Snickerdoodle Blondies

These Snickerdoodle Blondies are thick, chewy and soft pillows of heaven! So easy, minimal cleanup, and totally foolproof.I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season spent with friends, fam, and furry pals. I had an amazing holiday and mini vacay, and now I’m excited to be back and kicking off the new year with these Snickerdoodle Blondies!

But first – I have some exciting news I wanted to share with you guys.

Friends – I AM WRITING A COOKBOOK!! And I couldn’t be MORE EXCITED.

Most little girls dream of being singers or dancers, but my dream was to write a book one day. I would sit and write stories all day long, dreaming up plot ideas in my little head. Little did I know that I’d be writing not just a book, but a cookbook of all things. I’m sure little kid Hayley would be freaking out right now :)

It’s so surreal to me, actually. Signing the contract, sealing the envelope and delivering it to the publisher was a dream come true. And I’ve spent most of my vacation dreaming up some FABULOUS desserts for my book! I can’t tell you what they are yet, but just know that if you love this blog, you’ll love my cookbook!

And as I celebrate this momentous occasion, I have to celebrate you guys – my beloved readers. Without you, my site would not be as successful as it is and I wouldn’t have a career doing my dream job. Without your encouraging words, serious support and major love for all things sugary, I don’t know where I’d be today. So from the bottom of my butter-loving heart, thank you. I owe this all to you and I appreciate each and every one of you!

Now let’s talk about these blondies, which were promptly devoured .34873 seconds after my shoot was finished. They’re chewy, rich and buttery and packed with cinnamon flavor. I used my classic blondie base which never fails me and tastes splendid. Chock full of butter, brown sugar and vanilla flavors, baked until chewy and soft, and so versatile – you can literally throw anything in this batter and it’d be divine.

For this recipe, however, I kept it simple by adding in some ground cinnamon and topping it with cinnamon sugar. You could always throw in a couple white chocolate chips for extra texture and sweetness, but I wanted to keep these classic and they are. You guys are going to love them!

These Snickerdoodle Blondies are thick, chewy and soft pillows of heaven! So easy, minimal cleanup, and totally foolproof.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Snickerdoodle Blondies are a classic! So easy, versatile, and utterly delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar (I used dark for richer flavor, but light works too!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • About ¼ cup cinnamon sugar mixture
  • Optional add-ins: nuts, white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and remove from heat, cooling for about 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Stir in the eggs and vanilla, then the cinnamon, baking soda and flour until a thick batter forms. Spread the batter evenly into the baking pan and sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar blend.
  3. Bake for approx. 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not wet). Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!I am the worst driver in all the land.

Not like the worst at driving, but the worst at driving patiently.

I am the most impatient driver in all the land is more accurate.

And patience? I have none.

Like, whenever I see someone texting and driving, I freak out. I want to scare them so bad to make them not text and drive anymore, so I’m thinking of making a gigantic dummy filled with newspaper or bubble wrap and throwing it in front of their car when they least expect it. That should give ’em a good scare, right?

And when I know they’re texting in front of me, I become a living, breathing devil woman. If the light turns green and there’s any pause no matter how small, I’ll honk at them. If I can tell they’re texting while driving because they break every 15 seconds, I’ll honk at them and flip them off. And bear in mind that none of this is done quietly, as I am usually screaming obscenities and wishing ill on them while driving too.

On a quick two mile jaunt to the store, at least five drivers are called idiots – or worse – by my mouth. I am the road rage driver, and I fully admit to it.

But my least favorite offense while driving? People not pulling up to the line, to the next car, whatever. When there’s a car’s-length space in between cars, it drives me bananas. BANANAS, PEOPLE. I’ll scream and beat my steering wheel and if possible, I’ll swoop in front of them. I want them to get mad – at themselves – for leaving such a huge space that someone swooped in front of them. I want to be that asshole. Because if it teaches someone a lesson on how to not be a crappy driver, then I am willing to be honked at and considered a jerk.

So the moral of the story is, I like driving alone because my road rage is intolerable to other people, and it worries my mom that I honk my horn so much. She thinks I’m going to piss off the wrong person and they’ll pull a gun on me and shoot me through my drivers window, but I say, bring it on, homeboy. Believe me, my road rage is much scarier than any weapon.

Oh, and it should go without saying that while my road rage may be stark-raving mad, it doesn’t mean I’m an unsafe driver. I keep my eyes on the road at all times, am hyper-aware of my surroundings, and never text and drive. I’m just vocal. And if you leave a gigantic, inconvenient-to-everyone-else-sized gap in between your car and the next, chances are I’m going to swoop in to prove you a point. So don’t shoot me :)

Anyway, let’s talk about these No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies. They’re my new favorite treat for the holiday season! Chewy, ultra fudgy and topped with a smooth-as-silk chocolate ganache, they’re the perfect accompaniment to your holiday baking tray or cookie exchange party. I couldn’t get over how fudgy they are!

Best of all, they’re no-bake, which means you can save your oven space for something else. I know how precious oven space is around this time of year 😉

They’ll make you go mad – in a good way!

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!*adapted from 100 Best Cookies magazine 2012

5.0 from 1 reviews
No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These ultra fudgy, super chewy Peppermint Mocha Brownies are perfect for your holiday cookie tray! Sweet and rich, they're also no-bake, saving your oven for something else!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbsp espresso or instant coffee crystals
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1 (15.25 oz) pkg Oreo cookies, finely crushed into crumbs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • About 1 cup crushed candy cane pieces
Instructions
  1. Line an 8 or 9-inch pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the evaporated milk and espresso over medium-low heat, or until coffee is dissolved. Stir in ONE (1) cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips and the marshmallow creme. Cook and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add the cookie crumbs and powdered sugar and stir until combined.
  3. Press into the prepared pan in an even layer, spreading to edges of pan. Set aside.
  4. In a large, microwaveable bowl, combine the remaining semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream and microwave for about 1 minute, stirring until chips are melted. Pour ganache over the bars and spread in an even layer. Top with crushed candy canes and refrigerate for about 1-2 hours or until set. Cut into bars and serve. Store in the fridge up to one week, covered.

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!Thick, chewy, super fudgy and irresistible, these No Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are to-die for! I think you’ll agree, too!

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Triple Chip Blondies

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds! One of my favorite stores on earth is Trader Joe’s.

I’ve talked about Trader Joe’s before, and I still feel the same way. But in case you don’t know, I love the store but I hate the clientele.

Every time I go, everyone and their mother is there shopping, so there’s never a great time to shop there. And everyone and their mother push their carts at about -58736 mph, thus always causing blockages in the aisles. And when you politely ask them to move? Chaos. Utter chaos. They act as if they’ve never been asked such an indecency in their lives.

And then there’s the whole shopping aspect. Everyone treats the products like they’re in a museum, holding up a package of frozen sweet potatoes like it’s the Mona Lisa, or staring in wonderment at a can of green beans like it’s the freakin’ second coming of Jesus. I just don’t understand what goes on in the minds of the average Trader Joe’s customer is all.

Meanwhile, I shop there on a mission: to be in and out as quickly as possible without forgetting anything. So I went yesterday and put my mission to the test, passing just barely. It was tough – they had just started handing out free samples and no one understands the concept of GRABBING YOUR FREE SAMPLE AND THEN LEAVING QUICKLY – but I made it out alive.

The parking lot, though? Whole ‘nother story.

Anywho, one of the ingredients I grabbed were Trader Joe’s chocolate chips. I like theirs a lot, and it was the inspiration for these Triple Chip Blondies. I don’t have a whole lot of blondie recipes on this blog which is a travesty since they’re my favorite dessert, so I’m fixing that ASAP with these bars. They’re gloriously studded with three different kinds of chips for a gooey, fantastically chewy bar that’s sure to please. And they couldn’t be easier to make, too.

Plus, this produces the best blondie base for any recipe. It’s chewy with a crisp top, gooey and rich, thanks to two cups of brown sugar and two sticks of butter… and a generous Tablespoon of vanilla extract. Then throw in the chips and you’ve got the most amazing bars. Trust me.

Make them!

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Triple Chip Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-24
 
These Triple Chip Blondies are incredible! If you don't like one of the chip flavors, substitute with another chip or omit completely. This base recipe is so flexible!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Lastly, stir in the baking powder, salt and flour until a soft batter forms. Stir in the three chips and spread into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for approx. 22-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with fudgy crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds! Loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips, these Triple Chip Blondies are sure to please! Don’t like a chip flavor? Omit it completely or substitute with something else… white chocolate chips, toffee bits, or even mint chips.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Candy Cookie Bars

These Candy Cookie Bars couldn't be easier to whip up! Chewy chocolate chunk cookies are sandwiched between gooey chopped candy bars in these delightful, foolproof cookie bars!You guys – this recipe is so easy, you won’t know what to do with yourself.

It starts with a mix – Krusteaz Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix, to be precise – and then you totally customize it to your own preferences. So fast, so easy, so delicious!

With Halloween approaching, it’s likely that you’re already stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters. Or candy for yourself. #nojudgments. Whereas Christmas is completely cookie season, Halloween is candy season for sure. Nothing beats Halloween candy, am I right?

So this recipe is totally perf for Halloween baking or apres-Halloween baking because it uses Halloween candy inside of it. Do I have your attention yet? :) Good.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s completely customizable to your preferences. Don’t like Snickers? Kick ’em to the curb and leave them out. Love caramel candies? Throw a little extra in there – no one ever turned down an extra caramely treat. Obsessed with Reese’s Pumpkins? I won’t tell if you sneak a couple while you add them in. See? Totally custom.

For this, I used a simple mix of Snickers, Milky Way Simply Caramel, and Twix bars, but again, use whatever you have on hand or prefer. This would be ultra delish with Rolos and Reese’s cups, methinks … or try filling it with Cadbury Scream Eggs for a gooey treat.

Next up, you bake this glorious, candy-filled concoction until it’s nice and golden. The worst part about these bars is that I recommend you wait until they’re fully cooled & set before cutting into bars… it helps with the whole setting process so everything is settled before you slice. But if you absolutely can’t wait, I won’t blame you for cutting into each gooey piece of heaven.

Now who’s ready to make these bars!?

These Candy Cookie Bars couldn't be easier to whip up! Chewy chocolate chunk cookies are sandwiched between gooey chopped candy bars in these delightful, foolproof cookie bars!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Candy Cookie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
These Candy Cookie Bars are packed to the brim with delicious Halloween candy sandwiched between two layers of chewy chocolate chunk cookies. You don't want to miss this foolproof recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Krusteaz Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 heaping cup chopped assorted candy bar pieces (I used Twix, Snickers, and Milky Way Caramels, but use what you prefer or have on hand)
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Stir together cookie mix, egg and butter until dough forms, hand kneading if necessary. Spread half of the cookie dough evenly into prepared pan. Top with assorted chopped candy bars.
  3. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. Top with the remainder of cookie dough.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the top is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These Candy Cookie Bars couldn't be easier to whip up! Chewy chocolate chunk cookies are sandwiched between gooey chopped candy bars in these delightful, foolproof cookie bars!Thick, chewy, and packed with gooey, chocolate-y Halloween candy, these Candy Cookie Bars will be such a wonderful way to use up extra candy and to satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!This week was a very important week for me: it’s OCD Awareness Week.

I’ve talked about my struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the past (click HERE to read about it) and I kinda wanted to update everyone as to how I’m doing and get this all off my chest.

First of all, this week. It’s important because OCD is a very real, very tangible disorder that affects millions of people across the US. It’s often misdiagnosed or swept under the rug, but it’s very real and very painful.

I was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a teenager, but I’ve had it my entire life. As a child, I had very strict bedtime routines my parents would have to follow, and should the routine go awry or in a different direction, I’d beg them to start all over again. This meant singing lullabies in a particular order, tucking me in a certain way, and doing things in a proper order. As a child, I also had certain anxieties about smells. I’d even have my parents wash my toys because sometimes the smells of them made me uneasy.

As a teen, it was all about the obsessive thoughts and, well, obsessions. Thoughts about death and dying. Thoughts about sex and strange, peculiar, embarrassing fantasies. Obsessions with boys, people, routines. And a small-scale case of hoarding. Hoarding clothes, old makeup, magazines. To this day, I still hoard magazines – I have them saved in my closet for reasons unknown, but the thought of parting with them breaks my heart.

And as an adult, it’s the same story. Obsessed with routine, clinging to it desperately with a significant fear of change. Some days, it manifests itself as something more “minor”, like vacuuming the house until something inside of me clicks and feels better, or surrounding myself with magazines to feel more comfortable. Other times, it manifests as something far more sinister, and that’s when I begin picking. Nit-picking at myself and my flaws mentally, and physically ripping open my flesh and scalp with my fingers until I bleed. Those are the days where I feel completely overwhelmed by this disease; days where I feel like I’m stuck in a dark hole with the tunnel of light so far out of reach.

People often misunderstand OCD. OCD isn’t necessarily about being clean and tidy, though that’s most common. My OCD fluctuates. Some days, I’m obsessed with order and tidiness. I like my kitchen to be spotless and obsess over crumbs and counter stains until I can rid them. Other times, I have so much anxiety building up that piles of things build up, too. Books, magazines, receipts, pens, wrappers, clothes, garbage. I’ll be surrounded by it all without really noticing it. It isn’t until my mom comments on how my room is so dirty or someone complains that our kitchen table (where I work from) isn’t even visible under the piles of stuff. Then I get embarrassed. How did I let this get so bad? How did I let myself go?

It pains me when people make comments about being “so OCD” or joke about the disease. Just because you load your dishwasher a certain way or like to color coordinate your closet doesn’t mean you’re OCD. OCD is much more than that, it’s so much deeper and darker. It’s an insidious monster that affects the person’s every waking thought and action. In fact, each action we make, we’ve likely already obsessed about making it for hours, if not days before hand. We’ve already fantasized these elaborate scenarios of what could happen – what could go wrong – that when the scenario happens, we’re exhausted from dreading it and probing it for so long. It isn’t about wanting clean hands; it’s the intense, very real fear that something terrible will happen if we don’t clean them repeatedly. That sense of doom, like a dark cloud of dread and depression, looming over us, ready to open its arms and surround us any second. The very tangible feeling of panic coursing through our veins, our minds replaying everything in painstaking detail on repeat. That is what it’s like living with OCD. It’s no joke. It’s not funny. It’s very painful, very real.

And I understand that people joke. It’s not like I’ll start crying or slap you across the face if you make a joke like that. But personally, I liken it to the dreaded word “retarded.” I’d never make fun of someone and call them retarded because that hurts those who do have mental and/or physical disabilities. So why would you call yourself OCD when you don’t live your life suffering with it?

All I want is for people to be more aware of what they’re saying and how they say it. That’s all. And to have some compassion for those afflicted with this disorder. There’s such a gross, unnecessary stigma against mental illness in this country, making it often impossible to get the help people desperately need. We need to be more understanding and compassionate toward those suffering and offer an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a heart to help them heal.

I hope, if nothing else, that you are more aware of OCD after this post, and will make the changes in your life to end the stigma of mental illness and raise awareness about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder if you know someone who may be suffering. And please, don’t blame them for the pile of magazines everywhere – sometimes, that’s the only shred of reality they have left.

Now, let’s talk about something far less sad, shall we? Liiiike these Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars, for example. They’re loaded with amazing caramel flavor and topped with a sprinkling of sea salt for that intoxicating sweet-and-salty goodness. And they’re a cinch to make!

Let’s just say Iatethewholepan. Because I’m not a liar and had no shame when devouring every last crumb. You will want to devour every last crumb, too!

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

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a dream come true! Rich, creamy and loaded with buttery caramel and sea salt, they're a sweet and salty lover's perfect food!
Ingredients
  • 1 & ½ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs, finely ground
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 pkg cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 can prepared dulce de leche
  • Sea salt, for sprinking
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8" pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter and stir until moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and press into a compact, even layer. Bake for approx. 12 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, prepare your filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar for about 2 minutes or until fluffy and light. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Lastly, add in the vanilla, sour cream, and two Tablespoons of the dulce de leche sauce.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and return to the oven to bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until the center appears just about set and isn't super jiggly. Tent with foil if the top begins to brown too fast. Cool completely, then spread with the remaining dulce de leche in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!Caramely, buttery, smooth and creamy, that’s what these cheesecake bars are all about! You don’t want to miss this recipe!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Gooey Bars

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are FANTASTIC! So amazingly easy to prepare and taste like fall! A couple days ago, I was invited to a blogging event at Seasons 52, a restaurant in Sacramento.

(Side note: have you been there? It’s an amazing chain with excellent food).

I was allowed to bring a guest, so naturally I brought my BFF, my mom. It was the first time my mom had been to a blogging event with me, and frankly I was really excited about it. Finally, someone who will understand what I do all day and why the sink is never empty!

Actually.. she’ll probably never understand why the sink is never empty. But I digress.

A couple of my blogging friends were there so we all gathered around and snacked on hors d’oevres before dinner. I was kinda nervous for my mom since I have once been the outsider to a group and know how awkward it can be when everyone else is yammering about their own inside jokes and subjects, especially since my mom knows virtually nothing about blogging except why there’s always dirty dishes in the sink and why most of my clothes are covered in a thin veil of powdered sugar.

But ultimately my mom came in and took names. She was schmoozin’ with the best of them and making her rounds, meeting all the new people like she was an old pro or something. Maybe it had to do with the fact that they were serving wine, but either way, mom was at it and I was impressed.

And that is the story of how my mom continues to surprise me.

Like when she dropped a flatbread pizza on the floor last night. True story.

And after stuffing ourselves silly, we came home and still had a Pumpkin Gooey Bar. Because it’s September now and pumpkin is fair game.

These gooey bars are so fantastic! They’re eerily similar to my regular Best-Ever Gooey Cake Bars, but with one special orange ingredient: Pumpkin! These have an amazing, warm, fall-inspired flavor bursting with cinnamon spice and everything niiiiiice. They’re ultra rich, gooey, and utterly spectacular.

Make them now! Impress yourself.

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are FANTASTIC! So amazingly easy to prepare and taste like fall!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Gooey Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are fantastic! Loaded with buttery pumpkin flavor and sweet spices, you'll love these fall-inspired bars!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks butter, melted & divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (make sure you get canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, one (1) stick (1/2 cup) of the melted butter and one (1) egg together until blended; dough will be thick. Press evenly into the prepared pan and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, pie spice and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until blended and creamy. Beat in the remaining ½ cup melted butter, & the remaining 3 eggs until blended. Lastly, beat in the entire pkg of powdered sugar.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly over the bar base and bake for 45 minutes or until the center is just about set (slightly jiggly is okay). Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least an hour to set up. Store bars in fridge.

These Pumpkin Gooey Bars are FANTASTIC! So amazingly easy to prepare and taste like fall! Pumpkin-y. Spicy. Sweet. And absolutely heavenly! These bars will soon become your new fall favorite!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

The Best and Easiest Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

These crispy, creamy Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars are the BEST and EASIEST recipe! This foolproof recipe is so simple to make and tastes amazing! It is so hard meeting people as an adult.

As an adult who works from home.

I basically have no friends.

That was almost like the saddest haiku ever, wasn’t it?

I went to our family’s friend’s birthday party over the weekend and I was hoping I’d maybe get lucky and meet someone at the two bars we were going to on a poppin’ Saturday night. Maybe my knight in shining armor would be there playing ping-pong while I sauntered by. Maybe my one and only would be standing next to me, five people deep as we try to flag down the bartender for a drink.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, I stood next to sweaty people and it was not at all romantical.

And it got me thinking: I’ll probably be single forever. I know, poor me – cue the violins. But seriously, where am I supposed to meet the stud muffin in my life? Online? Fat chance – already tried online dating and it failed miserably. At the grocery store? Perhaps, if he wasn’t deterred by peeking in my cart full of chocolate chips, ice cream, cake mix and regret. Based on groceries alone, I look like I haven’t eaten in weeks. And maybe at the gym, if I went to the gym more often than once a week at best. Oops.

The next best thing is at friend’s birthday parties where we’re actually required to dress up nicer than my usual workout attire and shame. But alas, I just had an off night and didn’t meet any hotties. You win some, you lose most. Isn’t that how the saying goes?

Plus, if we’re being honest, maybe these Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars are all I really need in life. I mean, they’re smothered in sweet and spicy cinnamon sugar, they’ve got the creamiest, dreamiest cheesecake filling, and they’re portable, so I could take them on vacations with me and pose them in my annual Christmas card. Isn’t that what being in love is all about?

These crispy, creamy Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars are the BEST and EASIEST recipe! This foolproof recipe is so simple to make and tastes amazing! Anywho, these bars are absolutely amazing. I first made them years ago and needed to update the pictures since they didn’t quite do these bars justice. These are crispy, creamy, chewy, glorious bars that deserve the very best… kinda like me. Thankfully, we have that in common :)

Make them!!

These crispy, creamy Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars are the BEST and EASIEST recipe! This foolproof recipe is so simple to make and tastes amazing!

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Best and Easiest Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars are to-die for! Rich, creamy, cinnamon sugary delights that are a cinch to make!
Ingredients
  • 2 pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • ¾ cup cinnamon sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Lay one roll of crescent rolls down in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, pinching together any seams to seal and stretching to fit the pan. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla until combined. Spread the mixture evenly over top of the first crescent roll layer.
  4. Unroll the other crescent roll sheet onto a cutting board and pinch the seams together to seal, lightly stretching it out as you go. Pick it up and carefully lay it over top of the cheesecake filling, covering it completely. Pour the melted butter evenly over the top, and evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
  5. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, then let cool completely before chilling in the fridge. Store bars covered in the fridge.

These crispy, creamy Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars are the BEST and EASIEST recipe! This foolproof recipe is so simple to make and tastes amazing! I love how the cinnamon sugar mixture completely caramelizes on top of the bars, creating this crispy, crunchy crust on top that’s absolute heaven. It melds so well with the light and vanilla-y creamy cheesecake filling. Drizzle on some honey for the complete and true sopapilla effect!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars

These Gooey Butter Cake Bars are the BEST! Rich, decadent, buttery and gooey, they're the perfect treat!You guys – these bars are SO. AWESOME.

I don’t think I’m too terribly bossy, but in this instance, I’m going to have to demand that you make these bars. Because really? Your life is seriously lacking these Gooey Butter Cake Bars.

When I made these, it was like heaven’s flood gates opened and I was rushed in. They are oh so heavenly, decadent and positively divine.

And apparently, they’re a huge deal in St. Louis. Who knew?

I mean, I’m sure St. Louis is a great city, but why go there when you can easily make these cake bars at home now? Save yourself some time and money. St. Louis will be there when you decide you can’t wait to get to Missouri.

In the meantime, it’s time for me to eat another bar, so here’s the recipe! I suggest you be a smartypants and make something with it :)

These Gooey Butter Cake Bars are the BEST! Rich, decadent, buttery and gooey, they're the perfect treat!

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These gooey cake bars have a buttery, decadent flavor and are absolutely irresistible!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks butter, melted & divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, ONE (1) stick of the melted butter and 1 egg until a soft dough forms. Batter will be thick. Press into the prepared pan and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl together until blended and smooth. Beat in the remaining 1 stick of melted butter and 3 remaining eggs. Lastly, beat in the powdered sugar until combined.
  4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is just about set. Do NOT over bake as these will continue to set up as they cool and are called gooey bars for a reason. Cool completely before cutting into bars, and dust bars with additional powdered sugar if desired. Store bars covered in the fridge.

These Gooey Butter Cake Bars are the BEST! Rich, decadent, buttery and gooey, they're the perfect treat! These decadent bars are swimming in rich cream cheese, warm vanilla and creamy butter – they’re absolutely sinful and delicious! A tall glass of milk is optional :)

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

These Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars are a fun, easy recipe spin on the classic after-school lunch. It’s officially back to school season.

And I am counting my lucky stars that I’m no longer in school. Phew! I do not miss the nervous energy surrounding the first day of school, the hours planning the perfect outfit, and the awkwardness of seeing everyone again after a long summer apart.

I do, however, enjoy shopping for school supplies, mainly because it’s another way to spend money I don’t have. There’s nothing like the smell and potential of fresh composition books, cracking open a new day planner, or scribbling out the first couple words with your new mechanical pencils and pens. I buy allthecolors of highlighters because highlighting is just one of the ways my OCD manifests itself. And snapping open a new binder sends happy chills down my spine.

Except, of course, for the going to school part. Again: I’m so thankful I’m done with those days!

But for the many kiddos heading back to school, it can be fun. You’re reunited once again with your pals, you have a fresh start to a new year, and the first week there’s hardly any homework, so that’s a bonus. And with back to school comes school lunches and treats… and that’s precisely where these Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars come into play!

These Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars are a fun, easy recipe spin on the classic after-school lunch. These bars are perfect for back to school season since PBJs are synonymous with school… at least in my mind :) They consist of a buttery peanut butter cookie bar filled with sweet strawberry jam… and I know you’ll love them!

These Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars are a fun, easy recipe spin on the classic after-school lunch. This recipe is in partner with Krusteaz, where I’m a part of their Bakers Dozen program. This is a yearlong program in which I’ll be bringing you delicious recipes, tips and tricks on behalf of Krusteaz, featuring their line-up of amazing products. This recipe uses their Double Peanut Butter Cookie Mix which is absolutely delicious! Buttery, peanut buttery and rich, it’s the perfect base for these bars! This is the first of many treats, so I hope you enjoy!

Now, ready for the recipe?! Click HERE to get the recipe! 

Enjoy!

xo, Hayley

 

Chewy Peanut Brittle Bars

These buttery Peanut Brittle Bars taste just like the candy in a chewy, crunchy bar cookie form! They're easy to make, too!When I was in New York a couple weeks ago, I was riding the subway one day when I noticed an elderly man sitting next to me staring at me and my legs.

For those of you who have never seen my legs, they’re covered in tattoos – specifically dessert tattoos. Many people are intimidated by my cupcake tattoo. *sarcasm

I just smiled at him politely and continued to ride the train in my own silence when I noticed him mumbling to the girl next to him about my tattoos. I could clearly hear him talk about them, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying, so I just smiled again and said, “you like my tattoos?” thinking he’d respond with a polite ‘yes’ and we’d go about our days like normal human beings.

Nope.

“Tattoos are a sign of the devil. They’re evil. You are severely cursed, young lady,” he said. “You’ll be damned to hell because of all of those trashy tattoos. You’re damned,” he continued. I just stared at him wide-eyed with an are you serious expression on my bemused face. I’ve had my fair share of old farts comment on my tattoos, usually with negative things to say, and I always quip back with something snarky back at them. (One time, an old man told me “why would you do that to your body?” loudly in public, so I asked him if he wanted to talk about the brown spots and wrinkles all over his. He shut up).

But to tell me I’m damned to hell? Is this subway ride really taking me to Herald Square, or are we really headed for the fiery gates?

Crypt Keeper continued to berate me publicly about my tattoos, continually reminding me how ‘damned’ I was and how I was going to hell. The only thing that will save me, he said, was “lots of prayer” and even then, “I don’t know it’ll work.”

Sweeeeeeeeet.

After about five minutes (not even kidding) of him berating me about my evil desserts-themed tattoos to the woman next to me and to my face, I finally had it. I had a couple more stops and I was not going to be berated by an elderly man who probably shits himself on the reg. So I smiled a sinister smile and after he told me for the millionth time that I was doomed to hell, I looked him dead in the eyes and said, “oh I know. Because you know what? I am the Devil.” Then I grinned a big, scary toothy grin and he looked at me like he’d seen a ghost.

Or the Devil. Or a spunky 24-year old on the train who was no longer gonna take his crap. Same difference.

And lo and behold, my bold remark shut him up. In fact, he didn’t say a peep after that to me or the poor train passenger next to him. He took his belongings and got off on the next stop wordlessly.

And just like that, I convinced a senile old man that I was the Devil. It was awesome.

So the next time you see someone with tattoos you don’t like, for the love of Pete, keep it to yourself. Because not only is it effing rude to tell someone your invalid and unwanted opinion about their body, most likely they won’t care. Or maybe you’ll ruin their day (spoiler: he did not ruin mine). Or maybe they’ll flip out and call you names (which they should). Or maybe they’ll go back to the tattoo shop and try to return their tattoo because you can totally do that. Duh. 

These buttery Peanut Brittle Bars taste just like the candy in a chewy, crunchy bar cookie form! They're easy to make, too!Okay, enough about that old man. Now we must converse about these Peanut Brittle Bars. 

These bars are oh so good and taste pretty darn similar to peanut brittle. They’re made with toffee bits and dry roasted peanuts for that brittle effect, sitting atop a buttery peanut butter bar base. They’re chewy, crunchy, buttery, sweet and salty, and they’re utterly delicious. I prefer mine with a tall glass of milk, but no matter how you eat ’em, you must make them!

These buttery Peanut Brittle Bars taste just like the candy in a chewy, crunchy bar cookie form! They're easy to make, too!*adapted from this old recipe from the archives

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chewy Peanut Brittle Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These crunchy, chewy Peanut Brittle Bars are to-die for! Everyone will love their nutty, peanut buttery flavor and texture.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 1 & ½ cups creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup toffee bits
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yellow cake mix, one (1) cup of the peanut butter, the egg and the oil with a rubber spatula or spoon until a thick dough comes together. Make sure to fully incorporate that peanut butter! Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining peanut butter, vanilla and condensed milk together.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and pour/spread the sweetened condensed milk mixture over the top of the bars, spreading out to the edges evenly. Top with the peanuts and toffee bits. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and topping is firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These buttery Peanut Brittle Bars taste just like the candy in a chewy, crunchy bar cookie form! They're easy to make, too!You guys have to give these a try! They’re for true peanut butter lovers – from the peanut buttery, chewy bar cookie crust to the gooey peanut buttery and vanilla-scented middle to the crunchy, crisp, buttery toffee and sweet & salty peanuts on top. Amazing!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

 

 

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