Cotton Candy Meringues

These Cotton Candy Meringues are so fun! Soft, crisp pillows that melt in your mouth and taste like sweet cotton candy!

Is it possible to have a pre-mid-life-crisis? Because I think I’m having one.

I am just not really feeling this whole growing-up thing. The idea of working a 9 to 5 Monday through Friday gig literally gives me hives and makes me want to race to the mall for some retail therapy. Even looking at slacks and blazers and modest flats gives me sweaty palms. I meaaaaan.. no!

I would totally love to have my own place with my own cool furniture and kitschy knickknacks, but I have a feeling that paying rent is seriously overrated. And apparently at this time in my life, saving money isn’t as sensible as buying as multiple pairs of galaxy leggings. You smirk, but I literally have four pairs. FOUR. No one needs four pairs of nebulas on my legs, except I do. Like, the need burns deep from within my soul to own every pair of legging possible. I’m hooked.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to buy some sports car or start dating younger guys (as the latter would be illegal), however, I do feel like I am desperately trying to hold onto my frivolous adolescence by buying plastic unicorns that double as sprinkle shakers rather than saving that money towards, say, a currently-non-existent savings account.

At this rate, I’m just kinda hoping I’ll marry rich. Or win the lottery. Or become a housewife. Hey, it could happen. And I am not really feeling that new Lydia chick on RHOC, so I am suggesting myself as a substitute. Just saying.

Anywhooooo, in my attempt to keep my teenage years in my death-clutch, I made some food with flavors reminiscent of childhood: cotton candy! I loved the stuff as a kid and it was a fair-food MUST whenever we’d go. To this day, I’m still enamored with it (similar to how I still feel about The Spice Girls, Barbies, and Mary-Kate and Ashley, aka OBSESSIVE LOVE), but I’m more intrigued with what I can make to taste like cotton candy, too. Meringues were one of those natural progressions — and the perfect base for cotton candy!

These Cotton Candy Meringues are so fun! Soft, crisp pillows that melt in your mouth and taste like sweet cotton candy! Meringues used to freak me out, as did most French foods because I feel like I’m not nearly fancy enough to say them, much less eat something with a circumflex in the name. Also because they require whipping egg whites “until they’re stiff” which gave me the jitters just wondering if it was stiff enough (that’s what she said — I’m awful).

But just so y’all know, they’re actually quite easy. And you do feel kinda fancy eating them. Until you break out the sprinkly unicorn toy. Then you’re just reminded that you’re a 14 year old stuck in a grown-up’s body and you eat your feelings in Cotton Candy Meringues because of this reminder.

NOTE: Since Duncan Hines has discontinued the Frosting Creations packets, please omit the Frosting Creations packet from the recipe and use 1/2 tsp cotton candy extract which you can find at craft stores or HERE*this is an affiliate link.

These Cotton Candy Meringues are so fun! Soft, crisp pillows that melt in your mouth and taste like sweet cotton candy! Cotton Candy Meringues *from Jennifer’s Meringue recipe 

3.7 from 3 reviews
Cotton Candy Meringues
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Like getting cotton candy at the circus, minus the weird carnies. These cookies will melt in your mouth!
Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup Cotton Candy Spinning Sugar*
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 pkt. Duncan Hines Frosting Creations in Cotton Candy
Instructions
  1. First, I highly suggest putting on an evening gown, elbow-length gloves and setting out your nicest tea settings. Play some Mozart to set the tone. Sh*t's about to get fancy in huuuurrr. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 175 degrees.
  2. Place your egg whites and both sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer. If you're using the stainless steel one, even better! Place the stainless steel mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk constantly, until the mixture has combined and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the bowl from the heat carefully and attach it to your mixer.
  3. Add the cream or tartar and the Cotton Candy packet. Begin whipping the egg whites with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag attached with a star tip. Pipe the meringues onto parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets. Bake the meringues in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes. I know it's a long time, but have some caviar or something to tide you over. Once the meringues are done baking, crack the oven door open (and obviously turn off the heat) so the meringues can cool off in the oven for a bit.
  5. Bring the meringues out to the party and eat them. Edible party guests are always the best kind.
  6. *Note: I used American Candy Company's Spinning Sugar in Blue Raspberry flavor, which I found at World Market (Sur La Table also sells it). Using the cotton candy spinning sugar in place of regular granulated sugar intensifies the cotton candy flavoring and provides a deeper pop of blue color. If you can't find the spinning sugar, feel free to use white sugar entirely.*

 

These Cotton Candy Meringues are so fun! Soft, crisp pillows that melt in your mouth and taste like sweet cotton candy! If you’re a lover of all things sweet, cotton candy-y, and pretty, you’ll adore these cookies! Not only are they super duper easy, but they taste just like cotton candy. These meringues would look adorable on a candy buffet for a spring-or-summertime party, or would be equally perfect in gift bags for birthday parties! Plus, you can switch up the flavors of the meringues to suit your mood since there are over 12 Duncan Hines Frosting Creations flavors to choose from! [Hello, someone make me some bubblegum meringues and STAT.] And these meringues are gluten-free!

Cotton candy fuhhreak like me? Enjoy these treats, too:

Sea-Salted Cotton Candy Kettle Corn
Cotton Candy Bars *one of the most popular recipes on my blog ever!
Funfetti Whoopie Pies with Cotton Candy Frosting

These Cotton Candy Meringues are so fun! Soft, crisp pillows that melt in your mouth and taste like sweet cotton candy! Have a fantastically delicious day!

xo, Hayley

Gluten-Free Nutella Swirl Pound Cake

GFpound

Hey GF people! Do you see that scrumptious, sprinkly cake up above? It’s just for YOU!

So I have received quite a few requests for some gluten-free recipes on the blog. I vaguely knew what ‘gluten-free’ meant .. no gluten, obvi, but I didn’t realize HOW prevalent gluten was in food I was buying before!

It seems like the past couple days I’ve been feverishly checking the ingredients labels on every box, bag or package in sight, just curious to see if gluten is one of the main ingredients. And in a good 90% of the things I’ve been grabbing, it is. I don’t really want to know what that says about the stuff my family and I has on hand, but let’s just say we’re carboholics and call it a day, mmkay?

Anyway, I feel like a jerk for dangling all these sugar-laden recipes in your faces when you guys can’t even eat it. You’re like that poor kid whose parents won’t let them have cake at a birthday party. I feel bad for that kid. I want to sneak that kid cake from under the table. I want to be that kid’s martyr, so to speak. Except I definitely don’t want to die for cake, ESPECIALLY if it’s carrot. Helllllll nah. #worstcakerelateddeathever

Sooooo I challenged myself to make a gluten-free recipe that was A) easy, and B) tasty, because obviously that’s my motto on this here blog. However, I was bamboozled by the variety of flours available for GF-baking as opposed to just.. flour. (If you haven’t already assumed, yes, I do live under a rock).

Garbanzo bean flour, brown rice flour, oat flour.. there were so many. And then weird stuff, like sorghum flour. I don’t even know what a sorghum is. It kind of sounds like an evil creature in a Harry Potter book, like it’d be a four-headed python or something. And tapioca flour? I thought tapioca was just a disgustingly evil little bead created by the devil and shoved in pudding to make me gag. I didn’t know it was an actual thing (I live under a REALLY big rock).

DSC_0890AFinding a decadent, ‘Hayleyish’ recipe wasn’t really easy, until I happened upon a package of Bob’s Red Mill sorghum flour. On the back, there was a recipe for pound cake that I couldn’t pass up. A buttery, dense loaf of cake that everyone could enjoy? Sign me up, giiiiirl. But of course, to Hayleyfy it, I added some Nutella and rainbow sprinkles for good measure. I want to spoil your little bellies and let your eyeballs feast on something sparkly and fun!

And lemme tell you .. all-purpose flour better watch his back.

DSC_0886AGluten-Free Nutella Swirl Pound Cake *adapted from the Gluten Free Pound Cake recipe on the back of Bob’s Red Mill Flour

Gluten-Free Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This Gluten-Free pound cake tastes every bit as decadent as its typical pound-cake counterpart. The Nutella swirl is an extra special treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup [2 sticks] butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour
  • ½ cup Bob's Red Mill Sorghum Flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup Nutella, divided
  • Rainbow sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9-inch loaf pan with a little cold butter or gluten-free nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla bean paste/vanilla extract to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the White Rice Flour, Sorghum Flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mix, beating well after each addition until a soft batter has formed. Spoon about ½ cup of the batter into a separate smaller bowl; stir in about ⅓ cup of Nutella to blend.
  4. Spread the vanilla pound cake batter into the prepared pan in an even layer. Top with globs of the Nutella batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the Nutella batter into the vanilla pound cake batter, giving it a marbled effect. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool slightly before inverting the cake carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, use the remaining ¼ cup of Nutella to drizzle onto the pound cake -- I popped the remaining Nutella in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften. Immediately sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles and serve! Store airtight, at room temperature, for several days.

 

DSC_0894AAs someone who bakes (and eats) with regular flour constantly, I did notice a difference in texture with this pound cake as opposed to a cake made with regular all-purpose flour. However, it wasn’t a major difference and it definitely didn’t take away from the tastiness of this amazing pound cake! Each bite is SO rich, popping with aromatic vanilla beans and that creamy, buttery crumb. And the Nutella swirl is just perfect — the chocolate doesn’t overwhelm that decadent vanilla layer, but marries with it perfectly, adding a nice nutty sweetness to the top of the cake. This pound cake is so indulgent!

Have a happy Monday!

xo, Hayley

Please be sure to check the ingredients labels for all of the products used in this recipe to ensure it isn’t made with gluten or processed in a facility with gluten. Not all products are created gluten-freely! 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Tagalongs [5 Ingredients!]

tagalong

 

So, Girl Scout season is over now, right?

They’ve come in a flurry of colorful boxes and charming chants and leave fat, sugar-coma’d people in their wake.

I tell you, those girls are on some kind of agenda.

Anywaaaaays. I was good and didn’t buy one box this year! However, that doesn’t speak anything in the way of my willpower (as in, I’m woefully willpower-less) because I still crave them on the daily.

Samoas? Yeah, they’re probably on my mind a good 17% of the day. I don’t really want to know what that says about me as a person.

So I decided since I had Samoas and Thin Mints on lock, it was time to tag myself onto the Tagalong bandwagon. Even a sweet reader named Ashlee C. thought so and asked me if I had a recipe, which led me to make this one. Who would guess they’d be 5 ingredients and ridiculously simple to make? Not I. (And FYI, this easiness is both a good and a dangerous thing, so don’t say you weren’t warned, Ashlee).

Now EAT!

DSC_0571

Homemade Tagalongs [5 Ingredients!]
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Don't wait for Girl Scout season to get your Tagalong fix. This easy recipe will make you authentic-tasting Tagalongs in minutes!
Ingredients
  • About 15 Ritz crackers
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • About ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ pkg (about 6 squares) chocolate bark -- I like Candiquik
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the Ritz crackers face-up on the baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together with peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended and creamy. Gently spoon the peanut butter mixture into a piping bag attached with an open circle tip (I used Atecco 807). You could also spoon the peanut butter into a resealable plastic bag, seal out the air, and snip off a corner of the bag.
  3. Pipe a generous swirl of peanut butter on top of each cracker. Freeze the crackers briefly (about 15 minutes) just to set the PB.
  4. Melt the chocolate bark according to package directions until smooth. Dip the Tagalongs into the chocolate with a fork, allowing excess to drip off. Return them to the cookie sheet. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. Store them airtight, at room temperature or in the freezer -- they taste great both room temp and frozen!

 

DSC_0577Now, most Tagalong recipes on the interwebs require baking a cookie base, which, I get it– Tagalongs ARE cookies. However, I am A) lazy, and B) lazy, so I wanted something that would easily mimic that crunchy cookie base without actually baking anything. I love that Ritz crackers are SO adaptable that way. It’s easy to only think of them as a cheese and salami kinda vessel, but they’re super versatile and don’t taste cracker-y inside the Tagalong. AKA, they’re the perfect faux-cookie base — these copycats would fool the Girl Scouts themselves. Maybe then they’d show me their agenda…

Have a great Saturday!

xo, Hayley

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