Ultimate Funfetti Roundup: Happy Birthday, Jessie!

So, there’s a very special boy in my life who has a very special birthday today. Any guesses?

It’s Jessie! My super sweet, super awesome boyfriend.

Today’s his big day and although he’s not a fan of A) birthdays, or B) the age he is turning, I’m still not tired of being obnoxious and I celebrate birthdays like they’re a BFD (big fat deal, yo).

Jessie and I have some fun plans today to celebrate the big 1-8 (just kidding.. but in his defense, he does still get carded at bars AND he does look 18 even if he is like, definitely not 18 anymore sooo..) and I thought it’d be fun to kick off his birthday in sweet style by posting a super fun Funfetti roundup!

It’s no surprise that Funfetti + I are BFFs and I have a TOOOON of Funfetti recipes on this here blog. What can I say, I’m crazy for cake batter! And I don’t know about you, but nothing says “Happy Birthday!” better than tons of sprinkles and sweet treats. So won’t ya help me celebrate my sweet Jessie’s birthday by baking some Funfetti cookies or digging into a vat of birthday cake ice cream? It’d be his number 1 birthday wish!!

(That, and to be 18 again. I’msorryIrattedyoursecretout,babe. Don’t hate me. I love you! *kisses*)

Birthday Cake Bark
Birthday Cake Popcorn
Brownie Cupcakes with Brownie Batter Frosting
Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Birthday Cake Puppy Chow
Funfetti Cupcakes with Funfetti Cake Batter Frosting
Cake Batter Monkey Bread Muffins
Birthday Cake Blondies with Cotton Candy Frosting

Cake Batter Cookie Dough Truffles
Funfetti Cheesecake Bars
Birthday Cake Fudge
Cupcake In A Cupcake

Funfetti Donut Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Mini Cake Batter Cheesecakes
Skinny Funfetti Dip
Funfetti Fudge

Guilt-Free Funfetti Cupcakes
Sugar Cookie-Covered Oreos
Funfetti Cookie Cups with Cookie Dough Frosting
Funfetti Blondie Bites

Cake Batter Krispy Treats
Funfetti Sugar Cookies
Funfetti Cake Batter Pretzel Bites
Twice-Glazed Funfetti Cake Donuts

Of course, Jessie has some super favorites of his own. If you didn’t know, Jessie’s blood-type is cheesecake. The boy easily inhales a pan of his all-time favorite, Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars, on his own. Not. Even. Kidding. In fact, today he’s requesting two pans as his “birthday” cake. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. He also enjoys Cheesecake Cupcakes and Cap’n Crunch Cupcakes with PB Mallow Frosting :)

Happy Birthday Jessie! I love you!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!!

xo, Hayley

Buttercream Fudge

Frosting.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with it. Similar to how I felt about MTV as a teenager, or how I feel about driving a swanky new car now. I want to love it; really, I do. But I just can’t get behind the .. abundance of it. Just like I couldn’t get behind the abundance of stupidity on MTV as a teen (Super Sweet 16, GAG) or my abundance of never-ending car payments (I mean, I’m cool with being responsible and paying for my new car, but do I really have to make car payments for 67 more months? Uuuuughhh).

I feel like if life could somehow shave off a good half of the junk I don’t like, I’d be happy. Half of a car payment: aces. Half of the crap TV shows on air: swell. Half of the frosting on a cake: perfection.

Okay, so I knoooow I’m totally alone on this frosting-hating island. I know I may be swiftly making mortal enemies who are presently burning virtual holes through their computer in hopes they’re judgment will sear my soul with shame. I knooooow! And ouch, can you like, stop searing for a sec? I made you fudge, sheesh.

But even with our dear friendship on the line, I just can’t outright lie to you and say I like frosting. I can’t. It’d be wrong, and I don’t play dirty like that. It’s just that sometimes, I find a very little frosting goes a loooong way. And yes, if you’re looking for more reason to hate me, I am that brat at the party who takes her napkin, gingerly wipes a clod of sugary buttercream into her palm and tosses the soiled sugar-lump into the garbage, only picking at the parts of the spongy cake untouched by that vile film of frosting.

STOP HATING ME.

But again, as I mentioned before, I know I’m alone on this island. Vastly, supremely ostracized in a world full of buttercream lovahs. And while I tried and failed at convincing Honda to like, maybe let me bake cookies instead of payments?, or watched an episode of Teen Mom in hopes of bonding with my fellow peers but failed because having strep throat was more interesting than that garbage, I know I can succeed at winning back your hearts today…

..because I made you Buttercream Fudge. And really, how can you turn your back on me now? No one puts buttercream fudge in the corner.

And even I, a self-proclaimed buttercream h8r, had myself a piece of this here fudge and found it to be scrumptious. Overtly sweet, it is extremely reminiscent of buttercream frosting but more solidified in the form of a melt-in-your-mouth fudge.

Promise you won’t hate me too bad? And will you quit with the soul-searing already? Duuuuuude.


Buttercream Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: Fudge, Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
For all you frosting fans, this fudge is for you! It tastes JUST like biting into a rich piece of frosting-laden awesomeness.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg white chocolate chips
  • 1 can buttercream frosting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ -- ¾ cup vanilla sugar*
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edge of the pan. Mist very lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large, microwaveable bowl, melt the white chocolate chips for one minute. Add a Tablespoon or so of oil and stir, then reheat for an additional 30 seconds or until smooth and melted.
  3. Stir the can of frosting + the vanilla extract into the melted chocolate chips and fold the ingredients together to combine. Once fudge has come together, gently press the fudge into the prepared pan in an even layer. Sprinkle liberally with the vanilla sugar.
  4. Allow the fudge to set at room temperature for about an hour or two, or chill in the fridge for about an hour before cutting into bars. The fudge can be kept airtight, at room temperature or refrigerated, up to several days (almost up to a week in the fridge).
  5. **Note: I love using vanilla sugar whenever I can because of the beautiful sparkle, but also because of the wonderful taste. You can find vanilla sugar at specialty cooking stores like Sur La Table, or I prefer the Duff Goldman brand at Michael's craft stores for under $5. It looks like white sanding sugar but has a sweet, aromatic vanilla flavor to it. And it's pretty!**

 

If you’ve ever snuck one too many finger-licks of buttercream, scooped five too many spoonfuls of frosting from the can, or have been guilty of sacrificing a perfectly good slice of cake solely for the purpose of violating said-cake in the name of frosting, this buttercream fudge is for YOU. It’s super sweet, has great texture, and I LOVE the hint of vanilla from the gorgeous sprinkles on top. It’s to die for, and would make an awesome holiday gift!!

Happy Thursday!

xo, Hayley

Super Crumb Cake

With Christmas season practically in full-swing (uh, if your name is Hayley Parker, it’s most definitely in full-swing, seeing as all my decorating, shopping, and wrapping is done.. ahem), it’s no surprise that Christmas shopping is definitely happening. And while I love holiday shopping, I seriously loathe it at the same time.

No, not for the snaking lines of angry customers. No, not for the fact that my skinny wallet becomes practically emaciated by the time I’ve left the mall. No, not for the fact that I spent more time rabidly searching/stalking for a parking spot than I actually spent in the mall. But simply for the Aggressive Salespeople.

Okay, so I’ve worked retail before. I know there are certain sales and quotas you have to meet, stupid little lines you have to say, and general prodding one must do at their retail job. However, some people take that prodding to a whole new level of full-on assault and I dislike that intensely. Those people are now known as Aggressive Salespeople.

You know the sitch. You walk into a store like chum in a shark tank and are instantly swarmed by commission-hungry associates rattling off canned sales-pitches like “buy one, get one half off sweaters!” or “check out our awesome selection of holiday dresses!” It’d be one thing if they left it at that, or simply asked if you needed help, but Aggressive Salespeople, much like the Devil and Charlie Sheen, have no souls. They do not care about your shopping well-being.

What was intended on being a breezy, “just browsing” scenario quickly turns into something far more miserable than your little shopping mind had intended. You’re now a pawn in this Hunger Games-esque battle to the death between these sales associates as they verbally hound you and wait to strike when you’re at your most vulnerable: when you find something you like and want to try it on.

Because now you know once you try it on, Aggressive Salespeople have you good. You’re so cute and naive if you think you’re going to painlessly try on that dress without interruption, because for the next 8 minutes you’re changing in and out of your clothes, Aggressive Salespeople will knock on your door no less than 51 times, each time asking “how it’s going?” or they’ll begin bombarding your dressing room with colorful cardigans, flimsy camisoles, or scarves “because they’d look totally adorbz with that dress you’re trying on!!”

And when you–very bravely–emerge to check yourself out in the full-length mirror (a very brilliant ploy for Aggressive Salespeople, those damn sneaks), Aggressive Salespeople will flock to you and pepper you with fake-compliments or my personal favorite, compliminsults, about how the dress “totally hides any weirdness” (uh, thanks) or “makes you look SO lean and pretty” or my least-favorite, “that dress is SO you!!” (you don’t even know me, 17-year old retail person. Leave me alone).

Look. I know retail is a cut-throat world. But I honestly just wanted to shop in peace without feeling like my day would have been better spent swimming in a pool of blood with hungry sharks, or jumping off of a rocky mountainside into a river of magma. You know, the simple kind of shopping where help is there if you need it, not the kind where you rock helplessly back in forth in the dressing room, being showered with cardigans as you SOS-text your mom to please save me.

So, thank god for online shopping, right?!

And Super Crumb Cake. Holy helllll, thank god for that.

What, do you ask, defines a crumb cake as being “super”? Well, young grasshopper, it’s what happens when a crumb cake’s crumb topping goes through that crazy teenage phase and experiments with steroids that enlarge its crumb topping triple the size. And unlike real-life steroids, it’s awesome.

Because I don’t know about you, but often I find myself saying, “this crumb cake needs more crumb!” And thus, Super Crumb Cake was created. For all you crumby people out there :)

Super Crumb Cake *adapted from Baked Bree’s New York Crumb Cake recipe 

Super Crumb Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
When it comes to crumb, more is MORE. There's never enough of those buttery morsels bursting with brown sugar and cinnamon. This crumb cake keeps the focus on the CRUMB.
Ingredients
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 & ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 & ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Super Crumb:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry cake ingredients (1 & ½ cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt). In another medium bowl, whisk together the wet cake ingredients (the oil, egg, milk and vanilla). Gently whisk the wet into the dry mixture until the batter comes together. Pour the batter evenly into the greased pan.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the Super Crumb ingredients until the mixture just about comes together (it'll look like big clumps of crumb).
  4. Breaking up the crumb with your hand, drop heaping handfuls of the crumb evenly over the surface of the cake. Make sure to thoroughly cover the surface of the cake; any cake left uncovered by crumb will bubble up. Once the cake is smothered with crumb, bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cake somewhat in the pan before cutting into squares. If desired, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or cinnamon sugar, and serve warm.

 

Super Crumb Cake.. I love you. In my humble opinion, this is the epitome of crumb cake. Massive hunks of spiced, brown sugary crumb top a light and fluffy vanilla-flavored cake. The balance in weight from the dense crumb and the airy cake somehow works, and there’s no doubt that every bite will be laced with that aromatic cinnamon, sweet vanilla, and sprinkling of sugary crumb. SO insane and so delicious.

Enjoy!

xo, Hayley

Peppermint Nanaimo Bars

 

Normally, I consider myself a relatively open-minded and somewhat trendy person. I won’t lie; I like to participate and bond with people over hip stuff. But there are just some trends I can’t get behind, no matter how cool they are, even if my popularity decreases exponentially for disliking said things.

Liiiike Taylor Swift. Okay, so I grow up in an anti-country-music household. It’d be totally taboo to listen to T-Swift, and when I first saw her, I thought OMG, she’s so cute, we could be like, BFFs in real life probably. But after reading about her in tabloids and interviews and hearing her music more times a day than I blink, I began to realize there’s no way in friggin’ hell TayTay and I would ever be friends. She’s a psycho. And her catchy songs are like my demise. Anytime I hear one, it infiltrates my brain like some poppy parasite and I justcan’ttakeitanymore.

Or flipflops. Duuude. I just cannot get behind these atrocious shoes no matter how hard I try. I own ZERO pair of flipflops and pledge to continue to own zero pair. They’re just so.. gross. It’s really no surprise why I love winter so much, even if flipflops are replaced by their ugly, hairy cousin, the Ugg boot. Still cuter than bare feet.

Or strawberry jelly. Call me cray-cray, but I hate the stuff. It’s seedy and weird tasting and OH MY GOD IT’S AWFUL. I mean, thank the good lord above that most places offer grape or strawberry, because if strawberry were the only option, I’d honestly rather starve. My tastebuds cannot handle the despair that is strawberry jelly.

Okay. So now that I proved I’m totally and utterly insane, how about I redirect your attention to these Peppermint Nanaimo Bars? For the longest time I had noooo idea how to pronounce “nanaimo” (okay, still don’t really know) but just because I couldn’t say it didn’t mean I couldn’t make it. So I made them and then, I knew.

Some may wag their finger that these aren’t “true” nanaimo bars. Nanaimo bars are typically no-bake with a custard-like filling in the center. My version, however, features a fudgy baked base and a smooth + creamy peppermint filling, similar to a thick frosting. Tomato, tomahto. They’re still amazeballs.

Peppermint Nanaimo Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Traditionally, Nanaimo bars aren't baked, but I couldn't resist a fudgy brownie base for these delicious bars.
Ingredients
  • For Base:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • For Peppermint Filling:
  • 1 pkt Duncan Hines Peppermint Stick Flavor Creations
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 & ½ cups powdered sugar
  • For Topping:
  • ½ pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" pan with foil, extending sides of the foil over the edge of the pan. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and melted butter with a spoon. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the softened butter, peppermint stick flavor packet, milk + powdered sugar until combined. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the cooled bars. Allow the filling to set, about 30 minutes-1 hour in the fridge.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips and Tablespoon of oil in the microwave until smooth. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the filling; sprinkle immediately with crushed candy canes. Allow the bars to set in the fridge for another hour or so before cutting into squares. These bars can be served up to 2 days later when stored in the fridge.

 

Chocolate and peppermint, to be specific, is one of my favorite flavor combinations. While I’m typically more of a white chocolate fiend, I love the rich, fudgy flavor of the milk chocolate base and creamy chocolate topping in contrast with the cool and dreamy peppermint filling. The added crunch from the crushed candy canes add a nice touch and bring out the peppermint filling flavor a bit more.. and more is always better when it comes to peppermint!

I know you’ll love these as much as I do. It’s a trend everyone can get behind :)

xo, Hayley

Gingerbread 7-Layer Bars

I hope you all had a wonderful, filling Thanksgiving holiday!!

As you may have noticed, I was a bit MIA on the blog and my social media outlets for the past couple days. Blame it on the tryptophan, or the fact that my blood type is now cornbread stuffing, but honestly, I couldn’t even pull myself away from food or libations long enough to even check my personal Facebook, much less blog.

I know. Priorities.

Maaaybe it was because ’tis the season of eating. Or because I mentally claimed like, 1035964785 things on the dinner table that I HADTOEATRIGHTTHISSECOND for like, the past 5 days. Either way, I haven’t been doing much except for eating, online shopping, eating some more, and drinking.

But don’t you worry. I’ve been exercising. I discovered this revolutionary concept, almost like reverse exercise osmosis. If you eat enough, your stomach will puff out naturally from being so full. And the next day, your abs will be sore because you were working your abs out from eating so much. Or maybe it’s just me this happens to.

Either way, I totally have the sore abs to prove it and I didn’t even get in the crunch-position. Booyah. I’m waiting by the phone so when the Nobel Peace Prize people call me for my innovative technology in the eating/exercising equation, I’ll be prepared with my interview speech. I fully intend on responding to their questions by stuffing my face with burgers, seasoned fries, and spumoni sundaes.

Or, these bars which are basically my new BFF. Holy heck they’re yummy.

Ever since I posted my Chocolate Peanut Butter 7-Layer Bars, they’ve exploded my stats here on the site. They’re so popular! And for good reason, too; they’re rich and delicious, and such a no-brainer dessert to make. Sprinkle a bunch of yummy junk on top of a crust, pour on some sweetened condensed milk (aka nectar of the gods) and you’re dunzo. So, allow me to introduce you to the holiday version: gingerbread.

You’ll be happy to get to know each other. In fact, I think you’ll be BFFs, too. You guys are so lucky to have a delicious bar and a genius sciencey friend as a BFF.

Gingerbread 7-Layer Bars *adapted from my Chocolate Peanut Butter 7-Layer Bars recipe HERE 

4.5 from 2 reviews
Gingerbread 7-Layer Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Warm up with the classic, spicy flavor of gingerbread in these awesome seven layer bars! Topped with different flavors and textures, everything merries together to make one helluva bar.
Ingredients
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 pkt Duncan Hines Gingerbread Flavor Creations
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup crushed white chocolate pretzels
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup miniature Rolos, unwrapped
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • ¾ can sweetened condensed milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray or line the pan with foil; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spice cake mix, the gingerbread flavor packet, egg and melted butter with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in the crushed white chocolate pretzels to blend. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and top evenly with the white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, pecans, Rolos and toffee bits. Drizzle evenly with the can of condensed milk.
  4. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until center is set and lightly golden + bubbly. Allow the bars to cool in the pan before cutting into squares. Store airtight at room temperature, up to 3 days.

 

These bars are SOSOSO good! I love gingerbread, and if you do, too, you’ll flip for these. The flavors + textures are out of this world and work so harmoniously with the traditional spicy flavors of the gingerbread. First, the bars are soft but have that salty crunch from the white chocolate pretzels. Next, the toppings: what can I say but YUM!? Everything is so crunchy and buttery and gooey.. totally perfect. I stuck with mostly a white chocolate/cinnamon scheme here, but if you’d prefer, you could certainly sprinkle on some semi-sweet chocolate chips as well; however, I thought the chocolate from the Rolos was just right :)

Have a fantabulous Monday!!

xo, Hayley

Frosted Eggnog Spice Bars with Gingersnap Streusel

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I thought I’d give a little thanks to some things that make me and my life happy. You know, to be spirited and stuff. Also, I’m terrible at expressing my thankful feelings toward people and things, so this is my non-mushy way of saying I’m grateful. Capiche?

I’m thankful I’m alive (uh, it’s obvious but is a helluva lot better than the alternative). I’m thankful I have a beautiful house to stay in, even if the floors are constantly covered in dog hair. I’m thankful I have food to eat every day–and good food at that. I’m thankful I have a fun job, great coworkers, and an awesome boss. I’m thankful I have a new car–my old one was seriously demonic (sorry little brother now driving said car). I’m thankful I have a wonderful, loving family. I’m thankful I have this blog and am doing what I LOVE. I’m thankful for my friends–both invisible internet friends (I seriously love you all) and real-life. I’m thankful I have the most amazing “dog son” in the entire world. Ever. And I’m thankful that I can spend his second chance at life with him. I love him SO much more than anyone could imagine. I’m thankful to have a closet full of kickass clothes, even if I’m terribly fickle and only like them half of the time. I’m thankful for my health, and my body; it’s not the skinniest, but it’s healthy and beautiful. 

I’m thankful to live in this country. We may bicker over politics but ultimately, we live in an awesome place. I’m thankful for mascara. Hello, stubbly lashes. I’m thankful for boots. I live in you so comfortably during the holidays. I’m thankful for my education. I’m thankful for my mind. I’m thankful for my sense of humor–seriously one of my best qualities (modesty, sadly, is not). I’m thankful for my readers. You’re all SO incredibly loyal, fantastic, funny, and sweet. This blog surely wouldn’t be as successful without your loyalty toward reading, commenting and baking from The Domestic Rebel. I’m thankful for YOU! Yes, you! 

You all rock. So much. Thank you. Here’s hoping you have a wonderful, safe, plentiful Thanksgiving. And if you’re going out on Black Friday, remember: have a game plan. And wear steel-toed boots. I mean, you never know. And be safe. Also, don’t get trampled. That would seriously suck and no, a Furby for $54 is NEVERRRRR worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you saved room for some eggnog bars. They’re truly delicious! Even eggnog haters will love them, swearsies.

Frosted Eggnog Spice Bars with Gingersnap Streusel *gingersnap streusel recipe from A Kitchen Addiction 

Frosted Eggnog Spice Bars with Gingersnap Streusel
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
For not being an eggnog fan, I am truly obsessed with these spicy bars!
Ingredients
  • For the Eggnog Bars + Frosting:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 tsp rum extract, divided
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting
  • For the Gingersnap Streusel:
  • 1 & ¼ cup crushed gingersnap cookies
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
Instructions
  1. First, make your bars. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, two teaspoons of the rum extract, one teaspoon of the cinnamon + the nutmeg until well blended. Stir in the cinnamon chips.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for approx. 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned and center is set. Cool completely. While bars are cooling, mix the remaining teaspoon of rum extract and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon into the can of frosting; frost cooled bars with the frosting.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnap streusel ingredients until well blended. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the frosted bars. Chill about 20 minutes to set, then cut into squares. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature, for several days.

 

 

I love the festive sweetness of these eggnog bars. The cinnamon chips add such a delightfully spicy punch to these sweet bars. The rum extract, combined with the nutmeg and cinnamon, make for an authentic eggnog flavor packed in every buttery bite. And the gingersnap streusel is seriously amazing–buttery, spicy, crunchy, it balances the overt sweetness of the bars perfectly by adding a difference of flavor and texture that can’t be beat! Seriously–nog haters, you will enjoy these!!

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m off to bury my face in some sweet potatoes.

xo, Hayley

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

 

Here’s the thing about Christmas list making: I really don’t like it.

Every year, I peruse the interwebs, catalogs and stores for drool-worthy items I absolutely cannot live without. And every year there’s that onething that I am literally SO anxious for that I ruin everyone’s day and get people heated by buying it for myself.

Now, granted, I don’t put things on my list and then go and buy them. I just take it upon myself to do my own Christmas shopping, buy aforementioned heavenly item, and when my mom or Jessie discovers it later, they chastise me about “buying presents right before Christmas!!” and “some people still need to shop for you!!”

Yeah, well. I see it this way: I’ll put awesometastic things I reallyreally want on my Christmas list, but if there’s something I’m like, losing sleep over, waiting for the big day just won’t cut it. I will literally spend the rest of the month of December anxiously staring at the gifts under the tree and biting my nails, wondering nervously if I got the dress I asked for and OHMYGODWHATIFIDIDN’T and then I’ll go stalk it at the store, carrying it around in my hand for hours while I contemplate whether or not someone got it for me. I’ll inevitably stand in the dressing room mirror squinting really hard as if trying to connect to my mom telepathically to ask her brain if the dress has already been purchased, but usually I just leave empty-handed, still worried, and with no new advances in my telepathic attempts.

And usuuuually my mom is really good about getting things I really want but still, I can’t risk not having it. #firstworldproblems #spoiledbratmuch?

Anyway, that was totally what propelled my never-ending list of justifying a galaxy-printed jeans purchase a couple days ago. I friggin’ LOVE galaxy prints and this was my opportunity to have nebulas on my legs. NEBULAS. So I bought them and prepared (however fashionably) for the wrath of Jessie who lectured me on buying self-Christmas presents.

Basically, I realize this entire post makes me look like a horrible person and a spoiled brat. Also, that my priorities may be slightly skewed. To change your perceptions and distract you from hatin’ on me, I made you cookies. White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, precisely.

I was super excited to make these because 1) hello, cookies!, and 2) Heirloom sent me one of their cookie sheets to try out. Heirloom is a woman-owned business specializing in selling professional bakeware. Their stainless-steel cookie sheets boast to be virtually non-stick with even heat distribution, easy clean up, and fresh, beautiful cookies every time. I was eager to try the cookie sheet out and tested it on these yummy cookies.

Peppermint is a quintessential holiday flavor and it happens to be my favorite. I live for peppermint sundaes in the summertime, and peppermint bark and I form a dangerously close relationship every time the holidays roll around. So when I paired the classic flavors of peppermint bark into a portable cookie, magical things happened.

Like pant-nebulas, but better.

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 box white cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup Andes peppermint baking chips
About 1/2 cup crushed candy canes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist two cookie sheets or line with silicone liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the peppermint baking chips to combine.
3. Drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared sheets, about 1-2″ apart. Bake for approx. 9-11, rotating pans halfway through bake time to ensure even baking. Immediately upon removing from the oven, gently sprinkle the tops of the warm cookies with the crushed candy canes.
4. Allow the cookies to set on the baking sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store at room temperature, airtight, for about a week. This makes approx. 2 dozen cookies.

Adding the crushed candy canes on top is completely optional; however, I enjoyed the added peppermint flavor + crunch the candy canes provided. The Andes peppermint chips are softer so they don’t lend as much of a crunch as I’d liked, hence the crushed candy canes on top. Together, the creamy white chocolate, minty fresh peppermint and the buttery cookie make for a delicious holiday treat reminiscent of my fave peppermint bark :) Super good!!

As for the cookie sheet, I was in love! Normally I use Silpat liners on my cookie sheets because they produce flawless cookies every time. With Heirloom, I baked my cookies “naked” (without a Silpat) and worried the whole time, figuring my cookies would likely stick or burn. I was wrong! My cookies turned nice and golden, set up perfectly, and had pretty brown undersides just like the cookies with the Silpat. All in all, I’d recommend Heirloom sheets to any baker looking for a professional, heavy-duty cookie sheet that flawlessly bakes cookies. You can find out more about Heirloom HERE.

Have a wonderful day!!

xo, Hayley

Heirloom generously provided me with a cookie sheet for free to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Donut Bread Pudding Pie

 

When I was a kid (and spoiler alert: as an adult), I disliked sleepovers mostly for one reason: the morning after.

Sure, everything’s all fun and games in the evening. You arrive after having eaten dinner so you’re fat and happy, and you spend the night playing games or telling jokes or, if you’re old now like me, watching Ghost Adventures with your boyfriend while daydreaming about caramel sundaes. Everything’s dandy.

But then you wake up and life slaps you in the face hard. There’s never ANYTHING to eat for breakfast.

I swear, I must choose significant others and friends who are aliens and who come from alien families who purposefully are trying to defy all logic by avoiding breakfast food purchases.

At my BFF’s house, she’d sleep in until noon, which is disgusting and basically a travesty on humanity, and when she finally woke up, I’d been rummaging through her pantry for the past six hours, trying desperately to find any sustenance that wasn’t red pepper flakes or cornmeal which were the only things her parents seemed to stockpile.

Occasionally, there’d be a lone box of Raisin Bran in the back corner, probably with an expiration date older than time itself, and who honestly enjoys Raisin Bran anyways? It was like a cruel joke laughing cobwebs of stale crap cereal in my hungry face. As if they bought Raisin Bran just for looks so when people rummage through our pantry, we can appear to be well-rounded and nutritious with our breakfast choices. 

Likewise at my boyfriend’s house. I’m sorry, but maybe I’m used to overspending at the grocery store and constantly having a multitude of breakfast choices around: Yogurt with granola. Jam and toast. Cereal. Toaster strudels. Eggs. But when I stayed over at Jessie’s one night and the next morning, had the brilliant-girlfriend intention of making my boyfriend breakfast in bed, I was sadly slapped in the face of breakfast-hatin’ reality: his family doesn’t believe in breakfast.

They had more batteries in the fridge than eggs. BATTERIES, people. Batteries aren’t even supposed to BE in the fridge!!

After contemplating making a battery acid smoothie for breakfast but sadly discovering there was no fresh fruit, nor yogurt or juice to make aforementioned suismoothie, I cried in a heap until he finally took me to McDonald’s. Usually, crying in a heap results in an Egg McMuffin–you should try it sometime. Manipulation tastes strangely like egg and cheese biscuit sandwiches, just sayin’.

Anyways, while I am a firm believer in eating breakfast, most people aren’t. I’m here today to change that. While donuts and pie aren’t typically “nutritious” breakfast fare, they are certainly more qualified as breakfast than cold batteries, yeah? And they’re baked in the most glorious bread pudding of your LIFE.

I’d say that’s pretty healthy.

Donut Bread Pudding Pie *inspired + adapted from Dorothy’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding Pie recipe and Cakespy’s Gingerbread Pudding recipe (in her book)

1 refrigerated pie crust (or a homemade pie crust)
3 cups cubed yeast or cake doughnut holes (just avoid frosted or powdered varieties)
2 eggs
2 cups heavy cream or eggnog
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed

1. Liberally grease a 9″ pie plate with cooking spray and gently lay your pie crust inside the pie plate. Flute edges with your fingers, if desired.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the heavy cream or eggnog, the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and combine. Gently fold the cubed donut holes into the wet mixture to coat. Pour the mixture into the pie plate and allow to sit while your oven preheats to 350 degrees F.
3. Once the oven’s hot, place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips). Gently place a pie shield along the edges of your pie (or carefully tent crust with aluminum foil) and bake the bread pudding pie for approx. 30 minutes.
4. Remove the pie shield or foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the center is almost set and the crust and top is lightly golden.
5. Allow the pie to come to room temperature before cutting into wedges to serve. This is best served the same day, but can be stored in the fridge up to an additional day. It also tastes great warm!

K, so let me clarify by saying I DO NOT like bread pudding. Or rice pudding. Or tapioca. Or escargot. They all have awful textures to me and I just can’t stand it. But perhaps it was the magicalness of the donuts that made me like this pie, or the fact that it was donuts baked inside of a pie, but either way, I fell in love. It’s so rich and decadent–not for the faint of heart–but full of insane, heart-warming flavor and great texture. A definite must-try!

Also, it tastes delicious with some homemade vanilla bean butterscotch sauce on top. I meaaaaannn..

Enjoy!!

xo, Hayley

 

Deep Dish Gingerbread Oreo-Stuffed Cookies

 

Usually, in life, if someone were to ask me to rattle off a list of things I hate, I’d have no problem going on and on for a good 72 hours with a long-running list of loathsome things.

Don’t ever ask me what my pet peeves are unless you’re free for the rest of the week.

However, since I’m human and I forget things because I’m getting older and also, I pulled my knee at Target and had to ask a little boy to “please help me grab that tea on the bottom shelf” and he looked at me weird like you’re not even old. Why do I have to help you, fake old person? which only affirms I’m aging quickly, I often forget about things I actually really loathe but forget about since I don’t deal with them often.

Like flashing Christmas lights. Irks me TO. NO. END.

Or going to the doctor and having to be weighed. Does my weight really matter? I mean, I get that weight is associated with a list of problems but omigawsh I’m only here for an ear ache and HOW DID I GAIN TEN POUNDS?

Or buying cards. Birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine’s, sympathy. I seriously LOATHE buying cards.

And conversely, I loathe making cards. I just kinda sorta wish cards could be abolished from life.

I mean, isn’t the gift enough? I understand the concept of cards and I actually enjoy that; however, I’m far too lazy to make a card and that makes me look like a butt since I don’t want to break out the computer paper and sharpies and draw sentimental stick figures for my sister’s birthday. And I hate buying cards because holy cow, have you seen them? They’re SO dorky and awkward.

It’s like, my choices are weird, generic humor that’s awkward because it’s so stupid that it isn’t even funny, otherwise known as grandmas wearing bikini tops or a picture of someone’s grill with “Happy Birthday” etched on each tooth; OR the really super-uncomfortably mushy cards that leave me gagging.

You know, the ones like Brother. Brother, you’re a true confidant. A true friend. You held me when I cried. You hugged me when I smiled. You touched my heart with your brotherly ways. I honestly would rather ingest bleach than buy my brother some corny card like that.

So basically, I left empty-handed. I figure I’ll try my luck elsewhere, or if it comes down to it, just write on a Post-It and call it a day. Thank god for badass gifts to distract from the lack of card because I just can’t even handle it.

Anyways. Cookies. Specifically, cookies stuffed within cookies. What did you expect, homie? We’ve been through this time and time again.

Girl finds gingerbread Oreos. Girl falls in love with aforementioned Oreos. Girl shoves them Oreos into gingerbread cookies and shoves those cookie-covered-cookies into a deep-dish pan because deep dish is my true love.

Girl eats cookies. And girl loves them. You will, too.

Deep Dish Gingerbread Oreo-Stuffed Cookies

1 pkg gingerbread cookie mix, plus ingredients on back of package
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
About 12-15 gingerbread Oreos

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Liberally grease a deep-dish cookie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cookies according to package directions; stir in the half teaspoon of cinnamon + cinnamon chips. Drop a heaping Tablespoonful of dough in the bottom of each cavity; press the Oreo in the center of the dough and top with another heaping Tablespoonful of dough. Press to seal around the Oreo, if possible.
3. Bake for approx. 10-14 minutes or until the tops are set and the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool in the pan briefly–about 5 minutes–before gently removing with a butter knife and allowing to cool on a wire rack.
4. Cookies are best kept up to 2 days, at room temperature, when stored airtight. This makes approx. 12-15 cookies.

Hoooooly cow. If you’re a gingerbread fan, you’ll love these double-trouble deep-dish cookies! The gingerbread Oreo inside gets slightly soft but still maintains that delicious, buttery crunch and creamy filling when baked inside this plush, spicy cookie. They’re truly incredible!

Happy Monday!

xo, Hayley

{Homemade} Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce

 

sooooo wish I could be a cool crafty person.

You know the people. The elite who post pictures of beautifully re-purposed dressers painted in a hip mint color all over Pinterest, or those who suggest you turn your spice rack into a nail polish display.

They’re obnoxiously genius with their crafty mind, always thinking of new ways to turn commonplace items into unique thingies that makes everyone say “OMG, I totally didn’t realize I could link together a soda can, a paper clip and a small dish and create a cannon! How cool!!!” Because how do these people think?

I’m convinced they’re crafty Einsteins, just trying to show us up on Pinterest.

I feel like Homer Simpson in the episode in which he’s desperate to out-invent Thomas Edison. Anything Homer does, it’s either been done or a complete dud. That’s totally me. I get all excited that I used an old sock to make a makeshift sock bun, and then I realize it’s been done and the Pinterest Princesses are laughing maniacally in my face with their cool nail art (which, I’m convinced, is designed by the devil to make you feel bad about your own nails and your 2-year old nail painting abilities).

Anyway, usually around the holidays I’m tempted to craft because everyone says DIY Christmas gifts are cool, but honestly, I can’t craft as well as I can bake. Crafting is one of the few things I can’t do well, like saying “no” in a Betsey Johnson store, or playing Guitar Hero.

Soooo I put down the glue gun and picked up a stick of butter. Already, I was feeling a difference in mood. This I could work with. Butter is magical.

So I made a Homemade Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce. I mean, if that doesn’t scream BEST DIY GIFT EVER I don’t know what does.

And okay, y’all know that candy thermometers and fancy stuff gives me hives, so when I saw this recipe was completely and utterly idiot-proof (and free of such intimidating gadgets and techniques–‘soft ball stage’, what?) I was dying to try it. The result? The most buttery butterscotch to ever grace your lips. Ever.

Also, I’m not good at being modest.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Butterscotch Sauce *adapted from Real Simple’s recipe in the December 2012 issue

2 sticks butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Small canning jars or mason jars

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar until smooth and melted, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Pour the heavy cream into the brown sugar mixture and stir to incorporate. Simmer uncovered, for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Once mixture has thickened, remove from heat.
3. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and the kosher salt to combine. Allow the mixture to sit and cool for about 15-20 minutes before carefully pouring into the jars. Seal, and keep refrigerated up to 1 month.
**Note: I only had pint-sized mason jars on hand, so I could just about fill two of them. If you’re looking to gift more, I’d suggest using half-pint sized jars, or double the recipe.**

Sinfully delicious. Unrelentingly rich. Buttery, decadent + smooth. And peppered with fragrant specks of vanilla bean. This sauce is seriously some of the best I’ve had–and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Tie up a jar with a ribbon and gift them to friends, neighbors, hosts or coworkers–I guarantee they’ll be your new BFF for lyfe.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Hayley

 

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