Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppy Seed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppy Seed Gooey Butter Bars

It was 80 some degrees out yesterday. I turned the oven on ANYWAY. I need to be committed. During the time that these bars baked, the temp in the house went up to approximately 426 degrees. No, really. Would I lie? Next week, it is supposed to get down to the high 70’s during the day and the low 60’s at night. I can’t EVEN begin to explain my excitement over possibly being able to open the windows and sleep at night with real air, not recycled. Think prepubescent girl going to see her favorite boy band type of excited. Then double it.

These bars made the melting of all my skin layers worth it though. I have a major love for shortbread crusts on cookies ANYWAY (for whatever odd reason, they make me think of Christmas. Don’t ask. I dunno.), and the crust on these bars is sooo buttery, so crispy/crumbly, just the way a good shortbread should be. Add on a gooey, creamy topping filled with the flavors of lemon and butter, with the crunch of poppyseeds and I was in Heaven. Warning though; you notice the slightly grayish cast my bars have? I think I let my poppyseed love go a bit too far. These still taste fantastic which is why I’m posting them anyway, rather than remake them to have a better color for a photo, but yeah… a bit gray. So, in the directions, I am cutting them down a tablespoon. Feel free to add back in another tablespoon if you don’t mind the color.

You know the drill…

Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Topping-
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, then butter the foil or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients. Beat on low speed with a hand mixer until it holds together and resembles coarse crumbs. Dump this into the prepared pan and press all over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake crust at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes, until it is a light golden brown.
  4. For the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, corn syrup, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon oil.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour and the poppy seeds.
  6. In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended and creamy. Add in the egg and again beat until well combined.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mix, alternating with the lemon juice/corn syrup mixture. Beat until well mixed after each addition.
  8. Spread the mixture over the crust, smoothing the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The top will be a light brown and the center will still have a very VERY slight jiggle. It will all firm up as it cools. You don’t want to overbake these as you’ll lose the whole gooey texture. They’ll still taste great, but they will be much firmer.
  9. When done, let cool in the pan until completely cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into small squares. You can store these at room temp if you know they will be gone within a day or two. Any longer than that, and I’d suggest the fridge for storage.

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Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

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My favorite Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

It’s time for me to get to enjoy being a Hamilton Beach Ambassador one more time! I always love when I get the chance to share my thoughts on one of their products with you, and I especially love getting to give away whatever that product is to one of you! So, what do we have to talk about today? The most recent thing the lovely people at Hamilton Beach sent to me is their Easy Reach 4 Slice Toaster Oven .

4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door

4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door

This toaster oven is so darn cute! Yes, I just called a toaster oven cute. But really, it is.31334 Other women will understand it, while men will just shake their heads and assume I’m insane; rather like my husband does when I say that those teeny tiny mini sized bottles of ketchup are cute. Inside, this oven is only a wee bit smaller seeming than the typical toaster oven. What makes it seems tinier is it’s lack of bulk. You have a glass door on the front that rolls up rather than opens downward. This has a pro and a con. It makes it easier to get into the oven without worrying about the door getting in your way as you pull things out. BUT… and this is again something most women will “get”; it also means that you can’t set any sort of knick knacks or decorations on top of this oven. On my old one, I kept the cup that held all the keys, my ceramic cow named Herman (don’t ask) and a knick knack that once belonged to my mother in law. With this one, I can’t do that due to the roll top door.
But it makes up for it in other ways. The Hamilton Beach 4 Slice goes from 200 degrees all the way up to 450 degrees. Beyond toasting, you have the already mentioned bake function, plus a broil one. I can see THAT one working great for melting the cheese on top of something or crisping up a food; making burgers.

Did I mention that the door was removable? Can we say “easy cleanup”?! Unlike ones where you end up with a door so splattered and icky that you can’t see through it, with this one, after each use, just take the door off, wash it up, dry it and put it back on. No mess! 31334-04 This comes with a removable rack that can be used in two different positions and a crumb tray that isn’t attached inside, so you can pull it out easily and clean it off.
My old toaster oven? I was afraid to actually COOK anything in it. I used it for toast and frozen pizzas and that was about it. But I knew if I was going to be able to accurately review this for you, I needed to branch out a little. I thought about homemade pizza, then realized that was still hedging my bets; pizza is pizza when it comes to baking. So I finally decided to make one of my family’s favorite cookies; my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies. This cookie isn’t cheap to make generally, so I was counting on this oven to do it correctly and not end up burning the tops or the bottoms like other ones have done. So I took a deep breath and dived in.
IT WORKED!! The cookies came out looking just like they should, though they seemed to finish baking about a minute and a half quicker. Obviously, you can’t fit a full sized tray of cookies in there, but the oven comes with a tray and that tray fits four cookies just fine. If made smaller, you could fit six, but I like generously sized cookies 😀 My sons got a hold of the cookies (I only got ONE cookie! Darn kids!) before I got a photo (I had only made a half batch) so the photo I am using here is my old one, but trust me, there was no difference in the cookies.
As for the cookies themselves, if you haven’t tried these before, now’s your chance! These cookies are awesome, if I do say so myself, hehe. They are ooey gooey, with a slight nutty flavor from the browned butter, but no actual pesky nuts. They have that wonderful soft middle with the crispy edge. You could make a half batch like I did and have enough for the here and now, or make the full batch of dough, freeze half in cookie sized balls, then bake in the toaster oven anytime you get a craving. You can bake straight from frozen; just add a couple of minutes time on.

                         Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee 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
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Heath Bar toffee chips (or 4 Heath bars, crushed)

 

  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, spit and foam 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, leaving behind all the solid bits at the bottom of the pot (though if you get some in there it’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it.). 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 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 the toffee bits.
  8. Now you can chill for about an hour if you want. The original recipe says to but I didn’t bother and they were fine.
  9. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. If you don’t have a silicone mat, please go buy one. They aren’t cheap but oh my, they’re worth it. Trust me on this. The first time you use it, you’ll totally understand. Spray the cookie sheet with baking spray.
  10. Scoop the cookies up and place about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
  11. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do NOT over bake or they will lose that delicious softness and gooeyness (yes, that is now a word). They should be firm on top if you press one lightly but not hard.
  12. Let cool for a minute on the sheet then transfer over to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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

Now for the fun part; the giveaway! Enter below for your chance (chances) to win one of these Hamilton Beach 4 Slice Toaster Ovens for yourself!

Click here to view this promotion.

Disclosure-The lovely people at Hamilton Beach provided me with a 4 Slice Easy Reach Toaster Oven With Roll Top Door to review, but all opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies



I have a confession to make. *Takes a deep breath and sobs* No Amaretto was harmed in the making of this post. I lied!!! It’s just almond extract!!! *Throws myself at the mercy of the courts…. and cookie eaters. But, in my defense, how would Cranberry, White Chocolate and Almond Extract have sounded as a title? It needed excitement, pizzazz, oomph! Amaretto is exciting! Fine, maybe not so much, but you get my drift. So, when you make these cookies, just don’t tell anyone that the almond flavor is from almond extract and not amaretto. It will be our little secret. You, me and the 3 other people who actually read my blog. :-p

Now on to my whining weather report. WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN!!!!??? It disappeared!! It’s the first week in November and I had to turn the A/C on last night because it was too hot in here to sleep comfortably. Who turned off the cold?! It is NOT, I repeat, NOT supposed to be 80 degrees during the day in November; not even in Kentucky. And other states that allow that nonsense need to stop it right now.

Because I said so.

On that note (as I watch two of my three readers back away slowly), let’s move on to the cookies.

I loved these. And they got the kid approved thumbs up too, which is always nice. One would think that any kid would give a thumbs up to cookies, but nope, not mine. With me having been baking all of their lives (heck, most of MY life) and running a food blog, they are more particular and have higher standards than the “normal” children. There is nothing more humorous than getting a verbose critique from a seven year old- “These are good momma, but they could be chewier/sweeter/crunchier”… whatever the specific food should be.

These have a nice nutty flavor from the toasted almonds. I deliberately toasted these a little browner than I usually do because I wanted a nuttier flavor. It worked wonderfully. So when you toast the almonds, get them to a nice medium brown color. Just make sure to give them a stir in the pan once to make sure they brown evenly. The cranberries added a nice tartness to the cookies and the white chocolate a creamy sweetness. Since these have oats and cranberries in them, feel free to eat them for breakfast. They’re good for you *coughcough*! Honest Injun! Even with the tablespoon of almond extract in these, the almond flavor is still fairly mild, so go ahead and add a teaspoon more if you want an extra punch of flavor.

You know the drill… 🙂

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  •  2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (add an extra teaspoon if you want more almond flavor) almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (if you REALLY want to punch up the flavor, toast your oats for about 6 minutes or so at 350. Just make sure to stir once and also to let them cool COMPLETELY before adding them to the dough.)
  • 1 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted at 350 until medium brown
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, at medium speed using a hand mixer cream together the butter, the brown sugar and the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the bowl down and add the eggs and egg yolk. Stir in the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat just until blended.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in (use a nice heavy wooden spoon) the oats, cranberries, white chocolate and toasted almonds. Make sure to dig down there to the bottom of the bowl and stir so that you don’t have parts of the dough with no add ins in it.
  5. Make rounded tablespoons of the dough and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes; 12 if you want slightly chewier, 14 if you want crispier.  If, by chance, the dough is too soft to work with, cover the dough and throw it in the fridge for maybe 30 minutes, then proceed.
  6. Let cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes to give them a chance to firm up, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. FYI- this dough freezes well. I made just part of the batch and have the rest frozen to use closer to Christmas.
Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

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Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 1



Who else is ready for Autumn? No takers yet? Ok, who else is ready for a day or two of DRY weather with Autumn like temps? WooT! I knew THAT would get some raised hands. Has this been the wettest Summer ever or what? Unless one lives in the Pacific NW or Hawaii, of course, in which, carry on; ignore the rest of us whiners.

I let my son Joshie go out and play the other day. We had to call in the National Guard to find him in the 75 foot tall grass. We haven’t been able to mow in almost two months. Mosquitoes and snakes have set up resort hotels and spas in there. The blinking neon lights saying, “Eat At Joes” are keeping me awake nights.

Fine, enough with the bad one liners. I’m in a mood; what can I say?

The other day on my facebook page, I mentioned that I was making a pork roast with a ton of bacon. Well, I did. Then I promptly forgot to take pictures of it, so you’re not getting that recipe right now. I will however, convince my family that having bacon wrapped pork roast twice in a week is a GOOD thing and will post it soon.

So I made you some cookies.

PonUAndUZiUIUMadeUYouUAUCookie_adMy husbands favorite type of cookie is oatmeal raisin. I was in a benevolent mood the other day, so I indulged him. I’m cool that way. Or something. I could give you some song and dance about how awesome my own special recipe for oatmeal cookies is, but I’d be lying. This one is from my Cooks Illustrated cookbook. They have chewy and buttery down pat, so now I do too. I did however, add cinnamon which they said it was better without (I disagree) and upped the amount of nutmeg a touch. I also used dark brown sugar instead of light, because I prefer the more molasses like flavor of dark. But feel free to use light brown. Andddddd… I added vanilla extract, which for some strange reason, they don’t use.

These are delicious. Big, thick, chewy, studded with sweet raisins (and chocolate chips in half the batch) and make for one tasty dessert. Or, if you’re my oldest son, who is visiting right now with two of his kids, it makes for a wonderful breakfast…mid morning snack…later in the morning snack…lunch…after lunch snack…

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake… who needs to hide a cookie before they are all gone.

Note- this makes LARGE cookies. I made a double batch so that I could have a ton since there are 7 males in my house right now, plus so that I could add chocolate chips to half the batch along with the raisins. So feel free to double this one.

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (use good quality butter since in a cookie like this, butter is a prominent flavor)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (NOT instant!)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (feel free to sub chocolate chips {or just add chocolate chips with the raisins} or toasted chopped walnuts or dried cranberries)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment or silicon liners. You can also spray with cooking spray, but they may stick a bit.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, at low speed with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and two different sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get it well mixed. Stir in the oats and raisins.
  5. Scoop up a good two tablespoons of the dough for each cookie and shape into a ball. Place about two inches apart on the lined cookie sheets and bake for about 22 minutes; just until the edges are nicely browned. but the tops are still fairly light. This is what keeps them chewy. If you prefer crispier cookies, give them a few more minutes of baking time. If you do two sheets at a time, rotate the racks about halfway through cooking.
  6. Let cool for about a minute on the sheets, then transfer over to racks to finish cooling. They are, however, delicious, warm. You can even take cold ones and microwave them for a few seconds to get them warm again. So good with a cup of coffee or tea! Also, don’t tell your kids this, but these make a wonderful on the run breakfast.

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 3

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Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies



It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. There are times when I’m creating that I find that to be true. I had this cookie all planned out. it was going to use a combo of flavors I loved- cherries, chocolate and pistachios. But have I ever mentioned that little fact that I’m a mom to two young men? Well, I’m a mom to six, but only three are still at home. So, I went to go get all my ingredients ready (big believer in “mise en place” here… never start cooking until you have everything you’ll need ready to go) and lo and behold, my recently bought bag of roasted and salted pistachios were nowhere to be found. That’s where the “I have two young men still at home” seems to have come into play. I have learned that if I have something that is out of the norm for our household, I need to stash it away somewhere where it isn’t found quite so easily. I must not have heeded my own advice in this case because….. no pistachios. Nada, zip, zilch. All gone.

After I stopped crying and making plans to go live on a deserted island in the south Pacific all by myself, I had to reinvent what I had planned to invent. After a search through the cabinets, I found a bag of roasted and salted pepitas. I originally bought them to make my “famous” :-p pumpkin bread. But for unbeknownst to me reasons, I never got around to making any pumpkin bread this past Autumn/ Winter season. The result being that I had still had a full bag of pepitas. So I improvised. And you know what? These are some seriously awesome cookies. You can never go wrong with browned butter anyway… and then when you add in sweet creamy chocolate, tart cherries and crunchy salted pepitas, you end up with a really really tasty treat. I also sprinkled a little salt on top of the cookies. This is something I had never done before myself, though I’d seen it done elsewhere. I figured “what the heck” and went for the whole sweet/salty thing and oh my gosh, it was fantastic. If you’re not sure, just sprinkle some on one cookie and try it. If you don’t like it, just one cookie wasted. but if you DO, you’ll be in Heaven.

You know the drill…. Get to cookin’!

Brown Butter, Cherry And Salted Pepita 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
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dried tart cherries
  • 1 cup roasted, salted pepitas
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • coarse salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and brown your butter-  toss your butter into a medium pot. With the heat on medium high, cook the butter (DON’T walk away!) until it turns a medium (dang, I’m using the word medium a lot) golden brown. Swirl the pan a few times to help it along. Have a bowl ready and once it gets to the right color, immediately pour the butter out into the bowl. Let this cool for about 30 minutes before you continue.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter and both the sugars. Beat on medium (there’s that word again) speed until it is thick and creamy. Add in the egg, egg yolk, cream and vanilla. beat on low speed just until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Dump this into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, scraping the bowl down once.
  4. Fold in the cherries, chocolate chips and pepitas.
  5.  Line your cookie sheet(s) with a silicone baking mat ( like my favorite ones right here )  or lightly grease.  Scoop out large spoons full of dough (about golf ball sized) and shape into a circle in the palm of your hands. Place them about 2 inches apart on your cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 until golden brown and firm on top, about 16 to 18 minutes. let rest on the pan for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Other than the one or two you snag for yourself to eat all warm and gooey, of course. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with coarse salt upon taking them out of the oven. If you don’t, that’s cool; they are still some of the most delicious cookies ever.

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, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

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

DSCF1753

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars

 

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies



I know, I know; one heck of a title. You guys know I am not much on titles that are a bigger mouthful than the food, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I mean, I could have named these “Chewy, Crispy Oatmeal Cookies With Cranberries, Chocolate Chips And Toasted Pecans”. Now THERE’S  a mouthful.

Sometimes, when I get into the kitchen, I like to pretend I’m cooking healthy. Throw some oats in a cookie dough, add some toasted nuts and some cranberries and I suddenly feel like I’m running a health food blog. I, of course, totally ignore that said cranberries are sugar sweetened, that I also have chocolate chips in them and that there is 2 sticks of butter in with the oatmeal. Yep… health food! No counting calories needed here. *coughcough*

I am running really behind today cause that stoopid Migraine is still hanging around making me fairly miserable and making me not want to do much of anything, so I’m not going to ramble much today, but just to get the goodies.

As cookies go, these ARE actually not too bad for you. Yes, they have butter and chocolate, but they do have those nuts and even sweetened, you get some vitamins and fiber from the dried cranberries. Plus, compared to a lot of oatmeal cookie recipes, these aren’t very sweet. If you like a sweeter cookie, feel free to add about 1/3 cup more of sugar. Personally, I rather enjoy their crispy edges and chewy center just like this…. just sweet enjoy to feel like an indulgence.

You know the drill…

Love you guys! <3

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey (this is what helps you get that chewiness)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, at medium speed on a hand mixer, beat together the butter and two types of sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs and beat well, scraping bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla extract and honey and beat well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ones and use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined. Dump in the cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Use a tablespoon to scoop out golf ball sized rounds of dough. Place about two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. You can leave them as balls and they will be a bit more chewy or you can flatten them out a bit once they are on the sheets and end up with cookies that are somewhat crisper; your choice.
  7. Bake until they are set but still feel the tiniest bit moist in the center to get chewy cookies, about 18 minutes or until totally set, about 21 minutes to get crisper cookies.
  8. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies



When I was a kid, I lived in inner city Chicago. Not the suburbs (not till I was a bit older), not someone saying “I’m from Chicago” who actually grew up in Des Plaines or Joliet, but actually right in the heart of the city. And while I’ve been in Kentucky since 1988 (oh, crap, I’m old!) and can’t imagine ever living in a big city again, there are some things I miss about it.

I miss the culture of a city; the museums, the theater, etc. I miss the shopping that encompasses more than Wal-Mart and Target. I definitely miss that. And I miss the food. The largest city near me is Lexington and while I love it, it isn’t exactly a thriving metropolis when it comes to ethnic foods. But they are slowly working on that.

But know one of the things I miss most due to living in the country? I miss ice cream trucks. Yep… ice cream trucks. Hey; this is me! What were you expecting? Something sophisticated and exciting? Yeah… right. 😛 Nope. Ice cream trucks it is. When I was a kid, we still had Good Humor trucks. Ohhhhh, I miss those.  We also had ice cream trucks where you could get actual soft serve cones. Those were awesome. AND… we had the ubiquitous ice cream trucks that had a huge scary clown face and tinny music that would have worked well in a Stephen King movie.  Thank God I’ve never been the type to get easily traumatized *twitches a little and sucks my thumb* One of the things I used to love to get was a Creamsicle. Or Dreamsicle. I’ve seen it as both, but I prefer Creamsicle. It has the word cream in it, after all. That lovely ice cream bar of vanilla ice cream surrounded by tangy orange sherbet. What could be better? You got sweet mixed with tangy. worked for me.

So I wanted to make a cookie with flavors reminiscent of a Creamsicle. Vanilla and orange, but without dribbling it all over my chin and down my arm. I think I succeeded here. You don’t get as much of the tang is about the only miss. I thought about adding a touch of citric acid to the dough, but I know that not many people keep that in their cabinets and that I’m odd with that one. But this is a wonderful mix of orange flavor, vanilla flavor and a chewy cookie base. If you like the orange/vanilla combo, you’ll enjoy these. They’re great lunch box cookies too.

You know the drill…. 🙂

This makes a boatload of cookies, btw, so if you don’t want enough to give away, either make half a batch or freeze half for later use.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

  • 4 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 1 3.4 ounce  box or instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 3 ounce box orange jello
  • 3 cups good quality white chocolate chips
  1.  In a medium bowl, mix, then whisk to combine the flour, salt, baking soda and orange zest.
  2. In a large bowl (preferably a stand mixer, though this can be done by hand or with a strong hand mixer), combine the butter and the sugars. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly creamed and slightly fluffy looking.
  3. Add in the eggs, the extracts, the pudding mix and the jello mix. beat on low until thoroughly combined.
  4. Dump the flour mixture into the bowl and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, stopping mixer once and scraping down sides of the bowl.
  5. When nicely combined,  add in the white chocolate chips and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Dump the dough out onto a piece of foil, wrap tightly and chill for at least two hours. If you made a full batch and aren’t planning to make them all, wrap half of it in a double layer of foil and freeze.
  7.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape the dough into golf ball sized balls; smaller if you want smaller cookies, obviously. Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. bake at 350 for between 17 to 20 minutes; check at the earlier time if you want a chewier cookie, later time if you want one that is crispier.
  8. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

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Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies




 

I was going through the blog the other day, contemplating redoing some old recipes, using photos that don’t make me cringe. I mean, really, I’m not going to set the world on fire even now with my mad photography skillz but at least now I don’t alternate between hysterical laughter and wanting to gouge my eyeballs out with a spork. Then though? Oh…my….gosh. I sucked.

When I was going through though the recipes though, something occurred to me. I do not have even ONE plain old chocolate chip cookie recipe in here.

Well, guess what? I STILL don’t have one plain old chocolate chip cookie recipe in here. I’m tellin’ you; it’s impossible for me to leave a recipe alone! And while I realize that 900 other bloggers have gone the stuffed cookie route, I’m still hanging onto that possibility that there are one or two of you out there who don’t visit many other blogs, but love me for my special type of charm. Plus, my cookies are different. Please don’t ask me why because I don’t have a valid reason. Just trust me on this. k? We’re cool?

As for a plain recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I’ll get to it. Someday. Maybe.

That title up there? It is not entirely accurate. At least not for me. I changed it up mid way through and stuffed some of mine with peanut butter filled Dove chocolates. Point being… these are easy to vary. Grab your favorite piece of filled chocolate and bury that sucker in dough.

The cookie part of this is based on Jacque Torres recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I changed it up to the point that the basic home baker who doesn’t have a large variety of flours and ingredients can do it. I also cut down on the amount of chocolate in the dough, as even were I not stuffing these, I would have found it too much. But, having tried the original, I can tell you honestly that I didn’t taste a difference. I think the main thing with his is the resting time and the usage of the 2 flours, which I still adhered to.

You know the drill… git to cookin’ 🙂

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (if you happen to have cake flour, use 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of cake flour instead)
  • 1 2/3 cup bread flour (no subs)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (I used dark brown)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces chopped dark chocolate
  • a bag or container of your favorite chocolates (I used a mix of some sea salt caramels I bought at Costco a while back and two different varieties of Dove chocolate, the peanut butter and the salted caramel
  •  sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Use a strong hand mixer on high or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and beat well.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour mixture just until combined.
  5. Use a heavy rubber spatula or wooden spoon and fold in the chopped chocolate.
  6. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with either silicone mats or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  8. Scoop out dough portions weighing about 2 to 3 ounces (that is big enough to totally enfold the chocolate so it doesn’t ooze out everywhere). Flatten the dough somewhat and press a chocolate piece into the middle, then close the dough over it. Roll it in your hands for a second to make sure it is sealed.
  9. Bake at 350 for 16 to 20 minutes (it will vary depending on the size of the dough ball and your oven) or until golden brown and mostly firm on top.
  10. Let cool on pan for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired when still a little bit warm.

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Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

 

You ever have one of those days when you feel like you’ve run around like a crazy woman (or man as the case may be) all day, but haven’t accomplished anything of importance? That was my day today. I made homemade bread, made dinner, made cookies, did housework, etc etc, but somehow, I just don’t feel like I got anything done. All the floors still need waxed, I need to go weed outside, I need to vacuum, there’s more laundry, I did NOT write a New York Times bestselling novel nor did I manage to effect world peace by my mere presence or find a cure for paper cuts. So, see? Wasted day.

I may have no choice but to console myself about my laziness by being lazy and sitting down with 14 of these cookies and a cup of tea and watching all five of the Rocky Movies on Netflix. Want to come join me? If you get here in sayyyyyy, the next ten minutes, there may even be a cookie left.

I had seen this cookie (more or less) on the Land O Lakes web site. The idea intrigued me because I love shortbread. I mean, what’s not to love about shortbread? It uses lots of butter. What else did I need to know? I mean…butter! But so many of the reviews talked about it being dry and crumbly. Now, by its very nature, shortbread tends to be crumbly. It has very few ingredients and doesn’t really include anything that could be considered a binder or “cookie glue” as I think I’ll call it 😀

So I changed the recipe. I know, right! Whoda thunk it of me!? In all honesty, one reason I change recipes is because in the blogging world, it’s considered uncool to use anothers recipe without substantial changes. But mostly, I change things, as I’ve said many times, because I am genetically incapable of leaving a recipe alone. It’s a sickness! A sickness, I tell you!

What I did was to add an egg yolk to make a more manageable cookie that didn’t crumble if you looked at it funny and I also added a packet of Duncan Hines Key Lime Frosting Creations to up the zing factor of the lime flavor. It worked! These are yummy cookies, if I do say so myself. They are still very delicate, so you can’t like throw one at someone you’re wanting to give one to, or all they will receive is a handful of tasty crumbs, but handle them with common sense care and you’ll be fine. These are great for after school snacking (which is coming up far quicker than most of us parents want to admit!), great with some tea or coffee, late night noshing. Ok, fine, it’s good no matter what. It has a nice bright lime flavor with a melt in your mouth texture. I can see myself in the future using this same recipe with other packet flavors, so be on the lookout for some, especially near Christmas!

You know the drill… 🙂

Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 packet Duncan Hines Key Lime Frosting Creations (can be done without this, but it makes the flavor pop)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Key Lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Key Lime zest (I have a confession; I used regular limes)
  • GLAZE-
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice (amount varies by how thin you want the glaze)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and the frosting packet.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the butter, egg yolk, lime juice and lime zest. Add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed to combine. This is a fairly soft dough, so don’t add more flour when you see that.
  3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a log (carefully or it will start to melt all over your hands) and wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  5. Slice each log into 10 to 12 slices. Lay about an inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies look set and are a nice light brown around the edges. You don’t want to overcook shortbread. That’s one of the things that will make it too crumbly.
  6. Let them cool for about 2 minutes on the sheet, then CAREFULLY transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. When they are cool, whisk together the glaze ingredients. You can then either carefully spoon it and spread it on top of each cookie or dip the tops of them in the glaze. Spooning tends to work better because if you dip, the lime zest gets left in the bowl for the most part and doesn’t adhere to the cookies.

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