Chocolate Caramel Commotion

I have a dance party in my car every morning on the way to work.  My two year old claims that Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” is his old song because his new song is Selena Gomez’s “Need You Like a Love Song”.  I caught him singing “Moves Like Jagger” while he was building with blocks.

While this makes me happy because my taste in music is trash, my husband is not so thrilled.  He is a high school band director.  He makes my two sons listen to Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald as they go to bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is fabulous.  I just think its funny that I never catch him (my son) humming “A-Train”.

Its funny how all the things you “say” you’re going to do when you’re a parent get thrown out the window.  I said I would always make my kids listen to Raffi, Disney music, and Craig and Company.  The music I grew up listening to.  Then, I realized, this meant I had to listen to it too.  Over and over and over and over…

So, now its a compromise.  My son marches around the house to Les Miserables “Do You Hear the People Sing” one minute and air guitars to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.  He can recognize Michael Jackson and Coldplay by voice and I think its all good.

Hey, my parents made me listen to Van Morrison, The Carpenters, Harry Chapin, and Blood, Sweat and Tears.  Its the same thing, right?

Chocolate Caramel Commotion Bars (Yes, they do cause a commotion)

original recipe Unknown

Layer 1: Cookie Crust (Martha Stewart)

27 store-bought chocolate wafer cookies

1 Tb plus 1 1/2 tsp sugar

Table Salt

6 Tb Butter

Grease a 9-by-13 baking dish and line with parchment. Pulse wafers in a food processor until finely ground, and transfer to a bowl.  Add sugar and a pinch of table salt.  Melt 6 Tb butter, and stir into crumbs.  Press into bottom of dish.  Bake for 10 minutes. Cool.

Layer 2: Chocolate

2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 C Butter

1 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt chocolate and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat, add condensed milk and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Spread over cookie layer.  Let cool.

Layer 3:  Peanut Butter Nougat

1/4 C Butter

1 C Sugar

1/4  C heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 C marshmallow cream

1/4 C creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 C chopped peanuts, or walnuts

Melt butter in medium saucepan, over high heat.  Add sugar and whipping cream, bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Stir in marshmallow cream, peanut butter, and peanuts.  Spread over chocolate layer.  Let cool.

Layer 4: Caramel Layer:

1 14 oz package caramels, unwrapped   (You can buy ready to go caramel bits in the baking aisle of your grocery store.  That’s what I used, no hours of unwrapping plastic)

1/4 C whipping cream

1/2 C shredded coconut

Melt caramels and whipping cream in a small saucepan until smooth.  Spread over nougat layer.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Let cool.

Layer 5: Chocolate Butterscotch

1 C semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 C butterscotch

3/4 C creamy peanut butter

Melt and stir all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth.  Spread over caramel layer.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and peanuts/walnuts.  Let cool for at least two hours to 24 hours.

Cut into squares and serve.

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Yesterday, I fell in love.  He was sweet, warm, soft with a home-made, old-fashioned goodness.  And to top off his perfection, he was filled with coconut, white chocolate, AND walnuts.  Oh, this cookie was heaven.  I don’t know if I will find another that can replace him.  Fortunately, I only made six of these bad boys and have a whole tub of cookie dough perfection waiting to be savored.  

I am a profound lover of the chocolate chip cookie.  Don’t believe me?  Ask my mother-in-law.  I ate 30 of her chocolate chip cookies after my mud run on Saturday.  There is nothing more comforting than a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven.  The smell fills your home with warm childhood memories and you find yourself standing in a pool of drool in front of your oven just waiting for that buzzer to go off, so that you can dive into their tastiness.

Growing up, I have vivid memories of opening my front door to the smell of cookies.  My mom-queen of “the diet starts Monday”-once came up with a theory that if she made everything she loved and didn’t eat it, it would prove the strength of her willpower and her diet would be successful.  This “diet” consisted of cookies, brownies, potato chips, and baked potatoes.  While it may not have been her favorite fad diet, it certainly was mine!  I was the benefactor of such deliciousness!!  

With that cookie love, I am always trying to find the “perfect” cookie.  And, while I LOVE the traditional chocolate chip cookie, this Double Chocolate Coconut Cookie is as close to perfection as I’ve ever come.  To quote my husband as he ate his way through this 3 cookies, “I am already depressed that they’ll be gone, and I still have two cookies to go”.  You must make this cookie.  And I don’t mean someday, I mean right now.  Like, stop reading this and get in your kitchen.  Why aren’t you there yet?  Oh, you need the ingredients…

 

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

From Martha Stewart Living (where else would the best cookie ever come from??)

 

1 C (2 Sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 C granulated sugar

3/4 C packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour

1/4 C unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chip

1 3/4 C sweetened flaked coconut

1 3/4 C coarsely chopped walnuts

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and sugar in your electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix on medium until smooth.  Stir in vanilla.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Add to butter mixture on low speed until well combined.  Stir in chocolate, coconut, and walnuts.

Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop, drop batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart.  Flatten slightly.  Bake until set, 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheets on wire racks for  2 minutes.  Transfer cookies on parchment to racks to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.  They won’t last that long, trust me.

 

Holy Cow That’s Some Good Cake!!

This cake is crazy good.  You only need a little piece because it is super rich.  Make sure you get the biggest glass of milk you can find…you’ll need it.  And the best thing?  I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!!

This recipe is from foodess.com, you should check out her site.  Her pictures are amazing.  I gain weight just looking at them

Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

2 C Sugar

1 3/4 C Flour, cake flour if you have it

3/4 C Cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 C buttermilk

1/2 C butter, melted

1 tb vanilla

1 C hot coffee (You can use instant coffee by putting 2 tsp in hot water)

Preheat oven to 350

In the bowl of your standing mixer, combine dry ingredients.  Add eggs, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.  Mix until wet.  Add coffee and mix. Put into 2 greased cake pans, sheet pan, or cupcake pan.  And that’s it! Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clear.  Let cool on wire rack before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I tasted my way through this frosting.   I started with 1 stick of softened butter, added cocoa (2/3 cup, but probably more), enough powdered sugar to sweetened it up, some vanilla, and just a splash of milk to make it a smooth consistency.  Double deeelicious!