Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee uses only a few ingredients you probably have on hand! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee with a white chocolate and cranberry topping that’s perfect for the holidays!

Some days, I think I’m a genius.

I’ll be in Target, having stood and stared at the packages in the candy aisle for 20 minutes like a psychopath, and it will come to me: a brilliant recipe idea.

I’ll throw the ingredients into my cart and race home to make it, photograph it, post it and share it to the world.

And then sometimes I’ll realize, only after I’ve made it and declared my brilliance in the middle of a Target, that someone else has made something super similar, or exactly the same, as my “brilliant” idea.

Today is that day, folks.

My adorable, beautiful, sassy friend Kate from Diethood made this recipe a few years ago, and when I went to make it, I happened to catch her latest share of it and thought, drat! But then, hey, I’m in good company! 

So yes, Kate made it first. She also uses saltines which is an awesome idea if you happen to have those on hand, which – who doesn’t?

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! My recipe uses butter club crackers because those are my fave and we had a box at home that somehow managed to avoid being devoured .234768 seconds after we bought it. Tomato, tomahto. Use what you want! This recipe would also work swimmingly with graham crackers or Ritz crackers.

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! Boil up your toffee mixture for exactly three minutes. Add in some vanilla (because duh), then pour it over your cracker layer until it covers all the crackers in a warm, toffee blankie. Bake the toffee just so it gets all set, then sprinkle on some white chocolate to melt and spread it around. Sprinkle on some dried cranberries and voila! You now have made the most addictive snack ever.

So I may not be a genius, but that’s okay. At least I can eat my feelings in this toffee. #blessed

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! *adapted from here 

Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee is highly addictive and super easy to make! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee topped with a creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries.
Ingredients
  • 1 sleeve (about 40-45) butter club crackers (you may also use saltines, graham crackers, or Ritz crackers - I don't measurements for any substitutions; just make sure whatever cracker you use covers your pan)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 & ½ cups white chocolate chips (1 (12 oz) bag plus an additional ½ cup), divided
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan (15"x10" or mine's 16"x11") with parchment paper, bringing the parchment up the sides of the pan. Fill the entire bottom of the pan with an even layer of club crackers. Set aside briefly.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together on medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it starts to boil, set your timer and boil for exactly 3 minutes, stirring the entire time. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the hot toffee mixture evenly over the crackers, trying your best to cover all of the crackers with the hot toffee. Use an offset spatula to help you quickly spread the hot toffee across all the crackers.
  4. Bake for approx. 6-7 minutes. Mixture will be bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the 2 cups of white chocolate chips. Return to the oven for 1 minute. Remove from the oven and let the white chocolate chips set on the toffee for about 2 minutes, then use another offset spatula to spread the white chocolate around evenly. Sprinkle with the dried cranberries.
  5. In a small bowl, melt the remaining white chocolate chips until smooth. Drizzle evenly over the toffee. Cool completely, then break into pieces.

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar toffee studded with tart, juicy cranberries and creamy white chocolate. I cannot resist this toffee and neither can you!

This Cranberry Bliss Cracker Toffee will be your new favorite holiday treat! Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth toffee made of club crackers and caramel, topped with creamy white chocolate and tart dried cranberries. Like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars meets Christmas crack! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! Peppermint patties are a quintessential Christmas treat! These Homemade Peppermint Patties are fantastic and SO easy! You’re only 6 ingredients away from having a homemade treat that’s great for gift-giving and makes a big batch!

You guys.

I am DONE with my book!

Well… done with the baking and photo portion of my book.

I still have ALLTHEWRITING to do. And believe me, it’s a lot of writing. So if you may hear crickets around here for a little bit of time because I’m trying to juggle cookbook author/blogger/human being and it ain’t easy.

BUT, I’m obviously still going to bringing you ample fabulous holiday desserts. Natch. Because I love ya and it’s the holidays, AKA Hayley’s Prime Time. I live for this time of year!

So: enter these Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties. I know there’s gonna be some wise guy saying it’s easier to buy and unwrap peppermint patties and call them homemade. Congratulations. You have worked the system. But for the rest of us who enjoy baking, creating and living a true life, there’s this recipe. So if you’re going to comment that, I’ll spare you your brilliant comment and say it here: Yes, you could buy peppermint patties at the store, unwrap them and pretend they’re homemade. Go for it, I’m not the boss of you.

BUT BUT BUT! These are better. Seriously.

There’s something so delicious about these melt-in-your-mouth mints. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re easy to make or because homemade stuff is usually better, but I think these would make a wonderful addition to your Christmas gift-giving, whether you place ’em alongside homemade cookies or wrap them in cute bags for neighbors. Again, I’m not the boss of your life or anything, but…

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! To make these bad boys, simply beat the living daylights out of some butter, corn syrup, peppermint and vanilla extracts. Then beat in some powdered sugar. Well, a lot of powdered sugar. Roll them into balls and gently press them down into discs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze them briefly, then whip up some smooth chocolate and dip them all! If you’re feeling fancy, top some off with crushed mints – I used candy canes – or even chocolate sprinkles. Live your life!

Be a wise guy and make ’em!

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! *adapted slightly from here 

Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40-50
 
These Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties are so wonderful! They make a ton and are great for giving holiday gifts.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 & ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) chocolate candy coating (such as CandiQuik)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside briefly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, corn syrup and extracts together on medium-high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the powdered sugar slowly to incorporate, then on high until completely blended.
  3. Roll a teaspoon or so of dough in your hands to form a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, then with your fingers, gently press down to form a patty. Freeze the patties for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Melt the candy coating according to package directions until smooth. Dip the peppermint patties into the chocolate using a fork and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. I like to dip the fork tines in the chocolate before dipping to ensure the sticky patty doesn't stick to the fork's tines. Gently push the coated patty off of the fork using a toothpick and, if using a garnish, sprinkle while the chocolate's wet.
  5. Allow patties to set before serving.

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! Smooth, melt-in-your-mouth mint & chocolate patties of goodness! I love these little guys!

These Homemade Easy Peppermint Patties should end up on your holiday table this Christmas! Simple mint and chocolate-coated candy made with only 6 ingredients you probably have at home! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Easy Homemade Divinity Candy

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! This Easy Homemade Divinity is incredible! Smooth, fudgy and delectable, this snow-white candy is surprisingly simple to make!

So confession: I’ve only had divinity one time before this, and it was from a local favorite, See’s Candies. Maybe you’ve heard of them?

I also had an ex-boyfriend whose grandma loved divinity, and I remember giving her a box for Christmas. So for me, divinity has always kind of felt like a Christmas candy recipe. Maybe I’m wrong, but there’s something so holiday-ish about divinity. It’s snow-white, which is shocking for a candy, and it looks like little melty snowballs. Plus, it’s kind of like a fudge, which always reminds me of the holidays.

If you don’t know, divinity is typically popular in the South and was invented (we think) by Karo corn syrup as a way to market their new product. It’s a cross between fudge, nougat and meringue and is totally unique and unparalleled. It’s so unlike the usual barks, brittles and fudges that are usually found around this time of year, and if you’ve never made it, I highly recommend you do!

The cool thing about this recipe is it can be customized to your preferences, too. I went with a traditional vanilla pecan divinity, but you can replace the vanilla extract with peppermint extract and add in shredded coconut, or use walnuts instead of pecans. Up to you!

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! Whatever you do, make yourself a tin of these and thank me later!

*Some Notes: in researching this recipe, I found that a lot of people advise against making this candy on a humid day, such as when it’s raining. The humidity can supposedly affect the way the candy sets up and dries, which is essential for divinity. I have not tested this theory, but I would just heed caution and try and make it on a low-humidity day. 

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! *adapted from here 

Easy Homemade Divinity Candy
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
This Microwave Divinity Candy is SO fabulous and perfect for the holidays! Easier than you think to make, it comes together relatively quickly and is great for giving as gifts!
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 & ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat together the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Just before the candy reaches temperature, beat the egg whites on high speed using an electric mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. Remove the boiling candy from the heat and, with the mixer on high speed, stream in the hot candy VERY slowly. It should take you at least 2 or so minutes to fully pour the hot candy mixture into the egg whites. Continue beating the mixture until it's no longer glossy and it holds its shape, about 6-10 minutes (it depends on your mixer). Stir in the chopped pecans and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Butter two spoons (or grease them lightly with cooking spray) and, working quickly, drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of the divinity mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. You may need to scrape the candy mixture off of one spoon with the other spoon, then quickly flick your wrist to create a soft curl (like soft serve) on top of the candy. It's okay if you don't get it quite right!
  5. Allow the candy to set at room temperature - maybe overnight, depending on the humidity in your home - until dry to the touch and no longer sticky. Once set and dry, you can keep it at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  6. NOTES: It is totally okay to take a small teaspoon-sized spoon of candy and test it on the parchment before doing the larger scoops. The divinity is ready when it holds its shape in a mound on the parchment paper. If it turns into a puddle, continue beating the mixture.

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! Chewy & soft, like nougat-meets-fudge, this is a must-try this holiday season!

This Easy Homemade Divinity Candy is fantastic and so great for the holidays! Chewy, soft, melt-in-your-mouth candy that's a cross between nougat and fudge with vanilla and pecans. A must-make recipe! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! For serious eggnog lovers only, this No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is fantastic! Creamy, smooth and loaded with eggnog flavor and spices piled high in a graham cracker crust. A must-make for the holidays!

Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving?!

We certainly did, but I am glad it’s over. Thanksgiving admittedly isn’t my favorite holiday, and while it’s nice to be with family, fielding some of their… inquisitions can be tiring 🙂 But of course, you can always avoid conversation by stuffing your face senseless with food. So there’s that.

Now we can move onto my favorite holiday: Christmas! There’s something so magical about Christmas that I just love. The music, the chilly air, the shopping (duh)… but also the flavors of Christmas. Eggnog, peppermint, gingerbread, hot cocoa… the list goes on.

And this pie is basically Christmas personified into a smooth & creamy pile of heavenly goodness.

AND! it couldn’t be easier to make. Seriously.

It starts with a package of instant French Vanilla pudding mix. If you can’t find French vanilla, then you can’t make it. KIDDING. Just use regular instant vanilla, but I like that French vanilla feels fancier. It’s like when you order a croissant, but instead of saying ‘croissant’, you say ‘cwesson’ like you’re French. Same thing pretty much.

In a bowl, you’ll whisk up your French vanilla pudding mix with eggnog in place of the milk. It’s really that easy, y’all. Whisk until it’s thick, then fold in some spices and Cool Whip, or fresh whipped cream (or creme, if you’re still fancy French) and pour that mishegas into a graham cracker crust.

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! The most complicated part of this whole recipe is making sure it has plenty of time to set in the fridge. I’m talking at least four hours. I know, I know. But you can do it. I have faith.

Then serve it up with some more nog, as you do during the holidays.

Bottoms up!

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert!

5.0 from 1 reviews
No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Eggnog Cream Pie could not be easier to whip up and it tastes JUST like eggnog: thick, creamy and smooth with spices and wonderful vanilla flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 9" graham cracker pie crust (prepared, or homemade)
  • 1 (3.4-3.9 oz) box INSTANT French Vanilla pudding mix (or regular vanilla if you cannot find French Vanilla)
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • ½ tsp rum extract, optional but recommended
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed (or alternatively, you may use 2 cups freshly whipped cream)
  • Additional whipped cream for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the instant dry pudding mix, eggnog, rum extract (if using) and nutmeg until thick, about 2 minutes. Fold in the Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream until fluffy and light. Spoon into the graham cracker pie crust and smooth out the top.
  2. Refrigerate the pie for at LEAST 4 hours, or overnight, to set.
  3. Just before serving, garnish with more whipped cream or Cool Whip and a sprinkling of nutmeg, if desired.

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! I love the je ne sais quoi that the fresh nutmeg adds to this recipe – it just totally ramps up that eggnog flavor and makes this pie just as authentic as the drink itself.

This No-Bake Eggnog Cream Pie is so perfect for the holidays! Creamy, smooth vanilla & nutmeg-flavored cream pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy, impressive and a one of a kind dessert! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Just like the original, but in BITE-SIZED portions, these Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites will be the first to go anywhere you take them! Sweet, salty, smoky and sticky two-bite morsels of heaven!

Now that the holidays are here (!!!), I bet you all are super popular and have lots of parties to attend.

I moved five years ago and forgot to thank the mailman once, so I’m just thinking my invitations got lost in the mail somewhere.

BUT, since normal people have friends (right?), I’m assuming you all have lots of commitments nowadays. And most of those require you bring some kind of appetizer or dessert to share, because that’s what normal people do, yeah? Chips & salsa’s old news, and sometimes you just don’t have time to whip up something super fancy, like a quiche or tarte tatin or whatever fancy people who read Cooks Illustrated eat.

Enter: these Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites. Easy to prepare, totally unique and the perfect balance of sweet, salty and smoky. Is there anything better!?

This is a riff off of a recipe I made a few years back – Maple Caramel Bacon Crack. It’s become a huge hit and I figured I should update it with my own Rebel twist, which is why I used mini phyllo cups in place of the crescent rolls to make perfect two-bite treats. This treat is great to bring to parties because it can easily be doubled – or tripled – if need be, but it already makes 30 (which, if you’ve had the original, may not be enough for even two people!).

And I guarantee it will be the first to disappear. Is there anyone who would deny bacon slathered in a maple caramel sauce? If so, you shouldn’t be friends with them. Unless they’re vegetarian. In which case, hi, veggie friends – I love you and don’t judge you for not swooning over swine. 🙂

To make these bad boys, simply fry up some bacon – a pound to be precise. I used whatever was on sale, but I know some people have bacon preferences so use what you like: hickory-smoked, applewood-smoked, peppered, or even turkey bacon. *The only thing I will say is you should use regular-cut bacon, not thick-cut bacon, as thick-cut pieces will be too big and heavy for the delicate phyllo cups.*

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Fry the bacon until it’s just about done but not quite crispy yet – you want it a little more on the chewy side since it will be baking some more in the oven. After you chop it into tiny little bits, put it into the phyllo cups with some brown sugar and maple syrup. Sprinkle a little extra brown sugar on top and bake it until the phyllo and bacon are crispy and the maple caramel is bubbly and glossy.

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Then try to resist groaning and scarfing down the whole batch. I speak from experience.

Happy Holidays!

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
These Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites are bite-sized bits of heaven! Only 4 ingredients and SUPER easy to make. You can easily double or triple this recipe!
Ingredients
  • 2 (15 count) pkgs frozen phyllo cups (30 total)
  • 1 lb regular-cut bacon (any flavor/smoke preference, such as peppered, hickory-smoked, maple flavored, etc, but I would recommend not using thick-cut as it will be too heavy and big for the delicate phyllo cups), cut in half cross-wise
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup (I used pancake maple syrup, but real deal syrup will work)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and lightly grease it with cooking spray. Place the phyllo cups onto the baking sheet and set aside briefly.
  2. Fry the bacon in batches in a large skillet, cooking until the bacon is just about done but not crispy. The bacon should be on the chewier side, as it will continue to cook more as you bake it. Drain the bacon onto a paper towel-lined plate and let cool briefly before chopping into tiny bits.
  3. Scoop a ½ tsp of brown sugar into each phyllo cup and add a small squirt of maple syrup on top. Fill past the brim of the phyllo cup with bacon, mounding it into the cup. Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar.
  4. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until the phyllo cups and bacon are crisp and the maple caramel is bubbly and caramelized. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Sweet, salty, sticky and smoky, these bite-sized poppables are so delectable!

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing

These Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing are such a cinch to make and no one will know they started from a box! Buttery, tender muffins packed with pumpkin spice flavor and topped with a creamy maple icing. Perfect for the holidays! #ad #krusteaz

These Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing will be a hit at your Thanksgiving brunch table! No one will know that they started with a box of Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Muffin Mix!

It’s hard to believe that we’re already deep into the fall season! Thanksgiving is coming, and if you’re like me, you’re already planning your menu (or if you’re an over-achiever, you’ve got your menu planned!). I get it – Thanksgiving is a major American holiday and you want everything to be perfect, look amazing and taste even better.

But I think people (myself included) often forget about Thanksgiving breakfast. We’re all so wrapped up in the perfect dinner presentation, but we have to eat breakfast too! Whether you’re brunching or eating as you fix up the turkey, breakfast is essential, even if it’s something as small (but filling) as a Pumpkin Muffin!

These Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing are such a cinch to make and no one will know they started from a box! Buttery, tender muffins packed with pumpkin spice flavor and topped with a creamy maple icing. Perfect for the holidays! #ad #krusteazThese Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing are such a fabulous option for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. They’re hearty and loaded with pumpkin spice flavor, and the maple icing is, well, the icing on top! Fluffy, moist and tender muffins are the best kind, and Krusteaz’s Pumpkin Spice Supreme Muffin Mix makes it easy.

The best part is, you can make these the night before to free up your oven space on the day of. Store them in a basket covered with a tea towel for a pretty presentation in the morning.

These Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing are such a cinch to make and no one will know they started from a box! Buttery, tender muffins packed with pumpkin spice flavor and topped with a creamy maple icing. Perfect for the holidays! #ad #krusteazGET THE RECIPE to these Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Icing!

Happy Baking!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a brand ambassador for Krusteaz. All opinions are 100% my own and I was compensated for this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Domestic Rebel running!

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake: a buttery, moist cake filled with bright and juicy cranberries, then topped with a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar, cinnamon & walnut streusel crumb. So impressive, so easy! If you’re looking for a show-stopping Thanksgiving or Christmas Day brunch item, look no further! This Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake can be made in advance and offers a tender, moist cake with juicy cranberries and crunchy walnut streusel.

I cannot even believe that Thanksgiving is next week!

How did this happen? Wasn’t my birthday (January 24) a few weeks ago? I could have sworn I was just in Portland a week or so ago (April). And now red and green everything is being shoved in my face and I’m already hearing Taylor Swift renditions of Christmas carols. WAIT UP, WORLD. I’M STILL IN EARLY 2016.

So, I suppose this begs the question: What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Every year, I beg and kick and scream to make Thanksgiving dinner because there’s something so lovely and Norman Rockwell-y about tying on an apron, chopping veggies for stuffing and basting a glorious bird all day long. Also, I’m a control freak and like to be in charge of how things are prepared. #bossy

But every year, my grandma also kicks and screams about making Thanksgiving dinner, and since she’s a grandma and has seen like, wars and stuff, I usually let her cook the dinner but insist on bringing sides… Coincidentally, all the sides I like to eat. But as usual, she always persists that she wants to make all of it but I draw the line at desserts. My grandma – bless her – is NOT a baker by any means, and ahem, I kinda sorta have a best-selling cookbook about DESSERT so it’s kinda mandatory that I bring dessert.

Even though she still buys a frozen pie. *facepalm* Where’s the wine?

So this year, as usual, I am delegated with the task of making desserts. And of course, since I am a control freak/the world’s most indecisive person, I will make no less than 4 different pies, and probably cookies, brownies/bars, and/or a cake. Because I like having options, okay!?

But since I also don’t have any other kitchen tasks and can make all my desserts ahead of time, I’m going to surprise my family (well, unless they read this) with this Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake again.

This cake is based off of my Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake (which you absolutely NEED to make!) but made with bright, zippy cranberries and crunchy walnuts in the inch-thick brown sugar streusel, then topped with a light orange glaze.

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake: a buttery, moist cake filled with bright and juicy cranberries, then topped with a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar, cinnamon & walnut streusel crumb. So impressive, so easy! It only looks complicated because it’s kinda sorta gorgeous. But I assure you, this couldn’t be simpler: you literally let the pan do the work for you! And the star of the show today is the springform pan. It’s essential for this recipe, but if you don’t have one, a tall-sided 9″ round cake pan should work.

Now get to feasting!

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake: a buttery, moist cake filled with bright and juicy cranberries, then topped with a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar, cinnamon & walnut streusel crumb. So impressive, so easy!

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake is so impressive and surprisingly easy to make! A real showstopper for the holidays.
Ingredients
  • FOR CRUMB:
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • FOR CAKE:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • FOR GLAZE:
  • 1 & ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" round sprinform pan with cooking spray. Place a 9" parchment round in the bottom of the pan, then grease the parchment. Set aside.
  2. For the cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and sour cream; beat well. Lastly, add in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set aside.
  3. To make the streusel/crumb: In a large bowl, toss together the crumb ingredients until moistened and large crumbs form. Liberally drop crumb mixture over the cake batter, covering it completely. There will seem like a LOT of crumb, but use all of it!
  4. Bake for approx. 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  5. Just before serving, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cake, then release the cake from the pan and cut into slices.

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake: a buttery, moist cake filled with bright and juicy cranberries, then topped with a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar, cinnamon & walnut streusel crumb. So impressive, so easy! Juicy, bright cranberries. Crunchy, buttery walnut streusel. Is there anything better?!

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake: a buttery, moist cake filled with bright and juicy cranberries, then topped with a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar, cinnamon & walnut streusel crumb. So impressive, so easy! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge

This 3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge is AWESOME! Smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth DELICIOUS and tastes JUST like homemade buttercream icing! Super easy and makes great gifts!Attention all frosting fans! This Buttercream Frosting Fudge tastes just like buttercream frosting but in FUDGE form! Three-ingredients, made in minutes & so easy!

Are you a frosting person, or a vessel person?

I say ‘vessel person’ because frosting is on everything these days: cookies, cakes & cupcakes, whoopie pies, brownies…

I’m gonna be a brat right now, but why can’t we just have the vessel without frosting? Sometimes I just want a fudgy brownie with no frills. Or a sugar cookie that’s gone nudist. Or a cupcake that’s au naturel. Is that too much to ask?!

But, I know I am in the minority. Like, the minority of minorities. Because everyone loves frosting, right?!

My Mom could eat just a batch of buttercream frosting without a vessel needed – give her a spoon and the frosting and she’s happy. At kiddie birthday parties, I’d always scrape all of the frosting off of my cake and eat the plain cake, leaving that pile of sugar sludge to sit unwanted on the side until my Mom swooped in and scraped it up for herself.

So if you are like my Mom and could take an IV with a can of buttercream, you will thoroughly enjoy this Buttercream Frosting Fudge. It tastes just like buttercream frosting because it’s made with buttercream. AND! there’s only 3 ingredients, 4 if you count the sprinkles (but in my world, sprinkles don’t count as an ingredient because I put them on everything & basically carry a bottle in my purse for emergencies).

The frosting is super simple: melt a 12-ounce bag of white chocolate chips until smooth, then fold in a can of buttercream frosting – for this, I used vanilla (but of course). Fold it into the white chocolate with a splash of vanilla extract and spread the shebang into a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle the top liberally with your favorite sprinkles – I used Christmas-y ones here! – and let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours.

This 3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge is AWESOME! Smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth DELICIOUS and tastes JUST like homemade buttercream icing! Super easy and makes great gifts!Easy. As. That.

Frosting people: this one’s for you!

This 3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge is AWESOME! Smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth DELICIOUS and tastes JUST like homemade buttercream icing! Super easy and makes great gifts!

5.0 from 1 reviews
3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
This Buttercream Frosting Fudge is outstanding! It tastes JUST like buttercream frosting but in chewy, melt-in-your-mouth FUDGE form!!
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream (may not need it)
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla buttercream frosting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, if using
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" square pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large microwavable bowl, melt the white chocolate chips at 15-second increments on HIGH power until melted and smooth. If the mixture starts to get really thick and pasty, add in the cream. Do not over-heat. Alternatively, using the double-boiler method, place a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat and place a glass bowl on top, taking care to ensure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the white chocolate over the double boiler until smooth, then proceed with the recipe as stated.
  3. Fold in the vanilla extract and can of buttercream frosting until blended. Mixture will be very thick. Spread into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top. Top liberally with sprinkles.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or until firm before cutting into squares.

This 3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge is AWESOME! Smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth DELICIOUS and tastes JUST like homemade buttercream icing! Super easy and makes great gifts!Smooth, creamy, chewy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! This fudge will be the star of the show this holiday season!

This 3-Ingredient Buttercream Frosting Fudge is AWESOME! Smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth DELICIOUS and tastes JUST like homemade buttercream icing! Super easy and makes great gifts! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Easy Bourbon Balls

Easy Bourbon Balls: bite-sized truffles packed with rich and smooth bourbon flavor, crunchy pecans, and sweet cocoa. No-Bake, simple to make and would be wonderful for Christmas or holiday gifts! Everyone’s heard of rum balls, but for a different change of flavor, try these Easy Bourbon Balls! Tender, soft & chewy truffles made with Kentucky bourbon, cocoa, pecans and crushed cookies. Simple and no-bake!

Ever since becoming a food blogger, I have realized there are so many different Christmas cookie and candy recipes.

In my family, we made those refrigerated Pillsbury cookies with the little images printed on them. Or sometimes we made peanut butter blossoms. My grandma occasionally made Pecan Snowballs. But other than that, we never had fudge, fruit-cake (are we really missing out, though?), peppermint anything, Kahlua anything, homemade toffee, divinity, etc. Nothing.

The closest we came to getting fancy candies were found in those little cardboard box of chocolates. Not even Whitman’s or See’s brand… but like, dollar store truffles. Which, if you ever wondered, are so cheap tasting that they’re basically brown-flavor.

So this whole world of homemade candies, slice & bake cookies, and festively sprinkled and flavored goodies – all brand new to me. And I am loving every second of it. Because there’s only so many times you can make peanut butter blossoms, am I right?

To be fair, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this recipe. It’s a cross between a truffle and a cookie pop since it’s made with cocoa, but also made with crushed cookies. And it is extremely bourbon-y, so if you’re sensitive to alcohol or bourbon isn’t your fave, I’d definitely avoid this recipe.

But if you get crunk on bourbon, HONEY – you gotta try these. There is no mistaking that rich, amber bourbon flavor.

Easy Bourbon Balls: bite-sized truffles packed with rich and smooth bourbon flavor, crunchy pecans, and sweet cocoa. No-Bake, simple to make and would be wonderful for Christmas or holiday gifts! Of course, rum balls tend to be more widely known during this time of year, but I thought bourbon sounded even better than rum. Bourbon seems more Christmasy, and rum seems more like I need to have booked a Caribbean vacation last week. But, if you enjoy rum instead, I’m sure it’s interchangeable here.

Can we cheers to that?!

Easy Bourbon Balls: bite-sized truffles packed with rich and smooth bourbon flavor, crunchy pecans, and sweet cocoa. No-Bake, simple to make and would be wonderful for Christmas or holiday gifts! *adapted from My Recipes/Southern Living 

Easy Bourbon Balls
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24-26
 
These Easy Bourbon Balls are a wonderful no-bake treat for the holiday season! Similar to rum balls but made with rich, amber-colored bourbon instead.
Ingredients
  • 1 (11 oz) box Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, plus ⅔ cup
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup high quality bourbon
  • 3 Tbsp corn syrup
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the finely crushed Nilla Wafer cookies with the finely chopped pecans, ¾ cup of powdered sugar and the cocoa powder. Stir the corn syrup into the bourbon until blended; add to the Nilla Wafer mixture.
  2. Using a spatula, stir the mixture together until moistened and combined. Using a cookie scoop, scoop Tablespoon-sized balls of the mixture and roll them in your palms gently to smooth out. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls.
  3. Using the remaining ⅔ cup powdered sugar, coat each bourbon ball in powdered sugar. Chill for about 20-30 minutes or until set before serving. Can be stored in the fridge, covered, or at room temperature, covered.

Easy Bourbon Balls: bite-sized truffles packed with rich and smooth bourbon flavor, crunchy pecans, and sweet cocoa. No-Bake, simple to make and would be wonderful for Christmas or holiday gifts! Crunchy, chewy, soft and packed with great texture from the chopped pecans and crushed cookies, these flavorful Bourbon Balls will surely be the first to go this holiday season!

Easy Bourbon Balls: bite-sized truffles packed with rich and smooth bourbon flavor, crunchy pecans, and sweet cocoa. No-Bake, simple to make and would be wonderful for Christmas or holiday gifts!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Salted Caramel Macaroons

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! Coconut fans will love these Salted Caramel Macaroons! Tender, gooey and bursting with toasted coconut and salted caramel flavors. So easy to make, too!

I am a huge coconut lover. If there’s coconut in it, chances are I will flip for it.

I also am a lover of coconut macaroons. They are, quite possibly, one of the easiest cookies to prepare. You don’t need to chill them, you don’t need to let them rest, you don’t need to massage them gently, put cucumbers over their eyes and whisper “it’s going to be okay” to them. You seriously just mix the ingredients all at once in one single bowl, portion them out, bake and… eat!

So why don’t I make macaroons more often? BECAUSE I AM LAME, THAT’S WHY. But seriously, I think it’s because I maybe subconsciously think that because they’re so easy, like maybe the recipe is a cop-out? I don’t want y’all to think I’m pulling a fast one on ya or anything.

But truthfully, I need to make more iterations of coconut macaroons because they will definitely be the star of your holiday cookie trays. So, ya know, you can finally be the one with the best-tasting cookies at Milly’s annual cookie party this year. (Watch your back, Milly).

And another thing – the idea of these macaroons came to me suddenly when I realized you can (and should!) use dulce de leche in place of the sweetened condensed milk in my macaroon recipe. WHY HAVEN’T I THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE?! To be frank, it’s kinda genius.

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! If you can’t find dulce de leche, Borden/Eagle Brand now makes CARAMEL sweetened condensed milk, so use that! They also make a chocolate condensed milk, but for today’s recipe, salted caramel steals the show.

Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving!

Salted Caramel Macaroons
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Salted Caramel Macaroons are a simple, stunning cookie that takes no time at all! No chilling, no mixer required, one bowl. Easy peasy! If you cannot find dulce de leche, you can find caramel-flavored sweetened condensed milk that can be used in its place.
Ingredients
  • 5 & ½ cups shredded coconut
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 (13 oz) can dulce de leche (or caramel-flavored sweetened condensed milk)
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, flour, vanilla and almond extracts and dulce de leche. Stir together with a rubber spatula until combined and moistened.
  3. Drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheets, about 1" apart. Using wet fingers, gently push any wonky edges into the cookie so it's perfectly round; this will prevent those wonky edges from browning too quickly or burning. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sea salt.
  4. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until golden and lightly toasted. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! Pure, unadulterated caramel flavor is what you’ll get in these tender, buttery, gooey and chewy macaroons!

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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