Caramel Coconut Brownies

Caramel Coconut Brownies

Caramel Coconut Brownies

I hadn’t been baking as much because I was trying to eat better, exercise & lose weight. Well, that went out the window when I got a cold and then a sinus infection over the last 2 weeks. What better thing to do after 2 weeks besides making delicious brownies? I could have started exercising again but that’s no fun.

I love girl scout Samoas Cookies, but I hate that I can only buy them one time a year. They really should sell them all year long. I may become 400 or 500 pounds because I would eat samoas, thin mints and the peanut butter cookies. I’d never have to bake again.These brownies are my play on a Samoas Cookie. Chocolate, coconut, and caramel all rolled into a brownie. These are fudgy, chewy and very rich. Eat these brownies with a nice big bowl of vanilla ice cream. Yeah…yeah…yeah it may already be 5000 calories for just the brownies but it’s so worth it, trust me. :)

~~~Rachel~~~

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sauce (You can use homemade or store bought)
Topping:
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat each egg into the sugar mixture individually, mixing well after each addition, until thoroughly blended.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended into a batter. Fold chocolate chips, 3/4 cup toasted coconut, and 3 tablespoons caramel sauce into the batter; spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set dish onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup coconut over the brownies. Drizzle 2 tablespoons each of caramel sauce and fudge sauce over the coconut layer

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Turtle Cheesecake Bars with Brownie Bottom

Turtle Cheesecake Bars with Brownie Bottom

Turtle Cheesecake Bars with Brownie Bottom

I’ve always been a fan of cheesecake & brownies so I had the bright idea to combine the two. I mean really, what is better than cheesecake and brownies? Creamy and rich and chocolatey. This is the perfect stay home and let’s get fat comfort food. The best kind out there. :)

These cheesecake bars went over much better than I had expected. We had company over and a friend had to hold herself back from having more than two pieces. She’s also the friend I’m in the weight loss challenge with so I intend to keep feeding her. :)

The cheesecake bars aren’t difficult to throw together. I made them 4 hours before everyone arrived and they were cool enough to cut sooner than a normal cheesecake would have been. Plus, the best part is you don’t need a fork, they’re bars just pick it up and eat it!

Rachel

adapted from: www.recipegirl.com

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 4 oz   Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour

Cheesecake:

  • 4 – 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Kraft Caramel Bits, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 dark chocolate chips
  • Three 1-ounce squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 8 x11 glass pan (or 9 x 13, I had extra filling with the 8 x 11)
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in pan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove form heat and beat in sugar. Leave to cool 5 minutes stir constantly.
  3. Add eggs and milk to the chocolate mixture, beating on medium speed for mixers or as fast as you can if done by hand to prevent the eggs from cooking.
  4. Stir in the flour, mixing just until blended. Spoon into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Lower the oven to 325°
  6. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer combine the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add the sour cream, flour and vanilla; mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Add 3/4 cup of the caramel bits and the 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Pour the filling over the crust and spread to make an even layer.
  7. Bake 40-50 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool completely. Place the remaining caramels and water in a microwavable bowl. Microwave 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted. Drizzle the warm caramel over the cheesecake; top with the chopped pecans. Melt the chocolate with the heavy cream and drizzle over the cheesecake.

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Fleur De Sel Caramels (Salted Caramels)

Fleur De Sel Caramels

Fleur De Sel Caramels

The fancy name sounds so purty, but it’s just salted caramels. I was about to say “just plain old salted caramels”, but that would have been an insult to these rich creamy pieces of goodness. There’s nothing plain about these. There’s also nothing difficult. Back when I first made my Homemade Caramel Sauce, I was one of those people that assumed that something that tasted so decadent had to be hard to make. Nope; flat out easy. Now don’t get me wrong. You walk away from this during the caramelizing of the sugar, you will end up with every smoke detector in a ten mile radius going off, an embarrassing fire department visit, a ruined pan that no amount of soaking will save and worst of all…. NO CARAMEL! And while this isn’t hard, it is not a put the pot on the stove during ANY step and go sit and watch The Real Housewives Of The Amazon Rainforest sort of thing to cook. You need to stick close by.

Is it worth it? You tell me. Your choice is this- go spend 5 bucks at Trader Joes for a container of caramels that, while good, gives you about 20 caramels for the price and STILL isn’t as good as homemade. Or you could go buy a bag of Kraft or Brachs caramels that are cheap but..well, you can tell they are cheap. Very little flavor, the mouth feel isn’t the same and you get what you pay for. OR… you can spend about 6 bucks and get a 9 inch pan of gloriously burnt sugar tasting, creamy rich “OMG, if I eat any more of these, I’m gonna weigh 500 pounds but they are so damn good!” caramels. So you choose. :-D

Also, if you prefer just regular caramels, just omit the salt in the caramel and on top. Regular caramels at your service. Fat girl pants optional.

P.S.- If you don’t have Fleur De Sel, you can use any coarse grained salt. Just don’t use table salt.

You know the drill….

Fleur De Sel Caramels (Salted Caramels)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel

Make sure you have all your ingredients at hand. Have the cream measured and nearby and to save time, just grind your salt right into the cream as well as pour the vanilla in it and make sure your butter is unwrapped and at the ready. Then set it all aside right by the stove. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil (preferably the non stick kind.). Butter the foil, bottom and sides. Set aside near the stove.

  1. Get a nice deep heavy bottomed saucepot. At least a 4 quart one. Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in the pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Swirl the pan a couple of times while cooking but do NOT stir it. If you stir caramel as it’s cooking, you stand a good chance of ending up with grainy, gritty caramel.
  2. Boil until the mixture has turned a nice dark golden brown color. Do NOT leave the stove during this step. When it is the right color, immediately move it to a cool burner. Pour in the cream mixture all at once and carefully drop in the butter. This is going to sputter like crazy so be prepared. Just pour and then give it a minute to settle down some.
  3. Set it back on the stove over medium high heat. Don’t stir. Just swirl the pot a few times carefully to combine the mixture. You can, very carefully, if you have to, use a wooden spoon and gently stir in the middle of the mixture, making sure to not touch the sides or bottom of the pan. But just the one time to get things combined.
  4. Keep the mixture over medium high heat and cook to 245 degrees. Use a candy thermometer or good instant read thermometer to get an accurate reading. This will take about ten minutes.
  5. When it gets to 245 degrees, take off the heat and immediately pour into the prepared pan without scraping the bottom of the pot. If there’s any left in the bottom, just let it cool and consider it the cooks treat. :-)
  6. Allow this to sit overnight or until firm. You can refrigerate it and it will get firmer much quicker but it also makes it a bit more difficult to cut, though not hard if you have a good knife. Cut into about 48 pieces, using a sharp knife.
  7. Sprinkle more fleur de sel on top of each piece and either wrap in plastic wrap or put in mini candy cups. These are perfect for Christmas gift giving!

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Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

My family has a serious apple addiction. We are equal opportunity fruit lovers but apples always seem to be eaten the most by the guys in the house. Well, except for my husband for whom fruit means Blueberry flavored coffee, though I CAN get him to eat some if it’s cooked or covered in homemade caramel :-P. We’re working on the line between good for you and dessert with him. But the rest of us love it. As I age, I unfortunately have to cut my apples up before I eat them because aging teeth and jaws don’t do whole ones well lol. I look like a mouse trying to eat an elephant whole  Excuse me while I go get my walker and take some Geritol, you young whippersnappers!

Which brings this dip into play. There are variations of  this all over the web. I won’t claim to be the first nor will I claim that the changes I made make this into an entirely new dip and oh my gosh, I’m unique! Lol. That wasn’t the point. I saw it, I thought it sounded yummy and figured some of you would like it too. I DID make some changes, one of which was to add some Kahlua to this, making it a perfect treat for an adult Halloween party or a fruit tray some other time of the year (Christmas buffet maybe?). But you can easily omit the booze and make this kid friendly. Just pour the small amount of Kahlua into a cup and drink it yourself. :-D See how I make your day better? I also added some caramel bits to it to make this even more of an Autumnal treat. The toffee chips and the caramel combine so well with the apple slices. The original recipe called for cream cheese but 1) I adore Mascarpone and 2) I had some I needed to use up, but feel free to sub cream cheese in this. This is good when it’s first made but it’s even better when the flavors have time to meld and the toffee chips get softer. YUMMY! Also, this isn’t just good with apples. Try some on a cinnamon bagel or one of the limited edition (out right now) Pumpkin Spice Bagels. Oh, my gosh, it’s good. It kind of melts right into it and…*swoons*

You know the drill… git to cooking! Or erhmmmm, mixing in this case.

Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

  • 8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • a scant 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)
  • 3/4 cup toffee bits (in the baking aisle near the chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup Kraft Caramel Bits
  • sliced apples for dipping (dip them in a lemon juice/water mix to prevent browning)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone (or cream cheese), both kinds of sugar, the vanilla and the Kahlua if using. Beat well, until smooth and creamy.
  2. Fold in the toffee bit and the caramel bits.
  3. Sprinkle top with more toffee bits and caramel.
  4. Serve with the apples for dipping or just sit down in front of the TV with a spoon and the bowl. I won’t tell. But I’m also not buying you any new fat girl pants. Just sayin’.

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Caramel Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I know mom has had the perfect fall weather for fall baking over the last couple of weeks and I’ve been jealous, but today has been perfect here in Texas; 50′s and rainy. I enjoy watching people around here get bundled when it starts to get a little chilly. I personally love the cooler weather and it makes baking so much more enjoyable.

Since I started making these cookies my house has had the smell of cinnamon, and for this time of year how can I complain about that? I had Shawn try one when he got home from work because I was amazed at how well they turned out; apparently he was also when he continued to take them off the cooling rack to eat. I had to make him stop until I got pictures done or I wouldn’t have been able to get a picture taken. So, blame him for the horrible picture this time. He ate all my good cookies.

Be sure to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper before baking or you’ll have a sticky mess with the caramel.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cinnamon chips
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits (or 1 cup caramels quartered)
  • 1 cup granny smith apples, peeled and diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  4. Stir in chips, caramel, and apple pieces. Drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until done.

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Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding



I’ve said before, and will probably say again because I’m getting old and like redundancy, that I used to have a love/hate relationship with bread pudding. Back before the world grew so much smaller (or larger depending on ones perspective) with the internet, recipes for bread pudding consisted of stale white bread, soaked in a custard base of plain milk. Raisins and cinnamon were usually added and then it was baked. British nursery food to the max. Great thing to feed a small child who likes bland or an invalid or say, someone with no taste buds who is also blind and can’t see the mushy mess in their bowl. The rest of us however would probably prefer something with a little oomph to it, some flavor, more than just soggy bread. And nowadays you can find whatever kind of bread pudding trips your trigger, including savory ones for that matter. But I prefer the sweet kinds for the most part.

So, being the time of year it is, I wanted to make one that fits the season and the flavors people love this time of year. If I do say so myself, I outdid myself with this one. This is sweet but not too sweet, crispy at the edges, covered in delicious satiny caramel as well as caramel bits inside plus tart sauteed apples all through it. This is damn good! It makes a ton though (you have to remember I have teen boys lol) so cut it in half if you’re not feeding a small country. I got a 2.5 quart baking dish and 3 ramekins from this. When I invent, I invent big lol.

You know the drill… :-)

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

  • 8 large apples, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks (I used Braeburn apples)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 loaf Kings Brand Hawaiian Bread, cut into about one inch pieces
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 jar ( 12.25 ounces) caramel topping (or you can make homemade caramel sauce I simply went the easy route this time)
  • 1 bag Kraft caramel bits
  1. In a large pan, melt the butter. Add in the apple chunks and over medium heat, stir to blend with the butter. Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium low (about 3 on an electric stove). Let the apples cook until soft and about half of them have broken down and turned saucy. Stir in the cinnamon.
  2. Add the 1/2 cup sugar into the pan. Stir well. Pour in the 1/2 cup cream and cook over medium heat until the cream has cooked into the apples. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Pour in the 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk and the vanilla extract. Whisk in the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Dump the bread pieces into the cream mixture and stir well. Press down with a spoon to make sure all the bread is submerged in the liquid. Let sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.  Pour the bag of caramel bits into the bread mixture and stir well.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease either a 3 quart baking dish or a 2.5 quart dish and 3 8 ounce ramekins with butter.
  5. Pour half the pudding into the prepared pan(s). Cover with half the jar of caramel topping. Cover with another layer of pudding and more caramel sauce. If doing a 3.5 quart dish and ramekins, I’d suggest filling the ramekins first so you don’t end up with too much in the baking dish. Put a 13×9 inch pan half filled with hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.
  6. Bake pudding at 325 degrees for about 45 to 55 minutes for the ramekins (if you insert a butter knife in the middle and twist it, there should be no liquid there, just a moist pudding) and 90 minutes for the baking dish (same test for doneness)
  7. Let cool a little and serve warm, drizzled with more caramel sauce. Can also be served chilled. Reheats well in the microwave.

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Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake


It may not feel like fall in Texas yet, but I’m ready for it to be Fall which is why I had to make something fallish. Texas is the first state I’ve lived in outside of Kentucky so weather wise I didn’t know what to expect. Mom, of course, had to inform me that I wouldn’t actually experience fall here. I will get the temperatures, in January, but I won’t get the orange leaves and all things that come with fall. So, I have to make Fall come here…in some way.

This cake is good without the caramel sauce on the top, but it’s definitely better with it. :) After I did the picture yesterday the cake became my dinner. It’s moist and has just the right amount of sweetness. I think it would be perfect as a breakfast cake…maybe without the caramel topping.

I changed the original recipe by adding my caramel to the batter, changing her topping from a cinnamon sugar to a walnut topping and adding the salted caramel drizzle.

~Rachel~

adapted from: www.pinchofyum.com

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can sub milk+vinegar, or plain yogurt+milk)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 cups chopped granny smith apples apples
  • 1/2 cup caramels, quartered (It took 14 caramels)

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Caramel:

  • 10 caramels
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt + more for the top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix all topping ingredients and set aside
  3. Mix cake ingredients in order listed but adding the caramel and apples together
  4. Pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan.
  5. Sprinkle the topping on the top of the batter
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. After the cake has cooled melt the caramels with the whipping cream in the microwave for about 45 seconds until smooth
  8. Pour the caramel over a slice of cake and sprinkle with extra sea salt (You should have enough caramel for 2-3 slices)

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Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a major personality flaw. Well, I have more than one but we won’t get into the others today. The one I’m talking about right now is my inability to let things alone. I am that person who when being sarcastic, always has to say that one last sentence that gets people wanting to look for cement shoes for me. I’m that person that when a joke goes flat, will be standing there saying “no, no, let me explain it to you! It’s funny! Really, it is!”. I’m also that person who, once I’ve made a recipe, then has to make it about 463 times more in different variations just because I love to play around with recipes and put my own stamp on it. I guess that’s one reason I’m a food blogger, huh?. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it’s a case of I should have left well enough alone.

Today it was a definite case of “it works”. Oh…my…gosh…did it work. Now, contrary to what one would think, I’m not a huge cookie person. I prefer my sweets to be floating in a puddle of cream and maybe even have fruit in them. I know, I know, I just shocked a bunch of you. I LOVE sweets, don’t get me wrong but creaminess (aka fat lol) and fruit put together tend to do it for me more than cookies. But there are times I like something a little homey, a little old fashioned, a little…well…cookieish.  So yesterday, on my Facebook Page, I mentioned that I was making These cookies. Well, I never got to them yesterday and this is a good thing because overnight, I got the inspiration to try to make them a bit different. My husband, who is my favorite person ever, was my inspiration. He LOVES German Chocolate Cake and I make it (or buy it) for him every year on his birthday. So I decided to make these Browned Butter cookies in a way that mimics the flavors in his favorite cake. And since I love the chocolate/coconut flavor combo myself, I am kind of in love with these cookies myself. The dough alone was fantastic lol. I kept snagging bits of it from the bowl. The nutty taste of the browned butter, the chocolate, the crispy toasted coconut, the caramel… oh my *drools*

You know the drill…

Browned Butter German Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown color & cooled
    • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons cream
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
    • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I actually used more like 3 cups because I had a partial bag opened that I wanted to use up so extra wouldn’t go amiss :-) )
    • 1 1/4 cup sweetened coconut, toasted, 1/4 cup set aside
    • 25 Kraft Caramels,
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
  1. To brown the butter, in a medium saucepan, over medium heat melt the butter. Let cook,stirring frequently, until it turns a golden brown color. This can take anywhere from five to ten minutes. It will sputter and spit a lot at first then that will stop. Do NOT walk away from this as it can go from yellowish butter to burnt garbage very quickly.
  2. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and let cool.
  3. When cool, pour both kinds of sugar into the bowl with the butter. Beat until well mixed.
  4. Add in the egg and egg yolk, then pour in the vanilla, coconut flavoring and the cream. Beat on low speed until well mixed.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and at slow speed (unless you want to be covered in flying flour), mix until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and one cup of the toasted coconut.
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.. Spray the cookie sheet with baking spray before lining it if using the parchment paper.
  9. Scoop the cookies up and place about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Let cool for a minute on the sheet then transfer over to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  12. When the cookies are cool, make the caramel drizzle.  Unwrap your caramels and put them into a bowl. A cereal sized bowl is sufficient. Pour the cream over the top. Then microwave at 70% power for 30 second intervals until the caramel is melted and bubbly. Stir well to mix. Be careful… there is nothing as fun as scraping out a bowl of hardened burnt caramel because you didn’t watch carefully. Please don’t ask how I know this.
  13. Drizzle each cookie with some of the caramel and while it’s still gooey, sprinkle some of the reserved toasted coconut over each one.

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Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate S’mores

Sea Salt Caramel & Dark Chocolate S'mores

Sea Salt Caramel & Dark Chocolate S’mores

I don’t like s’mores much. There. I said it. I have no problem with the marshmallows and the chocolate. I mean c’mon, this is me.  I love those parts. But I really don’t care for graham crackers. We were fairly poor growing up and as graham crackers were cheap, they were one of those things that my mom bought a lot as a treat. I ate them then… I was a kid… give me a shoe sole with sugar and I’d have eaten it. but even then they weren’t a favorite. Still aren’t. but you know what? When I made this S’more, the first thing I tried was the cracker that was all coated with caramel, chocolate and sea salt. And know what? It was amazing! I now have a way I will eat graham crackers lol. Of course, it takes a somewhat benign food and makes it a heart attack on a plate, but I’m cool with that :-D

If you like s’mores the old fashioned way, you’ll like these even better. If you like salted caramel and fancy schmancy chocolate this will be heaven on a plate for you. A layer of graham cracker covered in a square of good quality chocolate ( I used Lindt Caramel Sea Salt bar just to layer that sea salt caramel flavor , covered in a toasted marshmallow and sea salt caramel sauce, then coated with more chocolate, another graham cracker THEN slathered in more caramel, good chocolate sauce and more sea salt. Yep… Heaven. On. A. Plate.

Salted Caramel And Dark Chocolate S’mores

  •  1 3.5 ounce bar Lindt Caramel Sea Salt Bar (or any flavor you prefer… but use GOOD chocolate)
  • 5 graham crackers, broken in half
  • 5 large marshmallows. (I used the extra large ones from Campfire brand)
  • A half batch of my homemade caramel sauce (you’ll end up with some left over but I promise that you won’t mind. It has many uses :-D
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup good quality chocolate sauce
  1. After you make the caramel, stir the teaspoon of sea salt into. If you want to hold on to some of the sauce plain, just use what you want and cut the salt accordingly. Set aside.
  2. Set the graham cracker halves on plates (one cracker to each of five plates) and put a square of chocolate on each piece.
  3. Toast your marshmallow by whatever method you prefer. I just used the stove but go for it and be authentic and use a campfire, a grill, whatever… use a Bic lighter if it makes you happy :-P
  4. Put the marshmallow on a graham cracker half, cover with some of the caramel sauce, then put the other cracker half on top.
  5.  Drizzle with chocolate sauce, more caramel sauce then sprinkle with some sea salt.
  6. Inhale. Thank me later.

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Girl Scouts, Schmirl Scouts! Who Needs ‘Em?!

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars AKA Samoa Wanna Be Cookie Bars

I have mentioned before that I’m not too fond of coconut in baked goods. Yet I have noticed a fair amount of coconut recipes here in my blog. I’m not counting the coconut milk ones however because I adore coconut milk and would happily eat it straight form the can day in and day out if it wouldn’t leave me weighing as much as a semi. Yet I said something about not caring for coconut in this post for Chewy Coconut Lime Cookies and I used coconut here in these Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars . I sure whine a lot about not liking it and then use it anyway. In my defense though, the ones with real coconut in them have it on top, not IN it. Coconut inside a baked good, I have said before, has, to me, the same appeal as finding a hair in my food.

Moving on… remember this Caramel Sauce that we made a few weeks ago? What do you mean, you never got around to making it!? Sigh. What am I going to do with you people? Now before you can get to making these amazing cookie bars, you have to make the caramel. If you had listened to me weeks ago, you would be all set for baking. But noooo…. nobody listens to Zathras! Bonus points if you know (without googling) where that line came from.

Well, that caramel sauce you forgot to make is being put to use today. A very very good, very rich very “omg, I want 16 of these right now” sort of use. My step daughter, who is visiting, said they exert a gravitational pull on her and she can’t stay away from the pan. I found the basic recipe for these on about.com. I really didn’t change much though any of you who have read this for a while know I can’t not change SOMETHING, usually something that makes recipes more caloric, higher in fat and working towards getting voted “Most Likely To Clog Your Arteries In One Bite”. So what did I change? I used home made caramel sauce… you know, the one you forgot to make *sticks my nose in the air and looks snotty* instead of jarred, I doubled the amount of coconut flavoring because the original amount was chintzy, I kinda, maybe, could have, might of, quadrupled (or more) the amount of chocolate chips, double the amount of the caramel sauce and used about an extra half cup of shredded coconut. WHAT!? Don’t judge me. It had to be done. It was a moral imperative!

These are like Girl Scout Samoa Cookies (or whatever they are called now) on steroids. They are way more…well…everything, including tasty. My husband is a major fan of Samoa cookies and I think this means I will be making these often. I have to admit it, I loved them too. They are rich and gooey…boy, are they gooey. Plus they have one heck of a dose of chocolate and the home made caramel sauce is awesome in these.

So git to cooking… though now you have to make the caramel sauce first, you doofus. Then come back and tell me how wonderful I am to have shared this recipe with you. I can take the heavy praise if you need to give it out. Don’t overcook these or the crust will get too crispy.

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars AKA Samoa Wanna Be Cookie Bars

  • 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. 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 15 minutes 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.

Coconut Caramel Bar Cookies AKA Samoa Wanna Be Cookies