The Best Crisp and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten-Free!}

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!Lately I’ve been so frazzled. Well, more than usual :)

I’m not sure if it’s the allergies that are slowly waging World War III on my immune system, or perhaps it’s the fact that it’s only April and Sacramento is already reaching temps of 90 degrees. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m gaining weight like crazy (boo) or the fact that I’m about to start a healthy diet for said weight-gain (boo/yay). Either way, I’m totally, madly, hopelessly frazzled.

So there’s that.

I think my brain needs to pack a suitcase, put on a bikini and go on vacation, because seriously processing an actual, meaningful thought at this point is like performing brain surgery. I need an engineering degree just to formulate a proper sentence.

So without further adieu, methinks I’m starting my mental vacay right about now… but not until after I share the recipe for these fabulous peanut butter cookies. These truly are the best-ever in my not-so-humble opinion. They’re soft, chewy and have crisp edges which I find irresistible and necessary for any good peanut butter cookie. They’re packed with sweet-and-salty peanut butter flavor and have the classic cross-hatch pattern on top like any good cookie should. And they’re flourless, netting a fudgier, denser cookie that’s absolutely marvelous and which happens to make them naturally gluten-free.

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!I found this recipe years ago and I can’t even remember where, but I’ve been making it regularly since and had it posted on my blog from years ago but was in desperate need of updating the pictures. Pictures = better. Recipe = ain’t broke, so not fixin’ it. Just pure, unadulterated peanut buttery cookie goodness in every crisp, chewy bite. You won’t regret this simple recipe!

And yes, my mental vacay will consist of cramming these cookies in like hunger-fighting soldiers in one-by-one before my diet starts. Calories clearly don’t count on vacation.

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!

The Best Crisp and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten-Free!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These crisp and chewy peanut butter cookies are packed with sweet-and-salty peanut buttery goodness. Naturally flourless and thus gluten-free means these cookies are ultra fudgy and fabulous.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter* (if you prefer a smoother peanut butter cookie, feel free to use 2 cups of creamy peanut butter instead, but I like the texture of crunchy)
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling cookies
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or mist them lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butters, 1 cup of the white sugar and brown sugar until blended, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and baking soda until dough is combined; it will be very thick.
  3. Using a Tablespoon-sized cookie dough scoop, portion out rounded Tablespoon-sized balls of dough and drop it into the remaining white sugar; roll around to coat. Place 2" apart on the prepared baking sheets and using a fork, make a cross-hatch pattern in the top to lightly flatten the balls.
  4. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until golden. Do NOT overbake. Immediately remove from the baking sheets and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature for up to a week.

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!I cannot stress enough how tremendous these cookies are! They’re chewy, fudgy and have those buttery, crisp edges without having even a smidgen of butter in them. I love the subtle crunch from the white sugar on top and I love them especially when they’re warm and topped with ice cream…. but you didn’t hear that diet-friendly suggestion from me :)

If you like this recipe, be sure to Pin It to save to your favorite board for later!

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Easy Oreo Cheesecake Bars

These rich & creamy Oreo Cheesecake Bars really are the BEST! Soft, luscious and bursting with chocolate, they're a cookies & cream lover's dream!As you read this, I will have just returned home from a quick jaunt to Santa Barbara, CA. for a blogging retreat.

And I can guarantee you, I’m sad about it.

I’ve been longing for a beach day for awhile now. The beach is one of those places that is so strange to me since it offers both great relaxation and also hefty stress. Why? Because while the sound of the waves crashing, the water ebbing and flowing, the seagulls chirping, and the wind softly blowing, there are granules of sand stuck EVERYWHERE in places that sand should never see, there’s likely a frick-ton of wind blowing debris, sand and seagull feathers into my face, and there’s the teensy fact that I’m stuck wearing a swimsuit. Those poor other beach patrons.

In January when I went to the Caribbean, I wore a dress cover-up on the beach and everyone was puzzled as to why I wasn’t in a bikini. Um, because I’m about as pale as computer paper and my body looks like a giant lumpy thumb. Okay, not really, but it isn’t any Victoria’s Secret stunt-double either.

My point is. While I’m totally relaxed at the beach most of the time, there’s still that part of me that’s like OMG SAND NOOOOO and dreading removing my cover-up and revealing my paleness to the sun.

These rich & creamy Oreo Cheesecake Bars really are the BEST! Soft, luscious and bursting with chocolate, they're a cookies & cream lover's dream!What I’m not afraid of? Facing these Oreo Cheesecake Bars. They’re seriously the easiest, foolproof cheesecake bars and they are the best in the flavor department. Rich, creamy, chocolaty and laced with crushed Oreo cookies and cream bits. SO AMAZING.

These rich & creamy Oreo Cheesecake Bars really are the BEST! Soft, luscious and bursting with chocolate, they're a cookies & cream lover's dream!So whether or not you’re a Victoria’s Secret Angel or a pale thumb like myself, you’re guaranteed to love these bars!

Don’t like Oreos? Feel free to substitute Golden Oreos, Taffy Cookies, or Nutter Butters for this insanely simple recipe!

But now… get some!

These rich & creamy Oreo Cheesecake Bars really are the BEST! Soft, luscious and bursting with chocolate, they're a cookies & cream lover's dream!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
These creamy cheesecake bars are loaded up with lots of crushed Oreo cookies for a fabulously chocolaty cookies & cream flavor!
Ingredients
  • FOR CRUST:
  • 24 Oreo Cookies, crushed into very fine crumbs
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • FOR CHEESECAKE:
  • 2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • About 10 Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped/crushed
  • Hot Fudge Sauce, for drizzling on top, optional but recommended
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8" 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 medium bowl, stir together the finely crushed Oreo crumbs and the melted butter until combined and moistened. Press into the prepared pan in an even, single layer and bake for approx. 12 minutes. Remove from the oven but keep the oven on.
  3. While crust bakes, prepare your filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar with the paddle attachment and beat on medium for about 2 minutes or until combined and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream for about 1 minute or until the cheesecake is very light and smooth. Beat in the remaining coarsely crushed Oreo Cookies.
  4. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and smooth out the top. Bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until the edges are set, the top is very light golden brown and the center is just about set and only a little bit jiggly. Cool completely at room temperature and then once cool, refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, before cutting into bars. Drizzle the room temperature hot fudge on top of the bars just before serving.

These rich & creamy Oreo Cheesecake Bars really are the BEST! Soft, luscious and bursting with chocolate, they're a cookies & cream lover's dream!These cheesecake bars are OMG-worthy. Seriously delicious, so creamy, thick and just packed with rich chocolate and yummy cream flavor. I love the swirl of hot fudge on top, too – just drives that rich chocolate flavor home even more :) You’ll LOVE these bars!

These rich & creamy Oreo Cheesecake Bars really are the BEST! Soft, luscious and bursting with chocolate, they're a cookies & cream lover's dream! Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Cotton Candy Oreo Bars

These incredibly sweet Cotton Candy Oreo Bars have chewy Cotton-Candy flavored Oreos and white chocolate chips nestled inside the sweet, gooey layers. They're so fun and sprinkly!So, I’m a total sucker for the latest and greatest sweet treat. The new Oreo flavors are no exception.

Each time a new one’s released, I stalk my local Target pretty much on the daily for the latest flavor. I wait (impatiently) for the release date because I’m so freakin’ eager to try the latest creation so I can shovel them in my mouth one by one while contemplating dessert possibilities.

There have been some I didn’t care for (lime, red velvet) and others I loved (caramel apple, banana split(!!)), and when I heard about the newest Cotton Candy Golden Oreos, I knew it’d be love at first bite.

Because cotton candy. DUH.

If there’s two flavors I adore no matter what, it’s bubblegum and cotton candy. Consider my teeth the sweetest because those two flavors know no bounds in my book. Ice cream, cocktails, cookies, cakes, frostings, candies, and of course, their typical selves.

And these Oreos, in my humble (correct) opinion, are the best. I mean, seriously damn good. They are super sweet, but what do you expect when you bite into a COTTON CANDY OREO? A salisbury steak? No. You expect sugar in and around your mouth. So hush up with the “too sweet” commentary. Congrats on your stellar observation skills, Sherlock.

Cotton Candy Oreo BarsAnd these bars? Out of control sweet. Like, make your teeth hurt sweet. But worth it – so worth it. They’re a spin of my Cotton Candy Bars which I made four score and seven years ago and caused me to be called a racist because a woman thought corn-rows were racist – true story. ANYWHO. Racism aside, these bars are the upgraded version to the original, thanks to these sweet, limited edition Cotton Candy Oreos. And they’re mega delish.

So, long story short, if you like cotton candy, Golden Oreos, impossibly sweet stuff, and sprinkles, you are my new best friend, and you’ll adore these bars. (Not so) plain & simple.

NOW EAT.

These incredibly sweet Cotton Candy Oreo Bars have chewy Cotton-Candy flavored Oreos and white chocolate chips nestled inside the sweet, gooey layers. They're so fun and sprinkly!*adapted from my Cotton Candy Bars recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cotton Candy Oreo Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These super sweet chewy bars taste like cotton candy, thanks to the special-flavored Golden Oreos and cotton candy oil, which you can find online or in craft stores.
Ingredients
  • 1 box blue velvet cake mix (or white cake mix)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 3 drams cotton candy oil (like the kind by Lor-Ann), divided
  • ¾ pkg Cotton Candy Oreos (may substitute regular Golden if needed)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" baking dish 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 blue velvet cake mix, egg, melted butter, and two (2) drams of cotton candy oil with a spoon until a soft dough has formed. If you cannot find the blue velvet cake mix, substitute white cake mix and tint it with blue food coloring. Press ¾ of the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer.
  3. Coarsely chop the Cotton Candy Oreos and sprinkle them on top of the bar base. Top evenly with the white chocolate chips. Drizzle on the sweetened condensed milk until a layer covers the bars (you may not need the entire can of milk). Crumble the remaining dough over top of the bars, trying to cover it completely as best you can.
  4. Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until the center is set and the top is lightly golden brown. Cool completely, preferably overnight.
  5. Tint the vanilla frosting pink and stir in the remaining dram of cotton candy oil to combine. Drizzle over the cut bars and sprinkle with rainbow jimmies. Serve!

These incredibly sweet Cotton Candy Oreo Bars have chewy Cotton-Candy flavored Oreos and white chocolate chips nestled inside the sweet, gooey layers. They're so fun and sprinkly!Unsure of what a “dram” is? Drams are miniature bottles of highly concentrated flavorings or extracts that are commonly used in baking and candy making. These oils tend to be more potent than your average extract sold at the grocery store, which makes them perfect for flavoring these bars since a little goes a long way. You can find the cotton candy drams in some craft stores, such as Michael’s, Jo-Ann or Hobby Lobby, but a surefire bet is to order them ONLINE.

And be sure to hunt down the limited edition Cotton Candy Golden Oreos at your local Target store!

These incredibly sweet Cotton Candy Oreo Bars have chewy Cotton-Candy flavored Oreos and white chocolate chips nestled inside the sweet, gooey layers. They're so fun and sprinkly!Have a super sweeeeeet day!

xo, Hayley

Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies

These Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies are buttery, crisp shortbread cookies bursting with juicy key lime flavor! You'll love these bright, citrusy cookies.When I was a kid, my mom would occasionally buy those Lemon Cooler Cookies at the store. And whenever I’d open up that snack cupboard and see that sunny yellow box, I became so excited because I adored those powdered sugary dreams almost as much as I adored a fresh page of Lisa Frank stickers and Betty Spaghetti dolls.

Dude. Betty Spaghetti? I never thought I’d hear myself say that name again. They smelled so weird, didn’t they? But I loved how stringy and strange they were.

Little Hayley – always a fan of the obscure knock-off toys. Like those Barbies from the Dollar Store with eerily easily removable heads. But I digress.

Have you ever thought about the weird and somewhat disturbing fact that one day you were playing with your toys, everything was right in the world, calories still didn’t exist to you, and suddenly you stopped playing and never returned? There was a day when we set down our Legos and Barbies and never picked them up to play with them again. Or that there was a time that your parents put you down and never picked you up again. BRB, jumping in my mom’s arms now.

So there was a day when we polished off a box of those Lemon Coolers and never ever bought another box again. I don’t know why; we became preoccupied in our lives, forgot to swing by the cookie aisle, or maybe our store ran out briefly, but we never bought another box again and I had completely forgotten about these powdered sugary confections for a looong time.

And then I happened upon this weird grocery store in my town and they had the Lime Coolers, which before stumbling upon them, I had not known existed. I bought them for reminiscing purposes and was immediately transported back to my childhood, licking powdered sugar off my fingers and savoring that sweet shortbread cookie spiked with fresh lemon flavor. The lime were the same, offering that punch of bright lime flavor. I loved them… but I knew I could recreate them :)

These Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies are buttery, crisp shortbread cookies bursting with juicy key lime flavor! You'll love these bright, citrusy cookies.And now, my friends? These Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies. They’re every bit as tender and crisp as the originals, bursting with juicy, bright lime flavor and coated in powdered sugar. They’re totally delicious and super addictive – you cannot eat just one! – and remind me of my childhood days obsessed with cookies and Lisa Frank (because what girl was not obsessed with those colorful puppy folders?).

ANYWHO. Lime Cooler Cookies. DO IT.

These Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies are buttery, crisp shortbread cookies bursting with juicy key lime flavor! You'll love these bright, citrusy cookies.*slightly adapted from this recipe

Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60
 
These buttery shortbread cookies are bursting with fresh, juicy key lime flavor and are the perfect springtime treat!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 3 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime zest
  • ¼ cup key lime juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and ONE (1) cup of the powdered sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the key lime juice, the zest and vanilla and beat to combine. Lastly, add in the flour and cornstarch until a thick dough has formed.
  3. Roll Tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place them 1" apart from one another onto the prepared baking sheets. Gently press them down with a sugared glass.
  4. Bake for approx. 9-11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until golden brown and set. Cool completely on the baking sheets. Remove to a wire rack and one by one, gently coat in the remaining powdered sugar. Serve!

These Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies are buttery, crisp shortbread cookies bursting with juicy key lime flavor! You'll love these bright, citrusy cookies.These crisp, buttery shortbread cookies are so flavorful and packed with that fresh lime punch. You’ll love them! If you don’t like lime, feel free to substitute lemon or orange for another bright citrusy spin. You could also omit the powdered sugar dusting and glaze them with a quick lime glaze. Either way, you must make them – they’re scrumptious!

These Copycat Lime Cooler Cookies are buttery, crisp shortbread cookies bursting with juicy key lime flavor! You'll love these bright, citrusy cookies.

Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

Oreo Macarons

Oreo MacaronsWe need to talk about TimeHop for a minute.

You know the app right? It’s called TimeHop (obvi) and it basically brings up old dirt you would hope would be buried and long-dead forever via pictures, old Facebook statuses, tweets, and Instagram posts… and whatever other social media account you’d like to torture yourself with.

I got TimeHop because I kept seeing my friends post fun #tbt pictures and I figured I wanted to also remember the things I said and did in the past. Everyone else’s TimeHops are so cute and fun and such a great way to reminisce. However, my TimeHop? Totally different and disturbing story.

So TimeHop doesn’t just unearth things from a year ago. Oh no. TimeHop is pure, unadulterated evil and digs up junk from five years ago. Meaning the stuff I was saying when I was just 19 years old is allllllllll up in my face again. And no one should ever be confronted with their 19-year old sayings. EVER.

Things like saying the most mind-numbingly stupid things, like “text it, peeps!” and recounting every single thought I had that day as a Facebook update (I’m sorry). Pictures of me trying to look hip and fun and cool that just look sad and pathetic and hopelessly dumb. I really, really can’t even.

So far I’ve found maybe three photos I’ve thought about re-sharing, and they all involved an animal of some sort. Otherwise, I hastily scroll through TimeHop finding a mountain of incriminating evidence that I was once a super-dumbass.

Once? Maybe still am. But I certainly don’t update Facebook with my every waking thought or use the term ‘peeps’ literally.

DSC_0847AANYWHO. Let’s talk about something that never gets old or embarrassing. These Oreo Macarons are the perfect springtime treat and taste just like Oreo cookies, but in a fun and pretty macaron. These are light, delicate and outrageously chocolaty with the perfect Oreo cream filling in the middle that makes these cookies & cream wonders extra sweet.

DSC_0854AIf you love Oreos, you’ll heart these cookies! I promise, peeps.

DSC_0850A*adapted from my Nutter Butter Macarons – view a full, step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make macarons HERE

5.0 from 2 reviews
Oreo Macarons
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 27
 
Delicate and sweet, these chocolate-packed OREO Macarons are perfect for the Oreo cookie lover!
Ingredients
  • 2 & ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3.5 oz almond meal (like by Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3.5 oz Oreo Cookies, filling scraped out and reserved and cookie pieces pulverized into a fine crumb (about 12-15 Oreo Cookies)
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • FOR FILLING:
  • Reserved Oreo Cookie filling (from about 12-15 Oreo Cookies)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 1.5 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. First, measure your ingredients out properly. On a kitchen food scale, measure out 3.5 oz of almond meal and 3.5 oz of pulverized Oreo shells. Pour both into a bowl with the powdered sugar. Place a large handheld sifter over a separate bowl and begin sifting the dry ingredients together until blended and sifted.
  2. If you have harder "pebbles" leftover, either push them through the sifter with your spatula, or remove them to re-pulse through your food processor, then try resifting them. If there's a teaspoon or less of the harder "pebbles", you may discard. Set sifted ingredients aside.
  3. Bring a large pot filled with 1-2" of water to a simmer. Place your stand mixer bowl over the pot of water and immediately add in the egg whites and white sugar. Whisk quickly for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is frothy and bubbly. Do NOT overmix. Immediately remove from the heat, wipe off the bottom of the bowl, and attach to your stand mixer base. Using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg white mixture on HIGH for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Remove the whisk attachment and gently stir in HALF of the sifted mixture. Do not fully stir this mixture in; just fold it in maybe 4 or so times and then add the rest. Turn your wrist clockwise around the bowl, folding the mixture around and in on itself to incorporate the dry, sifted ingredients. The mixture should look like a little thick and chunky when it's done. If you draw an invisible line through the mixture with your spatula, the line should disappear within the mixture in a couple of seconds.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, making the parchment the same dimensions as your baking sheets. Conversely, you may use silicone macaron mats if you have them. Do not grease the mats, the parchment, or the sheets.
  6. Scoop the macaron mixture into a large disposable piping bag affixed with a large open-circle tip (I used Atecco 807). Hold the bag straight down and gently squeeze to release the batter, counting to four. Flick your wrist to stop the flow. This should translate to a macaron roughly the size of an American quarter. Repeat with remaining macarons. Macarons may have slight lumps on top; either use a lightly wet finger to gently pat it down, or follow the recipe accordingly. Once macarons are all piped on, gently tap each sheet a couple of times on the counter to release air bubbles and help those lumps fall. Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking. During this time, preheat your oven 275* degrees F.
  7. Bake the macarons for approx. 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Mine bake at EXACTLY 13 minutes. Remove the macarons gently and allow them to cool on the baking sheets. Macarons should come right up or peel off with little resistance.
  8. To make the filling, in the clean stand mixer bowl, beat together the butter, vanilla and Oreo Cookie filling with the paddle attachment for about 1 minute or until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar until a soft yet thick and spreadable mixture has formed. Place the mixture in a piping bag attached with a smaller open circle tip and pipe onto the flat surface of a cooled macaron; sandwich with a remaining macaron top.
  9. Serve immediately. Macarons are best the same day or the next day. To store macarons, gently place them in a large airtight container and place them in on the counter. You may also cover them airtight and place them in the fridge, but allow them to come to room temperature completely before eating.

DSC_0858AThese are SO FABULOUS! I could not stop snacking on them after I made them – they are so petite, sweet and perfect, and the Oreo flavor is spot-on, thanks to the chocolaty-cookie crumble macaron shells and that sinfully sweet Oreo creme filling. You’ll love these macarons!

Easy Oreo MacaronsPssst: Have you checked out my macaron tutorial yet? It features step-by-step photo instructions for how to make the perfect macarons! Check it out now, and check out my other macaron recipes!

Nutter Butter MacaronsNutter Butter Macarons – complete with the photo step-by-step tutorial

 cottoncandymacaronsCotton Candy Macarons

fruitypebblemacaron Fruity Pebbles Macarons

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes

These Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes are fudgy chocolate cupcakes topped with a sweet marshmallow buttercream and a Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookie!I’m so happy to be bringing you these delicious Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes today on behalf of Little Debbie!

Little Debbie and I go waaaaay back. We’ve been friends since before I can remember! My childhood days consisted of Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Creme Pies and Cosmic Brownies. So when Little Debbie asked me to create some fun recipes with their seasonal product line, I was happy to agree!

These Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes are fudgy chocolate cupcakes topped with a sweet marshmallow buttercream and a Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookie!And these Marshmallow Puffs? THE. BEST. Forreals. They are so gooey and fudgy and perfect, and I’m obsessed with the fun spring-time sprinkles on top. They truly are the inspiration for their namesake cupcake, which is a fudgy chocolate cupcake topped with a heavenly puff of marshmallow buttercream.

Tremendous. Marvelous. Indulgent. Incredible. I cannot stress this enough!

These Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes are fudgy chocolate cupcakes topped with a sweet marshmallow buttercream and a Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookie!These would make for such a wonderful Easter dessert since they’re so easy – simply pop a Marshmallow Puff on top of each frosted cupcake for an adorable and delicious garnish. No one will be able to resist these pillowy cupcakes!

(And you don’t want to know who ate ALL of the remaining Marshmallow Puffs I got. Seriously dude, call Marshmallow Puffs Anonymous. I killllllled two boxes!)

Diet starts tomorrow. NOT.

These Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes are fudgy chocolate cupcakes topped with a sweet marshmallow buttercream and a Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookie!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes are delightful chocolate cupcakes topped with a pillowy soft marshmallow buttercream and garnished with Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookies for a fun and tasty springtime treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 1 small box chocolate instant pudding mix (just the dry mix)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ½ cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk, if needed
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • About 16 Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 16 paper liners. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the cake batter according to package directions. Stir the box of chocolate pudding mix into the batter.
  2. Portion the batter evenly among the cupcake tins, filling about ¾ full. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, marshmallow fluff and vanilla extract until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until light and fluffy. Add in the milk if frosting is too thick.
  4. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and dredge the sides of the frosted cupcakes in sprinkles. Top with a Marshmallow Puff Cookie. Serve immediately, or store leftovers airtight at room temperature.

These Marshmallow Puff Cupcakes are fudgy chocolate cupcakes topped with a sweet marshmallow buttercream and a Little Debbie Marshmallow Puff Cookie!So again – these cookies. They’re so impossibly fudgy and chocolaty and topped with the softest cloud of marshmallow. Then the whole thing is coated in white chocolate and sprinkles – talk about heaven on earth, people. These cupcakes are like a giant, cakey version of these cookies, and combined, it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Have a super sweet day, and stay tuned for more Little Debbie-inspired treats!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Little Debbie to bring you fun, springtime recipes featuring their seasonal products. I was not compensated for this post except for product and all opinions, as always, are 100% my own. 

Oreo Cookies & Cream Banana Bread

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!I am woefully powerless every time I go to Trader Joe’s. It’s like a total money suck and if Target were completely a specialty grocery store, it would be Trader Joe’s.

Seriously, I step in and I feel like I’m a whole new girl. A girl who takes interest in prepared kale salads, pre-cut celery and gorgonzola gnocchi. I immediately want to buy every last bouquet of their gorgeous flowers and already after putting a couple in my basket I’ve blown whatever modicum of a budget I ever had.

And then I get all up in the prepared food section and think about making a lobster ravioli because that’s practical, and how I’ll use these breaded turkey roulades to make the best damn dinner ever (even though my family would cringe at the word ‘roulade’), and oh! what about this flax granola? I totally read somewhere once that flax is good for you, and since I thought about wanting to eat healthy five months ago, I’ll just buy ten of these.

The frozen section? Honey. Take my money and burn it all to the freakin’ ground. I’m particularly fond of all of their appetizers, which makes me feel like a starved hog at an all-your-can-eat buffet, and their Chinese food selection which, when purchased and consumed, adds another 10 pounds to the scale. Notice how they don’t talk about that on their little descriptor tags.

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!And how come the cookies and candies are lined up like little thigh-expanding soldiers right above the frozen fruits and veggies? Seriously, I can’t buy a damn pack of frozen blueberries without caving and knocking all of the Joe-Joe’s into my cart with reckless abandon. Whyyyyy, I’l scream as I pluck five cartons of fleur de sel caramels into my basket, contemplating my poor life choices up to this pivotal moment. I am a monster.

Oh – and the chip aisle? Not even cute. My love affair for chips is ever-growing, like my waistline, and Trader Joe’s only exacerbates this issue of mine. I fool myself every time with the Reduced-Guilt Cheddar Puffs, because this obviously means they’re healthy, I’ll think as I mow down an entire bag during a particularly bitchy episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And the cheddar&caramel popcorn mixed up Chicago style? Kill me now; it’s so good.

Don’t even get me started on the “New Products” section, which transforms me into a somewhat-practical human being into a marketer’s dream come true. I’ll stare sparkly-eyed at the latest almond butter with flax seed, wistfully remembering the blip-fact about flax I read somewhere, and despite the fact that I don’t eat almond butter, will buy it anyway because it’s “new” and it has “flax” and the package is cute and cheeky. Or the peanut butter & jelly chocolate bar that sounds terrible but I throw five in my cart anyway because I have to be the first to try said terrible product or it didn’t happen, duh.

So yeah – all this before I even checkout is a nightmare. And I didn’t even explain the terror caused by all of the HORRIBLE CART-DRIVERS inside every Trader Joe’s store. It’s like their subtext to their name is Where All the Terrible Cart-People Are because you can’t even access the granola bars without asking until you’re blue in the face for that pregnant, green-juice-slurping model mom to move her tush. And trying to get sugar? Honey, you’ll sooner mill your own damn sugar than get in there behind Grandma Dolores, who’s hogging up half the aisle with her cart full of beans.

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!BUT amidst all of the chaos and bumper-carts that Trader Joe’s brings, they have some amazing stuff for-reals. For instance, I adore their cookie butter spread (so amazing!) and their jumbo cinnamon rolls are the best in their class. And there was one new product that stood out to me like a beacon of light in a sea of angry people pushing red carts: this Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter. Behold, a cookie spread made of ground chocolate Joe-Joe’s (their version of Oreos) and the creme filling. Seriously. It was a no-brainer; that stuff was in my cart faster than you could say ‘banana bread’… which is ironically what I ended up making with it!

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!This Oreo Cookies & Cream Banana Bread is easily one of the best things I’ve made recently. It’s moist, full of banana flavor, and is studded with chopped pieces of Oreo cookies. I prefer mine cut super thick with a heaping slathering of this cookie butter on top to really drive that cookies & cream flavor home… but I won’t judge you if you skip out on ol’ TJ’s and just stuff your face with the bread naked. Well, the bread is naked. Not you. That’s weird. I’ll stop.

Anywho: Banana Bread. Make it!

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!

Oreo Cookies & Cream Banana Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This delightful banana bread combines my classic Best-Ever Banana Bread recipe with, you guessed it, Oreo cookies! The result is a moist and sweet banana bread studded with chopped Oreos for a fun cookies & cream flavor everyone will love.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup (about 1 small carton) Greek yogurt (I used vanilla flavor, but you may use banana or even plain)
  • 2 cups mashed banana (from about 3-4 medium-sized brown or black bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small box cookies & cream pudding mix (if you cannot find this, use regular vanilla)
  • 1 & ½ cups Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed
  • Trader Joe's Cookies n Creme Butter Spread, optional for garnish but recommended
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pudding mix (just the dry mix) and cinnamon with a whisk until blended. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and softened butter until combined. Add in the Greek yogurt, eggs and mashed banana. Using a spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just about combined, then fold in the crushed cookies at the last minute. Mixture may be slightly lumpy; this is OKAY and do not continue stirring as it will result in a tougher bread.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, then lightly tent the pan with foil and return to the oven to bake for another 30 minutes. Test bread for doneness at the 60-minute mark by inserting a toothpick into the center. It should come out with moist crumbs. Cool the bread completely in the pan before cutting into slices. Serve with the Cookie Butter slathered on top.

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!I love this fun twist on banana bread by using crushed Oreo cookies inside! Every bite is studded with little chunks of crisp chocolate cookies and that sweet hint of marshmallow-y vanilla filling swirled throughout. The Cookies & Creme Cookie Butter on top is the perfect treat to really emphasize that sweet chocolate and creme-cookie taste!

This Oreo Cookies & Creme Banana Bread is a delightful combination of moist, rich banana bread and chopped Oreo Cookies for a fun twist on a classic!Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

Nutter Butter Macarons & A Simple Macaron-Making Tutorial

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! You guyyyyyyssss. These macarons are everything. You hear me? Ev.Er.Y.THANGGGG.

I love contrast. It’s my favorite technique for editing pictures, and it’s my favorite technique to apply when eating, dressing, styling, and virtually everything else in my life. Like for instance, pairing a pretty pink tutu with a roughed up black motorcycle jacket and chunky black boots. The boots and jacket are so tough and edgy, but in contrast, the pink tutu, with all its frills and girlishness, is the perfect contrast.

And like with polished, prim French macarons and all-American, easygoing Nutter Butters, combining the two is the perfect blend of both worlds. And seriously, these macarons may be some of my favorites ever. Like, of Laduree, Ginger Elizabeth’s, Dana’s Bakery, Macaron Parlour-ever. And that’s saying a lot since 1) I’m not French, nor a French chef (and I don’t even pretend to be one!), and 2) since I’m hardly qualified to be making outrageous claims like this, yet I am and I’m serious.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! I did a macaron tutorial in the past, but to be honest, I hadn’t yet perfected my method or recipe yet. My macarons of the past were still a little wobbly, had quite a bit of cracks, and just needed some more tweaking to be more like the French macaron they were destined to be. I know I sound like a mother of a macaron right now, watching her macaron children flee the nest into the world to carve their own successful destinies… I’ll stop.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! I figured I would revamp my tutorial to be as simple, clear, and precise as I could be to help you navigate the waters of macaron-making. Macarons are pesky little devils with high tempers. One wrong move here or there could send you with a tough, hard cookie, something that disintegrates, or worse – “Cajun” macarons, which I’ve made many times and they are as terrible as they sound.

BUT – with the right information, tools and tips you can successfully make French macarons in your own home without A) adopting a French person to help you, B) giving up and just buying Chips Ahoy, or C) having a temper tantrum and turning Cajun. (Not that turning Cajun would be a bad thing, but don’t be like the mad macaron).

**For this tutorial, I wrote it as if we were making basic macarons – not the Nutter Butter ones. I’ll throw in Nutter Butter steps here and there for clarity, but I want you to feel you can come to this tutorial for any flavor macaron you’re making. Capiche?**

Let’s get started!

For basic macarons, you’ll need:

DSC_0839AAlmond Meal/Flour: I like Bob’s Red Mill because it’s finely ground and comes from blanched almonds, so there are no skins. However, for my Nutter Butter recipe I happened to use regular almond meal (meaning with the skins, which are just tiny brown flecks in the end product. Either one works, and the regular almond meal would work here since it adds to the character of the macaron (cookie crumbs + brown flecks from almond skin = no biggie). However, if you wanted something like a pure vanilla macaron, I’d stick with blanched almond meal for purity color-wise.

Powdered Sugar: This is essentially what your shell consists of – powdered sugar and a little almond meal (and for the NB recipe, some ground Nutter Butters). The powdered sugar is essential to making these crisp yet chewy cookies so delectable.

White Sugar: White sugar helps make the meringue which is what you fold into the sifted almond meal & powdered sugar mixture. I use plain white granulated sugar, but superfine or caster should work too.

Egg Whites: These are essential to macarons! Macaron shells are delicate, much like meringue, and egg whites provide that structure.

Remember: These are your essentials which will not change no matter what flavor you’re doing. For the Nutter Butter, I obviously added in Nutter Butters, plus the filling ingredients which are in the Recipe Box below. 

DSC_0806ASifting time! I like to sift my dry ingredients first so they’re totally ready to rock & roll when my egg whites are whipped. I simply combine the almond meal and powdered sugar in a large bowl (along with the cookie crumbs for this particular recipe) and then process it through a large sifter into a separate bowl. I’ve used both this large sifter and a hand-crank sifter and I prefer this larger one (less hand cramps!) You want it to be extremely finely ground with zero clumps or chunks of anything which could affect the structure or consistency of the macaron shell. For the Nutter Butter Macarons, I’ve sifted together 2 & 1/3 cups powdered sugar, 3.5 oz of almond meal, and 3.5 oz of finely ground Nutter Butters, which I pulsed into a fine crumb in my food processor.

DSC_0808AWhen you’re sifting, you’ll find these hard little “pebbles” in the bottom of your sifter. These are too large and hard to pass through the fine sieve, so you’ll need to do one of two things. 1) You can scrape your spatula over them against the sifter to try to break them down and get them to pass through; OR 2) You can add all the pebbles back into your food processor and grind them a little more so they break down. However – if there’s a teaspoon or less of the pebbles (here is a teaspoon, as shown in the picture) you may throw them out. Any more than a teaspoon and you’ll need to push them through or re-pulse them to grind them down.

Now, let’s move onto the meringue!

DSC_0836ASeparate four egg whites into a bowl, discarding the yolks. I love using an egg separator because it efficiently separates the whites from the yolks, so you get the maximum whites out of each egg.

DSC_0841ANow here’s the first step of the meringue-making part. If you’re using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, this is even simpler for you. If not, listen along! Place a large pot of water (like 1-2 inches of water) on the stove and bring to a simmer. Place your KA Stand Mixer bowl on top of the pot so it nestles atop of the simmering water without the water touching the bottom of your bowl. Working very quickly, add in the egg whites and your 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. With a whisk, begin whisking the mixture until it looks like this – slightly bubbly and frothy. Any longer and you’ll risk making super sweet scrambled egg whites.

Once the mixture looks like this, immediately remove it from the simmering water, wipe off the bottom, and quickly reattach it to your mixer base. Affix the mixer with the whisk attachment. If you are not using a stand mixer, I’m afraid your hands are in for a load of work. Place a large heat-proof bowl over the pot of simmering water and follow the steps. Once the mixture is frothy, remove from the pot of water, wipe the bottom, and begin beating it with the whisk attachments on a handheld electric mixer.

DSC_0842ABegin beating the egg white mixture on HIGH for 5-7 minutes or until glossy, stiff peaks form. Check periodically to see if your egg whites are done so they aren’t over-whipped. Once the egg whites are whipped and have stiff, glossy peaks, you can now add your flavoring or dye if needed. For the Nutter Butter Macarons, I did not add anything in this step. However, if you were going to make, say, lemon macarons, you’d add in a couple drops of yellow food coloring and a small capful of lemon extract in at this moment. Beat very quickly to combine, careful not to overwhip.

DSC_0809ABeaten egg whites will look like this when they’re ready: glossy, stiff, and thick in volume. Not sure if your egg whites are ready? Simply take the whisk attachment off, and stand it up in the air. If the peaks begin to sag or fall, they need a little more whipping. If they stand straight up, they’re just right.

DSC_0811ABefore proceeding, make sure your baking equipment is ready. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper that is the exact size of your baking sheet. If parchment hangs over the edges of the baking sheet, macarons may slide when baking or they may bake lopsided, which makes them prone to cracks or not fully developing their “feet”, that crusty ridge around the base of any quality macaron. You may also use a macaron baking mat if you have one (and you can find them cheaply at most craft stores – I bought two 18-cavity macaron mats at Michael’s for $17 plus a 40% off coupon). Do not grease sheets, mats, or pans.

DSC_0813ATake your sifted mixture and gently begin folding in HALF of the sifted mixture into the egg whites. You do not want to fully incorporate it – just barely, barely mix it in, like so. If there are patches of straight-up dry mixture in there, leave them! You’ll risk overworking your batter if you fully incorporate half the mixture.

DSC_0814AThen, fold in the remaining mixture. Turn your wrist to fold the mixture around the bowl and into itself. If it helps, think of it like a clock. Start at 12 and work your way around the clock, going clockwise, until about 11, then cut into the middle of the clock. Work back to 12 and start again. Again, do not overmix! The mixture is ready when it looks thick and kind of chunky looking, like this (almost like wet cement). If you draw your spatula through the mixture, the line from your spatula should disappear back into the mixture within a few seconds.

DSC_0816ARemember my tip about the almond meal? See those brown specks in there? Some are from the Nutter Butters, but some are from the almond skin in the meal. If you’d prefer a plain, tan color for these macaron shells, I’d seek out blanched almond meal, which would omit any almond skin from peeking through.

DSC_0819AMy Atecco 807 tip is my go-to tip for piping macarons. It’s a large, open-circle tip that works well for frosting or piping, and I use it pretty much all the time! If you don’t have this tip, don’t fret – any large, round tip will work. However, please be advised that I don’t recommend just snipping off a corner of a baggy when piping these macarons. The shape will be wonky, and it won’t bake up properly. Please use a professional tip.

Now, attach the tip to a disposable piping bag and fill ‘er up.

DSC_0821A

Hold the bag straight down and gently squeeze the bag to release the flow of macaron batter, counting to four. This should equal a circle roughly the size of an American quarter. Gently flick your wrist to stop the flow of the macaron. This will leave that lump on top – but don’t fret. You can either: Lightly wet your finger and gently pat down the lump or wait for it to soften and deflate (what I do).

Once all the macarons are piped onto your baking sheet or baking mats, gently tap the entire sheet pan onto the counter a couple times. This releases the air bubbles from within the macarons, allowing them to properly rise and create that chewy interior without being cracked or completely hollowed. After tapping the macarons on the counter, leave them on the counter for 20 minutes before baking. This allows the macarons to briefly form a slight “shell” on top which helps create that crispy top everyone knows and loves. And it allows some more time for that peak to fall back down into the macaron.

At this point, after tapping the macarons, I would preheat your oven to 275* degrees F.

DSC_0825A

Bake the macarons for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time. I cannot stress that enough! Mine take exactly 13 minutes. I’ll put them in for 6 minutes and 30 seconds, bake them, then rotate the pans and bake them for another 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets before gently removing. They should come right off or come off with little resistance.

And then, all that’s left to do is frost them up, gently sammich them together, and EAT THE LIVING HELL OUT OF THEM!

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! And if you’re like me, you’ll be inhaling them soon enough. OMGTHEY’RESOGOOD.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Nutter Butter Macarons & A Simple Macaron-Making Tutorial
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 27
 
Don't fear the French macaron! French-style macarons are made easy with my simple tutorial, and made delicious thanks to all-American Nutter Butter Cookies, which flavor these macarons in ways you wouldn't believe!
Ingredients
  • 2 & ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3.5 oz almond meal (like by Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3.5 oz Nutter Butter Cookies, filling scraped out and reserved and cookie pieces pulverized into a fine crumb (about 10-12 Nutter Butters)
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • FOR FILLING:
  • Reserved Nutter Butter filling (from about 10-12 Nutter Butter Cookies)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 1.5 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. First, measure your ingredients out properly. On a kitchen food scale, measure out 3.5 oz of almond meal and 3.5 oz of pulverized Nutter Butter shells. Pour both into a bowl with the powdered sugar. Place a large handheld sifter over a separate bowl and begin sifting the dry ingredients together until blended and sifted.
  2. If you have harder "pebbles" leftover, either push them through the sifter with your spatula, or remove them to re-pulse through your food processor, then try resifting them. If there's a teaspoon or less of the harder "pebbles", you may discard. Set sifted ingredients aside.
  3. Bring a large pot filled with 1-2" of water to a simmer. Place your stand mixer bowl over the pot of water and immediately add in the egg whites and white sugar. Whisk quickly for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is frothy and bubbly. Do NOT overmix. Immediately remove from the heat, wipe off the bottom of the bowl, and attach to your stand mixer base. Using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg white mixture on HIGH for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Remove the whisk attachment and gently stir in HALF of the sifted mixture. Do not fully stir this mixture in; just fold it in maybe 4 or so times and then add the rest. Turn your wrist clockwise around the bowl, folding the mixture around and in on itself to incorporate the dry, sifted ingredients. The mixture should look like a little thick and chunky when it's done. If you draw an invisible line through the mixture with your spatula, the line should disappear within the mixture in a couple of seconds.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, making the parchment the same dimensions as your baking sheets. Conversely, you may use silicone macaron mats if you have them. Do not grease the mats, the parchment, or the sheets.
  6. Scoop the macaron mixture into a large disposable piping bag affixed with a large open-circle tip (I used Atecco 807). Hold the bag straight down and gently squeeze to release the batter, counting to four. Flick your wrist to stop the flow. This should translate to a macaron roughly the size of an American quarter. Repeat with remaining macarons. Macarons may have slight lumps on top; either use a lightly wet finger to gently pat it down, or follow the recipe accordingly. Once macarons are all piped on, gently tap each sheet a couple of times on the counter to release air bubbles and help those lumps fall. Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking. During this time, preheat your oven 275* degrees F.
  7. Bake the macarons for approx. 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Mine bake at EXACTLY 13 minutes. Remove the macarons gently and allow them to cool on the baking sheets. Macarons should come right up or peel off with little resistance.
  8. To make the filling, in the clean stand mixer bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, vanilla and Nutter Butter filling with the paddle attachment for about 1 minute or until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar until a soft yet thick and spreadable mixture has formed. Place the mixture in a piping bag attached with a smaller open circle tip and pipe onto the flat surface of a cooled macaron; sandwich with a remaining macaron top.
  9. Serve immediately. Macarons are best the same day or the next day. To store macarons, gently place them in a large airtight container and place them in on the counter. You may also cover them airtight and place them in the fridge, but allow them to come to room temperature completely before eating.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! Oh. Em. Geeeeee. The Nutter Butter filling is just exquisite, people. Creamy and thick, sweet-and-salty, and so luscious in contrast to the crisp shells of the macarons with their tender and chewy interior. FABULOUS, and all made from scratch, at home, without being French. How’s that for a macaron?! :)

Stay tuned, because I have another classic cookie-to-macaron recipe coming soon!

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

REESE’S Three Point Popcorn, Slam Dunk Coke Floats & Basketball OREOS for the ULTIMATE Basketball Party!

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

Host the ULTIMATE Basketball Party with OREO Basketballs, Slam Dunk Coke Floats, and REESE'S Three Point Popcorn! College basketball season is in full swing and I’m sure there will be parties aplenty while everyone roots on their beloved college basketball team.

But sometimes throwing a party can a tad daunting, especially if its a sports-related one. No one sits down and eats a steak dinner during the major tournament, so party food has to be on point for it to be successful, am I right? And chips & dip, while delicious, are kind of predictable. So I’m going to show you how to throw the BEST Basketball Party without all the stress & fuss so you can spend more time eating… or, you know, watching the game :)

First up – party planning, obviously. No one just has color-coordinated plates and napkins lying around unless you live inside of a party supply store. I did most of my shopping at Target, where I purchased my ingredients for all of the treats you see above as well. Target has a great party supply selection with tons of different colored plate, napkin, and utensil items, and lots of fun decorations for any theme you could think of. Sports was an obvious one for this party, so I picked up some fun basketball confetti, these cool basketball plates and cups, and the basketball bouncy balls – party favors that no kid can resist.

MM1Bonus that all my ingredients were on sale at my local Target! Score!

If you don’t want to go with a generic basketball theme and would rather stick with your favorite college team’s colors, that would be great, too! Or if you know of two particular teams playing one another, you could go with all four colors to make it really festive and spirited.

DSC_0714AI found these super cute orange paper treat boxes and knew I could doctor ‘em up really fun for this party. I simply drew on a couple of arches on either side, a line down the middle, and one through the center for a basketball lining’s shape. Easy and SO cute… and of course, the perfect vessel to hold my REESE’S Three Point Shot Popcorn. It’s pretty awesome, you guys… so let’s talk about that for a sec.

3 Point Shot PopcornThis popcorn is the perfect sweet-and-salty treat for munching during the game and it couldn’t be simpler to whip together. I don’t know about you, but when eating something mixed up, like trail mix or chex mix, I’m always searching for my favorite component to eat first, and these REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Minis are that! They’re so adorable and the perfect miniature size for this popcorn.

(Psst.. if you have Target’s Cartwheel App, there’s a free coupon for REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Minis available from 3/15-4/4. Download it!)

DSC_0717ANext up? OREO Basketballs! Adorable basketballs made from OREO Cookies. Don’t cringe from intimidation – I promise these are a breeze to make. They do require a little bit of a steadier hand, and a disposable piping bottle, but they’re so worth the smidgen of extra effort. Not only do they look the part, they taste awesome. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy chocolate-covered OREOS? No one, that’s who.

DSC_0711A

DSC_0738A(BTW, you can find a small piping bottle like this in the baking aisle of most stores, or sometimes even the craft aisle!)

Slam Dunk Coke FloatsLast up: my Slam Dunk Coke Floats. These bad boys are delicious, thanks to Coke Zero. Their motto is ‘you don’t know ZERO ’til you’ve tried it‘ and that’s so true. It tastes just like regular Coke but without all the calories and sugar. And did you know that Coke Zero and Target use special “drinkable” advertising and technology so people can try out Coke Zero for themselves with a free 20 oz coupon? Starting April 2nd, download the Shazam app to participate in these unbelievable experiences at a drinkable TV spot, jumbo-tron, or at CokeZero.com.

DSC_0723AThese are like your traditional Coke Floats but made with Coke Zero instead. I used fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt for the “dunks” of ice cream, but any icy-cold ice cream will work! They’re the perfect, refreshing way to indulge while watching pivotal, #unbelievablemoments during the game.

DSC_0708AANow back to the spread. Again, I went with a general basketball theme here but team colors would be a fun and festive touch should you throw your own Ultimate Basketball Party. I like to lay all of my components on the same table so guests know where all the good stuff is :) I like putting the packaging behind some items where people may not know what’s what, so as to offer better clarification. You could also put up cute placecards with the food or drink item’s name on it so folks know what they’re eating.

Also, when throwing parties, I don’t like to set out everything I have. Much like a retail shop, I keep some stuff out on the floor and some stuff behind so when something leaves the table, I can replenish it. This keeps the table from looking too full of busy and keeps me working off those calories from all the popcorn I’ve been eating :)

DSC_0731AI also like how everything is arranged on the table and a little scattered about. Don’t get me wrong; I love things tidy and orderly, but having a couple of straws left out (BTW, paper straws are a must!) keeps it lively. Scattering the basketball bouncy balls and plush basketballs about keeps your eye darting around and makes things interesting. And experiment with height – top OREO Basketballs on a medium-sized cake stand, the REESE’S Popcorn in tall treat bags, and use shorter cups for your Coke Floats. It keeps the table balanced, even if there are different shapes and sizes.

But most importantly… Have fun! It’s a freakin’ party, man. And even if your team loses, there’s still Coke Floats to fall back on… and that’s never a bad thing!

DSC_0732ANow, who wants some REESE’S Popcorn and OREO Basketballs?!

5.0 from 1 reviews
REESE'S Three Point Popcorn, Slam Dunk Coke Floats & Basketball Oreos for the ULTIMATE Basketball Party!
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
 
Ingredients
  • FOR OREO BASKETBALLS:
  • 1 pkg OREO Cookies
  • 2-3 pkgsorange candy melts
  • 4 squares chocolate bark
  • Piping bottle
  • FOR REESE'S THREE POINT POPCORN:
  • 8 cups popped popcorn (unflavored)
  • 1 pkg orange candy melts
  • 1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • 1 pkg REESE'S Peanut Butter Cup Minis
Instructions
  1. FOR OREO BASKETBALLS:
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Prepare the orange candy melts according to package directions, until melted. Dunk each OREO into the candy melts, covering completely and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining melts.
  3. Melt the chocolate bark until smooth. Pour carefully into the piping bottle. Using a steady hand, draw basketball piping onto the surface of each coated OREO. Allow the piping to set before serving.
  4. FOR REESE'S POPCORN:
  5. Melt the candy melts according to package directions, or until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the chocolate with the popcorn, candy pieces, and REESE'S Minis. Lay out in an even layer on a flat work-surface covered in wax paper to allow the chocolate to harden. Once set, break into pieces and serve.

For more info on Mondelez products, such as OREO Cookies, be sure to visit their site and enter to win their ULTIMATE Basketball Prize! And visit Coke Zero’s site for info to get a 20 oz Coke Zero for FREE starting April 2.

Thanks for stopping by! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some popcorn to eat.

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Samoas Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!Every year around this time, I start to realize bikini season is creeping up on me… and every year around this time, I vow to eat better, exercise more, and transform myself into a Victoria’s Secret model.

And for awhile, it works. I’ll throw spinach in my smoothies. I’ll walk an extra mile a day. I’ll send Victoria’s Secret my bikini modeling pictures and they’ll call me and tell me to please stop sending photos to them. Same old routine, you know?

But then… then something happens. I’ll be walking to the grocery store to buy more birdseed to snack on when suddenly, I’m attacked by throngs of miniature girls with ribbons in their hair and teeth missing in their mouths asking me in their cute voices if I’d like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies. And then there’s always that one little girl dressed up like a gigantic Tagalong or something and I just want to scream why are you doing this to me!? because it’s so rude to say no to a girl dressed up like a giant cookie, you know?

It’s like, I may say no to a cookie here and there, but a cookie with a face? A cookie with a toothless grin, pigtails, and shoes that light up when she dances? That’s a low-blow to breeze on by and be like, I don’t need you, dancing cookie girl. I just can’t do it.

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!So inevitably I spend my kale money on Do-Si-Dos and Thin Mints and Samoas and insist to the moms multiple times that I’m buying for my family, we all love cookies, har har har, and then I get home and eat every last crumb of those evil concoctions. I’ll check the boxes later after the damage is done and see that one serving is two cookies and I’ll laugh because everyone knows that eating two Girl Scout Cookies is equivalent to the impossibility of seeing pigs fly, finding Justin Bieber attractive and eating pizza on the moon. It’s just not possible.

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!So while my kale and boiled chicken diet may be done, my Girl Scout Cookie diet is alive and well. And since Samoas are my favorite Girl Scout Cookie in all the land, I have been ramping up my baking with tons of Samoas-inspired recipes for when Girl Scout season is over and my cravings are still alive and well. And you guys, these bars could not be easier and they taste just like a thicker, softer Samoa cookie!

Don’t mind me, just making the impossible into possibles. Except for J.Biebs. He’s a lost cause.

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!*sugar cookie bar recipe adapted from Lauren’s Latest

5.0 from 1 reviews
Samoas Sugar Cookie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Thick, soft and chewy, these Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars taste like the Girl Scout Cookie classic but can be made yearround when the craving strikes!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
  • About 3 cups toasted coconut, cooled
  • 1 pkg Chocolate CandiQuik
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 liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract until combined. Lastly, beat in the baking powder, salt, and flour, adding the flour about a cup at a time, until a soft dough has formed.
  3. Press the dough evenly into the baking pan. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown and center is set. Cool the bars completely in the pan.
  4. Melt the caramels according to package directions, or until smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut, tossing to coat. Working very quickly, spread the caramel-coconut mixture on top of the sugar cookie bar base. Using your greased hands or a greased off-set spatula or spoon, spread the mixture to cover the entire base; you may have to press it out, but be gentle about it as to not crush the sugar cookie base beneath. Allow the caramel coconut layer to set, about 15 minutes.
  5. Once the bars are set, lift the bars out using your foil handles and cut them into squares. Melt the CandiQuik according to package directions, until smooth. Dip the bottoms of the bars into the CandiQuik and place onto a wax-paper lined surface. Repeat with remaining bars. Pour the remaining CandiQuik into a resealable plastic bag, seal out the air, snip off a corner of the bag, and drizzle the remaining CandiQuik over top of the bars. Allow the CandiQuik to set, about 10 minutes, before serving.

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!If I could, I would subsist exclusively on the caramel and toasted coconut layer alone – it is fabulous! These are so chewy and gooey, and such a great way to transform a basic sugar cookie bar into a fantastical Samoas-inspired dessert!

Sugar Cookie Samoas Bars - thick and chewy sugar cookie bars topped with rich, buttery caramel and toasted coconut, then drizzled with milk chocolate! Just like a Samoas Girl Scout Cookie!Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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