Archives for February 2012

Samoas Popcorn

You should know that my family isn’t a normal eating family.

What’s a normal eating family, you ask?

A normal eating family or NEF for short, is a family that eats small portions, savors things for ever and eat daintily.

We are not NEFs. At all.

First of all, since I have to cook dinner for my family nightly and need to plan the weekly grocery list and meals, I need to find things with humongous large portion sizes to feed my family of… five.

FIVE people. And the portions need to AT LEAST exceed six to eight. My family seems to eat for two people each. We love food; how can you blame us? I’m obviously not adopted.

Especially since you know how I feel about eating in front of people I’m not related to…

Second, we never have anything in our house for too long. When cookies are purchased at the store, my family’s six food sense kicks in and they hunt it down and find it instantly. Baked goods never survive. Chips are annihilated. Cheese and tortillas and pizza rolls are gonzo in a day, tops. Girl Scout cookies?


When my sister was a Girl Scout, my mom volunteered as Cookie Mom. I remember boxes of Girl Scout cookies–crates–lining our hallway and living room walls with their enticing colors and flavors. Most people would balk at the scene and maybe make a joke about “how can you be around all this?” even though you know they could never, ever eat that many cookies–much less their entire family, even–but you secretly know your family could make a festivity out of eating all the crates in about three days–if that.

Girl Scout Cookies NEVER survive in our house. Those people who “store boxes in the freezer and discover them in June”? Obvious NEFs. No way in hell would my family abandon a box of cookies in the freezer for months. That’s blasphemous.

Oh & hey, I’m definitely not making fun of my family. I love food and so do they–we’re proud to eat and eat lots. We could have worse habits like, our favorite TV show could be something awful like Hoarders: Buried Alive or Gold Rush Alaska or something.

But ANYWAY, my main point is that Girl Scout Cookies are the bait and tackle in the Parker household, so I was kind of shocked when I found a couple sleeves of Samoas leftover in my pantry. Besides stuffing my cute little round face with them, I thought I could stretch them even further by chopping them up and adding them to some caramel corn so I could snack away, handful after handful, into sugar-coma, far-from-NEF-oblivion.


And even if you or your family are NEFs, that’s okay: you should make this stuff, too. It’s highly addictive, crazy delicious and um, an equal-opportunist food. Bonus!

Samoas Popcorn

About 7 cups caramel corn
4 squares chocolate bark
2 squares white chocolate bark
About 3 cups toasted coconut
About 20-24 Samoas, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces

1. Place the popcorn in a single layer on a wax-paper-lined counter or work space.
2. Melt the chocolate bark in two separate bowls until melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate evenly over the popcorn, then top with the white chocolate. Immediately sprinkle the toasted coconut and cookies over the wet chocolate.
3. Using a large spatula, gently turn the popcorn around to toss the mixture evenly. Allow to sit in an even layer to harden, about 20 mins. Store airtight up to 2 days.

The sweet and salty combination of the caramel corn, chocolate and cookies is DIVINE. And my non-NEF family looooved it. Who would have thought it’d be the perfect “I-just-ate-now-where’s-the-popcorn” snack!?


xo, Hayley

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

Cinnamon-Streusel Cheesecake Bars

A few days ago, I got sick.

…which reminds me of something: don’t you hate when someone around you is sick and they say, “I’m sick” and another person replies, “yeah, something nasty is going around.”

Isn’t there always something nasty going around? It’s not like sicknesses have designated time periods or seasons or anything. Not even cold and flu are reserved for winter months. (Have you ever had a summertime cold? Sucks majorly).

I highly doubt the stomach flu is sitting around his stomach flu office, tapping his little virus toes and checking his watch repeatedly wishing nine o’clock would hurrythehellup!! because I have to infect Bobby now!!

And I’m pretty positive my chest congestion-cold wasn’t hesitant in infecting me. “Should I do it Thursday? No, maybe I’ll hold off til Friday–make her have it for the weekend. Is that too cruel? Maybe. Errr, we’ll start out with light problems, then graduate to bigger pains. That seems reasonable.”


But before I caught the prompt and reliable cold bug (or before it caught me) I made these Cinnamon-Streusel Cheesecake Bars and I’m really glad I did. Usually when I’m sick, I don’t want to eat anything which is actually how I determine I’m sick since I’m usually ALWAYS. STARVING.

But ironically, I wanted nothing more than to crawl into yoga pants and sit my rump on the couch and watch marathons of bad TV and eat these bars because comfort food was in desperate need during my time under siege by the darndest little bug.

You know what would be something news-worthy? If somehow these cheesecake bars caught on and everyone started making them. It would be the most delicious epidemic!!

So go diagnose yourself as hungry and make them because they’re easy and delicious and little miss sicky wants you to.

Cinnamon-Streusel Cheesecake Bars *adapted slightly from my So-Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars  –I also made these lighter, but feel free to use what you have on hand

2 pkgs reduced fat crescent rolls
2 pkgs (8 oz each) reduced fat cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9″ baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon until blended. Small lumps are okay.
2. Roll out one can of rolls, pressing the perforations together to seal and form a plane of dough, and place in the bottom of the greased pan.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy and blended, about 2 minutes. Spread evenly on top of the sheet of dough in the pan.  Top with about half of the brown sugar crumble mixture, then with the second sealed sheet of dough.
4. Pour the melted butter evenly on top of the second sheet of dough and top with the remaining cinnamon-streusel mixture. Bake for approx. 30 mins or until golden brown and set. Allow to cool on the counter for approx. 1 hour before cutting into squares. Store airtight in the fridge up to 3 days.

These taste very similiar to the sopapilla cheesecake bars but have a spicier, brown sugary taste from the streusel. And I cannot get over how wonderful the caramelized sugar is on top–like candy on top of my cheesecake. Bonus points, people.

Have a wonderful day!!

xo, Hayley

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

Cat in the Hat Cupcakes

Even though I major in English, you see,
I am not a very good rhymer, pooey.

I make up fake words
just to fit the rhyme scheme.
If I could rhyme well,
shoot–it’d be a dream!

I’d be a famous poet,
writing romantic ballads and sonnets
that wouldn’t sound old and boring
like in the age where people wore bonnets.

People would be like,
“Oh, Hayley, you’re a literary smartie!
“We love your magical way with words–
they fill me up like vegetable soup; so hearty!”

Except soup is weird
in some situations,
like when people smell like vegetable soup
which breaks my concentrations
(and makes me self conscious about they way I smell, too)

Anyway, this post is pointless
because it isn’t about me.
It’s about a wonderful Doctor named Seuss
who was the best rhymer there could be!

He wrote rhymes about the Lorax,
and ham and green eggs.
Hey, he even wrote rhymes about grinches
and had me laughing for days.
(thank goodness for slant rhyme!)

But today we’re to celebrate
his annual birthday
with whimsical cupcakes
that would make him say:

“Those are fantastical, whimsical, fun and adorable,
superbical, amazingsome, happy and funable!”

So I took a famous Seuss animal
an outrageous cat,
and placed him right on a cupcake…
with his very large hat.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
cried the girl who couldn’t rhyme
but I did make you cupcakes,
so I’m free of this rhyme-crime.

Cat in the Hat Cupcakes

12 cupcakes, baked and cooled (I chose Funfetti)
Vanilla Buttercream (recipe & ingredients below; I tinted mine blue)
Rainbow non-pareils
White chocolate almond bark
12 fudge-striped shortbread cookies
24 large marshmallows
About 5 packages red fruit-roll ups

1. Frost cupcakes with buttercream and top with sprinkles, if desired. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside while you melt the almond bark according to package directions.
2. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the almond bark, coating completely. Place carefully, coated-side-up, on the baking sheet. Next, stab the flat top of a marshmallow with a toothpick and gently dunk each mallow into the chocolate mixture, coating completely. Carefully place the mallow onto the coated cookie, using another toothpick to gently wriggle the other one out of the mallow. Repeat.
3. Once all the hats have one mallow, begin topping with another mallow using the same process as above. They should be two mallows high (as the Cat’s hat was quite high). Pop in the freezer or fridge to set once the hats are two-mallows-high.
4. Unroll the roll-ups and, using a sharp paring knife, cut thin strips lengthwise into the roll-up. Carefully peel the strips away from the wax paper and cut them in half crosswise. You should make four strips per hat.
5. Working one strip at a time, gently wrap the strip around the front of the hat, pressing lightly to adhere the strip’s edges to the hat. If you prefer, omit cutting the strips crosswise so the stripes wrap around completely; otherwise, by cutting them in half crosswise, half of the hat will be striped (conserves more roll-ups, but your choice). Allow to set for a couple minutes, then top onto cupcakes. Best served immediately.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream 

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 3-4 cups powdered sugar
About 2 Tbsp milk

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and vanilla until blended and creamy, about a minute. Gradually add powdered sugar in, about a cup at a time, until pasty. Add milk in to soften consistency until frosting is light and fluffy. Tint your desired shade, then pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

The cuteness is fun,

I can barely stand it!!
Make these right now
or I’ll throw a fit.

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday 

Donut Hole Blondies

So get this: I’m currently raising five adorable, fuzzy caterpillars.

Excuse you, don’t you “what is she talking about now?” me. You read right. I’m raising caterpillars to become painted lady butterflies.

It’s this super cool kit I used to get as a kid from Learning Express. I remember spending my childhood holed up in my room playing Barbies and staging them in weird situations little girls shouldn’t but I also remember raising butterflies several times, and lady bugs a couple times, too.

For $20, it’s a steal-deal. And obviously not just for children since I was definitely adult-like walking into a Learning Express store suddenly feeling really old as I watched kids play with train tables and things I used to play with.

My, have the times changed.

Anyway. Every day I’m 99% sure I annoy the hell out of my family because I’ll eagerly wake up and race to my caterpillars and squeal with delight upon seeing they’ve grown twice their size overnight. And now I’m squealing because they’re all furry and I keep telling everyone I want to touch them and let them crawl on me and it’s kind of grossing everyone out.


And soon they’ll be purty little butterflies fluttering around my living room and I can’t wait. It’ll be like I’m living in a butterfly sanctuary or something. I’m practically obligated to wear long, flowy skirts and put flowers in my hair and walk around barefoot and call my family members names like “Spirit Horse” and “Wild Hyacinth” and crap like that.

Soon I won’t be showering and I’ll have dreads in my hair and my family will be buying my organic, fair-trade deodorant which, if you aren’t aware, doesn’t work (I had an ex who used it and he still smelled soupy).

Or not.

Honestly, I’m just hoping I can keep them alive. I’ve never had a green thumb, nor have I had a science/experimental thumb besides dyeing my hair.

So bad that, in high school when our biology teacher gave us Q-Tips and told us to go swab the school and rub the swabs onto the little bacteria cup thingy, my cup didn’t even grow bacteria. It just looked plain and normal and lame and not sciencey at all. So I kind of gave up and decided I don’t need to know anything remotely science-related.

Except raising my beautiful butterfly children. And my dog. And pretending to dye my hair. And baking, of course. Because technically, these Donut-Hole Blondies are purely experimental. It was kind of those moments where you walk by the donut holes and think to yourself thinking to them, you’re going into a blondie today. 

Oh, you don’t talk to food? Nevermind.

Donut-Hole Blondies

2 cups brown sugar (light preferred)
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 pkg glazed donut holes (like the pop’ems kind or from your local market/bakery), cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter together over medium heat until butter melts, the sugar dissolves, and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Stir in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Stir in the flour one cup at a time, then the baking soda and baking powder. Stir in 3/4 of the chopped donut holes and pour into the prepared pan. Top with a couple more donut hole halves and sprinkle with sea salt (you may not use all the donut hole halves but uh, think of something else to use them for?)
4. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until center is set and blondies are lightly golden. Cool for about 1 hr before cutting into squares. Store airtight for 2-3 days.

I love when science loves me back; these are dense, sweet, salty and taste exactly like a donut hole cake. LOVE.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Hayley

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

The Friday Roundup!

OMG, another week has gone by! WTF is more like it.

We’re like time travelers or something. There’s no way it’s been a week.

I blame the Presidents… I guess we’ve been having oodles of fun celebrating their birthdays and stuff that February has come and gone. Sigh.

Next week is March and I’m stoked. It’s Irish month, baby! And me and Jessie’s one year anniversary, which we’ll be spending in the city, drinking at the Tonga Bar and eating copious amounts of the addictive jalapeno cornbread at Dotty’s True Blue. I can already taste the spices…

Moving away from my reverie and onto what I made this week! It was action-packed, if I say so myself.

First, I kicked off the weekend with some highly addictive Samoa Blondie Truffles and revealed that I am ridiculous and potentially have a disorder or five of some kind(s).

I made some Breeseo Cups (that’s a brownie cup filled with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and an Oreo cookie, thanks) and these…

…and unfortunately, scarred an innocent woman in the process. RIP, mind of Target cashier. I’m so sorry.


Don’t you hate when people give you their unwanted opinions? Ugh. It’s like, I wish I could shut them up with truffle pops or something. 

If you’re an avid reader of my blog (you make my world go ’round and justify my insanity–thank you) you know I frequently have nightmares about the zombie apocalypse. Well, since I love you I made you some Twinkie Cupcakes to survive the desolate-earth should the virus hit. It’s basically survival food.

Sorry to disappoint you (as I already have my family, but whatever), but this Birthday Cake Puppy Chow isn’t really dog food. But raise your hand if you have actually tried dog food (please tell me my hand isn’t the only lonely one raised?) and can swear that this stuff is better. (It is–unless you’re into biscuits that taste like stale wheat bread, in which case I cannot help you but you’re welcome to chow on the Milkbones)

And of course, questions & concerns of this week…

1. RHOC–anyone watching? First of all, I developed a slight girl crush when they showed Timree’s painting studio–SO cute. However, I was a little put off by Vicki and her nasty comments about the name ‘Timree.’ Yeah, okay, it’s kind of ridiculous, but it ain’t ‘Big Audio Dynamite’ or ‘Jetplane’ or some of the other f*ed up names of kids in Hollywood. Step off, ho.

2. Wednesday (the 22nd), which also happened to be the first day of Lent, was also National Margarita Day for those people who don’t celebrate (moi). Of course, I did want to celebrate National Margarita Day but when I opened our liquor cabinet I was disappointed to find no tequila. Zilch. In fact, there was nothing but vodka. As far as I’m concerned, I could bathe in vodka. I won’t, but I could. Alas: no margs for moi.

3. Recently, I got a $20 giftcard to Victoria’s Secret and I dunno what to blow it on. Undies? Tees? Swimsuit? I’m leaning toward the latter; however, I have issues with swimsuits and it’s the funniest thing: whenever I try them on, I don’t seem to look like the models do. I’m guessing it’s because the swim wear is actually defective.

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!! I have so many(!!) cute treats lined up for next week, including a Dr. Suess post I’m STOKED about!!

xo, Hayley

Birthday Cake Puppy Chow

Let me just begin this post by saying that apparently, no one in my family understands what “puppy chow” (human food) is.

When they walked in the kitchen and saw this delightful bag of powdered-sugary-and-sprinkled-goodness, of course they asked what it was. When I responded “Birthday Cake Puppy Chow” they gave me a quizzical look and replied, “puppy… chow?”

Yes. Puppy chow. Like what happens when powdered sugar, melted chocolate and Chex Mix get together in a bowl. Good stuff happens… good stuff named puppy chow. Or Muddy Buddies. But I like dogs and don’t like mud so obviously I’m going with the cuter name and all.

Yet, they still had to ask: “So it doesn’t really have puppy chow in it, right?”

Yeah. Because I was tiring of cupcakes and cookies and brownies and thought all these wonderful, edible goods could easily taste better with the addition of Mannie’s Beneful. My dogs like it; why wouldn’t we? I’m totally going to be on Food Network for being so interesting and haute couture for my innovative dog-food/dessert hybrid food.

So anyways. Puppy chow. Of the birthday cake variety. There’s really not much more to say about it except A) it’s crazy addictive; B) aren’t those treat bags cute? The dollar bin at Target is my stomping ground; and C) you should make these right now because whatever you’re currently doing (yes, including reading this blog) could be bettered by a huge bowl of these. I swear. It’s like, birthday cake puppy chow magic or something.

Yeah… we’re all waiting on you now.

Birthday Cake Puppy Chow *inspired by Becky’s recipe at So Very Blessed 

About 6 cups regular Chex Mix cereal
1 pkg white chocolate candy melts or almond bark
About 1/4 cup yellow or funfetti cake mix
1/2 cup sprinkles
About 3 cups powdered sugar

1. Start by lining your counter or a large, flat workspace with wax paper. In a large bowl, pour the cereal and rainbow sprinkles. Meanwhile, in a resealable gallon-size baggy, place the powdered sugar.
2. Next, in a microwaveable bowl, prepare candy melts/bark according to package directions until smooth and melted. Stir in the cake mix, about a heaping Tablespoon at a time, until completely blended into the chocolate.
3. Pour the chocolate into the cereal and toss gently to coat all the cereal with the chocolate mixture completely. Pour the chocolate-coated cereal into the prepared baggy, seal the baggy, and toss to coat completely. Once coated, spread the mixture onto the wax-paper-lined counter in an even layer to cool and dry for about an hour.
4. Once set, store airtight for up to 2 days.

The cake batter flavor is perfect for me (read: ultra cake battery goodness) but if you prefer even stronger flavor, sprinkle some more cake mix into the powdered sugar mix before tossing. It’ll adhere to the chocolate and add an additional sweetness.

I hope you enjoy, dog-food-eating-lovers-of-the-world!

xo, Hayley

Twinkie Cupcakes

I don’t know if any of you are Walking Dead fans, but the show is pretty much the glue that bonds me, my brother and Jessie together. When it comes to zombies and those crazy-annoying characters, we love it…



Well, they do. I want so badly to love it to death but honestly, the horrible main characters are what holds me back. The blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry zombies are fine & good… impeccable acting and wonderful character development, may I add. But the main dudes and dudettes? Gag me.

I mean, Laurie is possibly THE STUPIDEST woman ever. First of all, she basically tells everyone what to do and then walks around doing nothing. “We should make Hershel dinner… how about you two do it?” “We should bury their bodies… you guys can dig the holes.” “Rick and Glen, go into town to get Hershel. Damn, I can’t trust they’ll go into town to get Hershel so I’ll go myself and crash the car because I’m a dumb trollop.”


Then there’s Rick. He’s all goody-two-shoes and if his conscious could be half the size it is, he’d probably be a more likable character. Right now, I’m only getting by on Rick because he’s semi-attractive and I’ve grown to have a weird love affair with his Southern accent. So what.

OMG, don’t even get me started on Shane. I. HATE. SHANE. He’s by far the most intolerable mother-you-know EVER and I wish I could hit him over the head with a shovel and turn him into walker food. He’s that bad. Worst part? I cringe every time I watch because unfortunately, Shane is a dead ringer for one of my ex-boyfriends. Blah.

The only semi-tolerable character I can find among all this lunacy? Darryl, the hick with the homemade shivs and Carl, who looks like a younger version of my boyfriend so every time he comes on screen I squeal, “look, it’s Lil Jessie!” It’s really cute & stuff.

I have to say, with all this zombie craze going on I’ve been thinking about how I’d survive the zombie apocalypse and stuff. It’s just so mind-boggling thinking about how I’d get ahold of food and things when zombies are strolling around everywhere and more importantly, what I’d do when that food expires.

Seriously… it’s scary to think about having no more canned goods. Those stewed tomatoes you imagined would last a lifetime in your pantry? Sorry, girl, but they’ll go bad in 2014. If the apocalypse happened tomorrow, those would only be good for TWO YEARS.

Oh, the horror!

So basically I think that producers of canned goods should barricade their factories so they’d be zombie-free zones and I can still get my canned peas if all goes to hell.

One of my fave zombie movies is Zombieland, the one with Emma Stone and that awkward dude. In it, Woody Harrelson plays a zombie-killing lone wolf who has a serious love for Twinkies. Though his quest for Twinkies runs dry most of the time (including breaking and entering into several grocery stores and even a Hostess truck to search for the snack cakes) he eventually scores big-time.

It got me thinking: why are people so peeved that Twinkies have a long shelf-life? I mean, sure, they’re chock-full of preservatives, but that’s what makes food good. Your kids probably hate Brussels sprouts because they’re not loaded with preservatives, so throw some Ding Dongs in that pot and I guarantee they’ll love them.

Plus, when zombie apocalypse happens, what the hell are you organic-loving, grass-fed-beef-eating people going to eat? I can sure as hell guarantee it ain’t butternut-squash-roasted-quinoa with a delicate lemon-butter-caper chicken. Cause uh, who’s going to harvest those capers? Not you. Not I.

Y’all will be eating Twinkies and Snowballs and Nutty Bars. So I think it’s a good idea that Twinkies last forever since we will all live happy lives in a desolate earth eating creme-filled snack cakes.

The End.

Oh, by the way, before the virus hits, I made some Twinkie Cupcakes you can enjoy now. You know, while we have milk and eggs and stuff. And you should make them; they’re really good and will make you feel energized and stuff, like Brussels sprouts but better.

Twinkie Cupcakes *Twinkie filling adapted from Andie’s recipe at Can You Stay For Dinner 

1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free instant French vanilla pudding mix
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons very hot water
Marshmallow Buttercream (recipe & ingredients follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with about 20 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, stirring the box of pudding mix into the cake batter to blend. Portion batter evenly among muffin cups, about 2/3 full, and bake for approx. 15-18 mins or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, the core out the cupcake’s middles with a sharp, small paring knife, careful not to cut through the entire cupcake. Eat or discard centers.
3. First, dissolve the salt into the hot water and allow to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the marshmallow cream, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Beat in the salt water. Mixture should be light but not as stiff as frosting.
4. Scoop filling into a resealable plastic bag, seal tight, and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into each cored cupcake, filling just to the top. Refrigerate cupcakes while you prepare the frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 1 bag (32 oz) powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the fluff, butter and vanilla until combined & creamy, about 2 mins. Gradually begin adding powdered sugar in, about one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
2. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, careful to cover the filled center with frosting. Store frosted cupcakes airtight, preferably in the fridge. They’re super good cold! If desired, garnish with thin slices of Twinkies.

I think the filling and the soft, moist cake is a dead ringer for Twinkies… and my Hostess-lovin’ family thought so, too! How fun would these be at a kid’s birthday party? Or, uh, for Wednesday’s after-dinner dessert, hmm?

Have a great hump day!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffle Pops

You know what I hate?

When people give their unsolicited two-cents.

I’m sure we’re all guilty of this since at some point or another in our lives, we want to be the know-it-all, go-to “right” person for our friends, family and strangers.

It’s human nature, I guess.

But when it happens to me, I get totally annoyed.

A few days ago, I went to the doctor for some problems I’ve been having in my nose. Somehow, nasal issues turned to the fact that I have this blog and my doctor informing me that in order to maintain a stable weight and stave temptation, I needed to start exercising more. “To where it’s painful so you push yourself,” he said.

Ugh, two things in one sentence I hate: “painful” and “exercise”.

I think he assumed that because I run a baking blog, I must be hooking up cupcakes intravenously when I’m not using a cookie as an inhaler or considering my only exercise as using my jaw muscles to suck the filling out of a Ding Dong.

…which is totally incorrect since I absolutely detest baked goods and sweets 98% of the time and much prefer the salty comfort of chips, crackers and the like in my peckish time of snacking.

I just like making sweets (weird, I know, whatevz).

But um, thanks anyway, Doc.

I also indulged to someone recently that I’m thinking of saving up some money to take my fancypants to Paris next year. And that maaaybe I’d bring Jessie along, too. However, telling someone–or this person, anyway–you’re going to be alone in a country full of smoking, beret-wearing-and-croissant-eating people wasn’t the best plan.

“That could be SO dangerous. You would be alone in a country you don’t even know!! I would get SO lost. I’d be like, in an alley somewhere being taken advantage of. That can be so scary. Maybe you should tour with a group so you know what you’re doing.”

Yeah. Because group tours never end badly in foreign countries AND because I’m not an adult who can read maps, speak French or figure things out. Those French–they know exactly how to take advantage of young girls like me in alleyways!

It’s not that people are giving their opinions, it’s that they think they’re right and they start bossing you around in other aspects of your life. Aforementioned fake-travel-agent person also tried giving me financial advice one time and it’s like, you spend money on a bunch of sh*t you don’t need every day and I’m supposed to take financial advice from you?

Whatev, I’m too good for y’all and I’m gonna give you my two-cents and say to please and thank you keep your opinions to yourself. Unless I ask. Or unless I have the same opinion, in which we’re both right and we should celebrate for being smart and logical.

By eating some Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffle Pops, perhaps?

And yes, I can eat these since they’re salty and sweet. And you have a 100% chance of me not sharing, too.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffle Pops *cookie dough recipe adapted from my Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcake

3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, plus an additional 1/4 cup, reserved
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg white chocolate almond bark
Lollypop sticks
Vanilla or white chunky sugar, optional

1. First, prepare your cookie dough. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until creamy and blended, about a minute. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined. Finally, beat in your salt and flour until a thick and stiff dough is created. Roll the cookie dough into heaping, rounded Tablespoonful-sized balls and place on a foil-rimmed baking sheet. Pop in the freezer to chill for a bit, about an hour.
2. Next, prepare your almond bark according to package directions until smooth and melted. Stir in the leftover peanut butter until blended completely.
3. Dip the tip of a lollypop stick into the melted choc/pb mixture and stab a cookie dough ball with it. Dip the ball completely into the chocolate mixture, turning gently to coat it. Allow excess to carefully drip off, then place it stick-side-up onto the foil-rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar or chunky sugar sprinkles, if desired.
4. Repeat until all pops have been coated and pop in the freezer or fridge for another 15-20 mins or until the chocolate shell has hardened. Store airtight for about 1-2 days, best served from the freezer.

These make for super cute & easy gifts to give to someone special… maybe your two-cents mortal enemy as a “sorry I disrespect your opinion so here’s some cookie dough to shut you up” present, hmm?

Have a great Tuesday!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays

Breeseo Cups & A Bonus Cake Batter Oreos Post!

You’re getting a two-fer today because of President’s Day!*
*not really. You’re most likely getting a two-fer because I am far too lazy to do two separate posts. That’s like asking me to donate my right lung, which for the record, I would never do. I was given two, so I’m assuming I need both. Unlike the appendix which seems to serve no purpose but to make people sweat and be in pain until it’s inevitably ripped out in the middle of the night.

Regardless, I don’t have much to say about either of these recipes since the pictures kind of explain themselves. Am I right or am I SO freaking right it’s irritating?

That’s what I thought.

First up, I should say that during my purchase of the new Birthday Cake Oreos I totally made an ass out of myself and am still thinking about my stupid mistake days later.

You see, I was at Target with my sister and the checkstand lines were ridick. Finally, I chose one and placed my Birthday Oreos and a bunch of unnecessary dollar bin crap (because I’m a sucker for that stuff) on the belt and proceeded checkout like normal people who aren’t at all awkward and lame do.

When she scanned my Oreos, the nice, normal checker-lady said, “these Oreos have been flying off the shelves. Have you tried them?”

To which the normal, sane, calm-under-average-circumstances-Hayley disappeared into thin air and awkward Hayley emerged full of inappropriate things at the ready and replied, “no, I haven’t. But when I saw them, I knew I had to try them. I’m going to eat them naked, and then I’m going to dip them in chocolate.”

To which the nice, normal checker-lady responded with nothing but a straight face and nodded.

As if awkward-Hayley couldn’t get any more ridiculous, she did. “I’ll definitely let you know how they turn out!” I said to the checker-lady before leaving.

It wasn’t until I was out the door that I realized I totally told that cashier I was going to eat these Oreos naked. But what I meant to say was that I was going to eat the cookie plain. Not naked. No Oreos will ever be eaten in the nude in this household. Ever.

I don’t even like Oreos enough to eat them half-naked, let alone full-on butt naked. And here I had told this innocent woman all about my upcoming bare-assed escapades with these cookies. I wouldn’t be surprised if that poor woman left work early that day to go home and cry in the fetal position in the furthest corner of her house, clearly traumatized by the image of me eating Oreos in the buff.

It was funny later, like when I was dipping these cookies FULLY CLOTHED with a mixture of white chocolate and cake mix in my kitchen. But not as I was leaving the store, face-flushed with embarrassment and disappointment.

I swear to god I’m going to choke awkward-Hayley to death with these Cake Batter Oreos as soon as I can.

That, or bring a huge plate of these Breeseo Cups to that cashier lady who was subjected to my craziness.

What is a Breeseo Cup, you ask? This may help:

And if it doesn’t, you should probably make them to find out for yourself.

Breeseo Cups

1 box brownie mix, prepared according to package directions
About 16 Reese’s PB Cups (the normal sized ones), unwrapped
About 16 Oreo cookies

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 16 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Start by putting a small teaspoon of brownie batter on the bottom of each muffin cup, spreading it around lightly to coat the bottom. Next, take an Oreo cookie and smoosh it right on top of the batter. Then, take a PB cup and place it inverted (bottom up) on top of the Oreo cookie. Follow that by dropping a heaping Tablespoonful of brownie batter on top. Try to drop the batter toward the middle so it will naturally fall to the sides of the muffin cup; otherwise, gently push the batter down the sides.
3. Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until the tops are set. Do not overbake. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before handling. Store airtight at room temperature for about 1-2 days.

My brother said these are “very rich and dense.” So if you’re a big fan of rich and dense things with funny stories attached to them, you’ll probably like these a lot.

Now, for the celebration. As if chocolate, creme, brownies and peanut butter could not be celebratory enough.

This idea is nothing new, but it begs to be brought to your attention since it is easy, adorable and freaking fantastically delicious. So, um, start dipping, beyotches.

Cake Batter Oreos

1 pkg Birthday Cake Oreos (I found mine at Target, but Walmart is also selling them too–they’re limited edition ones for Oreo’s 100th Birthday)
1 pkg white chocolate almond bark
About 3 Tbsp yellow cake mix
Rainbow sequin sprinkles or jimmies

1. Start by foil-lining a baking sheet and setting it to the side. Next, in a microwaveable bowl, prepare your almond bark according to package directions so it’s smooth & melted. Stir the yellow cake mix, one Tablespoon at a time, into the melted chocolate.
2. Take an Oreo and dip it into the chocolate mixture, turning it to coat completely with a fork. Gently lift the cookie out from the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off before placing it onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles, and repeat until all cookies are coated.
3. Store these airtight in the freezer for about a week.

Adding the cake mix to the melted chocolate gives yet another yummy layer of cake batter flavor to these snacks. Just be warned: they’re dangerously addictive and they don’t care about your thighs.

Have a happy Monday!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays

Samoa Blondie Truffles

You all need to know something very important about me.

I am crazy indecisive.

Like, INSANE indecisive.

The word ‘indecisive’? It doesn’t even come close to how truly indecisive I really am.

I’ll stop saying ‘indecisive’ now.

I’m pretty sure the English language doesn’t allow saying ‘indecisive’ altogether within five sentences. Then again, the English language does allow words like ‘knife’ and ‘though’ so I’m pretty sure I can say whatever the hell I want.

(Oh, and you probably haven’t noticed [since I’m betting the majority of you are/were not English majors] but as an English major, people are always asking me random questions why certain words are the way they are. Um, I don’t freaking know? ‘Cause the Latin people said so? Sheesh, I’m not Google).

I’m not really sure where my indecisiveness stems from as my parents are both pretty level-headed people who generally know what they want most of the time.

I, however, seem to have a genetic mutation of the “know-what-I-want-gene” since I never, ever know what I want.

Take for instance my insane and laborious process of selecting clothes every night. I love planning my outfits because A) it takes me less time to do so in the morning (most of the time) and B) I like to look good, obviously.

However, such a process of selecting tops, bottoms, accessories and shoes doesn’t take a minute, nor five. It takes hours, often seeping into my dreams overnight, planning this-sweater with this-skirt or these-jeans with those-flats. Repeat that, plus throwing in random necklaces, baubles, and handbags of the day and you have a crazy-fashionista playing stylist in her sleep as well as annoying the living poop out of my family and boyfriend, who sadly are constantly subjected to this type of planning.

It’s to the point now that my mom will slam her bedroom door shut, locking me out whenever I ask her what I should wear tomorrow.

“I don’t care! It doesn’t matter!” she shouts.

I ask my sister, a budding fashionista, if she can help me.

“No! I don’t want to help you with your clothes. I don’t care!”

I ask my loving, sweet boyfriend for his opinion.

“It doesn’t matter what I say, anyway, because you won’t listen.”

And sadly, they’re all right. I mean, still–you can’t just help a girl out a little? My social standing and ego are on the line. If I left the house wearing New Balance sneakers with a dress and my hair in pigtails and carrying a Blues Clues lunch pail, I would be judged and publicly humiliated. My family would scoff and make faces. My mom would make that weird half-scrunchy face she makes when she particularly dislikes something. And I would be brutally persecuted in the fashion world for my severe, disgusting taste in fashion.

It’s a risk–like wearing flared jeans or hats–I’m just not willing to take.

And it isn’t just relevant to dresses or flats–it overlaps into my food life, personal life and everyday life, too.

I should have my mom (aka, Buddha) on speed-dial because I’m constantly calling her asking questions about “how should I tell so-and-so I am mad at them?” or “what do you think I should do about this situation?”

At dinner (especially at my all-time fave restaurant, a BBQ joint called Lucille’s here in town) I’m always in a battle of gumbo (there’s is seriously THE.BEST) or pulled pork (again, their BBQ is melt-in-your-mouth savory equivalent of chocolate-good). And I will have to basically poll the entire restaurant on what they think I should eat because I have no idea and obviously there will be an apocalyptic disaster if I order the “wrong thing.”

Or wear the “wrong thing.”

Or say the “wrong thing.”

I must always be perfect. The pressure is killing me!

Quick: what should I do?

Lots of pressure=Hayley going to her happy place. Pretty things like meadows full of Gerbera daisies and puppies; Alice-and-Wonderland-esque tea settings full of macarons and petit fours; and Samoas live there.

Yeah, Samoas. You know, the Girl Scout cookie of choice? Thin Mints are whack. It’s all about the toasted coconut, rich caramel, crunchy shortbread and drizzle of just-the-right-amount of chocolate on top. Tagalo–what? Samoas, baby.

Clearly I have been crazy-under pressure in the past when I made these and these and even these. The world is ENDING, people. The world will die tomorrow and all we’ll have to prove for it are some Samoa Blondie Truffles.

Wait. I’m okay with that.

And uh, you should be, too.

Samoa Blondie Truffles *basic blondie recipe adapted from Shelly’s recipe

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt + a pinch
About 3 & 1/2 cups shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1 pkg caramels, unwrapped
3 Tbsp milk
1 pkg chocolate almond bark

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until creamy, about a minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour, the teaspoon of salt and the baking soda until combined and a soft dough is formed (You may want to beat in the flour in additions so it’s less messy).
3. Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls into the greased cups and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake. Allow to cool in tins for about 15 minutes. Once relatively cool to the touch, gently press your thumb into the center of each blondie cup creating a small dip or hole, careful not to pierce all the way through.
4. Meanwhile, in a microwaveable bowl, zap the unwrapped caramels (a whole bag is about 30-40), a pinch of salt and the milk for about 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute and a half to prevent scorching. Once completely melted, stir in three cups of the toasted coconut until blended.
5. Working quickly, drop a rounded teaspoonful of caramel filling into the center of each indented blondie cup, pressing down gently so filling will fill the hole. Careful, the caramel filling will be HOT (but if you let it cool down, it will start to harden quickly so it’s best handled when hot/warm). Repeat until all cups are filled. Pop in the freezer to harden filling for about 30 minutes.
6. Next, prepare your chocolate coating according to package directions. Dip the frozen, filled cups top-down into the chocolate coating, coating the entire top of the cup. Allow excess to drip, then place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with remaining toasted coconut and repeat until all cups are dipped and sprinkled. Place in freezer to harden shell, about 5-10 mins. Store these airtight for about 2 days.
**Note: PLEASE do not eat these straight out of the freezer or fridge. The caramel filling gets so hard that you’re probably guaranteed to break a tooth on it. Allow them to come completely to room temp before enjoying. (It’s hard, I know, but worth the wait and skip the pain).

By the looks of it, if I continue to self-medicate my indecisiveness with these truffles, I won’t need to worry about what to wear since I’ll be wheeled everywhere in a giant muumuu or tarp. Question: do they make sparkly pink tarps?

Have a great weekend!!

xo, Hayley

May be linked to:  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCrazy Sweet TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday,Dwell On FridayMrs. Fox’s Sweet PartySweet Treats Thursdays

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