Bailey’s Brown Butter Frosted Brownies

Bailey's Brown Butter Frosted Brownies are rich and fudgy brownies topped with a thick, creamy and sinfully delicious Bailey's & brown butter frosting. The perfect sweet treat! I remember when I turned 21, I wanted to drink everything in sight. Because, my rationing, I’m 21 and YOLO. (I wasn’t the most intelligent back then. Hindsight is 20/20, you know).

As I navigated my way through the world of beer, wine, and spirits, I quickly realized what I liked and what I didn’t. Hard lemonade = no bueno. Whiskey? The surprising like. Vodka? Talk about highway to hell. Flavored liqueurs (especially Midori)… hook me up to an IV with it.

But the one I didn’t delve into a whole lot were the cream liqueurs like Bailey’s. No reason why, just didn’t manage to get a hold of a bottle. But when I did, I realized this creamy, dessert-y drink is best paired with something equally sweet, like frosty ice cream, a glaze on spiced donuts, or, say, a fudge brownie recipe like this one.

If you’re like me and don’t have much experience with Bailey’s, or if it’s been awhile, let me remind you of what you’re getting yourself into. Bailey’s is a rich and creamy spirit that’s composed of a heavenly blend of Irish whiskey and cream-based liqueur that’s spicy, sweet, and totally mind-blowing. While some people enjoy it straight or on-the-rocks, I prefer mine laced in desserts since the liqueur pairs so beautifully with sweeter flavors, like chocolate, caramel, and spice. Bailey’s also has other flavors, too, like Salted Caramel, Vanilla, and even Chocolate Cherry, but this recipe uses the original to really drive home that decadent Irish cream flavor.

Bailey's Brown Butter Frosted Brownies are rich and fudgy brownies topped with a thick, creamy and sinfully delicious Bailey's & brown butter frosting. The perfect sweet treat! Oh. And there’s brown butter in the frosting, too. You’re welcome. I can’t even tell you how magical the brown butter and Bailey’s pairing is; it’s simply perfect.

But don’t take my word for it. Take yourself back to your 21st year and make yourself these brownies! I think you’ll quickly discover a newfound love!

Bailey's Brown Butter Frosted Brownies are rich and fudgy brownies topped with a thick, creamy and sinfully delicious Bailey's & brown butter frosting. The perfect sweet treat!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bailey's Brown Butter Frosted Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Thick, ultra-fudgy and topped with a creamy layer of brown butter and Bailey's frosting, these brownies are the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day... or any other day, for that matter.
Ingredients
  • 1 box fudge brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • ¼ cup hot fudge sauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup Bailey's Irish Cream Original Liqueur
  • 2 Tbsp milk or heavy cream
  • About 2-3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Stir the hot fudge sauce and cinnamon into the brownie batter to combine.
  2. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake according to package directions, about 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not over-bake. Cool completely in the pan.
  3. While brownies cool, prepare your frosting. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt completely, then carefully watch it during the browning process. Over the next 5-7 minutes, the butter will begin to sizzle, foam and pop, eventually turning an amber color. Watch it closely to prevent it from burning, until the butter is a deep amber color with brown flecks in it. Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to cool completely.
  4. Once butter has cooled, combine it with the Bailey's liqueur, milk or heavy cream, and powdered sugar, stirring vigorously until a thick yet spreadable frosting is achieved. You want it thicker than a glaze, but something you can spread rather than pour. Add more powdered sugar if necessary.
  5. Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies. Allow the frosting to set, approx. 20 minutes or so at room temperature, before cutting into squares. Serve immediately.
  6. **For an alcohol-free version, feel free to substitute the Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur with Irish Cream-flavored coffee creamer instead. Bailey's makes a fabulous coffee creamer that tastes like Irish Cream but sans alcohol.**

Bailey's Brown Butter Frosted Brownies are rich and fudgy brownies topped with a thick, creamy and sinfully delicious Bailey's & brown butter frosting. The perfect sweet treat! These are so freakin’ good, you guys! I love the rich creaminess of the brown butter & Bailey’s frosting – it is so luxuriously decadent and sweet, flecked with all those golden brown butter nuggets and scented with the indulgent hint of whiskey. Amazing!

**For an alcohol-free version, feel free to use Bailey’s Irish Cream Coffee Creamer in place of the liqueur. The flavor is the same, minus the alcohol. Use equal parts coffee creamer for the liqueur in the frosting recipe, and proceed as directed.**

Bailey's Brown Butter Frosted Brownies are rich and fudgy brownies topped with a thick, creamy and sinfully delicious Bailey's & brown butter frosting. The perfect sweet treat! Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

 

Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins

Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins are cinnamon-sugar encrusted monkey bread muffins filled with marshmallows! The marshmallows magically disappear during baking, making for a great St. Patrick's Day treat! You guys – this recipe is the bomb!

This recipe came to me after I realized I’m severely lacking in the monkey bread department. I have a couple standbys [chocolate chip cookie dough and cake batter!], but otherwise, I needed to up my game a ton… and this is the perfect way to do it!

Enter: these Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins! Here’s the deal behind these bad boys. First: they’re monkey bread muffins – gooey, encrusted in cinnamon and sugar, and freshly baked. But the kicker is the “magic marshmallow” aspect of these muffins that takes them over the top.

You see, apparently in the 60s and 70s, everyone enjoyed marshmallow puffs, which are very similar to this recipe. It basically consisted of canned biscuits or crescent rolls filled with a jumbo marshmallow, baked until golden. When the marshmallow is exposed to the high heat of the oven, it dissolves into the dough of the crescent puff. But while the inside is now hollow and the marshmallow has disappeared, it imparts a ton of sweet, gooey flavor in its wake. The sugary-sweet marshmallow soaks into all the dough, leaving the insides really sticky and sugary. It’s especially delicious when you roll the marshmallow in butter, then dredge it in cinnamon sugar before baking. Sooooo scrumptious!

Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins are cinnamon-sugar encrusted monkey bread muffins filled with marshmallows! The marshmallows magically disappear during baking, making for a great St. Patrick's Day treat!

So there ya have it. Retro marshmallow puffs have taken a time machine and arrived into 2015, morphing into today’s monkey bread muffin recipe. I’ve taken the tastiest dish of the 60s and 70s and made it a perfect new breakfast treat… without bringing forth jello mold recipes, orange & brown color schemes, and lava lamps; those can stay in the past.

Now eat up!!

Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins are cinnamon-sugar encrusted monkey bread muffins filled with marshmallows! The marshmallows magically disappear during baking, making for a great St. Patrick's Day treat!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
These fun and unexpected muffins will have everyone craving more! The hidden marshmallows disappear during the baking process, but leave behind a sweet, gooey texture that's simply irresistible.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg (8 count) refrigerated biscuits (not the flaky kind; I like using Pillsbury GRANDS)
  • 24 miniature marshmallows (like Kraft JET-PUFFED)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 1 cup prepared cinnamon sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease 8 cavities in a standard-size muffin pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Open the can of biscuits and cut each biscuit into three equal pieces (think of a peace sign to help get them equally-sized). Flatten each piece with the heels of your hands and set aside for a moment.
  3. Take three miniature marshmallows and dip them into a bowl of melted butter, coating them gently. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drop them into the bowl of cinnamon sugar, dredging them until they're coated in cinnamon sugar.
  4. Place a miniature marshmallow in the middle of each biscuit piece. Pinch the biscuit together to completely enclose the marshmallow inside. Once the marshmallow is filled within the biscuit piece, gently coat the biscuit pieces in the butter, then roll them carefully in the cinnamon sugar. Place three biscuit pieces into one muffin cavity - that's one monkey bread muffin. Repeat with remaining marshmallows and biscuits.
  5. Bake for approx. 11-15 minutes or until muffins are golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow them to set briefly, about 5-10 minutes, before serving. You can enjoy these at room temperature, but I prefer them warm. This recipe is very easily doubled!

Magic Marshmallow Monkey Bread Muffins are cinnamon-sugar encrusted monkey bread muffins filled with marshmallows! The marshmallows magically disappear during baking, making for a great St. Patrick's Day treat!Super sweet, and so crazy yummy! Kids will love dunking and dredging marshmallows, and they’ll be so shocked that the marshmallows disappear from within these warm, buttery muffins. These are so delicious!

Have a super sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

 

Mint Oreo Overload Cake

Mint Oreo Overload CakeSoft serve has been a part of my world for my entire life.

Growing up, I’d beg my grandma to relinquish me into the wild and walk up to the nearest Yogurt Delite store with my friends. It sat there loyally in the same shopping center for years, with its black and white checkered floors, completely abandoned lobby, and one strange woman who worked there.

For awhile I didn’t notice the fact that no one ever went there. But then, as I became a more frequent customer, I realized that really, no one went there. It was kind of sad, actually. The Yogurt Delite woman was forever alone, banished to her home in the back of the yogurt shop. She’d emerge when she heard the delightful jingle of bells on the door, only to see the same dorky pre-teen and her gaggle of friends. She would quietly dispense our frozen soft serve and scoop spoonfuls of rainbow sprinkles on top of mine, no matter what flavor I got (okay, it was usually vanilla, swirl, or mint).

Then one day, I noticed someone in there buying something from her. She went into the back to get it and handed it over to him quickly in a brown paper bag. They spoke in low voices, occasionally emphasizing random words while raising their eyebrows in what I can describe as the worst subtlety ever. It dawned on me: perhaps she was running a side business. Like an underground secret business within her facade of a yogurt shop business. From then on, I was kind of suspicious of the Yogurt Delite lady, sitting in the back of the shop behind the empty yogurt cartons, plotting murders or dabbing in international espionage or smuggling arms into the country or something.

Okay, so she probably wasn’t, but hey, it got her more business – I kept coming back hoping to catch her trading a missile to someone in a large paper bag, but it never happened. However, I did get a ton of mint soft serve with sprinkles, and thinking back to that time in my childhood (plus the fact that St. Patty’s Day is approaching) inspired me to create this Mint Oreo Overload Cake!

DSC_0439A

DSC_0447ALast year, I made both an Oreo Overload Cake and a Golden Oreo Overload Cake, both of which were dangerously delicious. A mint one was bound to happen, and this one happens to be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Mint + green? Instantly festive — can’t beat that.

And totally, totally delicious.

Both spies and non-spies, please enjoy.

DSC_0456A

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mint Oreo Overload Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A thick, two-layer chocolate cake filled with a light and fluffy mint frosting and topped with Mint Oreos! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day or anytime a mint craving strikes you.
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 1 small box chocolate pudding (just the dry mix)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp mint extract - you want MINT, not peppermint, divided
  • 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • A couple drops green liquid food coloring
  • About 10 Mint Oreos, very finely chopped
  • FOR TOPPING:
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • About 10 Mint Oreos, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Liberally grease two 9" cake pans with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the cake mix according to package directions; stir the box of dry pudding mix into the cake batter.
  2. Spread the batter evenly among both pans. Bake according to instructions on box, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, then very carefully invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, mint extract and green food coloring with an electric mixer, beating until smooth for about 2 minutes. Fold in the Cool Whip until the mixture is uniform and combined. Lastly, fold in the very finely crushed Mint Oreos.
  4. Place a cake layer on a plate, flat side up. Top with the whipped mint filling - this will be a HUGE pile of mint filling, but you will use all of it! You want a nice, thick layer. Using an offset spatula, spread it out to the edges so it's a thick layer. Carefully top with the remaining cake layer, flat side down. Allow the cake to set in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the cap and foil from the can of frosting and microwave for about 20 seconds, stirring until smooth and pourable but not super melty. Stir in the mint extract to combine.
  6. Pour the melted chocolate mint frosting mixture on top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Immediately top the cake with the chopped Mint Oreos. Serve immediately, or store leftovers in the fridge, covered, for about 2-3 days.

DSC_0462A

DSC_0468AI love this light and fluffy mint whipped filling! It’s so delicious and creamy, thanks to the tang of the cream cheese and the lightness of the Cool Whip. Combined with the rich, moist chocolate cake layers and the crunch of the Mint Oreos, this cake is a dreamy one you’ll love!

Mint Oreo Overload CakeHave a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

Lucky Rainbow Bark

Lucky Rainbow BarkYeah, I am totally guilty of trashing the living daylights outta that white chocolate. Sue me.

As a kid, I had this neighbor – we’ll call her Meow, since I remember her meowing on occasion, and I slept over at her house pretty frequently. She had anything a girl could ask for – her own pony, a really fluffy dog, a HUGE Barbie mansion, and the works. I remember being infinitely jealous of her Barbie collection since I was super obsessed with all things Barbie.

ANYWHO. On one particular evening sleepover, Meow and I were tucked in our sleeping bags and watching cartoons. The show ended and Leprechaun came on. Meow was kinda scared, but I begged her to keep it on since I was a morbid child who was admittedly frightened of this scary movie concept but also could not look away. This is similar to when I was freaking terrified of Forensic Files and would involuntarily shudder every time I heard Peter Thomas begin a sordid tale of murder, yet I would hide in the hallway and watch it without my parents knowing.

So we began watching Leprechaun and it proceeded to give me terrors over miniature mythical men wearing green suits and hiding in a box of Lucky Charms. Thankfully we didn’t regularly buy Lucky Charms and I never had to encounter any frightening creatures.

Fast forward a good fifteen or so years, and I’m now an adult and working a terrible job. I spotted a coworker snacking on Lucky Charms and it instantly made me crave fistfuls of that magical cereal. The next day, I went out and bought a box of it – and it soon became my go-to snack on the job. I never did find any leprechauns, FYI.

DSC_0407AWith St. Patrick’s Day coming up (it’s still awhile away, I know, but I’m a dork and get overly excited about holidays) I was brainstorming fun ideas with Lucky Charms and this bark came to mind. It’s not even a recipe – it’s just kind of a conglomerate of random, rainbow, sprinkly things held together by a huge plane of white chocolate. Yet all of those components create a totally delicious, outrageously SWEET bark that everyone is sure to love.

DSC_0419ANo meowing friends, terrified children, or Forensic Files-watching required.

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Lucky Rainbow Bark
Author: 
Recipe type: Bark, Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Filled with a ton of rainbow, sprinkly goodies, this fun bark is perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any other time you're craving something super sweet and festive.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. vanilla CandiQuik, or another white chocolate almond bark
  • 1 pkg Circus Animal Cookies (my favorite!)
  • About 2-3 cups Lucky Charms Cereal (depending on as much as you'd like)
  • About 1 cup M&M's candies
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  2. Melt the vanilla CandiQuik according to package directions or until smooth and melted. Spread the vanilla CandiQuik in an even layer onto the foil. You don't want it to be super thick, but don't make it super thin, either.
  3. Immediately top evenly with broken up Circus cookies, Lucky Charms, M&M's and sprinkles. Likewise, you could add dried fruits, nuts, or other candies if you'd like.
  4. Allow the bark to set up before breaking into pieces.

DSC_0427A

DSC_0430AThis bark is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth since it’s packed with the delightful crunch of Circus Animal Cookies, a bite from the chocolate M&M’s, and the melt-in-your-mouth sweetness from the Lucky Charms! Don’t like an ingredient? Feel free to swap out the Circus Animal Cookies for another favorite, or try using Chocolate CandiQuik for a different flavor.

Lucky Rainbow BarkHope you have a sweet weekend!

xo, Hayley

 

Thin Mint Cookie Bars

thinmintcookiebarsWhen Girl Scout season comes around, it takes all of my willpower, strength, courage, and inner peace to avoid Girl Scout cookies.  It’s a serious kinda avoidance.

I try to tell myself they’ll give me the Bubonic plague or something if I eat them which usually deters me for a good .45946 seconds before I finally take my chances with the plague and shovel them in at a disgustingly fast pace.

I’m particularly prone to Samoas, which are my end-all, be-all favorite.  So when I see the purple box chilling on my counter, looking all sassy and flirty and nonchalant, it takes every inch of courage not to eat the coconut-scented cardboard as well.  And the serving sizes are a freakin’ joke, man.  Come on, Girl Scouts of America.  TWO COOKIES?  Are you kidding me?  Have you eaten a Samoas cookie before?  Because one becomes three which becomes the entire serving size and then has you scratching your face and digging for coins in the couch cushions so you can race up to the store to buy more.

DSC_0501AHowever, while Samoas may be my top pick, Thin Mints are not far behind in the rat race.  There’s something so irresistible about those cookies — perhaps the satisfying crunch of the crispy chocolate wafer, or the smooth, refreshing coating of the chocolate mint outer shell?  Either way, I flip for ’em and can do some seriously embarrassing damage on a box of those, too.

So instead of my usual cookie-in-face shoveling routine, I decided to put them to good use in a way that’s more pleasant to the eyes than watching me Chubby Bunny eighteen Thin Mints.  I mixed crushed Thin Mint cookies with Andes mint chips and peppermint patties for a truly outrageously minty bar for only the most die-hard mint-lovers around.  The result is AWESOME, and I know you won’t be able to resist them!  And the fact that they come together in seconds is quite dangerous, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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4.7 from 3 reviews
Thin Mint Cookie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
If you love mint + chocolate, this bar is for you! Crushed Thin Mint cookies, chopped Andes mint bits and peppermint patties are loaded inside of gooey, chewy chocolate chip bars for an irresistible treat!
Ingredients
  • 2 pkgs refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, at room temperature
  • 25 peppermint patties, unwrapped
  • About 10-15 Thin Mint cookies, coarsely chopped
  • About ¾ cup Andes Mint baking chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" baking pan 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. Press ONE package of the cookie dough evenly along the entire bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the 25 peppermint patties over the top of the dough -- five rows by five. Immediately top with the crushed Thin Mint cookies and sprinkle evenly with the Andes mint chips.
  3. Rip off pieces of the second package of cookie dough and press them gently to flatten them in the palm of your hand. Arrange the dough pieces over the minty center as best as you can, trying to cover the minty center completely with dough (it's okay if you have small pockets peeking through, but try to cover it completely as best as you can).
  4. Bake the bars for approx. 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and mostly set -- the center may jiggle only slightly, but it'll firm up as it cools. Do not over-bake. Allow the bars to cool completely to room temperature before cutting into squares.

DSC_0506ADon’t waste your $$ on the real-deal Thin Mints for this recipe!  Instead, swap them out with their cheaper grocery store doppelganger which is often found by brands like Keebler or store brands like Great Value (Walmart’s brand).  They have virtually the same taste but a huge difference in price — plus, since you’ll be crumbling them up and along with buttery Andes mints and luscious peppermint patties, you won’t need to splurge on fancy cookies since you’ll already be eating a seriously droolworthy ‘fancy’ mint bar!

And these would be perfect for St. Patty’s Day!  Just a friendly suggestion :)

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Bailey’s Twinkie Tiramisu

baileystiramisuSo I recently joined OkCupid and I have to say, what am I doing?

First of all, within the first 24 hours of signing up I was so bombarded with emails from prospective Lotharios that I had to shut my computer and phone off because I’d get a new message ping every second or so.  Needless to say, I’ve never felt like a pimp more in my life [it was kind of awesome, even if 99% of the people messaging me were not so awesome].

Second of all, after perusing my options in my inbox alone, I have to say, what are people doing?  Because their idea of a first impression is clearly a very awful one.  Take for example profile pictures.  Of all the picture opportunities one has, you post that picture?  The blurry one where I can barely distinguish human-like features?  Or the over-exposed one where you just have scary eyeballs boring into my soul?  Or the one of you standing on top of a mountain and you look like the size of an eyelash on my screen?  Or my personal favorite, the dude-bathroom selfie where you’re half naked & flexing in your dirty bathroom; bonus points if you have some ridiculous tribal tattoo going down the length of your bicep.  Yeah, I’m not asking you post a professional headshot, but maybe don’t show me your boobs on the first impression?  Or make me wonder if the lighting ate the bottom half of your face?  Thanks.

Thirdly, the messages they send are redokulous, people.  I can’t fathom saying some of those things to someone because the cheesiness level is out of this world and onto a scary, creepy planet in outer space where I can only imagine Justin Beiber’s weird mustache and where Robin Thicke came from.

Like the guy who said he wanted to serenade me in an Amazon rain forest where we could dance with monkeys.  Not. Even. Kidding.

Or the guy who seemed super normal until I asked what his hobbies were and he responded, ‘I’m a bad boy.’ Uhhhhhhh delete.

Orrrr the guy who told me his life story and weirded me out so bad I didn’t log on for the rest of the day: “I’m 23 years young, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned from them, I’ve been in love, I’ve had my heart broken.  I’ve broken bones, I’ve met celebrities.  I’ve traveled the world.  I’ve seen the deserts of Egypt and the beaches of the Caribbean.  I’ve skydived, I’ve built homes in Mexico, I’ve had triumphs and successes but also great failures.  Yet even having had made all of these experiences, it still doesn’t matter because I haven’t yet met you.”

So yeah, needless to say I’m kind of over it already and it hasn’t even been a week.

HOWEVER, givin’ credit where it’s due, there are some nice, funny and awesome guys I have met on there… so far.  How many people they’ve killed or how much they love the Disney Channel has yet to be determined, but it looks like they could be promising in a non-creepy way.  Yay!

And as long as the body count is under five, I suppose I’m okay with that.  KIDDING.

Anyways, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up if you haven’t realized!  Six days and counting, people — do you have any fun plans?  Usually, I’ll make something somewhat Irish-y and we’ll drink beer.  But this year I am FOR SURE making this amazing Bailey’s Twinkie Tiramisu because it is out of controoollllll goooooood.

DSC_0595AI first tried tiramisu while at Disneyland with Elizabeth in January and was in love.  It was so fluffy and soft and had a pleasing texture I could handle [I’m a major texture person and sometimes even pudding is too much for me!].  Plus, I loved the hint of rich coffee which brought out the sweetness of the chocolate.  I was in heaven!  I knew when I got home I wanted to recreate that dreamy creamy tiramisu but with ingredients I could easily find and with a fun twist.  So I immediately thought of using Twinkies instead of the classic Ladyfingers, and Bailey’s Irish Creamer in the filling for a nice, spiked twist.  If you’re making this for kids, feel free to use the Bailey’s Coffee Creamer for the same taste sans the alcohol.

Otherwise, EAT UP!!

DSC_0611A*recipe adapted from Kristan’s version 

4.7 from 3 reviews
Bailey's Twinkie Tiramisu
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
If you love tiramisu, you'll fall for this dreamy spin on the classic made with Twinkies and Bailey's Irish Cream for a fun & festive St. Patty's Day kick. But don't save it only for the 17th of March-- you must make it yearround!
Ingredients
  • 10 Twinkies, split in half lengthwise (vertically) -- point the Twinkie upwards toward yourself and gently slice it in half lengthwise
  • 1 (12 oz) tub Whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Bailey's liqueur OR 3 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Coffee Creamer
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • ¼ cup strongly brewed black coffee, cooled
  • Chocolate Syrup (the sundae/chocolate milk kind, about ½ cup or so)
  • Cocoa powder & cinnamon for dusting
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the whipped cream cheese, sugar, Bailey's creamer or liqeuer, and vanilla with an electric mixer until creamy and combined. Gently fold in the Cool Whip until combined; set aside. Meanwhile, whisk the chocolate syrup into the cup of brewed coffee until combined.
  3. Lay 5 Twinkies cream-side up in the pan (this will equal to 10 Twinkie halves)-- should be two rows of five. Drizzle half of the chocolate/coffee mixture on top of the Twinkies. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of the Twinkie layer.
  4. Layer the other half of the Twinkies cream-side up; drizzle with the remaining coffee/chocolate mixture and the remaining cream cheese mixture in an even layer.
  5. In a sifter, sift together a generous scoop of cocoa powder and about a teaspoon or so of cinnamon (more to taste). Sift evenly over the top of the tiramisu. Allow the tiramisu to set in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight before cutting into squares to serve.

DSC_0600AI love the fun kick of the Bailey’s in the whipped cream cheese mixture!  It adds a unique flavor to the tiramisu that I know you’ll enjoy!  The real star here?  The Twinkies!  I love that they’re used in place of Ladyfingers which are typically dry and lacking flavor.  The Twinkies are plush, creamy and absorb all of that luscious chocolate/coffee mixture.  I think you’ll fall in love with this!!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Andes Thin Mint Cupcakes

andescupcakesSigh.  Is it Girl Scout Cookie season again already?!

Every year I try to evade them around this time.. going to grocery stores at weird hours, avoiding making eye contact with potential mothers and/or young girls wearing vests, and never carrying cash which is easy since I am consistently broke as it is.

But man, those chickadees are hustlers!  I wouldn’t be surprised if they rotated through 24/7 shifts outside Walmarts and began carrying miniature ATMs.  Hell, I think in a few years those girls will have created brain scanners so all they have to do is walk up to you, smile a toothless grin and whisper ‘Samoas’ while they make eye contact with you and mentally complete the transaction.  Before you realize what happened you’ll have a purse filled with Thin Mints and your wallet will be audibly crying from beneath the boxes.

Ahem, Daisies?  You best be crediting me when you inevitably swipe my brain scanning idea, capiche?  I’ll take my payment in Samoas for life.

DSC_0529AWhile Samoas are my clear favorite, I *do* have a serious soft spot for Thin Mints, too.  Who can resist those deliciously crispy, delightfully minty cookies?!  NO ONE!  Whether you eat them straight outta the box or out of the freezer (both are yum!) they’re a major favorite among most people.  Today, however, I put them into and on top of cupcakes which was an even better invention than my brain scanning thingamajig because the cupcakes were real, I could eat them, and science < cupcakes… obviously.

If you’re a Thin Mint fanatic I urge you to make these cupcakes!  They’ll certainly satisfy that minty goodness in a plush, moist and scrumptiously sweet cupcake version!

DSC_0526A

4.8 from 4 reviews
Andes Thin Mint Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Thin Mint fanatics, these cupcakes are for YOU! Delightfully minty cupcakes that taste exactly like the classic Girl Scout favorite, loaded with extra Andes mints for more minty goodness!
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup Andes mints, chopped
  • FOR THIN MINT BUTTERCREAM:
  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup Thin Mints, finely crushed
  • 18 full Thin Mint cookies
  • White non-pareils, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 18 paper liners. Prepare cake mix according to package directions with ingredients on back of the box. Beat in the two teaspoons of peppermint extract and the dry pudding mix and stir to combine. Lastly, fold in the Andes mints.
  2. Fill each muffin tin about ¾" full of batter. Bake for approx. 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with very few crumbs. Cool the cupcakes completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cocoa powder until combined and creamy. Beat in the vanilla & peppermint extracts. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Lastly, gently fold in the crushed Thin Mint cookies.
  4. Fill a piping bag attached with a closed-star tip with the frosting. Pipe the frosting high on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with white non-pareils, if you'd like, and garnish with a Thin Mint cookie. Serve immediately. Store leftovers airtight in the fridge or room temperature for a few days.

DSC_0533AOkay, here’s my super top secret when it comes to making Girl Scout cookie desserts: most stores carry knock-off Girl Scout cookie versions in their cookie/cracker aisle and I highly encourage you to use those when making desserts!  There’s no point in wasting a box of $5 cookies just to grind them up, so save on the $2 package of knock-off Thin Mints to make these cupcakes and splurge on the real deal for unadulterated snacking.  Hint: Keebler makes a Grasshopper cookie, and Great Value (Walmart’s store brand) makes a Fudge Mint cookie that are both comparable to GS Thin Mints!!  Most brands also carry knock-off Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos and Samoas, too :)

Speaking of which… stay tuned for another Thin Mint and a Samoas recipe headed to the blog soon!!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Over the Rainbow Brownie Bombs

rainbowbrowniebombsYesterday, I did a grown-uppy thing: I got a queen-size bed!!  This is pretty exciting news seeing that I have been sleeping on a twin for my entire life and finally feel like I’ve surpassed some grown-up right-of-passage with my grown-up bed.

Basically what I’m trying to say is, I’m a big girl now!

So out of nowhere, my parents decided to graciously treat my me and my sister to brand new beds.  We headed to the mattress stores to check out our options which basically consisted of my eyeballs popping out of my head upon seeing the price some people pay for a mattress.  Unless it has a built-in toilet and mini fridge, I’m not interested.

Anywho, so my sister and I were checking out our options when the mattress lady came by and asked what we were up to, as if we were random strangers intruding in her large home filled with an extensive collection of partially used mattresses.  After we assuaged her nerves and reminded her we were shopping for mattresses, she seemed to calm down some & wanted to know who was looking.  My mom said, “these two” and the woman took that as the perfect opportunity to call us “the kids” from there forward.

I’m sorry, but there comes a time in a person’s life when they pass the ‘kid’ threshold and are called by their names, or by anything other than “kid.”  Excuse me, lady, but I pay taxes.  And I have tattoos.  And my own car.  Which basically means I’m an adult in every sense of the word.  Who cares if my mom is buying me a mattress?  YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

And mind you, there tends to be an age where people call anyone under 65 a ‘kid’ or ‘kiddo’, but this woman clearly was not in that bracket and was only slightly older than myself which definitely does not give her the elderly right-of-passage to call anyone a ‘kiddo’ and wear adult diapers.

The worst part was after she called us ‘kids’, she asked our ages and when I said ’23’ she STILL called me a ‘kid’ after that!  It’s like, excuse me, but I’m definitely not a kid.  Just because I watched Little Einsteins on TV a few days ago doesn’t mean anything!  Because first of all, the gym had it on for some reason and as far as I’m concerned, it was far more interesting than watching CNN.  And last I checked, ‘kids’ cannot vote, abuse a Target credit card or order drinks at the bar with a cute guy who was as interested in me as someone would be with a used napkin [his loss].

DSC_0556AAnyway, I have my big-girl mattress now so I don’t need her judgments.  Plus, she’s probably just bitter because she didn’t have one of these incredible Over the Rainbow Brownie Bombs!! 

DSC_0571AWith St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I knew I wanted something rainbow for this lucky little holiday.  By combining one of my favorite recipes, my Rainbow Truffles, with my classic Brownie Bomb recipe, I made one super bright and ultra fun bomb that everyone will love!  Plus, while it looks intimidating, it’s super easy and fun to make with the kids — just a little labor intensive, but worth the wait 😀

If you ever wondered what was over the rainbow, it’s brownies.  And cake.  And queen-sized mattresses.  Now eat up, kid!!

DSC_0572AGET THE RECIPE FOR RAINBOW TRUFFLES HERE.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Over the Rainbow Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These adorable rainbow brownie bombs are perfect for St. Patrick's Day and are a fun dessert to make with the kids! Have them roll the rainbow cake to make the cake balls, or decorate the tops with the gummy rainbow candy!
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe Rainbow Truffles (link provided above and below)
  • 1 (13x9") baking pan fudge brownies, baked and cooled and cut into about 1"-2" squares
  • 1 pkg vanilla Candiquik
  • Kraft Mallow Bits
  • Sour Rainbow Candy Strips, cut in half
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Rainbow Truffles according to the recipe provided; freeze the truffles until solid. Meanwhile, take a brownie and using the heel of your hand, gently flatten the brownie into a flat plane.
  2. Wrap the brownie gently around the cake ball, rolling it in your palm and pinching the brownie around the truffle to cover. Place the brownie covered truffles back onto the baking sheet and freeze once more, for about 15 minutes or until firm.
  3. Prepare the Candiquik according to package directions. I used ONE drop of liquid blue food coloring into my Candiquik just to give it a little blue tint, but this is optional. Once the Candiquik has melted and is smooth, dip each brownie bomb into the mixture, coating completely and allowing excess to drip off.
  4. Place on the baking sheet and, working quickly, take a halved rainbow candy strip and arc it on top of the brownie bomb. You may need to carefully hold it in place for a few seconds so the edges of the rainbow don't droop down the wet chocolate. Going as fast as possible, lightly press a small pinch of miniature marshmallow bits onto the edges of each rainbow to create the clouds. Repeat with remaining bombs.

DSC_0569AAren’t these the cutest?!  Yes, they require some work, but the payoff is a sweet, fun and unique treat that is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!  No one can resist the fudgy, one-of-a-kind taste of a brownie bomb, and everyone will fall for the bright, sunny surprise of a rainbow cake ball hidden inside!  Plus, this is a great chance to engage the kids in helping with rolling the cake balls and decorating the outside.  Can’t find the rainbow gummy strip candy?  You could also use rainbow sprinkles, miniature M&M’s or rainbow colored pearl sprinkles or candies like Sixlets to decorate the tops of the bombs.  However you make ’em, they’re guaranteed to brighten your day!!

Love rainbows?!  Me too!!  Check out some other scrumptious rainbow goodies…

rainbowcheesecakeRainbow Mini Cheesecakes

rainbowtruffleRainbow Truffles — aka, the recipe you’ll use as the base for these bombs!

birthdaypokeBetter Than Presents… Birthday Rainbow Poke Cake

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Take 5 Poke Cake

candybarweek

 

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

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

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

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

Where have all the Halloween people gone?!

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

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

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

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

DSC_0502A

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

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

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

Grasshopper Thin Mint Pie [Pi Day Blog Hop]

I believe in quitting.

Lots of people look down on quitters, but in most cases, I can sympathize.

We’ve all been in those situations where we desperately want to throw in the towel and say “sayonara” to all our troubles, but some of us have been taught to stick it out or have been brainwashed to think “failure is not an option.”

Eh… or maybe it is, since the situation I’m in currently sucks and I don’t want to put up with this crap anymore.

Like if you quit drugs. Obviously, that’s a good thing.

Or if you are in a dead-end job you detest and one day, you just snap and can’t take the fact that your boss is a maniac and you have a coworker who invites her capital-GHETTO boyfriend to your place of business and he proceeds to scream and cuss everyone out and you’re just like “Screw this!” and leave your boss’s boss a letter saying you’re SOOO outta there.

Or if you have piles and piles of never-ending homework and you just got over two hellish weeks of coughing up both lungs, fluids you didn’t know existed, and other miscellaneous junk while simultaneously tending to a persistent fever and the WORST night-sweats of your life, only to realize you haven’t really caught up on your DVR yet and while homework is necessary for passing the course, it certainly doesn’t hold any competition against Real Housewives reruns or past episodes of this nail-biting season of The Walking Dead. (And yes, I did see you-know-who die and I am HAPPY. There, I said it)

Note: while the last two scenarios may or may not pertain to yours truly, the quitting drugs one does not. I’m just using it as an obvious reference that quitting drugs is a good thing.. unless you’re like, bipolar or something, in which case, you probably need to take another pill. Please.

However, I also believe in the reverse of quitting: starting back up again. I don’t mean getting back together with stupid ex-boyfriends you should have dumped for real MONTHS ago, or anything.

I mean, say you abandoned a book you were only half-heartedly interested in. Go ahead and pick it up again. Who knows, maybe it won’t suck so bad after the first couple chapters (ahem, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

Or say you used to tirelessly make frozen pies with Cool Whip and suddenly, one day, you magically stopped for no particular reason. And say, some awesome blogging friend of yours suggested you should participate in a Pi Day Blog Hop Party for today, 3/14, and you suddenly remembered your previous love affair with easy, no-bake pies and you decided you were tooootally gonna make one of your favorites again to reminisce and simultaneously, get fat.

That pie and those Real Housewives ain’t gonna eat and watch themselves, now.*
*Okay, the pie can’t eat itself, but I am betting all those ladies aren’t the most modest bunch and probably eat pints of Haagen-Dazs and watch themselves on repeat in their Juicy Couture sweat suits. 

So today, in honor of Pi Day, I made for you a delicious, cool & refreshing Grasshopper Thin Mint Pie featuring my new fave Girl Scout cookie. (Seriously, I am a die-hard Samoas fan, but after nibbling on a Thin Mint recently, I’ve become borderline obsessed. They are SOGOODOMGHOWDIDINEGLECTTHEMFORSOLONG?)

So much lovin’ for those Thin Mints that I stuffed them in a pie, restarted my love affair and am pleased to announce I hereby QUIT forgetting to make no-bake pies ever again because I love them. And they’re easy and hello, no-bake. So you technically could have an excuse for neglecting homework or chores or something since the baking is out of the equation, but lol, who wants to do math or laundry?

Eat up, but be sure to save room–there are a bunch of other tasty pies made by some awesome bloggers; see the list after the recipe!

Grasshopper Thin Mint Pie *inspired by an ancient!! copy of Quick Cooking Magazine (March/April 2003) I have at my house–sad they discontinued the magazine

2 pkgs (8 oz each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
Green food coloring
1 tub light Cool Whip, thawed in fridge
About 1 sleeve (16 or so cookies) Thin Mints or Fudge Mint Cookies, coarsely crushed (I ground mine in the food processor)
1 chocolate wafer pie crust

1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for about a minute, until smooth and creamy. Beat in the milk and the peppermint extract until smooth. Lastly, add the green food coloring to reach your desired shade of green, as well as the crushed cookies, stirring to combine.
2. Fold the whipped topping gently into the cream cheese mixture using a rubber spatula, careful not to be too rough (being gentle keeps the air in the whipped cream in nice peaks so it doesn’t deflate. Being gentle results in a fluffy pie).
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust, spreading it evenly. Cover and place in the freezer overnight to set. Before serving, let it sit in the fridge for about 15-30 mins to soften slightly. Store in the freezer or fridge for about 1-2 days. Garnish with additional cookies if desired. Can be easily doubled & stored for later in the freezer.

The mixture is so light and refreshing, yet the pie is very dense and decadent at the same time. Almost like a mint chocolate chip ice cream pie, but loads lighter and fluffier.

Apparently, other bloggers like pie, too (weird). Check out this awesome, impressive list of tasty pies from some very talented blogging babes!

Jocelyn @ Inside BruCrew Life made Banana Split Brownie Pie
Dorothy @ Crazy For Crust (and the mastermind behind this awesome Pi Day Blog Hop!!) made Carrot Cake Pie
Ashton @ Something Swanky made Baltimore Bomb Pie
Kristin @ Kristin’s kNook made Caramel Apple Galettes
Aimee @ Shugary Sweets made Irish Banana Cream Pie
Karen @ Trilogy Edibles made an Apple & Apricot Tart
Jacqueline & Ellen @ Bake It With Booze made an Amaretto-Cherry with Brandied Apple & Cheddar Cheese Crumb Pie
Mandy @ Mandy’s Recipe Box made Reese’s Fudge Pie

Um, are you drooling? Because I am. Nice work, ladies! (See, being a food blogger is hard. You compete with hella creative women around the world. I’d hate them for being so awesome and talented if I didn’t totally obsess over their blogs and love their pictures and recipes). Check them out!

Thanks for hosting this awesome Pi Day Blog Hop, Dorothy, and thanks for reading!! Have a sweet Pi Day, peeps!!

xo, Hayley

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