Insult Candy Hurts {Mean Pound Cake!}

candyhurtsNow that I’m older (and single) I am kind of indifferent toward Valentine’s Day.

Sure, it’s kind of a dumb holiday but it isn’t terrible.  You know what’s a terrible holiday?  Actually… I can’t really think of any, so pretend I never asked.  No, wait  — I’ve never liked Thanksgiving.  Maybe it’s the food, but mostly it’s the company.  And on Valentine’s Day, at least I don’t have to eat dehydrated turkey meat and hang out with my family.  I can wallow myself in my room watching Criminal Minds reruns, pantslessly shoveling candy in my face while no one bothers me.  Score!  Take that, pilgrims.

I think the most annoying thing about Valentine’s Day is the blatant forced “love” in everyone’s face.  I don’t mind the hearts, the roses or the candies.  But the fact that everything has something to do with love is a little… much.

I mean, I can’t just get a card that says “hey, Happy Valentine’s Day.”  They ALL have some creepy, mushy message talking about wearing one another’s blood in vials around our necks and staring deeply into each other’s eyeballs while reciting poems.  Or they use the word ‘caress’, which as far as I’m concerned should be banned.  Caress?  It reminds me of someone rubbing a bald man’s shiny head.  And as she stared deeply into his eyes, seeing his soul within, she gently caressed his shiny bald head, rubbing it gingerly like she was polishing a bowling ball.

And then there’s all that weird merchandise like tea towels that have owls in love on them.  Since when are owls in love?  And since when does owl love need to be merchandised into things like mugs and tea towels?  And why aren’t scorpions ever in love, hmm?  Are they too ugly for love?  Too bitchy?  Because I’m kinda feeling like the lonely scorpion here, just looking for my mate to costar on a tea towel with me.  WHY DOESN’T ANYONE LOVE ME.

So you see, Valentine’s Day can be a pretty touchy subject for some people, and I get that.  As long as I get my chalky conversation hearts, I’m good.  I’ll probably even buy a towel with owls in love on it because that shit is cute.

ANYWAYS, today’s post is dedicated to those who are either indifferent to Valentine’s Day or who hate it.  Hate it because it’s a commercialized, fake holiday bastardizing love, hate it because you’re single and all your friends are happily in relationships, hate it because one time you contracted a DISGUSTING case of pink eye on Valentine’s Day and like, gunk was pouring out and okay I’ll stop with my true life story… or hate it because your boyfriend dumped you for a homeless person (a few short months after said pink eye incident).

DSC_0218AI created something for your haters that will completely encompass your hatred of the holiday without sacrificing fun or flavor — but of course.  Yeah, it’s heart-shaped and yes, it’s doused in pastel colors, but if you look closely, the traditional “Call Me” or “Hot Stuff” messages are replaced with more sinister one-liners, like “Drop Dead” or “U R Ugly” to show your loved ones you really don’t give a shit about their roses and Kenny G music.  I call them Insult Candy Hurts, and thankfully they’re easy to make and even easier to destroy in your mouthhole.

Suck it, love owls!!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Insult Candy Hurts {Mean Pound Cake!}
Recipe type: Cake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 21
Does Valentine's Day get you down? Or do you just hate people intensely? Either way, show your true feelings by making these adorable Insult Candy Hurts! You're just a few simple ingredients away from telling everyone how you REALLY feel about their commercialized holiday!
  • 3 pkgs. Sarah Lee pound cake, thawed to room temperature (likewise, you could use a prepared loaf pound cake, like in the bakery of your local grocery store -- just buy three if they're normal 9" loaf size -- this is what I did)
  • 1 can prepared frosting
  • Gel food coloring (I used yellow, pink, purple, and green, but you could use whatever you'd prefer)
  • Red Candy Writer (like those squeeze-tube writers located in the cake decorating aisle)
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Meanwhile, unwrap the pound cakes if necessary. Slice them in about 1" thick slices.
  2. Using a medium-sized heart shaped cookie cutter (making sure your cutter isn't bigger than the pound cake slice), cut a heart shaped chunk of the pound cake out of the middle of the slice. Place the heart shaped cake onto the rimmed baking sheet and discard scraps (use them to make a pudding, cake pops, or eat -- pound cake is freaking delicious). Repeat until all the hearts have been cut out of the loaves. You can use the ends of the loaves if you'd like -- I did -- but they won't be as thick as the rest of the hearts. Up to you.
  3. Freeze the hearts for about 1 hour or until solid and firm.
  4. Once frozen, distribute the frosting evenly among a couple of bowls. Tint each bowl a different color of your choosing. Again, I used pink, green, yellow and purple. Microwave each bowl of frosting for about 10-15 seconds or until the frosting is runny and liquefied.
  5. Using a spoon, top each pound cake heart with a spoonful of melted frosting, alternating colors on different cake hearts. Allow the icing to set -- you may want to double coat them. Once the icing has set, use your candy writer to write your awesome messages onto the hearts. Stick with smaller sayings like "Die", "H8 You", "Drop Dead", "Kick Brix", "U R Ugly" etc. Serve!

DSC_0224A“Candy Hurts” are a popular phenomenon on sites like Tumblr.  People like to take adorable, Kawaii-style graphics and put insulting sayings on them which I find SO adorable and way more bearable than the traditional, way-mushy stuff.  I thought these precious pastel-colored cake hearts looked ever-so-sweet with their crass messages scribbled on in red chocolate.  I’m sure any other anti-Valentine’s fans will love them, too!!

Have a fantastical day!

xo, Hayley


Best of 2013 on The Domestic Rebel!

bestof2013As 2013 winds to a close, I can’t help but reminisce over the insane amount of baking I’ve done in the past year … and in the past three years that I’ve been running this blog!  Easily hundreds of pounds of butter, powdered sugar, and veerrrrrrry big trough full of vanilla extract.

But some of those recipes stood out from the pack, mostly thanks to people like YOU who helped make my Chocolate Chip Brownie Bombs the most popular recipe on my blog EVER (over 500,000 views this year!), helped my Caramel Apple Bread go viral on Pinterest, and who helped make my Chocolate Donut Turkeys and Marshmallow Dreidels make it to national TV.  And for those amazing successes, I am deeply grateful to all of you — your support, your wonderful comments, your pinning, your feedback, your personal emails, your features, your Facebook shares — EVERYTHING!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Enough sap?  Sorry.  I just have a lot of feelings.

Anywho, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to see what the most popular recipes were on The Domestic Rebel in 2013!  Some were made this year, some were made years prior, but no matter when they were created, they were made into instant internet hits!

browniecookieChocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs — who knew this simple idea would be such an instant success?!  It’s made a live TV appearance, has been featured on numerous websites, and even has its own hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.  While this original gangsta remains the most popular, its offspring variations are equally as popular!

doughcakeChocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake — what’s with you guys and cookie dough!?  Don’t worry — there will never be a shortage of cookie dough around here :) this cake is no exception!  While I made it a few years back, it didn’t quite take off until this year.  I LOVED reading about you guys making this cake and loving it.  It truly is a cookie dough lover’s dream come true!

snickerbrowniebitesSnickers Brownie Bites — these little bite-sized nuggets of homemade Snickers were an insta-hit IRL and on the WWW.  And pssssssst, I have another version of this coming soon!!

bdaymagicBirthday Cake Seven Layer Bars — these gooey, sprinkly bars are jam-packed with all that sweet, sinful birthday cake flavor!!  One of my favorite versions of Seven Layer Bars!

monsterbombMonster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs — I didn’t realize what monster cookies were until I met my friend Ashton.  Since then, I couldn’t stop thinking about these candy-studded cookies!  These brownie bombs are certainly monstrous in the size and flavor department.

applecinnamonbreadCaramel Apple Bread — this stuff is seriously addictive, and for good reason!  Studded with fresh, tart apples and swirled with buttery caramel, it’s the perfect dessert-for-breakfast treat!!

deepdishcaramelcookieDeep-Dish Chocolate Chip Caramel-Filled Cookies — I had noooo idea these cookies would become so popular, but now that I think about it, why wouldn’t they?  Buttery chocolate chip cookies baked deeeeeep dish style with a gooey caramel filling.  So yummy.

redvelvetbombsRed Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Bombs — um… just look at them!  They’re awesome.

samoacupSamoas Cookie Cups — enjoy those delicious, highly-addictive Girl Scout cookies any time of year with these easy-to-create cookie cups!  You’ll be surprised it is to whip these up!

nobakenutterNo-Bake Nutter Butter Butterfinger Bars — 1) no-bake treats ALWAYS rule, and 2) the combination of salty Nutter Butter cookies ground together with crispy Butterfinger candies makes for an awesome, easy bar!

circustruffCircus Animal Cookie Truffles — these bad boys are still one of my favorites!  Made entirely of Circus Animal Cookies (you know, those classic frosted pink & white ones?!) they will instantly transform you back to your childhood.

cupcakepieCupcake Pie — it’s a pie made entirely of cupcakes!  If this isn’t going to satisfy your sweet tooth, I don’t know what will!

And while you guys made those recipes what they are, I have some personal favorites myself!  These are the things I’ve made that can’t stop thinking about, make frequently, and/or combine my favorite flavor combinations using some of my favorite ingredients.  Try them and see if they’ll be one of your new favorites, too!

pbjellydonutOatmeal Cookie Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars — er mah gerd, dudes.  These bars are oatmeal cookies with actual jelly donuts stuffed inside.  No, not a health food but they are extremely healthy for your soul!!

caramelapplerollCaramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls — these rolls are surprisingly simple to make and have a HUGE amount of insanely delicious flavor.  You’ll love them!!

churrodonutChurro Donuts — it’s no surprise that donuts are my favorite food EVER, so these mini homemade donuts — with the same cinnamon-y crunch of a churro — are one of my favorites!

bananasplitcakeBanana Split Poke Cake — I love banana splits, and this take on a classic ice cream favorite makes for a super scrumptious cake!

bdaysmoreosBirthday Cake S’moreos — I LOVE this overly sweet, chewy take on s’mores using birthday cake Oreos and birthday cake flavored PEEPS marshmallows.

snowballcakeLite Triple Coconut Cupcakes — STILL one of my favorite cupcakes ever!!  They are a coconut dreaaaaaaam.

Again, thanks so much for your loyalty and support in 2013 and for making these recipes bigger & better than I ever thought possible!  Happy New Year, friends — see you on the other side :)

xo, Hayley







Fruity Pebble Macarons

fruitypebblemacaronOne of the tricks I’ve noticed guys like to play is the “Caring Card.”

Now I appreciate a caring guy as much as the next girl, but a genuine caring dude.. not someone who will wink at you the entire time he’s helping an old lady across the street and then ditch the broad the second she hits the sidewalk.  Um, no.

There have been times where I’ve been out and about and some guy uses his child as a ploy to flirt with me.  He’ll be extra nice to the kid while making eyes with me the entire time, as if a child’s laughter is going to reel me in.  Unfortunately for him, children’s laughter sends shivers down my spine more than it makes me flirtatious, so it fails for him every single time.

When I worked at a cupcake shop, some slick-looking shmuck came in with his older mother.  The entire time he was giving me that “look” which made me want to vomit more than anything else.  He had greasy hair and a skeezy face and just kept bending over his mother and cooing in her ear about how amazing all the different flavors were and kept asking her what she’d pick while he would gently pat her shoulder or give her a little back rub.

Okay… people who give their mothers back rubs in public was my first no-no, aside from the pound of hair gel.  But, as I was not in a position to kindly tell him to get lost, I waited it out.

As she examined the flavors, he looked up at me while telling his mother, “get whatever you want!”

Finally, his mother picked out a handful of cupcakes and was clearly giddy to try them all.  As I wrapped them up and brought the cupcakes to the register, I had every thought that he would pay since he was standing at the register and had just told her to ‘get whatever she wanted.’

But as he stood there making eyes with me, his hands on her box of cupcakes (okay, sorry for my weird Danielle Steele moment there. I feel like I now need to use the word ‘throbbing’…), SHE ended up pulling out her wallet and buying her own cupcakes!  The very cupcakes HE implied he’d buy when he said “get whatever YOU want.”

Um, who takes someone to a shop and says “get whatever you want” if they’re not going to buy anything?  Isn’t that kind of rude?

The whole time he leered at me as if his kind cupcake-accompaniment was worthy of my number or anything and I just had a brief moment in which I imagined a hypothetical relationship with this turdmuffin.  He’d take me to Paris to propose to me, only to tell me I had to put the down payment on my own ring and remind me that he used my charge card for the trip.  Years later I would be juggling our emaciated babies in my arms asking if he’d gone to the store yet for food.  He would say no, “but ULTA did have a great deal on hair gel.”

Then my reverie ended and I remembered he was gross and not cool enough to buy his mom a $2 cupcake.  PASSSSSS.

Anywho, the moral of the story is that when it comes to these macarons, you truly CAN get whatever you want!  If you’re not a Fruity Pebbles fan (and if so, I don’t even wanna knooooow you exist), you can substitute any kind of cereal in its place.  Peanut Butter Crunch?  Done.  Lucky Charms?  Check!  Cinnamon Toast Crunch?  Oh man, that would rock!  Really, whatever cereal you have on hand should work.. as long as it doesn’t have gross raisins in it.  (Seriously?  What is the point of cereal if it isn’t brightly colored, fruity flavored or filled with marshmallows?  PASSSSS.)

DSC_1015AHowever, I am a HUGE Fruity Pebbles fanatic and eat it on the reg, so I knew I wanted a fantastically fruity and funfetti-esque macaron made out of one of my favorite cereals.  These Fruity Pebble Macarons taste JUST like the cereal and are filled with a delectable Fruity Pebble buttercream that only emphasizes the amazing flavor and texture of the delicate French cookies.  They’re a must-make in my book!!

DSC_1021A*adapted from my Cap’n Crunch Macarons which has a macaron-making tutorial (with photos) within the body of the post

4.7 from 3 reviews
Fruity Pebble Macarons
Recipe type: Cookies, Macarons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40
Love the taste of Fruity Pebbles? Combine your favorite childhood cereal with the classic French confection, macarons, and you have a scrumptious treat that's almost too pretty to eat!
  • 2 & ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3.5 ounces Fruity Pebbles cereal PLUS 1 cup cereal, divided
  • 3.5 ounces almond meal/flour (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 splash vanilla extract
  • About 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using your kitchen scale, weigh the almond meal and Fruity Pebbles cereal until it reads exactly 3.5 ounces for EACH. Pour both the almond meal and the whole cereal into a food processor or blender and pulverize the mixture until it is finely ground crumbs.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the almond/cereal mixture. Spoon a cup or so of the mixture into a handheld sifter and sift the mixture over another separate bowl. Continue spooning and sifting the mixture. Eventually, you'll be left with what I call 'pebbles'--small particles of the mixture that are too coarse to grind up. Leave the pebbles until last, then mix whatever pebbles are leftover into the sifted mixture. I've found that sifting is essential as it removes the grittiness from the macarons. However, the pebbles only add a little texture and in my opinion, do NOT make the macarons gritty or grainy.
  4. Next, add a couple inches of water into a large saucepan and place the pan on medium-high heat. Once the water begins to simmer, drop the temperature to medium-low so it maintains a steady, slow simmer.
  5. Using a glass, heatproof bowl (I used the glass bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer), place the bowl over the simmering water, taking care to make sure the bowl does not touch the water underneath and does not fit into the bowl (the heat will seal the two together, so make sure your bowl is larger than the pot's mouth!!) Working quickly, add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl. Begin whisking the mixture feverishly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is frothy and pale yellow in color. Remove the bowl carefully from the heat.
  6. Either attach your bowl to your stand mixer or pour the egg white mixture into a stand mixer bowl and, on high speed using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg whites. This takes about a minute or two. Egg whites are done when they are light & fluffy with shiny, stiff peaks. TIP: if you drop your whisk attachment into the bowl and yank it back out, if the egg whites in the bowl remain spiky and stand straight up, it's perfect. If they kind of start to keel and fall, you may need to whip just a little more.
  7. Next, gently fold the sifted dry mixture into the egg whites. I like adding half of the dry mix first to incorporate, then adding the rest. Make sure you fold in the dry mix that sits at the bottom of the bowl as well. The mixture will look kinda gross looking-- that's okay. As long as it is thick, goopy and combined -- no dry particles-- it's good. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag attached with a frosting tip -- I like Atecco 807 which is a large open circle tip. You could also spoon the mixture into a Ziploc baggy, seal the air out, and snip off a corner of the baggy.
  8. Hold the frosting tip just barely off of the sheet and begin piping, counting to four as you pipe. I found that counting to four equals the perfect size for me-- just slightly larger than an American quarter. If you want your macarons more round or larger, continue piping. Gently and quickly lift your wrist, flicking it slightly, to stop the flow of macaron batter. You may have a "hump" on top of your macaron. You can let it sink back into the batter slightly with time, smooth it out gently with your finger or an offset spatula, or flick your wrist quicker to prevent the hump in the first place. Sprinkle the tops with rainbow sprinkles--I used rainbow crystal sugar.
  9. Once the macarons have been piped on, allow them to sit on your stove top for about 5 minutes. This will help them get their shape prepped and help sink those humps back in if need be. After sitting, bake the macarons ONE SHEET AT A TIME for approx. 11-12 minutes per sheet. Macarons are done when they look light golden in color and have dull tops. Do not over bake. Remove the macarons from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the sheets before gently peeling away the parchment.
  10. To make the Fruity Pebble frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter with a splash of vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the remaining ONE cup of cereal (coarsely crushed) and the powdered sugar until the frosting is light and fluffy, adding more powdered sugar if necessary. Pipe the frosting onto the macarons and gently sandwich them together.



DSC_1027AThese were the first macarons I’d ever made and the second I’ve posted so far!  You can imagine my excitement when I pulled these from the oven and they were perfectly domed with the adorable macaron feet!  Success tasted a lot like Fruity Pebbles that day :)  I love the bright pops of color that the Fruity Pebbles gives these macarons, in addition to its insanely delicious cereal & milk flavor.  And the crunch of the coarse rainbow sugar on top just makes these petite cookie sandwiches so delicate and pretty!  It also helps hide the “macaron nipple” (as I so crudely call it) if yours happens to have one after piping.  All in all, as I said before, feel free to substitute any cereal you’d like!  All would taste delicious — especially that Cinnamon Toast Crunch!  And be sure to visit my Cap’n Crunch Macarons post for full pictures and detailed descriptions on how to master the macaron.

Have a fantastical day!

xo, Hayley


Oatmeal Cookie Peanut Butter & Jelly Donut Bars

pbjellydonutTerrible, Everyday Things That Are Painfully Awkward

1. You know that moment when you’re walking down the office hallway and you see someone from a few yards away, and you don’t know when to properly recognize them?  Do you recognize them with a smile and a polite ‘hello’/head nod when you’re still a large distance away?  Or do you casually pretend to look at the walls around you/watch your feet as you walk/stride with purpose until there’s a reasonable distance between you two and you can make contact?  And what if you go to make contact now that they’re close and they thought you blew them off, so when you look up to say hi or head-nod to them, their head is down and they just breeze by?  Like OMG I DIDN’T WANT TO BLOW YOU OFF BUT THE DISTANCE WAS QUESTIONABLE.

2. Or when you email your boss/a coworker/someone in your general vicinity and then realize you need go to to the printer/go to the bathroom/walk past them for some other reason and they haven’t yet responded, so you hope that they aren’t sitting there thinking you’re pacing around their cube, waiting for a response.  So you purposefully walk in a completely different direction, totally out of your way to get to your destination so they won’t think you’re a stalker.

3. When your younger sister convinces you to go to the store where the guy you hit on works and tells you it’s a good idea to walk in and buy some gummy bears when really this is a terrible idea.  So you walk in and buy your gummy bears and he sees you and you make small talk and the second you leave you realize you look like a desperate, psychotic asshat and NEVER want to step foot in that grocery store again, but like, they carry the soup you like and never eating it again would be a travesty, so there’s that awkward game of “I wonder if they’ll be working” or weird shuffle you have to do to avoid them when you’re really going for soup and trying not to look like a freak.

4. You’re in a social setting telling a story and the person/people you’re talking to start another conversation in the middle of your story and so you just stand there debating whether or not to continue your story when they clearly aren’t listening, or whether to awkwardly and abruptly end your story and have them be like “oh, so you were saying?” a few seconds later and you have to repeat the entire thing like you didn’t notice that they were totally, rudely ignoring you.  My stories are important, jerkface.

5. “How are you?” “Good, and you?” “I’m great, and you?” “I am… about to go crawl into a hole of embarrassment.”

6. Aaaaand one of the most awkward things ever: being sung ‘Happy Birthday.’  I looooooooaaaaathe this with every fiber of my being.  WHAT THE HELLLLL am I supposed to do while people are awkwardly singing me Happy Birthday?!  Sit there?  Smile like a total tool?  Sing along?  Clap?  GAAAAAHHHH I hate it.  And every time I have to sing it to someone else, I feel their pain and don’t want to sing so I don’t have to be witness to the awkwardness, but don’t want them to look at me and think that I’m the jerk who isn’t wishing them a good birthday.

7. Gingerly taking a bite of a jelly donut (or something filled) and thinking because you ate it delicately, everything will be contained, but rather everything explodes everywhere and you’re stuck with this now-deflated thing in your mouth and the contents all over your pants/the floor/not in your mouth.

8. And on that note, eating jelly donuts by themselves.  Don’t you know the new, tastiest way to eat them is stuffed inside of a cookie bar?!  It’s what the cool, non-awkward kids are doing nowadays.

DSC_0324ASo guess what happens when you have six jelly donuts leftover, two packages of oatmeal & brown sugar cookie dough in the fridge and a craving for something scrumptious?  These Oatmeal Cookie Peanut Butter & Jelly Donut Bars!  They couldn’t be simpler to make and they are seriously one of the best.things.ever — no joke.  One of my new favorites!  They’re a must-make — it would be awkward not to.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Oatmeal Cookie Peanut Butter & Jelly Donut Bars
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
One of my FAVORITE recipes of all time--these bars taste like a heavenly combination of warm oatmeal cookies and a PB&J, filled with a soft and sweet donut surprise.
  • 2 pkg refrigerated oatmeal & brown sugar cookie dough (like the Pillsbury Simply brand kind -- just plain oatmeal with no nuts/raisins/chips), softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 6 prepared jelly donuts, gently cut in half
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Press ONE (1) package of the cookie dough evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. I like to rip off parts of the cookie dough portions, flatten them out with the heels of my hands, and then press them together like a puzzle to make sure it fits in there evenly. Sprinkle with the peanut butter chips.
  3. Arrange the jelly donut halves along the cookie dough layer, keeping them as close together as possible while trying to fill up all the space.
  4. Press the remaining cookie dough into a single plane and top the jelly donuts. You can use my "puzzle" method, or just roll out the entire cookie dough into a sheet and tuck to fit -- whichever you find easiest. Bake the bars for approx. 20-25 minutes or until the center appears set and is golden brown. Cool completely.
  5. Before cutting into bars, dust lightly with powdered sugar, if you'd like. Serve with a big glass of milk!

DSC_0331AAs I said before, these bars are one of my new favorites because they combine two of my favorite treats: donuts & cookies!  While combining the two may sound like a total sugar-bomb, the two actually complement each other scrumptiously and offers plenty of contrasting flavors so it doesn’t just taste like a mouthful of sweet.  I love the tartness of the jelly that bursts from the center of the bar and the saltiness from those heavenly pockets of peanut butter.  And the oatmeal cookie “bread” to this unique sandwich is perfect — warm, comforting, and with a great, chewy texture.  I’ve been dreaming of these since I made them and can’t wait to make them again!!

Have a scrumptious day!!

xo, Hayley

Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

These Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs are loaded with sweet and salty monster cookie dough wrapped in a fudgy brownie and coated in a rich peanut butter white chocolate coating. They're a candy-lover's dream come true!


So. House Hunters.

You know that show on HGTV that focuses on some random couple who get to pick between three different houses?  Yeah, that one.  I actually really like the show — it’s neat to see the different layouts of other homes, and especially see what homes look like internationally.  However, I LOATHE the people on the show.

Sometimes I wonder in what kind of dark hole did HGTV extract these terrible people, because they’re absolutely terrible (go figure).  First of all, they blab on and on about their “Must List” which usually includes a variety of things that would be nearly impossible to purchase on an ordinary market in say, an upper middle class neighborhood in Anytown, USA.  These things include, but are not limited to: indoor swimming pools, seventeen bedrooms and sixteen bathrooms, walk-in closets for everyone including their pet fish, hard-wood floors made from the most exotic and endangered tree in the world, a built-in Rosie the Robot, and a 10-acre backyard for their annoying kids that mows itself.

Oh. And for like, $115K?  Is that reasonable, realtor-person-who-probably-wants-to-push-you-in-front-of-a-moving-semi?

So then this realtor, probably mentally orchestrating how they will successfully murder this obnoxious couple, shows the couple some house that is missing one of the bajillion amenities this couple requires to live, and the couple nitpicks the place clean as impractically as possible.

“Wow, this living room is HUGE!  But oh my god, look at the color of the walls!  Who paints their walls taupe?  What a shame that we are somehow physically incapable of repainting this living room.”

“Oh my gosh, the guest bathroom is like, ten feet from the kitchen!  I don’t know how I feel about having a bathroom near the kitchen.  You know how I get after Taco Thursdays…”

“This bathroom is great but, it doesn’t have a view!  I was really hoping when I urinated I could look out onto the city below and make faces at people.”

“Whoa, this 150,000 acre backyard is beautiful!  But oh my gosh, it’s like, seven miles away from a highway.  That could probably disturb our fragile sleeping patterns.”

“Awh man, it’s a two-story house!  Our able-bodied child, too young to walk presently, will NEVER be able to figure out the concept of stairs!  It’s just too baffling for his childlike mind.”

“The tiling in this bathroom is great, but the bathroom itself is on the smaller side.  You know how I love to throw ballroom dancing classes in the bathroom.”

“This kitchen is a little on the dated side.  I’m concerned our friends will judge us for having a slightly dated kitchen, rather than for being the completely vapid, ignorant buttfaces that we are.”

And so on, and so forth, until I rip all my hairs out because I want to dropkick these annoying couples in the eyeball.

So usually, when watching the show (which is constantly since my parents have some sort of weird attachment to the show–but also, thankfully, agree that the couples are usually dolts), I have to also be focused on something else so I’m not distracted by the fact that the world will end House-Hunters-style because there are so many stupid people in the world who think wall colors are permanent.  And usually, that means I’m snacking on something so I’m in my happy place.  Being in your happy place is good, I find.

These Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs are loaded with sweet and salty monster cookie dough wrapped in a fudgy brownie and coated in a rich peanut butter white chocolate coating. They're a candy-lover's dream come true!Enter: Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs. Perfect for the monster inside of you that only comes out when House Hunters is on.

You need to make these!  One of my FAVORITE brownie bomb recipes yet!

These Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs are loaded with sweet and salty monster cookie dough wrapped in a fudgy brownie and coated in a rich peanut butter white chocolate coating. They're a candy-lover's dream come true!

4.9 from 8 reviews
Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
These brownie bombs are stuffed with yummy monster cookie dough -- perfect for you and your little monsters!
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter, plus 1 Tbsp pb, divided
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • ½ cup - ¾ cup quick oats (depending on your preference)
  • About 2 cups flour
  • 1 & ½ cups miniature M&M's, divided
  • 9x13" pan brownies, baked and cooled
  • ½ cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg vanilla Candiquik
  • 1 pkg Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  1. Make your dough! If making the from-scratch cookie dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and ¾ cup peanut butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the sugars and beat to combine. Add in the vanilla and milk to incorporate.
  2. Beat in the flour to combine, and lastly, add in the oats and ONE cup of the mini M&M's, stirring to blend. Roll the dough into Tablespoon-sized balls and place on a foil-rimmed cookie sheet. Freeze until solid, a couple hours, or overnight.
  3. Cut the cooled brownies into approx. 1" sized squares. Take a square in the palm of your hand and gently press down to flatten. Wrap the brownie around the frozen cookie dough ball to cover; press the brownie around to help blanket the cookie dough completely. If it doesn't totally cover it, that's okay. Return the brownie-covered balls to the baking sheet and freeze for about 20 minutes to set.
  4. Microwave the Candiquik according to package directions; once smooth, stir in the remaining Tablespoon of peanut butter to combine. Dip the bombs into the peanut butter mixture, coating completely, before returning to the cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with remaining mini M&Ms and mini chocolate chips.
  5. Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Makes approx. 15-18 truffles, depending on the size of the cookie dough and cut brownies.
  6. *For the "Even Easier" recipe, mix together the Betty Crocker Oatmeal cookie mix with the softened butter, peanut butter and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer until a soft dough forms. Stir in the mini M&M's and prepare the recipe as normal. This is an easy shortcut!

These Monster Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs are loaded with sweet and salty monster cookie dough wrapped in a fudgy brownie and coated in a rich peanut butter white chocolate coating. They're a candy-lover's dream come true!

Included in the recipe is a super easy shortcut featuring Betty Crocker’s Oatmeal Cookie Mix.  If you’re not feeling the whole measuring-out-from-scratch thing, simply use the mix instead with a few tweaks for an authentic, homemade flavor without all the extra work.  Easy peasy!

These brownie bombs are one of my favorites to date!  I love that monster cookies incorporate some of my favorite cookie elements: oats, peanut butter, brown sugar, and miniature M&M’s for that pop of color.  You could certainly add in mini Reese’s Pieces if you’d like, or miniature peanut butter chips for a more peanutty flavor.  And if you’re super into chocolate, consider dipping the brownie bombs into chocolate, and drizzling the chocolate bombs with peanut butter sauce.  That’d be tasty, too!

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley



Buttery Biscoff Waffle Mix & a Cosmos Creations Giveaway!!



When I went to New York City in March, I fell hopelessly in love.

Much like any love, at first I was a bit apprehensive.  This was proooobably too good to be true.  What if it failed miserably?  It would have been such a waste, save for a possible good story to tell later on.

But then I tried Wafels and Dinges and I was like OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU MARRY ME all at once.  Pretty much love at first bite.  I wanted nothing but buttery, soft liege waffles for the remaining duration of my stay.  I probably asked Kayle to take me to Wafels and Dinges like, 800 times.  Even minutes after finishing my last bite, I wanted more.

Addiction status, my friend.

So coming home to California was horrible for the withdrawal period.  We’re talking the shakes, difficulty eating other food since it wasn’t waffles, having extreme resentment for living in California, cursing out Eggos for not being lieges, and even waffle dreams in which I’d wake up with the faint taste of buttery goodness in my mouth — and the deep sting of its absence in my heart.

Back at home in the mundane California life, I was weeping down the aisles of the grocery store when I spotted Cosmos Creations.  Having never heard of them, and also knowing my affinity for all things galactic (like owning seven pairs of galaxy-printed pants), I picked up a bag and vowed to snack on it later during my waffle withdrawal.  And when I opened the bag — I was hopelessly hooked.  Nothing like replacing one addiction with another!

Don’t brush Cosmos Creations off as another caramel corn — it’s different in both flavor, texture and overall product.  First of all, Cosmos Creations is NOT popcorn, but actually oven-baked corn that’s lighter in texture (in my opinion) yet still maintains that light, crispy crunch of traditional popcorn products.  It’s made with all-natural ingredients, is free of hulls and kernels (yay, no cracking your teeth!!), and uses Non-GMO corn.  It’s also trans-fat free and gluten-free!!

DSC_1194AIn flavors like Sea Salt & Butter (WAY better than movie theatre popcorn!!), Caramel, Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Crunch (my personal favorite!) you’ll inhale a bag or two faster than you’d think.  Each morsel is evenly coated with the sugary, caramely mixture for a truly deliciously addictive snack.  And what I loved most about the Cinnamon Crunch flavor is that it reminded me a LOT of those exceptional lieges back in NYC.  Loaded with cinnamon, light, and just crispy enough, they were like mini waffles in baked-corn-form.  So while eating them, I kind of brainstormed a killer snack mix that would harmoniously combine my new two fave addictions.

And Cosmos Creations is going to give one lucky reader a prize pack featuring a large bag of each of their scrumptious flavors!  All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter below, and I’ll choose a winner on Monday, June 3!!  Easy peasy, snacky squeezy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Introducing: Buttery Biscoff Waffle Mix.  Like a snack mix gone to breakfast.  You’ll never want ordinary snack mixes again.  I promise.

DSC_1185ALoaded with toasted, buttery Belgian waffles, crispy, Cinnamon Crunch Cosmos, cinnamon sugar Chex cereal, and French Toast-flavored Goldfish crackers, the entire thing is smothered in a heavenly white-chocolate-and-Biscoff blend, then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

It’s okay: this counts as breakfast.

DSC_1190AButtery Biscoff Waffle Mix *waffle mix idea adapted from Averie


4.0 from 1 reviews
Buttery Biscoff Waffle Mix & a Cosmos Creations Giveaway!!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Buttery, toasted waffles are combined with cinnamon baked-corn and Biscoff spread to create the most delicious brunch-inspired snack mix ever!
  • 1 bag (6.5 oz) Cosmos Creations Cinnamon Crunch flavor
  • ½ bag (approx. 4 oz) Goldfish French Toast crackers
  • 2 cups Cinnamon Sugar Chex cereal
  • 3 Belgian waffles (I used frozen)
  • About 2 pads butter
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon Biscoff spread
  • ½ pkg white chocolate bark (I like Candiquik)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. First, make your waffles. I toasted mine in my traditional toaster oven until they were golden in color and crispy. You could also broil them, but do keep an eye on them as they can burn very quickly. Once the waffles are toasted, remove immediately and slather them with a little butter. Let them sit to cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the Cosmos Creations, crackers and cereal; set aside. Cut the buttered waffles into bite-sized squares and place them in the same bowl. Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, melt the white chocolate bark until smooth. Stir in the Tablespoon of Biscoff spread to combine.
  3. Pour the Biscoff-chocolate mixture into the large bowl. Gently stir to coat the snack mix completely with the Biscoff-chocolate mixture. Spread the mixture in an even layer onto a wax-paper-lined surface/ Allow the mixture to set, about 15 minutes, before dusting with powdered sugar, if desired. Store this mixture airtight for up to a week, though it's best served the same or very next day (the waffles tend to get softer as the days go by).

DSC_1187AI’m sure you’re aware, but I make a LOT of goodies on a regular basis, and this happened to be one of my FAVORITE things I have made in awhile!  It is SO addictive and tasty — and don’t tell Wafels, but I actually think I prefer this over their liege :) I could NOT keep my hands away from this mix!  For more info on Cosmos Creations, be sure to visit their website!  And check your local grocery stores to find them near you!

Have a happy Monday!!

xo, Hayley

Cosmos Creations have graciously provided me with a free sample of their products to review.  All opinions expressed are completely my own.  


Peanut Butter & Jelly Twinkies


I’m currently in the midst of a serious dilemma.

It runs deep and is causing a definite riff between my family and I. And possibly soon, society and I.

You see.. I have a problem. A problem sometimes frowned upon by people of either gender, except for those who can appreciate and understand my problem for what its worth.

I have a problem…with guy cologne.

You see, as a person who blows through a bottle of perfume a week and as a person who hoards body sprays in within a foot-radius of anywhere around her, you could say I know a little thing or two about perfume. I couldn’t live without it, because if it didn’t exist, I’d likely smell like soup and thus my life would collapse upon itself since smelling like soup is my number one fear, right above monkeys and long-haired, mandal-wearing men with wire-rimmed glasses. It’s just not okay, you know?

But I have some issues with ladies perfume. It all smells THE SAAAAAME. And by ‘same’, I mean it smells like either some form of a baked good and/or musky creature (read: instamigraine), or like flowers which, call me crazy, smell better as actual flowers than as perfume. And I’m not really a vanilla/musk/gardenia kinda girl.

(On a side note: gardenias smell AWFUL. My mom loves them, so I try to please her with them occasionally, but omg, they smell rotten to me. And one time we got her a gardenia bubble bath and it smelled like mustard. Every time she used it, the smell of French’s wafted throughout the house. Thankfully, I like mustard, but I do not like gardenia-mustard, so it was kind of hard to get used to this).

So I have a few girlie favorites, but really, I LOVE me some cologne. It just smells so sophisticated, and who doesn’t want to smell like a chic male model? I know I do, since there are far worse things to smell like (like soup. or gardenia-mustard).

A couple days ago, my brother gave me the arduous task of buying him a new bottle of Old Spice body wash. I spent a good portion of my shopping time in the bath aisle huffing bottle after bottle of the stuff. IT SMELLED SO GOOD. I ended up buying him this new flavor with foxes on the front, and I must say, if foxes smell like this in real life, I am going to be a fox hoarder. Stuff smells BAWWWMB. I also fell in love with this one that has a hawk on it and smells like the chicest male you ever did see. Determined to smell good, I bought it for myself.

When I emerged from the most sophisticated smelling shower in the history of the world, my brother asked me if I had used his body wash. I explained that I had, in fact, used a MALE body wash, but not his, because mine has the hawk on the front and he has the fox one. He picked up the bottle and said “you’re using guy body wash? Isn’t that weird?” and I had to have a long heart-to-heart with him about how hard it is to be a girl in this world full of weird-smelling floral perfumes and if he was open-minded in allowing women wear men’s cologne, the world would be a better place.

Needless to say, my family asks me daily where I came from. My enlightening girl-cologne-conversation didn’t go over as well as I’d hoped. But that’s okay because I made Twinkies, and the world was realigned once more.

Since Hostess took a nosedive, I’ve been thinking about Twinkies more lately. Like using them in truffles or shortcake… you know, normal things. And it dawned on me that making an actual Twinkie was probably pretty easy, and then, switching up that classic pound cake-and-cream flavor for something a little different would be just as simple. So I did that, and took a kid-friendly PB&J and stuffed it into a Twinkie.

Best idea since smelling like a chic male.

DSC_1016APeanut Butter & Jelly Twinkies *Twinkie base recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Peanut Butter & Jelly Twinkies
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
Twinkies get an old-school PB&J twist.
  • 1 box Betty Crocker pound cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅔ cup water
  • About ⅔ cup jam (I used strawberry, but any flavor works)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cream or milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally grease a cream canoe pan, or make your own Twinkie molds! Here's how: Take an approx. 12" sheet of aluminum foil and fold it in half lengthwise. Place a spice bottle in the center of the foil horizontally. Gently fold one long end of the foil around the spice bottle, then roll and tuck the ends up to create a small "canoe." Remove the bottle and place the canoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Make about 8-10, depending on how puffy you want your Twinkies. Make sure to grease the makeshift Twinkie canoes with cooking spray!!
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. While the egg whites are beating, combine the pound cake mix + the water. Gently fold in ½ of the whipped egg white mixture to combine, then gently fold in the remaining whipped egg whites.
  3. Carefully spoon the batter evenly among the canoe pan/foil canoes, about ½-2/3 full. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes before carefully removing the foil and turning the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. The foil will be hot, so don't burn yourself!
  4. Once the cakes are cooled, flip them over so you have the flat side face-up. Take a toothpick and make three small holes in a line in the center of the Twinkie. Use the toothpick to quickly "dig" the crumbs out of each hole so it's about the size of your fingertip (I actually used my fingertip to help clrea out some of the crumbs, but be careful not to completely puncture your finger through the Twinkie!)
  5. Place the jam in a piping bag attached with a small circle tip (I used Wilton 6). Stick the piping bag into the hole and gently pipe the jam into the Twinkie's cavities. Allow the jam to set in the Twinkies by placing them upside down (or jam-side up) for about 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter + peanut butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the powdered sugar and cream until a thick glaze has formed. Dip the tops of the Twinkies into the peanut butter glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Repeat with remaining Twinkies. Allow the glaze to set, about 20 minutes, before serving. These are best served the same day but can be stored airtight, at room temperature, for a couple days.


DSC_1020AThere’s something continually comforting in eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. It’s the quintessential kid food, and when those flavors pair up with a Twinkie, it makes one delicious snack! The peanut butter glaze on top remains softer even the next day, giving that creamy texture we all love from peanut butter. And the jelly filling is surprising and sweet, tasting like a canoe-shaped PBJ sammy. I really loved these, and I know your kids will, too!

Happy Baking!

xo, Hayley




Reese’s Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies



I am an over-justifier.

I don’t know where this need comes from, but I’m assuming it’s in the same part of the brain that is convinced that layering deodorant is wise and that it will always be okay to sing Mary-Kate and Ashley sing-a-long songs. <–I sing this song literally 3 times a week at the minimum. I only wish I were exaggerating.

For instance, a couple days ago, I brought my favorite cashier a birthday present. As I headed into the store I was struck with this intense fear that an employee at the door would notice me and would demand to know why I was carrying in a gift bag. So before the employee even had a chance to notice me, I explained to him that it was my favorite cashier, Rina’s, birthday, and I was surprising her with a birthday present *lifts up gift bag for proof* and that I wanted to surprise her because she’s such a sweetie and we’re friends. I added the last part so the employee wouldn’t think that I was some weirdo who has a crush on Rina or something — he needed to know that we go way back.

Or say, I’ll be in the dressing room shopping alone and emerge wearing a pair of high-waisted shorts that I’m not too sure about. So I’ll proceed to bombard the salesgirl with questions about how she feels about the shorts, and if it makes me look like I’m wearing a diaper, or is it flattering? Also, are my buttcheeks hanging out? because I’m not that kinda girl. I mean, I like looking like a pinup but not looking like I have two glazed donuts stuffed in the back of my shorts. And then I’ll ramble on and on about the things I could wear with the shorts, like that blazer I have–you know, the black one–or how I could even wear tights and high heels with them despite the fact that my mom hates shorts and tights. Meanwhile, the salesgirl is probably thinking to herself that she is not getting paid enough to sell clothes and be a therapist to some weirdo wearing high-waisted shorts. Also, yes, it does look like a diaper.

I don’t know why I’ve always been this way, it’s just how I am. I have always felt the need to constantly over-explain and over-justify everything in my life. Like, when someone gives me directions, I’ll repeat the directions and rephrase the questions and answers a good 10 times so I have a consistent answer for every differently-phrased question I re-ask them.

“So you can have tomorrow and Thursday off.”
“Okay, I can have tomorrow and Thursday. So Thursday and tomorrow.”
“Right. Thursday and tomorrow.”
“Okay, perfect. So I’ll work today, then have tomorrow–the 10th–and Thursday, the 11th, off of work.”
“So I won’t work on Thursday and I won’t work tomorrow. But I will work today, and Friday.”
“Gotcha. Tomorrow and Thursday, no work.”
“Great! So I won’t see you tomorrow or Thursday… but I WILL see you Friday!”
“On second thought, don’t come back ever because you’re psychotic.”

However, there are some things in life that don’t need justifying at all. Like the ever-popular combination of sweet + salty. I’m a huge fan, and I don’t need to tell you twice how awesome it is! Just pop in some kettle corn, eat a peanut butter + jelly sandwich, or suck on a salted caramel candy to fully experience the awesomeness.

DSC_0649ASo I figured it was time to take this sweet + salty crazy train to the next stop in flavortown: by incorporating a naturally awesome candy, Reese’s Mini Cups, into a soft-baked, ultra-chewy chocolate cookie. And for good measure, throw in some good, old-fashioned potato chips.

As if I need to explain how yummy these are.

DSC_0650AReese’s Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies *cookie base recipe adapted from HERE 

Reese's Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
These chewy cookies are the perfect, delightful blend of sweet AND salty. You'll want potato chips in every cookie after you try these!
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & ¼ cups chocolate cake mix (I used Devil's Food)
  • 1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 bag Reese's Mini Cups
  • 2 snack-size bags Lay's Potato Chips, coarsely crushed
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to incorporate. Lastly, add in the cake mix, flour and baking soda until a soft dough forms. Gently stir in the Reese's Mini Cups and the coarsely crushed potato chips. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone liners or mist lightly with cooking spray. Portion heaping Tablespoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheets about 1-2" apart. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Store leftover cookies airtight, at room temperature, up to a week. They stay super soft!


DSC_0653AYou will FLIP for the texture of these cookies! The base is SO soft and chewy–and miraculously, stays that way for up to a week (if they even last that long!) Then there are those melty pockets of the mini Reese’s cups–total. heaven. And the potato chips remain light and crunchy throughout the cookie, providing that nice contrast in texture. Seriously amazeballs — enjoy them!!

Can’t get enough sweet + salty? Check out these other satisfying options:

Donut Hole Blondies
Salted Peanut Butter Toffee
Triple Chip Cookies

Have a great day!!

xo, Hayley



Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake



I have a bone to pick with Doctor’s offices.

WHY is the scale necessary? I mean, I get it: weight is a huge factor when it comes to health and yada yada. But I’m SO not cool with doctor’s office scales.

First of all, it’s the first thing they do when you walk in there. That’s not very welcome-y of them to weight you right off the bat. They’re not even going to offer you a drink first? Perhaps have you take off a couple of layers which OBVIOUSLY weigh you down a good fifteen pounds, amirite?

It’d be like going to a party and having the host welcome you in, ask how your day is, and force you onto a gigantic machine that makes you cry.

Second of all, the scales digitize the numbers in red which is a rude color. And it’s in a plain font, so it looks really sterile and cold. Why they had to choose the bitchiest font and rudest color to deliver information to a fragile soul, I do not know. Perhaps the engineers behind scales are secret sadists.

Every time I see the number, I can totally feel it judging me with its electronic-looking red numbers. As if it is laughing in my face as it weighs every single ounce of everything on my person. And then it adds that STUPID extra decimal, because seeing your whole number weight isn’t enough of a slap in the face, it has to make sure you know you’re not just ___ pounds, but ___.8 pounds. I hate you.

I’d like to address the people in charge of making scales: have you seen that Special K commercial? The one where women step on scales and it says nice things like “Sassy!” or “Confident!” ? You should make scales like that. Except have it say other cool things, like “Your Hair Looks Great Today”, “Nice Booty!”, “Have you Been Working Out?” or “Did You Even Step on the Scale? You’re Light as a Feather!”

Don’t mind me, just trying to revolutionize doctor’s office visits forever. And banish those evil scales to a demise of being blown up.

Anyway, while plotting against machines, I came up with the idea to make a lightened-up, no-bake dessert that tastes refreshing and makes me feel all happy and light. Like my new idea for a scale, when you eat it, happy things come to mind, like “OMG this is good”, “wow”, “Hayley is a genius”, and so on. You should eat it and see for yourself.


Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
This no-bake cake is a sweet spin on strawberry shortcake. You'll want Twinkies in every cake from now on.
  • 18 Twinkies, unwrapped
  • 4 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 boxes Jello Strawberry Creme pudding mix
  • 1 & ½ cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • Strawberries, optional
  1. Spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with Twinkies lengthwise, with 8 Twinkies on the first row, and 8 in the second. Use the remaining two Twinkies to fill the center gap between the rows (you'll want to slice those Twinkies in half length-wise and tuck it into the gap). Drizzle the OJ evenly over the Twinkies.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the packages of pudding and cold milk until combined. Add 1 cup of Cool Whip; gently fold into the pudding to blend. Spread the pudding mixture evenly over the Twinkies to cover. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Top with the remaining Cool Whip, cut, and serve. Store airtight, in the fridge, for several days. Serve with sliced strawberries, if desired.
  4. **Note: You could also add fresh or thawed frozen berries to the shortcake--just toss them in an even layer just before pouring on the pudding layer and proceed as normal.**


DSC_0410This shortcake is SO yummy. I love how light and buttery the Twinkies are as a substitute pound cake — that classic cream filling is an added, sugary perk and melds well with the strawberries and cream flavor of the cake overall. I think next time I’ll add chopped berries to the cake for some fresh pops of color and texture. You could also experiment with different pudding flavors; chocolate fudge with raspberries or lemon would be super yummy!

Have a wonderful day!!

xo, Hayley

Super Crumb Cake

With Christmas season practically in full-swing (uh, if your name is Hayley Parker, it’s most definitely in full-swing, seeing as all my decorating, shopping, and wrapping is done.. ahem), it’s no surprise that Christmas shopping is definitely happening. And while I love holiday shopping, I seriously loathe it at the same time.

No, not for the snaking lines of angry customers. No, not for the fact that my skinny wallet becomes practically emaciated by the time I’ve left the mall. No, not for the fact that I spent more time rabidly searching/stalking for a parking spot than I actually spent in the mall. But simply for the Aggressive Salespeople.

Okay, so I’ve worked retail before. I know there are certain sales and quotas you have to meet, stupid little lines you have to say, and general prodding one must do at their retail job. However, some people take that prodding to a whole new level of full-on assault and I dislike that intensely. Those people are now known as Aggressive Salespeople.

You know the sitch. You walk into a store like chum in a shark tank and are instantly swarmed by commission-hungry associates rattling off canned sales-pitches like “buy one, get one half off sweaters!” or “check out our awesome selection of holiday dresses!” It’d be one thing if they left it at that, or simply asked if you needed help, but Aggressive Salespeople, much like the Devil and Charlie Sheen, have no souls. They do not care about your shopping well-being.

What was intended on being a breezy, “just browsing” scenario quickly turns into something far more miserable than your little shopping mind had intended. You’re now a pawn in this Hunger Games-esque battle to the death between these sales associates as they verbally hound you and wait to strike when you’re at your most vulnerable: when you find something you like and want to try it on.

Because now you know once you try it on, Aggressive Salespeople have you good. You’re so cute and naive if you think you’re going to painlessly try on that dress without interruption, because for the next 8 minutes you’re changing in and out of your clothes, Aggressive Salespeople will knock on your door no less than 51 times, each time asking “how it’s going?” or they’ll begin bombarding your dressing room with colorful cardigans, flimsy camisoles, or scarves “because they’d look totally adorbz with that dress you’re trying on!!”

And when you–very bravely–emerge to check yourself out in the full-length mirror (a very brilliant ploy for Aggressive Salespeople, those damn sneaks), Aggressive Salespeople will flock to you and pepper you with fake-compliments or my personal favorite, compliminsults, about how the dress “totally hides any weirdness” (uh, thanks) or “makes you look SO lean and pretty” or my least-favorite, “that dress is SO you!!” (you don’t even know me, 17-year old retail person. Leave me alone).

Look. I know retail is a cut-throat world. But I honestly just wanted to shop in peace without feeling like my day would have been better spent swimming in a pool of blood with hungry sharks, or jumping off of a rocky mountainside into a river of magma. You know, the simple kind of shopping where help is there if you need it, not the kind where you rock helplessly back in forth in the dressing room, being showered with cardigans as you SOS-text your mom to please save me.

So, thank god for online shopping, right?!

And Super Crumb Cake. Holy helllll, thank god for that.

What, do you ask, defines a crumb cake as being “super”? Well, young grasshopper, it’s what happens when a crumb cake’s crumb topping goes through that crazy teenage phase and experiments with steroids that enlarge its crumb topping triple the size. And unlike real-life steroids, it’s awesome.

Because I don’t know about you, but often I find myself saying, “this crumb cake needs more crumb!” And thus, Super Crumb Cake was created. For all you crumby people out there :)

Super Crumb Cake *adapted from Baked Bree’s New York Crumb Cake recipe 

Super Crumb Cake
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
When it comes to crumb, more is MORE. There's never enough of those buttery morsels bursting with brown sugar and cinnamon. This crumb cake keeps the focus on the CRUMB.
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 & ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 & ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Super Crumb:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry cake ingredients (1 & ½ cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt). In another medium bowl, whisk together the wet cake ingredients (the oil, egg, milk and vanilla). Gently whisk the wet into the dry mixture until the batter comes together. Pour the batter evenly into the greased pan.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the Super Crumb ingredients until the mixture just about comes together (it'll look like big clumps of crumb).
  4. Breaking up the crumb with your hand, drop heaping handfuls of the crumb evenly over the surface of the cake. Make sure to thoroughly cover the surface of the cake; any cake left uncovered by crumb will bubble up. Once the cake is smothered with crumb, bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cake somewhat in the pan before cutting into squares. If desired, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or cinnamon sugar, and serve warm.


Super Crumb Cake.. I love you. In my humble opinion, this is the epitome of crumb cake. Massive hunks of spiced, brown sugary crumb top a light and fluffy vanilla-flavored cake. The balance in weight from the dense crumb and the airy cake somehow works, and there’s no doubt that every bite will be laced with that aromatic cinnamon, sweet vanilla, and sprinkling of sugary crumb. SO insane and so delicious.


xo, Hayley

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