Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is a simple and stunning dessert! A fudgy brownie "crust" topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding mousse and topped with chocolate-covered berries. Have your fruit and cover it in chocolate, too!This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is exceptional! A fudgy brownie bottom topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding and topped with chocolate sauce. Decadent, divine, and oh so delicious!

Y’all – I am DONE with my book!

Where’s my flute of champagne?!

I am so so so glad I’m finished, but also kind of sad. I guess it’s like when you’re pregnant and you have the baby. You miss being pregnant, but you’re also like thank god it’s out of me so I can have my body back. Except replace “baby” with “book” and “body” with “life.”

And now I can slightly have my life back again, which means I can dip my feet yet again in the online dating world, or go on a vacation or drink champagne starting at noon daily because I’m done, y’all.

Of course, there’s still editing to do and whatnot, but that’s okay. The bulk of the work is over and for that I’m eternally grateful. Also, I’m never writing 2 books in 1 year again. (Ask me in 2018 and I guarantee I’ll do it again).

So now that the book writing’s over and the holidays have passed, it’s time to start shoving Valentine’s Day in yo faces. (Sorry not sorry!!)

And the perfect way to segue into Valentine’s Day is by giving you the recipe for this Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie. Let me just say: it’s awesome!

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is a simple and stunning dessert! A fudgy brownie "crust" topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding mousse and topped with chocolate-covered berries. Have your fruit and cover it in chocolate, too!I have a recipe very similar to this one in my new book, and my book recipe had me thinking – there are a lot of different flavor combinations here besides the one I used! And because of Valentine’s Day, I figured strawberry was an appropriate choice… and boy, was I right!

First, you bake your brownie. It’s essential to use an 8×8″ pan size pouch of brownie mix here. If you can’t find that, measure out about 2 cups brownie mix and add your ingredients (I’ll post the measurements in the recipe below!!)

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is a simple and stunning dessert! A fudgy brownie "crust" topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding mousse and topped with chocolate-covered berries. Have your fruit and cover it in chocolate, too!Bake your brownie and let it cool. Then, whip up your strawberry pudding layer. It’s literally strawberry pudding mix + milk. Then fold in some whipped cream (or Cool Whip if you fancy like me) and spread that goodness over the brownie layer.

The hardest part is letting this bad boy refrigerate for a few hours to set and get all purty and fab. But once it’s ready to cut, just try not to face plant it.

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is a simple and stunning dessert! A fudgy brownie "crust" topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding mousse and topped with chocolate-covered berries. Have your fruit and cover it in chocolate, too!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is FANTASTIC! A fudgy brownie bottom, a fluffy & light strawberry pudding layer and it's topped off with chocolate covered strawberries and fresh whipped cream. So stunning and fabulous!
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
  • 1 8x8" brownie mix pouch (See Note below), plus ingredients on back of pouch
  • 1 3.9 ounce box instant strawberry pudding mix
  • 1 & ½ cups milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub Cool Whip, thawed & divided
  • 6 chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Chocolate syrup
  • NOTE: If you cannot find the 8x8" pouch of brownie mix, use 2 cups of a fudge brownie mix and mix in ⅓ cup oil, 2 Tbsp water, and 1 egg)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the deep dish frozen pie crust onto a rimmed baking sheet and prick the pie crust all over the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions, or see the note above. Pour the brownie batter into the pie crust and smooth out the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  3. Whisk together the dry pudding mix and milk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in ¾ths of the Cool Whip until fluffy and light. Pour the strawberry mixture on top of the brownie layer and smooth out the top.
  4. Refrigerate the pie for at least 6 hours or until set.
  5. Just before serving, pipe or dollop the remaining Cool Whip around the perimeter of the pie and garnish with the chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate syrup.

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is a simple and stunning dessert! A fudgy brownie "crust" topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding mousse and topped with chocolate-covered berries. Have your fruit and cover it in chocolate, too!Fudgy, sweet, chocolaty and bursting with juicy strawberry flavor, this pie will be your Valentine!

This Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownie Pie is a simple and stunning dessert! A fudgy brownie "crust" topped with a light & fluffy strawberry pudding mousse and topped with chocolate-covered berries. Have your fruit and cover it in chocolate, too! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Sorbet Champagne Floats (With Non-Alcoholic Version)

These 2-Ingredient Sorbet Champagne Floats are so easy, impressive, and such a crowd-pleaser! Mix and match your favorite sparkling wine or champagne with fruity sorbet flavors and fresh fruit for a truly custom party treat! These Sorbet Champagne Floats are a wonderful treat to whip up for your New Year’s festivities! Only 2 ingredients, SUPER easy, customizable & can be made virgin, too!

I can’t even believe that 2017 is almost here.

But I also am like, hurry the hell up because 2016 kind of sucked. Can we all agree?

Sure, there were great parts: my first cookbook, Out of the Box Desserts, was published and became a best-seller. (Thank you! Hugs!!). And, um, Lush had their BOGO sale, so there’s that. And uh… I made these Sorbet Champagne Floats?

Sorry. 2016 was a little dismal. So many wonderful lives lost from the entertainment & arts community, a crazy election, and the list goes on. To say I’m a little excited for 2017 is an understatement!

So if you’re having a NYE party or are going to a NYE party, may I suggest whipping these Sorbet Champagne Floats up? They’ll instantly perk up any party!

These floats could. not. be. easier. I promise! There’s no cooking involved, no real preparation. The hardest part is removing the champagne cork if you have terrible hand-eye coordination like I do. If you aren’t a total dork wielding a champagne weapon, you’ll be fine. Yay for being self-sufficient!

I used Barefoot Bubbly because I happen to like Barefoot wines quite well, and okay, fine – it was on sale and I like sale wines even more than I like name-brand wines. You can use whatever champagne or sparkling wine you prefer! This would work swimmingly with sparkling rose/pink champagne, cava, or prosecco, too! YOU DO YOU.

These 2-Ingredient Sorbet Champagne Floats are so easy, impressive, and such a crowd-pleaser! Mix and match your favorite sparkling wine or champagne with fruity sorbet flavors and fresh fruit for a truly custom party treat! Then find some yummy sorbet flavors. I used Roman Raspberry and Blood Orange from the brand Talenti because again, sale. Just make sure it’s a sorbet and not ice cream, because melty cream and champagne don’t sound good together. Personally, I think these floats would be stellar with a lemon or strawberry sorbet, too! (Strawberry sorbet + sparkling rose is BEGGING YOU TO MAKE IT!!)

I topped my floats with fresh fruit that corresponded with the sorbet flavors, but this is totally optional. It just drives home the sorbet flavor and makes it look pretty. Don’t get mad at me and complain these floats are actually 3 ingredients – I promise I can do math. 🙂

These 2-Ingredient Sorbet Champagne Floats are so easy, impressive, and such a crowd-pleaser! Mix and match your favorite sparkling wine or champagne with fruity sorbet flavors and fresh fruit for a truly custom party treat! TO MAKE THESE “VIRGIN” CHAMPAGNE FLOATS, simply use sparkling juice, such as Martinelli’s brand, or sparkling soda. You can now find amazing flavors for either the sparkling juice or sparkling soda, such as pomegranate, apple, plum, pear, and more. Choose whatever you think will go best with your sorbet flavor.

Scoop out the sorbet into a glass, pop the bubbly, top it off and toss in some fresh fruit. DONE & DONE. You’re welcome!

These 2-Ingredient Sorbet Champagne Floats are so easy, impressive, and such a crowd-pleaser! Mix and match your favorite sparkling wine or champagne with fruity sorbet flavors and fresh fruit for a truly custom party treat!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sorbet Champagne Floats (With Non-Alcoholic Version)
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
These Sorbet Champagne Floats are incredible! Bubbly, fizzy and packed with fresh fruit sorbet for a fun punch of color and flavor.
Ingredients
  • Cold Champagne (or sparkling rose, prosecco, cava, or any other sparkling wine from any brand of your preference. Here I used Barefoot Bubbly, but Chandon is another stellar brand)
  • Sorbet (any flavor you prefer. I used Roman Raspberry and Blood Orange from the brand Talenti. Strawberry, lemon, or blackberry sorbet would also be amazing).
  • Fresh fruit that corresponds with sorbet flavors, optional
Instructions
  1. Scoop about ¼th - ½ cup of sorbet into each flute or glass. I used a 2-ounce cookie dough scoop to scoop perfectly round balls of sorbet. Top with champagne or sparkling wine of your choice and garnish with fresh fruit. Serve immediately.
  2. TO MAKE THIS NON-ALCOHOLIC: Simply use sparkling juice in place of the champagne. I like Martinelli's!

These 2-Ingredient Sorbet Champagne Floats are so easy, impressive, and such a crowd-pleaser! Mix and match your favorite sparkling wine or champagne with fruity sorbet flavors and fresh fruit for a truly custom party treat! Easy, fast and impressive, I hope these fabulous Sorbet Champagne Floats make an appearance on your NYE table!

These 2-Ingredient Sorbet Champagne Floats are so easy, impressive, and such a crowd-pleaser! Mix and match your favorite sparkling wine or champagne with fruity sorbet flavors and fresh fruit for a truly custom party treat! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!These Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream are phenomenal! Moist, fluffy, airy cake flavored with real champagne topped with a luscious pink champagne buttercream frosting. Perfect for any festive occasion!

How was everyone’s Christmas and Hanukkah?

Hopefully you got exactly what you wanted, your great Uncle Ted didn’t embarrass you too much, and everyone got along swimmingly. But since you don’t live in Leave It To Beaver-land, I’m assuming one of those things did or didn’t happen. Hugs.

My Christmas was unusually good. Not that it’s ever bad per se, but everyone got along, no one was physically ill, and I truly think I made the best Christmas dinner yet! My turkey was moist and juicy, my mac & cheese wasn’t too soupy and my sister loved that I made vegetarian sides for her. (And if you’re over here like, wait, she can cook too!?, YES, I actually taught myself how to cook before I taught myself how to bake!)

And of course, there was a plethora of desserts available. Snowball Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Salted Caramel Butter Bars, Sugar Cream Pie and a Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake I whipped up on a whim. Needless to say, no one left hungry.

But now as we finish up the holiday season (hello, New Year!) I wanted to give you guys a couple of awesome New Year’s recipes in case you’re popular and were invited to parties. My invite may have gotten lost in the mail somewhere? I mean, it happens…

These Pink Champagne Cupcakes would be perfect for any festive occasion, but they’re totally perfect for New Year’s! Moist, fluffy, light cakes topped with a scrumptious pink champagne buttercream, a fresh raspberry and some gorgeous sparkling sugar for a beautiful cupcake that tastes as amazing as it looks.

Plus, no one needs to know how EASY they are to whip up! They taste like they came from some fancy schmancy bakery, I promise!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!First: let it be noted that I HIGHLY recommend you use a quality pink champagne. I’m not saying you have to buy a $50 bottle or anything (but if you’d like to, be my guest!). But I do recommend buying something you’d actually drink. As a rule of thumb, whenever cooking or baking with alcoholic beverages, always buy something you’d drink. If you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!That said, I used this FABULOUS sparkling rose from Chandon, which is local to me (in Napa). They make excellent sparkling wines and I loved that this sparkling rose was just perfect in these cupcakes (and being consumed on the side while baking them 🙂 ).

Now, let’s toast to these cupcakes! Hip Hip Hooray!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Buttercream are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, light cupcakes flavored with champagne topped with an irresistible champagne buttercream frosting. Great for any festive occasion!
Ingredients
  • FOR CUPCAKES:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • ¾ cup pink champagne (also known as sparkling rose. I used the kind by Chandon Winery, but whatever you prefer will work)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • FOR FROSTING & GARNISH:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3-4 Tbsp pink champagne
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 drops pink food coloring
  • Fresh raspberries and sprinkles (I used a pink sparkling sugar) for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 16 paper liners; set aside.
  2. Beat the cake mix, champagne, buttermilk, oil, and egg whites together with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling about ⅔ to ¾ths full.
  3. Bake for approx. 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and vanilla until whipped, about 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. In between additions of powdered sugar, add 1 Tablespoon heavy cream and 1 Tablespoon pink champagne and beat well. After the last powdered sugar addition, beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute until fluffy and light. Beat in the food coloring, if using.
  5. Frost or pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry and a sprinkling of sugar and sprinkles, if using. Store airtight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  6. NOTE: if frosting the cupcakes very high like I have in my photos, I suggest doubling the frosting.

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery!Fluffy, airy cupcakes topped with a boozy champagne buttercream… there is nothing better than these!

These PINK CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES with PINK CHAMPAGNE BUTTERCREAM are perfect for any festive occasion! Moist, light and fluffy champagne cupcakes topped with a scrumptious champagne buttercream. Easy, impressive and taste like they came from a fancy bakery! Have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Cherry Almond Cupcakes

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box! I am the worst music-listener ever.

First, I listen to the same songs over and over and over. Like, if we still used records, my records would be tore up. Seriously, it’s like the songs are going away tomorrow and I have to listen to them repeatedly in order to preserve them in my memory forever.

Second, I hate finding new music to listen to. It’s one of my least favorite tasks, up there with putting socks on damp feet and emptying the dishwasher. I just feel like, if I find a new artist or album and listen to the whole thing and hate it, it would be a huge waste of time, you know? And right now, my time is money… writing a cookbook is taking up every last second of free-time (and non-free-time), so I just don’t have the energy to seek out a new artist.

But why don’t you play a new album while you’re baking, you ask? Because if I don’t know what to expect, I’m way off my game. I’ll start burning stuff, under-beating batter, and tripping all over myself because of this new ambiance that I’m not used to. It’s like I have to bake to what I know in order to be in my “element.” (Also things in my “element”: a stack of magazines, joggers, and powdered sugar in every crevice).

And third, I always fall victim to the latest hits, anyway. I only had to hear Fifth Harmony’s ‘Worth It’ one time before that song permanently etched itself into my brain. So if it’s catchy, poppy, and plays in Hershey’s commercials, you know I’m guaranteed to listen to it really loud while no one’s home. And maybe imitate the choreography. Maybe.

Anyway, let’s talk about these spectacular Cherry Almond Cupcakes. I happen to love the combination of cherry and almond together – it’s sweet, fruity, and totally delicious. These cupcakes start with a cherry chip cake mix – a flavor I often forget about, admittedly – which gives a great cherry base to these cupcakes. Then the frosting is where the almond comes into play – thick, light, luscious sweet almond flavor. Top it off with a maraschino cherry and voila! Instant happiness.

While these cupcakes are perfect year-round, they would be especially great for Valentine’s Day! Top it with festive sprinkles or a drizzle of chocolate sauce to complete the look.

Enjoy!!

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box!

Cherry Almond Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, fruity and utterly delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 box cherry chip cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small box instant dry vanilla pudding mix
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • FOR FROSTING:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp almond extract (more or less depending on your preferences)
  • About 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cavities with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, pudding mix and maraschino cherry juice with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until combined. Portion evenly among muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  3. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, beat together the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until creamy. Alternate adding one cup of the powdered sugar and a little of the heavy cream until frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes (if piping, you may want to double the frosting batch). Top with a maraschino cherry. Serve!

These Cherry Almond Cupcakes are sweet, light and luscious and so easy to prepare! No one will know this easy recipe came from a box! Sweet, light, and perfect for any day, you’ll love these cupcakes!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Strawberry Shortcake Fluff

This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff is so simple to make - only 5 ingredients that you probably have on hand! Light, refreshing, no-bake and made in minutes, you'll love this easy recipe any time of year! I’m so excited to bring this Strawberry Shortcake Fluff recipe to you guys today! It’s in partnership with Lucky Leaf – I’m a brand ambassador for them this year and I am so stoked!

Lucky Leaf is all about celebrating everyday, and this fluff is all about that life, too. It comes together in minutes, only needs an hour to chill, and starts off with a can of Lucky Leaf’s Strawberry Premium Fruit Filling & Topping… which happens to be one of my favorite flavors in their line-up.

This idea came to me because my Grandma Pat, whom I lovingly call “Grammie”, always makes fluff salads of some kind for holiday dinners and parties. Her usual staple is a classic fruit cocktail fluff, but sometimes she’ll jazz things up with a mandarin orange fluff or even pistachio fluff.

And if you haven’t been invited to one of Grammie’s parties, or you just haven’t had an older lady make you a fluff salad, it basically consists of fruit (canned, fruit topping, fresh), Cool Whip, and sweetened condensed milk all whisked together, and usually with added ingredients. Today’s fluff salad features strawberry fruit filling & topping, sweetened condensed milk, Cool Whip, miniature marshmallows, and pound cake pieces for that irresistible, unmistakable strawberry shortcake flavor!

Plus, I heard Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching, and this would be a nice alternative to a box of chocolates. Just sayin’.

And if you have kiddos at home, this would be such a fun dessert to make with them! Have them get involved in folding together the ingredients… or sampling every component for quality control 🙂

Either way, you guys have to give this fluff salad a try. (Oh, and bee tee dubs, I have NO idea why it’s called a ‘salad.’ Except that it’s the bestsaladever because it doesn’t have lettuce.)

This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff is so simple to make - only 5 ingredients that you probably have on hand! Light, refreshing, no-bake and made in minutes, you'll love this easy recipe any time of year!

Strawberry Shortcake Fluff
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff Salad is a delightful no-bake treat that comes together in minutes and tastes fantastic!! Perfect for any day, any time of year!
Ingredients
  • 1 can (21 oz) Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Fruit Filling & Topping
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • ½ loaf (about 2 cups) frozen pound cake, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • Sprinkles, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, fold together the Lucky Leaf Strawberry Fruit Topping, the condensed milk, and the Cool Whip until combined. Fold in the pound cake cubes and the miniature marshmallows.
  2. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour to set up.
  3. Dish it up and serve! Garnish with sprinkles if desired.

This Strawberry Shortcake Fluff is so simple to make - only 5 ingredients that you probably have on hand! Light, refreshing, no-bake and made in minutes, you'll love this easy recipe any time of year! Be sure to connect with Lucky Leaf on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and stay tuned for more delicious recipes with them! And for more recipes, check out their website!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a brand ambassador for Lucky Leaf this year. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog!

Soft-Baked Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! You guys – these Soft-Baked Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies. I can’t even.

So Valentine’s Day is coming up – do you have any plans?

I do not. Like, not in the least. I’m not dating anyone, I don’t have any friends, and my only Valentine’s are my dogs and they couldn’t care less about the day.

But I still like to celebrate, even if I’m hopelessly alone. Okay, not hopelessly. More like “forever single.” And in a weird way, I’m kind of okay with that. If my soulmate is out there, he either A) died, or B) probably realized he was gay. And that’s totally cool! I’m perfectly happy being a spinster forever, as long as I can have no less than 10 dogs at any given time…

…and the ability to eat whatever I want without judgment. Or wear sweats to bed instead of cute pajamas.

So this year, if we’re being honest, I’ll probably watch Criminal Minds reruns while spoon-feeding myself Ben & Jerry’s sandwiched between these cookies because you only live once and I don’t have anyone to impress. SCORE.

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! These cookies are so buttery, rich and delicious and have a delicately sweet almond flavor in the dough. The cookies themselves are pillowy soft and tender, creating the perfect base for the vanilla buttercream frosting. These taste a lot like those store-bought Lofthouse cookies but with a sweet almond flavor!

Make ’em for yourself. Or for your Valentine. Or for a Monday in February. You won’t be disappointed!

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! *adapted from this Best Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Soft-Baked Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These soft and tender cookies will soon become a new favorite!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cans vanilla frosting (or use your favorite vanilla buttercream recipe)
  • Pink food coloring
  • Assorted sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil, white sugar and powdered sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and the eggs until combined. Lastly, add in the baking soda, cream of tarter, salt and flour and beat slowly until combined. Refrigerate the dough for at LEAST one hour, up to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough 1-2" apart from one another on the baking sheets and bake for approx. 9-11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time, until golden and set. Cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting them. To make the frosting, stir the desired amount of pink food coloring into the vanilla frosting. Fill a piping bag with a closed star tip and pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cookies; top with assorted sprinkles. Allow frosting to set for about 15 minutes before serving.

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! Buttery, tender, soft and sweet, these cookies will soon become a new favorite! The best part is that they’re a cinch to make and can be made for any occasion!

These Soft-Baked Almond Sugar Cookies are irresistibly soft, tender and so easy to make! Keep this recipe for any special occasion when you're craving buttery, sweet almond sugar cookies! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs

These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are so delicious and EASY to make! You're just four ingredients away from these super fudgy, ultra chocolaty wonders!It’s no secret that I’ve gained some weight over the years.

And while I’d love to have a body like Gigi Hadid, I know I won’t ever look like that, so I’m okay with how I look. Except when I accidentally surprise myself with selfie mode on my phone’s camera and my face looks like a potato.

But in years past, when I was skinnier and more outgoing, I used to get picked up ALL the time. I couldn’t even go grocery shopping at the butt-crack of dawn without having the Coca Cola stock boy hitting me up while I awkwardly bought Diet Pepsi. (Don’t ask – my dad drinks that crap. I’m a Coke Zero girl all the way).

Now I find myself being left alone all the time… and I love it. I can finally go shopping in peace without people badgering me all the live long day.

It’s like my fatness is a force field that prevents me from being accosted anywhere, radiating leave-me-alone vibes to boys and men everywhere.

This also probably has to do with the fact that when I was slimmer, I also did my full makeup for my 6am grocery trips and dressed cute. Nowadays, you basically have to threaten me with a knife to get my joggers off and real pants put on. And makeup? Honey, I haven’t touched my Urban Decay palette in about 3 months.

So basically, I’m the opposite of sexy. And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Because even without makeup, even with 100 extra pounds on my frame, and even while wearing leggings and sweatshirts, I still have an awesome personality, a great sense of humor, creativity that seeps from every pore, and a cookbook in the works. Does Gigi Hadid even have that? Well, probably, but there’s room for the both of us 🙂

ANYHOO. Let’s talk about the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up in a month, basically. Are you ready for it?! I will likely spend the duration of the day binge-watching Criminal Minds and wishing Dr. Spencer Reid was here to ignite my imagination and tell me a plethora of fun facts about Valentine’s Day, so I clearly have no plans… except for maybe force-feeding myself these Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs.

The idea came to me when I noticed all the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates at my local Target, and I realized I could stuff these inside of my famous, signature brownie bombs. It’s so easy, and totally comes together quickly. Plus, chocolate boxes are out. Brownie bombs are in. Get with it!!

These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are so delicious and EASY to make! You're just four ingredients away from these super fudgy, ultra chocolaty wonders!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are loaded with chocolate and SO EASY to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 box (about 15 count) of assorted chocolates, or your favorite chocolate candies
  • 1 (13x9") baking pan fudge brownies, baked, cooled and cut into 15 equal pieces (edges removed)
  • 1 pkg chocolate CandiQuik
  • 1 square vanilla CandiQuik
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Take a cut square of brownie and gently flatten it with the heel and palm of your hand. Wrap it around one of the chocolates until it covers it completely, and roll it in your hands to form a ball. Place the ball on the baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. Once bombs are firm, melt your chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions. Dip each brownie bomb in the chocolate, coating completely and allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining bombs. Once chocolate has set, melt the vanilla CandiQuik and place it in a ziploc bag. Seal out the air, snip off a corner and drizzle the white chocolate over the bombs. Allow to set.

These Box of Chocolates Brownie Bombs are so delicious and EASY to make! You're just four ingredients away from these super fudgy, ultra chocolaty wonders!You could also make these no-bake brownie bombs by using premade or store-bought brownies or brownie bites! Proceed with the recipe as normal.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Neapolitan Seven Layer Bars

NeapolitanSevenLayerBarsWhat happens when you forget to post a Valentine’s Day-themed recipe before Valentine’s Day? You post it days later, obvi!

I try to stick to schedules since I tend to be a planner and a huge list-maker. But stuff happens, I forget, I don’t care, or Intervention is on and I just neglect it. I’m sorry. I’m the worst blogger ever.

BUT, the good thing is is that Neapolitan’s a yearround flavor. It doesn’t necessarily have an expiration date like eggnog or peppermint (though if it were up to me, eggnog and peppermint would not be judged in summertime), and it works because it’s comprised of three fabulous flavors that are seasonless: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. What’s not to love?!

…and it happens to be the theme of my sweet new blog design! BTW, did you enter my giveaway yet? I’m giving away a FREE pair of Tieks flats, a Too-Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette or a $25 Baskin Robbins gift card! Winners are chosen on Tuesday, so wiggle your butt over to that post to enter!!

DSC_0166AANYWHO. Since I’m a lover of both Neapolitan and seven layer bars, I figured there had to be some combining love-child makin’ happening between the two. The results are magical! There’s bites of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry goodness in every bite, and if you’re as fanatical about this flavor as I am, there’s a must-make for sure!

DSC_0171A

Neapolitan Seven Layer Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Packed with strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, these fabulous Neapolitan Seven Layer Bars are a winner!
Ingredients
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tsp strawberry extract (optional, but enhances the flavor - I recommend it)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg. Ghirardelli Chocolate & Strawberry Squares, unwrapped and roughly chopped (if you cannot find this flavor, substitute with Chocolate & Raspberry - no one will tell the difference)
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Strawberry Marshmallows
  • About 20 Berry Oreos, roughly chopped
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Rainbow sprinkles, if you'd like
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, oil and strawberry extract, if using, until a soft dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven but keep the oven on. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, chopped chocolate squares, marshmallows and Oreos onto the dough. I like putting the marshmallows on first so they're covered - it prevents them from burning and expanding as much. Drizzle evenly with the condensed milk.
  4. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes or until center appears set and the top is golden brown and bubbly. Cool completely (I recommend overnight) before lifting out of the pan and cutting into squares. Garnish with sprinkles, if you'd like!

DSC_0179AI love the rich burst of sweet strawberry in these chewy, gooey bars! They would be perfect alongside a bowl of Neapolitan ice cream… but that’s only if you want to do it a la Hayley 🙂

Nuts for Neapolitan? Check out my other fun Neapolitan recipes!

Neapolitan CupcakesNeapolitan Cupcakes – be sure to enter my giveaway! 

neabundtNeapolitan Bundt Cake

neapcheesecakeNeapolitan No-Bake Cheesecake

Have a sweet Sunday!!

xo, Hayley

 

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bites

Chocolate Cherry Cookie BitesIt’s come to my immediate realization that I’ve never had anyone do anything romantic for me.

Like, ever.

After reading a forum on a website which asked the question, “what was the most romantic thing someone’s done for you?” I realized that no one has done anything remotely romantic for me. Why I’m incapable of having romantic things happening to me, I do not know, but I demand some answers.

Never have I ever had a candlelit dinner.

The last time I had a walk on the beach, we were fighting.

Romantic, spontaneous getaways for the weekend? Planned by me.

In fact, I don’t even know if my past significant others knew my favorite candy, which is clearly an indication that we were never meant to be since candy is like, my lifestyle.

Oh well. I suppose I’m meant to eat my Red Vines by candlelight alone.

At any rate, despite being single this Valentine’s Day, I’m actually really excited about it. There’s something exciting about love, even if I’m not in it. So I just make treats to compensate for my loneliness, and it all works out in the end. *cue rom com music here* Today, I’ve made for you – my valentines! – these delectable Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bites. They’re super delish and take hardly any time at all to make, thanks to some easy store-bought, seasonal swaps I found.

DSC_0923AEnter: Pillsbury’s new Chocolate Cherry Cake Mix and Frosting! They have a rich chocolate flavor with sweet hints of cherry swirled throughout, and they’re the base for these simple-yet-scrumptious cookie cups. Your Valentine will be none the wiser with your little store-swap secret, and you’ll be dubbed the best significant other ever. You’re welcome.

(And yes, I will take my Red Vines now).

DSC_0915A

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These sweet and simple cookie cups are made using Pillsbury's new Chocolate Cherry cake and frosting mixes! Both of these ingredients lend for easy swaps in the kitchen yet impart a great, rich chocolate cherry flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 box Pillsbury Chocolate Cherry cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • About 1 cup Chocolate Cherry Delightfulls Morsels (by Nestle - they're cherry-filled chocolate chips; find them on your baking aisle, or sub another chopped chocolate-cherry candy)
  • 1 can Pillsbury Chocolate Cherry frosting
  • Maraschino cherries with stems, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 24-cavity miniature muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and oil with a spoon until a soft dough has formed.
  2. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough into each muffin cavity, then gently flatten them down with your fingers. Bake the cookie cups for about 12-15 minutes or until the edges are set; do not over-bake. Allow the cookie cups to set in the muffin cups for about 5 minutes.
  3. Gently use the handle of a wooden spoon to make an indentation in the middle of the cookie cup, careful not to puncture through the cup. Immediately fill the well with a heaping pinch of the chocolate-cherry morsels. Allow the cups to cool completely before gently popping them from the muffin tin.
  4. Remove the cap and foil lining from the frosting and microwave it on medium-high power for about 30 seconds, stirring vigorously so it's smooth and pourable. Dunk each cookie cup into the melted frosting briefly, covering the top. Allow excess to drip off and return the cookie cups to a foil-lined baking sheet or wire rack. Immediately top with a maraschino cherry. Repeat with remaining cups, then serve!

DSC_0927AThese could not be simpler or any cuter! I’m a huge fan of the chocolate & cherry flavor combination and these cups hit it outta the park with their rich, chocolaty flavor and the bright bursts of cherry. If you can’t find the chocolate cherry cake mix or frosting, substitute regular chocolate cake mix with a teaspoon or two of cherry extract or maraschino cherry juice. And stir some cherry extract or maraschino cherry juice into canned chocolate icing in a pinch.

I hope you enjoyed! Have a great day, lovers!!

xo, Hayley

Strawberry Meringues

Strawberry MeringuesSo, unless you were born today, the Super Bowl was yesterday. And if you have Facebook friends like mine, they were updating you with play-by-plays the entire freaking time.

Like, I get it. If I wanted to watch approximately 235974 hours of football, I would be doing so. But I use Facebook as an escape – a way to creepily peer into the lives of my friends and acquaintances, not get misfit ESPN commentators giving me second-by-second descriptions of everything happening.

It’s kinda like how I feel about going to the movies, with everyone talking and repeating lines during the film. It’s a movie, not a freakin’ interactive play. Keep yo’ trap shut, homie.

Maybe I’m just bitter? Probably. Don’t answer that.

DSC_0887AAnywho. After an unsuccessful attempt at escaping to Facebook yesterday, I decided to do some brainstorming for Valentine’s Day inspiration. It was then that I remembered I had made some Cotton Candy Meringues a couple years back and how delicious they were! Meringues only seem hard, but they’re actually quite simple to prepare and make for a light, airy, and quite delectable cookie!

If you’re feeling super fancy, feel free to dip these in chocolate!

DSC_0882A*adapted from my Cotton Candy Meringues, recipe above

4.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Meringues
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 48
 
Light and airy, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are delectable and so perfect for Valentine's Day! If you'd like, dip the bottoms in melted chocolate or melted white chocolate for an extra special treat!
Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar (make sure it hasn't expired!)
  • 1 pkt. Duncan Hines Strawberry Shortcake Frosting Creations (if you cannot locate this, feel free to substitute about 1 tsp strawberry extract and a couple drops of pink liquid food coloring)
  • Valentine's sprinkles, optional but recommended
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees F and line two baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, fill the bottom of a medium pot with water and bring it to a simmer on the stove. Place the metal bowl of a stand mixer (or another glass bowl larger than the pot) over the simmering water and quickly add in the egg whites and sugar, whisking them until frothy. Once frothed, remove from the stove and quickly attach the stand mixer bowl to the machine or pour the mixture into a stand mixer bowl.
  3. Add in the cream of tartar and strawberry shortcake flavor packet, and using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the mixture until stiff, glossy peaks have formed (about 6-8 minutes on medium speed). The peaks are done when they stand straight up. IF YOU ARE USING STRAWBERRY EXTRACT, blend in the extract and food coloring once the peaks are just about stiff, then whip until stiff.
  4. Spoon the meringue into a disposable piping bag attached with an open star tip and pipe little mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets. If you'd like, top them with assorted Valentine's sprinkles for a festive touch. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking. Once the meringues are done, turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and allow the meringues to set and finish cooling in the oven.
  5. Once cooled, remove from the oven and gently peel from the baking sheets. Dip in chocolate if you'd like, or serve immediately!

DSC_0889A

DSC_0883AI love how tender these soft and airy cookies are! They practically dissolve on your tongue with a delectable, airy texture and a wonderful strawberry flavor 🙂 The sprinkles add a festive touch and make these cookies extra special, but feel free to omit the sprinkles if you’d like, or use sparkling caster sugar for a sparkly feel!

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

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