And before I dive into my usual crazy/sugary shenanigans, I just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who commented, emailed and texted me this last week, giving me words of encouragement, sending me prayers and good thoughts, and who made me feel SO loved and supported during my personal post. Taking a little time off to readjust to my new dosage and take life in one day at a time helped immensely. And I can’t thank you enough for your loyalty, friendship and patience during this time. ((HUGS))
Okay. Back to normalcy. Or something like that.
It’s no surprise I’m kiiiindof a nosy person. I like hearing things about people’s lives and asking them questions and whatnot. In a nicer world, people would call me ‘inquisitive’ rather than a ‘voyeur’ or my mom’s term, ‘nosy’.
Anyway, as of late I have been obsessed with asking people — seriously, almost ANYONE (it’s only slightly embarrassing when I later think that I asked the cashier at Target this question)–who is your ‘free pass’? As in, if this person showed up on your doorstep rightthissecond, you’d have to tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/hubby/wife/FWB “Sorry, but _____ is my free pass. And I promise I’ll put in a good word with your free pass so you won’t be alone and stuff while I spend the rest of my life with this magical celebrity/person of my liking.”
I know my mom goes bonkers for Bradley Cooper, and I have friends who would drop everything and willingly forget their former lives and flames should Orlando Bloom or Johnny Depp appear.
I’m sorry Bradley, Johnny, Brad… I would pass on you if it meant I could forever be with the beauty that is Jennifer Lawrence.
Seriously. Is that woman real life? She’s like perfect. And lately I haven’t been the slightest bit worried that I’m kind of being creepy by professing my love for her so openly. I mean, maaaaaybe the magical powers of love will carry my words the distance from here to Los Angeles and whisper ever so softly into her ear, “you’re awesome and I heart you. And I promise I’m not a serial killer.” E.g, every words a woman longs to hear from a stranger.
Anyways, I know that’d like never happen because I have really bad luck. Case in point: as a kid, I was totally in love with the TV show Figure It Out with Summer Sanders, and I was DESPERATE to get on the show. So I’d enter and enter and try soooo hard to be a contestant but realized I didn’t have any legit talents that would be worthy of television. I don’t know which is more sad: a young child who was woefully talentless, or the fact that I will die having never been slimed. Obvi it’s the latter.
So instead, I will read Silver Linings Playbook and obsess over J.Law’s Golden Globe dress and stuff my face with birthday cake bars. I’m pretty sure in a perfect world, Jennifer would go coo-coo for my Cookies ‘n Cream Cake Batter Bars. I mean, the two of them basically share the same magic.
These bars are for cake batter lovers everywhere. And cookie lovers. And sprinkle lovers. AKA, awesome people who have good taste. They’re chewy, rich, buttery and super sugary, thanks to being fully loaded with sprinkles (more is better), white chocolate chips, crushed Oreo cookies, and my personal fave, Circus Animal Cookies. And after Circus Animal Cookie Week was such a success last year, I figured I needed to incorporate these cheery pink & white animal cookies into more goodies for you guys! These bars were no exception.
Cookies ‘n Cream Cake Batter Bars *inspired by my dear friend Sally, whose love for sprinkles knows no bounds, and who is an awesome source of inspiration and smiles!
1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp butter extract or emulsion
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup rainbow sprinkles
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 – 3/4 cup Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed
1/2 – 3/4 cup Circus Animal Cookies, coarsely crushed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, eggs, butter extract and vanilla extract with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms. Stir in the rainbow sprinkles, white chips and coarsely crushed cookies until lightly combined.
3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake until center is set and is slightly golden, about 17-20 minutes (mine finished at about the 18 minute mark). Cool completely before cutting into bars. Store airtight, at room temperature, several days. These also freeze pretty well, too!
Okay, so lemme give you a quick lowdown, folks: the butter extract combined with the vanilla (or per Sally’s recommendation: almond extract) creates a delightful, authentic “cake batter” flavor. While yes, using a box of cake mix as a base will definitely ramp up that cake batter flavor, adding an additional splash of butter and vanilla (or almond) will just deepen and enhance that deliciously rich flavor reminiscent of cake and frosting. And the add-ins are just phenom!! You’ll heart these bars, I promise.
Have a fantastical Tuesday!!