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.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

Happy November!  What happened to October?  Or September, August, and July, for that matter?

Ben informed me that he wants nothing more to do with pumpkin.  Between the soups and the scones, he thinks he’s turning orange.

So, I decided I’ll just tell him it’s squash.  He’ll never know.

They’re are many things that go perfectly together.  I’m adding butterscotch and pumpkin to my list.  After you try these, you will too.

Don’t be fooled by their shape, these cookies are very cake-like.  I know they’re not beautiful, but I won’t tell them to their face.  

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

from Joy the Baker, with only 1 small change

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola or corn oil (My change: 1 stick of butter)

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup butterscotch chips

Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.  On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended.  Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it.  Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart.  You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don’t have a  scoop.  I used a medium sized scoop.

Bake cookies 1 sheet at a time for 16 minutes.  Rotate halfway through baking and flatten with a spatula.  Continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clear.

Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar.  The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

 Makes about 24 cookies

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

My husband wanted cookies, but I didn’t have enough of anything to make a specific type cookie.  So, I just made them all.  

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
1/2 chocolate chips

1/2 C white chocolate chips

1/2 C dried cranberries

1/2 C sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 C walnuts

 

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips and anything else you want to throw in. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

 


 

Homemade Oreos, a post for Jonah

I am on a homemade kick.  We had homemade Cheez-Its, homemade Pop Tarts, and now, homemade Oreos.

Part of this stems from the Holiday Baking Exchange I mentioned in a previous post.

This week’s challenge on MyBakingAddiction and Goodlife Eats is Chocolate, sponsored by Sharffen Berger. So what better excuse to fatten up and make these bad boys than a Holiday Exchange Challenge?

I had a theory that I was going to make these and give them all to my sister’s boyfriend.  There is a tiny problem with this theory….they are all gone.  

The beginning of something beautiful.

I had to try one, of course.  Then, my husband came home, he needed to try three.  I sent some to my neighbor.  I gave one to my son.  I had to try another one, just to make sure.  Then, my husband ate two more.  So, sorry Jonah, but there are no more.  I’ll make them again, just for you.  Really.  And better!

See, I have a theory on these.  The cookie, is not Oreo like.  It’s cakey; more like those Oreo Cakesters.  I have a thought that you have to make the cookie really, really flat.  I’ll experiment more and let you know. And when I perfect them, I will put a giant bow on them and claim them in the name of Jonah Delso.  

Oh, and I’ll buy him a gallon of milk…cause he’s gonna need it.

 

Homemade Oreos

From Smitten Kitchen

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies (I only got 12…I guess mine were too big)

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar **I used 1 C, to be less sweet, like the real deal.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

***Update: I made another batch! I am in love!! Ok, so I used a much smaller amount of dough. The teaspoon that the recipe suggests is perfect, but I more than slightly flattened the dough. I flattened it like a pancake. They came out perfectly! Jonah, you are SO lucky!!

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.