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Turtle Cookie Cups

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Turtle Cookie Cup

Chocolate cookie cups full of creamy caramel, chocolate and pecans.  So many fun fall flavors in one little dessert!

There’s something about November that makes me think caramel and pecans. Comfort food, maybe? Thanksgiving?  I’m not sure, but these yummy little treats hit the spot!  They are fun to make, and a pretty mini dessert for all those November and December get-togethers.

Here’s how they are made: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks (one cup) butter (softened)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

Toppings:

  • 1 bag of Wilton’s candy melts in milk chocolate
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans and about 60 whole pecans
  • 32 Kraft caramels (unwrapped)
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

DIRECTIONS:

Cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Add butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl
  • Blend on medium speed with a mixer until smooth
  • Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until smooth (use clean hands at the end, and knead into a soft ball of dough
  • Use a small cookie scoop (I used one that holds ½ tablespoon of batter) to portion your dough into mini muffin tins that have been sprayed with non-stick spray
  • Use a tart shaper, or a wooden spoon to press the dough into a cup shape.

Making cookie cups

  • Bake at 350F degrees for 7-8 minutes and remove from oven.
  • Press centers in a second time and allow cups to cool for just a couple of minutes.
  • Use a small paring knife to pop each cup out and allow them to cool on the counter.

Toppings:

  • Place caramels, sweetened condensed milk and butter into a medium saucepan and heat on medium over the stove until all of the caramels are melted.
  • Heat milk chocolate candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted and smooth.
  • Place chopped pecans into a small bowl.
  • To assemble, dip top edge of cup in candy melts and then in chopped nuts.

Dipping tops of cookie cups in chocolate

  • Place caramel sauce into a sturdy zip top bag and clip a corner.
  • Pipe caramel into each cup until filled completely and top with a whole almond.
  • Allow caramel and chocolate to firm up.
  • Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
  • Enjoy!

Turtle Cookie Cup2

My thoughts: These are a little time-consuming to make, but sooooo yummy. They are a perfect mini-dessert for any of the upcoming holidays, and they got RAVE reviews in my little world! That caramel….!!!! Enjoy! ~r

Other fun mini desserts here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Cheesecake Sundaes Mint Creme Brownie CupsCake balls filled with cream cheese frostingMini chocolate chip cookie cheesecakes

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Caramel Gelato with Gingerbread Spoons

Caramel Gelato with Gingerbread cookie spoonsThis creamy frozen caramel dessert is perfect when it is eaten with a spicy gingerbread cookie spoon.  Does dessert get much more fun than this?!?

This recipe has a story. I was flying home to Michigan for a wedding when I saw the most amazing dessert in one of those in-flight magazines.  It was some sort of mousse with a COOKIE SPOON in it.  I stared at it and thought….and wondered if spoon cookie cutters exist (they do), and I decided right then that I would make something caramel with gingerbread spoons.

Something caramel…..something sweet and rich.  About a week later, I saw this post on Foodgawker and the words, “Three ingredients. No churn. No machine. No whipping cream. It’s magic.” swirled in my head.  Sour cream, Sweetened condensed milk, Vanilla. No machine.

What if I added Dulce de Leche instead of the sweetened condensed milk?  I had to try it.  I felt like I was surely wasting a container of sour cream when I mixed this up….but then…. creamy, cold caramel deliciousness. It is magic.  You need to try this!

Caramel Gelato!!!

Here’s how: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Caramel Gelato:

  • 1 1/2 cups of sour cream (use full-fat)
  • 1 can (13.4 oz.) of La Lechera Dulce de Leche (now….imagine coconut cream in this recipe….!)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cookie Spoons:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:

Caramel Gelato:

  • Mix all ingredients together well, spread into a freezer safe bowl and cover tightly.  
  • Freeze overnight.
  • Allow gelato to warm a little before serving.

Gingerbread Cookie Spoons:

  • Cream together butter and sugar.
  • Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar.
  • Blend in sifted dry ingredients.
  • Chill 2-3 hours (this is important– the dough is very easy to roll after chilling)
  • Roll 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick on a floured counter or board and cut into spoon shapes, using a cookie cutter, and place on greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Check often- take out when cookies have risen and are easily removed from sheet.

Caramel Gelato!My thoughts: This caramel desert is unbelievably creamy and rich.  I pictured 2 scoops in my photos, but I would serve just one.  It is almost like frozen custard- so heavy and rich.  The caramel flavor is amazing though!  Amazing.  The cookies are so delicious with the caramel.  They are hard to actually use as spoons until the frozen caramel warms a bit.  I love this flavor combination!  I hope you get a chance to try it!  Enjoy!!! ~r

Caramel Gelato and ginger bread cookiesOther fun chilled desserts you might enjoy:

Heath Bar Ice Cream Dessert3Peppermint Ice cream pieIce Cream Cakefrozen s'more cups

Caramel Pecan Marshmallow Pops

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Marshmallow Turtle Pops!

  Big marshmallows covered in creamy caramel and chocolate are dipped in pecans to make an incredibly decadent treat!

These are unbelievably good.  I was visiting my friend Andreya in San Diego last weekend and we passed a store while window shopping in La Jolla that had all sorts of dipped marshmallows.  I started craving them and had to try this.   These are like yummy caramel apples- but with a soft marshmallow inside, instead of an apple.  If you are looking for a really unique treat that is easy to put together, this is your recipe!!!  I couldn’t believe how easy and yummy  these were.

Caramel Pecan Dipped Marshmallows

Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bags of jumbo marshmallows (24 marshmallows)
  • 24 lollipop sticks
  • 32 Kraft caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate Wilton’s candy melts
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

  • Set marshmallows out on parchment paper and stick one lollipop stick into the flat side of each one.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt together caramels, butter and sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly, until completely smooth (takes about 5 minutes)
  • Pour caramel mixture into a bowl.
  • Using stick, carefully dip each marshmallow into caramel, coating it to the top.  Gently tap stick against side of bowl to remove excess caramel and then slide bottom of marshmallow along bowl’s edge to remove most of caramel.  (It is ok if you remove it down to the marshmallow- the chocolate will cover this up!
  • Place upright on a sheet of parchment paper and cool.
  • Place chocolate candy melts into a bowl, and melt them in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth.
  • Lay a fresh sheet of parchment paper out before beginning next step.
  • Place pecans in a small bowl.
  • Gently peel a marshmallow away from the parchment paper. This is a little tricky, as it will still be a bit gooey.  I held the stick, lifted, and peeled the paper away from the marshmallow.
  • Dip bottom of marshmallow into melted chocolate and slide bottom along edge of bowl to remove excess.
  • Dip bottom of coated marshmallow into pecans and set on fresh parchment paper to harden.

Once these are hardened up, you can serve them up on a pretty plate, or wrap them in cello bags to use as gifts or favors.
If you aren’t serving them right away, be sure to cover them so the marshmallows don’t harden up.

Caramel Pecan Marshmallow Pops!

My thoughts: These are a recipe I will make again.  I had fun putting them together and everyone who tried them asked me to make them again.  Easy. Yummy. Beautiful.  My kind of recipe!  Enjoy!! ~r

Other unique recipes you might enjoy:

Fruit Loop Pie!Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups!!!Cookie Dough Whoopie Pie!Doughnut cupcakes!!

Tres Leches Layer Cake

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Tres Leches Cake!!!!

This traditional sponge cake is soaked in a vanilla 3-milk sauce and layered with dulce de leche.  Topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, it is a light and refreshing dessert.

It’s nearly Cinco de Mayo time!  I first tried Tres Leches cake in Mexico.  I had taken a group from our church down to a tiny village in Sinaloa.  We had spent the week building, painting, doing electrical work and laying cement.  It was my birthday while I was there, and some of the ladies from the church made me a HUGE tres leches cake.  It was DELICIOUS!  When I asked for the recipe, they all looked at me funny and said- it’s tres leches cake..? (like everyone knows how to make that!!!)

Tres Leche Cake in MexicoSince then, I’ve tried this cake at other places in Mexico and in the states.  I’ve noticed that there are two kinds:  The firm, sweet and moist kind, and the dripping with milk kind.  I really don’t like the dripping with milk kind…that consistency is really gross to me- and cake should never be gross!

I researched lots of recipes, and discovered that there are two varieties: a butter based sponge cake and an egg based sponge cake.  The egg based one is the one I liked.  It soaks up all that yummy sauce and stays firm, while the other just sits in a puddle of sauce…YUCK!

Tres Leches Cake!!!!All of that said, this is an egg based recipe that I found on a lovely blog called Pati’s Mexican Table.  My research paid off- this was a FABULOUS cake!  Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS

Cake

  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Vanilla Sauce:

  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk (I used La Lechera brand)
  • 1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Topping/filling

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • fresh fruit for garnish
  • 1 (13.4 oz) can of La Lechera Dulce de Leche (or make your own here)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 360F degrees and spray two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with non-stick spray.  Cut a circle out of parchment paper to place in the bottom of each pan to help these cakes come out of the pan cleanly.
  • Divide eggs into 2 bowls.  Put the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and the yolks into a medium bowl.
  • Beat the egg whites on medium-high until they form soft peaks.  Add sugar and beat on high until they form stiff peaks (this will take 4-5 minutes, depending on your mixer).
  • Beat the egg yolks on high for 5 to 6 minutes until they increase in volume and turn a creamy yellow.
  • Beat the vanilla into the egg yolks until combined.
  • Add the yolks to the whites and use a spatula or large spoon to gently fold them together.
  • Add flour and gently mix until completely combined.
  • Divide batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The tops should be golden and when a toothpick is inserted in the center, it should come out clean.
  • Cool completely, run a small knife around the edges and tip cakes over on a plate.  Remove parchment paper.
  • Make sauce by combining the 3 milks (condensed, evaporated and cream) together with the vanilla.
  • Poke (lots!) of holes in the top of each cake with a fork and carefully pour sauce over the top, dividing it evenly between the 2 cakes.
  • Place one cake on a serving plate, spread dulce de leche caramel over the top, stack second cake on top.
  • Make frosting by beating together the whipping cream and powdered sugar, until stiff peaks form.
  • Frost cake and serve with fresh fruit. Refrigerate until serving.

Tres Leches Cake with caramel and fruitMy thoughts:  I was so pleased with how yummy this cake was.  The sponge cake is very firm and easy to work with, even when it’s soaked with sauce.  You can make this in a 9×13 inch pan too- I just wanted the tall layer cake look~ and that caramel in the middle?  Oh my… take a look at my pictures- it partially soaks in to that bottom layer and gives it a rich caramel flavor.  I think you all are going to love this cake!!  I hope you get a chance to try it!!!  Enjoy!!!!  ~r

Tres Leches Cake!!!!Other cinco de Mayo recipe ideas:

Alfajores-- yummy dulce de leche filling!Confetti Cake Filled with CandyCreamy Mango Pops!Mexican Chocolate Milk

Caramel Oreo Brownie Bars

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Caramel Oreo Brownie BarRich and gooey, these brownies are filled with soft caramel and Oreo cookies.  Does dessert get any better than this?!?

Wow…this was an experiment, and I’m almost speechless about how good these are.  It is hard to describe the yumminess…You need to try these.  I need to make these again, because they are already gone.

Caramel Oreo Brownie Bars!I’ve shared this recipe before on Easybaked, a very long time ago.  It is a wonderful recipe I called caramel chip bars.  This was one of my very first recipes on this blog, and if you click on the link you can see the recipe AND my awful beginning photography!!!  Lol.

These are very versatile brownie bars.  I make them all the time with a variety of cake mix flavors and chips.  It is a perfect way to use up half-empty bags of chips.

Caramel Oreo Brownie Bars!!!This time….I added Oreos, and the result was too incredibly yummy to not share with you all.  So here you go: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1/3c. oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1 box of Double Stuf Oreos
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 32 unwrapped Kraft caramels
  • 1 (14oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  • Line a 9×13″ cake pan with foil.  
  • Combine cake mix, oil and eggs.  
  • Blend well and stir in all of the chips (mixture will be very thick).  
  • Press a little less than half of the mixture into bottom of pan (it will press into a very thin layer and you might be able to see the bottom of the pan, but when it bakes it will fill in).  
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • While this is baking, in a medium saucepan, combine butter, caramels and condensed milk.  
  • Cook over low/medium heat until melted and smooth (stir constantly!)
  • When cake has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven and place 24 Oreo cookies over the top of the partially baked cake.

Oreo Caramel BrowniesOreo Caramel Brownies

  • Spread caramel over Oreos.  
  • Top with remaining cake/chip mixture.
  • There is a technique to this- you cant just spoon the batter on top or it will just mix in with the melted caramel.  Instead, take a small ball of dough/chips and press it very flat between your hands. Lay this on top of the caramel and repeat the process, like a patchwork quilt, until the entire top is covered.  It is ok to have a few gaps.

Oreo Caramel BrowniesOreo Caramel Brownies

  • Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.  
  • Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes.  
  • Gently lift from pan and peel foil from edges.  
  • Cool completely before cutting. Makes about 24 bars.

Caramel Oreo Brownie Bars!!!

My thoughts:  You have to make these!!!!!!! YUM!!!!!

Caramel Oreo Brownie BarsLove caramel?  We do too!!!  Here’s a few more caramel- filled recipes from Easybaked:

Caramel Cheesecake!!Dulce de Leche caramel sauce form a canSalted Caramel Cookie Cups (2)Caramel Fudge Brownies!!

Christmas Eve Caramel Pecan Pie!

Caramel Pecan Pie3

This easy pecan pie is full of warm and creamy caramel and nuts.  A Christmas tradition at our house, it’s sure to be a big hit with your family!

Our family has had some odd Christmas eve traditions.  Most notable among them: eating dinner at Arby’s before the Christmas Eve service at church.  I’m not sure how that one got started, but it just wasn’t Christmas Eve without a roast beef sandwich in a cold and relatively lonely Arbys.  Looking back, it was a little depressing I guess… empty restaurant, workers ready to go home, elevator-style Christmas music… but as a kid it was magical.  Our whole family together on the eve of so many exciting things… eating roast beef.

After I left for college, my parents got new neighbors and this wonderful lady would knock on our door every year on Christmas Eve and bring us this pie, piping hot and oozing caramel.  It became a new tradition and we all called it “Christmas Eve Pie”.

The neighbors have since moved, but whenever I taste this pie I am transported to happy memories of Christmas Eves past, enjoying this dessert with my family around me, watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” by the fire. As you enjoy your Christmas traditions with your family, I pray you are blessed with beautiful memories and delicious food!  Merry Christmas dear friends!!!! Caramel Pecan Pie!!!
Here’s the recipe: (printable version)
INGREDIENTS:

  • one pie crust (use your own or get pre-made)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (12 oz) jar of caramel topping
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 oz) pecan halves

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • Press pie crust into pie plate
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork.
  • Add sugar, stirring until dissolved
  • Stir in caramel topping and butter
  • Stir in pecan halves
  • Pour filling into pie shell
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted off-center comes out clean.
  • Serve warm, but chill to store.

Caramel Pecan Pie!!
Other Christmas recipes at Easybaked:

Gingerbread menDecorated bonbonsChristmas Cut-outsPeppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!!!

Classic Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

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Classic Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping
Creamy classic vanilla cheesecake with a sweet and light sour cream topping.

This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever made.  That’s saying a lot because I’ve made many, many cheesecakes.

In case you missed last week’s post, Easybaked is featuring family “tried and true” recipes during the month of November.  This week our star baker is my Aunt Vonda.  She is the queen of desserts in our family and literally everything she makes is scrumptious!  This cheesecake is one of my very favorite family desserts.  I’ve wanted the recipe for years and once I finally got to make it for myself I was even more impressed.  Not only is is delicious….it is actually easier to make than most cheesecakes I’ve tried….and oh, SO good.

Vonda's Cheesecake3
This is the cheesecake for a cheesecake purist.  No crazy toppings or fillings- just plain cheesecake.  Usually I’m not a huge fan of plain cheesecake, but the flavor and texture of this one is incredible.

Vonda's Cheesecake5
Want the recipe?

Here you go: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups Honeymaid graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
Filling: 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese bars (must be the Philadelphia brand)~ softened to room temperature.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
Topping: 
  • 1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients together until well combined.
  • Press into a 9″ spring form pan, pressing crumbs into bottom and about 1 1/2″ up sides of pan.    
  • For the filling, combine the sugar and softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla, lemon juice and salt and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into crust.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 35-45 minutes.
  • While cheesecake is baking, make topping by simply mixing together all of the topping ingredients.
  • After 35-45 minutes of baking, remove cheesecake from oven and turn oven down to 325F degrees.
  • Pour topping over hot cheesecake, gently spreading to edges.
  • Return cheesecake to oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven and leave sides on pan while allowing cheesecake to cool to room temperature.  
  • Refrigerate several hours (or overnight)
  • Remove edges of spring form pan before serving and serve with fresh fruit, pie filling or a chocolate or caramel sauce.
  • Enjoy!!!!

Creamy classic cheesecake
My thoughts:  Well, you already know how much I love this cheesecake because I’ve gone on and on about it.  This is a must-try recipe.  You will love it.  A huge thanks to my Aunt Vonda for sharing her recipe with us!!!  Yum!!!  ~r

Creamy cheesecake with sour cream topping
Other cheesecake recipes we love here at Easybaked:
Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake!!Triple Chocolate Cheesecake 3Peanut butter cup cheesecakeTurtle Cheesecake
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