Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars

These Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars have a buttery shortbread crust & crumble, a thick layer of fudgy Nutella, a layer of gooey caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top. Sweet, salty, buttery goodness and SO EASY!Today’s recipe is so easy, you’ll flip.

There are a lot of things on my blog that I’ve only made once or twice. Not that I didn’t like them in the first place, just that I found I liked other things better. This recipe, however, I’ve made multiple times. Usually once a month. Sometimes twice a month, if I’m feeling frisky. And every. single. time it tastes even better than the last time.

Well, let me clarify a smidge.

I’ve made my Salted Caramel Butter Bars multiple times. This instance was the first time I’ve made Nutella Caramel Butter Bars, but it will not be the last!

There’s something so incredibly heavenly about combining thick, rich, decadent Nutella and sweet, buttery salted caramel together. Combine them with a buttery shortbread base and some chocolate chips for good measure, and voila – you have these glorious bars!

In fact, I can think back to the exact moment I first tried Nutella. I was a sophomore in high school and sitting in my French class. We did well on a test so we got to have a French food party – which we can all agree is ten times better than conjugating verbs.

My teacher made homemade crepes which I’d never had before, either. Then she broke out the jar of Nutella and everyone kind of said, “Nut-what?” At that time, no one had really heard of Nutella, so we were all intrigued by this chocolate spread.

Now when it comes to food at parties, I’m kind of obnoxious. And by ‘kind of’, I mean very. I hate being in the middle or last in line to get food. Inevitably I get behind the slowest people ever, or the people who take more than two helpings of anything, leaving crumbs behind before everyone’s gotten some. In fact, I have to be first or second in line in order to avoid having a mild panic attack.

Weird, I know.

These Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars have a buttery shortbread crust & crumble, a thick layer of fudgy Nutella, a layer of gooey caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top. Sweet, salty, buttery goodness and SO EASY!So I hovered over my seat waiting impatiently while madamoiselle made crepes and finally said we could form a line. I lept out of my seat to stand in line before anyone else had even registered what she said. And that’s how I was the first person in French class to try Nutella.

Well. Maybe.

ANYWAY. Now I love the stuff in moderation and enjoy using it in my desserts. It fits perfectly in these buttery bars, and I think you’ll agree!

These Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars have a buttery shortbread crust & crumble, a thick layer of fudgy Nutella, a layer of gooey caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top. Sweet, salty, buttery goodness and SO EASY!*adapted from my Salted Caramel Butter Bars recipe

Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars are a wonder! Layers of buttery shortbread sandwiches a thick layer of fudgy Nutella and rich caramel. Then the whole shebang is sprinkled with sea salt for a perfectly salty finish. You'll love these bars!
Ingredients
  • 4 sticks butter (1 pound), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 & ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 jar caramel sauce (like you'd buy for a sundae)
  • 1 jar Nutella (or any other chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Lastly, add in the flour, one cup at a time, until combined and soft. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spread HALF of the mixture into the bottom of the pan, pressing into an even layer. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven, but keep oven on.
  4. Once the crust is golden, pour the salted caramel sauce evenly over the crust. In a small microwaveable bowl, add the Nutella and microwave for about 20 seconds or until pourable. Pour the Nutella over the caramel layer evenly. Using your fingers, break apart the remaining dough over the top of the Nutella layer, trying to cover as much of the Nutella and caramel as you can. Sprinkle the top liberally with sea salt. (NOTE: if you're using a salted caramel sauce, use less sea salt on top).
  5. Bake for approx. 25-35 minutes or until the top is light golden brown and the center is just about set - a slight jiggle is okay. Let the bars cool completely before cutting into squares. I highly recommend letting them set overnight.

These Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars have a buttery shortbread crust & crumble, a thick layer of fudgy Nutella, a layer of gooey caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top. Sweet, salty, buttery goodness and SO EASY!Buttery, gooey, chocolaty and layered with decadent caramel, these bars are so heavenly & sweet!

These Salted Nutella Caramel Butter Bars have a buttery shortbread crust & crumble, a thick layer of fudgy Nutella, a layer of gooey caramel, and a sprinkle of sea salt on top. Sweet, salty, buttery goodness and SO EASY! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe! So I just did my taxes.

Actually, I had an accountant do my taxes because even double-digit multiplication proves to be too much for me.

And I’m sad to report that I owe money this year.

WHYYY does the IRS cramp my style?

It’s like they don’t want me to spend my hard earned money on clothes, purses and deep tissue massages. The IRS – the land of the unfashionable stiff necked people.

Anyway, it’s fine that I owe. I mean, I’d rather owe and pay it than not pay it and be a criminal by the time I’m 26. Tax evasion isn’t a good look. Well, unless you’re Theresa from the Real Housewives of New Jersey, who only served a hot minute in prison and now has her own TV show and book deal. So I guess tax evasion isn’t so bad?

Don’t worry. I’m only joking. Kind of.

Something I won’t be evading is this pan of Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies. They are spectacular, people. Sweet, salty, and bursting with rich, warm, aromatic vanilla and espresso powder. To make ’em extra special and gourmet, I sprinkled coarse sea salt on top just before baking to give them a wonderful crunch and salty bite. You could totally omit this if you’d like – but who denies a little extra flavor, am I right?

First y’all need to brown your butter. This is crucial if you want to call these Brown Butter Blondies. Browning your butter imparts such amazing flavor into these blondies- adding a wonderful warmth and nuttiness. Just be sure to watch your butter like a hawk, because it can go from gorgeously amber to hideously burnt in a matter of seconds. Trust.

Brown your butter all nice like, then let it cool for a sec. Once it’s cooled down a little, stir in your brown sugar. I used dark brown sugar because I wanted a really deep flavor, but light works too! Then stir in your eggs, a healthy helping of vanilla extract, some baking soda & flour, and of course – your espresso powder!

Espresso powder can be found near the coffee in most grocery stores. I use a brand called Medaglia D’Oro which has wonderful flavor. In this recipe I added two Tablespoons – but you can add more or less to suit your taste. I found that two Tablespoons was just right – not super coffee-like, but had a nice jolt.

And lastly – duh. M&M’s! I used mini M&M’s because they cover more surface area and I personally don’t like large chunks to chew through. I’ve actually never been a super fan of chunky food. Call me crazy, I already know it.

Throw on the sea salt – be liberal! Liberate yoself. Bake it until it’s nice and golden and then EAT. Please, for the love of Pete, EAT.

If the IRS accepted these blondies as a form of payment, honey, they’d be paying me!

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe!

Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies are incredible! Rich, with wonderful deep espresso flavor, gooey chocolate M&M's and sea salt on top. A perfect sweet & salty treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder (more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ½ cups miniature M&M's candies
  • 1-2 Tbsp sea salt, for sprinkling on top (more or less to suit your salty preferences)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir it around occasionally, watching it constantly, as it deepens and darkens in color. The mixture will bubble up, then start to look foamy, but keep stirring and checking it until it's nutty and fragrant and a deep amber color. Once achieved, immediately remove it from the heat and cool it for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar until combined, then the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the espresso powder, followed by the baking soda and flour until a soft batter has formed. Stir in the M&M's candies.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the sea salt. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe! These are a sweet and salty lover’s DREAM come true! I ate mine with a big cup of coffee and I highly recommend you do the same!

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter! Can I be real with you for a sec?

I’ve tried to like Cadbury Eggs – I really have. I buy them every year, thinking that this year will be different. That, and the adorable rabbit on the package. Seriously, they could put that rabbit on a pack of cigarettes and I’d buy them – and I don’t even smoke.

But honestly? I don’t much care for the chocolate. I know, I know – don’t shoot me, please.

I can get down on that crisp candy coating. Dear lawwwd, give me a bag of candy coating shards and I will polish it off faster than you can say ‘Easter bunny.’ But the whole chocolate part? Not. So. Much.

This is probably because I grew up eating the crappiest chocolate imaginable – like the stuff the dollar store sells which is probably just brown-dyed chemicals and not chocolate at all. And then there’s Cadbury, in all its regal British glory, and little miss boxed mac & cheese over here doesn’t know what to do with the finer foods in life, so I just make up excuses about the chocolate to candy coating ratio to hide the fact that I’m a heathen.

It’s simple math, really.

Just like when I took a food & wine class in college. Okay, so it was just an awesome excuse to get loaded at 9am on a Tuesday, but don’t judge me. The class would be tasting the wine and defining the notes and aromatics and I just sat there with wine in my mouth like, “yup, tastes grape-y, like grape soda without the fizz.” Meanwhile, everyone silently judged me because no fancy person drinks grape soda. Let’s just get real – grape soda is like, the lowest on the soda totem pole. And defining a fine cabernet as “grape soda-y” was like announcing to the class that I’m poor and unrefined. And like grape soda.

BUT, I know there are classy folk out there in the world who enjoy Cadbury Eggs – and who find cabernet to be lovely and not at all soda-like. So this recipe is for YOU.

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are, in a word, divine. Even I enjoyed them, probably because they were buried among the most decadent blondie alive.

You start with the blondie base, which is pretty much all 2’s. Two sticks of butter, two cups of brown sugar, two eggs, 2 cups flour… then add a few 1’s: 1 Tablespoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 & 1/2 cups of chopped Cadbury Eggs. When I say ‘Cadbury Eggs’, I’m talking about those crisp miniature candy-coated eggs, not the creme-filled eggs. Just FYI.

Bake it all up with a healthy sprinkling of sea salt on top for fantastic flavor and crunch. Cut ’em into bars and serve them immediately – everyone who eats one will be impressed with your good taste. I promise.

This recipe is heathen-approved.

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Blondies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies feature the delicious, eponymous candy in these perfectly salted, brown sugary blondies!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ½ cups chopped Cadbury Eggs (I used a mixture of milk chocolate eggs and white chocolate eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the brown sugar until combined, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and flour until a soft batter has formed. Fold in the chopped Cadbury egg candies.
  4. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the sea salt. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter! Sweet, salty, caramel-y and chocolaty, these blondies will rock your socks off!

Be sure to pin this recipe to your favorite Easter board on Pinterest!

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Reese’s Stuffed Tagalong Cookies

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe! You know what really grinds my gears? Gets my socks in a bunch? Makes my blood boil?

People who don’t turn their headlights on when it’s raining.

It’s such a simple thing – buckle your seat belt, turn on the engine, and turn on your lights. Yet so many people don’t do this and it makes me go batty.

Picture me, driving along and I see someone – inevitably driving a silver car because EVERYONE CAN SEE SILVER CARS IN THE RAIN – without their lights on. I instantly start screaming and freaking out, flashing my brights in their direction and flailing my arms like I have rabies or something. I’m sure I have frightened multiple people this way, but I just cannot help it. The second I see any car without their headlights on, a switch flips and I just transform into a maniac.

Other times I turn into a maniac: when auto-correct changes my words. Dear Auto-Correct, I’m never saying ‘ducking.’

And when, after a shower and toweling off, it becomes impossible to put pajamas on. WHY CAN’T I JUST PUT MY PANTS ON.

As you can tell, patience isn’t my virtue. Neither is being virtuous. I’m a lost cause.

But anyway, let’s talk about these Reese’s Stuffed Tagalong Cookies. They’re kind of outrageously amazing, just sayin’. They’re more like cookie stacks, because they’re made with two Tagalong cookies sandwiched around a Reese’s peanut butter cup. And then the whole thing is coated in chocolate and drizzled with peanut buttery white chocolate. Jesus take the wheel.

And if you would rather hoard your Tagalong cookies to yourselves – and I know the feeling – please know that you can buy knock-off Tagalongs at stores like Walmart under the Keebler brand and under the store-brand. They’re often called “peanut butter filled fudge cookies.” That’s your golden ticket, friend. Buy them. Buy them all.

And then make these, pretty please?

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
These Reese's-Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are outrageously delicious, so simple to make and a wonderful no-bake treat that's perfect for anytime!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Tagalong cookies/peanut butter fudge cookies (16-20 count)
  • 16-20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped
  • 2 squares white chocolate almond bark
  • 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pkg chocolate almond bark (I like CandiQuik)
Instructions
  1. Line a pan with foil. Place about 8-10 Tagalong cookies flat-side up onto the pan. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the white almond bark in a small dry bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, then microwave for another 20-30 seconds or until melted. Stir in the creamy peanut butter until combined.
  3. Dab ¼ - ½ tsp or so of the peanut butter mixture onto the flat side of the Tagalong and top with a Reese's peanut butter cup. Dab a little more of the peanut butter mixture on top of the Reese's cup and top with a Tagalong cookie. Repeat with remaining stacks and then freeze until firm, for about 30 minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions. Dunk each cookie stack into the CandiQuik, using a fork to coat the stacks. Use the fork to remove the cookie stack and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the foil lined pan and let set. Repeat with remaining cookie stacks.
  5. If the peanut butter mixture has solidified, reheat it for about 10-15 seconds or until smooth. Pour the peanut butter mixture into a small Ziploc baggy, seal out the air and snip off a corner. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the cookie stacks. Let the peanut butter mixture set, then serve!

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe! Ultra peanut buttery, crunchy and super chocolaty, these cookie stacks are one for the books! I imagine they’d be great with Thin Mints and peppermint patties, too… just saying! 🙂

These Reese's Stuffed Tagalong Cookies are such an easy and impressive dessert! No-bake, takes minutes to make, and is ultra peanut buttery and chocolaty! My new go-to cookie recipe! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Homemade Milk Jam {Dulce de Leche}

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift! I’m so excited to bring you this recipe today for Homemade Milk Jam, aka Dulce de Leche!

So remember when I made my Strawberry Pretzel Salad Parfaits and spoke about my experience with Best Food Facts for the TASTE15 program? Well Best Food Facts ended up taking me to Bentonville, Arkansas and Chicago last year to learn more about food and where it comes from.

The best part of the trip (besides visiting some really cool cities) was making new friends with some other bloggers and farm bloggers. I had no idea all the work that goes into farming, be it dairy farming or corn farming. One farmer even grew canola oil, which, stupid me, I had no idea you could farm.

Since I work with dairy ALL the time, I took the time to interview one of the farm bloggers on our trip, Krista Stauffer. Krista runs a dairy farm with her husband in Washington and knows everything there is to know about all things dairy. Can you imagine how delicious and fresh their milk must be? I asked her if she’d ship me my own cow but she was like “you’re crazy and I’m putting you on a cow-buying list for suspicious people.” So it was a no-go.

ANYWAY. Krista answered a lot of questions for me about the process of milking a cow and what happens after milking the cows, which I found so interesting. Krista says, “After the cow is milked, the milk is stored in a stainless steel tank where it is immediately cooled. The milk truck arrives, takes a milk sample to be tested later for quality, components and antibiotics. The milk is loaded on the truck to be transported to the processing facility. At the plant, the entire tanker of milk is tested for antibiotics. At this point any milk with a positive test would require all the milk to be disposed of. All milk that passes the test, is unloaded at the plant. It is then filtered & pasteurized. It depends on the processing plant as well as the milk from the farm which products it is made into. For example, milk with a higher butterfat could become cottage cheese, buttermilk, etc.”

Krista and her family ship all of their milk to the Northwest Dairy Association, also known as Darigold. I became excited because I’ll sometimes buy Darigold butter! Knowing I may be eating a product made with milk from Krista’s farm is so cool!

And since today’s recipe used sweetened condensed milk, I figured we’d all want to know what the process of making sweetened condensed milk was. Krista and Best Food Facts’ resident nutritionist Sarah Downs explain: “Sweetened condensed milk, also known as condensed milk is created when some water is evaporated from the milk and sugar is added until a 9:11 (nearly half) ratio of sugar to milk is reached. The sugar added to sweetened condensed milk of course give it that sweet and gooey awesomeness but also helps to extend the shelf life.” That thick, sugary, gooey consistency is perfect for making magic bars, which I have a ton of recipes for on my blog, and what makes it one of my favorite ingredients!

BUT, don’t confuse sweetened condensed milk with evaporated milk. Sarah says they’re very different (and they are!) For one, there’s a consistency difference. Evaporated milk has a thinner, runnier consistency much like skim milk. Sweetened condensed milk is thick, almost like a syrup or gravy. According to Sarah, “both are forms of concentrated milk in which 60% of water is removed. The major difference is the sugar content. Sweetened condensed milk (as the name implies) is always sweetened and evaporated milk is unsweet.” Evaporated milk is great for pumpkin pie and fudge!

And probably the most important thing I asked Krista: Chocolate or regular milk? Krista says she enjoys regular milk with warm cookies, and chocolate milk with dinner. I think I like this girl 🙂

So now that we know all about dairy and sweetened condensed milk, it’s high time I explained to you that this homemade milk jam is made exclusively with sweetened condensed milk. That’s it. ONE ingredient. You probably don’t believe me, but you should!

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift! And by the way, wondering why I’m calling it “milk jam”? Well because it is! ‘Dulce de Leche’ and ‘Confiture de Lait’ both translate to ‘sugar of milk’, and milk jam/dulce de leche/confiture de lait all are made by simmering milk and sugar together. Instead of making it with whole milk and sugar and boiling it, I took a shortcut route and made it using sweetened condensed milk. Easy peasy! And so delish!

I meaaaaaaan…

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Homemade Milk Jam {Dulce de Leche}
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Homemade Milk Jam (Dulce de Leche) is DELICIOUS. Thick, creamy, and utterly perfect - and made with only ONE ingredient!
Ingredients
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 (4 oz) mason jars
Instructions
  1. Open up the cans of sweetened condensed milk and pour the contents evenly among the four mason jars. Seal the lids on all the jars.
  2. Place the mason jars into a large slow cooker and cover completely with hot water, making sure there's at least an inch of water covering the tops of the mason jars. Cook on LOW for 10-11 hours (I cooked mine for 11 for deeper flavor/color).
  3. CAREFULLY remove the jars with tongs, as they will be scalding hot. Allow to cool and dry on a dish towel, about 2 hours. Rust may have formed on the tops of the mason jars during their bath; simply wipe it off. Store milk jam in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift! Rich, deep, buttery, gooey goodness. This tastes AMAZING on top of ice cream!

For more info about Krista Stauffer, be sure to visit her blog: The Farmer’s Wifee. And for more info on Best Food Facts, be sure to visit their website.

Want more Dulce de Leche goodness? Check out these recipes!

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

DULCE DE LECHE BARSDulce de Leche Chocolate Gooey Bars

This Homemade Dulce de Leche (or Milk Jam) is SO EASY and made with only ONE ingredient! Rich, buttery, creamy and gooey, it works in a variety of recipes or on its own as a gift!

Have a super sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was a brand ambassador for Best Food Facts in their TASTE 15 program. I was sponsored and compensated to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

No Thermometer Needed Easy Toffee

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too! I am SO EXCITED about this recipe today!

If you’re anything like me, candy thermometers kinda freak you out. Honey, I get you. I’m not a fan either. They’re too official and scary and cold and hard and heartless. (Can you tell I loathe them?) So if I can avoid using one at all costs, I’m on board.

But making candy at home often requires them, and toffee is usually no exception. However, this recipe is completely made with trust, love, and good old-fashioned perfect timing. It’s made in ten minutes – five to boil the mixture, and five to let it sit before spreading the chocolate – and then it just needs a couple hours in the fridge to set.

It starts with butter – two sticks – and 1 & 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Simply bring the mixture to a boil and boil, stirring constantly, for five minutes precisely. Pour the mixture into a greased and foil-lined baking pan and top with chocolate chips. Throw that sucker into the microwave (without turning the microwave on) and let it sit undisturbed for five minutes – this will help melt the chocolate. Spread the chocolate into an even layer, and top with whatever you like – I’ve topped mine with Heath chocolate toffee bits, but this would be great with chopped almonds or pecans.

Then simply let it set in the fridge for a couple hours before snapping it into pieces. It’s really as simple as that. No thermometers, no tricks, no jokes. Five minutes boiling, five minutes sitting, a couple hours setting. Done and done!

Now who wants some?!

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too!

No Thermometer Needed Easy Toffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Easy Toffee is a delectable holiday treat that's made without a candy thermometer! So simple, fast and foolproof.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (I used unsalted)
  • 1 & ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • About ½ cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits (or chopped nuts - whichever you prefer)
Instructions
  1. Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil, allowing the edges of the foil to hang over the pan. Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stirring to help melt the butter. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stirring constantly, boil the mixture for exactly five minutes. Mixture will be thicker and caramel colored.
  3. Pour the toffee into the prepared pan. Immediately sprinkle with the semi-sweet chocolate chips and place the pan in the microwave so it can sit undisturbed for five minutes. Remove from oven and spread the chocolate into an even layer; immediately top with the toffee bits or nuts, if using. Allow toffee to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge to set for about an hour or two. Break into pieces.

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too! My family and I could not stop eating this delectable, decadent, crunchy toffee. I still wish we had leftovers!

Want more toffee goodness? Check out these other recipes!

Peanut Butter ToffeeSalted Peanut Butter Toffee

Toffee Tiramisu BrowniesToffee Tiramisu Brookies

Sticky Toffee Pudding CookiesSticky Toffee Pudding Cookies

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies

These Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies are gooey, chewy treasures that are perfect for any dessert tray. Easy, foolproof and delicious!If you’re looking for a delicious Thanksgiving end-cap, this is your dessert!

Buttery, flaky crust. Gooey pecan pie filling studded with crunchy pecans and a special ingredient: chocolate chips! These bad boys are AWESOME.

But don’t overfill them like I did the first time. Major fail, people. Learn from my mistakes: chiseling caked-on pecan pie filling from a muffin tin is not my favorite pasttime, believe it or not. I mean, I can think of a couple other things I’d rather be doing.

Before these, I hadn’t made pecan pie before except for these bars. I was worried about the corn syrupy/sugar mixture and it not setting up properly in a giant pie. That, and other irrational pie-making fears. Mini pies help quell those fears because they’re perfectly poppable and not as dramatic as a large pie.

Or maybe I’m overthinking this a bit too much. Dramatic pies? What am I even talking about anymore?

But wait – before you leave and chalk it up to my insanity, stay for the pie recipe. I promise you, it’s worth it!

These Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies are gooey, chewy treasures that are perfect for any dessert tray. Easy, foolproof and delicious!These little beauties couldn’t be easier to whip up, have a gooey interior that’s so quintessential for a pecan pie recipe, and would make any holiday dessert spread look fantastic and fun. If you want an extra chocolate dosage, drizzle some melted chocolate chips over the top for a finishing touch. Voila! Easy, delicious, and non-dramatic.

These Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies are gooey, chewy treasures that are perfect for any dessert tray. Easy, foolproof and delicious!

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-14
 
These mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies are fabulous and will make any holiday dessert spread look fantastic and fun.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg refrigerated pie crusts, at room temperature
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 12-14 pecan halves, optional, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cavity muffin tin with cooking spray liberally. Set aside.
  2. Unroll the refrigerated pie crusts and, using a 3" cookie cutter, cut circles from the dough. Gently stretch the dough a little, then push down and up the sides in each muffin cup. Repeat with remaining muffin cups.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla until combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and chocolate chips until combined.
  4. Portion Tablespoons of the filling among each pie crust, careful not to over-fill. You may have extra filling, so make more pies with another pie tin. Top each filled cup with a pecan half.
  5. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until pies are bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then gently remove with a knife or spoon and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

These Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies are gooey, chewy treasures that are perfect for any dessert tray. Easy, foolproof and delicious!Gooey, chewy, crisp and chocolaty, these Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Pies are one for the books! Who knew chocolate chips could perk up a classic Thanksgiving pie so awesomely!?

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs

These Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs are addictive, easy and delicious! Miniature prepared pecan pies are surrounded by fudgy brownies and coated in chocolate. This is a great alternative to a holiday dessert! Lately, something’s been up with my stomach.

No, I didn’t grow abs overnight (I wish) and my muffin top didn’t magically disappear (why, god, why?).

Nope, it’s that lately when I travel, I feel super sick.

Chalk it up to nerves if you wish, but I never used to get car or plane-sick. And now? I can barely make it through a flight without going to the bathroom 387634 times. And if you’ve been on a plane, you know that it’s never actually convenient to use the facilities. You either have to navigate around the beverage cart or climb over your seat-mates like they’re Kilimanjaro.

And okay, can I sound off for a second? (Who am I kidding, this is my blog. I can write about whatever I want.) But brands who sponsor me when travel is involved… they think I always want the window seat. I never really thought this was an issue until every brand trip I’d go on, it’d be in a window seat. At first I thought it must have been slim pickin’ and I was randomly dealt a window… but then it became a pattern and I’m now needing to specify like a little diva that I need an aisle seat.

Let’s just say, IBS and window seats are a no bueno. Because inevitably I sit next to two very large people, both of whom are sleeping on the (very long) flight which means I have to wake them up and climb all over their seats to get to a bathroom no less than 3 times during an average flight. It’s awesome, if peeing your pants on a sleeping stranger is awesome. Surprise!

And the car? Now I’m carsick during long trips. I had to ride a party bus for a business trip not long ago and I felt like my insides are being scrambled, which, in case there was any doubt, is not as awesome as it sounds. It was kinda like when you push your cart over those yellow bump strips in front of stores which, by the way, are probably the worst thing for someone in a wheelchair. I mean, you’re pushing them over these freakin’ golf-ball sized bumps which seem like they last forever, and that kinda crap can pop a brain aneurysm if you’re not careful or at least tilt their chair and dump them onto their ass. It’s not pretty, and I hate those things with a passion. Let’s burn them all.

These Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs are addictive, easy and delicious! Miniature prepared pecan pies are surrounded by fudgy brownies and coated in chocolate. This is a great alternative to a holiday dessert! ANYWHO. The point is, I travel quite a bit for my blog and it’s getting hard with this new trend in sickness. I hope it goes away soon, but in the meantime, let’s talk about something delicious and happy: these Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs. These bad boys are absolutely scrumptious and totally insane. They came to me in a vision when I spotted miniature pecan pies in my local supermarket bakery. I’ve also seen them at Walmart, Target, and sometimes in the frozen section at grocery stores, just so ya know. And when you buy them, buy two because you’ll definitely pop a couple while you’re making these bombs.

Eat up!!

These Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs are addictive, easy and delicious! Miniature prepared pecan pies are surrounded by fudgy brownies and coated in chocolate. This is a great alternative to a holiday dessert!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs are filled with gooey, nutty pecan pie and fudgy brownies. You don't want to miss this delicious treat!
Ingredients
  • About 8-10 miniature prepared pecan pies (I found these in Walmart, but you can check your local supermarket bakery or the frozen dessert section for something similar. If you cannot find the mini pies, use a chilled pecan pie and scoop 8 very large, rounded Tablespoonfuls of pecan pie filling and freeze them into balls)
  • 1 (13x9) pan fudge brownies, baked and cooled and cut into 12 large pieces (you may have a couple brownies leftover)
  • 1 pkg chocolate CandiQuik
  • 8-10 halved pecans
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Take a fudge brownie square and gently flatten it with the heel of your hand. Wrap it around a pecan pie, rolling it in your hands and pinching the brownie around the pecan pie to enclose and seal it. If a little pecan pie peeks out, that's okay; just try to wrap it as best you can and cover it as much as possible. You should get about 8-10 large brownie bombs.
  2. Freeze the brownie bombs for approx. 20-30 minutes or until firm.
  3. Prepare the CandiQuik according to package directions, until smooth and melted. Dip each brownie bomb in the melted chocolate, coating it completely and allowing excess to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining bombs. With the remaining CandiQuik, drizzle onto the brownie bombs for a drizzled look. Top with a pecan half. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.
  4. Store leftovers at room temperature for about 5 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

These Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs are addictive, easy and delicious! Miniature prepared pecan pies are surrounded by fudgy brownies and coated in chocolate. This is a great alternative to a holiday dessert! As I mentioned in the notes, if you can’t find mini pecan pies (as they’re typically seasonal and found in the bakeries at supermarkets), use a regular pecan pie, chill it briefly until firm, and scoop heaping, rounded Tablespoonfuls of the inner filling and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then proceed with the recipe. You’ll have a gooier interior, but it should still work!

These are gooey, buttery, and loaded with that amazing, rich pecan pie flavor surrounded with fudgy chocolate brownie. You don’t want to miss this recipe!

These Pecan Pie Brownie Bombs are addictive, easy and delicious! Miniature prepared pecan pies are surrounded by fudgy brownies and coated in chocolate. This is a great alternative to a holiday dessert!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Triple Chip Blondies

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds! One of my favorite stores on earth is Trader Joe’s.

I’ve talked about Trader Joe’s before, and I still feel the same way. But in case you don’t know, I love the store but I hate the clientele.

Every time I go, everyone and their mother is there shopping, so there’s never a great time to shop there. And everyone and their mother push their carts at about -58736 mph, thus always causing blockages in the aisles. And when you politely ask them to move? Chaos. Utter chaos. They act as if they’ve never been asked such an indecency in their lives.

And then there’s the whole shopping aspect. Everyone treats the products like they’re in a museum, holding up a package of frozen sweet potatoes like it’s the Mona Lisa, or staring in wonderment at a can of green beans like it’s the freakin’ second coming of Jesus. I just don’t understand what goes on in the minds of the average Trader Joe’s customer is all.

Meanwhile, I shop there on a mission: to be in and out as quickly as possible without forgetting anything. So I went yesterday and put my mission to the test, passing just barely. It was tough – they had just started handing out free samples and no one understands the concept of GRABBING YOUR FREE SAMPLE AND THEN LEAVING QUICKLY – but I made it out alive.

The parking lot, though? Whole ‘nother story.

Anywho, one of the ingredients I grabbed were Trader Joe’s chocolate chips. I like theirs a lot, and it was the inspiration for these Triple Chip Blondies. I don’t have a whole lot of blondie recipes on this blog which is a travesty since they’re my favorite dessert, so I’m fixing that ASAP with these bars. They’re gloriously studded with three different kinds of chips for a gooey, fantastically chewy bar that’s sure to please. And they couldn’t be easier to make, too.

Plus, this produces the best blondie base for any recipe. It’s chewy with a crisp top, gooey and rich, thanks to two cups of brown sugar and two sticks of butter… and a generous Tablespoon of vanilla extract. Then throw in the chips and you’ve got the most amazing bars. Trust me.

Make them!

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Triple Chip Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-24
 
These Triple Chip Blondies are incredible! If you don't like one of the chip flavors, substitute with another chip or omit completely. This base recipe is so flexible!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Lastly, stir in the baking powder, salt and flour until a soft batter forms. Stir in the three chips and spread into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for approx. 22-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with fudgy crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds! Loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips, these Triple Chip Blondies are sure to please! Don’t like a chip flavor? Omit it completely or substitute with something else… white chocolate chips, toffee bits, or even mint chips.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!This week was a very important week for me: it’s OCD Awareness Week.

I’ve talked about my struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the past (click HERE to read about it) and I kinda wanted to update everyone as to how I’m doing and get this all off my chest.

First of all, this week. It’s important because OCD is a very real, very tangible disorder that affects millions of people across the US. It’s often misdiagnosed or swept under the rug, but it’s very real and very painful.

I was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a teenager, but I’ve had it my entire life. As a child, I had very strict bedtime routines my parents would have to follow, and should the routine go awry or in a different direction, I’d beg them to start all over again. This meant singing lullabies in a particular order, tucking me in a certain way, and doing things in a proper order. As a child, I also had certain anxieties about smells. I’d even have my parents wash my toys because sometimes the smells of them made me uneasy.

As a teen, it was all about the obsessive thoughts and, well, obsessions. Thoughts about death and dying. Thoughts about sex and strange, peculiar, embarrassing fantasies. Obsessions with boys, people, routines. And a small-scale case of hoarding. Hoarding clothes, old makeup, magazines. To this day, I still hoard magazines – I have them saved in my closet for reasons unknown, but the thought of parting with them breaks my heart.

And as an adult, it’s the same story. Obsessed with routine, clinging to it desperately with a significant fear of change. Some days, it manifests itself as something more “minor”, like vacuuming the house until something inside of me clicks and feels better, or surrounding myself with magazines to feel more comfortable. Other times, it manifests as something far more sinister, and that’s when I begin picking. Nit-picking at myself and my flaws mentally, and physically ripping open my flesh and scalp with my fingers until I bleed. Those are the days where I feel completely overwhelmed by this disease; days where I feel like I’m stuck in a dark hole with the tunnel of light so far out of reach.

People often misunderstand OCD. OCD isn’t necessarily about being clean and tidy, though that’s most common. My OCD fluctuates. Some days, I’m obsessed with order and tidiness. I like my kitchen to be spotless and obsess over crumbs and counter stains until I can rid them. Other times, I have so much anxiety building up that piles of things build up, too. Books, magazines, receipts, pens, wrappers, clothes, garbage. I’ll be surrounded by it all without really noticing it. It isn’t until my mom comments on how my room is so dirty or someone complains that our kitchen table (where I work from) isn’t even visible under the piles of stuff. Then I get embarrassed. How did I let this get so bad? How did I let myself go?

It pains me when people make comments about being “so OCD” or joke about the disease. Just because you load your dishwasher a certain way or like to color coordinate your closet doesn’t mean you’re OCD. OCD is much more than that, it’s so much deeper and darker. It’s an insidious monster that affects the person’s every waking thought and action. In fact, each action we make, we’ve likely already obsessed about making it for hours, if not days before hand. We’ve already fantasized these elaborate scenarios of what could happen – what could go wrong – that when the scenario happens, we’re exhausted from dreading it and probing it for so long. It isn’t about wanting clean hands; it’s the intense, very real fear that something terrible will happen if we don’t clean them repeatedly. That sense of doom, like a dark cloud of dread and depression, looming over us, ready to open its arms and surround us any second. The very tangible feeling of panic coursing through our veins, our minds replaying everything in painstaking detail on repeat. That is what it’s like living with OCD. It’s no joke. It’s not funny. It’s very painful, very real.

And I understand that people joke. It’s not like I’ll start crying or slap you across the face if you make a joke like that. But personally, I liken it to the dreaded word “retarded.” I’d never make fun of someone and call them retarded because that hurts those who do have mental and/or physical disabilities. So why would you call yourself OCD when you don’t live your life suffering with it?

All I want is for people to be more aware of what they’re saying and how they say it. That’s all. And to have some compassion for those afflicted with this disorder. There’s such a gross, unnecessary stigma against mental illness in this country, making it often impossible to get the help people desperately need. We need to be more understanding and compassionate toward those suffering and offer an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a heart to help them heal.

I hope, if nothing else, that you are more aware of OCD after this post, and will make the changes in your life to end the stigma of mental illness and raise awareness about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder if you know someone who may be suffering. And please, don’t blame them for the pile of magazines everywhere – sometimes, that’s the only shred of reality they have left.

Now, let’s talk about something far less sad, shall we? Liiiike these Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars, for example. They’re loaded with amazing caramel flavor and topped with a sprinkling of sea salt for that intoxicating sweet-and-salty goodness. And they’re a cinch to make!

Let’s just say Iatethewholepan. Because I’m not a liar and had no shame when devouring every last crumb. You will want to devour every last crumb, too!

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!*adapted from my Perfect Cheesecake Bars recipe 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a dream come true! Rich, creamy and loaded with buttery caramel and sea salt, they're a sweet and salty lover's perfect food!
Ingredients
  • 1 & ½ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs, finely ground
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 pkg cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 can prepared dulce de leche
  • Sea salt, for sprinking
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8" pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter and stir until moistened. Pour into the prepared pan and press into a compact, even layer. Bake for approx. 12 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, prepare your filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar for about 2 minutes or until fluffy and light. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Lastly, add in the vanilla, sour cream, and two Tablespoons of the dulce de leche sauce.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and return to the oven to bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until the center appears just about set and isn't super jiggly. Tent with foil if the top begins to brown too fast. Cool completely, then spread with the remaining dulce de leche in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

These Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars are a sweet and salty lover's dream come true! You'll love this easy, foolproof cheesecake recipe!Caramely, buttery, smooth and creamy, that’s what these cheesecake bars are all about! You don’t want to miss this recipe!

Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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