Calling All Caramel Fanatics–Caramel Fudge Brownies

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Calling all caramel fanatics!  I use to think that if you set a plate of peanut butter brownies down in front of me at the same time you set a plate of caramel brownies down,  I’d reach for the peanut butter brownies first.  But these brownies might just have disproved that theory.

These brownies are the rave.  They have a unique buttery/nutty flavor that can be noted even through all of that yummy dark chocolate.  If you’re planning on making brownies in the near future then I suggest you give this recipe a try.

Because these are so rich I cut them into bite sized pieces to serve them.  And then, I watched them disappear!

I modified my original recipe for Triple Chocolate Brownies to create these Caramel Fudge Brownies.

Caramel Fudge Brownies

1 stick of butter, melted

1 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. dark chocolate chips, melted

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. caramel sauce (plus 1/4 c. for topping)

1/2 c.  mini dark chocolate chips

Line the bottom of an 8”x8” pan  with a piece of parchment paper.  Spray the sides with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and eggs.  Beat in caramel sauce and melted chocolate.  Add cocoa, baking powder, salt, and vanilla; mix thoroughly.  Add flour and mix until all ingredients are well blended.  Fold in mini chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely and then turn onto a cutting board.  Cut into desired sizes and drizzle caramel sauce on top.

You know, it’s not too late to whip up a batch of these for your Super Bowl party!

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Simple & Sweet Shortbread Cookies

Somehow, January has nearly slipped right by me.  It wasn’t until today that I realized we will soon be entering the ever so cold month of February, (as if it hasn’t been ever so cold already) and soon Cupid will arrive with his love potion filled arrows.

Last year, in honor of what is suppose to be one of the most romantic days of the year, I made several delicious treats leading up to the big day.  I kicked off the celebration with Strawberry Kiss Cheesecakes.   Then came the Chocoholic Cupcake, the Marshmallow, Peanut Butter, and Cake Truffles, and let’s not forget the Valentine Cream Wafer (Heart) Cookies.  

I decided to start this years celebration off with one of my most favorite cookies ever.  The Simple & Sweet Shortbread Cookie.  These cookies are melt in your mouth perfect.  Butter, sugar, flour, a pinch of salt and a touch of vanilla.  That’s it – so simple, so sweet!

SIMPLE & SWEET SHORTBREAD COOKIES

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

a pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar for rolling

Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Cream ingredients together; add flour.  Continue to mix ingredients until everything is blended.  Form dough into a ball. 

Place a dough on a piece of parchment paper that is coated with a light coating of powdered sugar.  Roll dough out until it is about 1/4” thick. Use more powdered sugar if needed.  Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter.  Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet about 1 1/2” apart.  Bake for about 8 minutes.  Do not over bake.  They will firm up after removing them from the oven.  Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving them.

If you want to spruce your cookies up, roll the edges in a thin butter cream icing and then coat the edges with some colored sugar.   

I couldn’t resist sneaking this cute little (like new) tea cup from Teavana into this picture.  I found it at a local thrift store for 30 cents.  That’s my kind of bargain!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romance.  It can simply be about kindness.  Make a batch of these delicious cookies, pair them with a pretty tea cup or coffee mug, and give them to someone that’s deserving this Valentine’s Day.

I’m planning on sharing my cookies at one of my favorite hangouts – BeBetsy.  Make sure you check out their great site because there is something there for everyone.

Peppermint Meltaway Cookies and Merry Christmas!

My daughter just  introduced me to a cookie that I’ve never had before.  I can’t imagine how this one slipped past me in all the years that I’ve been baking!  This little shortbread cookie has now made it’s way to the top of my “favorites” list .

These cookies have probably garnered their name from the fact that they are so tender and will melt in your mouth.  Yep, one right after another!

We got the recipe from Taste of Home’s website.  If you’d like the recipe to these delicious little gems please follow the link I just provided.

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Happy baking, and Merry Christmas!

Dark Chocolate Mint Ovation Brownies

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve made something really chocolaty and rich to share here on my blog.  Since I feel a wee bit irresponsible for not making more chocolate goodies for you, I’m making it up to you by sharing my newest chocolate brownie creation.

If you like the combination of mint and chocolate together then stick around.  These brownies (in my opinion) have the perfect texture; cake like and fudgy.  And the flavor is delicious – and that’s coming from someone who would normally prefer peanut butter to mint most any day of the week. 

These brownies will surely fit perfectly in your holiday cookie gift boxes this year.  If you don’t make cookie boxes, but are expecting to entertain guests this holiday season, then serve these up with a scoop of French Vanilla Ice cream and drizzle a little hot fudge on top – they’ll be a hit!

Instead of using mint chocolate chips in these brownies, I used Ovation Dark Mint Filled Break-A-Part candy.  These scrumptious candies come in the shape of an orange and they break apart into 20 pieces.  They also come in a variety of other unique flavors so you can really get creative when you bake using these.

Dark Chocolate Mint Ovation Brownies

1/2 c. margarine, melted

1 c. granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 c. dark chocolate mini chips, melted

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. baking cocoa

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. chopped Dark Chocolate Mint Ovation Candy, (1/2 c. for the batter and 1/2 c. for the topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 8”x8” glass baking pan.

In a large bowl, add margarine, sugar, eggs, an melted chocolate dark mini chips; mix thoroughly.  Add baking powder, salt, cocoa, and flour.  Mix all ingredients together until blended.  Fold in 1/2 c. of chopped Ovation candy. 

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the pan of brownies.  Remove brownies from oven and immediately sprinkle remaining 1/2 c. of chopped Ovation candy on top.  Cool thoroughly before cutting.

Ovation Break-A-Parts also come in Milk Chocolate Raspberry, Almond, Pumpkin Spice, Orange, and Key Lime, and Dark Chocolate Orange.  Which flavor would you pick to bake with?

Candy provided by SweetWorks Candy.  I was not compensated for this post and the opinions are my own.

Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

How many times do you pin a recipe in hopes that some day you will get around to making it?  Yes, yes, I do it all the time too.  But this time, I decided to pick a recipe that I pinned and actually make it.  I also decided to follow the recipe to the letter.  Well, almost to the letter.  But I’ll get to that in a minute. 

This recipe came from the blog Lauren’s Latest.   I’m going to send you directly to her blog to pick up her recipe because I know you are going want it.  I do have to agree with Lauren, these cookies really need the icing on top to WOW you.  Alone they are just kind of ho hum, but with it they are amazing. 

Okay, now back to the minor recipe changes. When I made these cookies I added 2 teaspoons of apple cider to the batter and I eliminated the 1/2 c. of confectioners sugar.  If you compare Lauren’s photo’s to mine you will notice a slight difference in the texture but I’d say they are moist and delicious either way you make them.

What is your favorite recipe that calls for pumpkin?

The Cookie, and Cookies of the Month

Thinking up a title for this new cookie recipe was extremely difficult.  This recipe came about only because I found some adorable little pumpkin and autumn sprinkles and some mini dark chocolate chips at a local Amish market where nearly everything is packaged bulk and sold by the pound.  It’s so much fun strolling the isles of this store and deciding what baking ingredients I need (or want).

So, with only these two simple ingredients in front of me I went to work and created what is now my new favorite cookie. 

A little of this and a little of that, and…

I’m pleased to introduce you to The Cookie.

These cookies are soft.  And they are even softer if they are stored in an airtight container overnight.  The flavor of these cookies is best described as a cross between a scrumptious sugar cookie and a great chocolate chip cookie – all morphed into one. 

The Cookie

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1 egg

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

4 tbsp. sprinkles

1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

In a large bowl, cream margarine, egg, sugar,  vanilla, and sour cream together.  Add cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and flour; mix thoroughly.  Fold in sprinkles and chocolate chips.  Refrigerate dough 30 minutes before baking.

Using a dining sized teaspoon scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.   Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Do not over bake.  The cookies will firm up once they are removed from the oven.  Allow to cool completely before removing from cookie sheets.

Store in airtight container under lock and key!

Last year at this time, I shared a post each month (from September to December) where I featured a delicious new cookie recipe.  If you’re already thinking ahead to the holidays (are you?) then be sure to check out these great recipes, and don’t forget to bookmark or pin this post for future reference too! 

September – Walnut & Chocolate Cappuccino Chunk

October – Shortbread Sprinkles

November – Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars

December – Kahlua Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Happy Baking!

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December’s Cookie of the Month

December tends to be  busy month for most people.  There is   shopping, gift wrapping, baking, and celebrating to do, among other things.

With a hectic month like this, and since I’ve been on a shortbread cookie kick lately, I decided to share a simple recipe with you to finish off  The Joy of Caking’s Cookie of the Month series.

These cookies are melt in your mouth delicious and will pair well with a fresh cup of coffee.  In other words, you might resort to making these just for a little self-indulgence.

Kahlua Chocolate Shortbread Bars

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c.  granulated sugar

1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melt

1/3 c. baking cocoa

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. Kahlua

1/4 tsp. salt

2 – 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, with electric mixer, beat margarine, butter, sugar, melted chocolate chips, and baking cocoa.

Add vanilla, Kahlua, salt, and flour; mix completely.

Spread dough out onto prepared cookie sheet shaping into a rectangle (about 1/4”) thick.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into center.

Allow cookies to cool completely and drizzle melted chocolate on top to finish them off!

I hope you enjoyed The Joy of Caking’s Cookie of the Month series.  If you didn’t happen to catch all the recipes you can find them below.

September’s Cookie of the Month – Walnut & Cappuccino Chunk.

October’s Cookie of the Month – Shortbread Sprinkles.

 

November’s Cookie of the Month –  Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

 

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