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Fall Peanut Butter Crisps

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Fall Peanut Butter Crisps1

These beautiful fall cookies are special– not just because they are salty, sweet, crispy deliciousness– but because they use up your kids’ Halloween candy!!!!

So… Halloween is over, and you are likely in possession of more candy than you know what to do with. The chocolate will be gone in days, and then the name-brand candy will slowly get picked away at. But there are always those candies that sit in the bottom of the plastic pumpkin until Thanksgiving. For me, those candies were always Bit-o-Honey and the bright orange and black-wrapped “Peanut Butter Kisses“. These are a candy that only seems to make an appearance at Halloween. A combination of taffy and peanut butter, they just always seem to make the left-over candy list.

But not any more!!!  Go ahead, dig through all of that Halloween candy and pull these little guys out- they make the best filling for these beautiful cookies!

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You can also grab other candies to fill these cookies with- rolos, kisses, peppermint patties, mini snickers… all work in this recipe! I actually began making these crisp cookies with Rolos about 5 years ago at Christmas.

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Want the recipe? Here it is!! (printable version)

Ingredients: (makes 20 cookies)

  • 40 Ritz crackers
  • 20 Peanut Butter Kisses (or other small candy that melts at a low temperature)
  • 1 bag of Wilton’s dark chocolate candy melts
  • 1 chocolate transfer sheet (I used 12×16″, and I got mine here). 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
  • Place 20 Ritz crackers on a cookie sheet, bottoms up. 
  • Unwrap all 20 peanut butter kisses, and set one on each Ritz cracker. 
  • Place cookie sheet in oven for about 4-5 minutes- check! Candy should be soft but not completely melted. 
  • Remove from oven, and place Ritz cracker, bottom side down, on top of candy and press to spread candy to edge.

 

  • Place entire tray in freezer to chill for a few minutes.
  • Melt chocolate candy melts in a bowl in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, stirring once every 30 seconds, until completely melted and smooth.
  • Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (that fits in your freezer!)
  • Cut chocolate transfer sheet into 20 squares.
  • Take a cookie, place it in the melted chocolate and cover it completely. Use a fork to pick it up and tap on the side of the bowl until all excess chocolate drips off the bottom. Slide bottom along edge of bowl, and using fork, slide onto parchment paper.
  • Immediately place chocolate transfer sheet square on top of the melted chocolate (you’ll need to put the rough side down- the smooth side up) and gently press it into contact with the entire top of the cookie. Repeat 20 times.
  • Place entire cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes or so. As soon as you remove it, gently peel off the transfer sheet from each cookie- and enjoy!!!

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My thoughts: There are three things that I love about these cookies…

  1. They are EASY to make- they take almost no time but look so fancy!
  2. They are CHEAP to make- the Ritz crackers and peanut butter candies are really inexpensive (I got mine at the Dollar Store), the chocolate isn’t too costly, and the transfer sheet is like $4.40, but SO worth it! (you could use sprinkles instead, to cut the cost even more though!)
  3. They keep for a long time. Put these little guys in cello bags, tie them up, and use them to decorate your place settings at Thanksgiving! 

They also can use a variety of candies up- and you can decorate them so many fun ways! 

Fall Peanut Butter Crisps3

Go – find your kids’ candy and re-purpose it into these beautiful, crunchy, deliciously salty but sweet treats!

Need other ideas for using up that Halloween candy? This is a project we have a few ideas for! Click on a photo to see the recipe.

 

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Epic Monster Cookies!

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Every once in awhile I run into a dessert that I simply HAVE to try making. These cookies are that dessert. Recently, my husband and I were invited to be a part of a good friend’s wedding in Georgia. At the rehearsal, the groom’s mom handed out little bags filled with these cookies… and the rest is history. I’ve had monster cookies before… but I’ve never had ones that tasted this good! Thick and full of oats- kind of like the oatmeal no-bake cookies… but better. Seriously– you need to try them!

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So I got the recipe from Debbie Howard, mom of my recently married friend Josh. It was a really old recipe in one of those church cookbooks where everyone submits recipes. It had alterations scribbled all over the recipe, so it took me three tries, but I finally perfected the recipe. You need to make these exactly as instructed though- or they won’t work as well- and believe me- when they work….? Epic. Cookies.

My biggest mistake was not refrigerating the dough before scooping them out- and they flattened into thin crispy puddles :/ You need to refrigerate- so give yourself at least 2 hours extra time for that. Otherwise, they are fairly easy cookies and worth every bit of effort!!  Want the recipe? Here you go! (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of extra crunchy peanut butter
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned kind- not instant!)
  • ½ cup M&Ms
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together and add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  • Add peanut butter and beat together until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, toss salt, baking soda, oats, pecans, M&Ms and chocolate chips together.
  • Add bowl of dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for about two hours (you must do this, or the cookies will spread thin and crunchy when baked). Dough should be just hard enough to still scoop, so test the time a bit, as refrigerators vary in temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 365F degrees.
  • Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to place cookie dough on a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. Roll them smooth with your hands and then flatten them a little bit before baking. Leave room between cookies to allow them to spread a little. 
  • Bake at 365F degrees for 10-12 minutes. They should be just turning brown on top when you remove them. 
  • Slide cookies off sheet, still on parchment paper, and allow them to cool on counter- they will seem fragile until they cool and harden up.
  • Enjoy!

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My thoughts: Well, I already said this once, but these are really delicious cookies. They are thick and chewy and so peanut-buttery! Store them in an air-tight container and they keep for a long time (we are still eating ours a week later!) Enjoy! ~r

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We have other epic cookies here- click on a photo to see the recipe!

Chocolate Cake Roll with a Cinnamon Caramel Filling

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Cake Roll1I love my pumpkin roll recipe. It’s one of my favorite parts of baking in the Fall. I’ve been highly unsuccessful, however, in finding a chocolate cake roll recipe that I love- either it tastes great but cracks like crazy, or it rolls well buts tastes like cardboard. One of my goals over the past 2 years of blog-absence was to create a chocolate cake roll recipe that works AND tastes great.

This is it! It rolls beautifully (I had only one small crack) and tastes like a rich, but not-too-sweet, fudge brownie. Perfect!

Of course you can fill this roll with a multitude of things, but I chose a creamy Dulce de Leche caramel filling with cinnamon.

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Ready to try this? Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: 

Cake:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Filling:

  • 3 sticks (1.5 cups) of salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • One can (13.4 oz) Dulce de Leche (I used Nestle’s La Lechera)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder (mix them together in a small dish)

Directions:

Cake:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a 17 x 12 inch jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper with about an inch of extra paper on the 17-inch sides (so you can lift the cake out of the pan easily once it bakes). Note: make sure your paper is nice and flat- the non-stick spray will help hold it down. Mine folded a little and you can see a few bumps on my roll where the batter baked over the fold.
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl stirring gently until just combined.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar for about 1 minute until thick. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, and beat together until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix gently until just combined. The batter will be like a runny brownie batter.
  • Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan, and bake for 12-16 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched.
  • Carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface. Then slowly, using your hands (careful, it will be hot!), roll the cake  – rolling from one short (12-inch) end to the other— until it is completely rolled up.
  • Wrap tightly in a towel and place in refrigerator until completely cooled (an hour or so).

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  • While the cake is cooling, make the caramel and cinnamon filling (see below).
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, place it on a flat surface, remove the towel, and unroll it carefully until it is flat again (it’s ok if the ends curl up a bit).

Filling: (make while cake cools)

  • Place butter in mixing bowl and beat on high until whipped and smooth.
  • Add Dulce de Leche and cinnamon to butter and beat on high for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Assembly: 

  • Spread the filling evenly over unrolled cake, leaving a small border on all sides (the filling will spread out as you roll it back up).  Then carefully re-roll the cake, gently peeling away the parchment paper as you roll until you can completely remove and discard it. Tightly wrap the chocolate roll in plastic wrap or Press-n-Seal and refrigerate at least one hour until completely set.

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  • Lightly dust with cocoa powder and cinnamon mixture (you could also add a chocolate glaze to the top if you have cracks or you want the dessert to be sweeter).
  • To serve, remove and unwrap the chocolate roll, transfer it to your serving dish and slice.
  • Keep leftovers tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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My thoughts: Yum! I loved this cake roll- I almost feel like it should be called a brownie roll because it is so dense and rich. This is not a super sweet dessert- my husband said it would be better with a sweet chocolate glaze on top- but I loved the rich cocoa/cinnamon flavor. If you like a not-so-sweet but rich and cocoa-y dessert, this one’s for you! Enjoy!! ~r

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Dark Chocolate Almond Bites

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These little clusters of almond, coconut and dark chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet!

I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year, and so far I’m doing really well (even with a baking blog!). My friend Laura and I walk each day and when we do we talk a lot about things we crave that could be made healthier. She was telling me that she craves chocolate so much that she takes a few dark chocolate chips and adds some almonds for a snack each night. I was in the process of making some coconut cut-out cookies and I had extra toasted coconut. We started brainstorming ways to make a cookie with relatively low calories and carbs. This is the result 🙂 They are delicious (!!) and as far as I can tell, they are about 85 calories each and 6 carbs. Which is perfect. Just perfect.

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They aren’t very pretty- but who needs pretty when you can have yummy and relatively healthy? 🙂

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of toasted coconut (buy it toasted, or toast your own…)
  • 1 cup of lightly salted, roasted almonds
  • 2 plain rice cakes
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place toasted coconut and almonds in a food chopper and chop to small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Crumble up the 2 rice cakes into very small pieces and add to bowl.
  • Melt chocolate chips, and pour them over the top of mixture. 
  • Stir until well-blended and then use a medium cookie scoop to spoon out evenly-sized cookies onto a parchment paper- covered cookie sheet. (My batch made 22, and calories and carbs were calculated accordingly.)
  • Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until cookies harden up. Enjoy! 

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My thoughts: These are really, really good. I bagged mine up in individual cello bags and tied them shut with a twist tie. That way, I wasn’t tempted to eat more than one at a time! These are a perfect “gotta have some chocolate” treat. Lots of protein from the nuts, healthy oils from the coconut, and a little bit of crunch from the rice cakes. Enjoy! ~r

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Other yummy (slightly less healthy!) cookie recipes here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Spring Flower Oreo Pops!

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Make a bouquet of Oreo flowers for mom this Mother’s Day!

This is the third Oreo Pop recipe I’ve used these cute little sunflower seeds in this spring- and it might be my favorite! The fun bright colors just make you smile. Tie them up in little cello bags with pretty ribbon and they make the perfect Mother’s Day treat next weekend!

You’re smiling aren’t you? Just guessing… 🙂 I absolutely LOVE these- and the color combinations are only limited to the colors you can find in the sunflower seeds. Mine are a combination of Trader Joe’s and JoAnn’s Fabric ones. You can get them online- or maybe even at your grocery! Different companies make different colors. The JoAnn ones gave me those pretty teal blue and shiny purple ones. I just used little pearl sprinkles for the centers.

Here’s how we made these fun little pops:

(If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24-30 Oreo pops)

  • One box of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s Candy Melts in white.
  • Wilton’s Candy Melts in a variety of colors (you’ll need at least 2 bags of them)
  • Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
  • Edible pearl sprinkles in a variety of colors

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).
  • Melt one color of Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Gently dip Oreo in Candy Melts, using a spoon to cover all sides. Tap stick against side of bowl to drain excess. Set on parchment paper.
  • While Candy Melts are still soft, set a pearl sprinkle at the center and then gently place sunflower seeds around the pearl in the shape of a flower (as pictured). Allow Candy Melts to harden completely.
  • Repeat with other colors of Candy Melts.
  • Store in a sealed container for 2-3 weeks. You can also tie them individually in small cello bags and store for the same timeframe. (These are a perfect treat to mail to mom or grandma!!!!)
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: I will never pick a bouquet of flowers without thinking of my mom 🙂 She never had a summer day where there wasn’t a huge bouquet of fresh-cut flowers from her garden sitting in the center of the kitchen table. This is her third Mother’s Day in heaven, but I know these would have made her smile if she was here.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you, and miss you!

We have lots of fun recipe ideas for Mother’s Day! Click a photo to see the recipe:

Looking for that perfect gift for moms and grandmas? Get them my cookbook- specially designed to use with kids and grandkids, teaching them both kitchen skills and about God’s love for them! Fun!!! Click on the following link to find out more about it: Life Is Sweet: 12 Baking Devotions for Kids.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

 

Maracas Oreo Pops!

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these adorable maracas made with Oreos and candy sunflower seeds!

I love Mexico! I’ve been there on vacation, and I’ve been there many times to work alongside the people of a little town called Siete Ejidos in Sinaloa. I love the food, the beautiful people, the music, and the bright, fun colors that are everywhere! Seriously- why is it unacceptable to paint a house bright blue and orange in the States? (or at least in my neighborhood…)

These were such fun cookies to make because you can just go crazy with color and make any design you want! Use sprinkles or candy…I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds on mine, and I love how they turned out! They have that “bead” look you often see on maracas and other art in Mexico.

Here’s how we made these (printable recipe here)

(If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24-30 Oreo pops)

  • One box of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s Candy Melts in white.
  • Wilton’s Candy Melts in a variety of colors (you’ll need at least 3 bags of them)
  • One box of Dots Candy

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Press a lollipop stick through a Dots candy until about 1 inch of the stick is out of the other side (see photo below).
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).

  • Melt one color of Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Gently spoon color over bottom 1/4 of Oreo (see photos below).  I gently turned the stick so I could spoon color on the back too- then tap stick against side of bowl to drain excess. Set on parchment paper and allow this to harden up.
  • Melt second color of Candy Melts as above. Spoon color over the rest of the Oreo, tap stick against bowl to drain away excess, place on parchment paper, and gently place sunflower seeds in flower pattern in the center (or add sprinkles…or drizzle chocolate…). Allow this to harden.
  • Melt third color of Candy Melts and spoon over top 1/4. Tap stick against bowl to drain excess and set on parchment paper to harden.
  • Allow candy melts to harden completely, and then pipe line/dots on in any color (I used black).
  • ENJOY!

My thoughts: These are a delicious little way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Once they are hardened up, you can tie them into little individual cello bags and they will keep for weeks. I love make-ahead treats! 

Are you a recent arrival to the incredible fun of Oreo Pops?? They are one of our favorite things to make here on Easybaked- and we have them for every possible occasion! Here are a few to try: (click on photo to see recipe)

Or are you looking for great recipes for Cinco de Mayo?? We have those too! We love to celebrate this holiday here!!

Caramel Shortbread Bars

caramel shortbread barsI was introduced to the buttery flaky happiness of shortbread cookies last fall, and I promised myself that I would return to them in a new recipe. Instead of baking them in cookie form, I baked these in a pan and then covered them with dulce de leche caramel and a chocolate glaze. They are AMAZINGLY good. Really. That good. Look at the pictures…. they are THAT GOOD.

Caramel Shortbread bars

 

You can make your own dulce de leche using a can of sweetened condensed milk (here’s my recipe for that)- or you can just buy a couple cans of it. I always find it in the Hispanic food section of my local grocery (they have it at WalMart there too). I bought cans for this creation- easy and sooooooo yummy.

Here’s how we made these! (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

Cookie base:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder

Toppings:

  • 2 cans (13.4 oz. each) of dulce de leche I used La Lechera by Nestle
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 6 Tablespoons of butter

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place 1 cup of unsalted butter and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and using a mixer, beat until light and fluffy (think buttercream frosting…!)
  • Add vanilla and mix until well combined.
  • Add flour and baking powder to butter/sugar mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated well (don’t over-beat this).
  • Press into a standard 9×13″ cake pan that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned on top and firm at center.
  • Cool completely.
  • Pour cans of caramel over the top and smooth.
  • Melt chocolate chips with 6 Tablespoons of butter. Stir to mix well and pour over top of caramel layer. Smooth top.
  • Before top hardens, if desired, drizzle with white chocolate and pull lines back and forth with a toothpick to make design shown.
  • Chill for at least an hour before cutting.
  • Enjoy!!

Caramel Shortbread

My thoughts: YUM!!!  I love shortbread, I love caramel, and I love chocolate! These are fabulous cookie bars! 🙂 Be sure to use dark chocolate chips to keep the “sweet” factor down. If you want just a touch of caramel, use one can of La Lechera instead of two. I wanted a big layer of caramel in my cookies- but you might want more cookie and less topping. I hope you get a chance to try these!!!  ~Enjoy!!! 

Caramel Shortbreads

Other caramel deliciousness here: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Inside-out Caramel Apple!!Salted Caramel Cookie Cup!!!Caramel Coconut CupcakesCaramel Gelato5

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