15 Gifts Under $50 For Foodies

15 Foodie Gifts Under $50Hey there, friends!

I’m bringing you a little gift guide today for 15 Foodie Gifts Under $50! From bakers to chefs, newbie foodies to collectors of pretty things, this kinda has everything I need for Christmas on it.

The first three are little “sets” I made up. You have to purchase them separately, of course, but when it comes to wrapping gifts, I recommend these pairings!

Enjoy!

Out of the Box Desserts Cookbook + Vanilla SetOut of the Box Desserts Cookbook $ 14.78 + Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla $23.93

This gift features my first cookbook, Out of the Box Desserts and a pairing with vanilla extract, which is an essential baking component to all the recipes in the book! This extra-large size of vanilla is great for getting through all of the recipes in the book and is by far the superior vanilla on the market! Use it in my recipes such as Sticky Toffee Pudding Blondies, Toffee Chip Espresso Cookies, Easy Almond Roca & Toasted Marshmallow Cheesecake, to name a couple!

Gourmet Kitchen Cookbook + Chef's Knife Set
The Gourmet Kitchen Cookbook $17.51 + OXO Chef’s Knife $19.95

Pairing a state-of-the-art saute pan with this amazing cookbook by my friend Jennifer Farley from the blog Savory Simple. Jennifer’s book is perfect for foodies, chefs and home cooks alike. Recipes for Pistachio Cardamom Baklava, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Lasagna, Spicy Gochujang Chicken Wings, Oatmeal Stout Beer Bread, and Spinach, Artichoke and Caramelized Leek Tart. Personally, I’m dying to try the Concord Grape Jam, which is a stunning royal purple color and would be fabulous on sourdough toast or drizzled over lemon scones. I paired this book with chef’s knife, something Jennifer mentioned she could not live without in the kitchen. It’s something that experienced chefs and newbies will come to rely on!

No Bake Treats Cookbook + Springform Pan Set
No-Bake Treats Cookbook $13.47 + 9″ springform pan $15.28

One of my favorite cookbooks from this year, No-Bake Treats is the brainchild from the amazing Julianne at Beyond Frosting.com. This book pretty much has every delectable dessert recipe you could think of, all entirely no-bake. I paired this book with a springform pan because it is an essential tool for baking through Julianne’s book, ensuring your no-bake cheesecakes, cakes and other decadent desserts come out perfect every time.

Top Shelf Bar Tools Set

Top Shelf Bar Tool Set, $50

Not only is this bar tool set incredibly beautiful, it has all the functions you need to make expertly-crafted cocktails, mocktails and more. A stunning, show-stopping piece to display on your bar cart or kitchen counter so you’re always ready for unexpected (or expected) drinks.

Beta Pastry Server
Beta Pie Server, $15

Nothing beats this mesmerizing pastry server! Perfect for the entertainer, this will be talked about at all the holiday parties!

Covered Butter DishButter Dish, $24

I own this adorable statement-making butter dish, but only use it for display. (I know, I know). This is great for the collector of pretty things who would appreciate the whimsy of this adorable dish.

Dust Pan Serving Tray

Dust Pan Serving Tray, $28.95

Kitschy, adorable, yet practical, I love this dust pan serving tray! Top it with a wedge of brie, a collection of crackers and a smattering of fresh grapes for a delightful hostess gift or cheese tray.

Marble & Mango Wood Cake Stand
Marble & Mango Wood Cake Stand, $39.95

Any and every baker would love this beautiful cake stand, featuring a sculpted mango wood base and a crisp & clean marble top that will showcase their homemade cakes and sweets with elegance. 

Kitchen Conversions Cutting Board

Kitchen Conversions Cutting Board, $29.95

An AWESOME gift for a novice cook or chef in training, this conversion cutting board would best be used on display (set it on a cookbook stand on the kitchen counter) so it’s always a quick glance away for reference.

Milk Bottle Measuring Cups
Milk Bottle Measuring Cups, $24

I adore these stackable measuring cups, which saves space but looks so unique that you almost want to display it anyway. Perfect for fellow food bloggers (we are kind of obsessed with antique milk bottles) or vintage lovers alike.

Sunset Wine Tote
Sunset Wine Tote, $39.50

I love the idea of gifting this nifty picnic-in-a-bag to newlywed couples. Gift them with a bottle of your favorite wine to try and send them on their way to a romantic weekend-getaway. This would be adorable gifted with maps to local day-trip locations!

Pioneer Woman Kitchen Essentials ToolsPioneer Woman Kitchen Essential Tools, $27.30

Any recipient will enjoy an upgrade on basic cooking essential tools we use all day long. This one from the Pioneer Woman features beautiful, rustic rosewood handles and sleek stainless steel hardware. Wrap the set in one of her adorable printed napkins (all available at Walmart) for a chic gift idea.

Well, that’s it! I hope you find something for someone you know (or yourself!) that’s unique, unexpected yet totally perfect for that special someone (or, ya know, yourself).

Enjoy!!

xo, Hayley

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I compiled this list on my own without receiving compensation or free product from any of these places listed. (Though, Anthropologie, if you’re reading this, I’m totally down to get some stuff from you).

 

Watergate Lush Dessert

No-Bake Watergate Lush Dessert: pecan shortbread cookie crust, smooth & fluffy pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, whipped cream and pecans combine to make this light, fluffy, EASY dessert! Have you heard of Watergate Salad before? It’s a mixture between pistachio pudding, pineapple and pecans and it’s fabulous! This Watergate Lush Dessert is sure to please and a fun twist on the classic!

So this dessert.

If you’re an American (well, you probably know even if you aren’t from the States), you probably know about the Watergate Scandal.

I’m not going to go into politics, so I’ll spare ya the details, but basically from the scandal came… a salad?

Still not sure how the two are linked. But I digress.

From the scandal has come the salad, originated from Kraft Foods called a Pistachio Pineapple Delight. Someone down the line renamed it “Watergate Salad” and the rest was history.

Then some ladies made a Watergate Cake and their reasoning was: “the frosting is a ‘cover-up’ and it’s filled with nuts.” Good enough for me!

So back to this lush: It’s a cover-up filled with pistachio and pineapple… and it’s filled with nuts. Voila! History is explained, one dessert at a time. You’re welcome, historians.

Admittedly, this flavor combination is a little old-fashioned. In my lifetime I’d never heard of Watergate Salad until I was a food blogger in the last 6 years. BUT it’s intrigued me ever since, and now I’m glad to have made this Lush to try it out. Hey, those people are onto something, because there’s something very uniquely delicious about this wild combination. And of course, the bright green color.

No-Bake Watergate Lush Dessert: pecan shortbread cookie crust, smooth & fluffy pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, whipped cream and pecans combine to make this light, fluffy, EASY dessert! It’s just like my other lush desserts, which starts with a cookie crust. For this, I used pecan shortbread (aka, Pecan Sandies) cookies. I topped it off with a creamy, fluffy pistachio & pineapple filling and topped that with whipped cream and pecans. (Traditionally, the salad also has miniature marshmallows… but I decided to let people decide if they wanted to top the salad with the marshmallows). It’s unexpected, it’s unique, and it’s totally something you should make once in your lifetime, even if you never grew up with Watergate Salad.

I’m thinking I’m going to Watergate everything from now on, ‘kay?

No-Bake Watergate Lush Dessert: pecan shortbread cookie crust, smooth & fluffy pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, whipped cream and pecans combine to make this light, fluffy, EASY dessert!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Watergate Lush Dessert
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
This Watergate Lush Dessert is a unique combination of flavors! Pistachio, pecans and pineapple combine to make a fluffy, no-bake treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 (11 oz) pkg pecan shortbread cookies (such as Pecan Sandies), coarsely crushed
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 (3.4-3.9 oz) pkg instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅔ cup crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease an 8x8" square pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the coarse cookie crumbs and butter until moistened. Press evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
  2. Wipe out the bowl and add in the pistachio pudding mix and the milk. Whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in the pineapple and 2 cups of the Cool Whip until combined and fluffy.
  3. Spread the filling into the prepared pan in an even layer. Top with the remaining Cool Whip and the pecans.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight, until set. Cut into squares to serve.

No-Bake Watergate Lush Dessert: pecan shortbread cookie crust, smooth & fluffy pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, whipped cream and pecans combine to make this light, fluffy, EASY dessert! Fluffy, smooth, creamy and packed with flavor, this unique lush dessert will be sure to please everyone who tries it!

No-Bake Watergate Lush Dessert: pecan shortbread cookie crust, smooth & fluffy pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, whipped cream and pecans combine to make this light, fluffy, EASY dessert! Have a super sweet weekend!

xo, Hayley

 

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a unique spin on classic bark candy! Dark chocolate, crisp brownie brittle pieces, white chocolate and lots of crunchy peppermint candies combine to make this EASY holiday favorite! This Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a fun twist on a classic! Instead of solid chocolate, this special bark has a BROWNIE BRITTLE filling and is topped with lots of crushed candy canes. A triple dose of chocolate in one addictive and easy bark!

Can we talk minor pet peeves for a moment?

(I know, sorry. If you don’t want to hear me whine and cry, keep scrolling. And don’t complain about having to scroll, because I do not care. Thanks!)

When people I don’t know find out I have a food blog, naturally they have some questions. Those questions usually are:

How are you not 3457743 pounds?

Do you sell your stuff?

So… how do you even make money?

To which I happily reply:

I honestly do not know.

No, because in the pictures I take, you only see the nice few goodies. The rest are lop-sided, ugly, crackly, messy whatever. Or edge pieces, which I generally hate photographing. Little known secret.

I make money through a variety of sources. Namely, working with brands and through ads on my blog.

I really do not mind answering these questions; admittedly, my job is kind of odd because making money off of a website is still kind of a foreign concept. But what I do mind is when people think because I work from home that my job is just a “cute little hobby” or I can dog-sit for people who live two towns over or I sit around watching Real Housewives all day long.

Um. Not quite.

Yes, I do usually watch the newest Real Housewives episode on my lunch break, which I take later in the day since I can’t step away from the kitchen on recipe days, or away from the camera on photo shoot days. Sure, I could set a doctor’s appointment in the morning when everyone else is at their job, and yes, I sometimes have the entire Target to myself on weekday early afternoons. BUT, I still work. And like, a lot of work.

Work never ends, but you know what? I love it. And you know something else? It was a hobby… but now it’s a full-time job. And I am SO blessed and flummoxed that I can do this as a full-time career. But no, I cannot watch your dog all day long, I cannot run and get your prescriptions from the pharmacy, I cannot sit all day long watching soap operas (as much as I’d love to). Even though I wear yoga pants and slippers most days for “work”, I’m still working.

Phew. That was cathartic.

Now that that’s out of the way, can we talk about my latest career move? Turning Brownie Brittle into PEPPERMINT BARK!!

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a unique spin on classic bark candy! Dark chocolate, crisp brownie brittle pieces, white chocolate and lots of crunchy peppermint candies combine to make this EASY holiday favorite! This is a genius call on my part, I have to say. You’ve (I’m sure) seen Oreo peppermint bark, or the like. That’s fine and dandy, of course. But adding Brownie Brittle to the candy is a total GAME CHANGER.

And so, so exceptionally easy.

Make it today and thank me later!

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a unique spin on classic bark candy! Dark chocolate, crisp brownie brittle pieces, white chocolate and lots of crunchy peppermint candies combine to make this EASY holiday favorite!

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a GAME CHANGER!! Triple the chocolate with tons of peppermint, it's a holiday must-have with a fun twist.
Ingredients
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers (in the baking aisle. If you cannot find these, substitute with a package of candy coating, like CandiQuik or Almond Bark)
  • 1 pkg Brownie Brittle
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg Ghirardelli vanilla melting wafers (see Note above)
  • 2 cups candy cane pieces
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In two medium bowls, melt the melting wafers separately according to package directions or until smooth and melted.
  3. Pour the dark chocolate in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Immediately top with pieces of the Brownie Brittle. Pour the white chocolate over the Brownie Brittle chocolate layer and spread out to the edges to coat the brittle completely. Immediately top with a liberal amount of candy cane pieces.
  4. Allow the bark to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes or in the fridge for about 15 minutes before cutting into pieces.

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a unique spin on classic bark candy! Dark chocolate, crisp brownie brittle pieces, white chocolate and lots of crunchy peppermint candies combine to make this EASY holiday favorite! So easy, so fantastic, so pepperminty and perfect for the holiday season!

Brownie Brittle Peppermint Bark is a unique spin on classic bark candy! Dark chocolate, crisp brownie brittle pieces, white chocolate and lots of crunchy peppermint candies combine to make this EASY holiday favorite! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

No Bake Fudge Dreidels

These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are wonderful for Hanukkah! Chocolate fudge and Hershey Kisses combine to create these unique treats covered in creamy white chocolate and sprinkles. So easy and fun to make with kids!These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are such a fun way to kick off Hanukkah this year! A great way to get the kids to help in the kitchen, these dreidels make a big batch for friends, family and yourself!

I admit, I don’t know much about Hanukkah, except that it lasts eight days and kids sometimes play dreidel for gelt. That’s about it. (Sorry to my Jewish friends!)

But I do know that I have quite a few readers who celebrate Hanukkah, so amidst all of the red & green Santa stuff, I wanted to bring you guys a treat you could indulge in. Enter: these No-Bake Fudge Dreidels.

The idea came to me after I read an issue of Woman’s Day Magazine and after I remembered I made Marshmallow Dreidels in the past. This version, similar to the one in the magazine, features FUDGE instead of marshmallows, making for one super chocolaty treat. However, both are no-bake, so give them both a try!

Plus, this recipe makes a lot so you can save some for yourself and pass the rest out to family and friends. Win-win!

To make them, just make a batch of my three-ingredient fudge. Easy peasy. It’s just chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Melt it all together and pour it into a pan to let it set. Once set, cut it into little squares, depending on how big you’d like your dreidel to be. Using a toothpick, skewer the fudge square and the bottom of a Hershey Kiss together to create the dreidel shape. Then dip, decorate and EAT!!

These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are wonderful for Hanukkah! Chocolate fudge and Hershey Kisses combine to create these unique treats covered in creamy white chocolate and sprinkles. So easy and fun to make with kids!These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are wonderful for Hanukkah! Chocolate fudge and Hershey Kisses combine to create these unique treats covered in creamy white chocolate and sprinkles. So easy and fun to make with kids!You are only limited to your imagination when decorating these dreidels. I used chocolate candy melts to create the Hebrew letters that correspond with the dreidel game (Gimel, Hay, Shin and Nun are the letters). You can also use sparkling coarse sugar sprinkles to decorate, or even use a different colored candy melt (such as blue) or luster dust (like silver) to coat the dreidels.

Whatever you do, if you love chocolate, you’ll want to make these!

These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are wonderful for Hanukkah! Chocolate fudge and Hershey Kisses combine to create these unique treats covered in creamy white chocolate and sprinkles. So easy and fun to make with kids!

5.0 from 1 reviews
No Bake Fudge Dreidels
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36
 
These Fudge Dreidels are such a fun way to incorporate Hanukkah traditions into dessert! Easy, no-bake and makes a ton!
Ingredients
  • FOR FUDGE:
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (1 (12 oz) bag)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • FOR DECORATION:
  • 36 Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
  • 30 oz (approx. 3 bags) Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers (or another kind of melting chocolate/almond bark)
  • ½ bag (5 oz) dark chocolate melting wafers (such as by Ghirardelli)
  • Sprinkles for decoration
Instructions
  1. First, make your fudge. Line an 8x8" square pan with parchment and set aside. In a large pot, melt together the chocolate chips and condensed milk over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and pour the fudge into the prepared pan.
  2. Let the fudge chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until firm. Once firm, cut into 36 equally sized squares.
  3. Using a toothpick, skewer each piece of fudge, leaving a small piece of the toothpick exposed. Skewer a Hershey Kiss upside down (pointed side down) onto the toothpick and rest it gently against the fudge. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt the vanilla melting chocolate according to package directions, or until smooth. Dip each dreidel into the vanilla chocolate, coating it completely and allowing excess to drip off. Return to the parchment-lined baking sheet to set, or top with sprinkles if using. Repeat with remaining dreidels.
  5. If piping on Hebrew letters, melt the dark chocolate according to package directions, or until smooth. Pipe Hebrew letters onto each dreidel. I find it's easiest to pour the melted dark chocolate into a small squeeze bottle with a small opening so you have more control of the chocolate. Let set, then eat!

These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are wonderful for Hanukkah! Chocolate fudge and Hershey Kisses combine to create these unique treats covered in creamy white chocolate and sprinkles. So easy and fun to make with kids!Fudgy, chocolaty goodness in one unique and adorable Hanukkah treat!

These No-Bake Fudge Dreidels are wonderful for Hanukkah! Chocolate fudge and Hershey Kisses combine to create these unique treats covered in creamy white chocolate and sprinkles. So easy and fun to make with kids! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Gingerbread Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Icing

Gingerbread Banana Bread is a unique, festive & easy twist to basic banana bread - with a gingerbread twist! Flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves & molasses, this moist & fluffy banana bread is topped with a decadently creamy cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast? Why not both! Everyone’s had banana bread, but have you had Gingerbread Banana Bread?! Banana bread meets gingerbread in this awesome hybrid recipe, topped with a luscious cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast – why choose?!

Okay, so I’m going to be posting all this week because Christmas is imminent and I want to make sure you guys all have a chance to make these awesome Christmas recipes I keep churning out. So if you were one of those people who prefer one post a week, I’m sorry, but I’m about to overload your ish. #notsorry

SO. You know how some people eat cilantro and all they taste is soap?

I am not that person. I love cilantro. It courses through my veins. It’s my life blood. I would put it on everything savory if I could.

But I, unfortunately, have that genetic defect with ginger.

Whenever ginger is in my mouth’s presence, I instantly taste soap. Or perfume.

I long for the days when I can utilize ginger’s super powers. I have stomach problems regularly, and I know how good ginger is for upset stomachs. Ginger’s good for muscle pain, which I have often since I sit at a desk or am bending down to get pans all day long. Ginger fights cancer like a little ninja root badass. Ginger helps you lose weight, ginger will fight terrorism, ginger will save the world.

Ginger, ginger, ginger! < my Brady Bunch impression of Jan

But all I taste is… soapy perfume. Blech.

But maybe because I’m weird, sometimes I can bypass the perfumey taste if it’s masked with other spices, like in this bread. However, if you love and are BFFs with ginger (show off), you can totally ramp up the ginger flavor. I GET IT, OKAY?

Gingerbread Banana Bread is a unique, festive & easy twist to basic banana bread - with a gingerbread twist! Flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves & molasses, this moist & fluffy banana bread is topped with a decadently creamy cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast? Why not both! Gingerbread Banana Bread is a unique, festive & easy twist to basic banana bread - with a gingerbread twist! Flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves & molasses, this moist & fluffy banana bread is topped with a decadently creamy cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast? Why not both! For me, however, this bread is just perfect. Just the right amount of spice in one moist, fluffy cake-bread topped with a lusciously smooth cream cheese icing. There is nothing better, I tell you!

Your mouth’s presence is about to be graced with greatness. Are you ready?

Gingerbread Banana Bread is a unique, festive & easy twist to basic banana bread - with a gingerbread twist! Flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves & molasses, this moist & fluffy banana bread is topped with a decadently creamy cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast? Why not both!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Icing
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This Gingerbread Banana Bread is fantastic! Moist, tender bread flavored with gingerbread spices and molasses and topped with a smooth & creamy cream cheese icing.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup Greek yogurt (I used plain, but vanilla works!)
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 3-4 tsp ground ginger (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box INSTANT dry vanilla pudding mix
  • FOR ICING:
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray. I recommend using a metal or disposable loaf pan as I find glass ones usually cook at different times. If you only have glass, that's okay, but your bread may take less time. Place the pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and brown sugar with a spatula until combined. Mix in the eggs and yogurt, mixing well. Add in the banana, vanilla and molasses until blended. Mix in the spices, flour, baking soda, and salt until a thick but lumpy batter forms. Fold in the pudding mix (just the dry mix). Batter should be lumpy and do NOT overmix the batter, which leads to tough bread. Just make sure it's just about combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth out the top. Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, then tent the pan with foil and bake for another 25-35 minutes, checking at the 25 minute mark and adding time if needed. Bread will be done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: in a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Beat in the heavy cream to combine, then the powdered sugar until a soft, thick icing forms.
  5. Spread the icing on top of the bread and let set, about 10 minutes, before cutting into slices.

Gingerbread Banana Bread is a unique, festive & easy twist to basic banana bread - with a gingerbread twist! Flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves & molasses, this moist & fluffy banana bread is topped with a decadently creamy cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast? Why not both! Spicy & sweet – this bread is loaded with traditional gingerbread flavors like ginger, cloves, cinnamon and molasses – but is mixed with sweet and tropical bananas for a fun twist on a classic breakfast staple! Done up with cream cheese icing, this bread feels more dessert-like and decadent, but hey, a perfectly acceptable breakfast, too.

Gingerbread Banana Bread is a unique, festive & easy twist to basic banana bread - with a gingerbread twist! Flavored with ginger, cinnamon, cloves & molasses, this moist & fluffy banana bread is topped with a decadently creamy cream cheese icing. Dessert or breakfast? Why not both! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee uses only a few ingredients you probably have on hand! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee with a white chocolate and cranberry topping that’s perfect for the holidays!

Some days, I think I’m a genius.

I’ll be in Target, having stood and stared at the packages in the candy aisle for 20 minutes like a psychopath, and it will come to me: a brilliant recipe idea.

I’ll throw the ingredients into my cart and race home to make it, photograph it, post it and share it to the world.

And then sometimes I’ll realize, only after I’ve made it and declared my brilliance in the middle of a Target, that someone else has made something super similar, or exactly the same, as my “brilliant” idea.

Today is that day, folks.

My adorable, beautiful, sassy friend Kate from Diethood made this recipe a few years ago, and when I went to make it, I happened to catch her latest share of it and thought, drat! But then, hey, I’m in good company! 

So yes, Kate made it first. She also uses saltines which is an awesome idea if you happen to have those on hand, which – who doesn’t?

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! My recipe uses butter club crackers because those are my fave and we had a box at home that somehow managed to avoid being devoured .234768 seconds after we bought it. Tomato, tomahto. Use what you want! This recipe would also work swimmingly with graham crackers or Ritz crackers.

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! Boil up your toffee mixture for exactly three minutes. Add in some vanilla (because duh), then pour it over your cracker layer until it covers all the crackers in a warm, toffee blankie. Bake the toffee just so it gets all set, then sprinkle on some white chocolate to melt and spread it around. Sprinkle on some dried cranberries and voila! You now have made the most addictive snack ever.

So I may not be a genius, but that’s okay. At least I can eat my feelings in this toffee. #blessed

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! *adapted from here 

Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee is highly addictive and super easy to make! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee topped with a creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries.
Ingredients
  • 1 sleeve (about 40-45) butter club crackers (you may also use saltines, graham crackers, or Ritz crackers - I don't measurements for any substitutions; just make sure whatever cracker you use covers your pan)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 & ½ cups white chocolate chips (1 (12 oz) bag plus an additional ½ cup), divided
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan (15"x10" or mine's 16"x11") with parchment paper, bringing the parchment up the sides of the pan. Fill the entire bottom of the pan with an even layer of club crackers. Set aside briefly.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together on medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it starts to boil, set your timer and boil for exactly 3 minutes, stirring the entire time. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the hot toffee mixture evenly over the crackers, trying your best to cover all of the crackers with the hot toffee. Use an offset spatula to help you quickly spread the hot toffee across all the crackers.
  4. Bake for approx. 6-7 minutes. Mixture will be bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the 2 cups of white chocolate chips. Return to the oven for 1 minute. Remove from the oven and let the white chocolate chips set on the toffee for about 2 minutes, then use another offset spatula to spread the white chocolate around evenly. Sprinkle with the dried cranberries.
  5. In a small bowl, melt the remaining white chocolate chips until smooth. Drizzle evenly over the toffee. Cool completely, then break into pieces.

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar toffee studded with tart, juicy cranberries and creamy white chocolate. I cannot resist this toffee and neither can you!

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! Peppermint patties are a quintessential Christmas treat! These Homemade Peppermint Patties are fantastic and SO easy! You’re only 6 ingredients away from having a homemade treat that’s great for gift-giving and makes a big batch!

You guys.

I am DONE with my book!

Well… done with the baking and photo portion of my book.

I still have ALLTHEWRITING to do. And believe me, it’s a lot of writing. So if you may hear crickets around here for a little bit of time because I’m trying to juggle cookbook author/blogger/human being and it ain’t easy.

BUT, I’m obviously still going to bringing you ample fabulous holiday desserts. Natch. Because I love ya and it’s the holidays, AKA Hayley’s Prime Time. I live for this time of year!

So: enter these Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties. I know there’s gonna be some wise guy saying it’s easier to buy and unwrap peppermint patties and call them homemade. Congratulations. You have worked the system. But for the rest of us who enjoy baking, creating and living a true life, there’s this recipe. So if you’re going to comment that, I’ll spare you your brilliant comment and say it here: Yes, you could buy peppermint patties at the store, unwrap them and pretend they’re homemade. Go for it, I’m not the boss of you.

BUT BUT BUT! These are better. Seriously.

There’s something so delicious about these melt-in-your-mouth mints. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re easy to make or because homemade stuff is usually better, but I think these would make a wonderful addition to your Christmas gift-giving, whether you place ’em alongside homemade cookies or wrap them in cute bags for neighbors. Again, I’m not the boss of your life or anything, but…

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! To make these bad boys, simply beat the living daylights out of some butter, corn syrup, peppermint and vanilla extracts. Then beat in some powdered sugar. Well, a lot of powdered sugar. Roll them into balls and gently press them down into discs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze them briefly, then whip up some smooth chocolate and dip them all! If you’re feeling fancy, top some off with crushed mints – I used candy canes – or even chocolate sprinkles. Live your life!

Be a wise guy and make ’em!

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! *adapted slightly from here 

Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40-50
 
These Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties are so wonderful! They make a ton and are great for giving holiday gifts.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 & ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) chocolate candy coating (such as CandiQuik)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside briefly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, corn syrup and extracts together on medium-high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the powdered sugar slowly to incorporate, then on high until completely blended.
  3. Roll a teaspoon or so of dough in your hands to form a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, then with your fingers, gently press down to form a patty. Freeze the patties for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Melt the candy coating according to package directions until smooth. Dip the peppermint patties into the chocolate using a fork and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. I like to dip the fork tines in the chocolate before dipping to ensure the sticky patty doesn't stick to the fork's tines. Gently push the coated patty off of the fork using a toothpick and, if using a garnish, sprinkle while the chocolate's wet.
  5. Allow patties to set before serving.

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! Smooth, melt-in-your-mouth mint & chocolate patties of goodness! I love these little guys!

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Easy Homemade Divinity Candy

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! This Easy Homemade Divinity is incredible! Smooth, fudgy and delectable, this snow-white candy is surprisingly simple to make!

So confession: I’ve only had divinity one time before this, and it was from a local favorite, See’s Candies. Maybe you’ve heard of them?

I also had an ex-boyfriend whose grandma loved divinity, and I remember giving her a box for Christmas. So for me, divinity has always kind of felt like a Christmas candy recipe. Maybe I’m wrong, but there’s something so holiday-ish about divinity. It’s snow-white, which is shocking for a candy, and it looks like little melty snowballs. Plus, it’s kind of like a fudge, which always reminds me of the holidays.

If you don’t know, divinity is typically popular in the South and was invented (we think) by Karo corn syrup as a way to market their new product. It’s a cross between fudge, nougat and meringue and is totally unique and unparalleled. It’s so unlike the usual barks, brittles and fudges that are usually found around this time of year, and if you’ve never made it, I highly recommend you do!

The cool thing about this recipe is it can be customized to your preferences, too. I went with a traditional vanilla pecan divinity, but you can replace the vanilla extract with peppermint extract and add in shredded coconut, or use walnuts instead of pecans. Up to you!

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! Whatever you do, make yourself a tin of these and thank me later!

*Some Notes: in researching this recipe, I found that a lot of people advise against making this candy on a humid day, such as when it’s raining. The humidity can supposedly affect the way the candy sets up and dries, which is essential for divinity. I have not tested this theory, but I would just heed caution and try and make it on a low-humidity day. 

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! *adapted from here 

4.0 from 4 reviews
Easy Homemade Divinity Candy
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
This Easy Divinity Candy is SO fabulous and perfect for the holidays! Easier than you think to make, it comes together relatively quickly and is great for giving as gifts!
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 & ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat together the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Just before the candy reaches temperature, beat the egg whites on high speed using an electric mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. Remove the boiling candy from the heat and, with the mixer on high speed, stream in the hot candy VERY slowly. It should take you at least 2 or so minutes to fully pour the hot candy mixture into the egg whites. Continue beating the mixture until it's no longer glossy and it holds its shape, about 6-10 minutes (it depends on your mixer). Stir in the chopped pecans and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Butter two spoons (or grease them lightly with cooking spray) and, working quickly, drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of the divinity mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. You may need to scrape the candy mixture off of one spoon with the other spoon, then quickly flick your wrist to create a soft curl (like soft serve) on top of the candy. It's okay if you don't get it quite right!
  5. Allow the candy to set at room temperature - maybe overnight, depending on the humidity in your home - until dry to the touch and no longer sticky. Once set and dry, you can keep it at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  6. NOTES: It is totally okay to take a small teaspoon-sized spoon of candy and test it on the parchment before doing the larger scoops. The divinity is ready when it holds its shape in a mound on the parchment paper. If it turns into a puddle, continue beating the mixture.

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! Chewy & soft, like nougat-meets-fudge, this is a must-try this holiday season!

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Out of the Box Desserts Cookbook GIVEAWAY!

book-giveaway

Hi friends!

I am SO excited to be bringing you this giveaway for my cookbook, Out of the Box Desserts!

My book is the PERFECT gift for your favorite baker, foodie, or dessert fiend… or yourself (I don’t judge!). It has over 100 desserts from candies to cookies, cakes to pies and MORE, including exclusive Brownie Bomb recipes you’ve never seen before! Recipes range from semi-homemade (doctoring up cake mixes and prepared ingredients so that you wouldn’t know the final product started with a box) and scratch-made recipes, so there’s something for everyone!

And I am giving one book away for FREE because I love ya, it’s the holidays, and because I recently hit 100K Facebook fans! So this is my way of saying THANK YOU/I LOVE YOU/YOU ROCK all at once 🙂

Simply enter using the widget below – that’s it! If you haven’t liked my Facebook page yet, do so to unlock a bonus entry (I will be checking those manually).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and thanks for being a fan of The Domestic Rebel! I could not do this without you.

 

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am providing the free book, plus shipping, to one lucky winner. Giveaway lasts from 11/29/2016 – 12/13/2016 in which a winner will be randomly selected. Giveaway is open to United States and Canada residents only. Thank you! 

No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! For serious eggnog lovers only, this No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is fantastic! Creamy, smooth and loaded with eggnog flavor and spices piled high in a graham cracker crust. A must-make for the holidays!

Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving?!

We certainly did, but I am glad it’s over. Thanksgiving admittedly isn’t my favorite holiday, and while it’s nice to be with family, fielding some of their… inquisitions can be tiring 🙂 But of course, you can always avoid conversation by stuffing your face senseless with food. So there’s that.

Now we can move onto my favorite holiday: Christmas! There’s something so magical about Christmas that I just love. The music, the chilly air, the shopping (duh)… but also the flavors of Christmas. Eggnog, peppermint, gingerbread, hot cocoa… the list goes on.

And this pie is basically Christmas personified into a smooth & creamy pile of heavenly goodness.

AND! it couldn’t be easier to make. Seriously.

It starts with a package of instant French Vanilla pudding mix. If you can’t find French vanilla, then you can’t make it. KIDDING. Just use regular instant vanilla, but I like that French vanilla feels fancier. It’s like when you order a croissant, but instead of saying ‘croissant’, you say ‘cwesson’ like you’re French. Same thing pretty much.

In a bowl, you’ll whisk up your French vanilla pudding mix with eggnog in place of the milk. It’s really that easy, y’all. Whisk until it’s thick, then fold in some spices and Cool Whip, or fresh whipped cream (or creme, if you’re still fancy French) and pour that mishegas into a graham cracker crust.

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! The most complicated part of this whole recipe is making sure it has plenty of time to set in the fridge. I’m talking at least four hours. I know, I know. But you can do it. I have faith.

Then serve it up with some more nog, as you do during the holidays.

Bottoms up!

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert!

5.0 from 2 reviews
No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Eggnog Cream Pie could not be easier to whip up and it tastes JUST like eggnog: thick, creamy and smooth with spices and wonderful vanilla flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 9" graham cracker pie crust (prepared, or homemade)
  • 1 (3.4-3.9 oz) box INSTANT French Vanilla pudding mix (or regular vanilla if you cannot find French Vanilla)
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • ½ tsp rum extract, optional but recommended
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed (or alternatively, you may use 2 cups freshly whipped cream)
  • Additional whipped cream for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the instant dry pudding mix, eggnog, rum extract (if using) and nutmeg until thick, about 2 minutes. Fold in the Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream until fluffy and light. Spoon into the graham cracker pie crust and smooth out the top.
  2. Refrigerate the pie for at LEAST 4 hours, or overnight, to set.
  3. Just before serving, garnish with more whipped cream or Cool Whip and a sprinkling of nutmeg, if desired.

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! I love the je ne sais quoi that the fresh nutmeg adds to this recipe – it just totally ramps up that eggnog flavor and makes this pie just as authentic as the drink itself.

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

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