Secrets to Becoming a Mad Dessert Genius

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Secrets to Becoming a Mad Dessert Genius
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Secrets to Becoming a Mad Dessert Genius (ABC News)

Donut pie. Pumpkin pie cupcakes. Cookie dough brownie bombs. Those are just a sampling of the innovative research going on over at the blog “The Domestic Rebel,” where Hayley Parker, 23, acts out all of her crazy dessert whims.

“It’s not abnormal to see me standing in the grocery aisle staring at candy and cake mixes. I see something and think, ‘Hmm, I know I want to make something with this, but I don’t know what yet,” Parker told ABC News. “The Target people probably think I’m crazy.”

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

Parker started her blog back in 2011 with tamer posts, like uniquely flavored cupcakes, but she quickly graduated to what she calls “frankenfoods,” or mash-ups of items that are usually considered separate, like cupcakes and pie.

“I’ll think of something that already exists such as pie and then think, ‘What are some other components I can put in a pie shell to create this new and exciting dessert?’” she said. “So I tried it with the frosted cupcakes, and the icing melts down and kind of caramelizes to create these little sugary pockets. It tastes just like a giant cupcake – but in a pie form!”

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Cupcake Pie

Cupcake Pie

Parker said she has a lot of fails, but the successes make it worth it.

“My whole blog aesthetic is about baking fearlessly. In the kitchen there are no right or wrong answers,” she said. “Baking should be fun! It’s food; it’s sprinkles. How bad is that?”

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Hayley Parker, the dessert genius behind the blog The Domestic Rebel.

Hayley Parker, the dessert genius behind the blog The Domestic Rebel.

Check out some of Parker’s top tips to coming up with amazing creations like hers, and try one of her recipes for doughnut pie below.

The Domestic Rebel’s Donut Pie: Click here for the recipe.

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Pop Tart Cookie Dough S'mores

Pop Tart Cookie Dough S'mores

  • Start slow. “I would suggest start experimenting with cupcake flavors, like a cotton candy cupcake with cotton candy frosting,” she said. “That’s not something you see every day, but you’re building your confidence to try something crazier.”
  • Look around for inspiration. “I could be browsing magazines, cookbooks or other baking blogs and kind of get an idea from them. Maybe one of my other blogging friends created churros and I think, ‘Hmm, churros, what can I put with churros? Can I make a churro pie? Can I make a churro ice cream?’” she said. “Or it can simply be shopping in the grocery store. I see a new product I want to try or stand in the candy aisle for an abnormal amount of time thinking, ‘Hmm, what I can I make with Reese’s?’”
  • Build off an established foundation. “I’ll think of something that already exists, such as pie, and then think, ‘What are some other components I can put in a pie shell to create this new and exciting dessert?’” she said. “So I tried it with the frosted cupcakes, and think if that works, why not use glazed donuts instead and ice it? If I try it and it works, I’ll try it with other forms. Just thinking of something that already exists and how can I mash it together to create this frankenfood dessert.”
  • Go for everyone’s favorite flavors. “Cookie dough is a great way to create dessert mash ups. Spread it on top of baked brownies, and you instantly have a new dessert,” she said. “Sandwich it in Oreos and dunk it in chocolate. Bake it in a cupcake! Those are just really easy ways to create new frankenfood desserts.”
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