Cake Batter Monkey Bread Muffins

Usually, when I’m out and about or shopping, I’ll be friendly and say hello to people.

Sometimes, I’ll even go as far as to ask them how their day is going. And people are typically normal with typical normal answers, so it’s good. And when people ask me, I usually respond with a generic “I’m good, and glad the weather’s nice!” or something and we go on with our lives and so forth.

But sometimes, when they ask more detailed questions, I’ll give more detailed answers. Or sometimes, my simply “the weather’s nice!” comment will send their brains the message to proceed in yapping my ear off about how their great-aunt lives in Kentucky and they’re glad it isn’t raining anymore because they HATE thunderstorms and they scare their little brother who “almost busted his ear drum” from the loud boom of a thunder clap while in Kentucky. AhemOldNavyemployee.

And I don’t really know how to react because I just made a simple comment and really just want to check out the clearance flats but I suddenly have an intense urge to leave RIGHTTHISSECOND and can’t very easily say “that’s too bad; well, have a nice day!” because even that will provoke them to launch into some sob story about how his Uncle Charlie has nightmares because of nice days and blahblahblah.

So after (rudely, I know) walking away abruptly after this strange man told me his life story about his Kentuckian roots to feign sudden interest in workout clothes (and believe me, it was feigned interest since I have noo interest in working out and would rather write that strange man’s autobiography than do jumping jacks), it suddenly dawned on me:

What if I am also the culprit of “cool story, bro”-isms with random strangers/employees/people?

What if, on those times where additional commentary is necessary, I am the only one who thinks so? And I am subjecting the cashier/person behind me in line/classmate to my stupid, unnecessary ramblings?! And what if they’re thinking, gee, I wish I was in the middle of an unaesthetized root canal rather than listening to this freaky chick talk about the sunny weather and her stupid life.

I mean… not that I thought about the Old Navy guy or anything. Not long, anyway.

So I realized that, in that moment, I’d promise to keep things short and sweet with everyone until it’s been A) made VERY clear they’re interested; or B) they explicitly ask my life story before I launch into it mid-check-out and she’s scanning eggs.

Makes life easier and less complicated, no?

Ironically, these Cake Batter Monkey Bread Muffins also make life easier and less complicated. Because have you made monkey bread from scratch? Yeast and rising and dough rolling and baking and blah blah… no thanks. Not my jam.

Wanna know what is my jam? Cake batter. It makes everything better. And canned biscuits. They’re for the modern age.

So put two and two together and you have AHMAAZZZING. And when they’re warm? Don’t even get me started.

Cake Batter Monkey Bread Muffins *inspired by this recipe at Pillsbury

1 can jumbo refrigerated biscuits (not the flaky kind)
1 cup Funfetti cake mix (just the mix)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vanilla icing
Sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally grease 8 cavities in a muffin pan and set aside. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small bowl and add the vanilla; mix well and set aside.
2. In another small bowl, combine the cake mix and brown sugar. On a cutting board, separate each biscuit and cut into four pieces.
3. Working four pieces at a time, dip four pieces in the butter/vanilla mixture, coating completely. Using a fork, remove from the butter mixture and coat thoroughly in the cake mix mixture. Place four coated pieces into each muffin tin. Repeat until all eight tins are full.
4. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden and centers appear set. Do not overbake. Allow to cool slightly in the pan, about five minutes, before gently removing them with a butter knife (just run the knife along the edge of the cavity to gently pop them out).
5. Place a dollop of frosting on the tops of the still-warm muffins and sprinkle with rainbow jimmies. Or, if you prefer, zap the frosting for about 10 seconds until softened, then drizzle it on. These are best served warm, but can be reheated in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds and served within one day.

These have a sweet, subtle cake batter flavor and a nice crunchy texture on the outside, but a soft, fluffy, donut-esque texture on the inside. And basically, they’re my new BFF. You guys should introduce yourselves.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats ThursdaysTuesday Talent ShowSweet Tooth FridaySweets for a SaturdayStrut Your Stuff Saturday 

Monster Cookie Cups

So let’s get one thing straight, mmmkay?

I am kinda sorta scared of the dark.

And by “scared of the dark”, I mean I’m positively PETRIFIED of the dark when I’m alone… in my house… because that’s obviously the perfect setting for a sexy teen scary movie in which said sexy teen (me) is tortured mentally and physically by some mask-wearing psychopath in my own home because it’s dark and scary and abandoned.

And yes, when I’m home alone my very nice house immediately becomes dark, scary and abandoned. With creaky stairs and ghostly winds and creepy, random opening doors. Obvi.

I’m not home alone at nighttime often enough to experience my full-fledged fear, but when I am, I’m allllll on pins & needles planning my method of attack should some serial killer actively seek out my house and enter with hopes to reenact scary movie scenes or get all creeps on me and stuff.

Because it’s not always reasonable to have, say, a bazooka or hand grenade on hand for those times when you could easily blow someone up who’s lurking down your hallway, you need to find unconventional weaponry to use in the heat of the moment.

I’m always scoping out local, run-of-the-mill, household objects to become my survival tools should I have an encounter with a masked man.

Say I was attacked in my bedroom. Next to my bed, I have a small table with a Febreze room freshener, a fat stack of Cosmos, and some cocoa butter. Normal, everyday, girly things to the untrained eye–but to someone like me, fighting for her life–one soft-skinned, well-read girl at a time–they become everything.

I could easily hurtle the stack of magazines toward him and the pages would give him the worst papercuts ever while I simultaneously squirted cocoa butter in his eyes (thick lotion=insta-blindness) and spray Febreze in his face so he’d asphyxiate on the intoxicatingly fresh aroma of “spring and renewal.” More like DEATH AND VIOLENCE, BEYOTCH.

Or if we were faced in a dining room standoff and I couldn’t get to my kitchen for knives, I could always use my pantry staples as weapons of choice. Take for instance, my stale, 100-calorie pack popcorn. I could throw stale popcorn at him in defense and he’d be so distracted wondering why people would keep stale popcorn on hand that I could escape. Or, in a pinch, canned goods make excellent fake hand grenades. I could throw a bunch of canned chilis at him while screaming explosive noises. He wouldn’t even know what hit him!!

Or god forbid we’d have to face-off in the bathroom. No girl wants to be caught off guard and least of all in the toilet closet. But if it’s a matter of life or death, I’m choosing life–and Bobby pins (pesky, sharp and teeny) would be shot in his face, temporarily lowering his defenses so I could towel-whip him into the toilet bowl and give him a swirly. Easy peasy. (Or let’s bring up the whole fact that the toilet bowl tank lid could be a seriously saweeeeet weapon–and don’t think I haven’t thought about clocking a home intruder with it; you never know).

Or I could just… you know. And he’d be like OMG YOU ARE DISGUSTING, I am LEAVING. I could expect this kind of behavior from a man but certainly not a WOMAN I was going to murder! SHAME on YOU!!

See? No one stands a chance in my creepy abandoned house. Or against me. No masked man, home intruder or monster can outsmart me!

Speaking of monsters, besides the scary ones lurking under your kids’ beds and stuff, there are cookie monsters, cuddle monsters and monster-in-laws… but also these super amazing, REALLYFREAKINGDELICIOUS Monster Cookie Cups I made that you mustmakerightthissecond. As if your life depends on it. Because it kind of does, since life without these is sooo unbearably lame.

They’re chewy, crunchy, sweet, salty and absolutely perfect.

Plus, a birdie told me they maaaay be good with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and extra mini M&M’s on top. Because you’re a survivor and all.

Monster Cookie Cups *inspired by Cookies and Cups Ultimate Cookie Cup recipe 

1 pkg Oatmeal Scotchie refrigerated cookies, at room temp
1 (9 oz) bag miniature M&M’s candies
1 bag Miniature Reese’s PB Cups (NOT the itty-bitty “Minis” but the smaller-than-regular-sized ones that are also wrapped individually)
Vanilla ice cream & caramel sauce, (not)optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners and set aside.
2. Unwrap 12 mini peanut butter cups and set aside. Pour about 1 cup of the mini M&M’s into a bowl (or a muffin liner)–it makes it easy for assembly.
3. Take one oatmeal scotchie cookie dough square and gently squish it with your fingers to widen it. Take a PB cup and place it, top up, in the center of the cookie dough square. Take another piece of cookie dough, squish gently, and cover the PB cup with the second piece of cookie dough, sealing the edges with your fingers where each piece of cookie dough meet around the PB cup.
4. Dip the top and bottom of each stuffed cookie dough ball into the miniature M&M’s–they will stick to the room temperature dough just fine. Place one cookie dough ball into one muffin cup and repeat until all 12 muffin cups are full.
5. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. Do not overbake! Allow cookie cups to cool slightly before serving. They are delicious warm, sans ice cream, with ice cream, and good the next day, too! Keep leftovers airtight for approx. 2-3 days.

Now, to channel one of my fave shows, I Survived… I survived because I knew I had made these Monster Cookie Cups and I wasn’t going to let any monster stand in the way of having another cookie cup a la mode with extra caramel sauce. The end.

Also–are you making these yet?!

Have a great Monday!

xo, Hayley

Lemon-Strawberry Petit Fours

I live in the “new” part of my town.

I doubt any building in this area is over fifteen years old, homes included, and that’s fine by me. I like newer communities, personally.

When we lived in our old house, it was just that–an old house, dating the early 50’s. When new homes popped up nearby, I was SOOO jealous of the obviously rich people living in the big, new looking homes.

Of course, I also assumed everyone who lived in one was rich but now know that’s not the case, but whatev. If you could afford a home with two bathrooms, you were rich in my book!

Now, to get to the “older” area of town (where my college is and nearby where Jessie lives) I have to go through residential neighborhoods on particularly long stretch of roads Jessie and I call “Death Valley” because it’s annoying and 25mph the whole way and feels like it takes FOREVER to get to the main road.

But one day, I found a shortcut street that no one drives down which means it doesn’t exist on the space/time continuum, obviously, and which means yours truly usually bends the speed limits a little and goes a couple notches above 25 (and by a couple, I mean in the 15-25 above that range).

I know it’s bad and against the law but I’m always looking out for kids and pedestrians and cops, of course. But it SO beats driving behind gramps or some goody two shoes who can’t bear to push the pedal beyond 23.

But lately, someone must have mentioned something to their fellow neighbors, friends, family, baristas, hairstylists, and everyone else in their address book, because now this street is ridiculously populated with cars ALL THE TIME. It’s like Death Valley, but worse, because this was like, my personal Nascar track and now it’s a slow-moving parade of cars.

So lame!!

So lately, I’ve been actually driving the speed limit (sorry, Mom!) and it’s kind of funny. In fact, yesterday, I turned down the street behind someone adamant about going below 25 and I nearly lost it until I realized, this is the actual speed limit. People are actually supposed to drive this fast.

It makes me wonder how they determine the speed limits, because in some regions of our town on residential streets, the speed limit is 35, or 40-45, even. How come some streets are 25 while others are 40? Are the people living on a 40 speed limit street like, more badass and mentally equipped to deal with people speeding down their street day and night? Are the 25’s only old people, kids and weirdos who do things by the book only??

Why can’t we just have hovercrafts already so I can just speed in the streets while everyone else flies in sky traffic?! It’s 2012. We are supposed to have Rosie-like maid robots like in The Jetsons and as far as I’m concerned, my brother is not named Rosie, nor a robot, nor vacuums so I’m kind of upset about this.

Anyway, my normal 15-minute commute was extended by a good 10 minutes because I drove the speed limit and the moral of the story is,  my annoyance and dislike for the speed limit is no excuse for speeding, BUT it does get me home quicker so I can make yummy treats like these super easy Lemon-Strawberry Petit Fours.

Do you know what petit fours are? Me either, except that they’re little stacked cakes, usually with a fruit jam or curd filling, and coated in candy coating or chocolate. They’re adorable, two-bite treats that remind me of miniature tea parties or something and only look super fancy. Sheesh, I used a prepackaged pound cake for crying out loud–this ain’t no black-tie affair, but it is a black-tie dessert made simple.

Plus, the cake-jam-coating mixture is totally versatile, so mix things up based on your taste preferences or what you have on hand.

Lemon-Strawberry Petit Fours

1 store-bought pound cake (can substitute your own recipe, if desired), cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick and crusts cut off
About 1/4 cup lemon curd
1/2 pkg white candy coating or almond bark
1 pkt Strawberry Shortcake Duncan Hines Flavor Creations Frosting Mix
Assorted sprinkles

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
2. Cut each crustless pound cake slice in half, then in half again (making four square slices). Repeat process with remaining pound cake slices–just don’t use the end pieces. How many slices/pieces depends on the size of your pound cake, how thick your slices and how many you’ll get. Just know that three slices goes into one petit four.
3. Spread a small smidgen of lemon curd onto two squares and stack them. Stack an unfrosted square on top. You should have three stacked squares, two of which have curd. The top square should be dry. Repeat until all cakes are frosted and stacked. You may have squares leftover; eat those or save for another use.
4. Freeze the petit fours for approx. 1 hour until chilled and solid. In a large bowl, prepare the candy melts according to package directions until smooth and melted. Stir in the strawberry shortcake mix until combined.
5. Dip the frozen petit fours into the chocolate mix, coating thoroughly. Remove with a fork and allow excess to drip off before placing onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with assorted sprinkles, pearls or jimmies. Repeat until all have been dipped and sprinkled. Allow the candy coating to harden before eating. Store leftovers airtight for about 2 days.

These make excellent little treats for coworkers, teachers, neighbors or friends–and like I said, the flavors are totally versatile. I love lemon & strawberry together since they’re so reminiscent of spring and are so fresh, but feel free to try chocolate and almond, key lime and lemon, raspberry and lemon, raspberry and white chocolate, strawberry and chocolate–whatever you like!

Have a wonderful day, my petite pals!

xo, Hayley

The Friday Roundup

Yay, it’s Friday!

Are you stoked like me?!

Even though my work-week is not yet over, I still look forward to Fridays. They’re the day that I can (sometimes–thankfully!!) take off from work to bake, and the day that I always wake up at 615 in the morning, throw on some yoga pants and head to Walmart by 7am to grocery shop for the following week.

Yes, you heard me. I’m at Walmart by seven am. Oftentimes, before seven.

And it’s PURE BLISS.

Seriously, have you been to Walmart that early before? It’s completely quiet. No psychotic children running rampant through the store. No “is-she-or-isn’t-she-a-prostitute?” peoplewith their stretched-out butterfly tramp stamps and fur vests walking around. No crazy-long lines, no “I only came in for shredded cheese and they have NONE” moments.

Everything’s quiet, stocked and everyone’s SUPER friendly. For reals!! I have made so many quality Walmart buddies. And by ‘quality’, I mean I admit to feeling slightly giddy when they notice I’m back “like clockwork!!”, they say, every Friday, shopping in my yoga pants and remarking “what a good daughter” I am for shopping for my family.

…even though all of them at one point have asked if I was shopping for an old folk’s home or something with the amount of food in my basket. No, I explain, I’m shopping for my family of five… and we all eat like an army of pizza-roll-loving fiends.

Anywho, today I’m grocery shopping to my heart’s content and baking all day (woohoo!) and later, going to a cocktail party with the fabulous Ellen and Jacqueline of Bake It With Booze with my BFF Dorothy from Crazy For Crust. I fully plan on smothering my Friday night with Midori cocktails but who’s really counting?

Before I start dancing all drunk-like and drinking all Ellen’s booze, I wanted to recap my week of awesome recipes for you… in case you want to bake some now and get boozy later, obvi.

Oh, did you guys hear? I’m NOT getting married! In fact, I was NEVER engaged in the first place. But will you come to my virtual Pinterest carnival-inspired wedding anyways? THIS cheesecake will be there. So will a carousel and a neurotic 21-year old with a penchant for pinning wedding pictures obsessively.

My oven died & came back to life this week! I fully plan on submitting its story on I Survived. And mine, because I made THESE bars as a result of my survival.

I talked about the importance of being prompt and timely… and punished tardy people by eating all of THESE donuts. Suckers.

I also (briefly) experimented with being a male this week. And while it was fun, I kind of liked it too much… so I went to the mall and immediately bought a bunch of trial-sized Yankee candles and cute jewelry at Forever 21 so I could prove I was still the frivolous-spending GIRL I am.

Oh yeaaaah… and then I made THESE treats and wrote this whole post about Easter and posted them yesterday, which proves that even the best food bloggers have brain farts and mess-ups sometimes… or have had too many Midori sours but again, WHO IS COUNTING?! Not I.

So that’s that, kiddos! I have some awesomely outrageous, spectacularly scrumptious desserts awaiting you next week, so stay tuned and have an ahhmaaaazing weekend! Aside from working tomorrow, I fully intend on (attempting) to sleep in on Sunday, tinker a little with some upcoming essays, and do NOTHING.

Speaking of which: what are YOUR weekend plans?! Tell me!

See you tomorrow!

xo, Hayley

Trix Berry Krispies

So I stupidly postponed this recipe for a long time. And when it went public this morning, I had totally forgot I’d written about Easter.

And Easter is like, soooo done. Why am I still talking about it?!

So now it’s several hours since it’s gone public and I’m assuming the lack of comments was because people saw this post and immediately were like, oh my god, she’s so weird! Planning Easter posts REALLY late or REALLY early? I don’t even want to comment out of pity because she’s obviously deranged.

Maybe… but maybe I made you some yummy treats to make it up. No story today, folks (besides my visible dementia), just treats.

I’m talking about Trix Berry Krispies and they’re flippin’ awesome. I’m all about flippin’ awesome desserts, if you couldn’t already guess.

These are like Rice Krispies but made with Trix instead–the cereal with the rabbit, you know? And I used strawberry marshmallows which gave them have a yummy berry flavor.

Soo why am I still rambling?

Trix Berry Krispies

About 7 cups Trix cereal
5 oz (about half a bag) strawberry marshmallows*
5 oz (about half a bag) miniature marshmallows
3 Tbsp butter
About 1/2 cup vanilla icing (I used canned)

1. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and both marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted and smooth.
2. Pour the mixture in a large bowl and immediately add the cereal, tossing thoroughly to coat the cereal completely.
3. Press the cereal mixture into the prepared pan using greased hands or a greased rubber spatula into an even layer. Allow to harden for about an hour or two at room temperature.
4. Microwave the icing in a microwave-safe bowl for about 20 seconds until it’s smooth and runny. Drizzle the icing over the top of the bars and allow it to harden, about another 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store any leftovers airtight for about 2 days.

The Trix cereal combined with the berry marshmallows makes for a really fruity, really fun spin on the tradition Krispy treat. I sent some over to Dorothy and her daughter, Jordan, loved them. And I’m convinced Jordan’s a genius, sooo you should probably try them, too.

Have a good day!

xo, Hayley

Cinnamon Roll Blondie Bars

Usually, every Friday, I spend the night at Jessie’s house.

YESOMGOUTOFWEDLOCKSLEEPOVERS!!! I haven’t burst into flames yet and I don’t see any locusts so I’m positive the world isn’t ending because I’m spending the night at my BF’s, thankyouverymuch.

Also, if you must know, 99% of the time we fall asleep around 10PM watching Ghost Adventures soooooo… it’s obviously highly sinful and stuff.

Anywho, last Friday I packed my usual overnight bag complete with makeup, perfume & deodorant, and my work clothes, since I usually work Saturdays.

However, on Saturday morning, I was displeased to find I didn’t pack deodorant. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. NO DEODORANT!?

Okay, the world was ending after all.

Damn young adults and their sleepovers!! Bad things–like forgetting your BAN Unscented Glide-On Antiperspirant–happen!!

*Insert numerous cuss words here*

And I know most people would be like “omg, no sweat (pun intended), I don’t need it that bad. It’s not like I’m working out or something, and it’s only for a few hours so no biggie”, right?!

NO.

With my irrational fear of smelling bad threatening me EVERYSINGLEDAY I am constantly worried that at any given time, I could potentially smell like vegetable soup. And that’s a no-go. That’s why I use both deodorant specifically targeted to squelching odors ON TOP of an antiperspirant/deodorant combo. I’m triple-threatin’ under these pits, baby. I go hard.

So having forgot these at home? Alone, sitting useless in my bathroom? It’s like if Spiderman forgot to refill his webs, or Snooki forgot to put in her gravity-defying Bump-It.

Life becomes kinda sorta pointless and in my case, could become awfully stinky.

Of course, what’s a girl to do? I couldn’t very well open my bottle of body spray and shower in the smell–doesn’t work. I searched for some potential cures but found nothing–except… Jessie’s Old Spice deodorant.

“Use mine!” Jessie offered gleefully. I hesitated, opening the cap and taking a whiff of the blue gelatinous substance peeking at me from the red bottle. “It smells good!”

Yeah, it did smell good–spicy and sweet and woody and perfect–ON JESSIE. I remark frequently how good JESSIE smells. JESSIE… a BOY. I can’t wear boy deodorant. It’s like, braking a code somewhere or something.

But I was stuck between wearing boy deodorant and possibly smelling like a lumberjack dude, or stankin’ around soup-like and feeling miserable during my shift. Sooo… I went to the XY chromosome side for the day.

I figured, if I was gonna wear men deodorant, I may as well act like a boy, too. I’ve always dreamed of being a boy for a day–uh, hello, that’d be freaking sweet!!–so this was my chance, minus the whole genetics/operation/doodad-below situation.

I dreamed of walking into work with my boxers hanging out over the sides of my pants, wearing Vans sneakers and taping down my boobs. I’d wear a baseball cap–because ONLY BOYS CAN WEAR THEM (hear that, ladies?! I hate women in baseball caps!!)–and would forgo makeup in lieu of a really smashing mustache and beard combination that’d have the ladies alllll over my swagga.

Then I’d get on the level of my male coworkers and could talk about gross things and they wouldn’t question why they work with a girl who probably talks about bathroom jokes more than she should–it’d be the norm, cause I’d be a dude. And my name would be Hayden, because that’s kind of a boyish name I suppose and I don’t like male Hayleys (I’m looking at you, Osment) soooo…

And I’d have tons of girlfriends and smell like campfires and lust and would wear well-fitting jeans and would care about cars and stuff.

Until I realized I like being a girl and would just have to suck it up and smell manly for a day. So I slathered on the Old Spice and pretended not to notice when men sniffed the air and looked at me funny when I lifted my arms and I smelled like them.

Yay!

How does this relate to Cinnamon Roll Blondie Bars? In no way, shape or form. Except that girls smell sweet and so do these. So I guess I made bars for girls only. Sorry boys.

But hey, I understand if boys need a day to pretend to be a girl and all. You know, to get out the urges or whatever. So if you’re a dude and planning a girl-day, may I suggest making these bars? And maybe wearing a pink apron? Also, take a picture of that, then post it to The Domestic Rebel’s Facebook page. Thanks!

Cinnamon Roll Blondie Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing (canned or homemade), for drizzling

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until a stiff yet soft dough forms. Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan using greased hands or a greased rubber spatula. Sprinkle liberally with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
3. Bake for approx. 14-16 minutes or until center is set and edges are lightly golden. Allow to cool completely in the pan before drizzling with softened cream cheese (soften canned or homemade icing in the microwave for approx. 10-15 seconds or until slightly softened and a good drizzling consistency). Store leftovers airtight for approx. 2 days at room temperature.

These taste and smell amazing–like a cinnamon roll but in a blondie form! They taste best slightly warm with a glass of milk–and I won’t tell if you give it to boys and they like it :)

Also, you may be able to get away with this as a breakfast coffee cake–just sayin’.

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

Biscuit Donuts–Two Ways

I hate tardiness.

Most people do, I’m assuming. Even the so-called “tardy-haters” who are always tardy. Hm, that’s ironic, right? But it’s true!

Just like when people who perpetuate drama claim they hate drama… but then they start it and their lives like, depend on it and if they don’t know who so&so is dating or how so&so recovered from their latest stint in rehab, they’d be… actual human beings with lives.

SO WEIRD, RIGHT?!

But anywho, I really despise tardiness. It’s SO unavoidable 98% of the time.

I mean, if a tornado catches your car in its eye and you had to jump from the driver’s seat, catch another car in the tornado and finally flee, only to land in a river where you had to swim against the current to dry land where there was a shopping mall and the high school had just let out so there were a bunch of moronic Abercrombie teens hanging out IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WALKWAYS and you were like, five minutes late, it’s understandable.

But perpetual tardiness? Nevah.

It’s so weird–they invented these awesome devices called CLOCKS hella long ago. Sooooo pretty much you’re the only one who doesn’t use one. SO odd, right?

This didn’t happen to me recently (though it’s happened before), but I always loathe when people are late to functions you’re hosting, like parties or dinner. It’s incredibly rude and always makes everyone hate your effing guts the second you walk through the door.

One time, I prepared a really nice dinner for someone who showed up over an hour and a half late–only to have the dinner woefully inedible since it’d been in the oven like, two hours longer than it had to be. Not only was it a huge waste of food (and seriously embarrassing–a food blogger’s food should NEVER taste bad, I mean hellooooo) it wasn’t fair.

I always hate going to people’s houses when there are dinners or parties or formal functions when food should be served at a certain time and someone hasn’t arrived yet, because now the people who DO understand the concept of time and who WERE polite and prepared and early are punished for the tardy person’s ignorance and stupidity.

And what I hate most is that, usually, I’m not at someone’s house if I’m not invited to a party of some sort–with food, of course–and the host doesn’t want to break into the food because “so&so hasn’t arrived yet” and “we should just wait for so&so” and “it isn’t right to start without them”, I just want to PUNCH THEM IN THE THROAT BECAUSE I GOT HERE FIFTEEN FREAKING MINUTES EARLY AND THIS A*HOLE IS TWENTY MINUTES LATE AND WHY SHOULD MY RIGHT TO EAT BE NEGLECTED BY THEIR A*HOLERY!? Now bust open those damn taquitos because it’s eating time, bitches!

What I don’t get is how it’s rude to start without this person when they clearly have no concept of manners or time when it comes to you or I. Oh no!–they were perfectly fine taking their dandy time twiddling their thumbs or playing a game of “Who’s Dumber Than A Sock Full of Rocks” and LOSING because they’re AWFUL PEOPLE.

SO WHY CAN’T WE FREAKING EAT YET?!?

I like, go on murder sprees when I’m denied food, okay?! Well, not really “murder sprees” but I think about it and then I think about eating all the food since I just stomped out my food competition.

BTW, do you ever get food competition at gatherings? I ALWAYS do but try to hide it since I don’t want people thinking “what’s with the weird, over-eager girl over at the buffet table?

So I always have to make sure I’m like, second or third in line so it looks normal to be heading over there, but I still have a really good chance at getting the fresh food I’ve mentally claimed. Except I also really hate being second or third because the people in front of me take SOFREAKINGLONG to serve themselves and I’m like OMGWHYWEREYOUBORNWITHASERVINGDEFIENCY?! and then I get angrier.

Do I have issues? (Don’t answer that)

Anyway. The next party or formal gathering I’m hosting, if anyone’s late, that’s T.S. I don’t have patience for people who don’t have manners, so I hope they’re on a crumb-only diet since that’s what’ll be leftover.

And uh, fyi–invites have times on them ’cause, well, that’s what time you’re supposed to show up. Sooooo…just sayin’.

Oh, and anyone who’d be late for say, a breakfast soiree featuring these (super easy but super amazing) Biscuit Donuts would be preposterous and I would unfriend them immediately so A) you don’t have loooosers in your life; and B) you get more donuts.

(I am your true, always-early friend here. I got your back)

So what exactly is a Biscuit Donut? It’s a donut fried to golden perfection made out of a refrigerated biscuit… or a refrigerated cinnamon roll… whichever you’re fancying at that particular moment, or based on whatever you’ve got on hand. See? Really easy, right? And I must reiterate: REALLY AMAZING.

No more talking–just more eating!!

Biscuit Donuts–Two Ways *inspired by this recipe from Pillsbury 

For Cinnamon Sugar:

1 can refrigerated biscuits (any kind/brand EXCEPT flaky–I used jumbo golden butter)
About 5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 & 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar
Vegetable/canola oil

1. In a large rimmed pan, heat about 1 inch of oil over medium heat until nice and hot.
2. While oil’s heating, separate the biscuits and gently press on a biscuit with your palm to slightly flatten it. Using a small biscuit cutter (or if we’re being honest, I used a small medicine cup you use to take NyQuil and stuff), cut out the center of each biscuit, reserving the middles.
3. Fry the biscuits about 2 minutes on each side until golden. The donut holes will take about 1 minute per side. Transfer the donut holes and donuts to a wire rack to cool slightly.
4. Then, using tongs or your hands dunk one side of the biscuit into the melted butter, then dredge in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat on the other side, and return to the wire rack to set the cinnamon sugar for a minute.

For Cinnamon Roll Donuts:

1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls, plus the reserved icing

1. Follow steps 1-3, gently pressing the “tails” of the cinnamon rolls together before frying should they come undone a little.
2. Once cooled slightly, spread or drizzle with the reserved icing.

Both donuts are best served the same day.

So what did we learn today?

#1. That tardiness is never, ever cool and should be punishable by death–er, at least, by being denied delicious donuts; and
#2. That using canned biscuits to make donuts is like, toooootally genius. And why you haven’t made them yet, I dooo not know.

Yay! Class and rant dismissed! Now eat!!

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

Root Beer Float Bars

So, as many of you know, my oven broke last Thursday and I was devastated. 

I mean, my oven is my everything. I think I’ve made like, three no-bake things on this blog. Obviously having a working oven is standard.

And when it died, I literally had a nervous breakdown. Like, begged my mom like I’ve never begged before to PLEASE call an appliance repairman and have them rushed out here, ASAP, to fix the problem.

The best she could do was Wednesday. And that was an electrician to relight the pilot light if that was the only problem.

So basically, I drowned my sorrows in fruity martinis and spiked root beers Thursday night and watched “Too Cute Puppies” on TV and cried at the cuteness overload.

Before bed, I decided to check my oven–one last time!-just in case magic existed and it randomly decided to zombify and come back from the dead. No such luck. Zombie apocalypse: Appliance Edition would NOT begin in my kitchen. Sorry, kids.

The next morning, I struggled to find no-bake desserts because I only had one thing on the brain: Root Beer Float Bars. Taking that yummy root beer flavor and somehow imparting in a creaminess into something other than these amazing cupcakes or a standard root beer float.

Girl needs some change in her life, ya dig?

But how was I supposed to cook bars being a woefully ovenless lush? Sunlight? Stovetop? MAGIC?!

Indeed. It was the latter.

Because upon returning from a nice, long walk with Mannie, lo and behold, a large white APPLIANCE REPAIR van sat in my driveway! I pretty much fainted at the sight, died, went to heaven, and rushed inside to preheat my new & improved oven baby.

And shortly thereafter, these bars were created! (how come I feel like I’m a weirdo parent telling the story of how their kid was born?)

Seriously, you need to make these. They’re too amazing for words! And they are the perfect post-traumatic-stress treat. I mean, who doesn’t like root beer floats?! (People who don’t use ovens–psssh).

Soooooo.. you making these yet?

Root Beer Float Bars

1 box white cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp root beer concentrate (in the baking aisle near the extracts)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Root Beer Frosting (recipe & ingredients follow)
Vanilla sugar/sprinkles
Root beer barrel candies

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and root beer concentrate with a wooden spoon until blended–dough will be soft yet thick. Stir in the white chocolate chips to blend.
3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan using greased hands or a greased rubber spatula. Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until golden around the edges and set. Do not overbake. Allow to cool completely in the pan before frosting.

Root Beer Frosting

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp root beer concentrate
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp milk
About 3 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and extracts together until blended and creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Add the milk if the frosting becomes too thick.
2. Spread the icing onto the cooled bars and top with the vanilla sugar. Place the frosted bars in the fridge to set the icing, about an hour, before cutting into squares.
3. Top slices with unwrapped root beer barrel candies and serve. Store leftovers airtight either in the fridge or at room temperature, for about a day.

The root beer float flavor is so strong but SO good. And the white chocolate chips are a nice texture to the chewy bars. The oven fairy did gooooooooood.

I hope you have a great Monday!!

xo, Hayley

 

Mini Cake Batter Cheesecakes

I’m having a wedding moment on Pinterest.

A reader (Hi, Elizabeth!) inspired me to make a wedding board since she’s getting married in June.

I was totally stoked to start perusing ideas for weddings when, not surprisingly, I’ve become obsessed with trolling the “Wedding and Events” section.

Like, I haven’t pinned any food-related items in days. It’s all about balloons, DIY lace lanterns, and intricately-beaded backings on dresses.

OB.SESSED.

Which is cool and all. I am, after all, a woman, and hereby am allowed to extensively plan and overthink wedding details since the age of infancy.

Unfortunately, I didn’t care too much about weddings as a girl. I didn’t have those moments of “OMG, this is my dress” and I certainly didn’t discuss wedding deets with my friends over our junior high lunch break. It was a wedding–an exciting moment, sure–but nothing “special.” And now, I’m totally all about finding unique wedding ideas for my future wedding…

…one which, uh, isn’t “in the works” and well, isn’t even “planned.”

I’m kinda sorta not even engaged. In fact, I’m nowhere near being engaged or married or anything like that.

And I think Jessie is starting to worry that I’m going to become one of those girls who starts throwing around the term “forever & ever” or “til death do us part” randomly and insists on dragging him into Tiffany “just to look!” because oh my god, I never want to be her.

I just want to be the girl who secretly fawns over the perfect wedding hair or unique ways to incorporate Mason jars into the reception (Do you know all the cool ways you can use those things?! Mason is a freaking genius).

So when the time does come, we’ll literally be engaged for like, five minutes before I’ve already crafted the perfect Mason jar chandelier and will already have match boxes with our initials etched on the front to hand out to guests.

…Oh, and did I mention I may be kinda sorta serious about a carnival-inspired wedding? HOW FREAKING COOL WOULD THAT BE?! Candy party favors. Dessert buffets. Wacky, knock-your-pants-off alcoholic drinks in fun colors and flavors like cotton candy. And he can wear a flower pin that squirts water and I’ll wear a squeaky red nose.

How cute, right?!

Though, er, no clowns. I still have fears after growing up in my grandma’s house with her collection of Red Skelton clown paintings and plates. Freaky, bro.

So even if I’m not getting married anytime soon, we can still celebrate the fact that it’s my un-wedding! Mini Cake Batter Cheesecakes are the perfect way to celebrate, methinks.

And they’re way easy, so you can eat them and then get back to celebrating with me. Just, uh, keep this between Jessie and I–he doesn’t need to feel the pressure. We’ll just get him stuffed on cheesecakes and he’ll be juuuuust fine.

Mini Cake Batter Cheesecakes

2 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
A heaping 1/2 cup funfetti cake mix, sifted
1/2 cup sprinkles
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 muffin tins with about 15 paper liners; set aside.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press a heaping Tablespoon or so in the bottom of each paper liner. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the sifted cake mix and sprinkles and stir gently to combine.
3. Portion heaping Tablespoonfuls of cheesecake into each muffin cup. Bake for approx. 15-20 minutes, checking at the 15-minute-mark, until the center comes out clean and the tops are set and lightly golden. Cool completely, then store in the fridge.

The cake mix is unique in these mini cheesecakes in that the texture is almost half cake, half cheesecake–really dense but fluffy at the same time. It’s crazy good–you need to try it!

I hope you enjoy!

xo, Hayley

The Friday Roundup

I have some bad news, folks.

Yesterday, April 4th, 2012, my oven was pronounced dead on the scene of dinner.

I tried desperately to resuscitate it–turn the knobs to different temperatures, adjust the settings to broil–to no avail. A dark, cold, gasless oven stared back at me.

However, in somewhat goodish news, my stovetop works. Soooo… I can’t bake treats, but I can make mac and cheese, boil water, and more than likely attempt to bake a cake over my range.

So if I report back next week with my house having burnt down because I tried baking cupcakes on a gas range, well, you know why.

Anyway, the coroner (read: electrician) will come WEDNESDAY. WEDNESDAY!!! So I’m basically stuck with this dead hunk of metal torturing me with its uselessness until Wednesday.

Sooo if I report back next week that I’m going to die, you know why.

It’s tragic. You don’t realize how much you use something until you create A FREAKING BLOG CENTERED AROUND BAKING AND YOUR OVEN BREAKS. Ugh, why couldn’t something stupid and unnecessary break, like the toaster or the alarm clock? Life is SO cruel.

Anywho, before my oven committed suicide, I made some really awesome things this week–do you remember? If not, here’s a handy recap:

I talked about how miniature things are irresistible, like mini toothpaste (yes I find mini toothpaste irresistible; so what?)

I talked about my offensive taste in music, naturally.

I talked about my obsessions, which included things like mint jeans and THIS cake.

I talked about non-existent pregnant woman cravings and guest posted over at my BFF Dorothy’s blog!

And lastly, I talked about how I’m now a supposed dognapping creep.

Well, that was my week–I’m thankful it’s over! How was your week? What are your Easter plans?

Usually, for Easter, we’ll have breakfast here, do nothing, and then eat at my grandma’s after hunting for eggs (yep, we still hunt for eggs). This year, I’m throwing a visit to Jessie’s family into the mix, which is fine by me since his mom cooks really good grub (and they’re BBQing–yay!–no ham!!)

And there will be no carrot cake in sight. Yippee!!

I hope you all have a fun Easter and I hope the Easter bunny is good to you!

xo, Hayley

 

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