Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert

This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is fantastic! A no-bake icebox cake with layers of soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy almonds, juicy cherries and chewy coconut! So flavorful, easy and delicious! This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is a unique and amazing dessert featuring soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, chopped maraschino cherries, chewy coconut and crunchy slivered almonds! No-bake, simple and DELICIOUS!

If you forced me to tell you the best thing I ate on my Princess Cruise this past September, I hope you’d have plenty of time for me to sit and mull it over for about eleventy-thousand hours… because it’d be so hard to choose just one thing!

From the butter-poached lobster at SHARE by Curtis Stone, to the Milky Way Martini at the Crooner’s Bar on Deck 7, to the chocolate-hazelnut bar in the Michelangelo Dining Room, there was SO MUCH GOOD FOOD.

While I was wined and dined at the famed Crown Grill and had the most amazing six courses of my life at SHARE, I was also privy to the all-you-can-eat freshly fried French fries at the Trident Grill, and the wide selection of desserts at the Horizon Court Cafe.

One day, my mom decided to take a power nap while I explored the ship. I brought my DLSR and a magazine and headed out, exploring all the decks and amenities on-board the Ruby Princess. That’s when I discovered some AMAZING views from the top deck, including a miniature golf course and a walking trail. I snapped these pics there…

Aboard the Ruby Princess ship! Aboard the Ruby Princess ship! I tried to lay out and read my magazine by the pool, but I was seriously under-dressed for the chilly ocean breeze and plus, I was restless to try some FOOD. Princess is known for their amazing grub, so I had to explore that before I could lounge with a boring ol’ magazine.

I headed to Horizon Court Cafe and they were just setting out lunchtime treats. We’d had lunch prior so I wasn’t hungry-hungry; I was more eager to get my paws on some DESSERT, obvi. So I checked out their selection and found several things I had to try…

Peanut butter pie from Horizon Court on board the Ruby Princess.A slice of peanut butter pie…

Chocolate layer cake from Horizon Court on board the Ruby Princess. A double-layer chocolate cake…

Baltimore Cream Cake from Horizon Court on board the Ruby Princess.And this Lord Baltimore Cream Cake, which I was unsure about. I mean, I didn’t know who Lord Baltimore was, but he sounded delicious and I love anything with maraschino cherries… so I was game to try.

Lord Baltimore Cream Cake on board the Ruby Princess.All the desserts were fabulous, but I was ENAMORED with the Lord Baltimore Cream Cake. It was like heaven had reached down into the Ruby Princess kitchen and personally touched the cake to make it extra special. It had layers of sponge cake with creamy vanilla pudding, chopped cherries, slivered almonds, and a fine dusting of coconut.

This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is fantastic! A no-bake icebox cake with layers of soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy almonds, juicy cherries and chewy coconut! So flavorful, easy and delicious! The flavors and textures combined created such a delicious dessert. I loved the pop of color from the sweet cherries, the crunch from the almonds, the chewiness from the coconut, and of course, the silky smooth pudding!

This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is fantastic! A no-bake icebox cake with layers of soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy almonds, juicy cherries and chewy coconut! So flavorful, easy and delicious! So whether or not you know Lord Baltimore, thank him because this Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is FANTASTIC!

This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is fantastic! A no-bake icebox cake with layers of soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy almonds, juicy cherries and chewy coconut! So flavorful, easy and delicious!

Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is FANTASTIC! Packed with flavor and amazing texture from creamy pudding to soft ladyfingers, crunchy almonds, sweet cherries and chewy coconut!
Ingredients
  • 24 ladyfinger cookies
  • One (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • One (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries, drained, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" square baking dish with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Add ½ cup of milk to a shallow dish or bowl. Dunk ladyfingers into the milk one at a time and line up side-by-side in the pan; you should have 2 rows of about 6 ladyfingers in each row. Break apart some ladyfingers to fit if needed. Set aside briefly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 & ½ cups milk and the dry pudding mix for 2 minutes or until thickened. Once thickened, fold in the whipped topping until combined and smooth. Spread half of the whipped pudding mixture evenly over the ladyfingers; sprinkle the pudding layer with half of the cherries, ½ cup of the almonds, and ¼ cup of the coconut.
  4. Repeat with remaining milk-dunked ladyfingers, pudding, and remaining cherries, almonds, and coconut. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm and set, at least 4 hours.

 

This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is fantastic! A no-bake icebox cake with layers of soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy almonds, juicy cherries and chewy coconut! So flavorful, easy and delicious! You’ll absolutely adore the amazing flavor and texture in this light and creamy no-bake dessert!

For more information on Princess Cruises, be sure to check out their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

This Lord Baltimore Lush Dessert is fantastic! A no-bake icebox cake with layers of soft ladyfingers, creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy almonds, juicy cherries and chewy coconut! So flavorful, easy and delicious! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Princess Cruises this year. I was generously provided with a cruise and was compensated for this post, however all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep my blog alive! 

An Animal Lover’s Guide to Alaska Cruising

An Animal Lover's Guide to Alaskan Cruising! #princess #adIf you’re planning on an Alaskan cruise and you happen to love animals, these excursions from Princess Cruises will be unforgettable!

So it is no surprise that I am a HUGE animal lover. I mean, I practically accost every dog I meet on the street with a high-pitched squeal and open arms to pet their fluff. I just love animals so much!

When I teamed up with Princess Cruises in September for an Alaskan cruise, I perused their excursion options and instantly wanted to do ALL the animal ones. How many times can you say you’ve seen a bald eagle up close? Or got to pet a wolverine! A wolverine, for Pete’s sake!

The Ruby PrincessAnd these Ruby Princess Alaskan excursions were so amazing. I had tears in my eyes during each excursion and looking back at these photos makes me kind of emotional – animals are so precious, beautiful, and majestic. And when you’re within feet of a black bear in her natural habitat, it’s hard not to feel inspired by the beauty and power of nature.

Anyway, enough mushy talk! Let’s dive into these excursions, shall we?

First, my Ruby Princess cruise took us to Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria B.C., Canada. We visited Victoria at nighttime and I went to high tea there at the Gatsby mansion, so no animals were involved. For this post, I’ll talk about the Alaskan excursions exclusively.

First up: Whale-watching in Juneau.

Whale watching in Juneau, AKJuneau was beautiful and foggy when we arrived. We took a tour bus to a small dock where we would go whale watching on a speed boat. We got on the boat and I thought we were going to watch everything from inside as it was drizzly outside… but they opened up the front of the ship for us to go out and see these animals up close and personal!

I was also worried the whales would be shy and wouldn’t show up… or I’d be too slow to photograph them. Well, I was wrong about the former, but those whales are fast… however, I did catch some 🙂

Our captain estimated we saw about 5 different whales, but it’s obviously hard to say since they didn’t come terribly close to our boat and because these Humpbacks all looked very similar. He did explain to us to watch for their “fluke”, AKA when they jump out of the water and make a big splash with their tail.

The flukes were hardest to catch, but here’s a glimpse of a whale I did capture.

Whale watching in Juneau, AKWhile we were on the ocean searching for Humpback whales, we ended up in a race with some competitive and friendly porpoises. Porpoises are very similar to dolphins, and these guys were FAST. As you can see, most of my pictures are splashy because they were racing our boat and beating us!

Whale watching in Juneau, AK

Whale watching in Juneau, AKWe also sailed past a small island FILLED with sea lions! These dudes were barking and making a ton of noise, and some came out toward our boat to show off their swimming skills.

Whale watching in Juneau, AK

Whale watching in Juneau, AK

Whale watching in Juneau, AK

Whale watching in Juneau, AKFor a scenic, low-activity excursion, I highly recommend whale-watching in Juneau. Since the boat is covered and has plenty of seats (and binoculars on each seat!), it’s a great way to relax and watch wildlife. Or, you always have the option of going out to the front of the boat (outdoors) for an up-close and personal view of wildlife. If I could change one thing, it’d be that I brought a larger zoom lens to capture those whale flukes better.

Second: Kroschel Wildlife Refuge, Skagway, AK.

The Kroschel Wildlife Refuge is quite a ways away from the city of Skagway – once you get off of the ship, you’ll take a tour bus which will take you to another bus stop. Then you’ll get on a boat very similar to the one in Juneau and take an hour-long ride to Haines, Alaska. The ride is smooth, quick and scenic – there’s some beautiful sights of waterfalls in the distance as you head to Haines. Once docked, it’s another 30-45 minutes bus-ride to Mosquito Lake Road, a remote street that houses the Kroschel Wildlife Center.

Situated in a rain forest (side note: did you know Alaska is a temperate rain forest? Now you do!) is the refuge, a huge compound that rescues and rehabilitates animals unfit to live in the wild. This was the most interactive excursion by far, as you get to pet a LOT of the animals… and the ones you do not pet, you get extreme close-ups of. This isn’t a “oh, that vague shape in the distance is a bear!” kinda place… you SEE the bear practically up in your face. It’s amazing!

Steve Kroschel is the owner of the eponymous refuge and he was described by both our bus driver as “wacky.” He was right, but it’s a good wacky! Steve got in the pens with all of the creatures to introduce our group, or wrangled the animals so we could touch and pet them. He was barefoot most of the time and was very jovial, exuberant, and funny, which added to the excitement of seeing these beautiful wild creatures up close.

Steve led us up to the large pen that housed Isis, a gorgeous wolf. He encouraged us to start howling which in turn made Isis howl.

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaNext up, we met a red fox and Steve walked around so we could each pet her. She was surprisingly soft and had such big, expressive eyes. Despite being in a crowd of strangers, all of the animals appeared very calm.

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaWe also met a black fox which was hard to photograph because she was so fast-moving!

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaAcross from the fox pens was a lynx. She was positively gorgeous in person and was “stalking” her “prey” (AKA, a meat treat Steve tossed in). She was behind a chain-link fence, but Steve built small photo slots in the fence so you could get an unobstructed photo.

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaWe also met a mink – and the are as soft and silky as you’d think!

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaAnd I can say the next guest was kiddo approved, as we had one kid on our excursion…

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaA wolverine!

This wolverine was feisty but friendly and let us pet him and take photos. As you can see, he was very photogenic. How many times can you say you pet a wolverine?!

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaSteve also introduced us to his resident porcupine who was noshing on a treat while people took photos and pet her! Yes, I pet a porcupine! She was coarse-haired and kind of rough textured, but very mellow.

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaThen there were the reindeer, who were VERY eager to slurp up the feed in our hands.

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaAnd of course, there was Karen the Moose! Karen was an even-tempered, sweet moose that you could FEED FROM YOUR MOUTH! And yes, I was crazy enough to do that. Steve would hand you a thick carrot half and you’d gingerly place it in between your teeth, then very carefully lean in toward Karen as she took the other half from your mouth. It was a surreal experience!

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Kroschel Wildlife Refuge in AlaskaLastly, we met up with Kitty the Kodiak bear. Kitty was rescued from the Kodiak area of Alaska and when we stumbled onto her pen, she was eating two blueberry pies. A bear after my own heart! Kitty was relaxed and happy as she scooped pawfuls of pie into her mouth, but Steve tempted her with something even better: fancy oatmeal! Steve clanged the big pot of oatmeal (made with maple syrup and bacon fat) and Kitty leisurely walked by us to her enclosure where she was rewarded with a big pot of oatmeal.

Overall, this was an incredible experience. I was in awe of all of the animals and their unique personalities and happy demeanors. You could really tell Steve is so passionate about these beautiful creatures and it showed. I loved being able to interact with the animals up close and personal and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery in the lush rain forest. There was minimal “hiking” but we did walk everywhere on a variety of terrain – gravel, dirt, etc. so I would recommend kiddos who can walk on their own or those who are not mobility-challenged.

Last stop: Ketchikan’s Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, Ketchikan, AK.

So full disclosure: I almost skipped this excursion and I am so glad I didn’t! I was feeling a tad under the weather, but I stuck it out and I was BEYOND thrilled I did.

After a 30-minute or so bus-ride, we arrived at the Rainforest Sanctuary. Also located in a temperate rain forest, this refuge center had the most hiking (although not as bad as it sounds). We followed a knowledgeable trail guide as we hiked through the forest over a variety of terrain (bark, gravel, dirt, some mud) and took in the peaceful surroundings of this lush forest. Eventually, we reached a bridge system which sounds scary for a heights-averse person like me… but this “bridge” system is more like a huge deck – solid wood, level under foot, and woven around the forest to better observe the black bears down below.

Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Black bears at the Alaska Wildlife SanctuaryThe bridge system sat about 15 feet above the ground, so far enough away from the black bears, but close enough to observe them personally. We were warned that sometimes the bears come onto the bridge system, but it was rare because during the tour, they also have scouts out and around the trail to observe bears and ensure we were safe.

Black bears at the Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Black bears at the Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Black bears at the Alaska Wildlife SanctuaryWithin maybe 5 minutes of walking on the bridge system, our guide was paged and a scout had spotted a bear on the ground hunting for salmon. She directed us to the bear and sure enough, there she was on the forest floor scavenging for salmon in the creek below. She was gorgeous and in one swipe of her paw had grabbed a fish from the stream and took a big bite.

Black bears at the Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Black bears at the Alaska Wildlife SanctuaryIf you look closely throughout my photos, you’ll see dead fish draped over trees and brush… apparently, the bears only take one bite of the fish and leave the rest, so they aren’t very economical with the whole fish 🙂 Our guide said the bears tend to like the female salmon’s eggs… and the male salmon’s brains!

Blue Heron at Alaska Wildlife SanctuaryWe also spotted this blue heron chilling on a tree… lots of pretty things to see in this gorgeous sanctuary.

Our guide had mentioned the bears sometimes come onto the bridge system and do this funny thing where they’ll jump and scratch a tree. The tallest scratch indicated the Alpha bear so all other bears who came by could see who’s boss. Lol! Here’s a pic of the tree with scratch marks you can see if you look closely. There’s also a woodpecker there, too!

Alaska Wildlife SanctuaryAt the end of the tour, you reach the wild bird area of the sanctuary. Overhead, several bald eagles flew by and nestled themselves among the trees. However, we got an up-close look at a rehabilitated bald eagle named Sitka in the center.

Sitka the Bald Eagle at the Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Sitka the Bald Eagle at the Alaska Wildlife Sanctuary

Barn owls at Alaska Wildlife SanctuarySitka can no longer live in the wild after she was hit by a car. Because of the accident, she lost one of her toes which is apparently essential for their navigation. So now Sitka lives with the barn owls (although in separate pens) at the sanctuary. Sitka was stoic and powerful and simply gorgeous in person… it was crazy to see our country’s bird right there!

With the most walking of the three excursions, I would recommend this for folks who have no mobility-issues and those who are able to walk over a mile on relatively easy terrain. This excursion may have been the most leisurely, as the guides virtually let us take our time photographing all of the animals and walk at our own pace.

Overall, these excursions were all FANTASTIC and I am so happy with my choices! Each excursion was unique in its own way and so memorable; I am so happy with the photos I took and the experiences I gained.

Ketchikan, AlaskaNext time you book your Alaskan cruise, make it with Princess Cruises and be sure to check out these amazing stops!

For more information on Princess or to plan your next cruise, visit their website, as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Princess Cruises this year. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep my blog alive! 

 

 

Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees

These Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees are a 3-D Christmas cookie everyone will love! A triple-decker cookie with vanilla buttercream decorated to look like a beautiful Christmas tree! So fun to make with kids, too! #krusteaz #adThese Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees aren’t just adorable, they’re delicious, too! Three layers of buttery vanilla sugar cookies are decorated with green-colored buttercream and sprinkles to resemble Christmas trees! Great to make with the kids!

Christmastime is my favorite time. I think it’s because I am always known for getting epic presents for my family and friends. Not to brag or anything, but I consider myself an awesome gift-giver, and during the holidays, I go all out. I am known for getting obscure presents you didn’t know you needed or wanted, like custom pet portraits of my mom’s beloved furry friend, or a wacky-facts book for my trivia-loving dad. Plus, ‘tis the season for giving to my favorite animal rescue charities and the local children’s hospital. So yeah, you could say I love the holiday season!

But I also love it because of the cooler weather, Christmas music (yeah, I enjoy it year-round!), sparkly decorations, glimmering Christmas lights, and of course, the FOOD! Every year, I make Christmas dinner and while I do know how to make savory food, I’m obviously known for my desserts. I always try to include a multitude of options so everyone can sample their favorites: pumpkin pie, pecan pie, something minty, and always Christmas cookies.

These Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees are a 3-D Christmas cookie everyone will love! A triple-decker cookie with vanilla buttercream decorated to look like a beautiful Christmas tree! So fun to make with kids, too! #krusteaz #adMy mom LOVES frosted sugar cookies, but I never make them. Why? Because I’m admittedly not the *best* decorator. Royal icing and I are frenemies, so I generally tend to avoid using it. But when I was brainstorming decorated cookie ideas for Christmas, I instantly got the idea to make these Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees! 3-D sugar cookie stacks made with Krusteaz Butter Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix for a buttery, homemade flavor without all the hassle of chilling dough, rolling and cutting into shapes, or dealing with dreaded royal icing 🙂

These Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees are a 3-D Christmas cookie everyone will love! A triple-decker cookie with vanilla buttercream decorated to look like a beautiful Christmas tree! So fun to make with kids, too! #krusteaz #adSimple bake your cookies in a few different sizes and stack them with green buttercream frosting in between layers with some sprinkles to look like lights. Then pipe your frosting into a pointed top and serve! These would be great to make with kids and get them involved, and imagine how darling it’d look if you placed these on everyone’s plate before Christmas dinner?

These Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees are a 3-D Christmas cookie everyone will love! A triple-decker cookie with vanilla buttercream decorated to look like a beautiful Christmas tree! So fun to make with kids, too! #krusteaz #adClick here for the recipe for these Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees on the Krusteaz website!

Also, be sure to check out Krusteaz’s ADORABLE interactive Cookie Swap! Here, you can take a fun quiz to determine your perfect holiday cookie!

Visit Krusteaz on their website, as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, spicy gingerbread molasses cupcakes are topped with a fluffy, creamy brown sugar buttercream frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. So delicious, perfect for the holidays, and festive! No need to wait all year for the seasonal drinks when you can have these Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes all year round if you wanted to! Perfectly spiced gingerbread molasses cupcakes with a hint of coffee, topped with a brown sugar buttercream and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. Your orders ready!

People ask me where I get my recipe ideas from, and the truth is: everywhere.

MOST of the time, it’s a result of me standing and mumbling aimlessly in the candy aisle at the supermarket, staring at the candy and willing it to send me recipe ideas telepathically. As a result, I have probably concerned many of the grocery store employees and am probably going to have Adult Protective Services called on me some day. Talking to myself and staring at a bag of Reese’s cups for 15 minutes does not make for a sane person.

So when I’m not being institutionalized for communicating non-verbally to a bag of Kit-Kats, I’m usually thinking of things that already exist in nature but could be dessert-ified. Things like gingerbread lattes, which are a huge hit this time of year at most coffee shops. But Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes aren’t really a *thing*, at least not on my blog… so I made it a thing.

You’re welcome.

These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, spicy gingerbread molasses cupcakes are topped with a fluffy, creamy brown sugar buttercream frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. So delicious, perfect for the holidays, and festive! These cupcakes start off with a humble box of yellow cake mix that I doctored up to taste totally gingerbread-y and homemade. In the cake mix, you have your usual eggs, oil, and instead of water, I used room temperature coffee for that latte kick. I also added in some molasses for flavor and that deep, warm brown color and gingerbread spices, of course! The good thing about these cupcakes is that you can add as much or as little gingerbread spice as you’d prefer. Me, I like something a little more mellow (ginger isn’t my favorite spice, after all) and I found my measurements to be perfect.

These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, spicy gingerbread molasses cupcakes are topped with a fluffy, creamy brown sugar buttercream frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. So delicious, perfect for the holidays, and festive! Once they’re baked, I wondered what frosting would be perfect. Cream cheese seems like a natural choice, but I couldn’t help but love the flavor of brown sugar with these spicy cupcakes. And boy, was I right! Brown sugar buttercream was sweet and caramel flavored and paired beautifully.

The crowning jewel is a glossy chocolate-covered espresso bean to drive that latte flavor home. And the result is a seriously divine cupcake that didn’t get me in trouble with the local Safeway store for harassing candy.

These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, spicy gingerbread molasses cupcakes are topped with a fluffy, creamy brown sugar buttercream frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. So delicious, perfect for the holidays, and festive! Score!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-22
 
These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are packed with flavor in a moist little cake! Topped with a fluffy brown sugar buttercream, they are such a fun, unique cupcake for the holiday season!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup room-temperature black coffee
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • FOR THE FROSTING & TOPPING:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • Holiday sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins with about 20-22 paper liners; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, coffee, eggs, molasses and spices with a handheld electric mixer, beating until smooth, about 2 minutes. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ¾ full.
  2. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until the tops are round and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. For the frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting is light and fluffy, streaming in a little of the heavy cream if frosting becomes too thick.
  4. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top with holiday sprinkles and garnish with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, spicy gingerbread molasses cupcakes are topped with a fluffy, creamy brown sugar buttercream frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. So delicious, perfect for the holidays, and festive! Moist, fluffy, spicy cupcakes topped with a luscious brown sugar frosting… you have got to try these!

These Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes are FANTASTIC! Moist, fluffy, spicy gingerbread molasses cupcakes are topped with a fluffy, creamy brown sugar buttercream frosting and a chocolate-covered espresso bean. So delicious, perfect for the holidays, and festive!

 

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Perfect Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! These Perfect Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are the BEST I’ve tried! Perfectly crisp and crinkly on the outside with a soft, almost fudge-like interior. A Christmastime staple!

So, confession time: I never had crinkle cookies until I was an adult!

Clearly, my childhood had some severe issues.

There’s a local cookie shop and I’m lowkey obsessed with their cookies, specifically their old-fashioned sugar cookie. It’s damn good, people. But I never looked twice at their crackle cookie, which looks like a humble crinkle cookie. One, I’m not a huge chocolate person, and like I said, I am a huge fan of the old-fashioned sugar.

But my friend convinced me that I HAD to try the crinkle cookie. She said it was almost like a brownie on the inside with a crisp yet soft cookie on the outside. Intrigued, I tried one… and you guys. It’s my new fave!

Since my cookie addiction is not conducive with saving money, I figured I had to make my own cookie recipe that rivaled their version… and I did it!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are the ULTIMATE crinkle cookie. Extra crinkly-ness, lots of fudgy goodness, and crisp outer edges with a soft and gooey middle. They are seriously like the cross between a fudge brownie and a cookie – perfect in every way!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! The best part is that these cookies couldn’t be easier to make, and they require ZERO chill time! (Score!) When fridges are full during the holidays, the last thing we need is a giant bowl of dough taking up time for hours to chill, right? All ya need to do is let the dough sit and relax for 10 minutes for it to firm up. That’s it! You can sacrifice 10 minutes for these; I promise they’re worth it!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! What makes these cookies extra chocolaty and rich? Rodelle’s Baking Cocoa. This cocoa is Dutch-processed for superior rich flavor, and it contains one of the highest levels of cocoa butter on the market, making it extra chocolaty!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! Combined with their Pure Vanilla Extract, which offers a rich, warm, aromatic flavor to all baked goods, it’s just perfect. As you know, I’m a Rodelle ambassador this year and I seriously love their products – the quality is impeccable, and you can truly taste the difference!

Now get to baking, because these cookies are begging to be tasted!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! *recipe slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Perfect Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-24
 
These Crinkle Cookies are so PERFECT and truly the best I've tried! Supremely fudgy and gooey, they're like a cross between a brownie and a cookie!
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • One (4 oz) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, roughly chopped
  • 1 & ½ cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder, optional but recommended
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Rodelle Baking Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners; set aside briefly.
  2. In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the butter and chopped chocolate bar. Microwave for 30 seconds, stirring until melted and smooth (you may need to microwave an additional 15-20 seconds). Cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and espresso powder with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in the melted chocolate and beat to combine. Lastly, add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Batter will be thick and sticky. Let set at room temperature undisturbed for 10 minutes until thickened.
  4. Place the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough into the confectioners' sugar and roll the ball of dough around to fully coat. Place 1-2" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Cookies may appear slightly underdone in the center; this is okay as they will continue to set up as they cool. Cool completely on the baking sheets to set before serving.

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! Supremely fudgy, gooey and ULTRA chocolaty! You will LOVE these crinkle cookies!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! Be sure to check out Rodelle for more tips, recipes, info and more! You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are perfect in every way! Perfectly crackled tops with a crisp edge around the cookie and a fudgy, almost gooey brownie-like interior. So chocolaty! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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

Sticky Paws (Williams Sonoma Copycat)

These COPYCAT STICKY PAWS taste even BETTER than Williams Sonoma's holiday version! Made with buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate, they're an easy, quick candy recipe you'll LOVE making year-round! Just like the holiday offering at Williams Sonoma, these Copycat Sticky Paws taste even better than the original! Easy, quick, and so delicious – they’re perfect for gifting!

So I have a confession to make: I never visit Williams Sonoma.

It’s located smack-dab in the middle of all those obnoxious kiosks in the mall – you know, the ones where they try to shove skincare samples at you as you walk by? I generally avoid that section of the mall like the plague, and thus, I’m never in Williams Sonoma.

But a couple weeks ago, my sister and I were walking around the mall and happened to be down that area and walked in. I always forget how amazing everything looks and tastes there – when they brew mulling spices, I am drawn in like a moth to a freakin’ flame. Mulling spices are LIFE.

And on this special occasion, they were sampling their Sticky Paws. I hadn’t heard of these before, but once I took a bite, I was hooked! Basically, they’re a lot like my Polar Bear Paws recipe except there are two main differences: instead of peanuts, they’re made with almonds, and instead of white chocolate, it’s made with milk chocolate.

These COPYCAT STICKY PAWS taste even BETTER than Williams Sonoma's holiday version! Made with buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate, they're an easy, quick candy recipe you'll LOVE making year-round! And now I can’t decide which “paw” recipe I like better!!

The almonds offer an amazing nutty sweetness to the gooey caramel filling, and I love the classic contrast of the buttery caramel and rich chocolate coating. The only thing I can suggest at this point is making both paw recipes to see for yourself!

These COPYCAT STICKY PAWS taste even BETTER than Williams Sonoma's holiday version! Made with buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate, they're an easy, quick candy recipe you'll LOVE making year-round! However, since these Sticky Paws are just as good if not BETTER than the original Williams Sonoma version, I highly recommend saving the $20 to buy them by making them yourself! They’d be GREAT for gift-giving this holiday season… or just for hoarding yourself 🙂

These COPYCAT STICKY PAWS taste even BETTER than Williams Sonoma's holiday version! Made with buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate, they're an easy, quick candy recipe you'll LOVE making year-round!

Sticky Paws (Williams Sonoma Copycat)
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 12-14
 
These Sticky Paws are the Williams Sonoma holiday copycat you can enjoy ALL year long! Only a few simple ingredients and about 30 minutes means you'll have your own batch of delicious Sticky Paws in no time!
Ingredients
  • One 11-oz bag Kraft caramel bits (or 11-oz bag caramel squares, unwrapped if using)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 & ¼ cups natural, raw almonds
  • One 16-oz pkg chocolate candy coating/almond bark
Instructions
  1. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine the caramel bits (or squares if using), butter, and heavy cream. Microwave on HIGH power for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth and melted. Stir in the almonds and let set for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a buttered spoon, drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of the caramel almond mixture onto the baking sheet, spaced about 1-2" apart. Pop the caramel mounds in the freezer until firm, about 15-20 minutes. Caramel mounds will be firm enough when they will easily come off of the parchment paper.
  3. Melt the candy coating according to package directions or until smooth. Using a fork, dip each caramel mound into the chocolate, coating it completely. Allow excess to drip off the fork and return to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining caramel mounds. Let chocolate harden before serving. PLEASE, let caramel come to ROOM TEMPERATURE before consuming!

These COPYCAT STICKY PAWS taste even BETTER than Williams Sonoma's holiday version! Made with buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate, they're an easy, quick candy recipe you'll LOVE making year-round! Buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate equals a heavenly treat that’s perfect year-round!

These COPYCAT STICKY PAWS taste even BETTER than Williams Sonoma's holiday version! Made with buttery caramel, nutty almonds and creamy milk chocolate, they're an easy, quick candy recipe you'll LOVE making year-round! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Icing

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! These Gingerbread Blondies are soft, chewy and perfectly spiced and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting! A fun and easier alternative to cut-out gingerbread men!

I am SO weird with ginger. I’m usually not a picky eater, but I am SO picky about this darned spice.

For starters, I loathe fresh ginger. It gives me the heebie-jeebies and it tastes like soap to me. It’s unbearable, and I simply cannot order anything with fresh ginger or candied ginger or crystallized ginger in it. NOPE.

But: I love ginger ale. It’s my go-to when my tummy’s upset, and it makes a great mixer! Maybe because the ginger flavor is far more subtle? Probably.

And during the holiday season, my fave drink at Starbucks is a gingerbread iced chai. Basically, an iced chai tea with one pump of gingerbread syrup. The combination between the aromatic chai spices + gingerbread syrup makes the drink taste like a liquefied cookie! It’s amazing.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! I thought since my track record with ginger is spotty at best that I wouldn’t care too much for these Gingerbread Blondies, but I was seriously wrong! They have just the right amount of ginger that it reads as gingerbread without being overwhelming or too spicy (or soapy to me!). Of course, you can always add in more ground ginger if you prefer things super gingery spiced, but I’m a more tame ginger lover and thus, these were perfect.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! The best part about these blondies, though, HAS to be the cream cheese icing! It’s so light and fluffy and is the perfect tangy complement to the spicy, chewy bars. To make them extra festive and sweet, I topped the blondies with holiday non-pareils sprinkles and the cutest little sugary gingerbread men! (I found the men on the seasonal baking aisle at Walmart!). Not only do the gingerbread men help identify what the bars are, they’re just a sweet touch.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! I totally plan on making a big batch of these and cutting them into tinier squares to gift to my neighbors this holiday season, and you should too!

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! I mean…

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Icing
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Gingerbread Blondies are perfectly spiced, soft and chewy bars with a light and fluffy cream cheese icing on top. So perfect for the holidays!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BLONDIES:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 & ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • One (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 & ½ - 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Holiday sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9x13" rectangular baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar; let cool 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition, followed by the vanilla, molasses, baking soda, spices, and flour until a soft batter comes together.
  3. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan and bake for approximately 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar one cup at a time until frosting is light and fluffy. Spread the frosting evenly over the blondies and top with sprinkles, if using. To make a clean-cut square, cover and refrigerate the blondies about 1 hour.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! Perfectly spiced, soft and chewy blondies topped with a luxuriously creamy cream cheese icing. What’s not to love?!

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

No-Bake Nutella Squares

These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a cross between tiramisu and icebox cake! Layers of chocolate-milk-soaked chocolate grahams in between creamy, decadent Nutella mousse. Easy, impressive and so chocolaty! These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a fun, EASY dessert to try any time of year, and they taste just like the award-winning chocolate dessert on-board the Ruby Princess cruise ships!

So I’m having cruise-ship withdrawals.

Majorly.

And they now infiltrate my dreams. MY DREAMS! I lived in my last house for almost 10 years and I didn’t ever have dreams about that house – only my childhood home. But I was on-board the Ruby Princess ship in September for 1 week and I have a ship-related dream probably once a week.

On-board the Ruby Princess. No complaints, though! Because in my dreams, I’m blissfully unaware that I am currently not on the Ruby Princess. And my dreams are like, totally awesome: I’m always in the spa, in the dining room, or in the Crooner’s Bar on deck 7. Not bad dreams to have, am I right?

On-board the Ruby Princess ship.I had so many dreamy meals on my Alaskan cruise – from the butter-poached lobster at Curtis Stone’s SHARE restaurant, to the molten lava brownie cake at Crown Grill. But one of the best parts of the Princess Cruise was their collaboration with Norman Love, a master chocolatier who created many of the desserts on the ship. Each Norman Love-created dessert was marked with a small symbol called “Chocolate Journeys” and it was my mission to eat ALL of the Chocolate Journeys creations!

I talked about the Norman Love/Chocolate Journeys a bit in my Homemade Chocolate Sugar Scrub post (which is amazing – perfect for Christmas gifts!), and even mentioned this dessert there, too! In case you missed it, here it is in all its glory:

Chocolate Hazelnut Bar from the Michelangelo Dining Room on-board the Ruby Princess. It’s a chocolate hazelnut bar, and it was fantastic. Even this normally-meh Nutella person LOVED IT SO MUCH. It had a wafer-like crust with a scrumptious, lusciously smooth chocolate hazelnut filling that was light, airy and creamy, topped with a rich dark chocolate bar that was equal parts luxurious, decadent, and elegant.

My version is a cross between the chocolate hazelnut bar and this tiramisu-esque mini layer cake I also had in the Michelangelo dining room:

Chocolate Tiramisu Cake on-board the Ruby Princess cruise ship. And I fell in love!

These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a cross between tiramisu and icebox cake! Layers of chocolate-milk-soaked chocolate grahams in between creamy, decadent Nutella mousse. Easy, impressive and so chocolaty! So I was determined to recreate this fab dish for you, my precious readers! If you can’t book yourself an Alaskan cruise just yet, this is the next best thing – trust me!

These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a cross between tiramisu and icebox cake! Layers of chocolate-milk-soaked chocolate grahams in between creamy, decadent Nutella mousse. Easy, impressive and so chocolaty! To make it easier, my version has several layers of chocolate graham crackers, almost like an icebox cake – and is filled with Nutella mousse. I topped it off with some chocolate curls, but miniature chocolate chips would work just fine in a pinch! Lastly, I garnished each square with a couple of whole hazelnuts to make it pretty and to display the ingredients within the dish.

This show-stopping dessert will soon become a favorite until you can try the real deal on-board the Ruby Princess!

These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a cross between tiramisu and icebox cake! Layers of chocolate-milk-soaked chocolate grahams in between creamy, decadent Nutella mousse. Easy, impressive and so chocolaty!

No-Bake Nutella Squares
Author: 
Recipe type: Treats
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-12
 
These No-Bake Nutella Squares are amazingly decadent, no-bake slices of heaven! Layers of chocolate wafer crackers and Nutella mousse combine to create a luscious dessert everyone will love!
Ingredients
  • 15-18 chocolate graham crackers (how many you need depends on the size of your pan)
  • ½ cup chocolate milk or room-temperature coffee
  • One (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • One (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • Chocolate curls or miniature chocolate chips, for garnish
  • Whole hazelnuts, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8" square pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Dip the chocolate graham crackers quickly, working one at a time into the chocolate milk. Line them up side by side in the pan, breaking some of the crackers to fit. You should have one even layer. Set aside briefly.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, Nutella, and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until fully incorporated. Spoon ¼ of the Nutella mixture evenly over the graham crackers.
  4. Repeat layers twice more, for a total of three (3) layers. Spoon and spread the remaining Nutella mixture over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4-6 hours. Just before cutting into squares, garnish with chocolate curls or miniature chocolate chips and whole hazelnuts.

These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a cross between tiramisu and icebox cake! Layers of chocolate-milk-soaked chocolate grahams in between creamy, decadent Nutella mousse. Easy, impressive and so chocolaty! Intensely chocolaty with a luxuriously smooth mousse and lightly crisped cookie layers, these Nutella Squares are heaven on a plate!

These No-Bake Nutella Squares are a cross between tiramisu and icebox cake! Layers of chocolate-milk-soaked chocolate grahams in between creamy, decadent Nutella mousse. Easy, impressive and so chocolaty! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I am working with Princess Cruises as a brand ambassador. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep my blog alive! 

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies: a fun take on a classic holiday cookie, these taste JUST like a tall glass of spiced eggnog but are 100% booze-free! Calling all eggnog lovers! These Eggnog Crinkle Cookies are for serious ‘nog lovers: Gooey, soft and buttery with a delicious nutmeg & rum flavor!

So today is a super special day! Why?

It’s my friend Kayle’s virtual baby shower!

Kayle and I have known each other for a minute now – since 2012 or so, around the time I started making blog friends. She blogs over at The Cooking Actress and she is kinda sorta *known* for her love of all things cookie!

Long ago, I was suffering from a totally lame breakup and Kayle offered for me to stay with her at her place in NYC. I had been dying to go to NYC, so I jumped at the chance and flew out there a month later. We had never met prior but I was 99.9% sure she was a real human woman and not some hairy gecko-breeding troll in his mother’s basement. And I was right – she was a real human woman, and she quickly became a very close friend.

Now Kayle and her hubby are preggo and her little boy comes any day now, so some friends and I decided to host her a virtual baby shower since we can’t celebrate with her at her new home in Ohio.

The good thing about my recipe is that she can actually eat them while pregnant – these Eggnog Crinkle Cookies have rum extract in them for that punch of flavor, but they’re 100% booze-free without sacrificing the classic flavors of traditional eggnog. Of course, once she’s had her babe, I highly recommend she retry these with a shot of whiskey or something. You know, as a celebration of new motherhood. It’s not like she grew a human or anything.

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies: a fun take on a classic holiday cookie, these taste JUST like a tall glass of spiced eggnog but are 100% booze-free! These cookies are super soft, gooey, fluffy and ultra tender thanks to cream cheese getting beaten into the batter. And they’re made simply by starting off with a box of cake mix! There’s no chilling, minimal prep-time, and the result is a heavenly, light-as-a-feather crinkle cookie that tastes like a tall, frosty glass of eggnog.

Congrats, Kayle, on your Christmas babe! Now celebrate with a cookie 🙂

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies: a fun take on a classic holiday cookie, these taste JUST like a tall glass of spiced eggnog but are 100% booze-free!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Eggnog Crinkle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-24
 
Eggnog Crinkle Cookies taste just like a tall, frosty glass of eggnog! Buttery, gooey, tender and soft thanks to cream cheese in the cookie dough. While they taste sinful, they're 100% booze-free!
Ingredients
  • 1 box French vanilla or white cake mix
  • One 8-oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp butter extract
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, cream cheese, softened butter, extracts, egg, and nutmeg together with an electric mixer until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Dough will be sticky. Using a cookie scoop, scoop heaping Tablespoonfuls of dough out and roll into balls. Dredge the cookie dough balls in the confectioners' sugar and place 1-2" apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking. Cookies may look under-done in the center; this is OKAY. Do not over-bake! Cool completely on the baking sheets.

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies: a fun take on a classic holiday cookie, these taste JUST like a tall glass of spiced eggnog but are 100% booze-free! I love the buttery, rummy, hint of spice flavor these soft and gloriously heavenly cookies have! I know you’re gonna love them, too 🙂

Now if you don’t mind me, I’m going to be popping over to see what everyone else brought!

Check out the rest of the baby shower recipes made by my fellow hosts!

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies – by Confessions of a Confectionista

Cookie Dough Millionaire Bars – by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Derby Pie – by The Spiffy Cookie

Chocolate Chip Rice Krispies Treat Cookies – by Pies and Plots

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies – by The Domestic Rebel

Cookie Dough Cups – by The Pajama Chef

Homemade Salted Caramel Oreos – by Eats with With Others

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies: a fun take on a classic holiday cookie, these taste JUST like a tall glass of spiced eggnog but are 100% booze-free!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Easy Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness! If you love those golden orbs known as Ferrero Rocher, you’ll FLIP for these Easy Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles! Packed with flavor and only a few ingredients, they taste even BETTER than the real deal!

It should be no surprise that holiday baking is my all-time fave.

There’s something so magical and fun about holiday flavors and making bite-size candies and treats to hand out to neighbors and friends.

But every year I have a *minor meltdown* about what treats I want to make for my cookie baskets to give to friends. I have about a MILLION ideas for cookies, treats, candies, and more but narrowing the list down is hard work, people. I want to bake EVERYTHING!

However, after making these Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles, I realized these had to be in the baskets. 100%. Never been more sure of anything in MY LIFE. They’re that good.

When I was tinkering around with this recipe, I could not believe how EASY these were to make. They take some time to mix together (so I recommend digging in with your hands which makes it infinitely easier) and they take some time to chill and firm up, but once they’re dunked in rich chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, you’ll realize they’re more than worth the wait!

The base of the truffles are crushed hazelnut wafer cookies. I actually found some at Trader Joe’s – they’re a crisp wafer-like cookie flavored with chocolate and hazelnut, but I believe they’re seasonal. If you cannot find hazelnut wafer cookies, feel free to use graham cracker crumbs – chocolate or regular. Not only do the crushed cookies provide the base of the truffle, but they give that great texture, too.

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness! And of course, you cannot make homemade Ferrero Rocher without hazelnuts! This recipe uses a whopping 4 cups (!!) of hazelnuts – three cups in the actual truffle, and one cup finely chopped for the outer coating so it looks authentic. There’s so much hazelnut flavor happening in these bad boys!

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness! Lastly, there’s nothing with hazelnuts more famous than Nutella, so the Nutella is the “glue” that keeps these truffles together. And there’s quite a bit of Nutella in here, so the flavor is outstanding!

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness! To gift these, place a truffle in a miniature cupcake liner and place them all in a gift box for a pretty presentation!

Or just become my neighbor and wait for me to deliver goodies to your front door. 🙂

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness!

Easy Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 38-40
 
These Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles are SO easy and utterly divine! No one will guess how simple they are to whip together, and they make for amazing holiday gifts!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups finely crushed hazelnut wafer cookies (if you cannot find these, simply substitute with 3 cups finely crushed chocolate or honey graham cracker crumbs)
  • 3 cups finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 & ¾ cups Nutella (about 1 & ½ (13 oz) jars)
  • FOR COATING:
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg chocolate candy coating or almond bark
  • 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
Instructions
  1. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the hazelnut cookie crumbs, finely chopped hazelnuts, and the Nutella. Using a spoon or your hands, stir the mixture together until completely moistened and sticky, making sure you grab the dry bits that tend to collect in the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Using a Tablespoon-size cookie dough scoop, scoop out truffles and roll gently into balls. Place on the baking sheet about ½" apart. Repeat with remaining truffles. Once all truffles are formed, freeze the truffles for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Once truffles have firmed up, melt the candy coating according to package directions or until smooth. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts. Using a fork, lower each truffle one at a time into the chocolate candy coating and coat completely. Use the fork to lift the truffle out of the chocolate mixture and tap excess chocolate off. Return the truffles to the baking sheet and let chocolate set before serving.

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness! Crunchy and chocolaty with a wonderful toasted nuttiness, these truffles are so easy and super impressive, too!

These EASY Homemade Ferrero Rocher Truffles taste even BETTER than the real thing! Only a handful of ingredients, they come together pretty quickly and make a huge batch - great for gift-giving! Super chocolaty, nutty deliciousness! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley