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Hugs & CookiesXOXO
Hugs & CookiesXOXO

11 Super-Sweet Extreme Dessert Combos

Hugs & CookiesXOXO
Hugs & CookiesXOXO

One way to improve a dessert is to put another dessert inside it. We've all enjoyed ice cream cakes at one time or another, and cakes were richly improved when cooks began to add pudding mix to the recipe a few decades ago. But the culture of the internet encourages one-upmanship, and with that comes truly extreme combinations in which people put their favorite candy, cookies, cakes, and even breakfast cereal into other desserts. Get your insulin ready before you even read these recipes.

1. Snickers Cupcakes

Snickers Cupcakes are rich chocolate cupcakes with a filling of caramel and peanuts. Top with peanut butter-marshmallow frosting, a drizzle of chocolate, more peanuts, and a piece of a real Snickers bar. That will stop your mid-afternoon hunger! Recipes for the cake, filling, and frosting are at SugerHero!

2. Nutella Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

Oreo cookies, Nutella spread, and pie. Doesn't that sound heavenly? Amy Brown assures you that the pie tastes much better than the picture looks. That only shows how competitive food photography really is, since it looks delicious to me. This is a real cream pie, so you'll need heavy cream and lots of eggs. Find the recipe at The Project Princess.

3. Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookie Trifle

Donna Elick whipped up a trifle that contains both candy and cookies. Simply layer crushed mint Oreo cookies, chocolate pudding, Andes mint candy, and mint whipped cream to make a fancy and tasty dessert! The directions can be found at The Slow Roasted Italian.

4. Lucky Charms Cheesecake

Pre-sweetened breakfast cereals are used for late-night sugar cravings almost as much as they are for breakfast. So why not incorporate your favorites into a dessert? Dan baked Lucky Charms into a cheesecake for a friend's birthday. This is not a simple dessert. It begins with separating the marshmallow charms from the rest of the cereal. The oat cereal is used both for the crust and to infuse flavor into the cream for the cheesecake. The marshmallows are stirred into the cheesecake batter before baking. Learn how you can do all this at Food in My Beard.

5. Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Oreos

And here's where we stuff candy inside a cookie, then dress it up even more. Slice open your Oreo cookies, using only the side with the cream. Sandwich a peanut butter cup between two of those. Then the whole thing gets dipped in chocolate to make it a complete unit. Sprinkles on top make it festive! The instructions are at Recipeboy.

6. Churro Apple Pie Waffles

Jasmine gave us Churro Waffles in January and made a splash with the breakfast-dessert combo. Her experiments continue, resulting in Churro Apple Pie Waffles which combine the cinnamon crisp of a churro with the volume and porosity of a waffle, then adds delicious baked apples stuffed between. Yes, a scoop of ice cream on top is appropriate here. Chica Chocolatina is where you'll find the recipe. 

7. Froot Loop Donuts

Froot Loop Donuts sounds like a breakfast food, but the combination of sweetness means it fits in with other extreme desserts. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. The donuts themselves are made from scratch, with Froot Loops as an ingredient. The complete recipe is at the YouTube page.

8. Reese's Overload Cake

Okay, you have three cake layers, two of them peanut butter flavor, and one chocolate cheesecake layer stuffed with chocolate frosting. Then the whole cake is smothered in peanut butter frosting, and garnished with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pieces of Reese's Cups on top. All those parts except for the garnishes are made from scratch. You can make your own, because the complete recipe is it Hugs & CookiesXOXO.

9. Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars

The classic melted s'mores we had at Girl Scout campfires (itself an extreme dessert combination) has been updated to include many other ingredients. The recipe for Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars adds Oreo cookies, peanut butter, and Reese's Cups. Talk about an extreme combination! However, you can brag about a smidgeon of restraint here because the graham crackers have been removed. Get the complete recipe at Top With Cinnamon.

10. Double Mint Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

What's better than a homemade chocolate mint cookie? A homemade chocolate mint cookie with a Peppermint Patty inside! It's just a matter of wrapping the cookie dough around the candy. The hard part is keeping the finished product from disappearing immediately. You'll find the recipe at The Kitchen Magpie.

11. Cherpumple

Most of the combination recipes here are fairly recent, but this list would not be complete without at least a mention of the granddaddy of combination desserts: Charles Phoenix's Cherpumple. Make three pies, traditionally apple, cherry, and pumpkin, and then bake each pie into a cake layer. Stack the layers, frost, and serve to unsuspecting guests. Watch a video of this creation.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go make a ham and cheese on rye for lunch. Coffee, no sugar.  

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5 Subtle Cues That Can Tell You About Your Date's Financial Personality
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Being financially compatible with your partner is important, especially as a relationship grows. Fortunately, there are ways you can learn about your partner’s financial personality in a relationship’s early stages without seeing their bank statement or sitting them down for “the money talk.”

Are they a spender or a saver? Are they cautious with money? These habits can be learned through basic observations or casual questions that don’t feel intrusive. Here are some subtle things that can tell you about your date’s financial personality.

1. HOW THEY ANSWER BASIC MONEY QUESTIONS.

Casual conversations about finance-related topics can be very revealing. Does your date know if their employer matches their 401(k) plan contributions? Do you find their answers to any financial questions a bit vague—even the straightforward ones like “What are the rewards like on your credit card?” This could mean that your partner is a little fuzzy on some of the details of their financial situation.

As your connection grows, money talks are only natural. If your date expresses uncertainty about their monthly budget, it may be an indicator that they are still working on the best way to manage their finances or don’t keep close tabs on their spending habits.

2. WHAT THEY’RE WATCHING AND READING.

If you notice your partner is always watching business news channels, thumbing through newspapers, or checking share prices on their phone, they are clearly keeping abreast of what’s going on in the financial world. Ideally, this would lead to a well-informed financial personality that gives way to smart investments and overall monetary responsibility.

If you see that your date has an interest in national and global finances, ask them questions about what they’ve learned. The answers will tell you what type of financial mindset to expect from you partner moving forward. You might also learn something new about the world of finance and business!

3. WHERE THEY GET THEIR FOOD.

You may be able to learn a lot about someone’s financial personality just by asking what they usually do for dinner. If your date dines out a lot, it could be an indication that they are willing to spend money on experiences. On the other hand, if they’re eating most of their meals at home or prepping meals for the entire week to cut their food budget, they might be more of a saver.

4. WHETHER THEY’RE VOICING MONEY CONCERNS.

Money is a source of stress for most people, so it’s important to observe if financial anxiety plays a prominent role in your date’s day-to-day life. There are a number of common financial worries we all share—rising insurance rates, unexpected car repairs, rent increases—but there are also more specific and individualized concerns. Listen to how your date talks about money and pick up on whether their stress is grounded in worries we all have or if they have a more specific reason for concern.

In both instances, it’s important to be supportive and helpful where you can. If your partner is feeling nervous about money, they’ll likely be much more cautious about what they’re spending, which can be a good thing. But it can also stop them from making necessary purchases or looking into investments that might actually benefit them in the future. As a partner, you can help out by minimizing their expenses for things like nights out and gifts in favor of less expensive outings or homemade gifts to leave more of their budget available for necessities.

5. HOW THEY HANDLE THE BILL.

Does your date actually look at how much they’re spending before handing their credit card to the waiter or bartender at the end of the night? It’s a subtle sign, but someone who looks over a bill is likely much more observant about what they spend than someone who just blindly hands cards or cash over once they get the tab.

Knowing what you spend every month—even on smaller purchases like drinks or dinner—is key when you’re staying on a budget. It’s that awareness that allows people to adjust their monthly budget and calculate what their new balance will be once the waiter hands over the check. Someone who knows exactly what they’re spending on the small purchases is probably keeping a close eye on the bigger picture as well.

REMEMBER THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR TALKING.

While these subtle cues can be helpful signposts when you’re trying to get an idea of your date’s financial personality, none are perfect indicators that will be accurate every time. Our financial personalities are rarely cut and dry—most of us probably display some behaviors that would paint us as savers while also showing habits that exclaim “spender!” By relying too heavily on any one indicator, we might not get an accurate impression of our date.

Instead, as you get to know a new partner, the best way to learn about their financial personality is by having a straightforward and honest talk with them. You’ll learn more by listening and asking questions than you ever could by observing small behaviors.

Whatever your financial personality is, it pays to keep an eye on your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, and checking it won't impact your score. It's totally free, even if you aren't a Discover customer. Check yours in seconds. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

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Animals
Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?
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Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]

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