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!

DSC_0503A

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 :D

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

Triple-Threat Grasshopper Mint Brownies

I am obsessed with my dog.

Can anyone else relate?

I think it’s borderline on the way-obsessive side but I can’t be too sure. I’m too busy kissing him and making him sit like a human to sort out my potentially-psychotic emotions.

I don’t understand why people aren’t obsessed with their dogs. You know, those people who are kind of weird and have dogs yet never even mention them or touch them or anything? It’s really sad. Your dog isn’t an accessory. It should be like your child. It should be better than your child. I’m weird.

My mom says I shouldn’t have kids and I couldn’t agree more, but I really enjoy having a dog-kid. He doesn’t do anything bad except bark and occasionally lick weird things, but I love him anyway.

I’ll never have to worry about him becoming a drug addict or a prostitute or a scary, creepy man who wears socks with sandals and offensive cologne and hangs out around middle schools.

I’ll never have to take him to sports practices or pay for college or any of that stuff. He never needs new clothes, the hippest techie gadgets or anything. He’s like, totally perfect. And he has his cute little front paw and I like putting it on my leg so he sits up straight like a human boy would if a human boy sat with his arm sticking straight out.

And I like squealing when he does cute things which, let’s be honest, is all the time so I’m perpetually making high-pitched squealing noises which drives my family batty. Oh, and I kiss him ALL. THE. TIME.

You know when people put you down in the heat of the moment, like that bitchy friend you have who poops on your happy parade when you scored a bitchin’ bag for cheap (“are you sure you can afford that?”) or when you take a great, big bite of something delectable, like a giant piece of pizza and someone says “I just lost ten pounds and basically was asked to be a model” and you’re like, SERIOUSLY?? I’m in the heat of the moment so WHY would you say this to me now?!?!

That’s how I feel when I’m minding my own business, kissing my dog’s nose and cheeks and the top of his head where there’s those squishy pads protecting his skull and people say, “You know, dogs are dirty” or “You don’t know where he’s been!”

Um, he’s been sitting like a human having his Shakespearean-hair brushed out by his mother who has been squealing over his cuteness for the last hour. I’m pretty sure I’m okay.

And what’s the worst that could happen? I turn into a dog? That’d be awesome. I’m not even worried. Now, leave me alone so I can go back to smelling his pads which smell ironically like Fritos.

Don’t tell me they don’t.

He’s perfect, my Frito-pawed baby. And for people who don’t have dogs in your life, I’m sorry.

And for everyone else, I made brownies. Completely irrelevant to dogs and not to be served to dogs, but delicious brownies nonetheless. So when you’re done hugging your dog you can eat some and maybe give one to your annoying mortal frenemy who has kindly reminded you you’re a freak.

But you already know, so maybe you shouldn’t give her one and keep them all to yourself. Good plan.

Triple-Threat Grasshopper Mint Brownies

1 box brownie mix, baked and cooled in a 13×9 inch pan
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
Green food coloring
About 3 cups powdered sugar
1 pkg milk chocolate chips
1 cup Thin Mints or fudge-mint cookies, finely crushed

1. First, prepare the mint layer. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and peppermint extract until creamy, about a minute. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy but not completely stiff like a buttercream. You want it a little on the softer side. If needed, add a couple teaspoons of milk. Stir in the green food coloring to your desired shade.
2. Spread the mint mixture evenly onto the cooled brownies in the pan. Place in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes-1 hour. Next, prepare the chocolate ganache shell.
3. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate chips on high for a minute. Add a splash of oil, stir, and zap for an additional 30 seconds or so until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the mint layer. Then, sprinkle the ganache immediately with the crushed grasshopper cookies. Allow the ganache shell to harden and set for another 30 minutes or so before cutting into bars. Store airtight for 1-2 days. I like mine chilled in the fridge.

The combo of the fudgy brownie, the cool mint layer and the chocolate shell makes these brownies explosive in flavor and texture. I especially love the crushed Thin Mint cookies on top–like cookie sprinkles. Amazing!!

They’ll probably want to make you hug your dog. Just sayin’.

Have a great Monday!

xo, Hayley

Rainbow Truffles

There are a few things that I’m embarrassed to say, as an adult, I cannot do.

I was hoping it was just a child or adolescent phase. That, along with age I’d be the wiser and could do everything with adult-like savvy and sophistication.

Not the case.

I watch other adults–teens–kids, even–attempt these tasks with ease and complete lack of frustration. They can do these things in the simple blink of an eye, no question. Yet I’m in the corner, wishing ill upon them all because I was born with a genetic defect that prevents me from doing the simplest tasks.

Time to embarrass myself.

#1. Sealing Ziploc baggies. In my defense, if they have the zipper thingy, I’m good. But the regular ol’ strip-seal bags? No way in hell. There’s always a huge open gap in my “seal” and I can never get all the air out.

#2. Touching styrofoam egg cartons. I seriously hate styrofoam. It was created by the devil to wreak awful-sounding, squeakiness onto my ears and cause me to go moderately homicidal. This proves difficult since where we grocery shop, eggs are packaged in styrofoam containers. However, last summer I got some eggs at an organic grocery store and yay–they came in cardboard. So you know what I did? I SAVED the cardboard egg containers and I transfer my eggs, cringing the whole time I’m touching the damn styrofoam. It’s nearly unbearable.

#3. Putting my shoes away. Okay, I really am genetically incapable of doing this. My shoes are strewn about my house everywhere. I got the concept from my dad, who has his entire footwear collection in our foyer. I learned wisely and enjoy tossing my flats right in doorways and throwing my beat-up converse where people can easily trip. I’m obviously very (in)convenient.

#4. Opening cereal boxes. How am I even a food blogger when I have such difficulty with food packaging? I’m a disgrace. I hate cereal pull-tab boxes. They never open well and there’s always a rip in the tab which makes for an impossible-to-shut-the-tab-box of Fruity Pebbles. And don’t even get me started on the plastic bags–whenever I (gently!) try to rip them open, they burst down the seams. Cereal companies are obviously out to get me.

#5. Opening screw-top bottles. This is an embarrassing story which will probably make my mom happy since it involves my own stupidity preventing my own underage drinking. Last Superbowl 2011, I wasn’t of drinking age but went to a Superbowl party and decided to have a Corona like the rest of the guests. Jessie left the kitchen with a bottle in hand so I went in and grabbed one, too. I took it to my seat and tried a couple of VERY unsuccessful times to unscrew the cap–resulting in a bloodied, red and angry palm on my part and uh, no beer, either. It wasn’t until I later realized Coronas aren’t screw-top drinks. But in my idiotic defense, I can’t open those either.

I should just wear a straitjacket for my life because I am obviously a catastrophic member of society.

To make up for the fact that my parents created such a mess and because Jessie is dating said mess, I made something cheerful and happy and pretty to make them remember my good qualities–like how I can always make them laugh no matter the occasion, or how I make them dinner nightly, or how I let my dad drink my fancy beers; vacuum the living room for my mom and make sure I scratch Jessie’s head every time we’re watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. 

Something bright and sunny should do the trick… how about Rainbow Truffles??

I’ve been redeemed. Now can you, uh, seal this for me?

Rainbow Truffles *adapted slightly by Rainbow Cake Pops over at Munchkin Munchies– such cute stuff!

1 pkg white cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free vanilla instant pudding mix
1/3 can vanilla frosting
1 pkg white almond bark
Rainbow sprinkles
Red, golden yellow, lemon yellow, kelly green, royal blue and violet Wilton gel food coloring

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. First, prepare your cake mix according to package directions, stirring dry pudding mix into the batter to combine. Divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Tint each bowl a different color of the rainbow to the intensity of your choice. I made my colors bright, but pastels would be cute, too!
2. Divide the colored batter into the muffin cups–2 muffin cups per one color–and bake about 13-15 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with light crumbs. Allow to cool completely.

3. Once cooled, crumble the cake by color into six separate bowls. Add about one Tablespoon or so of vanilla frosting to each bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.

4. To make the balls, take a small pinch of red crumbs, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Once each color is in the palm of your hand, gently roll them into a tight ball. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and repeat until all the crumbs are gone. Allow to harden several hours in the freezer.

5. Once chilled, prepare the almond bark according to package directions. Once melted and smooth, dip each truffle one at a time into the melted chocolate with a toothpick, turning it gently to coat. Allow excess to drip off, then carefully release the coated cake ball back onto the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles and repeat until finished. Allow chocolate to harden, then store airtight up to 2 days.

Since my Amazing Rainbow Cupcakes are kind of a big deal around here, these truffles made an instant impression. It’s amazing that a mini rainbow can brighten anyone’s day in one bite-sized morsel of happiness.

I make up for my shameful childlike behavior sometimes.

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats ThursdaysTuesday Talent ShowSweet Tooth FridaySweets for a SaturdayStrut Your Stuff Saturday, A Themed Baker’s Sunday

Lucky Green Velvet Cookies

Let me preface this that my family was not keen on the idea of eating green cookies.

Apparently that’s taboo or something, kinda like how I feel about eating pork chops or salads. Very taboo indeed.

Actually, eating red velvet is kind of taboo here. We just don’t do it.

Why?

Confession time: uh, we don’t like red velvet anything. Zip. Zilch. Nada on the red velvet. It’s just… blah. Not my fave.

When I worked at the cupcake factory, red velvet was the most popular flavor EVER. People would go positively bizerk for the damn cupcake. I mean, why? We had other flavors that were far superior to red velvet, yet people literally had temper tantrums like ill-behaved children when we sold out.

W.T.F.

What’s funny is, no one working there really liked the flavor, either. Therefore, I’m kind of convinced it’s a fad food. I mean, to make a cupcake factory, you kind of have to have some taste… I mean, you are selling cupcakes. And no one went apesh*t for red velvet. Just the plastic-surgerized moms and stuff.

It’s like when I started eating sushi, it was becoming this big thing here in California. EVERYONE was talking about sushi and EVERYONE and their entire extended family went to this popular sushi restaurant and wouldn’t.stop.talking. about it. Ever.

And then it kind of died down. People realized California rolls are boring and never tried anything worthwhile and stopped liking sushi. People will inevitably stop liking red velvet because it’s just… a fad.

If y’all like red velvet, that’s cool. There are plenty of weird things I like, too. It’s just not my thing. Maybe because–gasp–chocolate ain’t my thing, either.

Gah. I’m an awful food blogger.

But because I love you and I think of my sweet, adorable readers who do love red velvet, I made you some festive St. Patty’s Day cookies that share my love for decorating cookies with your love for eating velvet-flavored and colored things. Ya dig?

They’re Lucky Green Velvet Cookies, and hey, they’re actually kinda good. Rich and chocolatey, they have a good chew and a nice sweetness from the whipped cream cheese frosting. And don’t forget the crunch from the picked-from-the-box marshmallows of Lucky Charms. A festive cookie that’s far from fad, all 100% cute. 

And yes you can throw a tantrum that you don’t have some right now. I won’t blame you.

Lucky Green Velvet Cookies

1 box German chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 bottle green food coloring
1 can whipped cream cheese frosting
About 2/3 cup marshmallow charms (picked from the cereal box… sorry)
Rainbow sprinkles, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and blot excess spray with a paper towel. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, eggs, oil and food coloring with a rubber spatula, stirring until everything is combined and a thick dough is achieved.
3. Portion batter by the heaping Tablespoonful onto greased cookie sheets, about an inch apart, and bake for approx. 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until set. Allow to cool on cookie sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
4. Spread a heaping blob of frosting onto the tops of the cooled cookies. Sprinkle with the marshmallow charms and sprinkles, if desired. Store airtight for up to 2 days. Best eaten the day they’re made.

Being sick hasn’t stopped me from eating a handful of cookies. I can’t get over how perfect and chewy cake mix cookies are, regardless of the flavor. And I may or may not be guilty of always eating the charms out of Lucky Charms soooo the fact that they’re there, staring at me in their marshmallowy glory all pre-picked is pretty much perfect.

I hope you enjoy!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats ThursdaysTuesday Talent ShowSweet Tooth FridaySweets for a SaturdayStrut Your Stuff Saturday, A Themed Baker’s Sunday

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...