Homemade Dole Whips {No Machine Needed!}

Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!You guys. These whips. I die.

So last month, I attended the Food Blog Forum in Orlando, FL. It was an awesome and intimate conference that took place at Walt Disney World Resort where we could learn the tricks of the trade, network and mingle with our bloggy friends and awesome brands, and explore Disney World!

And as a Disneyland fan, I was a little skeptical about Disney World. Would it really be that big of a deal? Would it be better than Disneyland? But I quickly realized there is zero comparison. They’re both like, completely different planets but with the same mouse creatures. And they both have Dole Whips.

If you don’t know, a Dole Whip is a pineapple-y vanilla soft-serve cone that Disneyland and World serve up in their Adventureland. You can get ‘em standard (that’s a Dole Whip) or get them over pineapple or orange juice (that’s a Dole Float). I had the float, and it was miiiiiighty tasty. But the whip itself? Heaven.

It’s so soft and creamy, bursting with tropical, juicy pineapple and sweet whipped vanilla in every bite. It definitely lives up to the hype – and there’s a huge one – because it’s so freakin’ good. But when I came home to investigate how to make these creamy concoctions at home, I was so bummed that every recipe required an ice cream machine – something my life is severely lacking. But since I’m poor (see: Disney World) yet I wanted to satisfy this burning need for Dole Whips at home in California, I figured I ought to create something pretty darn identical to the original.

And you guys – this is it.Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!

Is it as stiff as the original? No, but that’s because it isn’t made from a prepared mix or churned out in a Taylor fro-yo machine. However, it is plenty creamy, freezy, and bursting with pineapple-y vanilla goodness that tastes pretty darn similar to the original Disney creation. Almost like if Dole Whips and the Wendy’s Frosty had a love child, it would be these. A delicious, outrageous love child.

Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!Now if you need me, I’ll be knee-deep in Dole Whips (which is exactly where I want to be!)

Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!*slightly adapted from HERE

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Dole Whips {No Machine Needed!}
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
These guilt-free, homemade Dole Whips are the perfect refreshing treat any time of year! They taste pretty darn identical to the Disney classic and are made without a ticket to Disneyland and without an ice cream machine!
Ingredients
  • 2 cans (20 oz each) Dole Crushed Pineapple
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip Free, frozen
Instructions
  1. In a blender, pour in the cans of crushed pineapple (pineapple and their juice), the sugar, juices of both the lemon and lime, and the vanilla. Blend for about 2 minutes or until completely smooth.
  2. Cut the frozen Cool Whip in quarters and place it in the blender. Blend on high until combined and smooth. Mixture will be thick but still pourable.
  3. Pour the mixture into two Mason jars with the lids off. Place the Mason jars into the freezer and freeze for about 3 hours, or until the mixture is soft and thick, like soft serve. Serve immediately. I find that in my freezer, 3 hours is the perfect amount of time for thick and creamy soft serve-style Dole Whips, but check yours after 2 and experiment with times from the 2-hour mark.

Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!

Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!Yep. Paradise in a glass, all without the cost of admission to Disney World. Can’t complain about that!

Want to trash this up? Add coconut rum to the mixture and proceed. HELL YEAH.

Want to lighten this up? Use Stevia instead of the sugar and use Cool Whip Free or Sugar-Free Cool Whip for a lighter treat.

Homemade Dole Whips are a light and creamy treat bursting with juicy pineapple and vanilla flavor, served up frozen soft-serve-style. Just like the Disneyland classic, and no ice cream maker required!Have a sweet day!!

xo, Hayley

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_0711A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia Salad

This Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia is a light, luscious and fruit-packed dessert dish that's perfect for Easter! Loaded with marshmallows, coconut, tropical fruit and a tangy pina colada whipped cream, it'll transport you right to the beach!So. Easter’s coming up — it’s hard to believe it’s so soon with an early April 5th this year! So if ya don’t mind me, I’m going to be posting Easter recipes up the wazoo, mmkay?

First up: Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia. But first, a story! *collective sighs*

As a kid, my family and I would go to my grandma’s house for Easter breakfast every year. And every year, she’d hide plastic Easter eggs full of candy and quarters around her yard for me and my brother & sister. She would color code the eggs so I would be purple, Chloe would be green, and Alex would be blue, or whatever.

But the thing was, she put all three colors together in any given spot. So if I saw Alex bend down behind the garden hose and extract an egg, I knew my egg would be back there, too. If Chloe saw me elbow-deep in the rose bush reaching for my egg, she would race over to collect hers. I can see why my grandma did this when we were all younger, perhaps so it could be fair to Chloe (who’s the youngest), but as we got older and I was seventeen and hunting for eggs, it became a little ridiculous. (One, because of the obviousness of it all, and two, because I was seventeen and being forced — yes, forced — to hunt Easter eggs).

And the candy was never really good candy. And yes, there’s definitely a distinction between ‘good’ candy and ‘bad’ candy. I’m not talking ‘I prefer Snickers over Reese’s Cups’ or anything. I mean the CANDYCANDY (Snickers, Jelly Bellies, Whoppers, M&M’s) and the …candy? that she would inevitably buy.

You know – the “candy” that doctors offices have. The unmarked lollipops that taste like plastic with a vague hint of fruit (the yellow ones were always the most vile; the red were decent enough to be passable as cherry, depending on your level of hunger). The chewy candies that were probably made with leftover SuperGlue. Those — shudder — strawberry candies, which are by far the foulest things to have graced this planet, right before those toe shoes and Vienna sausages. Or those butterscotch candies, which were always really sticky and hard, like they’d been melted in the bottom of a purse since 1967.

So basically we’d collect for the quarters which essentially paid us to hunt for them, and then we’d toss the candy since it came from an undisclosed location and an even vaguer brand. I mean, do these candy companies know that no one likes their stuff? Are they aware that their lack of branding looks majorly suspicious and that only desperate doctors and banks purchase their lollipops? What’s their name, anyway? “Bank Candy”? “Doctor Lolly”? All’s I know is, I had this terrible doctor once — and I mean terrible — who had this super thick accent and just said to ice or rest everything, no matter what the ailment was, and she’d hand out those unmarked lollies and they always tasted like they were made of candied cough syrup. Mm, Robitussin Raspberry – my favorite! I never liked that, Dr. Lee. AND RESTING MY LEG DIDN’T HELP EITHER.

This Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia is a light, luscious and fruit-packed dessert dish that's perfect for Easter! Loaded with marshmallows, coconut, tropical fruit and a tangy pina colada whipped cream, it'll transport you right to the beach!Anywho. This all comes together because that very color-coding-egg-grandma makes ambrosia every year for Easter dinner. And for the longest time I’d eat it because hello, it’s Cool Whip and marshmallows with fruit… duh. But then I got kinda tired of it, and I figured for this Easter, it’s about dang time I change it up. So I revamped grandma’s classic ambrosia with a tropical twist. My new version happens to be my new favorite… and I guarantee it’ll be yours too! This fruit salad is so easy, light, and delicious!

So. Who’s ready to go hunting for awesome ambrosia? (Game over. It’s right here).

This Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia is a light, luscious and fruit-packed dessert dish that's perfect for Easter! Loaded with marshmallows, coconut, tropical fruit and a tangy pina colada whipped cream, it'll transport you right to the beach!

Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This light, fruity and DELICIOUS Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia has the flavors of the tropics built right in and is perfect any time of year.
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15 oz) cherry fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (20 oz) can Dole Pineapple Chunks, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can mangoes, drained and chopped if in large pieces
  • 1 & ½ cups shredded coconut, divided
  • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • 1 container Pina Colada yogurt
  • About 2 cups JET-PUFFED Fruity Fun Mallows
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, fold together the Cool Whip Free and the Pina Colada Yogurt. Add in the canned fruits, marshmallows, and one (1) cup of the shredded coconut. Gently fold and toss to combine until coated.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for at LEAST 2 hours or until flavors have set together.
  3. Optional, but recommended: if you'd like, toast the remaining ½ cup coconut. In a 300 degree F oven, line a baking sheet with parchment and lay out coconut in an even layer. Toast in 5 minute increments, stirring after each round, until golden. Sprinkle over the top of the ambrosia right before serving. Garnish with a cherry if you'd like.

This Tropical Pina Colada Ambrosia is a light, luscious and fruit-packed dessert dish that's perfect for Easter! Loaded with marshmallows, coconut, tropical fruit and a tangy pina colada whipped cream, it'll transport you right to the beach!You guys – this is so fruity and fabulous! I love the sweet softness of the JET-PUFFED Fruit Mallows — they have such fun flavors and add a great pop of rainbow color! And the fruit itself is a great, tropical combination that transports you right to the beach. Ripe pineapple chunks, juicy mango and mandarins, bright cherries, all coated in a luscious and light whipped cream and pina colada yogurt dressing. This salad is totally awesome!!

Have a fabulous Sunday!!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Lucky Rainbow Bark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_0394A

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

DSC_0427A

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

Lucky Rainbow BarkHope you have a sweet weekend!

xo, Hayley

 

Creamy Cannoli Dip

CannoliDipToday’s post is about combining two of my absolute favorite things: New York cannolis, and California Dairy. What could be a better mash-up?! By creating a phenomenal, creamy dip out of rich, California Dairy products from my home state, inspired by my future-home (I hope!) in New York City, the Land of Cannolis (unofficially, but it’s true), I have managed to combine both of my favorite things into one AWESOME treat for you!

So first things first: cannolis. I love them. After visiting NYC for the first time a couple years ago, I was forced by my dad to try one… and I was hooked. There’s something so enticing and fabulous about a crispy fried cannoli shell stuffed to the gills with outrageously rich cannoli cream. Heaven on earth? You bet your sweet face it is.

But the best part about those cannolis? The CREAM, obvi. I’ve been a fan of all things deliciously creamy since I can remember (and excuse your innuendos, weirdos). Cream cheese on bagels, whipped cream icing (!!), ice cream… you name it, I love it. So that tangy, slightly sweetened cannoli cream was basically the best thing to happen to my face in NYC. Besides macarons, but that’s a different story (and addiction).

Of course, that cannoli cream wouldn’t be possible without dairy. Tangy ricotta cheese, rich mascarpone, heavy cream, butter… just some of the components that make up that fabulous filling for these delicious confections.

And even though these fantastical cannolis are being cooked up across the country in New York City, it’s a pretty large chance that New York bakers are using California Dairy products to make them. Since California has been the leading milk producer in the country since 1993 (and also the leading butter, ice cream, whey concentrate and nonfat dry milk producer!) and the second largest cheese producer, the possibility that  bakeries and restaurants across the United States are using California Dairy is incredibly high. Eating cannolis made with cheese and dairy from California’s famous Happy Cows? A highly delicious possibility.

DSC_0299AToday’s recipe is centered around Real California Dairy. As a proud brand ambassador for the California Milk Advisory Board (and a proud consumer of Real California Milk!) I only shop for brands that feature the Real California Milk seal which ensures the milk and dairy products used in those items was made with California milk produced by one of the 1,500 dairy farms in our Golden State.

DSC_0964AFrom the tangy ricotta to the silky cream cheese to the rich heavy cream, every product used in today’s Cannoli Dip was made with Real California Milk, providing exemplary quality and taste to this outrageously scrumptious dessert dip!

But enough about that. Let’s talk this dip, y’all. Not only would it be AWESOME for a Super Bowl party (yes!), but it’d make a sweet treat for your Valentine. Just serve it up alongside some chocolate graham crackers, waffle cone pieces, butter crisp cookies, Nilla Wafers or even fruit, and you have yourself a seriously tasty, irresistible spread. #winning

Now eat up!

DSC_0948A

4.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Cannoli Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake, Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 cups
 
Silky smooth and bursting with rich flavor, this Creamy Cannoli Dip will be the star of your next get-together! Comes together in minutes and features creamy California Dairy for the ultimate party dip!
Ingredients
  • 1 (15 oz) container Real California Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg Real California Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup Real California Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • About ⅔ cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Waffle cookes, waffle cone pieces, chocolate graham crackers, vanilla wafers, fresh fruit, or any other assorted dipping items, for dipping/garnish
Instructions
  1. First, drain your ricotta cheese by placing it in cheesecloth and squeezing out any excess liquid or moisture. You can also pat it dry with a paper towel if needed.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the drained ricotta, the cream cheese, heavy cream and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until just combined and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, until mixture is thickened. You may only need one cup of powdered sugar, but add more if necessary.
  3. Place the bowl in the fridge to set and chill for about 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge once chilled and garnish with chocolate chips. *I recommend spooning the dip into a separate bowl and layering the chocolate chips and dip together, like so: ½ cup dip, then a sprinkling of chocolate chips, repeating until chocolate chips are finished. That way you get chocolate chips in every bite!
  4. Serve with assorted dipping items like cookies, crackers, pretzels, or fruit. Store leftovers airtight in the fridge.

DSC_0956A

DSC_0963ASilky-smooth and crazy creamy, this sweet and tangy dip will soon become your new favorite! I loved eating it with waffle cookies to complete the authentic cannoli experience, but it was equally delicious with fruit (or let’s be real, on a spoon) :)

For more information about California Dairy or the California Milk Advisory Board, be sure to check them out ONLINE! You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest for news, info, recipes & more! And be sure to look for Real California Dairy products featuring the Real or Real California Milk Seal! 

DSC_0300AHave a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

I am a proud brand ambassador for the California Milk Advisory Board. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. I was compensated as part of my ambassadorship to write this post. 

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

Strawberry Marshmallow Cookie CupsSo, I totally did something dumb.

I missed my own blog’s birthday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_0907A

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

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

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Footballs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baklava

ChocChipBaklavaSo. I kinda sorta trashed the living ish outta this baklava, but I’m not sure anyone will be too upset about it.

I remember the first time I tried Greek food. I was dating this guy — we’ll call him A — and he and his family lived in downtown Sacramento in this gorgeous 40’s-era mansion. ‘A’ and his folks were really liberal and artsy and totally not at all like what I was used to, growing up in a pretty conservative-dominant neighborhood. They shopped at farmer’s markets and liked thrifting; they listened to obscure jazz musicians, traveled the world, and used organic soap. Like, totally hippie-dippie-complete-opposite of everything I’ve ever known.

BUT. Because of this, I got a couple of odd (but good-odd) dates with A. Like, one time we went to a lecture for this supposedly-famous psychologist. And another time we went to a really nice restaurant two hours away from home, just because. But my favorite date had to be the time his parents gave us tickets to a Greek Food Festival.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but dude – Greeks are awesome. And their food is ridiculously good. As a girl who grew up on Taco Bell and Twinkies, pastitsio, dolmas and moussaka were a whole new world for me. And don’t eeeeven get me started on baklava. One bite of that heavenly, sticky-sweet confection and I was sold… and I don’t even really like honey all that much. It’s just something magical that the Greeks do to make phyllo and nuts taste like heaven. I’m convinced they have voodoo powers or something.

DSC_0342AANYWHO. Despite attending this food festival over 10 years ago (wait, omg.), I still had yet to make baklava. There was just something so … annoying? with all the preparation required in making it, and again – honey gives me the shivers. But I decided to get over my weird honey-phobia and stick it to baklava by making it my own unique way — trashed up beyond recognition with chocolate chip cookie dough and a gooey brown sugar & vanilla simple syrup.

DSC_0355AOh honnnnaaayy. This is the ultimate.

Y’all ready to get baklava crunk?

DSC_0346A*inspired from Tieghan’s recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baklava
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Rich & sinful, this outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baklava will be your new favorite dessert!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • FOR COOKIE DOUGH:
  • 1 & ½ sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • About 3 cups flour
  • 1 & ½ cups miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 squares Chocolate CandiQuik
  • FOR VANILLA & BROWN SUGAR SYRUP:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 & ½ cups brown sugar (I used dark, but light works too)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" pan with cooking spray; set aside. Meanwhile, make your cookie dough: in a large bowl with a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar & sugar with a paddle attachment until creamy. Add in milk and vanilla, beat to combine. Lastly, add in the salt, flour, walnuts and chocolate chips until a soft dough has formed. Set aside.
  2. Begin layering your phyllo in the pan. Place one sheet of phyllo in the bottom of the pan and brush it with melted butter. Top with another piece of phyllo, brush it with butter, and repeat the process until you've stacked 10 pieces of phyllo on top of one another. *NOTE: while you work, be sure to keep the rest of the phyllo dough covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.*
  3. Carefully press HALF of the chocolate chip cookie dough on top of the bottom phyllo layer. You may want to take chunks of cookie dough, flatten them in your hand, and kind of form them into a layer by hand to prevent ripping the phyllo underneath.
  4. Repeat by adding TEN (10) more layers of buttered phyllo (buttering each sheet of phyllo after laying it), then top with the remaining cookie dough. Lastly, add the remaining phyllo dough, buttering each sheet as you layer. Cut the baklava with a very sharp knife in square or diamond pattern.
  5. Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and immediately pour the vanilla & brown sugar simple syrup over top. Allow the baklava to set for at LEAST 6 hours, preferably overnight* before cutting completely into squares or diamonds and serving.
  6. If desired, feel free to drizzle on melted CandiQuik for an added chocolate drizzle garnish, as I did. Store leftovers airtight, at room temperature, for a couple days.
  7. *TO MAKE THE SIMPLE SYRUP: Bring the water, brown sugar and vanilla to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.

DSC_0358AThis stuff is damn good, people. The buttery cookie dough, crispy phyllo, crunchy walnuts and chocolate chips, and the drizzle of chocolate on top makes for such an indulgent, badass dessert. If you don’t like walnuts, feel free to leave them out – I liked adding them for crunch and to keep one traditional component to this baklava. You could also use pistachios, pecans or peanuts, or swap the cookie dough for a peanut butter, butterscotch or sugar cookie dough!

…Just invite me over if you make those changes :)

Happy Baking!

xo, Hayley

 

Avalanche Cookie Clusters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_0397A

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

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

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

Have a fabulous day!!

xo, Hayley

Raspberry Candy Champagne Punch {Happy New Year!}

raspberrypunchHappy New Year!

I can hardly believe it’s already 2015 and I think that’s plenty of cause to celebrate! A new year, a new you, and a new drink to kick things off right :)

Since mimosas are so 2014, this Raspberry Candy Champagne Punch is just the perfect new addition to your drink repertoire. Plus, this easily doubles as a brunch beverage or a dinnertime delight… hello, awesomeness! And it has just the right amount of sweetness without being too cloying. In fact, it may be the drink of 2015. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Bottoms up, friends!

DSC_0291A

Raspberry Candy Champagne Punch {Happy New Year!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This fabulous Champagne Punch combines champagne with fresh fruit and rock candy for a fun and festive treat!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups champagne
  • ½ cup raspberry syrup (I like Torani Sugar Free)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Raspberry rock candy sticks
Instructions
  1. Place a handful of raspberries among each glass; top with ¼ cup raspberry syrup and ¼ cup orange juice in each glass. Finish off with a cup of champagne per glass.
  2. Serve with a raspberry rock candy as a swizzle stick garnish. I recommend setting them in each cup for a couple minutes to allow the candy to soak up some of the flavors, but if the candy's in there too long it will absorb into the drink, FYI.

DSC_0294AHave a very safe and Happy New Year!!

Have a fabulous day!!

xo, Hayley

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