Spider Pudding Pies & Witches Cauldrons with Snack Pack Pudding!

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

spiderpuddingAs a kid, one of my favorite snacks were Snack Pack Puddings!  Chocolate was my favorite, but I didn’t turn up my nose at vanilla.  There was just something so comforting, satisfying and delicious about pudding snacks that has transitioned with me into adulthood — I still love them and enjoy them as a nighttime indulgence!

Also: remember when pudding snacks were the basic chocolate, vanilla, tapioca, and butterscotch? Snack Pack Pudding now makes insanely-cool flavors like Chocolate Cupcake, Apple Pie A La Mode and Lemon Meringue Pie. I meaaan.. Little Hayley would have died over a Lemon Meringue Snack Pack! And how cool would I have been showing everyone at the elementary school lunch table that I had a Chocolate Cupcake pudding? Dude. I would have won that popularity contest and wouldn’t have even needed to manufacture the lie about being related to catalog models. 

Anyway. Crazy-cool flavors aside, my favorite is still chocolate. You can’t go wrong with that rich, soft texture and creamy, milk chocolate flavor… which is why it works perfectly in these spooky Spider Pudding Pies!

DSC_0845ASnack Pack Pudding is scooped from its packaging and is nestled into buttery graham cracker pie crusts, then topped with crushed Oreo Cookies and decorated to look like creepy crawly spiders! Kids and adults alike will delight in these fantastically easy treats and will love that it tastes great. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I love that Snack Packs have the same amount of calcium as an 8 ounce glass of milk. Hello, that means it’s practically a health-food. Huzzah!

And if spiders aren’t your thing, I also made some terrifyingly tasty Witches Cauldrons! These bad boys are chocolate cups filled to the brim with bubbling witches brew (aka, Snack Pack Vanilla Pudding!) and topped with the creepiest of ghoulish “spices” including crawly bugs and eyeballs!

Witches CauldronsSo whether you’re on Team Spider or Team Witches, Snack Pack Pudding has got your back this Halloween! Walmart has a humongous display and assortment of Snack Pack Pudding on their Snacks & Crackers aisle, next to the Oreo Cookies and Nutter Butters. They also have this super fun Halloween display in the store where you can find some!

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 9.24.38 AMNow which of you goblins are ready to eat?! :)

DSC_0846A

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spider Pudding Pies & Witches Cauldrons with Snack Pack Pudding!
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie, Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-12
 
Adorable, portable Spider Pudding Pies are made with creamy pudding, crushed cookies and a little extra touches to make them extra spooky!
Ingredients
  • FOR SPIDER PUDDING PIES:
  • 6 premade graham cracker pie shells
  • 1 (4-pack) Snack Pack Pudding Snacks in Chocolate
  • 6 Oreo Cookies, crushed
  • Black licorice strings
  • Gummy raspberry candies
  • ½ square vanilla almond bark
  • 12 white chocolate chips
  • FOR WITCHES CAULDRONS:
  • 12 premade chocolate tart shells
  • 2 Snack Pack Pudding Snacks in Vanilla
  • Green liquid food coloring
  • Assorted creepy sprinkles (eyeballs, bones, bugs, etc)
  • 2 squares chocolate almond bark
Instructions
  1. FOR SPIDER PUDDING PIES: First, make the fangs for your pies. Melt the small piece of vanilla almond bark, then use it to gently attach two white chocolate chips to the rim of the pie shell for "fangs." Hold the white chips in place for about 15 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Spoon the Chocolate Snack Packs evenly among the pie shells. Top each pudding pie with crushed Oreo cookies. Snip off 1-2" long pieces of black licorice rope and slip four "legs" in per side of the pie for 8 legs total. Lastly, gently press two gummy raspberry candies into the front by the fangs for the eyes. Serve!
  3. FOR THE CAULDRONS: Spoon the Vanilla Snack Packs into a small bowl and stir in the green food coloring (start with one drop, then add more) until a desired shade has been achieved. Spoon the pudding, about 1 heaping Tablespoonful, evenly among the premade chocolate tart shells.
  4. Top each cauldron with the bubbling brew ingredients: sprinkles, candies, etc. Set aside.
  5. Using the chocolate almond bark, pipe broomsticks onto a sheet of wax paper. Let the broomsticks harden, then peel off and attach or serve with the cauldrons. Serve!

DSC_0853AThese couldn’t be simpler to whip up! Seriously — your guests would be hardpressed to realize this pudding came from a package! Not only is the end result impressive and festive, but Snack Pack Pudding tastes so authentic, creamy and rich that everyone will think you spent hours slaving over the stove. The only ones who will know your spooky secret are the spiders… and they’re getting eaten anyway :)

DSC_0840ABe sure to follow Snack Pack on PINTEREST where they have a super-cool Halloween-inspired Pinterest Board happening now! You’ll be sure to find some spooky-cool and festive ideas for your Snack Pack Pudding!!

Find more Halloween and Fall snack creations on Pinterest

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

 

 

The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing

thebestpumpkinbreadaIt’s still in the 90s here in Sacramento.

But because I’m stubborn (and in denial) I’ve been rocking my boots, flannels and leggings and sweating profusely while doing so… only until I crank up the AC in October(!!!) and then I feel a little more fall-ish.

I’ve lit pumpkin candles around the house. I’ve purchased logs of wood for fires. I’ve even draped throw blankets back on over the couches to invite fall into Sacramento. But it’s still Daisy-Duke weather and I’m about to lose it.

The rest of the world is blissfully sipping PSL’s while they bundle up in peacoats and scarves and break out their Hunter boots for impending thunderstorms. Me? I’m digging through my closet for the tiniest shorts I own in an attempt to stay cool and the only thunderstorm in Sacramento is the thunderous sobbing by yours truly over the fact that it’s ALMOST ONE HUNDRED DEGREES STILL.

Like, WTF Mother Nature? What did I ever do to you? Don’t you know PSL’s are seasonal? Don’t you know they GO AWAY SOON?! I cant very well sip on them blissfully while red leaves twirl at my feet when I’m still wearing a bikini and slapping on sunscreen.

Life can be so unfair at times.

DSC_0313ABut despite the weather hiccup, I’m completely in the midst of my fall baking. Pumpkin and caramel apple errthang, people. And I couldn’t very well usher in my fake-fall without pumpkin bread! Pumpkin bread is one of those warming, comforting carbs that I simply cannot resist. Whether it’s topped with a glaze, studded with nuts, or plain nekkid, I love it any which way and prefer a thick slice for breakfast with my coffee. This bread is perfectly fluffy and moist without being too wet, has a soft and tender crumb, and is topped with the best brown butter maple glaze that drips down over the top of this well-spiced loaf.

Even if the outdoors feel like July, at least you can eat fall!

DSC_0308A*adapted slightly from Land O Lakes Baking & More Cookbook

4.8 from 5 reviews
The BEST Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Perfectly spiced, moist and tender, this Pumpkin Bread will soon become a family favorite! Leave it naked if you wish, or stud it with nuts - however, I prefer mine with this simple brown butter maple glaze. I'm sure you will, too!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used Land O Lakes)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (the puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • FOR GLAZE:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine all of the above bread ingredients and beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well-mixed.
  3. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean or with a couple moist crumbs (not wet). Cool for about 15 minutes, then very gently remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While bread cools, make your glaze: in a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Continue cooking, watching butter carefully, until it sizzles and begins to turn amber in color, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook because it can quickly burn! When butter looks caramel-colored and smells kind of nutty, it's done. Remove butter from heat and stir in the powdered sugar and maple syrup until a soft glaze has formed.
  5. Pour the glaze generously over top of the pumpkin loaf and let it set, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve!

 

DSC_0311AA simple, delicious, moist and tender bread packed with pumpkin flavor! Perfectly spiced throughout and topped with that sinful, warm & rich brown butter maple glaze – it doesn’t get better than this!

Have a fantastic day!!

xo, Hayley

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkinwhoopiesAs a kid, we always went to this local pumpkin farm whenever it was open for the season.

It was a family owned farm, but it was pretty obvious it was owned by a family who really didn’t care too much about appearances, nor pumpkins.

The pumpkins to pick from were mildly attractive at best and they charged like $100/pound per pumpkin so my parents never let us get any from there. I didn’t realize that gigantic orange squash that grow from the earth would cost an obscene amount of money to purchase and then mutilate in the name of Halloween.

However crappy the pumpkin farm was, I was always deathly frightened by their ‘Haunted House.’ It was basically a glorified longer-looking shed filled with remotely creepy odds and ends that were brutally scary to a child but were actually really poorly strewn about to an adult. So the morbid weirdo in me begged my parents to walk through it with me and I would jump and shriek at the poorly tossed plastic skeleton bones and clumpy clouds of fake spiderwebs.

Because I was so spooked out over the house, I had these memories that convinced me that this house was truly terrifying. So one year I insisted to my then-boyfriend that this local pumpkin farm had the creepiest haunted house and we had to go.

We get there and eagerly anticipate walking through that same beat-down shed and the ticket lady was looking at us like, ‘seriously?’ but I had these fond memories of being truly terrified of the badass animatronics and decor, so we entered the haunted house.

A vague monster-music soundtrack crackled in the distance and the scariest thing about it was probably that the mixtape on the tape player (!!) they used still worked. The first few feet of it were those light-up lawn decorations that are usually Christmas-time deer but they were tinted with red lights to look like… red deer? They also peppered in some light-up lawn deco ghost to truly delight their guests with fright.

Later on we entered some mummy tomb where a mannequin in the corner was half-assed draped with bandage tape. Shortly following that was a graveyard scene with foam skulls stabbed onto wrought-iron fencing and an animated skeleton-hand-popping-from-the-grave thingie that creaked with desperation when you walked past.

Lastly, you walked through a fog sequence because fog is the international symbol of fright, and then you were greeted with daylight and $80 pumpkins.

Pretty sure I was dying of embarrassment forever and wasn’t allowed to pick out “awesome dates” for awhile after that one.

Anyway. I still love pumpkin patches and have since found some other local ones who don’t charge an arm and a fake-skeleton leg for some lopsided misfit pumpkin. My fond memories of the pumpkin patch was the inspiration for these whoopie pies, and after seeing similar ones on Lizzy’s blog, I was convinced I had to make some!

These couldn’t be easier to make and make for such a great presentation for parties or just because :) Pumpkin Whoopies get dressed up like pumpkins in the patch with a simple Tootsie Roll ‘stem’ and a minty green gummy ‘leaf.’ Easy-peasy!

…and they don’t cost an arm or leg!

DSC_0509A

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Whoopie Pies, Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These adorable whoopie pies are made to look like pumpkins in the patch and taste as good as they look!
Ingredients
  • 1 box pumpkin cake mi (if you cannot find pumpkin mix, use spice cake)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 15 Tootsie Rolls
  • About 8 Mint Gummy Leaves (if you can't find these (usually in a package with the orange gummies), you may substitute green AirHeads shaped like leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, buttermilk, pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and eggs with a rubber spatula until blended.
  2. Scoop ¼ cup-sized balls of dough and place them 1-2" apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until whoopie pies look set and spring back lightly when touched. Cool for about 10 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla with the paddle attachment until creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
  4. Spoon frosting into a disposable piping bag attached with a large open circle tip (I like Atecco 807) and pipe the frosting high onto the flat side of a whoopie. Top with another like-sized whoopie. Repeat with remaining cookies.
  5. Very gently press a Tootsie Roll into the top of each whoopie pie to create a stem, then attach a half of a green mint leaf to the whoopie pie with a little frosting. Serve immediately!

DSC_0512ANothing beats the classic combination of luscious, light cream cheese frosting and soft and perfectly spiced pumpkin whoopies! I have a feeling you’ll agree! :)

Have a fantastic day!!

xo, Hayley

Monster Cookie Dough Pretzel Mummy Bites

DSC_0179AIf I know my readers, I know you guys love your cookie dough as much as I do! This is why I love you.

And since that’s true, you guys oughta hop on over to Food Fanatic to check out my latest cookie dough recipe — Monster Cookie Dough Pretzel Mummy Bites! 

Not only are these little guys super adorbz, but they’re so easy to make and taste like monster cookie dough! What’s not to love?!

So head on over to Food Fanatic to check it out!! Click HERE!!

Have a monstrously awesome day :)

xo, Hayley

Bloody Eyeball Cupcakes

bloodyeyeballThese are dedicated to my brother, Alex, who has an absolutely crippling fear of eyeballs.

I’m such a great older sister.

It may be hard to believe, but as I kid I really wanted to fit in. When a classmate came to school one day wearing a training bra, I was so green with envy that the next day I wore a swimsuit top and told everyone I was wearing a training bra. No, not creepy, weird or pathetic at all…

And when I overheard a boy complimenting my best friend’s hazel eyes, I realized I needed hazel eyes, so I told everyone they were hazel. They’re brown. Brown. There’s no way around their brownness, so I just lied and said in certain light they turned hazel. I was one crafty little loser, wasn’t I?

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that fitting in was overrated and that I should just deal with my poopbrown eyes and not worry about what other people think of me. And thankfully, shortly after these incidents, I also retired my swimsuit top. Just sayin’. It’s just so much easier being yourself than to try to pretend to be someone — or something — you’re not. Poopbrown eyes and flatness included.

And even though my brother loves cupcakes, I know he’d refuse these simply because of the eyeball motif… and that’s okay. More for me!

DSC_0415AHalloween desserts are typically so cutesy and while I love that, I also love the creepier side of things, too. I don’t know how many brain-shaped Jell-O desserts or eyeball gummies I could eat, but I can appreciate the gore nonetheless. These are for you true, hardcore gore-fans out there and kids who aren’t ooged out by a little blood and guts. The reward for tolerating these creepy cupcakes is a big one: a moist and tender red velvet cupcake filled with sweet cherry pie filling and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting.

Now who wants some eyeballs?!

DSC_0418A

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bloody Eyeball Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These gory cupcakes take creepy to a whole new level! Moist red velvet cake is filled with a squishy surprise cherry pie "eyeball" filling and is topped with a luscious swirl of cream cheese icing, drippy red "blood" and an eyeball gumball for a true horrifically delicious cupcake!
Ingredients
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 1 small box cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • About 1 cup cherry pie filling
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp cream or milk
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Red sparkle food gel
  • Eyeball gumballs (or another eyeball candy)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 16 liners and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the cake mix according to package directions until smooth and combined. Stir in the pudding mix until incorporated.
  2. Evenly portion the batter among the muffin tins, filling about ¾ of the way full. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with light moist crumbs. Cool completely, then core the cupcake's centers out. For this, I use a small paring knife, insert the knife into the cupcake, and gently remove the center of it. Discard the center pieces.
  3. Using a small spoon, fill the cupcake cavities with the cherry pie filling, trying to get at least 2 cherries in the center of each cupcake. Set the cupcakes aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and cream with the paddle attachment for about 1-2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Pour the frosting into a piping bag attached with a large open-circle tip.
  5. Pipe the frosting high onto the cooled & filled cupcakes, ensuring you completely cover the center cavity. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Take your red sparkle gel and begin drawing squiggly lines up and down the sides of the cupcake, centering from the top point of the cupcake. Place an eyeball gumball onto the tippy top of the cupcake and serve!

DSC_0424A

DSC_0425AThese are SO gory and SO creepy from the outside, but no one will suspect the sinfully delicious yet sinister inside of gooey, gushy cherry pie filling! They’re a real delight to decorate and eat!

Hope you enjoyed!!

xo, Hayley

The BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookies

chewypumpkinchipCan you believe there was a time when I disliked pumpkin?

I know. It’s like I was abducted by aliens or under some terrible influence of pumpkin-hating hallucinogens or something. Thank goodness I found my way down the appropriate pumpkin-loving path because had I not, I would have never discovered the joy that are these cookies.

A couple weeks ago, a reader named Holly wanted to know if I had a recipe for a chewy pumpkin cookie. Pumpkin cookies are notoriously soft and cakey since pumpkin tends to have the tendency to fluff and cake-ify things once its baked inside. While cakey pumpkin cookies are good, they’re more muffin-tops than cookies and it’s kind of a let-down when you want something soft and chewy… a real deal cookie.

So with my personal challenge ahead of me, I sought to create the perfect chewy pumpkin cookie. And folks, I have a winner!!

DSC_0636AThis cookie has the texture of a chocolate chip cookie: soft and chewy, with slightly crispy edges that’s packed with buttery goodness in every bite. It has the perfect chips-to-cookie ratio and is the perfect size and plushness.. you won’t even get cookies this perfect in a bakery, I promise you that! And the pumpkin flavor, while present, isn’t overpowering — this would be a great “intro to pumpkin” cookie for a skeptic. Sweet, buttery, spicy and rich, these cookies fit the bill of perfection.

Easily enough, they’re adapted ever-so-slightly from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Since my Chocolate Chip Cookies are my favorite (and the best, in my oh-so humble opinion), I knew I’d be able to tweak this base recipe to make a perfect pumpkin cookie as well. Here are the main differences:

* this recipe has no egg, simply because eggs tend to fluff things up, too. The pumpkin has plenty of moisture, so it replaces the egg in this recipe.

* there’s a higher sugar to brown sugar ratio. Why? Brown sugar tends to soften and moisten cookie dough which is why I adore it in my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, but why I switch up the ratios for this particular cookie. Don’t get me wrong; these cookies are soft and chewy — but by using more granulated white sugar, it helps cut down how cakey and chewy they may be had I used all brown sugar.

* the butter is melted rather than softened. Softened butter tends to lend to a creamier (read: moister!) cookie, so melted butter helps cookies with spreading. While these don’t spread much, I was aiming in that direction since I wanted them to be flatter (read: crisper!) than puffy and cakey. It worked! However, you do still need to chill these for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to baking.

DSC_0645AAnd a family friend deemed these the best cookies she’s ever tasted. Ever. And has already requested me to make another batch. So clearly, these cookies are awful ;)

So, friends. The wait is OVER! Cakey pumpkin cookies no more. Introducing the BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookie. You’re welcome!

DSC_0660A

*adapted from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

4.7 from 3 reviews
The BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Nothing says "fall" quite like pumpkin, but pumpkin cookies tend to be cakey and more muffin-top like than cookies... until now. These soft and chewy cookies have a cookie texture you'll LOVE and are packed with pumpkin flavor and sweet white chips for contrast and flavor. They've been deemed a friend's FAVORITE cookie EVER, and I know they'll be yours too!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips (may also use cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, seasonal pumpkin chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted butter, white sugar and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin to combine. Lastly, add in the spices, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and flour until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the chips.
  2. Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 1 day, until chilled. (I typically refrigerate mine for at least an hour). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with silicone liners or mist the baking sheets with cooking spray.
  3. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets, about 1" apart. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cookies may appear slightly puffy and underdone, but do NOT overbake! Absolutely do not cook them longer than 10 minutes; the cookies will continue to cook slightly on the baking sheets as they cool.
  4. Remove the cookies from the oven. If cookies are puffy, slightly flatten them with the bottom of a glass. Top with a couple of remaining chips, if you'd like (to make them look pretty). Let them sit on the baking sheets for about 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

DSC_0654A

DSC_0659Alove how easy and versatile this recipe is! Who knew pumpkin cookie dough could be a new staple cookie dough base?! Feel free to substitute other flavored chips to change up the flavor, or add in chopped nuts or dried fruit for a different texture. Cranberry + white chocolate chips would be festive for Christmas, even — or peanut butter chips and chopped honey roasted peanuts! Even chopped candy, like Butterfinger or candy corn, would make an excellent and delicious mix-in for this one-of-a-kind, perfect pumpkin cookie!

AAHave a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Caramel Apple Magic Bars

carmapplemagicCaramel apples are one of my favorite things evereverever.

But ya see, I have this *thing* with biting into apples. Maybe it was because when I was a kid, I had this loose tooth and my cousin so brightly suggested I bite down hard into an apple to somehow dislodge said tooth. After trying and trying and biting and biting, we eventually just yanked the damn tooth out — but that terrible feeling of biting directly into a hard fruit with a wiggly tooth will forever scar my soul.

So when it comes to my beloved caramel apples, I have to be the spoiled, inconvenient brat who requests they’re cut. And you can always tell the people hate the spoiled, inconvenient brats like me because I’ll politely ask if it’s possible to cut it prettyprettyplease and they’ll kind of sigh, and in that moment you know they’re thinking, “god, what a spoiled, inconvenient brat; I should just lie and say we don’t cut them” but what comes out is, “...yeah, we can” in some kind of painful reluctance.

I mean, I kind of wish I could just tell them I had some horrible dental-related accident as a child which prevents me from directly biting into anything, especially apples, but I do not think unsuspecting candy shop workers really want to hear a story about my tooth being ripped from my skull. So I kind of omit it and feel bad because if only they knew the truth, they’d possibly be more understanding to my ailment.

DSC_0440AAnyhoot. Let’s talk magic bars. You know I love the hell outta them. They’re one of my favorite treats to make because they’re so simple and creating wacky flavors is my specialty. I knew I needed to create a Caramel Apple version, so when Oreo released those Caramel Apple Oreos, I was alllllll over that shizz with the idea of making these here bars.

And my, they do not disappoint.

I was worried they wouldn’t be super apple-y, but the apple flavor is just there enough that it isn’t overwhelming. The rest of the flavor is buttery caramel, specks of cinnamon, and lots of gooey richness that makes stopping at one hunk o’ bar nearly impossible.

So go ahead: eat the entire pan. Cutting them would make you so inconvenient :)

DSC_0442A

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Caramel Apple Magic Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Caramel Apples are one of my absolute favorite fall-time treats. These gooey bars are jam-packed with caramel apple flavor, thanks to specialty cookies and candies, for an authentic and unique treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 box Pillsbury Caramel Apple Cookie/Cake Mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • About 20 Caramel Apple Oreos, roughly chopped
  • 1 pkg Caramel Apple Milky Ways, unwrapped and cut in halves
  • ½ cup caramel bits
  • ½ cup cinnamon chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Caramel sauce, for a finished drizzling
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. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and oil with a spoon until a soft dough has formed. Evenly press the dough into the baking pan and bake off for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on. Immediately and evenly top with the chopped Oreos, chopped Milky Ways, caramel bits and cinnamon chips. Drizzle evenly with sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the center appears set and the top is bubbly and browned. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Drizzle with caramel sauce just before serving, if desired.

DSC_0444AErmahgerd, folks. These are the real deal for caramel apple lovers like myself. Rich, gooey, chewy and packed with just enough tart apple flavor and buttery spiced caramel sauce. A must-make!!

Like Caramel Apple? Check out these A+ Caramel Apple Treats!

carmappleCaramel Apple Cupcakes (and a more in-depth look to my fruit-fear) :)DSC_0440A

carmappleoreoCaramel Apple Oreo Truffles

applecinnamonbreadCaramel Apple Bread

caramelapplerollCaramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Candy Corn Magic Bars

candycornmagicA couple days ago, I got my breakfast ready and headed to the couch to catch up on some of my favorite guilty pleasure shows: Real Housewives of Orange County: Secrets Revealed; MasterChef; Hotel Hell; and America’s Next Top Model.

I typically watch these (with the exception of MasterChef) when no one is home because the judging and disapproving looks I get from my parents while Tamra talks to her robot baby and while Tyra insists everyone smize and tooch is just far too much for me to bear.

As I turned on my TV, I was greeted with the most dreaded message any TV viewer could see: No Signal.  So after pressing the on & off button to reset the box no less than 3487 times, unplugging and plugging the machine, doing approximately 87.9 voodoo chants, praying to the TV gods, and calling AT&T, I was informed that our DVR thingie is broken.

BROKEN. BROKEN DAMMIT.

All the booty tooching and inane Tyraisms – gone. The MasterChef WINNERS (!!!) gone. Tamra’s weird sexual innuendos and Vicki’s crazy lumpy faces – gone.  All gone.  I felt like I’d lost a special part of my soul.

See, we’re a TV family and I’m a TV kiddo, born & raised. I spent the majority of my time playing with Barbies or running around outside, but for meals and everything else, I was plopped in front of the boobtube. As a result, I’m keen on TV trivia for particular shows, know schedules like the back of my hand, and am expert at navigating through channels and commercials like some kind of TV honcho.

So without my TV, I felt a little lost. Was it the end of the world? No. So no need to troll my comments with your sarcastic pity comments, thanks. I could always catch up on my books and magazines, clean the house, bake, blog, walk my dog – there’s a list of billions of other productive things I could do instead of fill my impressionable young adult head with toxic reality TV garbage. But did I want to do those other things? Hell to the nah. I’ll take watching Gordon Ramsay black-light spotty beds on Hotel Hell than change my own damn sheets.

The worst part of this entire fiasco? Having to break the news to my equally-addicted family, who surely would flip their little tushies over the fact that our beloved TV had done broke on us. I almost considered blasting Sarah McLaughlin’s “Arms of an Angel” and lighting candles so when they walked through the front door, they’d know something precious had died. Unfortunately, we don’t have any candles lying around and I couldn’t get the song without seeing puppies dying on YouTube, so I just figured I’d break it to them the hard way when they came home and realized the black box had lost its soul and had gone to heaven with other precious things, like Arrested Development and VCRs.

But then I also realized I had baked these Cotton Candy Magic Bars that very day, and so my night could happily be spent chowing down on bar after bar of these candy cornlicious treats. Winning.

DSC_0381ASo this begs the all-important question here: do you like candy corn? I, for one, love the stuff and eagerly anticipate its arrival every fall season. I love the different wacky flavors (this year I’ve spotted s’mores, pumpkin pie and caramel macchiato!) and I love eating it colored-section by colored-section, thanks to my OCD. Its sweet, kinda waxy vanilla & marshmallow-esque flavor is just quintessentially fall, and I could think of nothing more “fall-y” than these Candy Corn Magic Bars!

Loaded with — you guessed it — candy corn, these bars are only for the candy corn lovahs out there. Those who frown at this seasonal staple, ya may want to avert your eyes, because there’s a whole lotta candy corn lovin’ happening here. Candy corn bits, candy corn marshmallows, candy corn M&M’s and Hershey’s NEW Candy Corn White Chocolate all on top of a nice & chewy cake-base, then smothered in toasty sweetened condensed milk. Did I mention how much I love candy corn?

Almost as much as I love crappy reality TV. But at least one of these won’t die on me!

DSC_0384A

5.0 from 1 reviews
Candy Corn Magic Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Candy corn lovers, these are made for YOU! Loaded with tons of candy corn and candy corn-inspired goodies, these gooey, sticky & chewy bars taste like a gigantic candy corn and are perfectly reminiscent of fall and Halloween!
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 bag Hershey's Candy Corn White Chocolate Bars, broken into pieces
  • 1 bag Candy Corn M&M's
  • 2 cups candy corn marshmallows
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • Candy-corn colored sprinkles, optional
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. Grease the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and oil with a rubber spatula until a soft dough has formed. Spread the dough evenly into the baking pan in an even layer and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly top with the marshmallows first, then the chocolate bar pieces, M&M's and sweetened condensed milk only. Putting the marshmallows down first prevents them from browning too quickly, so when they're covered up with other ingredients, they'll still remain soft and gooey rather than burnt.
  4. Bake for another 18-20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly and the center appears just about set. Immediately sprinkle with the candy corn pieces and sprinkles; allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Once at room temperature, allow the bars to set for another hour or two, preferably overnight. The longer it sets, the better it will set up and cleaner it will cut. Once you're ready to cut, run your knife through water through each cut to help get through the gooey marshmallows. Cut into squares and serve!

DSC_0386AWords cannot accurately describe how much I love these bars! They are so irresistibly sticky and gooey, thanks to those lusciously light candy corn-flavored marshmallows, and have great crunch from the M&M’s and candy corn pieces on top! The reason the actual candy corn isn’t baked is because it tends to lose its consistency and harden up once baked, so sprinkling it onto the gooey, freshly baked layer as a last step helps it retain its shape, texture, and colors, and helps keep the bars pretty and edible! Don’t want you breaking a tooth now, do we? :)

*For reference… I purchased the candy corn M&M’s, candy corn marshmallows & Hershey’s candy corn chocolate bars at Walmart. I also found they were available at Target.*

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Snack Cake

pumpkincakeIf you’re looking for an easy and impressive pumpkin cake recipe, look no further! This is quite possibly one of my new favorite recipes for its ease in preparation and how it’s positively packed with pumpkiny goodness!

So as you guys know, I was in NYC for a week and was pretty MIA on my blog. I apologize for that – I was plenty absorbed in the city lights, pretzel croissants and freedom from the internet for seven days and I have to say, it was pretty awesome!

But now it’s back to reality and my reality at the moment is pumpkifying everything. Because even though I was kinda blog MIA, I instagrammed like craaaazy and happened to see everyone and their mothers, their mom’s moms, and their dogs posting IG pictures of pumpkin goods everywhere.

I’ve never felt so uncool and so far behind than I did in NYC. While everyone was whipping up picture-perfect pumpkin pies and chewy pumpkin snickerdoodles, I was in my dingy apartment across the country battling a monster-sized cockroach and was positively freaked to even step foot near the fridge, much less bake in it. So I admitted defeat and went woefully pumpkinless for awhile.

Now I’m back home and in my cockroachless kitchen (thank the friggin’ LAWWWWD), I am putting pumpkin in everything. Pumpkin in cookies. Pumpkin in spaghetti. Pumpkin in bread, cinnamon rolls, aaaaand snack cake. This cake is divine, y’all. And I was shocked at how simple it was to whip up! Something easy on my time-zone-dead mind and to finally feel like a cool kid on Instagram. I swear I’m hip!!

If dry pumpkin goodies give you the shudders (and uh, I don’t blame you; they’re blasphemous) this cake will cure your nightmares. There’s no dry crumbs in sight, thanks to the pumpkin, sour cream and oil that help plump up and moisten this fantastic cake. Then it’s topped with a creamy maple glaze that’s to diiiie for. 

Trust me, the cool kids and I think you must make it.

DSC_0358AA*adapted from the Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook

4.8 from 4 reviews
Pumpkin Snack Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Snack cakes have a tendency to be dry and crumby, but not this one! My Pumpkin Snack Cake is packs a pumpkiny punch and is super moist, thanks to the sour cream secret ingredient. The maple glaze tops it off and makes it extra delish!
Ingredients
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (NOT pie mix!)
  • ¾ cup sour cream (I used full-fat, but low-fat would probably work)
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch ginger
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Gold or fall-themed sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil and spices with a handheld electric mixer for 2 minutes or until combined completely. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool the cake completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup, cream and powdered sugar with a spoon until a glaze has formed. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar; if too thick, a little more cream at a time. Pour the glaze evenly on top of the snack cake, spreading it out to the edges if needed. Top with sprinkles if desired.
  4. Allow the glaze to somewhat set on the cake (about 15 minutes) before cutting into squares. Store leftover cake slices airtight at room temperature, up to 3 days. Tastes great with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream as well!

DSC_0360ASoft, plush, moist and packed with pumpkin flavor, this snack cake will surely become a new family favorite in your house! It’s perfect for dessert of course, but it could easily work for a snack or breakfast — I won’t tell :)

Can’t get enough PUMPKIN?! Check out these delish pumpkin recipes from the blog!

pumpkincheesecakePumpkin Cheesecake Bars

pumpkinpiefrostedPumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting

pumpkinblondiePumpkin Toffee Blondies

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Snickers PB Cookies

candybarweeksnickerspbDear Parents of Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers,

I’m not trying to rat your kids out or anything (since I am almost positive you probably did the same thing yourselves when you were that age), but you know when you give your kid lunch money every week and think he’s spending it on chicken nuggets or hamburgers in the cafeteria?

Well, you’re wrong.

If he’s like the 45979453745 billion other teenagers in the world, he’s proooobably spending it on Sour Skittles and Mountain Dew, AKA the Infamous Meal of Teenagers.

Meals may vary, as I was not one of the kids who enjoyed Sour Skittles.  So if your name was Hayley Parker, you probably fancied eating a package of frosted chocolate donuts and a vanilla Coke on the daily.  Or perhaps you were a root beer and Snickers kinda person.

Either way, I’m sorry to burst your little healthy, happy bubble of your child’s eating habits, but basically he’s just at school stuffing his face with heinous amounts of sugar.

And don’t get all mad at them for it, either.  If it gets them through their droll algebra 2 class or helps pep them up for a long night of studying chemistry, who cares what they eat?  Lemme tell you — you shouldn’t.  Because it’s pretty much a scientific fact that kids don’t come racing home to eat kale and sweet potatoes before a cram session.  So give them their Snickers and just realize that in a few years, this will all be a distant memory.  And also in a few years, your kid won’t have nearly the same metabolism, so eventually your kale and sweet potatoes thing will be their new fave meal.

…Or not, because kale and sweet potatoes could never be chocolate and caramel.  Everrrrrrr.

So pinch me if I’m crazy, but I have never been a huge Snickers fan.  I know everyone and their mother’s mother’s dog’s cousin loooooves Snickers, but I’ve just never jonesed for it like everyone else does which is strange since I love all the components of a Snickers bar.. just, separated.  But when Snickers released their Snickers PB candy bars, thaaaat was a different story.

I LOVE the addition of peanut butter — it truly amps up the saltiness of these traditionally sweet bars, and ups that gooey, sticky factor too (which shouldn’t all candy bars be the epitome of gooey, sticky and awesome?!).

DSC_0470AFor Candy Bar Week, I wanted to use these fancy, vamped-up Snickers bars somehow.. but when I realized I’ve already burnt everyone out on bars, poke cakes and bark, I figured I’d make something that tasted exactly like the candy without actually containing it.  The perfect vessel for this mission?  Nutter Butters.  And Rolos.  And chocolate.  And peanuts.

And oh maaah goooooosh.  HEAVEN.

DSC_0473A

4.6 from 7 reviews
Snickers PB Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Nutter Butter cookies filled with gooey Rolo caramels, then coated in rich milk chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts. These cookies are a cinch to make and taste identical to the Snickers PB candy bars!
Ingredients
  • ½ pkg Nutter Butter cookies
  • 1 pkg Rolo candies, unwrapped
  • 1 pkg chocolate Candiquik or almond bark
  • 1 can chopped sundae peanuts
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Gently twist the Nutter Butter cookies to separate the halves from one another. Place the half that is more bare (read: with less of the pb filling) onto the cookie sheet; leave the frosted halves to the side.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Place two Rolos evenly on top of the unfrosted cookie halves. Put the pan of cookies into the oven and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the Rolos are very shiny but are still maintaining their shape. Remove from the oven.
  3. Take the frosted half of the cookies and gently sandwich them back together with the Rolo half. Allow the cookies to cool and come to room temperature.
  4. Melt the chocolate bark according to package directions. Dunk each cookie evenly into the chocolate bark, removing excess chocolate with a fork. Return the foil-lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with the chopped sundae peanuts. Serve!

I mean, really… noooo words.

DSC_0476AYou NEED these!!

Have a delicious and fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...