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 3 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

4.8 from 4 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

Take 5 Poke Cake

candybarweek

 

take5pokeI don’t know about your neighborhoods, but the past few Halloweens here haven’t been super busy.

We get a handful of trick-or-treaters, but nothing like it should be.  As a kid, I remembered throngs of kidlets walking the streets going door-to-door for sugar.  I had to speed walk to get ahead of them so I got the best chances at the candy bowls.

Nowadays, it’s pretty much like I live in an abandoned neighborhood.  There are occasional Cinderellas and witches and Spidermen that show up, but nothing noteworthy or recordbreaking.

The houses around are barely decorated — we’re talking a rogue pumpkin in a yard or some haphazardly strewn cobwebs.  No strobe lights, no fog machines, no creepy laughter soundtrack.

Where have all the Halloween people gone?!

So usually we are stuck with a ton of extra Halloween candy.  This is both awesome and dangerous, and usually after awhile we are all so sick of eating candy bars that we wish Jason would barge through the door just so we could pawn off some Baby Ruths.

But thankfully, I dress up as a genius 365 days of the year (with not a stitch of modesty, apparently) and I have a knack of sneaking candy into treats to change up the same ol’, same ol’.

And while it may be hard to stomach the notion that some people may get sick of eating Take 5 bars constantly, it happens.  What won’t be hard to stomach is this incredible Take 5 Poke Cake which combines all those awesome components of Take 5 candy bars into one luscious, swoonworthy cake.

If Freddy shows up and wants a piece, just show him to the door.

DSC_0502A

4.7 from 3 reviews
Take 5 Poke Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This cake has all of the components of a Take 5 candy bar in each moist and delicious slice!
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅔ cup caramel sundae sauce
  • About 10 miniature Take 5 candy bars, roughly chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip Free, thawed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cake mix according to instructions on back of box; pour batter into a greased 13x9" baking pan. Bake according to package directions; cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk with the peanut butter until smooth. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke shallow holes throughout the entire cake and pour the mixture on top as evenly as possible, trying your best to fill in all the holes.
  3. Spread the top of the cake with the Cool Whip in an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for at LEAST 4 hours, but recommended overnight.
  4. Once the cake has set, sprinkle the top of the cake evenly with the chopped Take 5 candy bars. Drizzle the caramel sauce copiously over the top. Cut into squares and serve!

DSC_0492ATake 5 bars are one of my favorites because of all the different components, flavors and textures.  First, I am a HUGE fan of caramel + peanut butter — the sweet & salty combination is simply droolworthy!  I love the added salty crunch of the pretzels and that creamy, sweet milk chocolate.  Together, this cake combines those classic components but in new ways–the moist peanut butter infused chocolate cake and that drizzle of buttery caramel on top of it all, topped off with crunchy bits of the actual candy.  It’ll become a family favorite fast — just be sure to hoard those Take 5 bars 🙂

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

100 Grand Krispy Treat Bark {Candy Bar Week!!}

candybarweek

 

100grandSo, as some of you guys know, I tried out for Season 10 of the Next Food Network Star last week.

I haven’t heard anything yet — but I’m hopeful, and if nothing else, SO glad I did it!

Anywho, while I was in the waiting room with the other hopefuls, I met an interesting breed of foodies: The Foodie One-Uppers.

This breed of foodies is much like any breed of foodies–they talk incessantly about food, they dream about food, their lives are centered around food.  However, they have a genetic deformity which causes them to prattle on and on and onnnnn about how much better they are than anyone else.  They are the foodiest of foodies and they will stop at noooothing to make sure you know that.

As I was nervously waiting my turn to audition, I couldn’t help but hear the foodie one-upping that was engulfing the room.  I’m sorry, but listening to two super healthy, gluten-free foodies one-up each other is probably the reason why Vincent Van Gogh lopped off his own ear as I certainly debated doing the same.

Our bakery uses a special, locally-made rice flour.”
“Well OUR bakery uses a special, locally-made rice flour that’s all organic.”
“Oh yeah?  Well OURS is organic, too, AND non-GMO.”
“Well.. yeah, ours is non-GMO, too, AND it’s cruelty free.”
“Yeah, not only is ours cruelty-free as well, but it also cures cancer.”

I never really thought two people could and would one-up each other so hard over rice flour.

“Have you ever made a quinoa brittle?”
Well DUH.”
“Okay, well one time I made a quinoa brittle that was free of QUINOA!!”
“Oh really?  Because one time I made a quinoa-free quinoa brittle that had super powers.”
“That’s cute, because my super-power quinoa-but-not-really-quinoa-brittle transforms into a robot on command.”

I kept having to remind myself that they were bickering over quinoa.  No offense to that circular grain but, you really are not all that and a bag of chips.  And I would never fight over you.

Where I’m from, my bakery is extremely popular among the gluten-free people.  It’s been featured in magazines and local papers a bunch of times.”
“That’s nice.  Where I live, my restaurant has been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.”
“Oh yeah?  Well my bakery has been featured on Cupcake Wars… and I won.”
“Oh, you won Cupcake Wars?  That’s cute.  I won Iron Chef.”
“That’s nice, but I actually won Extreme Iron Chef, which is when the Iron Chefs have to cook with no utensils and use cruelty-free, vegan quinoa to make brittle in 118 degree weather.”
“How interesting!  Except I won Extreme Iron Chef AND I was recognized by the President.”

I couldn’t wait to get out of that room and as far away from Foodie One-Uppers as humanly possible.  And I pretty pretty promise you that when I win Food Network Star and eventually get my own show, I neeeeever will Foodie One-Up anyone.  OR make quinoa brittle because ain’t nobody got time for that.

DSC_0462AI will, however, make sinfully delicious bark that tastes identical to a 100 Grand candy bar because that’s what cool people do.  AND because I am seriously convinced that this bark DOES have magical powers.

Take a bite… and then tell Bob and Suzie that I need my own show already, sheeeeeeesh.

DSC_0448A

4.3 from 3 reviews
100 Grand Krispy Treat Bark {Candy Bar Week!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
With a light and crispy base and a crunchy, caramel topping, this bark tastes just like a 100 Grand bar!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 pkg white chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg Kraft caramel bits
  • 2 tsp milk
  • About 6 miniature 100 Grand candy bars, roughly chopped
  • 1 square baking chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper or a Silpat liner; set aside. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate chips over a double boiler until smooth and melted. Pour the white chocolate mixture into a large bowl and gently stir in the cereal to coat.
  2. Spread the krispy bark in an even layer onto the prepared baking sheet, pressing down to compact it if necessary. This is easy if you use greased hands. Let stand.
  3. Melt the caramel in a microwaveable bowl until smooth and melted, adding the milk if necessary to help thin out the caramel. Spread the melted caramel on top of the bark and smooth it out to the edges to cover the entire plane.
  4. Top the caramel layer with the chopped 100 Grand candies. Drizzle the top with the melted chocolate. Let the bark stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

*recipe adapted from Bridget 

DSC_0440AThis bark is such a fun and unique treat to serve up 100 Grand candy bars!  Since 100 Grands are made with crispy cereal, caramel and chocolate, this is the perfect combination to recreate this classic candy.  If you’re a super chocolate fan, feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the white chocolate.  Or to make this bark more sweet and salty, try substituting peanut butter chips in for the white chips.  I don’t know about you, but peanut butter and caramel together = to diiiiie for.

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

Oh Henry! Fudge {Candy Bar Week!!}

candybarweek

 

ohhenryIt’s Candy Bar Week here on The Domestic Rebel!

With Halloween spooking just around the corner (can you BELIEVE it’s less than a week away?!), I can guarantee you that no matter how hard you munch on miniature packages of candy, you’ll inevitably be left with some stragglers hiding out in the pantry.  Or maybe you have something I do not, aka willpower, and won’t inhale every wrapped good in sight but would rather make something fun with it.  If that’s the case, I admire you.  And also, I’ve got you covered!

Since the foreseeable future is filled with lots and lots of candy, I figured I’d make this week all about the sweet stuff.  Whether you’re using up leftover candy, or making something from scratch that tastes just like one of your favorites, after this week you’ll probably want to visit with your dentist.  Just a friendly suggestion.

To kick off this week, I made you something extra special and ultra scrumptious.

DSC_0417AIt ooooooozes buttery caramel.

It’s supported by luscious, creamy chocolate.

It’s topped with chopped salty peanuts.

And hidden inside all of the above are little nuggets of Oh, Henry! candy bars.

Have you ever had an Oh, Henry! bar before?  They’re harder to find nowadays, but I happened across a snack size bag in the Halloween candy section at Target and couldn’t pass them up.  It consists of peanuts, caramel and fudge all topped in chocolate, and it’s utter perfection.

But sometimes, perfection can be improved upon.  Nothing can be too perfect, right?  So that’s where taking those glorious candy bars and transforming them into irresistible fudge comes in…

DSC_0416AI meaaaan… Dying.

So can we all get a unanimous “Ohhhhh Henryyyyyyyy”?

DSC_0412A

5.0 from 3 reviews
Oh Henry! Fudge {Candy Bar Week!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Fudge
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Soft and chewy chocolate fudge topped with buttery caramel, salty peanuts and chunks of Oh, Henry candy bars... this fudge will have you swooning!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate candy melts (like by Wilton)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pkg Kraft caramel bits
  • 2 Tbsp milk or heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped sundae peanuts
  • About 5-6 miniature Oh Henry candy bars, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, chocolate candy melts and the sweetened condensed milk, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. The mixture will eventually melt down but still remain VERY thick; this is normal. Remove the melted mixture off the burner and stir in the chopped Oh Henry candy bars. Let sit.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium microwaveable bowl, melt the caramel according to package directions. Stir in the milk or heavy cream and continue microwaving in small increments until completely melted and smooth.
  4. Spoon the chocolate fudge into the bottom of the prepared dish, smoothing into an even layer. (If it gets super stiff from sitting, gently turn up the heat for a sec to warm it back up). Top with the caramel, smoothing evenly. Lastly, sprinkle with the chopped sundae peanuts.
  5. Allow the fudge to sit at room temperature for about 3-4 hours or until firm. You can also expedite this process by placing the fudge in the fridge for about an hour or two before cutting into squares. Keep refrigerated to hold its shape.

DSC_0419ADaaaaayyyyyyyyyuuummm.  Hey there, sexy!  Come to mama.

I hope you enjoy this awesome fudge as much as I did!  It’s truly wonderful and a great way to use up a fun, oldie-but-goodie candy bar fave!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

 

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