Homemade Milk Jam {Dulce de Leche}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I meaaaaaaan…

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

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

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

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

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

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

DULCE DE LECHE BARSDulce de Leche Chocolate Gooey Bars

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

Have a super sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

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

 

XXL Monster Peanut Butter Cup Cookie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

No Thermometer Needed Easy Toffee

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too! I am SO EXCITED about this recipe today!

If you’re anything like me, candy thermometers kinda freak you out. Honey, I get you. I’m not a fan either. They’re too official and scary and cold and hard and heartless. (Can you tell I loathe them?) So if I can avoid using one at all costs, I’m on board.

But making candy at home often requires them, and toffee is usually no exception. However, this recipe is completely made with trust, love, and good old-fashioned perfect timing. It’s made in ten minutes – five to boil the mixture, and five to let it sit before spreading the chocolate – and then it just needs a couple hours in the fridge to set.

It starts with butter – two sticks – and 1 & 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Simply bring the mixture to a boil and boil, stirring constantly, for five minutes precisely. Pour the mixture into a greased and foil-lined baking pan and top with chocolate chips. Throw that sucker into the microwave (without turning the microwave on) and let it sit undisturbed for five minutes – this will help melt the chocolate. Spread the chocolate into an even layer, and top with whatever you like – I’ve topped mine with Heath chocolate toffee bits, but this would be great with chopped almonds or pecans.

Then simply let it set in the fridge for a couple hours before snapping it into pieces. It’s really as simple as that. No thermometers, no tricks, no jokes. Five minutes boiling, five minutes sitting, a couple hours setting. Done and done!

Now who wants some?!

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too!

No Thermometer Needed Easy Toffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Easy Toffee is a delectable holiday treat that's made without a candy thermometer! So simple, fast and foolproof.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (I used unsalted)
  • 1 & ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • About ½ cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits (or chopped nuts - whichever you prefer)
Instructions
  1. Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil, allowing the edges of the foil to hang over the pan. Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stirring to help melt the butter. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stirring constantly, boil the mixture for exactly five minutes. Mixture will be thicker and caramel colored.
  3. Pour the toffee into the prepared pan. Immediately sprinkle with the semi-sweet chocolate chips and place the pan in the microwave so it can sit undisturbed for five minutes. Remove from oven and spread the chocolate into an even layer; immediately top with the toffee bits or nuts, if using. Allow toffee to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge to set for about an hour or two. Break into pieces.

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too! My family and I could not stop eating this delectable, decadent, crunchy toffee. I still wish we had leftovers!

Want more toffee goodness? Check out these other recipes!

Peanut Butter ToffeeSalted Peanut Butter Toffee

Toffee Tiramisu BrowniesToffee Tiramisu Brookies

Sticky Toffee Pudding CookiesSticky Toffee Pudding Cookies

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Cups

These Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Cups are so simple and foolproof! Simply bake up oatmeal cookies in muffin tins and pop in a Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kiss for a delectable seasonal treat! It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in Sacramento!

I’ve got my fingers crossed that there aren’t any more blazing 90-degree days in our near future, and that Mother Nature is making way for plenty of crisp fall days, cooler afternoons and chilly evenings. And lots of leaves changing colors, because nothing is more quintessential fall than the changing of the leaves!

That, and Halloween candy. Oh, how I love thee.

We finally got around to decorating for Halloween last week, and I’m pretty impressed with our assortment of decorations. Last year, I was inspired by clowns since WHO ACTUALLY LIKES CLOWNS and I decorated our front yard like a circus. I hung a scary clown ghost in the tree by a rope, and built two life-size clowns out of old costumes, newspaper and styrofoam wig forms with clown wigs and masks on.

We have a little enclave by our front door that isn’t super visible from the street and I placed a clown there on our bench, just chillin’ without a care in the world, smiling in his creepy clown mask. We named him Otis after a long-standing family tradition of building a dummy on Halloween and hanging him from the tree or staging him somewhere in the yard. Rumor has it that my dad used to throw Otis into the street in front of moving cars when he was younger. I can’t imagine the looks on people’s faces seeing a dummy made of newspaper in the street.

Anyway, it became slightly disconcerting when I’d come home at nighttime and see a clown hanging in the shadows of my porch, so I’ve taken to saying hello to him every time he catches me off guard. And since my family is also put off by the lifeless clown chillin’ on our porch bench, they too have taken to saying hello to Otis as they enter or exit the house.

The UPS man, though… he just tosses our packages on the porch now :)

What about you? Do you decorate cute or creepy for Halloween?

Let’s go back to talking about Halloween candy. One of my favorite seasonal treats are the Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses. They’re so creamy and perfectly spiced, and taste just like a smooth-as-silk pumpkin pie. Plus, I love the cream centers! These candies are the inspiration for today’s delectable cookie cups.

First, you start with your cookie cup base: it’s a box of Krusteaz Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie mix. Bake it up in your mini muffin tin, then make an indent in them with a wooden spoon handle. Let ’em sit for a couple minutes, then pop in a Hershey’s Kiss for the final touch. Similar to peanut butter blossom cookies, these cookie cups feature the soft and chewy cookie topped with a delectably smooth Kiss on top.

In other words, irresistible!

These Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Cups are so simple and foolproof! Simply bake up oatmeal cookies in muffin tins and pop in a Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kiss for a delectable seasonal treat!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Cups
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
These Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Cups are so delicious and easy!
Ingredients
  • 1 box Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Mix (like by Krusteaz)
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • About 20 Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses, unwrapped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 24-cavity miniature muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cookie mix, butter and egg until a soft dough forms. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough into each cavity. You should end up with about 20 cookie cups total.
  3. Bake the cookie cups for approx. 10-12 minutes or until the tops are set and the edges appear slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and make an indentation in the center with the handle of a wooden spoon. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, pop in a Hershey Pumpkin Spice Kiss into the center of each. Allow the cookie cups to cool completely before gently running a knife around the edge to pop them out and serve.

These Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Cups are so simple and foolproof! Simply bake up oatmeal cookies in muffin tins and pop in a Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kiss for a delectable seasonal treat! Simple, delicious and seasonally satisfying, these cookie cups are the perfect fall treat!

Can’t find the Brown Sugar Oatmeal cookie mix? No fear! Substitute peanut butter, chocolate chip, or oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough in place of the brown sugar oatmeal. Or, use your own homemade oatmeal cookie dough recipe!

Have a 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

Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!So, I was super excited to make this recipe for many reasons.

One, because these nuts epitomize fall. Sweaters, scarves, boots, PSL’s, crunchy red leaves on the ground… you know. The whole dealio.

And two, because they taste like pumpkin spice, are super crunchy and coated in caramelized sugar heaven. You know, the usual.

And then I made them, stirred them every twenty minutes, pouring my heart and soul into this recipe with painstaking attention to detail.

And then, only then, did I realize after spreading the wet nuts out to dry on a baking sheet, that I forgot to grease my slow cooker.

STICKY SAUCE. STICKY SAUCE EVERYWHERE.

If you’ve never made what is essentially caramel in a hot slow cooker without baking spray, it’s basically hell on earth. And if you’ve never tried soaking said slow cooker liner in hot water and soap, it’s basically impossible to rinse off. So my all-purpose slow cooker just became a candied-nuts-only slow cooker in a matter of three hours. Oops.

And while we’re here, can we talk about the word ‘oops’ for a moment? Lately I’ve seen people spelling it like ‘opps’ and I’m thoroughly confused. ‘Opps’ doesn’t even sound like ‘oops’ does. Oops means there are two O’s – OOps. ‘Opps’ sounds like opportunities, or operations, or like you don’t know how to spell oops.

So there you have it. My tragic story and a spelling lesson all at once. You guys are so lucky to have me, right?

ANYWHO. Let’s talk more about these nuts, shall we?

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!So the premise is pretty simple for making homemade candied nuts. Simply pour your nuts of choice into a GREASED (!!!) slow cooker and toss with some egg whites and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar and white sugar along with your spices. For these, I’m using Pumpkin Pie Spice primarily for that warm, hearty, pumpkin-y flavor. Cook on low for three hours, stirring every twenty minutes to coat the nuts in that heartwarming spice and sugar mixture. Then, during the last twenty minutes of cooking, toss in some water – just a little bit – to help create a glaze on these sticky, sensational nuts. And lastly, toss ’em with some peanut M&M’s for color and because chocolate.

The end. The delicious end.

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 cups
 
These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are delicious, easy and great for gifting! Make a big batch and serve 'em up whenever your sugar craving strikes.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 cups shelled walnuts
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bag peanut M&M's, optional but recommended
Instructions
  1. First and foremost, liberally grease your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the nuts in the slow cooker and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla until combined. Drizzle over the nuts in the slow cooker and use a spoon to toss the nuts in the egg white mixture until coated.
  3. Meanwhile, in a larger bowl, combine the sugars and spices and stir to combine. Pour over the nuts and gently toss to coat.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on LOW and cook for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, drizzle in the water and toss to coat. Once nuts are done, spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet to dry and cool. Sprinkle with M&M's as they cool or after, up to you. Break into clusters and serve.

These Pumpkin Spice Candied Nuts are easy, foolproof and taste like fall! You don't want to miss this delicious recipe!You guys have to give these nuts a try! Crunchy, sugary, sweet and loaded with delicious pumpkin spice and chocolate, they’ll soon become a new favorite around the holidays!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Quick & Easy Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

This Homemade Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is to die for! Rich, creamy, sweet and buttery, it comes together in minutes and is totally foolproof!If you were looking for the best, easiest and quickest homemade caramel sauce, look no further!

A long time ago there was a girl who believed she didn’t like caramel.

That girl was seriously deranged and deeply disturbed.

That girl was ME.

Because now, I can’t live without the stuff. It’s my favorite on apples, in gooey brownies, atop ice cream and by the spoonful. In fact, eating it by the spoonful is exactly how I consumed this caramel immediately upon making it. It’s that good.

But for the longest time I was so petrified about how to make caramel at home. I figured it involved wizardry, candy thermometers and prayers for a successful outcome… all things I didn’t have or couldn’t do. But then I realized it probably wasn’t so bad, so I set out to experiment and boy, was I happy with the results.

This Homemade Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is to die for! Rich, creamy, sweet and buttery, it comes together in minutes and is totally foolproof!This caramel has a couple special things that makes it shine. First, it’s made with real salted butter, which adds to that salty caramel goodness. Next, it’s finished with heavy cream for a thick, rich, utterly divine final product. And it all starts with some white sugar, a litttttle touch of water, and corn syrup. Yes, I know, but the corn syrup helps prevent the sugar from crystallizing when it’s melting. It’s an important little tidbit that helps the final product become so special and rich and delicious. Feel free to omit it at your own risk, but just be reminded of the fact that you’re making homemade caramel for fun… a little corn syrup won’t kill you.

So who’s ready to take this caramel to the next level with me!?

This Homemade Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is to die for! Rich, creamy, sweet and buttery, it comes together in minutes and is totally foolproof!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quick & Easy Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This homemade salted caramel is utterly DIVINE! It comes together in minutes and tastes amazing alone, with apples, atop ice cream, or paired with another dessert like brownies. Make it now!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 10 Tbsp salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream/heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp (more or less, depending on your tastes) kosher salt
Instructions
  1. First, make sure you're free of distractions. Caramel needs some alone time with you.
  2. In a large pot (make sure it's larger than you think you'll need), bring together the sugar, water and corn syrup over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is moistened, then continue stirring constantly until sugar melts, about 5-7 minutes. Sugar may melt into a liquid, then clump up - this is normal and you should continue stirring, trying to break up the clumps with your rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Eventually the sugar will liquefy again and within seconds begin turning a caramel color. Cook, stirring constantly, until a dark amber color is achieved. BE CAREFUL because this color comes and goes pretty quickly, and you want to make sure you pull it before it burns.
  3. Once the deep amber color is reached (or desired color is reached), immediately add in the butter and stand back briefly as the mixture will bubble considerably. Continue stirring until butter has melted and mixture becomes creamier. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream, being wary of the mixture bubbling aggressively. Stir until the cream is incorporated, then sprinkle in the salt and stir to combine.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes before pouring into mason jars with lids or another heat-proof container with a lid. Mixture will be very hot. Allow to cool to room temperature for the mixture to adequately thicken and settle. Store in the fridge for up to a month.

This Homemade Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is to die for! Rich, creamy, sweet and buttery, it comes together in minutes and is totally foolproof!Buttery, sweet, salty, rich and utterly creamy & delicious, this salted caramel is my new favorite thing ever. I highly recommend you make it immediately!

Have a super sweet day!

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

 

 

 

Blue Raspberry Slushies and A Patriotic Party with Twizzlers!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TwizzlersSummer #CollectiveBias

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!Normally, Fourth of July isn’t my favorite holiday. We have dogs that dislike fireworks, so it’s always a big production trying to calm them down.

But, I am a fan of throwing parties for any and all holidays, so this party was an exception to my normal rule. Plus, who doesn’t love a little red, white and blue?

Fourth of July parties just scream for something easy and that everyone will love: backyard BBQ, pool party, easy, no-bake snacks.. you know the drill. Which is why I am throwing a fun patriotic-themed bash with Twizzlers!

You may not know this about me, but red licorice is my favorite candy and I adore Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel Cherry Twists. They’re my favorite! Anytime I’m seeing a movie, I must have licorice on me at all times. It’s a requirement and a law in the State of Hayley.

(Also a law? Not driving below the speed limit, but that’s another law for another post).

Twizzlers are the inspiration for this red, white & blue-themed party and I couldn’t think of a better ingredient to use. Everyone loves them, they’re chewy, sweet and fun to eat, and they make for great, no-bake party food as I’ll show you.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!

 

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!First up: these cookies. Aren’t they adorable? Simply purchase or bake sugar cookies, frost them with a little icing, and decorate with Twizzlers Pull N Peel Cherry Twists and star-shaped sprinkles. I made a great stars and stripes theme here, but there’s no rhyme or reason to the decorating. This is such a fun task to do with kids, too, so get the little ones engaged in decorating cookies! It isn’t just for Christmas anymore.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!Next up, these Dipped Twists. I used regular Strawberry Twizzlers Twists, dipped them in melted, smooth white chocolate bark, and topped with sprinkles. SO SIMPLE. These really could not be any easier, and they look like you spent all day sprinkling and dipping. Plus, who doesn’t love strawberry and white chocolate? I don’t know of a soul.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!Aren’t they pretty?

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!Last up, these Blue Raspberry Slushies with a Twizzlers straw. Twizzlers straws are the way of the future! Simply snip off both ends of a Twizzler Twist and stick it in any beverage for a candy straw! So fun, and so easy. This one tastes especially delicious with these Blue Raspberry Slushies, which are a cinch to make and are a great chilly treat for hot summer days. Everyone will love these – they remind me of slurpees!

Icy, sweet, tart, and totally amazing. My family was obsessed with these slushies!

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!*adapted from Cincy Shopper’s recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blue Raspberry Slushies and A Patriotic Party with Twizzlers!
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These slushies couldn't be easier to whip up! I love the blue raspberry flavor and so will everyone else!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cold club soda
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 pkt. blue raspberry drink mix
  • 2-3 cups ice
  • 2-3 drops blue food coloring
  • 4 Twizzlers Strawberry Twists, ends cut off
Instructions
  1. In a large blender, blend together the club soda, sugar, drink mix, ice and blue food coloring on HIGH speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Pop the mixture in the freezer for 15 minutes, then pour among four glasses.
  2. Garnish with a Twizzlers straw, for decoration and sipping. Serve immediately.

I found all my Twizzlers products at Walmart, where they had this convenient display in the middle of the store. So perfect, right?

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!And let’s talk about the tablescape. The theme here is super patriotic – red, white and blue all around, and perfect for Fourth of July! I decorated the table with miniature American flags and patriotic tinsel which I also found at Walmart in the party supply section. In keeping with the red, white and blue theme, I selected red napkins and white party cups, and displayed the dipped twists in little navy blue pails. So cute! Two stacked cake stands adds needed height and interest to this sparkly, Americana tablescape.

And of course – more Twizzlers! Twizzlers Bites to be precise. Of course we have to have a bowl of them :) Perfect for snacking!

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a fun Twizzlers party! Featuring Blue Raspberry Slushies with Twizzlers straws, Dipped Twists and Stars & Stripes Cookies!Well, that’s my party! I hope you enjoyed all the recipes and table ideas! Be sure to follow Twizzler’s hashtag #TwizzlersSummer for more party and recipe ideas featuring Twizzlers!

Twizzlers

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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