable bowl, zap the chocolate chips for one minute. Stir, then add a small shot (about a teaspoon) of vegetable oil for easier, smoother melting and pop the bowl back in the microwave for another 30 seconds-1 minute, checking at the 30 second marker and stirring until smooth and totally melted.
3. Stir the entire can of frosting into the melted chips until blended. Mixture will be VERY stiff & thick. Spread into the foil-lined pan in an even layer, greasing your spatula if needed to help it spread the fudge.
4. Sprinkle the top with sea salt and allow to harden and set for about 2 hours in the fridge or a couple hours on the counter. Store covered.

See? Easy peasy! Quick, rich fudge in mere minutes. And mere ingredients. I love it.

Have a fantastical Saturday!!

xo, Hayley

 

Almond, Lemon & Oatmeal Cookies

 

I have some terrible news.

School starts on Monday.

I know, it’s a travesty. Can you believe they would begin the spring semester a day before my twenty-first birthday?

Ugh. It’s like they are hell-bent on making my life so miserable.

Algebra 2? British literature? PARKING?!!?!

Blasphemy, I tell you!

I’ve really come to enjoy my leisurely days off, waking whenever, spending the day in yoga pants and baking cookies all day, laughing jovially and running in meadows with bunnies and butterflies and flowers because that’s what happy school-less people do when they don’t have to worry about college-level math and Mary Shelley.

And now I’m back to reality, planning outfits like a crazed woman every night, going to bed by seven and waking at five, and spending approximately three hours stalking innocent students to their car in an attempt to steal their space.

Ahhh, college.

So to console myself for my upcoming demise, I made one of my favorite cookies. Well, new fave. Lemme explain.

Every Saturday for the entire span of 2011, Jessie and I have had lunch at a small, hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop that slathers the sammies high with homemade balsamic sauce and our favorite, the Buffalo Cheddar. And besides the crusty Dutch Crunch bread and selection of peppery pastrami (drool), I always got myself a cookie because cookies are necessary and I eat dessert after literally every meal.

Anyway, the sando shop carries a lemon and oatmeal cookie that’s topped with almonds and it. is. phenomenal. Buttery and nutty and fresh and chewy and everything a cookie should be.

Did I mention I work at aforementioned sandwich shop now? Yup, I am now paid to be surrounded by pastrami and lemon oatmeal cookies. My life ROCKS.

But I wanted to recreate the cookie at home since the point of having a business is turning a profit and lil’ ol’ me sitting in the back stuffing my face with lemon cookies, well, that doesn’t net much. So I made them at home so I could eat as many as I wanted which helped since after I saw the cost of my books I nearly fainted and needed something comforting and familiar to wake me from my seizure.

Spending boatloads on books or not, please make them. Your mouth will be so happy.

Almond, Lemon & Oatmeal Cookies *inspired by my White Chocolate & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies recipe, which ironically is inspired by another cookie at the sandwich shop

2/3 cup softened butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
Juice of one lemon
Zest of same lemon
Splash of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Coarse sugar for topping, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with cooking spray; pat excess spray off with a paper towel. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add in eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract until blended. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until combined. Gradually add flour mixture into the butter mixture, about 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Stir in the toasted slivered almonds.
3. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto the greased cookie sheets, about 1-2″ apart. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake approx. 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time, until golden brown and set. Cool on sheets about 5 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store airtight.

Just so you know, adding extra sugar makes everything better. I like the slight crunch from the sugar sprinkled on top. And you MUST toast your nuts. If your mama never told you to toast your nuts, I am telling you now. It makes everything better. I swear.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

xo, Hayley

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