Tag Archives: caramel

Snickers Brownies – Unbelievably Amazingly Ridiculous

18 Sep

I realized the other day that it has been a WHILE since I baked anything new – like – over a MONTH! It’s been a busy summer, and I haven’t had much time to focus on my one true love – BAKED GOODS. Well, I decided then and there that that was unacceptable – I needed to get on it like yesterday. So, since I am a nice wife, I asked my husband what he might want – and he said “something with caramel and brownie” – well – it didn’t take me long to land on these Snickers Brownies

Snickers has been a long time favorite candy of mine – and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it – as it fulfilled both my husband’s desire for caramel and brownie, as well as my desire to turn an amazing candy bar into dessert!

SnickersBrownie1

Ingredients and Tiny Baking Assistant? Check!

Snickers Brownies
(Recipe Courtesy of My Litter)

Layer #1: Brownie
1 box of brownie mix
Ingredients called for on box
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

Layer #2: Nougat 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 (7 oz.) jars marshmallow creme (@1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup peanut butter ( I used Trader Joes Cookie Butter)
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Layer #3: Caramel
1 (17 oz.) jar of caramel, preferably Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel

Layer #4 Candy Bar Topping
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Directions:
First Layer: The Brownie
Take a mix, make it according to directions. Add the 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce, directly from the hot fudge jar. Stir it in. Bake according to box. DO NOT OVERBAKE. In fact, I pulled mine out and was just a little worried about the center, but it finished baking after it was out.

Layer 2: The Nougat
Melt the butter, with the sugar and the milk. Bring to a boil and add the marshmallow. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Then stir in peanuts. Pour over cooled brownies.

Layer 3: Caramel
Scoop the caramel into a pan, heat it up just a little so it is liquid-y and not all cold and hard to spread. Then pour over nougat layer that is solid because you had it in the fridge!

Layer #4: The Chocolate Topping
Take the PB and add it to a bag of chocolate chips in a pan, add about 1T oil. Melt the chips slowly, do NOT burn. When it is smooth, pour it over the caramel layer. Stick that back in the fridge, and when the top layer is set, you are ready to eat!

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Nougat assembly

snickersbrownie4

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The layers of the finished product

When it comes to baking, I tend to gravitate towards “ridiculous” desserts – like adding frosting to these already insane Oreo Blondies, or making Slutty Pumpkin Bars and Slutty Brownies – and these Snickers Brownies DEFINITELY fall into the ridiculous category – they are SUPER RICH – and super sweet, too. The saltyness of the nuts helps, but it’s still overall a LOT OF SUGAR to handle all at once. I cut it into like a LOT of smaller squares – almost fudge sized – because really anything more than that is TOO much

That all being said, they are SUPER DELICIOUS – I love how it tastes just like a Snickers – but BETTER! If you’re a big Snickers fan like me you gotta try this recipe

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“Better Than Sex Cake” – Weird Name, Delicious Dessert

28 Aug

A while back I made some insane Better Than Sex Chex Mix that was modeled after the infamous Better Than Sex Cake – and I realized that while I have gotten the chance to eat the cake before, I have never actually made it. Well – I decided that it was definitely time to change that!

In case you aren’t familiar with the “Better Than Sex Cake” – there are several recipes and variations out there, but the main idea is a base of chocolate cake that’s extra moist and sweet thanks to a drizzle of caramel, and then it’s topped with Heath bar bits, cool whip, and more caramel. Sounds good, right? Ok then – time to get started:

 

Better Than Sex Cake II (Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com)

Prep time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min

 

Ingredients
-1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix (plus required ingredients per cake preparation – eggs/water/oil)
-1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
-6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
-3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped
-1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

 

Directions
1. Bake cake according to package directions for a 9×13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom
2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm
3. Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan

 Cake Collage 1

This was easy to make, I mean, its basically a boxed cake mix with some snazzy extras – so pretty much anyone can do it!

Cake Collage 2

So much toffee – yum!

Cake CLoseup

Doesn’t this make your mouth water?

Cake Piece

I’m going to be honest with you – I do NOT love the name “Better Than Sex Cake” – because let’s be real – can a cake really be better than really good sex? Doubtful – but a cake CAN be easy to make, and taste delicious – which I would say this definitely succeeds at. You get the chocolate cake taste with a slight caramel kick to it, and its super moist, and the heath add just the right amount of crunch while the whipped topping gives it a creamy aspect too. I HIGHLY encourage you to bring it to your next picnic, girl’s night, work party, or just make it at home for you – a simply delicious indulgence awaits you!

Can A Cake Become A Chex Mix? Yes – It Surely Can

20 Jan

So, Pinterest is great, isn’t it? A place to get ideas for everything from weddings and showers to parties, fashion, and my personal favorite – RECIPES! Any recipe you can ever imagine is on there, and I have made some really great things off of recipes I have “pinned”

My husband and best friend and I have a shared board where we can all pin funny stuff – but the REAL purpose of this particular board could definitely be summed up as “This recipe looks good – Catie needs to make it for us” – which is where the idea for the Better Than Sex Chex Mix came from
It’s basically a Better than sex cake in snack mix form. What is a better than sex cake, you might be wondering? Well, it’s chocolate cake infused with fudge and caramel, and topped with whipped cream and toffee bits – and IT. IS. AWESOME. It’s moist and sweet and delicious – and while I don’t know if it’s quite as amazing as the name states, I will concede that it is one of the best cakes out there
So obviously when it came to this Chex Mix, I knew I was a goner – so I immediately sent my husband to the store and got ready to mix it up

Better than Sex Chex Mix
Ingredients
8 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, MINI size
1 cup MINIATURE marshmallows
1/2 cup caramel bits (found by the chocolate chips in the baking aisle — or chop up regular caramels)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup MILK chocolate baking chips (or more if you’re a huge chocolate fan)
1/2 cup vanilla (white) chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

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Directions
• Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
• In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.
• Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn’t melt.) Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cups candy and miniature marshmallows over Chex mixture.
• In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack. Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, starting with 20-seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth (microwave temps vary, so watch the chocolate and stir frequently until it’s of drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the snack mixture. Then microwave the vanilla (white) baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and drizzle that over the snack mixture. (Note: The vanilla and milk chocolate chips should not need cream added.) Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet.
• Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly covered container. Perfect for gift giving!

The only changes I made to this recipe were that I used mini rolos instead of peanut butter cups (I happened to have them on hand), and I skipped the caramel chips altogether – they didn’t have them at the store and I didn’t feel like unwrapping and chopping up regular caramels – luckily the end result did not suffer from these changes!)

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Now I realize this isn’t exactly “baking”, as it only uses the microwave, but it DEFINITELY still counts as dessert (considering how much sugar is in it…)

I love the textures on this, the crunch of the chex, the softness of the rolos, and the slight salt taste you get every so often is a great balance of flavor too – I would definitely make this again, and it would be a great thing to bring to a party since it can really be an appetizer or a dessert!

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!

Make-Your-Own Cupcake Bar – So Many Delicious Options, So Little Time

3 Apr

As you know from my post about Frosted sugar cookies, I love making cookie decorating into an event I can enjoy with friends and family. So when my friend and I decided to host a dinner party, I wanted to do something like cookie decorating, and since my friend is really into baking cupcakes, I thought why not decorate your own cupcakes, and then I had an even more brilliant thought – the Make Your Own Cupcake Bar – where you can fill, frost, and decorate your cupcake however you wanted from a bunch of really yummy options!

 
Now, we did have some reservations about doing this, mainly that it would be too complicated or messy, but it really wasn’t, it was easy, and very delicious!

 
We started out with a batch of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, nothing fancy just one batch of each baked per the box directions. Then we cut divets out of each one (so that people would be able to fill them as they pleased)


Then for the fillings, we decided on hot fudge, caramel, and raspberry pie filling. The hot fudge and caramel came in convenient squeeze bottles, and the pie filling we put in a bowl with a spoon for filling in the cupcake divet


My favorite part is next…the FROSTINGS. We had decided on vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter frostings, all made from scratch. When it comes to frosting, I would MUCH rather make it from scratch than buy it in a jar, it doesn’t take that much work and the results are 1000 times yummier than store bough frosting!


As for our frosting recipes, they are all pretty basic, we just combined the ingredients below and beat them until they were the perfect frosting consistency:
Vanilla: 1 cup Crisco, 1 lb confectioners sugar, 1 T clear vanilla flavoring, 1 T butter flavoring, 3-4 T milk (as needed to make the texture more creamy)
Chocolate: 1 cup butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 T vanilla, 4 T cocoa powder (more if a deeper chocolate taste is desired), and 3-4 T milk (as needed)
Strawberry: 1 cup butter, 6 cups confectioners sugar, ½ cup frozen strawberries
Peanut Butter: 1 stick butter, ½ cup peanut butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 T vanilla, and 3-4 T milk (as needed)

 
The above recipes make for a great variety for your cupcake bar, not to mention they are all super delicious!

 
Then came the toppings – we kept it pretty simple – sprinkles, crushed oreos, mini m and m’s, toffee bits, and peanuts

Then we let everyone go to town!

The results? Aside from delicious, everyone seemed to really enjoy that they could pick and customize their own cupcake with the different filling, frosting, and topping options
This would be a great idea for a kid’s birthday party…or even for an adults birthday party, or really for any occasion at all! You can change any of the items to customize your likes or party theme, and it really was pretty easy to put together, since a lot of the items were pre made

I am thinking I may have one of these for my birthday…hmm…maybe with red velvet? The possibilities are endless!

Can You Make Caramel In the Microwave?

16 Mar

Sadly, this is a question I not only asked myself, but set out trying to answer a few years ago. I thought caramel consisted basically of just sugar, so I decided to stick some plain white sugar in a little bowl and try and melt it into caramel in the microwave.

….The outcome was not pretty. There was smoke from the microwave, and while there was no actual flame, I am pretty sure there could have been had I left it ‘cooking’ for longer than I did.

As for my ‘caramel’? It was a black, smoky, gross mess….so bad that I had to throw the bowl away. I told my mom what happened, and she laughed so hard I thought she would pass out (not very supportive of my baking endeavors, I don’t think!)

Needless to say, I was apprehensive to try again, but I bit the bullet and tried again to make caramel, and I am happy to say it was a raving, delicious success!

 

Here is the recipe that turned me into a believer:

Easy Caramel Sauce
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time:10 min
Makes: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients
1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

Thanks to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, for this recipe!

 

Me and my caramel!

It tasted SUPER amazing on top of the mini apple pies I made topped with vanilla ice cream…..it also tasted good right out of the jar with a spoon. I have no shame.