Nutty Buddy Popcorn

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This Nutty Buddy Popcorn is packed with sweet peanut buttery flavor, crisp wafer cookies and lots of chocolate! You won't be able to resist a second helping!I love popcorn.

It’s one of those treats that the second the aroma hits your nose, you instantly crave it. Or is that just me with all the foods? Don’t answer that.

I mean, you can’t go to a movie theater and walk past the popcorn, even if it is like $20 a bag now. It’s virtually impossible to resist the buttery, nutty smell of freshly popped popcorn and the irresistible, glistening butter coating on each fresh kernel.

But again, $20 a bag. Homegirl has to pay some bills so I ain’t got time for expensive popcorn.

That’s why I love ACT II Popcorn and teamed up with them to create this fabulous Nutty Buddy Popcorn! It is perfect alone or dressed up with chocolate, peanut butter and crunchy wafer cookies to create the best treat for movie night or your favorite TV show marathons, which my family and I regularly indulge in.

Nothing’s better than curling up on the couch with my fam after a long day of work, and of course, there has to be snacks. Movie night without popcorn is like a birthday party without cake – somewhere, a child is crying over it. So when we huddle together to watch something scary or laugh our bellies off during a comedy, we’re noshing on popcorn.

This Nutty Buddy Popcorn is packed with sweet peanut buttery flavor, crisp wafer cookies and lots of chocolate! You won't be able to resist a second helping!Most of the time I make plain ACT II Butter Lovers Popcorn since it’s the best popcorn around. It’s super buttery and delicious and pops perfectly every time. But for a recent TV show binge-fest, I decided to dress up the popcorn into one of my favorite cookies: the Nutty Bar. Those crispy peanut butter & chocolate wafer cookies are the bomb and my family loves ‘em, so I knew creating a popcorn munch with the same flavors as those iconic yellow-box cookies was absolutely necessary.

For this recipe, I shopped at Sam’s Club where they have the big 28-count boxes of ACT II Popcorn. And if you download the Ibotta app, you can grab a $2 off coupon exclusively for Sam’s Club. Sweet! And can we talk about Sam’s for a minute? I just love their free samples! I tried the ACT II Popcorn at a demo over the weekend and they mixed it with Oreos. It. Was. DIVINE.

This Nutty Buddy Popcorn is packed with sweet peanut buttery flavor, crisp wafer cookies and lots of chocolate! You won't be able to resist a second helping!And speaking of divine… I mean, there are no words for this popcorn. It’s a must-try!

This Nutty Buddy Popcorn is packed with sweet peanut buttery flavor, crisp wafer cookies and lots of chocolate! You won't be able to resist a second helping!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Nutty Buddy Popcorn
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This Nutty Buddy Popcorn is so simple to whip up and tastes amazing! Crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty, it's the perfect movie marathon or TV binge-fest accompaniment.
  • 2 bags ACT II Butter Lovers Popcorn, popped and unpopped kernels discarded
  • ½ pkg vanilla candy coating (I like CandiQuik)
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 8 crispy peanut butter chocolate wafer cookies (like Nutty Bars), roughly chopped
  • 2 squares chocolate candy coating
  1. Line a flat work space with wax paper. In a large bowl, melt the vanilla candy coating until smooth and melted, about 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Once melted, stir in the peanut butter until combined.
  2. Add the popcorn to the mixture and gently toss to coat the popcorn. Spread the popcorn out onto the wax paper in an even, single layer. Top evenly with the chopped cookies.
  3. Melt the chocolate candy coating in another small bowl until melted; pour the melted chocolate into a resealable plastic bag, snip off the tip, and drizzle over the popcorn. Allow the chocolate to set, about 15 minutes, before breaking into pieces to serve.

This Nutty Buddy Popcorn is packed with sweet peanut buttery flavor, crisp wafer cookies and lots of chocolate! You won't be able to resist a second helping!This twenty-minute recipe could not be simpler to make! I love the crunch from the popcorn and cookies and the texture of the creamy peanut butter coating that blankets each kernel of popcorn. This is sweet, salty, and a whole lotta heavenly! What’s your favorite way to enjoy popcorn? Answer in the comments below! :)

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The Best Crisp and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten-Free!}

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!Lately I’ve been so frazzled. Well, more than usual :)

I’m not sure if it’s the allergies that are slowly waging World War III on my immune system, or perhaps it’s the fact that it’s only April and Sacramento is already reaching temps of 90 degrees. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m gaining weight like crazy (boo) or the fact that I’m about to start a healthy diet for said weight-gain (boo/yay). Either way, I’m totally, madly, hopelessly frazzled.

So there’s that.

I think my brain needs to pack a suitcase, put on a bikini and go on vacation, because seriously processing an actual, meaningful thought at this point is like performing brain surgery. I need an engineering degree just to formulate a proper sentence.

So without further adieu, methinks I’m starting my mental vacay right about now… but not until after I share the recipe for these fabulous peanut butter cookies. These truly are the best-ever in my not-so-humble opinion. They’re soft, chewy and have crisp edges which I find irresistible and necessary for any good peanut butter cookie. They’re packed with sweet-and-salty peanut butter flavor and have the classic cross-hatch pattern on top like any good cookie should. And they’re flourless, netting a fudgier, denser cookie that’s absolutely marvelous and which happens to make them naturally gluten-free.

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!I found this recipe years ago and I can’t even remember where, but I’ve been making it regularly since and had it posted on my blog from years ago but was in desperate need of updating the pictures. Pictures = better. Recipe = ain’t broke, so not fixin’ it. Just pure, unadulterated peanut buttery cookie goodness in every crisp, chewy bite. You won’t regret this simple recipe!

And yes, my mental vacay will consist of cramming these cookies in like hunger-fighting soldiers in one-by-one before my diet starts. Calories clearly don’t count on vacation.

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Best Crisp and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten-Free!}
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
These crisp and chewy peanut butter cookies are packed with sweet-and-salty peanut buttery goodness. Naturally flourless and thus gluten-free means these cookies are ultra fudgy and fabulous.
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter* (if you prefer a smoother peanut butter cookie, feel free to use 2 cups of creamy peanut butter instead, but I like the texture of crunchy)
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling cookies
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or mist them lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butters, 1 cup of the white sugar and brown sugar until blended, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and baking soda until dough is combined; it will be very thick.
  3. Using a Tablespoon-sized cookie dough scoop, portion out rounded Tablespoon-sized balls of dough and drop it into the remaining white sugar; roll around to coat. Place 2" apart on the prepared baking sheets and using a fork, make a cross-hatch pattern in the top to lightly flatten the balls.
  4. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until golden. Do NOT overbake. Immediately remove from the baking sheets and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature for up to a week.

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!I cannot stress enough how tremendous these cookies are! They’re chewy, fudgy and have those buttery, crisp edges without having even a smidgen of butter in them. I love the subtle crunch from the white sugar on top and I love them especially when they’re warm and topped with ice cream…. but you didn’t hear that diet-friendly suggestion from me :)

If you like this recipe, be sure to Pin It to save to your favorite board for later!

These Crisp, Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies truly are the BEST ever, AND they're gluten-free!Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley


Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas

These Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas consist of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base loaded with buttery caramel and sweet & salty peanut butter cups for an outrageous dessert you'll love!You guys. These carmelitas. I could cry, they’re so good.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an irrational fear of having something stuck in my teeth. I mean, I’m petrified to find something. Spinach, pepper, bits and pieces of god-knows what… anything and everything is a mortal embarrassment.

When I had braces for a few years of my adolescence, it raised the possibility even higher which was always lovely when you had a mouth full of metal to look into. What’s the deal with braces, anyway? Like, why do they think these metal contraptions are a good idea? I understand the reasoning behind braces – straight teeth, good oral health, etc – but I mean, why do they have to look like they do? Painful steel wiring poking your cheek every time you talk, brackets rolling around when one snaps off after you secretly take a bite of taffy. And ugh, those rubber bands. Those came from the devil’s underbelly.

But then to add insult to injury, they allow you to choose random colors for your brackets and those, in theory, sound cool. You can do your school colors, your favorite colors, the rainbow, whatever. But what they don’t tell you is that it’ll look like your mouth is filled with tiny bits of candy stuck in between your teeth.

AKA, my worst nightmare.

These Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas consist of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base loaded with buttery caramel and sweet & salty peanut butter cups for an outrageous dessert you'll love!My fear is to the point where I eat everything as gingerly as possible to ensure the possibility of accruing bits and pieces are slim to none. I’m anti-bits and pieces.

Anywho. These bars have no bits and no pieces. They do, however, have chocolate and caramel and peanut butter which does have a tendency to get everywhere, but even I can proudly say they’re so worth it. And if nothing else, you’ll just have a special surprise to show people any time you smile. You’re welcome?

These Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas consist of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base loaded with buttery caramel and sweet & salty peanut butter cups for an outrageous dessert you'll love!So yeah – these carmelitas. Traditionally, carmelitas are an oatmeal cookie bar base filled with caramel and chocolate chips. They’re gooey, rich and sweet, and have great texture thanks to the oats. But my version has added peanut butter cups to the mix, lending an even sweeter bite and a wonderful saltiness from the peanut buttah. These are basically my dream come true in bar form, and if they had a full-time job, smelled like cologne and were thoughtful, sincere and sensitive, I’d probably marry them.

Try them puhleeeeease. You won’t be disappointed!

These Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas consist of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base loaded with buttery caramel and sweet & salty peanut butter cups for an outrageous dessert you'll love!*adapted from my Nutella-Filled Monster Cookie Bars recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
These chewy and GOOEY bars will become a family favorite in no time! They boast great texture from the oats, lots of gooieness from the caramel and melty peanut butter cups, and plenty of sweetness!
  • 2 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar'
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 jar caramel sundae sauce
  • About 25 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (standard or mini size, but not the minis in the resealable package)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking dish with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add in the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Lastly, add in the flour, salt, oats, baking powder and baking soda until a soft dough forms.
  3. Chop the Reese's PB Cups in half or quarters. Spread ½ of the dough into the prepared baking pan in an even layer; top evenly with the caramel sauce and top with the reserved PB cups. Crumble the remaining dough or "puzzle piece it" (flatten dough in your hands and gently kind of puzzle-it together) on top of the caramel and PB cups.
  4. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until the top is light golden brown and the center appears just about set. It's okay if it jiggles a little; it will set up as it cools and you don't want to over bake. Cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan and cutting into bars.

These Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas consist of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base loaded with buttery caramel and sweet & salty peanut butter cups for an outrageous dessert you'll love!These bars are so impossibly gooey, packed with sweet and salty flavor from the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the gobs of buttery caramel. You’ll love the texture from the hearty oats and substantially thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base, too. Overall, these are a bar to be reckoned with – you’ll freak for them!

Like these? Be sure to PIN THEM to your favorite board to save the recipe for later! 

These Peanut Butter Cup Carmelitas consist of a thick and chewy oatmeal cookie base loaded with buttery caramel and sweet & salty peanut butter cups for an outrageous dessert you'll love!Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley


Nutter Butter Macarons & A Simple Macaron-Making Tutorial

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! You guyyyyyyssss. These macarons are everything. You hear me? Ev.Er.Y.THANGGGG.

I love contrast. It’s my favorite technique for editing pictures, and it’s my favorite technique to apply when eating, dressing, styling, and virtually everything else in my life. Like for instance, pairing a pretty pink tutu with a roughed up black motorcycle jacket and chunky black boots. The boots and jacket are so tough and edgy, but in contrast, the pink tutu, with all its frills and girlishness, is the perfect contrast.

And like with polished, prim French macarons and all-American, easygoing Nutter Butters, combining the two is the perfect blend of both worlds. And seriously, these macarons may be some of my favorites ever. Like, of Laduree, Ginger Elizabeth’s, Dana’s Bakery, Macaron Parlour-ever. And that’s saying a lot since 1) I’m not French, nor a French chef (and I don’t even pretend to be one!), and 2) since I’m hardly qualified to be making outrageous claims like this, yet I am and I’m serious.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! I did a macaron tutorial in the past, but to be honest, I hadn’t yet perfected my method or recipe yet. My macarons of the past were still a little wobbly, had quite a bit of cracks, and just needed some more tweaking to be more like the French macaron they were destined to be. I know I sound like a mother of a macaron right now, watching her macaron children flee the nest into the world to carve their own successful destinies… I’ll stop.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! I figured I would revamp my tutorial to be as simple, clear, and precise as I could be to help you navigate the waters of macaron-making. Macarons are pesky little devils with high tempers. One wrong move here or there could send you with a tough, hard cookie, something that disintegrates, or worse – “Cajun” macarons, which I’ve made many times and they are as terrible as they sound.

BUT – with the right information, tools and tips you can successfully make French macarons in your own home without A) adopting a French person to help you, B) giving up and just buying Chips Ahoy, or C) having a temper tantrum and turning Cajun. (Not that turning Cajun would be a bad thing, but don’t be like the mad macaron).

**For this tutorial, I wrote it as if we were making basic macarons – not the Nutter Butter ones. I’ll throw in Nutter Butter steps here and there for clarity, but I want you to feel you can come to this tutorial for any flavor macaron you’re making. Capiche?**

Let’s get started!

For basic macarons, you’ll need:

DSC_0839AAlmond Meal/Flour: I like Bob’s Red Mill because it’s finely ground and comes from blanched almonds, so there are no skins. However, for my Nutter Butter recipe I happened to use regular almond meal (meaning with the skins, which are just tiny brown flecks in the end product. Either one works, and the regular almond meal would work here since it adds to the character of the macaron (cookie crumbs + brown flecks from almond skin = no biggie). However, if you wanted something like a pure vanilla macaron, I’d stick with blanched almond meal for purity color-wise.

Powdered Sugar: This is essentially what your shell consists of – powdered sugar and a little almond meal (and for the NB recipe, some ground Nutter Butters). The powdered sugar is essential to making these crisp yet chewy cookies so delectable.

White Sugar: White sugar helps make the meringue which is what you fold into the sifted almond meal & powdered sugar mixture. I use plain white granulated sugar, but superfine or caster should work too.

Egg Whites: These are essential to macarons! Macaron shells are delicate, much like meringue, and egg whites provide that structure.

Remember: These are your essentials which will not change no matter what flavor you’re doing. For the Nutter Butter, I obviously added in Nutter Butters, plus the filling ingredients which are in the Recipe Box below. 

DSC_0806ASifting time! I like to sift my dry ingredients first so they’re totally ready to rock & roll when my egg whites are whipped. I simply combine the almond meal and powdered sugar in a large bowl (along with the cookie crumbs for this particular recipe) and then process it through a large sifter into a separate bowl. I’ve used both this large sifter and a hand-crank sifter and I prefer this larger one (less hand cramps!) You want it to be extremely finely ground with zero clumps or chunks of anything which could affect the structure or consistency of the macaron shell. For the Nutter Butter Macarons, I’ve sifted together 2 & 1/3 cups powdered sugar, 3.5 oz of almond meal, and 3.5 oz of finely ground Nutter Butters, which I pulsed into a fine crumb in my food processor.

DSC_0808AWhen you’re sifting, you’ll find these hard little “pebbles” in the bottom of your sifter. These are too large and hard to pass through the fine sieve, so you’ll need to do one of two things. 1) You can scrape your spatula over them against the sifter to try to break them down and get them to pass through; OR 2) You can add all the pebbles back into your food processor and grind them a little more so they break down. However – if there’s a teaspoon or less of the pebbles (here is a teaspoon, as shown in the picture) you may throw them out. Any more than a teaspoon and you’ll need to push them through or re-pulse them to grind them down.

Now, let’s move onto the meringue!

DSC_0836ASeparate four egg whites into a bowl, discarding the yolks. I love using an egg separator because it efficiently separates the whites from the yolks, so you get the maximum whites out of each egg.

DSC_0841ANow here’s the first step of the meringue-making part. If you’re using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, this is even simpler for you. If not, listen along! Place a large pot of water (like 1-2 inches of water) on the stove and bring to a simmer. Place your KA Stand Mixer bowl on top of the pot so it nestles atop of the simmering water without the water touching the bottom of your bowl. Working very quickly, add in the egg whites and your 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. With a whisk, begin whisking the mixture until it looks like this – slightly bubbly and frothy. Any longer and you’ll risk making super sweet scrambled egg whites.

Once the mixture looks like this, immediately remove it from the simmering water, wipe off the bottom, and quickly reattach it to your mixer base. Affix the mixer with the whisk attachment. If you are not using a stand mixer, I’m afraid your hands are in for a load of work. Place a large heat-proof bowl over the pot of simmering water and follow the steps. Once the mixture is frothy, remove from the pot of water, wipe the bottom, and begin beating it with the whisk attachments on a handheld electric mixer.

DSC_0842ABegin beating the egg white mixture on HIGH for 5-7 minutes or until glossy, stiff peaks form. Check periodically to see if your egg whites are done so they aren’t over-whipped. Once the egg whites are whipped and have stiff, glossy peaks, you can now add your flavoring or dye if needed. For the Nutter Butter Macarons, I did not add anything in this step. However, if you were going to make, say, lemon macarons, you’d add in a couple drops of yellow food coloring and a small capful of lemon extract in at this moment. Beat very quickly to combine, careful not to overwhip.

DSC_0809ABeaten egg whites will look like this when they’re ready: glossy, stiff, and thick in volume. Not sure if your egg whites are ready? Simply take the whisk attachment off, and stand it up in the air. If the peaks begin to sag or fall, they need a little more whipping. If they stand straight up, they’re just right.

DSC_0811ABefore proceeding, make sure your baking equipment is ready. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper that is the exact size of your baking sheet. If parchment hangs over the edges of the baking sheet, macarons may slide when baking or they may bake lopsided, which makes them prone to cracks or not fully developing their “feet”, that crusty ridge around the base of any quality macaron. You may also use a macaron baking mat if you have one (and you can find them cheaply at most craft stores – I bought two 18-cavity macaron mats at Michael’s for $17 plus a 40% off coupon). Do not grease sheets, mats, or pans.

DSC_0813ATake your sifted mixture and gently begin folding in HALF of the sifted mixture into the egg whites. You do not want to fully incorporate it – just barely, barely mix it in, like so. If there are patches of straight-up dry mixture in there, leave them! You’ll risk overworking your batter if you fully incorporate half the mixture.

DSC_0814AThen, fold in the remaining mixture. Turn your wrist to fold the mixture around the bowl and into itself. If it helps, think of it like a clock. Start at 12 and work your way around the clock, going clockwise, until about 11, then cut into the middle of the clock. Work back to 12 and start again. Again, do not overmix! The mixture is ready when it looks thick and kind of chunky looking, like this (almost like wet cement). If you draw your spatula through the mixture, the line from your spatula should disappear back into the mixture within a few seconds.

DSC_0816ARemember my tip about the almond meal? See those brown specks in there? Some are from the Nutter Butters, but some are from the almond skin in the meal. If you’d prefer a plain, tan color for these macaron shells, I’d seek out blanched almond meal, which would omit any almond skin from peeking through.

DSC_0819AMy Atecco 807 tip is my go-to tip for piping macarons. It’s a large, open-circle tip that works well for frosting or piping, and I use it pretty much all the time! If you don’t have this tip, don’t fret – any large, round tip will work. However, please be advised that I don’t recommend just snipping off a corner of a baggy when piping these macarons. The shape will be wonky, and it won’t bake up properly. Please use a professional tip.

Now, attach the tip to a disposable piping bag and fill ‘er up.


Hold the bag straight down and gently squeeze the bag to release the flow of macaron batter, counting to four. This should equal a circle roughly the size of an American quarter. Gently flick your wrist to stop the flow of the macaron. This will leave that lump on top – but don’t fret. You can either: Lightly wet your finger and gently pat down the lump or wait for it to soften and deflate (what I do).

Once all the macarons are piped onto your baking sheet or baking mats, gently tap the entire sheet pan onto the counter a couple times. This releases the air bubbles from within the macarons, allowing them to properly rise and create that chewy interior without being cracked or completely hollowed. After tapping the macarons on the counter, leave them on the counter for 20 minutes before baking. This allows the macarons to briefly form a slight “shell” on top which helps create that crispy top everyone knows and loves. And it allows some more time for that peak to fall back down into the macaron.

At this point, after tapping the macarons, I would preheat your oven to 275* degrees F.


Bake the macarons for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time. I cannot stress that enough! Mine take exactly 13 minutes. I’ll put them in for 6 minutes and 30 seconds, bake them, then rotate the pans and bake them for another 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets before gently removing. They should come right off or come off with little resistance.

And then, all that’s left to do is frost them up, gently sammich them together, and EAT THE LIVING HELL OUT OF THEM!

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! And if you’re like me, you’ll be inhaling them soon enough. OMGTHEY’RESOGOOD.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Nutter Butter Macarons & A Simple Macaron-Making Tutorial
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 27
Don't fear the French macaron! French-style macarons are made easy with my simple tutorial, and made delicious thanks to all-American Nutter Butter Cookies, which flavor these macarons in ways you wouldn't believe!
  • 2 & ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3.5 oz almond meal (like by Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3.5 oz Nutter Butter Cookies, filling scraped out and reserved and cookie pieces pulverized into a fine crumb (about 10-12 Nutter Butters)
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • Reserved Nutter Butter filling (from about 10-12 Nutter Butter Cookies)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  1. First, measure your ingredients out properly. On a kitchen food scale, measure out 3.5 oz of almond meal and 3.5 oz of pulverized Nutter Butter shells. Pour both into a bowl with the powdered sugar. Place a large handheld sifter over a separate bowl and begin sifting the dry ingredients together until blended and sifted.
  2. If you have harder "pebbles" leftover, either push them through the sifter with your spatula, or remove them to re-pulse through your food processor, then try resifting them. If there's a teaspoon or less of the harder "pebbles", you may discard. Set sifted ingredients aside.
  3. Bring a large pot filled with 1-2" of water to a simmer. Place your stand mixer bowl over the pot of water and immediately add in the egg whites and white sugar. Whisk quickly for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is frothy and bubbly. Do NOT overmix. Immediately remove from the heat, wipe off the bottom of the bowl, and attach to your stand mixer base. Using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg white mixture on HIGH for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Remove the whisk attachment and gently stir in HALF of the sifted mixture. Do not fully stir this mixture in; just fold it in maybe 4 or so times and then add the rest. Turn your wrist clockwise around the bowl, folding the mixture around and in on itself to incorporate the dry, sifted ingredients. The mixture should look like a little thick and chunky when it's done. If you draw an invisible line through the mixture with your spatula, the line should disappear within the mixture in a couple of seconds.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, making the parchment the same dimensions as your baking sheets. Conversely, you may use silicone macaron mats if you have them. Do not grease the mats, the parchment, or the sheets.
  6. Scoop the macaron mixture into a large disposable piping bag affixed with a large open-circle tip (I used Atecco 807). Hold the bag straight down and gently squeeze to release the batter, counting to four. Flick your wrist to stop the flow. This should translate to a macaron roughly the size of an American quarter. Repeat with remaining macarons. Macarons may have slight lumps on top; either use a lightly wet finger to gently pat it down, or follow the recipe accordingly. Once macarons are all piped on, gently tap each sheet a couple of times on the counter to release air bubbles and help those lumps fall. Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking. During this time, preheat your oven 275* degrees F.
  7. Bake the macarons for approx. 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Mine bake at EXACTLY 13 minutes. Remove the macarons gently and allow them to cool on the baking sheets. Macarons should come right up or peel off with little resistance.
  8. To make the filling, in the clean stand mixer bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, vanilla and Nutter Butter filling with the paddle attachment for about 1 minute or until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar until a soft yet thick and spreadable mixture has formed. Place the mixture in a piping bag attached with a smaller open circle tip and pipe onto the flat surface of a cooled macaron; sandwich with a remaining macaron top.
  9. Serve immediately. Macarons are best the same day or the next day. To store macarons, gently place them in a large airtight container and place them in on the counter. You may also cover them airtight and place them in the fridge, but allow them to come to room temperature completely before eating.

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! Oh. Em. Geeeeee. The Nutter Butter filling is just exquisite, people. Creamy and thick, sweet-and-salty, and so luscious in contrast to the crisp shells of the macarons with their tender and chewy interior. FABULOUS, and all made from scratch, at home, without being French. How’s that for a macaron?! :)

Stay tuned, because I have another classic cookie-to-macaron recipe coming soon!

These Nutter Butter Macarons combine the classic all-American cookie with the elegant French macaron in this EASY recipe! You won't believe how simple it is to make authentic macarons at home that taste like Nutter Butters! Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

REESE’S Three Point Popcorn, Slam Dunk Coke Floats & Basketball OREOS for the ULTIMATE Basketball Party!

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

Host the ULTIMATE Basketball Party with OREO Basketballs, Slam Dunk Coke Floats, and REESE'S Three Point Popcorn! College basketball season is in full swing and I’m sure there will be parties aplenty while everyone roots on their beloved college basketball team.

But sometimes throwing a party can a tad daunting, especially if its a sports-related one. No one sits down and eats a steak dinner during the major tournament, so party food has to be on point for it to be successful, am I right? And chips & dip, while delicious, are kind of predictable. So I’m going to show you how to throw the BEST Basketball Party without all the stress & fuss so you can spend more time eating… or, you know, watching the game :)

First up – party planning, obviously. No one just has color-coordinated plates and napkins lying around unless you live inside of a party supply store. I did most of my shopping at Target, where I purchased my ingredients for all of the treats you see above as well. Target has a great party supply selection with tons of different colored plate, napkin, and utensil items, and lots of fun decorations for any theme you could think of. Sports was an obvious one for this party, so I picked up some fun basketball confetti, these cool basketball plates and cups, and the basketball bouncy balls – party favors that no kid can resist.

MM1Bonus that all my ingredients were on sale at my local Target! Score!

If you don’t want to go with a generic basketball theme and would rather stick with your favorite college team’s colors, that would be great, too! Or if you know of two particular teams playing one another, you could go with all four colors to make it really festive and spirited.

DSC_0714AI found these super cute orange paper treat boxes and knew I could doctor ‘em up really fun for this party. I simply drew on a couple of arches on either side, a line down the middle, and one through the center for a basketball lining’s shape. Easy and SO cute… and of course, the perfect vessel to hold my REESE’S Three Point Shot Popcorn. It’s pretty awesome, you guys… so let’s talk about that for a sec.

3 Point Shot PopcornThis popcorn is the perfect sweet-and-salty treat for munching during the game and it couldn’t be simpler to whip together. I don’t know about you, but when eating something mixed up, like trail mix or chex mix, I’m always searching for my favorite component to eat first, and these REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Minis are that! They’re so adorable and the perfect miniature size for this popcorn.

(Psst.. if you have Target’s Cartwheel App, there’s a free coupon for REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Minis available from 3/15-4/4. Download it!)

DSC_0717ANext up? OREO Basketballs! Adorable basketballs made from OREO Cookies. Don’t cringe from intimidation – I promise these are a breeze to make. They do require a little bit of a steadier hand, and a disposable piping bottle, but they’re so worth the smidgen of extra effort. Not only do they look the part, they taste awesome. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy chocolate-covered OREOS? No one, that’s who.


DSC_0738A(BTW, you can find a small piping bottle like this in the baking aisle of most stores, or sometimes even the craft aisle!)

Slam Dunk Coke FloatsLast up: my Slam Dunk Coke Floats. These bad boys are delicious, thanks to Coke Zero. Their motto is ‘you don’t know ZERO ’til you’ve tried it‘ and that’s so true. It tastes just like regular Coke but without all the calories and sugar. And did you know that Coke Zero and Target use special “drinkable” advertising and technology so people can try out Coke Zero for themselves with a free 20 oz coupon? Starting April 2nd, download the Shazam app to participate in these unbelievable experiences at a drinkable TV spot, jumbo-tron, or at

DSC_0723AThese are like your traditional Coke Floats but made with Coke Zero instead. I used fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt for the “dunks” of ice cream, but any icy-cold ice cream will work! They’re the perfect, refreshing way to indulge while watching pivotal, #unbelievablemoments during the game.

DSC_0708AANow back to the spread. Again, I went with a general basketball theme here but team colors would be a fun and festive touch should you throw your own Ultimate Basketball Party. I like to lay all of my components on the same table so guests know where all the good stuff is :) I like putting the packaging behind some items where people may not know what’s what, so as to offer better clarification. You could also put up cute placecards with the food or drink item’s name on it so folks know what they’re eating.

Also, when throwing parties, I don’t like to set out everything I have. Much like a retail shop, I keep some stuff out on the floor and some stuff behind so when something leaves the table, I can replenish it. This keeps the table from looking too full of busy and keeps me working off those calories from all the popcorn I’ve been eating :)

DSC_0731AI also like how everything is arranged on the table and a little scattered about. Don’t get me wrong; I love things tidy and orderly, but having a couple of straws left out (BTW, paper straws are a must!) keeps it lively. Scattering the basketball bouncy balls and plush basketballs about keeps your eye darting around and makes things interesting. And experiment with height – top OREO Basketballs on a medium-sized cake stand, the REESE’S Popcorn in tall treat bags, and use shorter cups for your Coke Floats. It keeps the table balanced, even if there are different shapes and sizes.

But most importantly… Have fun! It’s a freakin’ party, man. And even if your team loses, there’s still Coke Floats to fall back on… and that’s never a bad thing!

DSC_0732ANow, who wants some REESE’S Popcorn and OREO Basketballs?!

5.0 from 1 reviews
REESE'S Three Point Popcorn, Slam Dunk Coke Floats & Basketball Oreos for the ULTIMATE Basketball Party!
Recipe type: Treats
  • 1 pkg OREO Cookies
  • 2-3 pkgsorange candy melts
  • 4 squares chocolate bark
  • Piping bottle
  • 8 cups popped popcorn (unflavored)
  • 1 pkg orange candy melts
  • 1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • 1 pkg REESE'S Peanut Butter Cup Minis
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Prepare the orange candy melts according to package directions, until melted. Dunk each OREO into the candy melts, covering completely and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining melts.
  3. Melt the chocolate bark until smooth. Pour carefully into the piping bottle. Using a steady hand, draw basketball piping onto the surface of each coated OREO. Allow the piping to set before serving.
  5. Melt the candy melts according to package directions, or until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the chocolate with the popcorn, candy pieces, and REESE'S Minis. Lay out in an even layer on a flat work-surface covered in wax paper to allow the chocolate to harden. Once set, break into pieces and serve.

For more info on Mondelez products, such as OREO Cookies, be sure to visit their site and enter to win their ULTIMATE Basketball Prize! And visit Coke Zero’s site for info to get a 20 oz Coke Zero for FREE starting April 2.

Thanks for stopping by! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some popcorn to eat.

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley



Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Footballs

PB Cookie Dough FootballsOkay, let’s get real. I don’t watch football.

I know, I know. Shocker of the Year. But it just doesn’t interest me, ya know? It isn’t necessarily because football doesn’t interest me; it’s mostly because A) I have other things I could be doing than watching grown men tackle one another; and B) the commentators.

You know, the men who have to narrate every. single. play, every single breath a player takes, every itch they scratch, every thought they think… it’s just so distracting and annoying and completely unnecessary? I dunno, but it totally grinds my gears.

I think it’s because I have a deep-rooted psychological issue with watching TV with others. It all started when I was in elementary school and invited some classmates over to play. Inevitably Barbies got boring, so we turned on cartoons while we ate animal cookies and wasted our childhood brains away. But one classmate in particular — let’s call her Annoying Girl — had a habit of talking during the show. She had to repeat whatever the character just said. She had to narrate whatever the character just did. And she had to ask questions upon questions upon questions of inane subject matter so she could attempt to follow along with the mind-blowing plot of Scooby Doo, Where Are You?. Like, it’s Scooby effing Doo. The monster is always some senile old person. Get the net, homegirl.

But no. Annoying Girl continued her narration of every single grueling play-by-play as if we were deaf and blind and completely, woefully uninformed as to what we were watching.

In later years, I would date a boy whose mom did the same thing. Also, she had this really high-pitched laugh that I swore made the walls shake. Watching America’s Funniest Home Videos was like a death sentence since you never knew what toddler-falling-over video would send the house to crumbles.

And after that, I had a friend who would occasionally watch movies with me… or as much of a movie as you could watch from behind a cell phone screen. Every so often she’d glance up from her Facebook feed to check out the movie, then ask some obvious question that would be answered had she not been playing Farmville. Look, if Farmville is preferable company, then by all means, there’s the door, dude. I can watch my movie solo without fielding questions with someone who contracts a rash if they aren’t touching their phone 24/7.

So anyway, when it comes to narrating shows, answering and asking questions during shows, and generally watching shows with people other than my immediate family (who knows to shut their traps until commercial breaks), I’m not a fan. Unless you’re bringing enough spinach and artichoke dip that I can adequately bury my face in until half-time, I’m not interested in a TV party.

DSC_0803AHowever, I am interested in TV party-related foods, which are always delicious. Dips, fruit and veggie trays, cheese and meat, foot-long sandwiches, and lots of desserts, SuperBowl food is the bomb. And after building mini salami and cheddar cracker sammies all day long, everyone’s bound to crave something sweet to offset all the buffalo wing sauce and melty cheese. Enter these Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Footballs! Not only are they a cinch to make, they taste great — because who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate!? And they have that irresistible sweet-and-salty element everyone loves.

The best part? Everyone will be too busy stuffing their faces with them, which means uninterrupted TV for me :)


Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Footballs
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 64
Filled with smooth and delicious egg-free peanut butter cookie dough, these Cookie Dough Footballs are sure to be a winner at any football party!
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sleeves (about 64 crackers) butter-flavored crackers (I used Townhouse)
  • 1 pkg. Chocolate CandiQuik
  • 2 squares Vanilla CandiQuik
  1. First, prepare your cookie dough filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar & white sugar with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and milk and beat to combine. Lastly, add in the flour until a soft dough has formed.
  2. Line two baking sheets with foil and spread the crackers in an even layer among both sheets. Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, spoon the cookie dough in a log-shape onto one of the crackers; gently top with another cracker, creating a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and crackers until all crackers are made into sandwiches.
  3. Briefly allow the sandwiches to set in the freezer, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the Chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions or until smooth and melted. Dip each sandwich into the Chocolate CandiQuik, allowing the excess to drip off of the fork. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining sandwiches. Once the chocolate has set, melt the Vanilla CandiQuik. Place the Vanilla CQ in a baggy, seal out the air and snip off a corner. Pipe stitching onto each football, then allow the stitching to set.
  4. Store leftovers airtight in the freezer and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

DSC_0815AButtery, crunchy, sweet and salty, these football sandwiches are perfect for the Big Game! The cookie dough is so sweet and creamy and tastes almost like the filling of a Reese’s PB cup! Combined with the milky-sweet chocolate and the crunchy crackers, these treats are a real winner. Don’t like peanut butter cookie dough? No problem! Feel free to use chocolate chip cookie dough (just use miniature chips to help make the sandwiches), sugar cookie dough, oatmeal cookie dough, or even chocolate cookie dough.

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Avalanche Cookie Clusters

Avalanche Cookie ClustersWhen I was in high school, one of the coolest things to do was to visit Downtown Sacramento.

Now mind you, I am a kid from the suburbs, about 20 minutes away from Downtown. But seeing as the most exciting thing in my town was the halfway abandoned Yogurt Delite, Downtown seemed so cool and exotic and hip and different to a 15-year old.

For one, Downtown had a mall which was just as crappy as our mall, but better because it was Downtown. And it had a gargantuan Forever 21 in it which was sofreakinawesome because ours only had a Wet Seal and everyone knows Forever 21 > Wet Seal, amirite?

Second, Downtown was connected to Old Town, which is exactly what you think of when you think of a once-small mining town. Cute, quaint old buildings and cobblestone streets with wooden sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages clopping around. Old Town had some quirky shops that my friends and I loved to explore in, but mostly, we enjoyed hitting up the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory down there.

My mom would send me on my day-long jaunt to Downtown with $20 to spend on lunch, but little did she know that most of that money went to things at Forever 21 and of course, chocolates from Rocky Mountain. If you’ve never been to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before, it’s pretty much the most heavenly place on earth, with floor-to-ceiling displays of chocolate truffles, candies, confections and more, and more often than not, they’re stirring up a fresh batch of caramel and dipping everything under the sun right in front of your wee beady eyes.

In other words, a hungry teenager’s dream come true.

One of my favorite things to get were the caramel apples (hello, best treat evah) and their Avalanche Bars. The Avalanche Bars are probably what Rocky Mountain’s most known for, and for good reason. If ya don’t know, Avalanche Bars are basically white chocolate and peanut butter mixed together with rice krispy cereal and marshmallows, then studded with chocolate chips. Prettttttty genius, with the whole sweet-salty-crunchy-gooey factors happening at once. And did I mention it was a hungry teenager’s dream come true?

But since my days of dwelling Downtown are long over (and since I’ve grown up and realized Downtown isn’t that cool after all, parking sucks, and is that homeless person flashing everyone?), it’s been quite some time since I’ve had an Avalanche Bar. But since I saw Shelly post her version of Avalanche Cookies, I knew I had to recreate this childhood treat at home… with my rebellious spin, duh.

DSC_0402AEnter pie crust. Yeah, pie crust. Homie play. Homie play like that. Pie crust offers a delightful, unexpected crunch to these clusters and a bit of a doughy, cookie feel. It’s hard to explain but easy to eat 10 of these incredible cookie clusters, also inspired by the mil-dollar Pillsbury Bake-Off winner’s recipe which includes bits of baked pie crust in her cookies, too.

Genius? Hell yes it is. And ohmigawd, did I mention a DREAM COME TRUE?!

DSC_0405ASeriously. Can’t stop, won’t stop — and you shouldn’t either. Make these NOW! Live the dream!!


5.0 from 3 reviews
Avalanche Cookie Clusters
Recipe type: Cookies, Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
Irresistible, incredible and outrageously delicious, these addictive Avalanche Cookie Clusters are inspired by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's delectable Avalanche Bars! You and your family will love the unexpected twist of pie crust bits in these fabulous cluster cookies!
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 & ½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pkg Vanilla CandiQuik
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or with parchment paper. Mist parchment (if using) with cooking spray. Place the pie crust on the baking sheet and, using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the pie crust into thin strips, then cut crosswise to make small, bite-sized squares. Separate the squares so that they don't touch as much, and bake for approx. 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, melt the CandiQuik according to package directions or until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter until blended. Working quickly, add in the cereal, marshmallows and pie crust pieces and toss gently to coat completely.
  3. Working fast, drop heaping ¼ cup-sized clusters of the mixture onto foil-or silicone-lined baking sheets. Because of the CandiQuik, the mixture could harden so it's key to work as fast as possible! Allow the clusters to set before serving. Store leftovers airtight, at room temperature, for up to a week.

DSC_0408AButtery, creamy, crunchy, gooey, crispy, salty and oh-so-decadent, these are THE BOMB. Easily my new favorite cookie-candy hybrid and I guarantee they’ll be yours, too!

*Tip: for chocolate-lovers, feel free to sprinkle each cluster with some miniature chocolate chips before they set for a little chocolate kick!*

Have a fabulous day!!

xo, Hayley

Peanut Brittle Cupcakes

Peanut Brittle CupcakesPeanut brittle is one of those candies that I totally love but often overlook. One, because it isn’t sold in many stores, and two, because it isn’t as common as your average M&M’s or Skittles.

But when I am around it? Lawd have mercy, homedog. I’m scarfing it down like it’s my day job. It’s just so addictive!

Since I still have an enormous fear of candy thermometers (seriously, I do not have time for high-maintenance candy!) I haven’t actually made my own peanut brittle at home. If we’re being honest, I find it easier to just stock up at See’s Candies and get it for $6/box than stress over a pot of boiling caramel. Not my idea of a good time. Eating the peanut brittle, however, is a great time.

So while I haven’t mastered the brittle itself, I have mastered these scrumptious cupcakes! I have to admit, the peanut brittle flavor is spot-on. If you could somehow bottle it up and drink that delectable peanut butter caramel flavor, it would be the best beverage evah. But for now, you’ll have to settle with eating your cupcake and your peanut brittle, too. These are the best!

DSC_0316ASkip the candy thermom mama drama and buy yourself a box of brittle… and the ingredients for these cupcakes. You’ll be glad you did!


Peanut Brittle Cupcakes
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Peanutty and caramel, these Peanut Brittle Cupcakes taste like the addictive candy without the fuss of making it. Top with your favorite homemade or store-bought brittle for the perfect, tasty garnish.
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup caramel flavored syrup (NOT sundae sauce, but the kind you can use to flavor your coffee, like by Torani)
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif!)
  • 1 & ½ sticks butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup caramel flavored syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk, if needed
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Peanut Brittle, prepared or your favorite homemade recipe, broken into shards
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard muffin tins with about 16 paper liners; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, oil, eggs, water, caramel syrup and peanut butter together with a handheld electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until blended. Distribute batter evenly among the cupcake tins, filling about ¾" full.
  2. Bake for approximately 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with light crumbs. Cool the cupcakes completely while you prepare the frosting.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter, vanilla and caramel syrup with the paddle attachment until creamy and blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Add the milk if frosting is too thick.
  4. Spoon the frosting into a disposable piping bag attached with a large open star tip. Pipe the frosting high onto the cooled cupcakes, then garnish with a couple of shards of peanut brittle. Top with caramel sundae syrup if you'd like! Serve immediately.

DSC_0324AThese are FABULOUS! They’re a must-try. If you haven’t had caramel + peanut butter before, you must give this insanely-delicious combination a go. It’s a total winner and is what makes the flavor in these delectable Peanut Brittle Cupcakes so spot-on!

Have a fantastic day!

xo, Hayley

Dude Food Magic Bars

Dude Food MagicDespite the title, dudettes can totally nosh on these bars, too.

But let’s get real: normally, dudes are notorious for their “dude food.” Greasy pizza, spicy buffalo wings, cheap beer, and bacon covering every surface of everything aforementioned… you know what I’m talking about. They practically have their own cuisine! And honestly, even though I am someone who worships glitter, couldn’t live without mascara and who pines for an adult-sized tutu, I do admit that when it comes to dude food, I’m balls-in. I mean.. wait… that came out wrong.

But you know what I mean, right, bro?

These Dude Food Magic Bars aren’t for the faint of girly heart. They don’t contain sprinkles, they aren’t low-cal, and don’t even ask if butter’s a carb because butter, carbs and butter carbs are all contained within these sinful bars. I realize that I’m generalizing men and women based on their cuisine-preferences, and that there are plenty of men out there who drown their food in rainbow jimmies and plenty of women who have the manliest burps after downing pints of PBR, but in general, these are total studly dude bars… and my mom’s wrinkled nose and disinterested facial expression when I offered her one, versus my dad’s excited, glossy-eyed stare kind of proved that point.

Anywho. These bad boys start with a yellow cake base. Don’t worry, it isn’t cakey — more like a fudgy, dense brownie-like base with bacon fat in the base. You read that right, buck-o. Then they’re topped with semi-sweet chocolate chips, caramel bits, crispy chunks of bacon, creamy peanut butter, potato chips, and sweetened condensed milk, aka the milk that the food gods drink. So Regina, if you’re looking to lose three pounds, you better get your cranberry-juice-cocktail drinking booty off this page. I feel like just by looking at these I’ve gained 3 pounds, but it’s worth it.

Now dudes & dudettes, who’s ready to eat?!

DSC_1176A*inspired by SugarHero

5.0 from 2 reviews
Dude Food Magic Bars
Recipe type: Bars
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
Loaded with bacon, potato chips, caramel, chocolate and peanut butter, these sinful bars were made for hungry dudes and dudettes everywhere!
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup bacon grease, liquefied
  • ½ cup caramel bits
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 oz (about 12 pieces) bacon, cooked until chewy yet not-quite-crisp and cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-2 cups ruffled potato chips, coarsely crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, softened butter and bacon grease and stir together until a soft dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven but keep the oven on. Top the crust evenly with the chocolate chips, caramel bits, and bacon. Quickly whisk together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk; pour the mixture evenly over top of the bars. Top with the coarsely crushed potato chips (I just crushed them in my hands as I sprinkled them on top).
  3. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the center appears set and the chips are golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Serve immediately!

DSC_1187ASo they aren’t the most photogenic bars I’ve ever made, but they’re surely one of the most delicious! A salty-and-sweet-lovers dream come true, these fab bars have it all and then some. Sipping a pint of beer alongside of them is completely optional :)

Have a fab day!!

xo, Hayley

Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting and National Dessert Month with California Milk and Tieks!


choccookiecupsHappy Monday, everyone!

Did you know that October is National Dessert Month? That pretty much makes October the best month ever, in my opinion… and it’s like they coordinated it perfectly with Halloween and the excess of candy coming my way. I cannot wait!!

As you know, as a baker I’m constantly working with a variety of products. But the one product I use the most would have to be dairy. Think about it: I can’t very well have successful cookies without butter, or moist banana bread with yogurt. And cheesecake without cream cheese? Forgettaboudit.

Is life really worth living without butter? That is the question.

For National Dessert Month I’m teaming up with two iconic and world-class California-based companies to bring you this delightful recipe today! The first is California Milk Advisory Board, which represents over 1500 dairy farms in California whose cows and farms make California the number one dairy state in the United States. No matter where you are in America, I guarantee you have some kind of dairy product in your fridge right now that has a Real California Milk Seal on it — meaning that dairy product, be it ice cream, cheese, yogurt, or butter, was made using Real California Milk.

DSC_0302AThe second is Tieks, the most versatile designer flat brand in the world! If you haven’t heard of Tieks, they’re a California-based company that makes gorgeous flats that are made of 100% premium, soft, full-grain leather that are made in Italy. Tieks are designed to add flexibility to your life with their brilliant construction. Their foldable split-sole design makes it compact and lightweight. The non-skid rubber patches and non-slip instep ensure comfort with each step, even for the flattest of feet (read: mine!). Not to mention, they’re stylish, expertly made, and my new favorite shoe in the world. Gotta love an awesome shoe company made in my home state!


DSC_0868ATogether, the California Milk Advisory Board, Tieks and myself are bringing you this fabulous dessert and shoe pairing to help celebrate and kick-off National Dessert Month. CMAB and Tieks challenged me to create a unique recipe that showcases California dairy and pairs with one of Tieks’ fabulous flats. As a natural leopard lover (seriously, it’s a neutral in my book!) I chose their Leopard Flat to pair perfectly with my Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting. Not only do these flats and cookie cups go hand-and-foot together, but I think the cookie cups are every bit as elegant as the flats themselves! Soft and chewy chocolate cookies are loaded with creamy California butter and topped with a luscious and light peanut butter cheesecake frosting. Lastly, they’re garnished with an adorable Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup”cake” to make these extra festive — it is National Dessert Month, after all!

Plus, it’s always fashionable to match your dessert to your shoes. Just sayin’ :)


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting and National Dessert Month with California Milk and Tieks!
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
These petite, sweet cookie cups are made of buttery rich chocolate and are topped with a light and luscious peanut butter cheesecake frosting, then garnished with the cutest Reese's Peanut Butter Cup"cake" for an impressive dessert that's stylish and scrumptious!
  • For the Cookie Cups:
  • ¾ cup Real California Butter, softened to room temperature (I used unsalted butter)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & ¼ cups chocolate cake mix (the dry mix)
  • 1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • For the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Real California Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) Real California Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis
  • 12 Miniature M&M's (just the brown ones)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 12-cavity muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar on medium-speed, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the dry chocolate cake mix, the flour, baking soda and salt until a soft dough has formed.
  2. Using a cookie dough scoop, drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of cookie dough into the muffin tin, filling about ⅔ of the way full. Gently press the cookie dough into the tin so it's nestled in. Bake the cookie cups for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are sunken in and the edges appear set. Do not over-bake! Remove from the oven and allow the cookie cups to cool mostly in the tin. Gently remove from the tin after about 20 minutes by carefully running a small knife around the edges of the cookie cups and lifting them from the muffin tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla and peanut butter until combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until a softer frosting consistency has been achieved. You do not want it super stiff, but not so soft that the frosting will fall.
  4. Place ¾s of the cheesecake frosting into a disposable plastic piping bag affixed with a large open-star tip. Place the remaining cheesecake frosting into another disposable plastic piping bag affixed with a smaller open-star tip.
  5. Begin piping the cheesecake frosting high onto the cooled cookie cups using the large-tipped bag. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Using the smaller-tipped frosting bag, pipe little mounds of frosting onto the tops of the unwrapped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to make little cupcakes. Top them with a brown miniature M&M candy, and garnish with a light sprinkle.
  6. Place the miniature "cupcakes" on top of the cookie cups and serve!

DSC_0884ADelicious, adorable and stylish, these tasty Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting are a great and fashionable way to celebrate National Dessert Month with Tieks and the California Milk Advisory Board! Nothing beats the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, especially when they’re amped up with rich creamery California milk-based butter and cream cheese and eaten while rockin’ a totally gorgeous pair of leopard Tieks!

For more information about California Milk, be sure to visit the CMAB’s website. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram.

For more information about Tieks, be sure to visit their website to shop their collection! You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a proud brand ambassador for the California Milk Advisory Board and have been since May 2014. I have partnered with Tieks and CMAB on this campaign to bring you this original recipe. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 



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