Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes

These Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes are such a cinch to make! Fresh, soft blueberry pancakes are topped with a lusciously creamy cheesecake filling and finished with blueberry pie filling. The perfect every day indulgence! Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things ever.

There’s just something so fantastic about eating pancakes, waffles and bacon at nighttime. It’s like getting to stay up late to watch a TV show when you were a kid… just an awesome indulgence, you know?

But for the longest time, I loathed making pancakes because all of our pans are ancient.

I mean, they’re like from the dawn of time itself.

They’re warped, old,and the last time it was considered a nonstick pan, Abraham Lincoln was still president. I mean, our pans suck.

So as you can imagine, making pancakes on warped, terribly non-non-sticky pans was quite a challenge, and for the longest time we never had pancakes for this reason.

But then one day, I went into Target for one thing and came out with the entire store (how does this always happen!?) and one of my impulse buys was a griddle. BEST PURCHASE EVER. I can make pancakes all the live long day now, and none of them stick. It’s basically kismet that the griddle ended up in my cart, because now I can’t stop making pancakes!

One of my favorite ways to make pancakes is with Krusteaz Pancake Mix. It has all the measuring done for you and you just have to add water – so simple! And now that I’m becoming a pancake princess (my new official title), I’m experimenting with different pancake flavor combinations and these Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes are one of my new favorites!

These Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes are such a cinch to make! Fresh, soft blueberry pancakes are topped with a lusciously creamy cheesecake filling and finished with blueberry pie filling. The perfect every day indulgence! Stacked high with lusciously creamy cheesecake filling in between each layer, the pancakes are topped with a fabulous blueberry pie filling for that authentic blueberry flavor which brings out the blueberries in the Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix. They’re a total indulgence, but totally worth it.

For the recipe, be sure to hop on over to Krusteaz’s website! You can get the recipe HERE!!

Have a super sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

Cherry Almond Cupcakes

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box! I am the worst music-listener ever.

First, I listen to the same songs over and over and over. Like, if we still used records, my records would be tore up. Seriously, it’s like the songs are going away tomorrow and I have to listen to them repeatedly in order to preserve them in my memory forever.

Second, I hate finding new music to listen to. It’s one of my least favorite tasks, up there with putting socks on damp feet and emptying the dishwasher. I just feel like, if I find a new artist or album and listen to the whole thing and hate it, it would be a huge waste of time, you know? And right now, my time is money… writing a cookbook is taking up every last second of free-time (and non-free-time), so I just don’t have the energy to seek out a new artist.

But why don’t you play a new album while you’re baking, you ask? Because if I don’t know what to expect, I’m way off my game. I’ll start burning stuff, under-beating batter, and tripping all over myself because of this new ambiance that I’m not used to. It’s like I have to bake to what I know in order to be in my “element.” (Also things in my “element”: a stack of magazines, joggers, and powdered sugar in every crevice).

And third, I always fall victim to the latest hits, anyway. I only had to hear Fifth Harmony’s ‘Worth It’ one time before that song permanently etched itself into my brain. So if it’s catchy, poppy, and plays in Hershey’s commercials, you know I’m guaranteed to listen to it really loud while no one’s home. And maybe imitate the choreography. Maybe.

Anyway, let’s talk about these spectacular Cherry Almond Cupcakes. I happen to love the combination of cherry and almond together – it’s sweet, fruity, and totally delicious. These cupcakes start with a cherry chip cake mix – a flavor I often forget about, admittedly – which gives a great cherry base to these cupcakes. Then the frosting is where the almond comes into play – thick, light, luscious sweet almond flavor. Top it off with a maraschino cherry and voila! Instant happiness.

While these cupcakes are perfect year-round, they would be especially great for Valentine’s Day! Top it with festive sprinkles or a drizzle of chocolate sauce to complete the look.

Enjoy!!

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box!

Cherry Almond Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, fruity and utterly delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 box cherry chip cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small box instant dry vanilla pudding mix
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp almond extract (more or less depending on your preferences)
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cavities with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, pudding mix and maraschino cherry juice with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until combined. Portion evenly among muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, beat together the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until creamy. Alternate adding one cup of the powdered sugar and a little of the heavy cream until frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes (if piping, you may want to double the frosting batch). Top with a maraschino cherry. Serve!

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box! Sweet, light, and perfect for any day, you’ll love these cupcakes!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Strawberry Shortcake Fluff

This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff is so simple to make - only 5 ingredients that you probably have on hand! Light, refreshing, no-bake and made in minutes, you'll love this easy recipe any time of year! I’m so excited to bring this Strawberry Shortcake Fluff recipe to you guys today! It’s in partnership with Lucky Leaf – I’m a brand ambassador for them this year and I am so stoked!

Lucky Leaf is all about celebrating everyday, and this fluff is all about that life, too. It comes together in minutes, only needs an hour to chill, and starts off with a can of Lucky Leaf’s Strawberry Premium Fruit Filling & Topping… which happens to be one of my favorite flavors in their line-up.

This idea came to me because my Grandma Pat, whom I lovingly call “Grammie”, always makes fluff salads of some kind for holiday dinners and parties. Her usual staple is a classic fruit cocktail fluff, but sometimes she’ll jazz things up with a mandarin orange fluff or even pistachio fluff.

And if you haven’t been invited to one of Grammie’s parties, or you just haven’t had an older lady make you a fluff salad, it basically consists of fruit (canned, fruit topping, fresh), Cool Whip, and sweetened condensed milk all whisked together, and usually with added ingredients. Today’s fluff salad features strawberry fruit filling & topping, sweetened condensed milk, Cool Whip, miniature marshmallows, and pound cake pieces for that irresistible, unmistakable strawberry shortcake flavor!

Plus, I heard Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching, and this would be a nice alternative to a box of chocolates. Just sayin’.

And if you have kiddos at home, this would be such a fun dessert to make with them! Have them get involved in folding together the ingredients… or sampling every component for quality control :)

Either way, you guys have to give this fluff salad a try. (Oh, and bee tee dubs, I have NO idea why it’s called a ‘salad.’ Except that it’s the bestsaladever because it doesn’t have lettuce.)

This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff is so simple to make - only 5 ingredients that you probably have on hand! Light, refreshing, no-bake and made in minutes, you'll love this easy recipe any time of year!

Strawberry Shortcake Fluff
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff Salad is a delightful no-bake treat that comes together in minutes and tastes fantastic!! Perfect for any day, any time of year!
Ingredients
  • 1 can (21 oz) Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Fruit Filling & Topping
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • ½ loaf (about 2 cups) frozen pound cake, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • Sprinkles, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, fold together the Lucky Leaf Strawberry Fruit Topping, the condensed milk, and the Cool Whip until combined. Fold in the pound cake cubes and the miniature marshmallows.
  2. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour to set up.
  3. Dish it up and serve! Garnish with sprinkles if desired.

This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff is so simple to make - only 5 ingredients that you probably have on hand! Light, refreshing, no-bake and made in minutes, you'll love this easy recipe any time of year! Be sure to connect with Lucky Leaf on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and stay tuned for more delicious recipes with them! And for more recipes, check out their website!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a brand ambassador for Lucky Leaf this year. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog!

Reese’s Stuffed Tagalong Cookies

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe! You know what really grinds my gears? Gets my socks in a bunch? Makes my blood boil?

People who don’t turn their headlights on when it’s raining.

It’s such a simple thing – buckle your seat belt, turn on the engine, and turn on your lights. Yet so many people don’t do this and it makes me go batty.

Picture me, driving along and I see someone – inevitably driving a silver car because EVERYONE CAN SEE SILVER CARS IN THE RAIN – without their lights on. I instantly start screaming and freaking out, flashing my brights in their direction and flailing my arms like I have rabies or something. I’m sure I have frightened multiple people this way, but I just cannot help it. The second I see any car without their headlights on, a switch flips and I just transform into a maniac.

Other times I turn into a maniac: when auto-correct changes my words. Dear Auto-Correct, I’m never saying ‘ducking.’

And when, after a shower and toweling off, it becomes impossible to put pajamas on. WHY CAN’T I JUST PUT MY PANTS ON.

As you can tell, patience isn’t my virtue. Neither is being virtuous. I’m a lost cause.

But anyway, let’s talk about these Reese’s Stuffed Tagalong Cookies. They’re kind of outrageously amazing, just sayin’. They’re more like cookie stacks, because they’re made with two Tagalong cookies sandwiched around a Reese’s peanut butter cup. And then the whole thing is coated in chocolate and drizzled with peanut buttery white chocolate. Jesus take the wheel.

And if you would rather hoard your Tagalong cookies to yourselves – and I know the feeling – please know that you can buy knock-off Tagalongs at stores like Walmart under the Keebler brand and under the store-brand. They’re often called “peanut butter filled fudge cookies.” That’s your golden ticket, friend. Buy them. Buy them all.

And then make these, pretty please?

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe!

Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
These Reese's-Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are outrageously delicious, so simple to make and a wonderful no-bake treat that's perfect for anytime!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Tagalong cookies/peanut butter fudge cookies (16-20 count)
  • 16-20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped
  • 2 squares white chocolate almond bark
  • 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pkg chocolate almond bark (I like CandiQuik)
Instructions
  1. Line a pan with foil. Place about 8-10 Tagalong cookies flat-side up onto the pan. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the white almond bark in a small dry bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, then microwave for another 20-30 seconds or until melted. Stir in the creamy peanut butter until combined.
  3. Dab ¼ - ½ tsp or so of the peanut butter mixture onto the flat side of the Tagalong and top with a Reese's peanut butter cup. Dab a little more of the peanut butter mixture on top of the Reese's cup and top with a Tagalong cookie. Repeat with remaining stacks and then freeze until firm, for about 30 minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions. Dunk each cookie stack into the CandiQuik, using a fork to coat the stacks. Use the fork to remove the cookie stack and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the foil lined pan and let set. Repeat with remaining cookie stacks.
  5. If the peanut butter mixture has solidified, reheat it for about 10-15 seconds or until smooth. Pour the peanut butter mixture into a small Ziploc baggy, seal out the air and snip off a corner. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the cookie stacks. Let the peanut butter mixture set, then serve!

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe! Ultra peanut buttery, crunchy and super chocolaty, these cookie stacks are one for the books! I imagine they’d be great with Thin Mints and peppermint patties, too… just saying! :)

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Soft-Baked Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! You guys – these Soft-Baked Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies. I can’t even.

So Valentine’s Day is coming up – do you have any plans?

I do not. Like, not in the least. I’m not dating anyone, I don’t have any friends, and my only Valentine’s are my dogs and they couldn’t care less about the day.

But I still like to celebrate, even if I’m hopelessly alone. Okay, not hopelessly. More like “forever single.” And in a weird way, I’m kind of okay with that. If my soulmate is out there, he either A) died, or B) probably realized he was gay. And that’s totally cool! I’m perfectly happy being a spinster forever, as long as I can have no less than 10 dogs at any given time…

…and the ability to eat whatever I want without judgment. Or wear sweats to bed instead of cute pajamas.

So this year, if we’re being honest, I’ll probably watch Criminal Minds reruns while spoon-feeding myself Ben & Jerry’s sandwiched between these cookies because you only live once and I don’t have anyone to impress. SCORE.

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! These cookies are so buttery, rich and delicious and have a delicately sweet almond flavor in the dough. The cookies themselves are pillowy soft and tender, creating the perfect base for the vanilla buttercream frosting. These taste a lot like those store-bought Lofthouse cookies but with a sweet almond flavor!

Make ’em for yourself. Or for your Valentine. Or for a Monday in February. You won’t be disappointed!

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! *adapted from this Best Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Soft-Baked Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These soft and tender cookies will soon become a new favorite!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cans vanilla frosting (or use your favorite vanilla buttercream recipe)
  • Pink food coloring
  • Assorted sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil, white sugar and powdered sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and the eggs until combined. Lastly, add in the baking soda, cream of tarter, salt and flour and beat slowly until combined. Refrigerate the dough for at LEAST one hour, up to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough 1-2" apart from one another on the baking sheets and bake for approx. 9-11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until golden and set. Cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting them. To make the frosting, stir the desired amount of pink food coloring into the vanilla frosting. Fill a piping bag with a closed star tip and pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cookies; top with assorted sprinkles. Allow frosting to set for about 15 minutes before serving.

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! Buttery, tender, soft and sweet, these cookies will soon become a new favorite! The best part is that they’re a cinch to make and can be made for any occasion!

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Homemade Milk Jam {Dulce de Leche}

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift! I’m so excited to bring you this recipe today for Homemade Milk Jam, aka Dulce de Leche!

So remember when I made my Strawberry Pretzel Salad Parfaits and spoke about my experience with Best Food Facts for the TASTE15 program? Well Best Food Facts ended up taking me to Bentonville, Arkansas and Chicago last year to learn more about food and where it comes from.

The best part of the trip (besides visiting some really cool cities) was making new friends with some other bloggers and farm bloggers. I had no idea all the work that goes into farming, be it dairy farming or corn farming. One farmer even grew canola oil, which, stupid me, I had no idea you could farm.

Since I work with dairy ALL the time, I took the time to interview one of the farm bloggers on our trip, Krista Stauffer. Krista runs a dairy farm with her husband in Washington and knows everything there is to know about all things dairy. Can you imagine how delicious and fresh their milk must be? I asked her if she’d ship me my own cow but she was like “you’re crazy and I’m putting you on a cow-buying list for suspicious people.” So it was a no-go.

ANYWAY. Krista answered a lot of questions for me about the process of milking a cow and what happens after milking the cows, which I found so interesting. Krista says, “After the cow is milked, the milk is stored in a stainless steel tank where it is immediately cooled. The milk truck arrives, takes a milk sample to be tested later for quality, components and antibiotics. The milk is loaded on the truck to be transported to the processing facility. At the plant, the entire tanker of milk is tested for antibiotics. At this point any milk with a positive test would require all the milk to be disposed of. All milk that passes the test, is unloaded at the plant. It is then filtered & pasteurized. It depends on the processing plant as well as the milk from the farm which products it is made into. For example, milk with a higher butterfat could become cottage cheese, buttermilk, etc.”

Krista and her family ship all of their milk to the Northwest Dairy Association, also known as Darigold. I became excited because I’ll sometimes buy Darigold butter! Knowing I may be eating a product made with milk from Krista’s farm is so cool!

And since today’s recipe used sweetened condensed milk, I figured we’d all want to know what the process of making sweetened condensed milk was. Krista and Best Food Facts’ resident nutritionist Sarah Downs explain: “Sweetened condensed milk, also known as condensed milk is created when some water is evaporated from the milk and sugar is added until a 9:11 (nearly half) ratio of sugar to milk is reached. The sugar added to sweetened condensed milk of course give it that sweet and gooey awesomeness but also helps to extend the shelf life.” That thick, sugary, gooey consistency is perfect for making magic bars, which I have a ton of recipes for on my blog, and what makes it one of my favorite ingredients!

BUT, don’t confuse sweetened condensed milk with evaporated milk. Sarah says they’re very different (and they are!) For one, there’s a consistency difference. Evaporated milk has a thinner, runnier consistency much like skim milk. Sweetened condensed milk is thick, almost like a syrup or gravy. According to Sarah, “both are forms of concentrated milk in which 60% of water is removed. The major difference is the sugar content. Sweetened condensed milk (as the name implies) is always sweetened and evaporated milk is unsweet.” Evaporated milk is great for pumpkin pie and fudge!

And probably the most important thing I asked Krista: Chocolate or regular milk? Krista says she enjoys regular milk with warm cookies, and chocolate milk with dinner. I think I like this girl :)

So now that we know all about dairy and sweetened condensed milk, it’s high time I explained to you that this homemade milk jam is made exclusively with sweetened condensed milk. That’s it. ONE ingredient. You probably don’t believe me, but you should!

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift! And by the way, wondering why I’m calling it “milk jam”? Well because it is! ‘Dulce de Leche’ and ‘Confiture de Lait’ both translate to ‘sugar of milk’, and milk jam/dulce de leche/confiture de lait all are made by simmering milk and sugar together. Instead of making it with whole milk and sugar and boiling it, I took a shortcut route and made it using sweetened condensed milk. Easy peasy! And so delish!

I meaaaaaaan…

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Homemade Milk Jam {Dulce de Leche}
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Homemade Milk Jam (Dulce de Leche) is DELICIOUS. Thick, creamy, and utterly perfect - and made with only ONE ingredient!
Ingredients
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 (4 oz) mason jars
Instructions
  1. Open up the cans of sweetened condensed milk and pour the contents evenly among the four mason jars. Seal the lids on all the jars.
  2. Place the mason jars into a large slow cooker and cover completely with hot water, making sure there's at least an inch of water covering the tops of the mason jars. Cook on LOW for 10-11 hours (I cooked mine for 11 for deeper flavor/color).
  3. CAREFULLY remove the jars with tongs, as they will be scalding hot. Allow to cool and dry on a dish towel, about 2 hours. Rust may have formed on the tops of the mason jars during their bath; simply wipe it off. Store milk jam in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift! Rich, deep, buttery, gooey goodness. This tastes AMAZING on top of ice cream!

For more info about Krista Stauffer, be sure to visit her blog: The Farmer’s Wifee. And for more info on Best Food Facts, be sure to visit their website.

Want more Dulce de Leche goodness? Check out these recipes!

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

DULCE DE LECHE BARSDulce de Leche Chocolate Gooey Bars

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift!

Have a super sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was a brand ambassador for Best Food Facts in their TASTE 15 program. I was sponsored and compensated to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake

This Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake is so supremely moist, rich and utterly decadent! No one will know it has a secret creamy cheesecake filling! So easy and impressive! Okay, so you know how everyone has that weird neighbor?

I definitely do.

We’ll call him Plaid Shirt, since that seems to be the only type of shirt he owns.

ANYWAY. Plaid Shirt is weird for many reasons. One, he likes to sometimes park his car on the other block, then walk back home and leave his garage door wide open for hours on end. Why? No idea. My guess? He probably wants it to look like no one’s home so when a burglar comes, he can go all ninja on them and chop them up with a machete. Or something along those lines.

He also loves to drive incredibly slow down the street and wave maniacally at me whenever I’m walking my dogs. Like, not a simple wave. I’m talking arms swinging, fingers fully spread, about to dislocate his shoulder waving, as if I can’t see him or something. Sometimes he even honks, which I loathe completely. And sometimes he’ll roll his window down, say “hiiiiiiiiiii” all weird-like, and wave crazily. The wave is always enthusiastic, always a driving hazard, and always happening.

Then there’s the tidbit about the time he stopped me on my walk to tell me all about his crazy ex-girlfriend. Like I’m talking mega deets about his love life, how she screwed him over, and how now she’s an ex for a reason. Meanwhile I just stood there in my gym shorts and sneakers trying to be like, “well, nice to talking to you but I gotta go. Forever.”

So all of this is fine and dandy (I guess) except for that my dogs literally hate me because every time we walk across the street from his house, my dogs will stop DIRECTLY across the street from his house and will take no less than 12 light-years to finish sniffing, peeing, whatever. It’s always in front of his house when he’s home or secretly home, and sometimes I can see him watching me through his front window even though I pretend not to notice because I’m a passive aggressive loner and don’t want to wave to him.

And I’ll desperately pull on my dogs’ leashes and try to drag them from the grass as if my life depends on it, because let’s face it, it probably does. This is totally the type of dude who would wear a human face mask like in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Well. Maybe I’m just overly suspicious of people who are way too enthusiastic and who willingly risk dislocation of the shoulder to say hello.

Or maybe I’ve just seen way too many episodes of Forensic Files.

Anywho, let’s talk about cake, because there’s always a reason to celebrate with cake… even if that reason is surviving a walk around the block with your dogs.

This cake is a special one, as it’s filled with a lusciously creamy cheesecake filling. From the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell this sinfully rich and moist chocolate cake had a special secret. But it does, and it’s oh-so delicious.

Enjoy!!

This Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake is so supremely moist, rich and utterly decadent! No one will know it has a secret creamy cheesecake filling! So easy and impressive!

Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
This Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake is extra special! While it may look like a standard chocolate cake on the outside, the inside boasts a creamy and luscious cheesecake filling!
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 & ¼ cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small box chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally (and I mean LIBERALLY) grease a bundt pan with cooking spray. I like to use the cooking spray that has flour in it. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, prepare the cake ingredients: beat together the cake mix, oil, water, 3 eggs, and the package of dry pudding mix for 2 minutes or until combined. Pour ¾ of the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake filling. In a small bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and remaining egg until light and creamy. Spoon the cheesecake filling around the middle of the batter in the pan, careful not to let the cheesecake touch the sides or the inner tube of the pan. If it creeps toward the center or the edges, gently use a butter knife to move it back into place.
  4. Spoon the remaining batter over the cheesecake filling and bake for approx. 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes before carefully inverting onto a plate or wire rack.
  5. Once cake has cooled completely, make your ganache. In a large bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and heavy cream for about 40 seconds. Stir until smooth. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes, then carefully pour over the cake evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles, if you'd like. Let set for about 20 minutes before cutting. Store cake in fridge.

This Chocolate Cheesecake Bundt Cake is so supremely moist, rich and utterly decadent! No one will know it has a secret creamy cheesecake filling! So easy and impressive! This cake is so decadent, rich and utterly divine. You’ll love it!!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

XXL Monster Peanut Butter Cup Cookie

This XXL Monster Peanut Butter Cup Cookie is easy - thanks to a secret time-saving ingredient! Buttery, chewy and LOADED with peanut butter cups, it's perfect for pleasing a crowd! I get cookie cravings at least twice a week.

They’re one of my favorite things to whip up, but sometimes I really loathe the fact that I have to (impatiently) wait for the dough to chill, which is the case for my classic chocolate chip cookies.

But thankfully for me, Krusteaz has a huge line-up of cookie mixes that are all oh-so delicious and don’t require any additional time chilling, contemplating life, or whatever else most cookie doughs must do before going in the oven.

And as a part of the Krusteaz Bakers Dozen, I’m super excited to bring y’all this recipe today! It’s a GIANT Monster Peanut Butter Cup Cookie and it’s freakin’ fantastic.

If you don’t know, monster cookies typically have M&M’s and assorted chocolate chips in them, but this cookie is boasting with chopped pecans, white chocolate peanut butter cups, and chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie base. It starts with Krusteaz’s Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Mix, which is probably one of my favorite mixes from their line. It produces a chewy, buttery cookie filled with oats and that warm brown sugar flavor. Amazing!!

And when stuffed to the gills with peanut butter cups, crunchy pecans and gooey chocolate chips, it’s sure to be a mega crowd-pleaser!

BTW – I’m totally making this cookie to serve during the Big Game since it effortlessly feeds a crowd… and because sweets are a must when watching a nail-biting game of football :)

This XXL Monster Peanut Butter Cup Cookie is easy - thanks to a secret time-saving ingredient! Buttery, chewy and LOADED with peanut butter cups, it's perfect for pleasing a crowd! Want the recipe? CLICK HERE!!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake

This Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake tastes every bit as sinful as store-bought cake, but with a healthy twist! You'll never guess this light, moist cake is skinny!About 8 years ago, after suffering through a terrible breakup, I went on a diet.

I totally wanted that revenge hot body so I could flaunt it in his face and say ‘BAM, SUCKA.’

Okay, maybe not ‘bam sucka’, but something preferably with expletives. Lots of them. Maybe a crude hand gesture thrown in for good measure.

ANYWAY.

While on my diet I avoided all fried food, only ate salads and chicken sandwiches from fast food joints, and tried to make healthy swaps wherever possible while cooking and baking.

Now at this point, I didn’t have this blog, but I was still cooking and baking on a regular basis for my family… and also because I found it therapeutic. There’s something so poetic about whipping cream into oblivion or punching dough right in its stupid fat face. Or, you know, wielding a zester. Zesting can be dangerous, you know.

And on the reg, my family would request sweet treats which I was happy to oblige… except, I wanted to participate in eating them, too! So I figured out a way to make cake healthy. Well – as ‘healthy’ as it could be. More like, figured out a way to make cake skinnier than your average store-bought cake. With a few simple swaps, no one was the wiser when I presented them with a skinnified cake. And I could indulge too!

So this Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake brings me back to that time in my life when I’m now needing to make those healthy swaps again. And since you guys are *probably* still sticking to your diet resolutions, I figured we could all use some healthy indulgence :)

This cake has two secret ingredients: unsweetened applesauce and egg whites. Okay, they aren’t super secret, but they make this cake out-of-this-world moist and utterly delicious. The applesauce replaces the oil that’s typical in cake baking, and the egg whites bind everything together without the calories of the added yolks.

Bake this cake up, poke a few holes in it when it cools and pour on the delicious nectar of the gods: fat-free sweetened condensed milk. Then slather on Cool Whip and top with sprinkles for a festive and healthified treat that’s sure to make you happy!

This Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake tastes every bit as sinful as store-bought cake, but with a healthy twist! You'll never guess this light, moist cake is skinny!

Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
This Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake is to-die for! Light, luscious, moist and bursting with flavor and sprinkles, no one will ever know it's lower-cal!
Ingredients
  • 1 box Funfetti cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 & ¼ cups water
  • 1 small box sugar-free/fat-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • About ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles (more or less to suit your tastes)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Pour the cake mix into a large bowl and reserve one Tablespoon. To the bowl of mix, add the egg whites, applesauce, water and dry pudding mix. Beat with an electric mixer for approx. 2 minutes or until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  3. Once cool, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes throughout the cake, careful not to pierce through to the bottom. Pour on the fat-free sweetened condensed milk.
  4. Combine the reserved Tablespoon of Funfetti cake mix and the Cool Whip, folding gently to combine. Spread evenly over the top of the cake and refrigerate for AT LEAST 4 hours or overnight. Top with the sprinkles and serve!

This Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake tastes every bit as sinful as store-bought cake, but with a healthy twist! You'll never guess this light, moist cake is skinny!Fluffy, light, moist and utterly divine! You’ll love this lower-cal cake!

This Skinny Funfetti Poke Cake tastes every bit as sinful as store-bought cake, but with a healthy twist! You'll never guess this light, moist cake is skinny!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs

These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are so delicious and EASY to make! You're just four ingredients away from these super fudgy, ultra chocolaty wonders!It’s no secret that I’ve gained some weight over the years.

And while I’d love to have a body like Gigi Hadid, I know I won’t ever look like that, so I’m okay with how I look. Except when I accidentally surprise myself with selfie mode on my phone’s camera and my face looks like a potato.

But in years past, when I was skinnier and more outgoing, I used to get picked up ALL the time. I couldn’t even go grocery shopping at the butt-crack of dawn without having the Coca Cola stock boy hitting me up while I awkwardly bought Diet Pepsi. (Don’t ask – my dad drinks that crap. I’m a Coke Zero girl all the way).

Now I find myself being left alone all the time… and I love it. I can finally go shopping in peace without people badgering me all the live long day.

It’s like my fatness is a force field that prevents me from being accosted anywhere, radiating leave-me-alone vibes to boys and men everywhere.

This also probably has to do with the fact that when I was slimmer, I also did my full makeup for my 6am grocery trips and dressed cute. Nowadays, you basically have to threaten me with a knife to get my joggers off and real pants put on. And makeup? Honey, I haven’t touched my Urban Decay palette in about 3 months.

So basically, I’m the opposite of sexy. And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Because even without makeup, even with 100 extra pounds on my frame, and even while wearing leggings and sweatshirts, I still have an awesome personality, a great sense of humor, creativity that seeps from every pore, and a cookbook in the works. Does Gigi Hadid even have that? Well, probably, but there’s room for the both of us :)

ANYHOO. Let’s talk about the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up in a month, basically. Are you ready for it?! I will likely spend the duration of the day binge-watching Criminal Minds and wishing Dr. Spencer Reid was here to ignite my imagination and tell me a plethora of fun facts about Valentine’s Day, so I clearly have no plans… except for maybe force-feeding myself these Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs.

The idea came to me when I noticed all the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates at my local Target, and I realized I could stuff these inside of my famous, signature brownie bombs. It’s so easy, and totally comes together quickly. Plus, chocolate boxes are out. Brownie bombs are in. Get with it!!

These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are so delicious and EASY to make! You're just four ingredients away from these super fudgy, ultra chocolaty wonders!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are loaded with chocolate and SO EASY to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 box (about 15 count) of assorted chocolates, or your favorite chocolate candies
  • 1 (13x9") baking pan fudge brownies, baked, cooled and cut into 15 equal pieces (edges removed)
  • 1 pkg chocolate CandiQuik
  • 1 square vanilla CandiQuik
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Take a cut square of brownie and gently flatten it with the heel and palm of your hand. Wrap it around one of the chocolates until it covers it completely, and roll it in your hands to form a ball. Place the ball on the baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. Once bombs are firm, melt your chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions. Dip each brownie bomb in the chocolate, coating completely and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining bombs. Once chocolate has set, melt the vanilla CandiQuik and place it in a ziploc bag. Seal out the air, snip off a corner and drizzle the white chocolate over the bombs. Allow to set.

These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are so delicious and EASY to make! You're just four ingredients away from these super fudgy, ultra chocolaty wonders!You could also make these no-bake brownie bombs by using premade or store-bought brownies or brownie bites! Proceed with the recipe as normal.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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