The Ruby Princess Milky Way Martini

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! This Milky Way Martini is the one served in the famous Crooner’s Bar on board the Ruby Princess ship! Flavored with caramel vodka, cream, and creme de cacao, it tastes just like the candy bar!

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Princess Cruises on a series of posts based on my experience on their Ruby Princess Alaskan cruise. I have been compensated, but all of the opinions and photos are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep my blog alive!

So I’m having serious cruise withdrawals – so much so, that I have had multiple dreams about my Alaskan cruise with Princess Cruises. It’s crazy!

About once a night, I have a dream that I’m back on the ship and headed to my usual haunts – the Crooner’s Bar, International Cafe, the Lido Deck, or the Lotus Spa – complete with a book, my camera, and an alcoholic beverage in hand. Then I wake up and realize I’m back on dry land and get sad and wistful.

But then I remembered the amazing Milky Way Martini I had on board the Ruby Princess and I got excited because it’s totally make-able at home! And you guys – this version tastes exactly like the one served in the Crooner’s Bar!

The Crooner's Bar on-board the Ruby Princess. #adIf you’ve never sailed on the Ruby Princess before, the Crooner’s Bar is on deck 7 and is a swanky, 1950’s-style bar with dimmed lighting, a full grand piano, and the most sophisticated drinks, some named after the Rat Pack themselves. They have a huge list of house-made martinis, and I knew I had to try the Milky Way version!

The Crooner's Bar on-board the Ruby Princess. #adThe best part of the Crooner’s Bar is the ambiance. It really reminds me of a cool, 50’s-era bar/nightclub with plush seats, glossy wood furnishings, and the sophisticated menu. And when you order your martinis, they shake and pour them right at your table which adds to the classy feel of the bar.

Milky Way Martini at the Crooner's Bar on-board the Ruby Princess. #adWell… I change my mind. The best part of the Crooner’s Bar is the drinks, of course 🙂

And while I highly encourage you to book a cruise NOW, if you can’t do that, make this drink instead and pretend you’re sailing to Alaska. It’ll make you feel 10 times better AND will get you in the Halloween spirit!

So: let’s make this cocktail!

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! In a cocktail shaker (I found this one for $10 at World Market!), add your ice cubes. Then pour in…

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! 3 ounces of creme de cacao liqueur. You could use name brand, like Godiva, but I used the store-brand. Then add…

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! 3 ounces of caramel vodka! If you can’t find caramel vodka, in a pinch you could use vanilla. Lastly, add…

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! 3 ounces of chocolate-caramel coffee creamer – yep, the stuff you put in your coffee! This adds the perfect creamy element to this cocktail without sacrificing the buttery caramel and smooth chocolate flavors.

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! Then shake and strain that beauty into your chocolate and caramel-drizzled glass!

Cheers!

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious!

The Ruby Princess Milky Way Martini
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
This candy-inspired Milky Way Martini tastes just like the one served at the Crooner's Bar onboard the Ruby Princess ship! Creamy, chocolaty, and super sweet!
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces chocolate or creme de cacao liqueur, such as Godiva
  • 3 ounces caramel vodka
  • 3 ounces chocolate caramel coffee creamer (I like the International Delight version)
  • Chocolate and caramel syrups for drizzling glass
Instructions
  1. Using the chocolate and caramel syrups, drizzle around the inside and on the inner rim of a martini glass to create a cool pattern. Set aside briefly.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add in the creme de cacao liqueur, the caramel vodka, and the chocolate caramel coffee creamer. Secure the lid to the shaker and shake vigorously, about 30 seconds to one minute.
  3. Strain the cocktail into the martini glass, making sure to get every last drop!

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious! Buttery smooth, chocolaty, extra sweet, and a little strong… just like how the Ruby Princess does it!

This Milky Way Martini tastes JUST like the one served onboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship! Creamy, ultra chocolaty with a smooth caramel finish in a chocolate & caramel-drizzled glass. So elegant and delicious!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

For more information about Princess Cruises, be sure to visit their website for info about booking a cruise, excursions, dining options, and more!

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

Super flavorful Caramel Apple Layer Cake is easy and impressive! Two layers of moist, tender apple spice cake covered in a heavenly cream cheese caramel frosting. A gorgeous cake that tastes even better than it looks! This Caramel Apple Layer Cake is bursting with flavor! With fresh apples swirled throughout the cake batter and a buttery caramel frosting, it’s a crowd-pleasing fall-favorite!

I have to say, I’m beginning to change my tune about layer cakes for one reason: the newfound appreciation for rustic-looking cakes.

If fondant and stuff was still a thing – much like Ugg boots with denim shorts or Charlie Sheen’s acting career – I would avoid it like the plague. But since everyone has loosened up on their fancy cakes, I have loosened my strict rule about never making layer cakes.

And you guys? It feels good to be free from those restraints, because this cake was worth it.

Sure, it’s not going to be on a Food Network cake challenge show (and I wouldn’t want it to be, anyway!), but that’s okay, because all the goodness is in the flavor of the cake, which is the most important thing, right? Haven’t you ever seen a gorgeous cake in the shape or likes of something but tasted it and it was dry and artificial-tasting? So anticlimactic.

Super flavorful Caramel Apple Layer Cake is easy and impressive! Two layers of moist, tender apple spice cake covered in a heavenly cream cheese caramel frosting. A gorgeous cake that tastes even better than it looks! The cake starts out like a regular scratch yellow cake but gets amped up with the addition of fresh apples and lots of spice. Once it bakes and cools, you can assemble it – thankfully it is only two merciful layers – and frost it with the buttery caramel cream cheese frosting. I like that it is caramel + cream cheese because the cream cheese offsets the sweetness of the caramel some, and adds a nice, delightful tang.

Last thing you need to do (which I shouldn’t have to clarify)… EAT!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some lost time to make up with layer cake recipes.

Super flavorful Caramel Apple Layer Cake is easy and impressive! Two layers of moist, tender apple spice cake covered in a heavenly cream cheese caramel frosting. A gorgeous cake that tastes even better than it looks! *cake recipe adapted from Magnolia Bakery cookbook

Caramel Apple Layer Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Caramel Apple Layer Cake has a moist and tender spice apple cake filled with creamy, buttery caramel cream cheese frosting. A delightful, easy layer cake recipe everyone will love!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon, depending on how spiced you like it
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped, peeled tart apples, such as Granny Smith
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup caramel sundae sauce
  • 4-5 cups confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 8 or 9" round pans with parchment rounds and liberally grease each pan. Set aside briefly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla extract. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Alternate adding the dry mixture with the milk, ending with the milk, until the batter is smooth and blended. Stir in the apples.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist - not wet - crumbs. Cool completely in the pans.
  4. For the icing: in a bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the brown sugar and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, about one cup at a time, thinning the frosting out with the caramel sundae sauce if it becomes too thick. Frosting should be light and fluffy.
  5. Frost the layer cake in the middle and around the tops and sides of the cake. If you have remaining icing, you can pipe little details (like flowers or swirls) around the perimeter or edges of the top and/or sides of the cake. Finish with a little extra drizzle of caramel sauce.

Super flavorful Caramel Apple Layer Cake is easy and impressive! Two layers of moist, tender apple spice cake covered in a heavenly cream cheese caramel frosting. A gorgeous cake that tastes even better than it looks! Moist, tender, flavorful spice cake chock-full of fresh apples and covered in a heavenly cream cheese caramel frosting. There’s nothing better!

Super flavorful Caramel Apple Layer Cake is easy and impressive! Two layers of moist, tender apple spice cake covered in a heavenly cream cheese caramel frosting. A gorgeous cake that tastes even better than it looks! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

The Best Ever Caramel Apple Bread

This is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread recipe! Moist, fluffy and tender cinnamon-spiced bread filled with chunks of apples, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel ribbon. Super easy, totally unforgettable and perfect for using up apples! This truly is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread ever! Moist, soft and tender cinnamon-spiced bread studded with fresh apples, a brown sugar streusel, and lots of caramel!

It’s official: I’m a book hoarder.

It’s become really bad, you guys. While I wrote my first 2 books, I didn’t have time to read at all. My stack of magazines – which usually was plowed through within a few days – was back-piled for months. And I still bought novels and memoirs, thinking that I’d get around to reading them but never did.

They don’t tell you that writing a book is all-consuming, because it is!

So now I’m done writing and I continue to buy novels and memoirs and have my usual magazine subscriptions and I still have no time to read it all. It’s gotten to the point where it takes me forever and a day to finish reading a smaller novel, and I consider it a personal triumph when I finish a Cosmopolitan magazine.

Every month, I check out the books Cosmo recommends and without fail, I buy them all. Have I read any of them? NO. Because I’m hoping by osmosis I’ll be able to speed-read them one day… or something.

Don’t worry, though – I’m going on vacation next month and plan to pack a duffel filled with books and Christmas magazines I still haven’t read since last Christmas.

This is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread recipe! Moist, fluffy and tender cinnamon-spiced bread filled with chunks of apples, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel ribbon. Super easy, totally unforgettable and perfect for using up apples! ANYWAY, I have still been ordering/reading cookbooks and came across an old employee cookbook from my mom’s work. In it was a recipe for Caramel Apple Bread which I initially made many years ago, but I realized that the photos needed updating and I wanted to bring this bread back to the foreground because it is SO. GOOD.

This is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread recipe! Moist, fluffy and tender cinnamon-spiced bread filled with chunks of apples, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel ribbon. Super easy, totally unforgettable and perfect for using up apples! This bread is super fluffy, soft, and tender with a moist crumb. It’s studded with chopped apples, lots of cinnamon spice, and even has brown sugar streusel ribbons throughout. Plus, there’s caramel. Lots of it. A lot of so-called ‘caramel apple breads’ only have caramel drizzled on top. Not this bread! It has caramel on top and in the batter which imparts such a wonderful, buttery flavor.

I may be behind on reading, but don’t let yourself get behind on baking because you need this bread!

This is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread recipe! Moist, fluffy and tender cinnamon-spiced bread filled with chunks of apples, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel ribbon. Super easy, totally unforgettable and perfect for using up apples! *from my mom’s employee cookbook

The Best Ever Caramel Apple Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This is truly the BEST EVER Caramel Apple Bread you'll try! Moist and super tender, it's filled with chopped apples, lots of spice, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel that's to die for!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon, depending on how spicy you like it
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped apples (I used Granny smith and Gala)
  • ½ cup caramel sundae sauce
  • FOR THE STREUSEL:
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally grease an 8" or 9" loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and granulated sugar together with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda into the lemon juice - mixture may fizz and bubble up, this is okay. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until combined and pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture, beating well.
  3. Add in the flour, salt, and spices until just barely combined - do NOT over mix. There should be lots of flour spots still throughout the batter. Fold in the apples and mix until just barely combined again. Over-mixing will lead to a tough bread or a bread that sinks in the middle once baked.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk together the dry streusel ingredients. Using 2 forks or a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the streusel mixture until you achieve coarse crumbs. Spread HALF of the apple bread mixture into the prepared pan. Top with HALF of the streusel and a drizzle of caramel (about ¼ cup). Repeat layers.
  5. Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean or with moist - not wet - crumbs. Cool completely before serving. Just before serving, drizzle with more caramel sauce.

This is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread recipe! Moist, fluffy and tender cinnamon-spiced bread filled with chunks of apples, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel ribbon. Super easy, totally unforgettable and perfect for using up apples! Moist, tender Caramel Apple Bread that is sure to be a hit wherever you take it!

This is the BEST Caramel Apple Bread recipe! Moist, fluffy and tender cinnamon-spiced bread filled with chunks of apples, buttery caramel, and a brown sugar streusel ribbon. Super easy, totally unforgettable and perfect for using up apples! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The BEST Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY!A retro recipe that’s here to stay: this Pineapple Upside Down Cake is AMAZING. So supremely moist and soft, with a caramelized pineapple and maraschino cherry topping, it’s perfect for get-togethers, BBQs, potlucks, and any occasion!

You guys – this cake!

I’ve been tinkering around with pineapple upside down cake recipes lately and I had yet to find one I liked. For some, the cake was a little too dry – others, there wasn’t enough pineapple flavor or general pizzazz. I even found one recipe on the internet using dried cranberries in place of the maraschino cherries which is a crime against humanity and threatens the welfare of the world. Yeah, they’re neon red and full of sugar, but maraschino cherries are essential for this cake!

This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY!This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY!But after some trial and error – and pawning the guinea pig cakes to my apartment complex’s front office – I have found The One. And like when you find your human soulmate, I found my cake soulmate and this is it.

This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY!The cake part of this phenomenal piece of heaven is so supremely moist, fluffy and soft with a hint of pineapple flavor. The topping/bottom of the cake is just perfect: gooey, caramelized brown sugary pineapple slices and juicy cherries. The only thing that may be missing from this cake is a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just sayin’.

Whatever you do, promise me you’ll make this cake and love me forever?

This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY!

5.0 from 1 reviews
The BEST Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Pineapple Upside Down Cake is the BEST recipe I've made and tried! The cake itself is moist, soft and tender with a fresh pineapple flavor, and the topping consists of caramelized pineapples and maraschino cherries for ample flavor!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 5-7 pineapple rings, drained and juice reserved
  • Maraschino cherries (without stems)
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup full-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9" round cake pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar and pour the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan, spreading it out evenly. Arrange the pineapple rings around the pan and place maraschino cherries in between. Set aside briefly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the oil and granulated sugar until moistened. Beat in the egg, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until combined. Beat in the sour cream. Gradually add some of the milk, alternating with the flour until a soft batter comes together. Gently beat in the pineapple juice last.
  3. Carefully pour the batter over the pineapples in the pan, careful not to disturb their placement. Bake for approx. 40-45 minutes or until the cake appears set, is light golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then very carefully invert the cake onto a platter or plate. Serve warm or room temperature.

This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY!I made this cake a couple weeks ago and I have had an actual dream about it since then – it’s that good.

This is the BEST recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake EVER! Supremely moist, soft and tender pineapple-infused cake topped with a caramelized brown sugar & butter sauce, softened pineapples and juicy cherries. So easy, impressive, and TASTY! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Peach & Pecan Crumb Cake with Homemade Bourbon Caramel

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top!

This scratch-made Peach & Pecan Crumb Cake is a moist and fluffy cake filled with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high layer of pecan streusel! But to make it even better, it’s drizzled with a Homemade Bourbon Caramel!

I know it’s only August 1st and I’ve clearly got my undies in a twist, but I am already thinking about fall. Don’t shoot me or sue me or cause me bodily harm because I promise when September comes around, you’ll be thanking my pumpkinhead for the recipes coming.

This recipe today reminds me of an entrance-into-fall-ish-weather-ish-recipe. AKA, a recipe that reminds me of back-to-school season, if back-to-school season also had a menu that corresponds with it. I’m not making sense am I? Blame the bourbon caramel.

What I’m trying to say is: it reminds me of a late summer recipe, and to me, August is getting to be late-summer. It’s still lazy and hot, but stores are putting out light jackets and boots, and there are far fewer children out during the day when I go shopping because they’re all back in school and not crowding the mall. #bitteroldlady

Plus, in California, peaches are good until late September, so it’s still peach season and therefore, this recipe fits perfectly for the new month of August.

If you’ve read my blog for a bit, you’d know peaches aren’t my favorite. Actually, most stone-fruits are not. I really dislike plums and apricots, and don’t get me started on hybrids like pluouts which just make me shiver involuntarily. I do like nectarines, which people say are like peaches without the fuzz, but I dislike peaches. I already know I’m weird; I can smell colors and I like nectarines but not peaches. Welcome to my life.

BUT! I have to say: I loved this cake. And if you love peaches already, you will flip over this cake. I promise! It’s a buttery, tender and moist cake base with fresh, juicy peach chunks swirled throughout and a little splash of bourbon in the batter. NOTE: this cake has far more crumb topping than cake, and that’s the way it should be according to law in all 50 states.

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top! The streusel consists of huge brown sugary crumbs mixed with some chopped pecans for flavor and crunch. The crumb does kind of weigh the cake down in the middle, and you’ll notice kind of a dip in the center of the cake when it’s cooling – this is okay, do not be alarmed. It will still taste delicious, obvi.

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top! But because I am so over-the-top and out-of-control, etc., I had to make something to complete this cake, and naturally, Homemade Bourbon Caramel seemed like the perfect addition. NOTE: you can really taste the bourbon flavor in the caramel. Don’t ask me if your kids can have it, as I am not a scientist and cannot say for certain if the bourbon cooks down enough that your kid won’t get trashed on caramel sauce. But there is bourbon in the caramel, and you can taste it. I doubt I’ll receive any complaints.

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top! This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top! Lemme just say that caramel + bourbon + peaches + pecans belong together in one loving, delicious, polyamorous relationship from this point forward. One taste and you’ll agree!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get drunk off of the remaining bourbon caramel in my fridge. #winning

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top!

Peach & Pecan Crumb Cake with Homemade Bourbon Caramel
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
This Peach and Pecan Crumb Cake is a moist and fluffy cake swirled with fresh peach chunks and topped with a heavy hand of pecan streusel! But the bourbon caramel sauce MAKES the cake!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CRUMB:
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • ¾ cup butter, softened (if using salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups chopped and peeled peaches (about 2 medium-large peaches. You can use frozen, but thaw and pat dry first)
  • FOR THE CARAMEL:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9" round springform pan. Place a parchment round in the bottom of the pan, then liberally grease the parchment round and the sides of the pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. First, make your crumb: in a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, melted butter, and chopped pecans. Mixture will come together and be somewhat clumpy. Set aside.
  3. To make your cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until soft and pale, about 1 minute. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla extract and bourbon. Add in the sour cream, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, then gradually add in the flour until a soft batter comes together. Stir in the chopped peaches. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Drop heaping handfuls of crumbs evenly over the cake. There is a LOT of crumb mixture, but use it all!
  4. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet to catch drips, and bake for approx. 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
  5. While the cake bakes and/or cools, make your bourbon caramel. In a medium saucepan (make sure your saucepan is bigger than you think you'll need) over medium-high heat, add the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning until the mixture turns deep amber in color. Pay attention* because this happens VERY quickly - within 5-7 minutes - and can go from deep amber to burnt in seconds.
  6. Once the mixture is amber colored, pull from the heat and add in the butter, noting that the butter will cause the mixture to spit and bubble up, so use caution. Whisk in the butter, followed by the heavy cream and bourbon, which will cause the mixture to also bubble violently. Bring the caramel back onto medium heat and cook until boiling, about 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  7. Let the bourbon caramel cool in a mason jar or pourable container until ready to use. Store leftover caramel in the fridge, sealed, up to 2 weeks.

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top! If nothing else, you have got to try that bourbon caramel sauce on ice cream sundaes or drizzled over cake. It is PHENOMENAL!! Combined with the fresh, juicy peaches and crunchy, salty pecans, this cake is HEAVEN!

Love crumb cake? Check out my other flavors!

This Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake is PACKED with flavor and is plentiful with huge, cinnamon-scented crumbs! The perfect fall pastry right here!Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake

Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake: a buttery, moist cake filled with bright and juicy cranberries, then topped with a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar, cinnamon & walnut streusel crumb. So impressive, so easy!Cranberry Walnut Crumb Cake

This Lemon Almond Crumb Cake is exceptional! Moist, buttery lemony cake topped with a butter, brown sugar & almond streusel. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert!Lemon Almond Crumb Cake

This Peach Pecan Crumb Cake with Bourbon Caramel is such a show-stopping dessert! A moist, fluffy vanilla cake studded with fresh, juicy peaches and topped with a sky-high pecan and brown sugar streusel! But the homemade bourbon caramel sauce sends it OVER the top! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! Flan is such an underrated dessert! Most people may be intimidated by this Mexican classic, but not anymore! This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines moist, rich chocolate cake and a light and sweet scratch-made flan on top!

I am so excited to be bringing you this recipe today!

Okay, so confession time: I’ve only had flan twice in my life, because generally speaking, I have a thing with texture. The first flan I experienced was only so-so, which gave it a bad rap in my eyes.

The second flan was at Red Iguana in Salt Lake City, Utah and it was INCREDIBLE. My friend Kalyn ordered a round of flan for the table and while at first I declined (from my prior not-so-fab-flan experience), a friend let me try a bite of hers and I was hooked. It was so delicious.

Ever since trying their heavenly, light-as-a-feather flan, I have been having flan thoughts on my mind. So this cake was a no brainer.

So, if you were like me and were once scorned by flan, give this a try and I promise you’ll be singing its praises in no time.

For everyone else: hi. I made you a Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake.

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! It’s perfect for those times when you can’t decide if you want rich, moist chocolate cake, or caramel-soaked vanilla flan. WHY NOT BOTH? I’m basically a magician, and any day, Vegas will be calling me for my own cooking show at the Hard Rock Hotel. I’M WAITING, VEGAS.

The cool thing about this cake is that it does something magical in the oven… by completely flipping the script – literally – going upside down. An acrobatic cake? Well, it is 2017 – what did you expect cakes to do in this new age?

After greasing the pan and pouring in your caramel sauce, you’ll make your chocolate cake batter and spread it all over the caramel sauce layer in the bottom of the Bundt pan (which, would be the top of the pan once flipped). Then you pour your flan liquid all over the chocolate cake layer, so the flan is on the bottom of the pan when flipped. Still with me? Good.

The cake bakes in a water bath which helps contribute to the flan’s silky-smooth texture. And during this baking process, the cake will float to the top of the pan (so, the bottom of the pan once flipped) and the flan will sink to the bottom of the pan (AKA, the top when flipped). PHEW. You with me?

So basically, when you bake and cool the flan and flip it out of the Bundt pan, it’ll look like this in all its mighty glory. Caramel, flan, chocolate cake. IT’S MAGIC.

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! Two things that make this magical Flan Cake extra special? Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract and Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa. As their newest brand ambassador, I am thrilled to use Rodelle’s products because I love them so much! The flavor is superior, the quality is unprecedented, and the company’s values are awesome. Win, win, win!

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! The flan gets its impeccable flavor from Rodelle’s Pure Vanilla Extract, which imparts such a wonderful, pure, unadulterated vanilla flavor to the dessert. And the Gourmet Baking Cocoa offers such a complex richness since it’s a European Dutch Process cocoa.

Am I making you hungry yet?

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! *cake adapted from Cook’s Country

Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
This Chocolate Flan Cake is an impressive dessert, boasting a rich chocolate cake bottom and a fluffy, silky-smooth vanilla flan on top!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • ¾ cup caramel sauce or ice cream topping
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa or other cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
  • FOR THE FLAN:
  • 2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 & ½ cups whole milk
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour the caramel sauce in the bottom of the Bundt pan evenly. Set aside briefly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe medium-size bowl, heat the chopped chocolate bar and butter together on HIGH power for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat again for another 30 seconds or until melted and smooth.
  3. Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate mixture, and pour the melted chocolate mixture into the stand mixer bowl with the dry ingredients. Beat slowly, then stream in the whole milk. Beat until combined, followed by adding the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared pan in an even layer.
  4. In a large blender, add the flan ingredients and process for 1 minute or until thin and combined. Pour the flan mixture evenly over the chocolate cake batter in the pan; the pan will be very full. Carefully transfer the Bundt pan to a larger roasting pan and nestle it inside. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it hits about halfway up the Bundt pan.
  5. Bake for approx. 75-90 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake and through the flan comes out clean. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at LEAST 8 hours, preferably overnight. This is MANDATORY.
  6. Just before serving, put the Bundt pan back into the roasting pan and add about 1-2 inches of hot tap water. Let sit in the water for about 1-2 minutes. Take a platter or cake stand and flip it upside down on top of the Bundt pan. Working quickly and carefully, invert the Bundt pan onto the cake stand/platter (whichever you're using) and let set for a second so all the caramel drips onto the flan cake. Remove the Bundt pan.
  7. Serve while cold and store leftovers covered in the fridge. Spoon any extra caramel in the Bundt pan over the top of the flan.

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! This Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake would be excellent for a summer potluck or BBQ! The cold, smooth flan atop the moist and fluffy chocolate cake would be extra delish with a scoop of ice cream served with it!

For more information on Rodelle, be sure to visit their website, and check the #madewithrodelle hashtag on social media accounts to get tips, recipes, and more!

This Easy Homemade Chocolate Flan Cake combines flan and cake into one unique dessert mashup! A rich, moist chocolate cake bottom with a silky smooth, vanilla custard-like flan topping smothered with caramel sauce. A perfect, impressive dessert for any time! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the newest brand ambassador for Rodelle. All opinions are 100% my own and I was compensated for this post. Thank you to the brands that help keep my website afloat! 

Sweet & Salty Potato Chip Caramel Snowball Cookies

These Sweet & Salty Snowball Cookies aren't your grandma's ordinary snowball! Made with ground pecans and crushed potato chips for a salty bite, they're filled with gooey, buttery caramel candies. So easy, impressive and one of a kind! These Sweet & Salty Snowball Cookies are such a unique, fantastic cookie! Flavored with ground potato chips and stuffed with caramel candies, they’re perfect for any sweet & salty lover.

So I’m in trouble.

Okay, not real trouble. Not trouble-trouble. But basically, it’s been raining like hell lately and I have no recipes left to schedule after this one. Eek!

Normally I’m a batch-baker, meaning I’ll bake like 4-6 things in one day, photograph them all the next day, and schedule them out throughout the next couple weeks as I see fit. But with my move, plus settling in, plus a pizza and quiche mishap (I’ll explain later), and now rain, I have had no chance to whip something up!

Side note: Pizza mishap happens when you’re tired as all hell and bake the pizza on the cardboard round that it sits on in the package, resulting in a gooey, severely underdone, doughy and inedible crust… which meant I only ate the cheese & tomato topping for dinner. 

Side note #2: The quiche mishap happens when you’re tired as all hell and hangry as all hell and make a quiche from your vague memories of making quiche a bajillion years ago, resulting in you using DOUBLE the liquid in comparison with the eggs, leaving you with basically scrambled egg soup in a soggy pie crust for dinner. 

Side note #3: I promise I actually know how to cook and am not an impostor in disguise. I just am really tired, k?

ANYWAY. So if it’s lights-out around here for the rest of the week, it’s because I’m scrambling to bake something and make it look halfway edible and appetizing in my dreary photos due to the terrible natural light happening ’round these parts. Please forgive me?

In the meantime, I’m glad I remembered about these babies which I made a few weeks prior to my move. They are phenomenal!

I want to make an amendment right here and now that Snowball Cookies should be a year-round thing and not exclusive to Christmastime. There’s nothing especially Christmas-y about them, minus the snowball-ish appearance. But it doesn’t snow in California, really, so like, snowballs never equated to Christmas for me, so… is it really a Christmas cookie? Sorry, rambling.

ANYWAY. So basically, my snowball recipe requires flour and ground pecans, which give it that wonderful nuttiness. But for this version, I remixed it up with flour, ground pecans AND GROUND POTATO CHIPS Y’ALL.

Dude.

Life-changing.

These Sweet & Salty Snowball Cookies aren't your grandma's ordinary snowball! Made with ground pecans and crushed potato chips for a salty bite, they're filled with gooey, buttery caramel candies. So easy, impressive and one of a kind! And I didn’t stop there, because minimalism isn’t my jam. I stuffed each snowball with a Rolo because potato chips and caramel work surprisingly well together.

The result is pure sweet & salty perfection, and I guarantee if you’re a fan of a sweet & salty flavor combination, you’ll flip for these bad boys!

These Sweet & Salty Snowball Cookies aren't your grandma's ordinary snowball! Made with ground pecans and crushed potato chips for a salty bite, they're filled with gooey, buttery caramel candies. So easy, impressive and one of a kind!

Sweet & Salty Potato Chip Caramel Snowball Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 22-25
 
These sweet & salty cookies are total perfection! Ground potato chips and caramel candy filling make them extra special.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1 cup finely crushed ruffled potato chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 22-25 Rolo candies, unwrapped
  • 1 & ½ cups confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla until combined. Lastly, beat in the ground pecans, finely crushed potato chips and the flour and gently mix until it just about comes together. The dough may be slightly crumbly at first, but it will be moist enough to hold together if you knead it with your hands.
  3. Using a 2 oz cookie dough scoop, scoop out a ball of dough and gently press your thumb into the center to create an indentation. Place the Rolo candy in the indentation and gently roll the cookie dough around the candy to cover it completely. Place 1" apart on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Cool on the pans for about 10 minutes, then gently coat with the confectioners' sugar. Let stand until cool, then coat again with confectioners' sugar.

These Sweet & Salty Snowball Cookies aren't your grandma's ordinary snowball! Made with ground pecans and crushed potato chips for a salty bite, they're filled with gooey, buttery caramel candies. So easy, impressive and one of a kind! Sweet, salty, tender little nuggets of heaven in your mouth! I just love that the potato chips give it a nice salty bite in contrast to the sweet, buttery and gooey caramel center. So good!

These Sweet & Salty Snowball Cookies aren't your grandma's ordinary snowball! Made with ground pecans and crushed potato chips for a salty bite, they're filled with gooey, buttery caramel candies. So easy, impressive and one of a kind! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Just like the original, but in BITE-SIZED portions, these Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites will be the first to go anywhere you take them! Sweet, salty, smoky and sticky two-bite morsels of heaven!

Now that the holidays are here (!!!), I bet you all are super popular and have lots of parties to attend.

I moved five years ago and forgot to thank the mailman once, so I’m just thinking my invitations got lost in the mail somewhere.

BUT, since normal people have friends (right?), I’m assuming you all have lots of commitments nowadays. And most of those require you bring some kind of appetizer or dessert to share, because that’s what normal people do, yeah? Chips & salsa’s old news, and sometimes you just don’t have time to whip up something super fancy, like a quiche or tarte tatin or whatever fancy people who read Cooks Illustrated eat.

Enter: these Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites. Easy to prepare, totally unique and the perfect balance of sweet, salty and smoky. Is there anything better!?

This is a riff off of a recipe I made a few years back – Maple Caramel Bacon Crack. It’s become a huge hit and I figured I should update it with my own Rebel twist, which is why I used mini phyllo cups in place of the crescent rolls to make perfect two-bite treats. This treat is great to bring to parties because it can easily be doubled – or tripled – if need be, but it already makes 30 (which, if you’ve had the original, may not be enough for even two people!).

And I guarantee it will be the first to disappear. Is there anyone who would deny bacon slathered in a maple caramel sauce? If so, you shouldn’t be friends with them. Unless they’re vegetarian. In which case, hi, veggie friends – I love you and don’t judge you for not swooning over swine. 🙂

To make these bad boys, simply fry up some bacon – a pound to be precise. I used whatever was on sale, but I know some people have bacon preferences so use what you like: hickory-smoked, applewood-smoked, peppered, or even turkey bacon. *The only thing I will say is you should use regular-cut bacon, not thick-cut bacon, as thick-cut pieces will be too big and heavy for the delicate phyllo cups.*

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Fry the bacon until it’s just about done but not quite crispy yet – you want it a little more on the chewy side since it will be baking some more in the oven. After you chop it into tiny little bits, put it into the phyllo cups with some brown sugar and maple syrup. Sprinkle a little extra brown sugar on top and bake it until the phyllo and bacon are crispy and the maple caramel is bubbly and glossy.

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Then try to resist groaning and scarfing down the whole batch. I speak from experience.

Happy Holidays!

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make!

4.8 from 4 reviews
Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
These Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites are bite-sized bits of heaven! Only 4 ingredients and SUPER easy to make. You can easily double or triple this recipe!
Ingredients
  • 2 (15 count) pkgs frozen phyllo cups (30 total)
  • 1 lb regular-cut bacon (any flavor/smoke preference, such as peppered, hickory-smoked, maple flavored, etc, but I would recommend not using thick-cut as it will be too heavy and big for the delicate phyllo cups), cut in half cross-wise
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup (I used pancake maple syrup, but real deal syrup will work)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and lightly grease it with cooking spray. Place the phyllo cups onto the baking sheet and set aside briefly.
  2. Fry the bacon in batches in a large skillet, cooking until the bacon is just about done but not crispy. The bacon should be on the chewier side, as it will continue to cook more as you bake it. Drain the bacon onto a paper towel-lined plate and let cool briefly before chopping into tiny bits.
  3. Scoop a ½ tsp of brown sugar into each phyllo cup and add a small squirt of maple syrup on top. Fill past the brim of the phyllo cup with bacon, mounding it into the cup. Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar.
  4. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until the phyllo cups and bacon are crisp and the maple caramel is bubbly and caramelized. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Sweet, salty, sticky and smoky, these bite-sized poppables are so delectable!

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack Bites: bite-sized morsels of heaven filled with crispy, smoky bacon, sweet brown sugar and sticky, syrupy maple syrup. Only four easy ingredients and it makes a TON. Easily doubled or tripled! A must-make! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Salted Caramel Macaroons

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! Coconut fans will love these Salted Caramel Macaroons! Tender, gooey and bursting with toasted coconut and salted caramel flavors. So easy to make, too!

I am a huge coconut lover. If there’s coconut in it, chances are I will flip for it.

I also am a lover of coconut macaroons. They are, quite possibly, one of the easiest cookies to prepare. You don’t need to chill them, you don’t need to let them rest, you don’t need to massage them gently, put cucumbers over their eyes and whisper “it’s going to be okay” to them. You seriously just mix the ingredients all at once in one single bowl, portion them out, bake and… eat!

So why don’t I make macaroons more often? BECAUSE I AM LAME, THAT’S WHY. But seriously, I think it’s because I maybe subconsciously think that because they’re so easy, like maybe the recipe is a cop-out? I don’t want y’all to think I’m pulling a fast one on ya or anything.

But truthfully, I need to make more iterations of coconut macaroons because they will definitely be the star of your holiday cookie trays. So, ya know, you can finally be the one with the best-tasting cookies at Milly’s annual cookie party this year. (Watch your back, Milly).

And another thing – the idea of these macaroons came to me suddenly when I realized you can (and should!) use dulce de leche in place of the sweetened condensed milk in my macaroon recipe. WHY HAVEN’T I THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE?! To be frank, it’s kinda genius.

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! If you can’t find dulce de leche, Borden/Eagle Brand now makes CARAMEL sweetened condensed milk, so use that! They also make a chocolate condensed milk, but for today’s recipe, salted caramel steals the show.

Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving!

Salted Caramel Macaroons
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Salted Caramel Macaroons are a simple, stunning cookie that takes no time at all! No chilling, no mixer required, one bowl. Easy peasy! If you cannot find dulce de leche, you can find caramel-flavored sweetened condensed milk that can be used in its place.
Ingredients
  • 5 & ½ cups shredded coconut
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 (13 oz) can dulce de leche (or caramel-flavored sweetened condensed milk)
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, flour, vanilla and almond extracts and dulce de leche. Stir together with a rubber spatula until combined and moistened.
  3. Drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheets, about 1" apart. Using wet fingers, gently push any wonky edges into the cookie so it's perfectly round; this will prevent those wonky edges from browning too quickly or burning. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sea salt.
  4. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until golden and lightly toasted. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! Pure, unadulterated caramel flavor is what you’ll get in these tender, buttery, gooey and chewy macaroons!

Salted Caramel Macaroons: tender, chewy, sweet & gooey coconut macaroon cookies flavored with toasted coconut and salted caramel. Super easy, fast, no mixer-required and perfect for gift-giving! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars

These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are so delicious and GREAT for fall! A spice cake base, cinnamon & apple pie-spiced apple butter filling and buttery caramel complete these gooey, chewy, perfect bars. Caramel apple fans, rejoice! These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are utterly delicious! A spice cake base with a gooey apple butter filling and a drizzling of caramel finishes these outrageously awesome bars.

So because I need new friends, I joined that site Meet-Up.

If you don’t know, it’s kinda like a dating site but for finding hobby groups and making new friends. Totally low-pressure, easygoing stuff.

I joined a group that focuses around making new girlfriends because I desperately need more of those. (And my ‘more’, I mean any).

And you know what? It went well, even according to me, perpetual pessimist of all things.

We met at a lovely local lady’s house and played card games for a few hours, had some wine, and just chatted. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more laid-back first time hanging out with complete strangers. So if any of y’all are reading this, thanks for the good time, ladies!

Honestly? I was just glad I didn’t gravitate toward the host’s cat like I normally do at places where I don’t know anyone. I used to have this ex-boyfriend who loved to go to parties. At every party, there were throngs of people I went to high school with, but they were people I didn’t really hang out with in high school, either, so it was awkward making small talk with someone who sat behind me in math class second period for 6 months.

Anyway, whenever I’d be at these parties – and I’m not a big drinker anyway, so I’d be nursing a water bottle – I’d hang out in the corner and stalk the animal that lived there. I’d pet it and scratch it and telepathically beg said animal to stay with me and never leave my side… only to have said animal bolt the second it sensed a stage-five clinger in its presence.

But I’m happy to report I did not scare away any animals at this Meet-Up. #Firsts

These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are so delicious and GREAT for fall! A spice cake base, cinnamon & apple pie-spiced apple butter filling and buttery caramel complete these gooey, chewy, perfect bars. should have brought these Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars with me to the game night, but instead I brought chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were fine, of course – but there’s something so warm and fall-like about these bars. Maybe it’s the apple butter loaded inside each bite, or the buttery caramel that reminds me of apple-picking and falling leaves.

Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars. They make a good impression!

These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are so delicious and GREAT for fall! A spice cake base, cinnamon & apple pie-spiced apple butter filling and buttery caramel complete these gooey, chewy, perfect bars.

Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are fantastically gooey, rich and easy to make with an irresistible apple butter filling and a buttery caramel drizzle.
Ingredients
  • FOR CRUST:
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • FOR FILLING & DRIZZLE:
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup apple butter (homemade or prepared)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • Caramel sauce or dulce de leche for drizzling, recommended
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. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spice cake mix, egg and melted butter until a thick dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, apple butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract, apple pie spice and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the box of powdered sugar, mixing well, followed by the melted butter. Beat until mixed together.
  4. Pour the apple butter filling on top of the crust and bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until just about set. The center will be slightly jiggly - that's okay as it will continue to set up as it cools. If the center is sloshing around, bake it for a little longer using 5-minute increments.
  5. Cool the bars completely, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or until set. Cut into bars and drizzle with caramel sauce or dulce de leche before serving.

These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are so delicious and GREAT for fall! A spice cake base, cinnamon & apple pie-spiced apple butter filling and buttery caramel complete these gooey, chewy, perfect bars. Gooey, chewy, thick and perfectly spiced for fall! I can’t wait for you guys to give these a try!

These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are so delicious and GREAT for fall! A spice cake base, cinnamon & apple pie-spiced apple butter filling and buttery caramel complete these gooey, chewy, perfect bars. Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley