28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

It’s that time again; time for the annual Thanksgiving post. After almost 6 years of blogging, I have accumulated quite a few recipes that work in this category, so I have to cull some out so as to not end up with a post with 50 different additions. 😛

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. 😀

This Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is my absolute favorite way to make a ham. The ham turns out so moist and tender with such a delicious sweet/salty flavor you’ll keep coming back for.Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001This Sesame Soy Turkey Breast is fantastic if you’re a cook who’s willing to leave the traditional box a bit on Thanksgiving. This glaze can also be used on a whole turkey, a chicken, game hen, you name it.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

I know that a lot of families like to serve a pasta dish as one of the main dishes so I’m including our favorite, this Cheesy Sausage And Meatball Pasta Bake. This makes a LOT, so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are there, with everyone getting as little bit of each dish.Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta BakeLet’s move on to appetizers; those little bits you put out to keep everyone from storming the kitchen begging for food. 😛  One of my favorite easy dips (and when I say easy, I mean it) is my White Trash Dip. I know; such a classy name, lol. But it is great for appeasing the hungry mongrel hordes and quick to throw together, which is always a plus on Thanksgiving.
White Trash Dip
I have adored Boursin Cheese for years, but man, that stuff is expensive for the small amount you get. So I started making my own years ago. This is soooo good and always a hit. It’s creamy, great with veggies like celery sticks as well as crackers. If you have any left over, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts.

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Ahhhh, side dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without 50 side dishes to serve with the turkey and ham? One of my all time most popular posts here at From Cupcakes To Caviar is my Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac And Cheese. This makes a HUGE pan of mac and cheese, so it’s perfect for the holidays.Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & CheeseYou can’t have turkey without mashed potatoes, right?
I was never a mashed potato fan until I made up these Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes. I totally love these. They are creamy, buttery (boy, are they buttery) and with a subtle tang from the cream cheese.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

If you want to go a little different, you can’t beat these Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables. The potatoes and veggies get all crispy on the outside and all soft and tender inside. So, so good.

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I was never a cold pasta salad sort of a person until I made up this Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad a few years ago. It’s great during the holidays for people who may want something a little lighter (and with no meat in it, lol) but still full of flavor.Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
I have a major thing for Winter squashes. To me, they stand so far above the ubiquitous Summer squashes. I took one of my favorites here and stuffed it to come up with Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries. This is a fantastic addition to the holiday meal or a great light entree on it’s own.

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, right? While I admit to a secret love for the kind that slithers out of the can with a loud plop, I also love homemade cranberry sauce and make a large batch every year. My Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce is a perfect foil for all the rich dishes you’ll be serving. The brandy is completely optional so don’t let that turn you away from it. Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Now we come to the breads. I’m not normally a big one for breads, but hot and fresh on the holidays? I tend to go for them more at that time. And these Angel Biscuits have become a family favorite. Since they have baking powder in them as well as yeast, they are fairly foolproof, which is great for the less experienced cooks out there.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

The rolls I have been making for years are these Oatmeal Yeast Rolls. They are so fluffy and soft; perfect hot spread with butter or later as a mini turkey sandwich (Yes, I know this is a bad photo. The post is an old one, when my photography skills were sub-par, to say the least. The rolls however, are amazingly good)

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

I love to make a few loaves of bread for Thanksgiving as well as rolls. They are so good with dinner and make fantastic sandwiches the next day. I particularly love to make my Loaded Baked Potato Bread, The flavors in it go wonderfully with a turkey sandwich!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Here in the south, a lot of people like to make cornbread to go with dinner, even on the holidays. My Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread is a favorite. It’s fluffy, not at all dry like so many cornbreads can be, with just a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Then, of course, we have the part of dinner that everyone looks forward to; dessert! And man, you know I have some desserts to share with you! I have to start with the classics, of course, so here is my favorite- my Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie. This one is posted with a really good cornmeal crust, but you can use your favorite crust. Just make sure it’s a deep dish one. Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust
That pumpkin pie tends to be my husbands favorite. Mine however will always be Pecan Pie. I love it slightly warmed with heavy cream poured over it. So bad for me, but so delicious!Deep Dish Pecan Pie

The last few years, my favorite pecan pie has had to vie with this Cranberry Apple Cake. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving meal without it now. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, just a wonderful dessert that I look forward to all year.

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

If you want a classic (not to mention, heavenly chocolate goodness 😀 ) you’ll want to make this wonderful Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing This is a favorite with pretty much all age groups, and even those people who say Thanksgiving should be all about the pies. I’m not even normally a cake person and I love it!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

If you want to do a different apple dessert, my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce would be a great choice. It’s easy to throw together the day before you need it and then just warm up the sauce when ready to cut and serve. Again, I’m not huge on cakes, which is why if you see me posting one, you know it MUST be good.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Or maybe you prefer a classic apple dessert? I find myself going for this Old Fashioned Apple Crisp all year round, but it’s a delicious choice on Thanksgiving!Old Fashioned Apple Crisp 2

I have a couple of desserts for you that are a bit more elegant, plus not as heavy. The first is one I love; my Elegant And Easy Lemon Almond Cake. This cake is light and filled with the flavor of almond and lemon; perfect for the family members who want a little something for dessert, but don’t want the heavier sweets.

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

The other one is one of my more recent creations- these Skillet Pears With Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce. These are wonderful if you have a smaller gathering. The pears end up tender and juicy and the caramel sauce is fantastic.Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

So, what to do with leftovers once Thanksgiving is over? When you tire of just making a plate of leftovers, I have some things you can do with some of them. If the title says chicken, obviously you can sub in that leftover turkey staring you in the face.

We love Mexican food in my house. Yes, I know that much of what we all call Mexican food has been totally Americanized, but it’s still delicious, so who cares? One of my family’s favorites are these Cheesy Chicken (Turkey) And Chorizo Enchiladas. They have the perfect mix of creamy, spicy and cheesy. I make them all year round, but they are a perfect way to use up leftovers.Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas 2

Everyone makes soup after Thanksgiving. But I have one here that doesn’t need to have you simmering stock for hours on end. I can eat a boatload of my Quick And Easy Turkey, Bacon And Cheese Chowder. This is comfort food at its best and it doesn’t have to cook for hours.Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder

Along the Mexican lines again, I almost always make a pan of White Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas in the week after Thanksgiving. These are soooo darn good and everyone scarfs them down.

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

You may still have some turkey left even after those (I know I will; I always buy too much!) so my Cheaters Easy Chicken (Turkey) And Dumplings never fails me. It’s warming, comforting and filling and tastes great!

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

If you have leftover cranberry sauce (and you know you will), make a loaf of my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. It’s an easy way to use up some of those leftovers and it makes a yummy breakfast or light snack.Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Breadthanksgiving

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Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Every year, I look forward to this season. Fall and I are good friends. It allows me to breathe like a relatively normal person and I…well, other than gush its praises, I’m not sure what I do for it, but we’re BFF’s nonetheless. I THINK *I say this with fingers crossed and a furtive prayer that I’m not proved wrong* that Summer is finally over here in Kentucky. And that, my friends, makes me oh so happy. We live on ten acres of land and my asthma makes outdoor time difficult for me in the Summer. So, I stay inside and look longingly at our woods and imagine myself sitting in the front yard, under our at least one hundred year old maple tree with a book. Now, I can go outside and see what my Fig tree is doing, see if the pecan tree has grown at all and just go into the woods and breathe deep. There is nothing like the scents in the woods during Autumn.

I also love the foods of Autumn, in case you’ve missed that in the last five and a half years 😛 One that I feel doesn’t get enough Autumn love is pears. They are wonderful most of the year, but right now, they lean more towards fantastic. So when I saw the base for this recipe in a C.I. cookbook, I had to make it. BUT… and here is where it is no surprise because I have said these words about 900 times in the last years, I had to change it up. I wanted it to have more of a Fall-ish (yes, that is now a word. I said so.) flavor. Plus, I like a bit of butter in my caramel which theirs didn’t have. So, what did I do? Besides adding butter, I added some warm Autumn spices and some orange zest to the caramel. Those changes, plus some vanilla extract, took this from good but ordinary to outstanding. The tender pears covered in caramel, that is itself sweet, creamy and with the subtle flavors of Fall, was wonderful. I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the it, because ice cream, and it took this completely over the top.

Don’t be nervous over the idea of caramel sauce. This one is quite easy and the whole dish takes just one pan.

You know the drill… get to cooking! <3

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

  • 3 ripe (but not mushy) pears. I used Barlett because it’s a wonderful all around pear.
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (you could sub about 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, in which case add it in at the same time you add the vanilla)
  1. Slice and core the three pears and set aside. In a large skillet (I used my cast iron. Just cooking in it feels rustic and Autumnish), pour the water. Add the sugar to the middle of the pan. Gently stir to make sure all of the sugar is wet, then turn the heat to medium high. Add in the vanilla extract, spices and salt and give it another gentle stir.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower the heat to medium and cook until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.
  3. Add the pears, cut side down, to the bubbling sugar (be careful not to splatter on yourself!) and cook until the pears are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. While it cooks, add the butter and orange zest (if using instead of orange extract) to the heavy cream and microwave for about 90 seconds or just until barely hot to the touch.
  5. When the pears are tender, slowly pour the cream around the pears. Give the pan a gentle shake to help mix it and continue to cook until the sauce is a light golden brown color, about five minutes.
  6. Then, you can either serve the pears straight from the pan (which is what I did. I just moved some to a smaller pan for the photo, lol) or transfer them to individual plates and serve with sauce puddled around them. No matter how you serve them, sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon and grate some extra orange zest over the top.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

 

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Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

The first graders in Joshies school have their Easter egg hunt tomorrow. He wants me to come be one of the volunteer moms who hides eggs and acts all gleeful to be in a crowd of moms I don’t know. *Sobs* The child is young. He hasn’t yet learned that his mother is a total introvert, with social anxiety issues to boot. While I COULD go do this, and use it as a handy excuse to have a drink later, I think I prefer to go to the Easter egg hunt, cheer him on from the back of the mass of people and then quietly slink off to wait for school to end and Spring break to start. Though Spring break brings with it its own reasons to have a bottle of booze handy.

I already have his first Spring break snackie all ready with these blondies (Did ya see that smooth segue there? Huh, huh, huh?). Generally speaking, I prefer chocolaty brownie type bars, but every once in a while I get a wild hair and want to play with something else.  One of my favorite brownie recipes are these caramel pecan brownies. They are so easy and what you get from that easiness is an outstanding brownie; chewy, chocolaty and gooey. In other words, right up my alley. But the idea had been flitting around in my head to see what else I could do with the basic recipe. I know some people like their chocolate a little more muted and these should please those people immensely. But you know what? The rest of you will love them too. I know I do. These are simple as can be since they use cake mix (yes, cake mix. Quit rolling your eyes; they’ll stick that way.) and bagged caramels. I’ve learned in my many years of life (many, many years) that things don’t always have to be fancy to be delicious. These turned out really well. They are almost candylike in their texture; chewy, but not hard to chew, gooey, with just enough chocolate in them. Plus, the toasted coconut and pecans add a nice crunch and flavor to them. Cut these in fairly small bars. They are pretty rich.

You know the drill… 🙂

Caramel, Toasted Coconut & Pecan Blondies

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk (you can sub half and half it you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup toasted coconut (350 oven, single layer in a baking dish for about ten minutes; stir once during toasting)
  • 21 ounces (give or take) caramel candy (I used Kraft; it takes about a bag and a half), unwrapped (I assume you know to unwrap them, but I have to be careful here 😛 )
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or half and half (yes, this is supposed to be in here twice)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil; lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, melted butter and extracts. Use a spoon to mix just until combined. It’s ok if there are still some lumps in the batter.
  3. Use your hands (lightly grease or flour them; it helps) to spread/press about half the batter into the prepared pan. It may take a touch more than half; that’s fine. Bake at 350 for five minutes.
  4. While it’s baking, in a medium bowl, combine the caramels and the 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Then continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until the caramels are melted. It’s again ok if there are small lumps and it’s not perfectly smooth. You just want a more or less smooth caramel mixture, but a few lumps won’t hurt.
  5. Pour half the caramel sauce on top of the partially baked crust. be careful spreading it since the crust isn’t cooked all the way and will tear if you’re not gentle. Top this with the toasted coconut, pecans and half the chocolate chips. Then pour the rest of the caramel sauce over the top.
  6. Mix the other half of the chocolate chips with the remaining batter, then spoon dollops of the batter over the top of the caramel. it’s not going to cover it all; that’s cool. Just try to evenly space the dollops over the top.
  7. Put the pan bake in the 350 oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top it browned and the caramel is bubbly.
  8. Let cool in the pan at LEAST a couple of hours (overnight in a cool place is best), then use the foil to lift the blondies out onto a cutting board. If they start to sag in the middle, they aren’t cool enough yet.. Peel off the foil, then cut the blondies into serving size pieces.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway!!

 

Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream




My husband is one of those people who has to have his gallon few cups of coffee in the morning when he gets up or it is like living with a drowsy grizzly bear. I’m normally a tea person myself, but in the last year or so have gotten into the habit of having a cup or two of coffee every other day or so. I think it came about because of the convenience of things like K-Cups. I wasn’t feeling like I was wasting coffee by making a half pot and not even finishing that much. So when the lovely people at Hamilton Beach contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing the first Brand Ambassador Campaign of 2015 by receiving and reviewing one of their 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Makers , I was thrilled. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them last year and hope to continue to do so for a long time. Their products are wonderful and this coffee maker was no exception.

Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker

The 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Makers is so darn convenient! It works for the coffee guzzlers like my husband because on one side you have a 12 cup carafe and can make a full pot to get going. On the other side is an individual brewer where you can make it one cup at a time using a K-Cup pod or the coffee reservoir that comes with it. Using the reservoir, you can use whatever type/flavor of coffee you prefer, not just a prepackaged pod. Better for the environment and less expensive. This side of the brewer works wonderfully for someone like me who does it one cup at a time  So far, we are loving the FlexBrew. There is a bit of a learning curve with the K-Cup side as you insert the pods a bit differently and it can be tricky getting the insert in until you get used to it. But once you do, it’s easy peasy. The K-Cup side can brew up to a 14 ounce cup of coffee and like I said, you can use the insert it comes with to use your own coffee and not a pod. Another feature I love is that you can make the coffee regular strength or, as they call it, “bold”. Basically, bold has the coffee stay in the filter for a bit longer, thus draining out every bit of flavor and making a stronger cup of coffee. This works great for me on the days when I’m needing a bit more of a caffeine jolt.

As usual when I review one of their products, Hamilton Beach is letting me offer one of these Flex Brew Coffee Makers to one of my readers. That reader could be you! The entry form is down below *points down*

With the weather heating up, it was a natural choice for me to make a yummy coffee milkshake using coffee made in the FlexBrew. Oh my, this puts those drinks from a certain national coffee chain to shame. I used a chocolate caramel gelato (imagine that…me…using caramel :-P) and instead of plain old milk, I used chocolate milk in this. Then I topped it off with a cocoa whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup. With the coffee brewing time included, this takes maybe 7 minutes to make. You can be sitting on your porch with this not particularly diet friendly drink in hand, enjoying the weather. And if you were really feeling froggy, you could throw a shot or two of Kahlua or Baileys in this to give it an adult flair. 😀

You know the drill… and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!!

Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee (throw a couple of ice cubes in it to cool it down quickly)
  • 2 cups chocolate or chocolate/caramel gelato (I used Breyers Chocolate Caramel Gelato)
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality chocolate milk (please don’t use something like a Yoo-Hoo. I’ll cry. Those are just chocolate flavored water.)
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons caramel syrup
  • Cocoa whipped cream-
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • dash of vanilla extract
  1. Make your whipped cream while your coffee brews- simply combine all the whipped cream ingredients in a medium bowl and use a whisk to beat until firm peaks form, about 4 minutes. You can do it… work those arm muscles!
  2. Combine all the shake ingredients (and don’t forget to add that shot of Kahlua if you’re wanting to go that route) in a blender. Cover and blend on high speed until thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into 3 glasses and top with the cocoa whipped cream. Drizzle with some extra caramel syrup.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Hamilton Beach provided me with a 2-Way Flexbrew Coffee maker for myself and will send one to one winner of my giveaway, 18 years or older, in the United States. I received no other compensation for this and all opinions are my own.

Click here to view this promotion.

 

 

Product Info for the Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker-

  • Single serve side:
  • Compatible with K-Cup®* Packs or ground coffee
  • Brews up to 14oz from ground coffee in travel mug**
  • Adjustable cup rest allows for standard-size cups or travel mugs
  • Better coffee extraction than the leading competitor
  • 12 cup carafe:
    • Brew a full pot of coffee
    • Regular or bold brew strength
    • Programmable timer with 2 hour automatic shutoff
    • Automatic pause & serve to grab a cup before the brew cycle is done
  • Durable, stainless steel features and dishwasher safe, removable parts
  • Equipped with a “Quick Start” Guide with simple, step-by-step brewing guidelines
  • Customer service support available through a US toll-free number
  • One-year warranty
  • This model is the same as 49983A, 49983P and 49983S.

Brewing with a Single-Serve Pack 

For some java drinkers, pouring fresh-ground coffee into their coffeemaker is the perfect start to their day. For other coffee lovers, being able to quickly insert a pre-packaged, single portion pack into their coffeemaker and enjoy a piping hot cup in a few minutes is a match made in heaven. The 2-Way FlexBrew® Coffeemaker offers the added convenience factor of a pack holder, which allows quick instant brewing in less time than an in-store café experience. Simply insert the single-serve pack and push the lever down – that’s it.

Brewing with Ground Coffee

Pre-packaged coffee isn’t for everyone or every palate. The 2-Way FlexBrew® Coffeemaker caters to coffee aficionados by featuring a single-serve permanent filter brew basket that holds a variety of fresh-tasting ground coffee. You can grind your own coffee beans to the medium-grind setting or save time and purchase pre-ground coffee. Brands such as Folgers, Maxwell House, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks are recommended because they are medium-grind coffees.

Note: Coffee that is ground too finely will cause an overflow. If you are unsure about the coarseness of your coffee, check with your coffee manufacturer.

About Homemade Brewing

Did you know that 86% of coffee drinkers still brew most of their java at home? With more and more Americans picking up the coffee habit and cutting back to save money, coffeemakers are now being designed to be more feasible and economical for the home budget and lifestyle. Source: 2012, National Coffee Association of USA

Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream2

 

 

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies



I’ve come to the realization that I am always going to be a year or so behind everyone else when it comes to trying new things, be it watching a TV show, shopping certain places or trying new foods. When everyone else was watching Glee, I refused. I started watching it on netflix after season two. I then stopped mid season 4 because it sucked, but that is neither here nor there. Greys Anatomy? End of season six is when I started watching. Stopped watching that also, because they got into subject matter I disliked. I have a hard time finding a modern show I can stick with :-p I’m also that person who didn’t realize what a wonderful place Target was until about a year and a half ago. Now, like most women over 12 and under 95, it’s one of my favorite stores.

When it comes to foods, same thing. I didn’t try a Macaron until about a year ago and now I love them. I still haven’t tried making them myself though. Easier just to buy them frozen at Trader Joes. 😀 I didn’t try salted caramel until MAYBE two years ago, a full couple of years after you could find salted caramel everything (salted caramel shoe leather anyone? Maybe a nice salted caramel beef tongue?) on every food page on the internet. That’s one I regret not trying sooner, but live and learn. Stubbornness has its drawbacks and I doubt I’ll be changing anytime soon. The plus though is that, when everyone else has moved past it, yet it’s still a loved flavor, like salted caramel, you don’t have to compete with 5000000 posts each day to get seen. The rest of the foodie world has moved onto marinated llama feet in a balsamic reduction, so the salted caramel treats stand out more 😀

One thing I only recently tried was the whole sweet/salty idea. Sure, I’d had chocolate covered pretzels, which I don’t care for to be honest, but the idea of purposely sprinkling salt on top of a sweet food bewildered me. Until I tried it. Just trust me on this if you’re still as hesitant as I was. Will I be sprinkling salt on a Twinkie anytime soon? No. But on chocolate? It adds an indefinable something to the flavor.

I’ve made browned butter brownies more than once in here and they are still a favorite, but these are totally over the top. Moist, chewy browned butter brownies and creamy chocolate chunks, covered with gooey salted caramel, then MORE salted caramel and some coarse salt for crunch and contrast. Totally delicious!

You know the drill….

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1  teaspoon instant coffee (optional; my addition. You can’t taste it, it just rounds out the chocolate flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1/2 cup good quality salted caramel sauce plus more for drizzling
  • coarse salt for sprinkling on top

 

  • Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  • Line an 8 inch square pan with foil, letting it hang over the edges to use as a handle later. Lightly butter or spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isn’t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat. This will probably take about 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Stir well.
  • Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat well by hand for one minute.
  • Stir in chocolate chips or chunks. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle the salted caramel sauce over the top of the batter. You could swirl it in if preferred, but I just let it lay on top, where it gets all bubbly and more or less melts into the batter.
  • Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost, but not quite, clean. Cool the pan on a rack then lift out by the edges of the paper. Cut into 16 squares. Drizzle more salted caramel  over the top of the brownies and sprinkle with coarse salt. Enjoy!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars (Recipe Re-Do)

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars



 

You want this cookie. Quit looking at me that way! Would I lie to you? I know, I know, there was that time with the Emu & Brussel Sprouts Casserole…. but we’ve moved on since then, you and I. Now I am your one stop shop for delicious recipes *coughcough* and wonderful cooking advice, as well as life advice, beauty tips and home renovation ideas.

You’re falling for this, right? We understand each other. I’m here to make bad one liners and create yummy recipes and in return, you pretend to laugh at my jokes and drool over my cooking.

I first made these back in 2012. While I may not be an amazing photographer even now, I like to delude myself into thinking that I have progressed quite a bit from back then. The photos from the old post looked like nothing so much as a mass of goo and didn’t do these delicious bars justice. These are some of my husbands favorite cookie bars. He is a huge fan of the Samoa (or whatever they are called now) cookies the Girl Scouts sell. But who the heck wants to pay $3.50 for a 10 ounce box of cookies when you can do a little bit of work and end up with a full pan of delicious, not round but thick and chewy Samoa-ish cookie bars?

These aren’t difficult at all. Can you use a mixer and measure? Yes? Then you’ve got this! These are chewy, with an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie base, covered with ooey gooey caramel, toasted coconut and rich creamy chocolate and…and…and.. *fans face* I really need a cookie now. Please excuse me for some private time.

You know the drill…. 🙂

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (in the same aisle as the vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips plus another 1/2 cup for the top of the bars
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  •  1 cup caramel sauce (preferably home made)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil and butter well or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring every few minutes. Watch carefully; coconut can go from pale to burnt  very quickly. When it’s done, set aside.
  3. Place the softened butter and the brown sugar in a large bowl and beat well, until relatively light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, coconut flavoring and egg. beat well.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, oats, 2 cups chocolate chips, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine then add into the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  5. Press the mixture into the bottom of the foil lined pan. Top with the extreme abundance of caramel sauce, then the shredded coconut. Top this with the extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  6. Bake at 350 until the bars are just barely set, about 30 to 40 minutes. The middle shouldn’t wiggle but should just feel barely firm when pressed. Don’t press too hard because molten caramel on your fingertip hurts. Don’t ask how I know this please.
  7. Let cool for about an hour in the pan, then use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan to finish cooling on a rack. If they start to collapse onto themselves when you lift, let cool for a while longer.

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Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars

 

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars



The last post I mentioned being tired. Guess what? I’m still tired. Why, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? Because I have kids, that’s why. last night at about 2am, Joshie came in the room saying he had had a bad dream. We cuddled for a bit, then I put him back to bed. Three fifteen am, Josh came in and said he was scared in his room and he needed a drink. I got him a drink, tucked him back into bed with “Favorite Bear” and “Fuzzy Bear” and stumbled back to bed myself, after tripping over a meowing cat who decided that he too was lonely and swatting at my bare leg was the way to let me know. So, first I had to go clean the rivulets of blood of my leg and put in 33 stitches. Mind you, all of this was after not being able to sleep well anyway because I’ve been dealing with a Migraine. FINALLY, about 5:30, I fell asleep. Then my husband and Josh came to say bye at 6:30 when Russ took Josh to school and himself to work. Fell asleep again… all the way to dream sleep this time…… only to suddenly be jerked awake by the feeling of someone poking me in the head through the pillow I routinely keep over my head to keep out light and noise. What was it, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you?

It was my 18 year old son Zach. He had missed the bus and needed a ride in. After I sobbed for a while and threw a tantrum while lying on the floor kicking my feet, I drove the boy in. And stopped at a gas station for something they pretended was coffee, but I’m fairly sure was really leftover ethanol. So I added cream and sugar to it and hoped for the best.

Which brings us to these bars. I blame lack of sleep and my family for the fact that I let these go a bit too long in the oven and the bottom crust was a weeeeeee bit hard (think machete needed) to cut through. Just remember… in cases like this, do not let me be your foodie role model. You’re welcome for that reminder.

They are good even with the slightly rocky bottom crust though, which says a lot for the bars. These are just my rendition of the ever popular Salted Caramel Butter Bars that are ubiquitous to the internet. They originally came from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey which I love and have taken out of the library about 63 times. I mean, really…. just look at the title. Of COURSE I love this cookbook!

The original bars are just crust, salted caramel and crumbles on top. Can we say one dimensional? :-p Not that anything with salted caramel and streuselly crumbs is a BAD thing. I just happened to think it needed something. Whoda thunk it, huh? So what did I do, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? I added some toasted pecans in the top crumb layer and I added some chocolate chips on top of the caramel layer and increased the amount of caramel by about 4 ounces. See? Nothing earth shaking. Just enough to change it up a bit.

These are SWEET with a capital SWEET! Cut these bars small. I can see layering a couple of tart apples in there during the Autumn season to help cut the sweetness or serving these with some unsweetened sauteed apples as dessert. They just cry out for some tang. Also? Do not cringe when you see the amount of butter in these. C’mon… they’re called butter bars and this is my blog. You expected salad?

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 2 cups (1 lb) salted butter, room temp (you can sub unsalted, but add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture if you do)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven
  • Filling-
  • 2 9 ounce bags Werthers Baking Caramels, unwrapped (because you know you planned on leaving them wrapped :-p)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, preferably non stick. If NOT non stick foil, butter the foil or grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer for this, but you will end up covered in flour and powdered sugar. Trust me. Cream them together until smooth. Add in the flour and beat at medium speed until you have a crumbly mass of dough.
  3. Pat 1/3 of the dough into the prepared pan; add the toasted pecans to the remainder of the dough, then place the part with the nuts in the fridge. Bake the crust at 350 until it is just firm and a light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust cooks, make the filling. Place the caramels, cream and vanilla extract into a medium bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir to help melt, then continue microwaving for 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until it is smooth and fully melted. Mine took 2 and a half minutes altogether.
  5. Pour the caramel over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the teaspoon sea salt and the chocolate chips. Get the dough from the fridge and crumble it up over the top of the caramel. It is a lot of crumbs but don’t worry, it works.
  6. Bake at 350 until the filling is bubbly and the top layer is a nice light golden brown. Remember, I said LIGHT. Don’t be like me 😛 The baking should take about 25 minutes.
  7.  Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Cut into small squares and serve with something tart…or some nice black coffee.

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Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

 

Easy Caramel Pecan Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies



I first saw this recipe back in like 1984 or 1985 or so, just after I got married to my ex. I was deep into the newlywed “cut out recipes and save them” phase. I got it from, of all places, TV Guide. This was back when TV guide was interesting. It was about the size of a Readers Digest magazine, had a fair amount of articles in it and a nice synopsis of practically every show that came on. They also had a piece at times highlighting celebrity recipes. This one came from John Davidson (yes, I realize fully half of you have no idea who he is, lol while the rest of you are googling his name as you think, “Wow. Is he even still alive? He’s like 200 years old, right?”)) and was aptly titled “John Davidsons Brownies”. The TV Guide people were somewhat lacking in imagination. I guess they used all their creativity describing episodes of M*A*S*H or The Waltons and had none left for recipe titles.

Since then, it has, as most recipes do anymore, swept the web under many different guises with some people (who obviously forget that the rest of us can google) going so far as to say they made these up. You can find it under “Turtle Brownies”, “Cake Mix Brownies” and 900 other names. But it’s still always the same basic recipe. This is one of those times when you don’t want to try to be fancy. No homemade caramel sauce here… no from scratch cake. Normally, I would balk at wrapped cheap caramels, but know what? They totally work here. I hadn’t made these in forever and I had forgotten how good they are. They are intensely chocolatey (in part because I use a chocolate fudge cake mix, not the German chocolate one originally called for), gooey from the caramel and they have a nice crunch from the nuts. I’m not usually a nut person (just nutty personally) but they also help cut the sweetness in the brownies. That way you can eat more of them! 😀

About all I do differently from the original is the cake mix flavor, plus I use half and half rather than the evaporated milk it used and I add about a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter.

So what do we have here? Intensely chocolatey brownies, gooey caramel and crunchy nuts. And they’re so easy you can let the kids make them and you can sit and watch old M*A*S*H reruns.  Yeah, you want these.

You know the drill…

Easy Caramel Brownies

  • 1 box dark chocolate fudge cake mix (or whatever chocolate flavor trips your trigger)
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 14 ounce bag caramels (I use Kraft)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a 350 oven (the toasting is optional, but it’s a really good idea)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon (or whatever, just do this by hand) combine the cake mix, 1/4 cup half and half, vanilla extract and the melted butter.. It will be a fairly stiff batter; you didn’t do anything incorrectly. Press about half of this (may take a touch more) into the bottom of the prepared pan. It will be a thin layer.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 5 minutes while you prepare the caramels.
  4. Unwrap the caramels and put them, along with the 1/2 cup of half and half, in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for one minute, stir, then microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until they are melted and smooth. Mine take about  two and a half minutes.
  5. Take the brownies out, sprinkle the pecans on top of them, then the chocolate chips. Pour the caramel sauce in an even layer over this. Then, use your hands to break up small pieces of the remaining brownie batter and place it all over the caramel. It will NOT cover the whole thing. You’ll end up with a rather cobblestone look.
  6. Place the pan back in the oven and continue baking until the top is firm and set and the caramel is bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool for at least an hour, then pull them out using the foil and cut into pieces. They are fairly rich, so it doesn’t take much to satisfy anyone but the most addicted chocoholic. In other words, me. Heck, just cut big squares. Who am I kidding?

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Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars



I am notorious for totally sucking at making apple pies. I add far too much cinnamon and don’t slice my apples thinly enough, leaving some pieces half raw and others too mushy. I also stunk at pie crusts.  Well, I used to be anyway. For holidays, I STILL tend to buy Marie Callendars Dutch Apple Pie. Why, if I no longer suck? Cause 1) I’m lazy and 2) I love them, so I keep using the whole “I stink at making apple pies!” excuse. Sooner or later, my husband will catch on that I continue to buy $8.00 pies when I could just as easily make one for half the cost, but for now, when Thanksgiving day gets here, I have a Marie Callendar pie waiting in the freezer. Darlin’, if you’re reading this, I’m lying right here…honest, I still stink at making pies *bats lashes and looks innocent*

But, to be honest, I may just leave that pie in there this year and make these bars. I had originally planned on a bar that could be more hand held and had a double crust. But, as happens with me often, and with a lot of bloggers, it morphed into something different. This is still caramel apple pie, but less hand held bar (even though it was done is a square pan) and more “cut a slab of this bad boy, put it on a plate and smother it in caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream” sort of pie. It CAN be hand held, if you’re on the run, since it’s not drippy unless you put far too much caramel lol. But it’s really more of a plate dessert.

This is more multi-step than I usually do, but none of those steps are difficult. Make the dough for the crust and while it’s chilling, prepare your streusel and the pie filling. Then roll out your dough, put it in the pan, top with the filling, then top with the streusel. Voila… ready to go. You DO need to let this cool until it’s completely cool however. Really, with any fruit pie, you should do that. How many times have you cut a warm pie and ended up with half of the filling oozing out into the pan? Let it cool and if you want it warm, you can nuke it for 30 seconds. Trust me. It will set up firmer and not be an oozing mess. Once ready to serve, cover it as desired in caramel sauce (in my case, about 8 or 9 cups worth) and maybe some ice cream. Eat, Enjoy. Thank me. Oh..this crust makes enough for two, so if you’re not wanting to double up the filling and streusel and make two pans, just freeze the other half of the dough until you need it. It never hurts to have some on hand.

Caramel Apple Pie Streusel Bars

  • Crust- (lightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  • 2/3 cup solid shortening, cold
  • 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water (the original recipe called for 4 to 5, but that was nowhere near enough)
  • Filling-
  • 5 1/2 cups cored, peeled and chopped (bite sized chunks) apples, about 5 apples. I used a mix of tart and sweet apples
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits (found in the baking aisle)
  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cups oats (NOT instant)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • caramel sauce for topping
  1. Make the crust- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×9 square pan with foil, using two long pieces, each going in the opposite direction. (line one way, turn pan, line the opposite way, so that all four sides of the pan have a layer of foil) In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and shortening until it looks like small pebbles or peas.
  2. Add the ice water, no more than 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add water until the dough comes together when mixed and isn’t sticky, just firm and holding itself together when pressed. Wrap dough in foil or plastic and chill while you make the streusel and filling.
  3. Streusel-
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until it is crumbly with, again, pea sized pieces. It’s ok if some chunks are a bit larger. Set aside.
  5. Filling-
  6. In a large bowl, toss the apple chunks with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the flour, spices and sugar. Pour over the apples and mix well, making sure to stir from the bottom, as the flour will settle. Add in the caramel pieces and stir well.
  7. Put together-
  8. Get your chilled dough. Cut in half and store half for later use. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out into a square that measures about 2 inches larger than the pan, about 11×11. Easiest way to gauge- just hold the pan upside down over the dough and eye how large it is. If you need more dough, just use some from the saved half. That half can still be used for mini tarts or tassies. Gently (I use a dough scraper) lift the dough up and lay it in the pan. Press gently down into the pans, going up the sides about 2 inches. If it is uneven, carefully cut tiny bits off of the higher areas and use it to patch onto the shorter ones.
  9. Pour the filling over the prepared crust, smoothing top. Sprinkle the streusel over the filling. Bake at 375 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges, about 60 to 70 minutes.
  10. Let cool in the pan until completely cool. Cut and serve, drizzling (pouring copious amounts of…) caramel sauce on top of each piece, reheating for about 30 seconds in the microwave is desired.

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Easy Caramel Apple Granola

 

Easy Caramel Apple Granola

Easy Caramel Apple Granola

Back when I was a kid (yeah, yeah, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we wrote by chiseling on stone tablets), cereal was so much more fun. No one was worrying about whether it was gluten free, because no one knew what the heck gluten was. There was no panic over HFCS being used in cereals because we had the good stuff in our cereals… real sugar! Parents didn’t make their children start their days with food that was approved by our presidents wife (wth is up with that crap, anyway?); food that would carefully begin their days with a perfect balance of nutrients so that little Joey could go kick little Bobbys ass out on the playground when no one was looking because little Joeys mom and little Bobbys mom were in a feud over whose youth soccer league was better.
Nope… when I was a kid, we had far more fun being..well, kids. We ate Pop Tarts for breakfast (for the record, no, my son does not eat pop tarts for breakfast and yes, I know that makes me hypocritical. Ask me if I care. 😀 ), followed by a heaping bowl of something like Kaboom… aka round sugar shapes disguised with a bit of grain. Or maybe King Vitamin, aka, round sugary shapes disguised by a vitamin or two. Then there was the really fun stuff like Count Chocula, which one can only get now during the Halloween season (when the heck did Halloween become big business and even GET its own season, btw?) or one of my favorites, Super Sugar Crisp, well named because sugar made up 95% of its ingredients. In other words, damn, it tasted good! Now however, they have changed the name and the ingredients because the word sugar makes everybody freak out.
Did I forget to mention that was a child, we also played outside unattended, even after dark, and the police weren’t called on our parents, that if we acted up at school, our parents didn’t go in and blame the teacher, but actually disciplined us for what we did wrong and lets not forget the ever reliable, we walked five miles to school… uphill…. both ways.
All that being said, even when I was a kid, one of my favorite cereals has always been any type of granola. Granola has always had this strange rep as healthy. But guess what… it rarely is 😀 It has its good points nutritionally. Since it has a high proportion of fruit, nuts and grains, it has a fair amount of fiber and protein. But that comes with a price. It is also very calorie dense and if you use it like a “normal” cereal and just pour it in a bowl and douse it in milk, you will most likely end up with a 600 calorie bowl of breakfast. It’s better to use it more sparingly; portioned out for the kiddos or yourself in a baggie or mixed into yogurt, spooned over some ice cream or served as a snack with some cheese and fresh fruit.
When I got the idea for this granola, I was sure I would find 500 other incarnations of it online. But lo and behold, while there are caramel apple desserts galore, there was not one caramel apple granola that I found in like 20 pages of Google search. (Edited to add- my brother informed me that yes, there ARE a bunch of them and I realized that what I had googled was what I had originally intended to call this- caramel apple PIE granola. There are none of those, but alas, I’m not original in the other name. *sobs* Brothers! Always have to ruin ones fun!!) Yay for a brief moment of being unique!! I also originally intended to make this completely from scratch, but changed my mind. There are a TON of tasty, plain granolas out there for a decent price that are easily doctored up so I just rolled with that idea. I used my favorite plain granola- Cascadian Farms Fruit And Nut Blend. Then I added some salted caramel sauce (Trader Joes brand, but feel free to use homemade and to use a plain caramel sauce rather than salted), some chopped dried apple slices, some dried cherries, some roasted pistachio pieces for a bit of protein and crunch, mixed it all together and baked it for long enough to “set” the caramel. Let it cool, break it up and voila, you have the perfect snack!

You know the drill… 🙂

Caramel Apple Granola

  • 4 cups (one 13.5 ounce box) of your favorite plain granola
  • 2 cups chopped dried apple slices (about 1.5 bags)
  • 2/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2/3 cup roasted pistachios (no shell)
  • 1 1/4 cups caramel sauce (homemade, store bought, salted or not; your choice)
  • whatever else makes you happy in the way of nuts or fruit. You could also add about 1/4 cup of flax or chia seeds or some wheat germ
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top and using either a large wooden spoon or just your hands, mix it all together until the granola is evenly coated.
  3. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325 for ten minutes. Take out of the oven and break the granola up turning the pieces over, as the bottom will be getting crispy. Bake for ten more minutes at 325. Don’t over bake this. Remember, the granola was already ready to go. You are just baking this to set the caramel.
  4. Place the pan on a rack to cool completely. When cool, break this up into bite sized pieces (or chunks if that’s the way you roll… I tend to prefer smaller pieces so I can use it in yogurt). This is NOT a completely dry granola. It will have a slightly tacky feel even after baking because of the caramel sauce.
  5. When this is 199% cool, store in a tightly covered container.

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