Strawberry Marshmallow Cookie Cups {Happy 4th Bloggiversary To Me!}

Strawberry Marshmallow Cookie CupsSo, I totally did something dumb.

I missed my own blog’s birthday!

Seriously, how this happened, I don’t know. Actually, I do know: it’s because I was sick, I was busy planning my own birthday, and because I am lame and forget minor details like the DAY IN WHICH MY BLOG WAS BORN.

In other words, I’m a terrible blogger. #loserstatus

It’s hard to believe that four years ago, I created this little space in the interwebs. I just wanted to post pictures of my frilly, fun-flavored cupcakes and had no idea that I would garner so much attention, meet so many wonderful people, create so many delicious things, and make blogging my full-time job in just four years.

It’s been a long road, but a very fun one. Sometimes this job feels like work, but most of the time it’s hilariously fun and I pinch myself since it’s still unbelievable to me that this is my life.

So what I’m trying to say without being super mushy-gooey is, thank you for making this blog what it is. Thank you for being so supportive, so loyal, so loving and so interested in my silly stories and wacky recipes. Thank you for liking, commenting and pinning the living ‘ish outta my stuff. Thank you for being here!

DSC_0895ASeeing as I forgot, I don’t have a sparkly, sprinkly post lined up, but I *do* have some ultra-delish cookie cups for you to enjoy! These bad boys are sweet sugar cookie cups filled with creamy white chocolate and are topped with a strawberry heart marshmallow. They’re sweet, simple, and totally perfect to celebrate this bloggiversary and for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday!

I love you! Now eat your heart (cookie cup) out!


Strawberry Marshmallow Cookie Cups {Happy 4th Bloggiversary To Me!}
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
Adorable, petite cookie cups filled with creamy white chocolate and topped with gooey strawberry marshmallows. These little bites are perfect for Valentine's Day!
  • 1 pkg refrigerated sugar cookie dough (24 count), at room temperature
  • About 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 24 Kraft Jet-Puffed Strawberry Heart Marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 24-cavity miniature muffin pan with cooking spray. Take one dough ball and gently flatten with your hand, then place into the muffin cavity to fit. Repeat with remaining dough.
  2. Bake the cookie cups for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Remove from the oven. Allow the cookie cups to cool for about 5 minutes, then using the handle of a wooden spoon, create small indents in the center of each cup, careful not to puncture the cup. Fill with a pinch of white chocolate chips in each cup's well.
  3. Immediately top the cups with a single marshmallow. Allow the cups to set for another 15 minutes or so before gently removing them from the pan with a knife. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. These are best served at room temperature, or lightly warmed up before eating.

DSC_0904ACute, pink, festive and delicious! Valentine’s treats don’t get easier than these sweet 3-ingredient treats!

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

Chocolate Cherry Seven Layer Bars

ChocolateCherryI will never understand super touchy people. You know the ones who always feel the need to touch you, hold you, hug you, pick at you… whether they know you or not?

As a teenager with Day-Glo colored neon hair, I was constantly being touched by random strangers. Picking out apples in the grocery store, I suddenly felt hands on my hair and turned to see a woman inspecting my hair to see if it was real or a wig. Um, excuse me? Or just the random people who seemingly couldn’t believe that real hair could exist in colors like that, so they’d just reach out and pet me like some kind of rare zoo animal.

And while I’ve never been pregnant, I have heard horror stories of mothers-to-be mentioning random people rubbing their bellies in public places as if the mother was some kind of magical Buddha. This ain’t no Chinese restaurant, and your fortune says to kindly eff off. Don’t touch my belly!

…I certainly don’t want anyone touching my muffin top and mistaking it for a child. I don’t know what would be more mortifying.

But yesterday I was in ULTA waiting in a mile-long line when I felt something on my head. I must preface this by saying that I loathe long hair on me. Like, super-duper hate it. One, because I am really low-maintenance with my hair. Like, I don’t even own a hair dryer and I wash it about twice a week. And two, because of my major-lax attitude about my hair, I don’t brush it. Say what you will, cringe if you please, but I loathe brushing it. And YES, I do have an appointment to get it cut, thankyouverymuch. I’m kinda-sorta counting down the minutes if we’re being honest, and I’ve come thisclose to shaving it off myself.

SO. That being said, I was minding my own damn jolly business when I felt something on my head. I quickly reached up to touch the back of my hair and was greeted with a hand. A HAND ON MY HEAD. I spun around and the woman behind me looked at me sheepishly and said, “you know you have a knot in your hair, so I was trying to get it out for you.”

So here I was, standing in line with arms full of beauty products, listening to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You for the 876th time, while a strange woman picked out the rat’s nest in the back of my head. It was both humiliating and irksome at the same time, which is a delightful combination of emotions if you weren’t sure. I had to politely tell the lady to PLEASE stop picking apart my dreadlocks because A) we are not apes picking bugs out of one another’s fur, and B) because really? There’s polite, and then there’s psychotic… and she surely wasn’t being the former.

And it was with that that I came home with my dreadlock and held it close. We may have our differences, but I’ll be damned if someone assault’s my dreadlocks in an ULTA line.

DSC_0087AAnywho. Let’s talk food, specifically these outrageous seven layer bars. You guys know me and my seven layer/magic bars. I love them. There’s something so irresistible about seven layers of glorious goodness within each bite, and I love coming up with brand new flavor combinations… including this one! I’m a big chocolate + cherry fan, and these bars are for all those chocoholic cherry lovers out there. Packed with multiple layers of bright, sweet cherries and rich, creamy chocolate, they’re the epitome of decadence in one gooey, bite-sized bar!

This is one instance where it’s totally okay to get touchy-feely. Pick away!!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cherry Seven Layer Bars
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
Rich and gooey, these Chocolate Cherry Seven Layer Bars have bursts of bright, sweet cherry flavor throughout!
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 pkg Nestle Tollhouse Cherry Delight-Fulls Morsels
  • 1 cup cherry morsels (by LogHouse Foods)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg Andes Chocolate Cherry candies, chopped
  • 1 & ½ cups Hershey's Cherry Cordial Kisses, chopped
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
  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 with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, and oil until a soft dough has formed. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan and bake for approx. 12 minutes. Remove from the oven but keep the oven on. Evenly top with the assorted chips and chopped candies; drizzle evenly with the sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 18-20 minutes or until the bars are bubbly and the center appears to be just about set. It may wiggle slightly; that's okay -- it will continue to set up as it cools.
  4. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares. I recommend cooling them overnight for extra time to set up. You can also pop in the fridge to speed up cooling time, but allow to come to room temperature to cut. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature, and garnish slices with chocolate sauce and cherries if you'd like.

DSC_0101ADuuuuuuuuuuude. These are rockin’!

FYI – cherry morsels, cherry cordial Hershey’s Kisses and Andes Cherry Cordial Candies can typically be found during the Christmas season and sometimes Valentine’s Day. If you like these candies, stock up now since they tend to be seasonal. Nestle TollHouse Delight-Fulls are available yearround in the baking aisle next to the other chocolate chips.

Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley



Super Simple 2-Ingredient Turtles

2 Ingredient TurtlesYou guuuuyyyyyysssss. These turtles. I can’t even.

Most recipes on the interwebs feature three or four-ingredient turtles, and that’s totally cool. But if you’re like me, you kinda sorta get a little pissy whenever you have to rinse out a sticky caramel pot or when you have to pry hardened chocolate off of a spoon. Like seriously, I would love to have a live-in permanent dishwasher. It would be AWESOME, and I would pay them entirely in treats.

But since I haven’t made it yet (at least to the caliber of hiring staff), I’ll have to settle with cutting out the middle man by using Rolo candies instead of your traditional caramel squares and melting chocolate. Rolos take the guess-work and fuss out of making homemade candy since you simply upwrap them and melt them for a delightful treat! No sticky bowls, no frustrated dishwashers. Easy-peasy, yo.

DSC_0143AAnd if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can always roll these poppable, addictive treats in sprinkles like I did for a festive touch. These really could not be simpler to make and hellooooo, no dishes equals a happy Hayley.

(Oh, and if you’re lookin’ for work, I *do* have a sink full of dishes at the moment soo… inquire within) :)


5.0 from 1 reviews
Super Simple 2-Ingredient Turtles
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
These two-ingredient turtles are the EASIEST candies you'll ever make! Roll the melted chocolate edges in sprinkles for a festive touch that looks great any time of year.
  • Rolos, unwrapped
  • Pecan Halves (I like using Diamond of California Shelled Pecans)
  • Sprinkles, if desired
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Place a pecan half down on the prepared baking sheet and very gently top it with an unwrapped Rolo candy. The pecan halves can be a little teeter-tottery, but try to balance them or choose flatter pecans as best as you can. There's no right or wrong way!
  2. Once the pecans have been topped with the Rolos, very carefully place the pan in the oven for about 2-3 minutes or until the Rolo candies are shiny but not melted. Remove from the oven and gently press another pecan half on top of each Rolo, sandwiching them slightly. Allow the turtles to cool for about 10 minutes before rolling the sides in sprinkles if you'd like. Otherwise, allow the turtles to set completely before serving or packaging. This recipe can make as many or as few turtles as you'd like.

DSC_0139AI love the spirited touch of the Christmas-colored sprinkles rolled around each candy; it makes them look more special and like you spent all day making these fabulous turtle candies! No one will guess they are just two simple, everyday ingredients and these make fantastic gifts for friends and family!

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley


Sugar Cookie Seven Layer Bars

Sugar Cookie Seven Layer BarsAs a slightly insane food blogger, it’s my civic duty to report to you guys about the latest food products on the market.

So without further adieu, FRENCH TOAST CRUNCH CEREAL IS BACK!!! 

If I could somehow scream this through a megaphone, you bet your cute booty I would. I am so excited, people. I’ve waited years for this glorious reunion of miniature toast-shaped cereal flavored with maple and cinnamon.

But while on the hunt for this iconic 90’s throwback, I stumbled upon some other doozy products I just had to buy… AKA, what happens every time I shop at Target. (No wonder I’m always so broke).

First up: Sugar Cookie PopTarts. I mean, really? It’s like the folks at PopTarts just get me, you know? Shoving sugar cookie dough inside of a pastry and calling it breakfast… if only I could get a guy to think the same philosophy and I’ll put a ring on it.

Next: Sugar Cookie Peeps. I know Peeps are a love-it-or-leave-it food, but I happen to love them. Along with Sugar Cookie, I also spotted Hot Chocolate, Red Velvet (!!) and Peppermint. Yes, jump in my cart and take my damn money.

But after pushing my cart full of sugar cookie Peeps & PopTarts around, an idea gave birth in mah brain. What about Sugar Cookie Seven Layer Bars?! It was a brilliant idea that had to happen… and that was promptly eaten in one sitting. Sorrynotsorry.

DSC_1527A{BTW, every Christmas my mom begs me to make sugar cookie cut-outs with royal icing. Well, royal icing gives me the heeby jeebies and after numerous failed attempts, has made me moderately homicidal, so we compromised with these bars that pack the sugar cookie punch without the hassle of cut-outs and royal icing murder.}



5.0 from 2 reviews
Sugar Cookie Seven Layer Bars
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
Seven layers of sugar cookie heaven, packed into one glorious bar! No need to hassle over cut-out sugar cookies since these pack the sugar cookie punch in a convenient cookie bar that everyone will love.
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 5 Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts
  • 1 (12-cookie count) pkg refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • About 12 baked sugar cookies, roughly chopped
  • 2 pkgs Sugar Cookie Peeps, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Sugar, for sprinkling on top (optional)
  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. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, melted butter and vanilla until a soft dough has formed. Spread the dough into the prepared pan in an even layer and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven but keep the oven on. Gently lay the Pop Tarts across the surface of the dough in an even layer, breaking Pop Tarts to fit if needed. Top the Pop Tarts layer with pieces of sugar cookie dough, the chopped sugar cookies, the chopped Peeps candies, and the white chocolate chips as evenly as possible. Drizzle evenly with the sweetened condensed milk.
  4. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 18-20 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the center appears just about set. Sprinkle with additional sugar if desired. Cool in the pan completely, then gently lift the bars out of the pan using the foil sides and cut into squares. I like letting my bars sit overnight for an easier cut.

DSC_1530AAll that’s missing is a HUGE frosty glass of milk! These are the ultimate for sugar cookie lovers… so much sugar cookie goodness packed into one petite, fabulous bar!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting

GingerbreadCupcakesI’ve decided that I’m never shopping at Target again, because every time I do, something mortally embarrassing happens.

Like the time I told the cashier I was going to eat Oreos naked (wrong context). Or the time my mom was my wing-woman.

ANYWHO. A couple days ago I was in the big red bulls-eye when the sparkly, frilly, feathery wonders of the little girls clothing section drew me in. Since I’m buddy-buddy with Dorothy’s kiddo Jordan, I figured I’d find her some can’t-live-without glitter-smothered dress for Christmas and began my search. As I was knee-deep in sparkles and sequins and loving every minute of it, an employee approached me and asked if I needed any help.

A simple enough question, but for me to answer it? Oh lawdddd have mercy.

I could have simply said, “yes, I’m fine, thanks.” But instead I said, “Yes, I’m okay. I’m just looking right now. I mean, I don’t even own a child, so I’m not sure why I’m here, but I’m okay, thanks.”

Seriously. Don’t even own a child. OWN. I said “own.” What in god’s name is wrong with me?

The employee kind of looked at me strangely and did one of those awkward polite chuckles, but I knew she was probably making secret signals to the surveillance cameras to get a closer look at me so they could put me on some kind of Crazy Person List as the lady who doesn’t “own” kids and who shops in the children’s department just ’cause. *sigh*


DSC_0150ASo after realizing I’m a weirdo, I left and went home to bake cupcakes. Cupcakes make everything better, even if you are on Target’s blacklist for being a creeper. Thankfully, cupcakes aren’t judgmental and they are a really scrumptious way to feel better about your shortcomings. These Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting certainly do the trick and are so festive for the upcoming Christmas holiday!

Now get to eating, you weirdo!

DSC_0149A *adapted from my Gingerbread Cupcakes, in the archives

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16-18
Soft, spicy gingerbread cupcakes are topped with a sinfully light and fluffy vanilla bean marshmallow frosting that's to-die for! These irresistible Christmas cupcakes are every bit as delicious as they are festive.
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or substitute vanilla extract)
  • ¼ cup cream or milk
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • Gingerbread Sprinkles and Cookies, for optional garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 16 paper liners and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, ginger, cinnamon and allspice with an electric mixer until blended, about 2 minutes.
  2. Evenly distribute the batter among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ths full. You should have roughly around 16 cupcakes.
  3. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake comes back clean or with moist crumbs. Cool the cupcakes completely.
  4. To make the frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, marshmallow creme, and vanilla bean paste until blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, then stream in the milk or cream to help thin the frosting out, adding more milk or cream as needed. Frosting should be light and fluffy.
  5. Fill a piping bag attached with a large open star tip with the frosting. Pipe high onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with gingerbread men sprinkles and a gingerbread cookie if desired. Serve immediately or store cookies airtight at room temperature or in the fridge. Note that the cookies on top will get softer with time, especially in the fridge, so if you're planning on storing them for a later time I would garnish with the cookies right before serving.

DSC_0160AThe Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting is the perfect light, sweet and fluffy accompaniment to these spicy, irresistible gingerbread cupcakes! Nothing is more festive or fabulous for the holiday season!

Hope you have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley


Gingerbread Cookie Dough Cups

GingerbreadCookieDoughCupsTo me, there are three flavors synonymous with the holidays: eggnog, peppermint, and gingerbread.

While I’ve always had an affinity with peppermint, eggnog and gingerbread took awhile to get used to. As a kid, I wanted to like them so badly. Eggnog just seemed so cool – like something suave businesswomen in turtleneck pantsuits would drink (it was the 90s) but I just couldn’t stomach it; it reminded me of melted ice cream but not in a good way. And gingerbread, of course, for all the gingerbread home construction that I’d build during this magical time of year. But demolishing said house? I went for the candy and abandoned the stale frame behind.

But as an adult, I realized I actually enjoy all of these flavors (and none of the turtleneck pantsuits). Eggnog is best enjoyed, in my opinion, in moderation, such as a glaze on a cake or a sip here and there (spiked because hello, it’s the holidays and how else am I supposed to be so jolly?). And gingerbread, because I finally left those terrible, crumbly gingerbread cookie homes behind and had real-deal, chewy, perfectly spiced gingerbread cookies that totally assuaged my stale-cookie nightmares.

And now, gingerbread is a must during the holidays. Whether you prefer your cookies soft and chewy, or thinner and crispy, I think everyone can agree that one of the best parts of this Christmastime classic is the cookie dough. But then again, isn’t that the case with all cookies? :)

DSC_0203ACookie dough is one of my favorite treats and I combined my love for the sweet, uncooked batter with my newfound love for gingerbread to create these fabulous, sweet-and-spicy Gingerbread Cookie Dough Cups. Kinda like peanut butter cups, but surrounded by smooth white chocolate and filled with a decadent, perfectly spiced gingerbread cookie dough. These sweet, poppable cups are then topped with a small sprinkling of dried ginger which offers an irresistible pop of flavor atop these festive treats.

Both my cookie dough and the dried ginger garnish come from Gourmet Garden, the folks behind those oh-so convenient squeezable tubes of fresh herbs and spices. Gourmet Garden knows that not everyone has time or money to buy a fresh bunch of herbs for a single recipe. More than likely, the herbs will spoil before you have a chance to use them! But Gourmet Garden has created these convenient squeeze tubes filled with your favorite herbs and spices to make cooking and baking a breeze — and no more dreaded garlic fingers! Simply squeeze the amount of herbs or spices needed into your recipe and voila! No mess, no waste. It’s that simple — and the fresh pop of color and flavor added to the dishes is outstanding.

DSC_0206AGourmet Garden just released their new line of Lightly Dried Spices for your cooking needs. The Lightly Dried Line is the closest thing to fresh you’ll get in appearance, flavor, and aroma and they stay fresh for 4 weeks after opening. From cilantro to ginger, parsley to chili pepper and basil, Gourmet Garden has your herbs and spices covered to ensure a perfectly flavorful dish in no time.

…And speaking of flavorful… just look at these cups! They’re just bursting with that sweet gingerbread dough and smooth white chocolate. If this doesn’t scream “Christmas” I don’t know what does!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Cookie Dough Cups
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
Perfectly spiced gingerbread cookie dough is enrobed around sweet white chocolate and topped with dried ginger for these refined yet utterly delicious candy cups!
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Gourmet Garden Ginger Stir-In Paste
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg Vanilla CandiQuik or white chocolate candy coating
  • Approx. 5 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Ginger, for garnish
  1. Line a miniature muffin pan with approx. 30 miniature paper liners. Set aside. Meanwhile, melt HALF of the white chocolate coating according to package directions or until smooth and melted.
  2. Drop heaping teaspoons or so of melted white chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner. Using the spoon, gently brush the white chocolate along the sides of the muffin cup about halfway. Allow the chocolate to set.
  3. To make your cookie dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar and molasses until combined. Beat in vanilla, milk and ginger paste. Lastly, beat in the spices and flour until a soft dough has formed.
  4. Roll scant teaspoon-sized balls of dough with your fingers and place them, slightly flattened, into the white chocolate cups. Once the cups are filled with all of the cookie dough, melt the remaining white chocolate. Drop heaping Tablespoons of white chocolate on top of each cookie dough ball, ensuring the balls are covered completely by the white chocolate on the top and sides. Sprinkle the tops of the cups with the dried ginger, and allow to set before serving.

DSC_0215AI love the spicy, aromatic flavor ginger lends to this recipe. Both the Ginger Paste and the Lightly Dried Ginger add such a tremendous amount of freshness and warmth to these unique and festive cookie cups! If you’d like, you could also top the cookie dough cups with a sprinkling of festive holiday sprinkles or jimmies as well.

Gourmet Garden brandmarkBe sure to connect with Gourmet Garden to learn more about their company, product line, news, and more! You can follow them on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM for more delicious recipes, tips and more, including great Holiday Baking inspiration like this!

And be sure to check out other amazing Holiday Baking Recipes from friends featuring Gourmet Garden!!

Hope you have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with samples of Gourmet Garden’s Products to review and develop a recipe. All opinions are, and always will be, my own. 

The BEST Snowball Cookies {Or Russian Tea Cakes. Or Mexican Wedding Cookies}

SnowballCookiesAs I’ve mentioned before, no one cooked in my family while I was growing up. We had a very small handful of “family recipes” that were rarely cooked. The rest of the time, it was all about meals of convenience. I grew to love the ladies in the Carl’s Jr drive through.

And while I hate to point fingers buuuuuut my grandma was typically the worst cook of them all. And she actually liked cooking; she just stunk at doing it.

Like the time she microwaved a Wendy’s cheeseburger inside of its foil wrapper. I warned her that foil + microwave = flammable disaster, but she continued to microwave that death trap until it exploded into a predictable burst of char-grilled burger flames.

Or the time she brought us a plate of marshmallow brownies. I distinctly remember opening the door and seeing the paper plate filled with gooey, marshmallow-studded brownies and I could actually feel my eyes light up like a cartoon character. As I took a bite, anticipating the sweet, luscious goo from the marshmallow pockets, I was instantly greeted with a terrible punch in the taste buds that contorted my face into the most hideous expression imaginable that mimicked the pain I was feeling all over. That wasn’t marshmallow — it was sour cream. And grandma, bless her terrible-chef heart, neglected to stir the sour cream into the batter properly, leaving pockets of the rancid tang throughout the precious brownies.

Not to mention the countless rolls that have been torched, cookies that turned Cajun, and grilled cheese sandwiches that were topped with *shudder* mayonnaise. Like, I’m still scarred.

HOWEVER. Grandma did do something right, and that was her Snowball Cookies. In our house, we call them Snowballs, but you may know them as Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies. Same difference! They’re all irresistibly tender pecan cookies rolled in powdered sugar and they taste like heaven. And if we’re being honest, they’re actually my favorite cookie ever. Like, ever-ever. I could eat an entire batch without so much blinking, they’re that much of a favorite to me! And Christmas isn’t Christmas without them.


DSC_1475AWhile this is not my grandma’s recipe (frankly, she hasn’t made her cookies in years and I think it’s probably from a magazine), it is my favorite Snowball Cookie recipe EVER. It yields the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth, divine cookies, studded with pecans and a hint of vanilla in every bite. It makes a little over two dozen, which is excellent if you’re gifting them off (and not so much if you’re eating them all like me). You can also adapt these to make them more personalized, like by using more cinnamon inside to spice them up, adding a hint of orange zest, or rolling them in cocoa powder instead. The choice is yours!

Just… don’t use sour cream. That’s simply unforgivable.


*recreated from this recipe from my archives

5.0 from 1 reviews
The BEST Snowball Cookies {Or Russian Tea Cakes. Or Mexican Wedding Cookies}
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25
These are the EASIEST, most tender, melt-in-your-mouth Snowball Cookies you'll EVER have! Whether you call them Snowballs, Mexican Wedding or Russian Tea Cakes, your entire family is sure to love this phenomenal Christmastime classic.
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ⅛ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 2 cups ground pecans (I use Diamond of California Pecan Bits, then grind them further)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, white and brown sugars until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon to combine. Lastly, add in the ground pecans and the flour until the dough comes together. The dough may be crumbly; that's okay -- just try your best to bring everything together into one soft, cohesive dough.
  3. Using a cookie dough scoop, roll Tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place them about 1" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for approx. 10-13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure an even cook. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for about 10 minutes or until cooler to the touch. Immediately roll the cookies into powdered sugar to coat, and place the cookies to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  4. Once cookies are cooled, send them through another light roll in the powdered sugar for a second coat. Then serve! Cookies can be stored airtight at room temperature for up to a week.

DSC_1481AI cannot reiterate how MUCH I LOVE these cookies! You won’t find a recipe for cookies this tender, soft, or perfectly spiced anywhere else! I hope you enjoy!

SnowballHave a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley


Twinkie Trees & Ding Dong Ornaments (& A #HostessHoliday Sweeps!)

“This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Hostess blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.”

TwinkieTreesSo let’s get one thing straight, shall we? I love me some Hostess! Growing up, I was pretty much on a strict Twinkie-a-day diet… and they’re still one of my absolute favorite guilty-pleasure foods!

And if there’s one thing I love more than Hostess Snacks, it’s transforming these classic cakes into fantastic, delicious desserts that use Hostess products as the base. I’ve made Tiramisu and Truffles using Twinkies, and now I’m making Christmas trees and ornaments! (And between you and me, these may be my favorite Twinkie and Ding Dong treats yet!)

If there’s one memory from the holidays that I love, it’s the times I would decorate cookies and gingerbread houses with my family. We’d play Elvis Christmas music and sprinkle, frost, dip and eat to our heart’s content. Decorating these Hostess Snacks brought me back to my childhood and instantly reminded me of the fun I had decorating, and the best part: eating my masterpiece after it was all said & done :) But whether or not you eat these immediately or keep them around a little bit as a gorgeous, unexpected (edible) centerpiece or star of the dessert table is totally up to you!

First up, let’s talk Twinkie Trees. Aren’t they adorable?!

Twinkie1For these, simply slide a cake pop or lollipop stick into an unwrapped Twinkie. The Twinkie is the perfect vertical vessel for these picture-perfect chocolate trees. Freeze the Twinkies while you make your trees using green candy coating, sprinkles and other assorted candies — this is the most fun part for the kids! You could make your trees bright and colorful like I did, or use simpler colors like sparkling silver or gold, for something more classic and refined. Then simply squiggle on some leftover candy melts directly onto the Twinkie, attach the tree, and voila! Easy as pie.. er, as Twinkie. :)


DingDong1As for the Ding Dong Ornaments? Simple!

DSC_1582APop some unwrapped Ding Dongs into the freezer to harden a bit. Once they’re nice and solid, melt some white candy coating and give the Ding Dongs a nice, hot bath in the white chocolate coating. Lift them out to allow excess coating to drip off, then return them to a baking sheet to decorate! Attach a Rolo candy for the top of the ornament, then use candies and sprinkles to create magical, one-of-a-kind ornaments that you can eat! 

Are you hungry yet?!


4.9 from 7 reviews
Twinkie Trees & Ding Dong Ornaments (& A #HostessHoliday Sweeps!)
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
These adorable Twinkie Trees and Ding Dong Ornaments are simple to make and taste fabulous! Wow your guests with these impressive treats that are a blast to make with the kids!
  • Hostess Twinkies
  • Green Candy Coating/Candy Melts
  • Assorted Sprinkles and Candies (like Mini M&M's)
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Hostess Ding Dongs
  • White Candy Coating (like CandiQuik)
  • Assorted Sprinkles and Candies (like Mini M&M's)
  • Rolo Candies
  2. Gently slide a lollipop stick into the bottom of an unwrapped Twinkie about ½ way through. Place the Twinkie pops onto a foil-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer until firm, about 1-2 hours.
  3. While the Twinkies firm up, make your trees. Melt the green candy coating according to package directions, until smooth & melted. Place the melted green candy into a piping bag attached with a small circular tip, or in a squeeze bottle (recommended). Pipe Christmas-tree shapes onto a piece of wax paper, then fill them in with the green candy coating. Use a toothpick to smooth out the trees or add more definition and texture. Immediately top with candies, sprinkles, etc. to decorate the trees. Allow the trees to harden, then gently peel off from the wax paper. *Note: you could trace tree shapes onto the wax paper prior to piping to help with a uniform shape. Consider using a tree-shaped cookie cutter to help act as a template.
  4. Once Twinkies are firm, pipe the remaining green candy coating on top of the Twinkie lengthwise. Gently attach the Christmas tree to the Twinkie and allow it to set.
  6. Place unwrapped Ding Dongs onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in freezer to briefly firm up the Ding Dongs, about 1 hour.
  7. Melt the white chocolate candy coating according to package directions, or until smooth and melted. Dunk the Ding Dongs completely into the melted white chocolate, then lift up the Ding Dongs with a fork and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on the baking sheet. Attach a Rolo to the top of the ornament, and use candies and sprinkles to decorate the ornament to your liking. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.


If you thought eating these adorable creations was the best part, you’re in for an extra-sweet treat! Hostess is hosting a #HostessHolidaySweeps Pinterest Sweepstakes! All you have to do is enter Hostess’ fabulous Pinterest Sweepstakes HERE to win fantastic prizes, including Hostess Products and up to $1,000! (Hint: $1,000 can buy a lot of Zingers…) Be sure to follow Hostess on PINTEREST to see beautiful tablescape, decorating and baking ideas for the holidays & more!

And you can also enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win $100 to Walmart, where I found all of my Hostess products and whom I think has the largest selection of Hostess Snacks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Stay Connected with Hostess

You can also follow them on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, TUMBLR, & YOUTUBE for more great ideas, recipes, news & more!

Have a super sweet day!!

xo, Hayley


Peppermint Crunch Pretzels

Peppermint Crunch PretzelsYou guys.

These pretzels are everything. And I know I throw around “everything” a lot, but duuude. These are forrealsies

DSC_1559AI, for one, am a huuuuuge peppermint fiend. The second Target breaks out the Peppermint Kisses, I’m buying five bags and polishing them off like it’s my day job.

And while cleaning out all the peppermint goodies at Target, I happened upon a bag of peppermint pretzels. But unfortunately, those pretzels are a huuuuuge letdown, much like glitter nail polish and this season of American Horror Story. They claim they’re peppermint pretzels, but there only minimally dusted with a vaguely-minty peppermint powder. Low blow, bro. Where’s my peppermint?!

DSC_1557AThese pretzels, however, are not chintzy with the peppermint. They’re loaded with the stuff: both peppermint chips and crushed candy canes. And they’re double-coated in chocolate for an extra special treat. Plus, the sweet-and-salty flavor combo is just out of control, people. Just don’t be mad at me when you polish off an entire batch before the opening credits begin rolling for the latest Freak Show episode [which, by the way, I’m still so bitter that Twisty’s gone!]

Now who’s ready for the best snack ever?!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Peppermint Crunch Pretzels
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Sweet and salty, these Peppermint Crunch Pretzels are heavy on the peppermint and deliciousness! Topped with peppermint chips and crushed candy cane, and coated in two types of chocolate, they are as addictive as they are scrumptious!
  • 1 bag Pretzel Thins (regular flavor)
  • 1 pkg Chocolate CandiQuik
  • ¼ pkg Vanilla CandiQuik
  • 1 & ½ cups Andes Peppermint Chips
  • 1 cup crushed candy cane pieces
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone liner and set aside. Melt the Chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions, or until smooth & melted.
  2. Dip each pretzel thin into the chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Return the pretzel to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining pretzels. Allow the chocolate to set.
  3. Once the chocolate shell has set, melt the Vanilla CandiQuik according to package directions, or until smooth & melted. Once melted, pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle or a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped off. Pipe the white chocolate liberally all over the pretzels. Immediately sprinkle with the peppermint chips and crushed candy canes.
  4. Allow the pretzels to set before breaking apart (if needed) and serving. Store leftovers airtight.

DSC_1564AIf you’re more of a creme de menthe fan, these would be equally badass with regular Andes Mint Chips and a melty green drizzle instead… but I just love the red pop of color and the buttery, minty flavor of peppermint with the pretzels. So divine!

Have a sweet Sunday!

xo, Hayley

Love Peppermint? Check out these other super-fresh recipes! 

PeppermintBarkCupsPeppermint Bark Cheesecake Cookie Cups

peppermint7layer Peppermint Seven Layer Bars

whitechocpeppermintWhite Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Peppermint Bark Nilla Bites & Turtle Ritzwiches: Host A Cookie Swap with Nabisco!

Cookie ExchangeHoliday season is officially HERE and with all the craziness, it’s easy to let it slip by you without even realizing it!

One day you’re having a work party, the next your kid’s class is putting on a craft fair. Then there’s that make-your-own-kahlua event on Saturday, a cookie exchange on Sunday, and by the time you blink, it’s Christmas. I feel your pain. And when it comes to cookie exchanges, it’s easy to get a little flustered. What if someone else brings what you are? What should you even make? Do you even have time to bake something?! But before you get your mistletoe in a bunch, hear me out!

The friendly folks at NABISCO and I have teamed up to ease your cookie swap qualms with these fantastic, EASY recipes featuring two of their most popular products: Nilla Wafers and Ritz Crackers! Because these are SO simple to whip up, no one will know that the most difficult part of these recipes was preheating the oven :) And because the ingredients are easy-peasy, you can make as many or as little as you need to — though I definitely err on the side of caution myself and always make a full batch (that, and I’m notorious for snacking while baking!)

Peppermint Bark BitesFirst up: Peppermint Bark Nilla Bites! Nilla Wafers are so delicious on their own, but when sandwiched around a peppermint bark candy, they become simply irresistible! The vanilla and peppermint are such a winning flavor duo, and then I went and coated everything in a luscious white-and-milk chocolate marbled mixture for a little flair and added scrumptiousness.

Turtle RitzwichesAnd last but not least, Turtle Ritzwiches! These taste just like turtle candies but without all the fuss. The secret? Chocolate-caramel candies nestled in between two buttery Ritz crackers, smothered with chocolate and then garnished with a single pecan and a drizzle of caramel. No need to break out the candy thermometer for this one (thank goodness, because candy thermometers frighten me deeply).

I LOVE that no one will know my holiday cookie shortcuts when I bring a heaping platter of these scrumptious cookie options! Using NABISCO products as the base for your recipes will not only be an awesome time-saver, but you know they’ll taste delicious since they start with NABISCO favorites like Honey Maid, Oreo, Ritz, Nilla Wafers, and many more!

So… are you ready to impress Santa with these treats or what?!

Peppermint Bark Nilla Bites & Turtle Ritzwiches: Host A Cookie Swap with Nabisco!
Recipe Type: Cookies
Author: Hayley Parker, The Domestic Rebel
Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Sweet and minty Peppermint Bark Nilla Bites and rich and gooey Turtle Ritzwiches make for easy and impressive holiday cookie exchange options. Simply melt candies in between each NABISCO cookie or cracker, coat in chocolate, garnish, and voila! The hardest part is trying not to eat them all yourself!

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Chocolate Caramel Candies (like Rolos)
  • Pecan Halves
  • Chocolate Bark (like CandiQuik)
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Peppermint Bark Candies (like Dove Simple Pleasures)
  • Vanilla Chocolate Bark (like CandiQuik)
  • Crushed Candy Canes

  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner while you preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Lay out a single layer of Ritz Crackers. Top each Ritz Cracker with a single, unwrapped chocolate-caramel candy.
  3. Bake the crackers for approx. 3-4 minutes or until the candies are shiny and glossy. Immediately top each candy with another Ritz Cracker. Allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, dip them into the melted chocolate CandiQuik. Top each cookie with a single pecan half and drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve!
  5. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner. Lay the Nilla Wafers evenly in a single layer onto the sheet, flat side UP. Top each Nilla Wafer with a single, unwrapped peppermint bark candy.
  6. Bake the cookies for approx. 3-4 minutes or until the tops are shiny and glossy. Remove from the oven and immediately top with another Nilla Wafer, rounded side UP. Gently press down to adhere. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
  7. Dip the cooled cookies into the Vanilla CandiQuik, covering them completely. If the chocolate from the inside of the Nilla Wafer cookies seeps into the vanilla CandiQuik, all the better for a swirled, marbled pattern. Place the chocolate-dipped cookies back onto the sheet and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve!


DSC_1350AThese fantastic cookies could not be simpler to make! As you may have noticed, there are no measurements on any of these recipes so you can choose to make as many or as little as you’d like! Easy, affordable, and oh-so-scrumptious, I guarantee these will fly off the cookie banquet table in no time!

For more awesome holiday baking and savory recipes, be sure to visit NABISCO’s Pinterest boards which feature easy and delicious holiday goodies featuring your favorite NABISCO brand products! (My favorite is, of course, the Holiday Cookie Swap Board, but there are other scrumptious boards too!). While there, you can also enter the NABISCO Holiday Sweepstakes for your chance to win $10,000! One prize will be awarded every week between 12/1 and 12/30, so you have plenty of chances to win by pinning your holiday party ideas to NABISCO! Just visit their PINTEREST page for more info!

You can also follow #NabiscoHolidayParties for more great ideas! :)

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with NABISCO products free of charge to create recipes for this campaign. As always, all opinions and views expressed are 100% my own.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of NABISCO. The opinions and text are all mine.

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