Chewy Chocolate Caramel Bars

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These gooey bars of chocolaty goodness are a lovely change to an ordinary brownie recipe. Make sure to follow the directions closely and you will end-up with a very special treat! :)“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
― Julia Child, My Life in France

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: one 13X9″ baking pan

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) diced cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (80 grams) cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (168 grams) melted butter
  • 5 oz (1 small) can evaporated milk
  • 14 oz caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 1/2 cups (226 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12-14 extra caramels

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 13X9 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor add the flour and cold diced butter. Pulse a few more times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and all the butter is cut in. You can also use a pastry blender, a fork or rub the butter and flour with your hands.
  4. Add the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk to combine.
  5. In a large mixing bowl add the dry ingredients mix and pout the melted butter on top. Add 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk and mix until well combined. The dough it’s going to be similar to a light crumby cookie dough.
  6. Spread 2/3 of the dough in the prepared baking pan and set aside. Refrigerate the remaining dough until needed.
  7. In a small saucepan place the remaining evaporated milk and the unwrapped caramels. Stir continuously over low heat until the caramels are melted. Pout over the cookie dough base.
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel layer.
  9. Take the remaining cookie dough out of the fridge and crumble it on top of the chocolate chips.
  10. Top with the remaining caramels.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes.
  12. It may seem bubbly and undone but once cooled the caramel and chocolate layers will set.
  13. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars.

Bon Appétit!

Recipe & Photo Credit

“Especially Dark” Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting

...  “ESPECIALLY DARK” Hershey’s CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions: Melt butter, Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Recipe Credit

Rich Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake

... Morning everybody! 🙂

This is a rich and dreamy Dark Chocolate Cake that i experimented to perfection, shortly after my favorite cake recipe came-up missing a few weeks ago (i still don’t know where it is!)….I gotta’ say though, that this recipe really stepped-right-up to being my new fav!  It’s a super moist cake- using the oil has something to do with that i’m sure, but if you love good cake, then you should go make this! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling Espresso or strong Coffee

Directions (cake):

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. (I like to add a round piece of parchment paper to the bottom of my pans but it’s your preference.)

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; With electric mixer beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely, then Frost (see recipe below)

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Note: This frosting is just a very basic staple recipe for you today (My best & favorite recipe for chocolate frosting is with my chocolate cake recipe -which is strangely MIA! So i’ll post that recipe for you as soon as i find it!)

“ESPECIALLY DARK” CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions: Melt butter, Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Recipe Credit

Cinnamon Crumb Coffeecake/Muffins

cinnamon cupcake

I’ve been on a bit of a muffin making marathon lately…So far I’ve made some chocolate muffins, cinnamon muffins and a kind of crumb muffin (i didn’t like that recipe as much though, so i used this one instead!) Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Crumbs for top and bottom:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold  and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients for the crumb mixture and then work it with your fingers until it is thoroughly combined and forms large moist crumbs.  Cover and place in refrigerator while you prepare the cake batter.

For the cake batter:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with with paper liners.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and continue to beat then gradually add the eggs one at a time.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, and ending with the dry ingredients.

To fill the muffin tins: Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the crumb mixture into the bottom of each paper liner.  Then add enough cake batter to come almost to the top edge of the liner.  Then cover the batter with the remaining crumbs.

Bake until the tops feel firm to the touch and the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan.  Serve or may be kept covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.

cinnamon cupcake/muffins

Photo & recipe credit 

Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies

 My whole search started about a month ago when i attended a party and there were these Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies on the dessert table…I adored them and was totally motivated to do whatever i could to replicate the recipe – but then i realized that finding the exact recipe might be more of a chore than i first though. I tried a few different recipes, my hopes rising with each one, but then tuning out disappointed… to dry, to cakey, to cracker like…etc.etc So finally, after a bunch of failures, i found this recipe and it has been the closest to that of the original – I was so excited (still am actually! lol)  I made a few modifications, but i think that they made the cookies better…i mean come-on! Who would want a whole-wheat thin mint??!  They just don’t sound that appealing….do they?  😉

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cups Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ cup Pastry Flour (or substitute with sifted flour and 1 &1/2 Tsp cornstarch)
  • 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Mint Extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the flour is combined, making sure to not over mix.

Form dough into a ball. Knead a few times to bring together, then flatten into a disk between half an inch and one inch thick, cover in plastic wrap then place in freezer for 15 minutes. Remove dough from the freezer and roll it out really thin on a floured surface, about 1/8-inch. Cut cookies using 1 1/2-inch cutter (any shape or design you like, I used the lid to my spice jar which was a perfect size).

Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This is to place chocolate coated cookies on to dry.

To make chocolate topping: In a microwave safe bowl; add chocolate and microwave in short 15-20 second bursts; stirring between bursts. Mine took about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the peppermint extract.

Gently drop the cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and bang the fork on the side of the pan until the extra coating drips off. (I banged mine against the spoon I used to stir the chocolate, that way the cookie wouldn’t fall back into the chocolate) Place on prepared baking rack. Repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set.

These will be best eaten from either the freezer or fridge, since they start to get a bit melty when outside.  Yield: 37 Cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Jen @ Peanut Butter and Peppers & Chicagoist.

Peanut Butter Jumbo Cookies

Good afternoon, welcome back to Sweet 16’s Country Kitchen!

“The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.” ~Martha Washington

This is a wonderful recipe by, Deborah Huffer

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Jumbo Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M’s miniature backing bits

In a large mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine oats and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture/ Stir in chocolate chips and baking bits. Drop by heaping TBSP. 2 in. apart unto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until edges are browned. Remove to wire racks.

Yield: 9 dozen.