Archive | September, 2012

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Meets The Salted Caramel In This Amazing Dessert

29 Sep

 

I am SO glad its finally my favorite season – FALL! Which means we are back into prime baking time – for at least the next 6 months the weather will be cold, and my oven will be on as I make all the holiday classics – pies, cookies, cakes – and it never hurts to try some new recipes out too – and when I saw these, I knew I had to try them

 

I am a HUGE salted caramel fan, and they seem to be becoming quite popular these days, and whoever came up with the idea to marry the chocolate chip cookie and the salted caramel is definitely a genius in my book!

 

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Cookie Bars
(Recipe Courtesy of Two Peas And Their Pod)
Yield: 16 cookie bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars


(I had my kitchen helper unwrap my caramels for me – wasn’t that nice of him?)


Ingredients ready and set to whip up some bars!

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.


5. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

 

Walter waits patiently for the bars to be done!

6.Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

Notes: I really didn’t make any adjustments, usually I change a few things here and there when it comes to recipes but this one seemed pretty solid as is, so I followed it as written, and let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed

The results were delicious – the salt made a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate chip cookie, and I KNOW I will be making these again. Probably tomorrow.

But seriously, how great would these be for Christmas – a new take on the classic chocolate chip cookie? Yum!

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Fall = Apples, which therefore = PIE

21 Sep

Living in Upstate NY has (a few) benefits – one of them being the amazing fall season, with its crisp air, colorful leaves, and APPLE SEASON! I LOVE going apple picking, and have gone twice already this year.
There are SO many things you can make with apples – my personal faves? Applesauce, apple crisp, and Apple pie – making these classic recipes reminds me of everything I love about fall, and today I decided a pie was in order
When it came to which recipe to use, there was really no question – it was the classic Betty Crocker Apple Pie all the way. Not only did I use her name in my blog title, but Betty’s cookbook was also the first ever cookbook I bought, and the one I rely on for all the classics, from pot roast to casseroles and yep, pies and desserts too!

Ingredients
Pastry
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Filling
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Directions
1. In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2. Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
3. Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
4. In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
5. Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
6. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.

Ok, I admit – I cheat a little, I use store bought pie crusts. I have tried to make my own, and it has not come out well, it’s a skill I’m working on, but in the meantime, store bought is definitely my go-to for crusts
I also like to bake it at a little lower temperature, 400 degrees, for a little longer – I find it makes the apples more tender and tasty!
However you do it, the result is a drool-worthy smell coming from the kitchen, and a delicious flaky crusted, warm apple pie. Yum. Happy Fall!