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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

Chocolate Ganache Brownies

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Ganache Brownies
These dense chocolate brownies are topped with a rich chocolate ganache.  You won’t be able to eat just one!!

It’s November.  Time for turkey and thankfulness.  One of the things I am incredibly thankful for is my wonderful family.  We are spread over many states and have many interests, but one thing we all love:  dessert.  This month I am going to feature some of our family’s best dessert recipes– just to get you all ready to bring some mouthwatering treats to your Thanksgiving feast!

This brownie recipe is from my Aunt Sara.  She’s known in our family for her wonderful layered salad, but since this is a blog about sweets, that recipe will have to wait for another day.

Aunt Sarah and her granddaughter Sierra

Aunt Sarah and her granddaughter Sierra

Several years ago I asked everyone in our family to submit recipes to compile into a family cookbook.  SO many wonderful things (with the exception of “Feline Delight”, submitted by my Uncle Keith and my dad, involving a stew made from the family pet…. a joke, of course!)  My Aunt Sara turned in this brownie recipe and I’ve always wanted to try it but just hadn’t taken the time until right now.

The verdict:  AMAZING.  These are the most fudge- like brownies I’ve ever had.  If you prefer cake-like brownies just stop reading right here….because these are rich, heavy, delicious bits of chocolate joy.

Ganache Brownies
So, lets get you the recipe so you can try these yummy treats! (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2/3 cup chocolate (I used Nestle’ dark chocolate chips)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup chocolate (Aunt Sara uses Ghiradelli, I just used the rest of the Nestle’ dark chips)

DIRECTIONS:

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 325F degrees
  • Place butter and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second increments, stirring between, until melted and smooth.
  • Beat eggs and salt until they turn a light yellow color.
  • Add sugar to egg mixture gradually, and then beat until thick and creamy (about 15 minutes).
  • Fold in melted chocolate/butter mixture.
  • Add flour and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and pour batter in.
  • Bake at 325F degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Toothpick should not come out clean- if you over-bake them they will be dry.

Frosting:

  • Place chocolate (either chips, or chopped up) into a bowl.
  • Bring whipping cream to a boil over the stove.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • Refrigerate about 20 minutes, until thick enough to spread, but not completely set.
  • Spread over brownies and enjoy!!!

Ganache Brownies
My thoughts:  These are wonderfully gooey and rich- my perfect kind of brownie!  The only downside of these is having to beat the eggs for 15 minutes.  If you have a stand mixer you won’t mind it, but I have a hand mixer…seemed like an eternity!  Once I tasted them, it was worth every second though!  Thanks for the wonderful recipe Aunt Sara!!  Love you!  ~r

Other brownie recipes to fill your November with yummy goodness:

Caramel Fudge Brownies!!Fudge Brownie!Mint Creme Brownie CupsBrownie Oreo Cookie Cup

Frosty Fall Pudding Treats

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Frosty Candy Corn Dessert!
Who says you can’t do frozen treats for Halloween??  These yummy little frosty pudding cups have a Golden Oreo crust and are decorated like fun candy corn treats!

I’m back with a recipe in my Chicago Metallic Mini Cheesecake Pan.
For those of you who haven’t gotten one of these yet, they are SO much fun.  I’ve done some of my favorite desserts in this little pan.  You can do this particular dessert in cupcake liners placed in muffin tins, but they are just SO cute in the mini cheesecake pan.

Here’s how the pan works:  You get a pan that looks just like a muffin tin but each cup has a hole in the bottom.  You also get 12 little metal disks that fit perfectly in each cup, covering up that hole.  You make, bake, freeze, etc. your dessert and then just push up through that hole in the bottom and the disk pushes out with your little dessert on top.  I love fun individual desserts, so this is pretty much the perfect idea, in my opinion!

These are really easy, but they need to freeze for several hours/overnight, so make them ahead.

Frosty Fall Pudding Treat!!

Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One package of Golden Oreos
  • 1 package (4 servings, 3.3 oz.) of Jell-O Instant White Chocolate Pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) container of Cool-Whip topping (thawed in refrigerator)
  • Food colorings in yellow and orange
  • Fall sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  • Crush about 2/3 package of Golden Oreos in a food processor or large food chopper.
  • Add orange food coloring until desired shade of orange is reached and mix on high until cookie bits and color are well combined.
  • Place metal disks into cheesecake pan and spoon cookie crumbs evenly into all 12 wells of mini- cheesecake pan (or cupcake liners), and press firmly into bottom (I use a Mini Tart Shaper– and I love it!)
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix cold milk with pudding for 2 minutes.
  • Add yellow food coloring to get desired shade and mix until well combined.
  • Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip (the rest will be used as topping- keep it refrigerated until use)
  • Spoon pudding mixture into a large zip-top bag (and zip it tight).
  • Cut a corner of the bag off and pipe pudding mixture into each cup, all the way to  the top.
  • Use a knife to smooth the tops flat and cover entire pan with plastic wrap.
  • Freeze until serving (at least a few hours)
  • Before serving, remove pan from freezer and allow it to warm up a little bit before popping desserts out.
  • Press a finger up through the hole in the bottom of the pan, pushing each dessert up- grab it by the crust and take metal disk off the bottom.
  • Serve immediately, or place in a sealed container back in the freezer until ready to serve.
  • Pipe remaining Cool Whip on top of each little dessert cup and decorate as desired.
  • Enjoy!!

Frosty Fall Pudding Treats!!!My thoughts:  There are two things that make a dessert perfect in my mind.  Taste and the amount of smiles that happen when you serve them.  These are really yummy (how can you go wrong with pudding and Oreos???) and the number of smiles….?  Well, you are just going to have to make them to see that for yourself!  Enjoy!! ~R

Other mini-cheesecake pan recipes you will love:

Mini chocolate chip cookie cheesecakesFrozen S'mores CupsMini Cookie Dough CheesecakeRaspberry Lemon Cream Cups!!!

Halloween Cookie Swirls!

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Halloween Swirl Cookies!!!
These festive, fun cookies are made with refrigerated cookie dough, and are SO easy!  A little chocolate on the bottom and you have not only cute cookies, but really yummy ones as well!!!!

I keep seeing these swirled cookies online and I decided I simply had to try them in halloween colors this year.  They were a little time consuming, simply because you need to color your cookie dough and then blend the colors together.  Not hard at all– but set aside a little prep time.

Want to see how to put these together?  Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tube refrigerated cookie dough (I used Pillsbury)
  • Gel food coloring in the colors you desire
  • 1 bag of Wiltons dark chocolate candy melts.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Divide cookie dough into 4 equal parts and color each part using food color gels. (I recommend wearing food-prep gloves to save your hands from being colored along with the dough!   Also, start with the lightest color 1st)
  • Starting with the lightest color, divide each part of dough into small balls (about the size of a small grape)
  • Take one ball of each color in your hand, and gently squeeze it into a 4-color ball.

Halloween Cookies How-to2Halloween Cookies How-to3

  • Roll each ball out into a long strip and then gently coil it together into a cookie.  Tuck end under cookie and gently place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Halloween Cookies How-to4Halloween Cookies How-to6

  • Bake at 350F degrees for time recommended on cookie dough tube.
  • Remove from oven by sliding parchment paper off cookie sheet and on to a flat surface.
  • Cool cookies completely
  • Melt Wiltons candy melts in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring between until smooth.
  • Spoon a bit of melted chocolate on a clean piece of parchment paper- make it about the size of one cookie.
  • Gently press a cookie on top of the chocolate until you can see it around the edges.
  • Allow chocolate to cool and harden.
  • Peel away parchment paper and ENJOY your cute cookies!!!!

Halloween Swirl Cookies!!!
My thoughts:  These were a fun Halloween baking project.  I really enjoyed how each cookie looked so unique and I learned as I went how to swirl them most effectively (so that all the colors can be seen on top).  I loved using the pre-made cookie dough, that saved a lot of time!  I hope you get a chance to try these!!!  Enjoy!!  ~r


Halloween Swirl Cookies!!!!Halloween Swirl Cookie!!!!
Other fun Halloween ideas from Easybaked:

Halloween Bundt CakeGinger Maple CookiesSpider Cupcakes!Pumpkin Roll

Candy Corn Peanut Bars

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Candy Corn Peanut Bars!!
A chewy cookie crust topped with peanuts and sweet candy corn.  So many fun fall flavors in one  little bar cookie!

I confess.  I hate candy corn.  Everyone I know loved these cookie bars, but I had to make a little section of no-candy-corn just for me.  This recipe is easily made with or without the candy corn.  The candy makes it pretty though…and that counts for a lot!

Candy Corn Peanut Bars!!

Want to know how to make these easy little cookie bars?

Here you go (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 bar cookies)

Crust:

  • 1 boxed yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 egg

Topping:

  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 (10 oz) package of peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies
  • 2 cups salted, roasted peanuts
  • One bag of candy corn

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, 1/3 cup of melted butter and one egg.  Mix well, kneading with clean hands at the end.
  • Carefully press crust into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. (I line mine with parchment paper)
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 12-14 minutes.
  • Carefully pour mini marshmallows over top of hot crust and place in oven for about 5 minutes (until marshmallows puff up)
  • Cool.
  • In a large saucepan, heat peanut butter chips, corn syrup, vanilla and 1/4 cup of butter until all chips are melted and smooth.
  • Add Rice Krispies and peanuts and combine well.
  • Working quickly, spoon topping over marshmallows and then press candy corn on top.
  • Chill before cutting and ENJOY!

Candy Corn Peanut Bars!!


My thoughts:  I can’t believe it is already October.  When I spotted candy corn at the store I did a double take.  October….already?  These are an easy and fun treat for all of your fall parties and events.  Hope you love them!! ~r

Candy Corn Peanut Bars!!!
Other fun fall recipes:

Inside-out Caramel Apple!!Honey cut-out cookiesFall Acorn Cupcakes!Peanut butter Acorn Cookies!

Fall Acorn Cupcakes

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A rich vegan cupcake recipe topped with vanilla buttercream and a cute little candy acorn.

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 cupcakes)

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups oil
  • 2 c. water

For acorns:

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add dry cupcake ingredients together and mix to remove lumps.
  • Add liquids and mix until smooth
  • Divide equally into cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 20-25 minutes.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely and frost with your favorite buttercream recipe (click here for mine) tinted with fall food coloring.
  • Make acorns by melting candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between.  Dip unwrapped hershey kiss in chocolate and attach to bottom of cookie.  Dip butterscotch/peanut butter chip in chocolate and attach to top of cookie.  (Click HERE for more details on making these)
  • When hardened, gently place one acorn on the top of each cupcake.


My thoughts:  Ever since I posted these cute little acorns last fall I’ve wanted to put them on cupcakes!!  This was that day.  The vegan cupcake recipe is SO yummy.  The buttercream frosting isn’t vegan, but you can drizzle your cupcakes with a bit of powdered sugar glaze to keep them a treat for your vegan friends.  You can use the cupcake recipe to make a yummy bundt cake too– and that is PERFECT with a light sugar glaze on top.  I use this cake/cupcake recipe all the time- it is very moist and flavorful.  Enjoy!!!~r

Other recipes you might enjoy (click on the image to be taken to the recipe):

Mummy Oreo Pops for Halloween!!

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These make me smile– aren’t they cute?  I saw the idea on a regular cookie at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (along with a really cute mummy hot dog idea!) and I immediately thought of my Oreo pops recipe from last spring and decided to turn some Oreos into mummies!  It was a little time consuming, but not difficult.  I think the results were worth the effort!  Here’s how we did it:

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  • Carefully twist apart all of the Oreo cookies.
  • Using one of the pop sticks, make an indentation in the white filling of each cookie.
  • Melt the Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring until completely melted and smooth.
  • Dip the end of one stick into the melted white chocolate, drizzle a little in the center of the white cookie filling and then gently press it into the indentation made.
  • Place the top of the cookie back on and allow white chocolate to harden (5 minutes or so), cementing the cookie back together with a stick inside.

(For a picture tutorial on this click here)

  • Before dipping the entire cookie, unwrap your fondant, split it in half and immediately place one half in an air-tight zip-top bag (you will only use half of the fondant).
  • Roll the remaining  fondant out with a rolling pin as directed on the box.  Using a sharp knife, cut strips (about as wide as an oreo) in the fondant and then cut narrow strips across (see photo)

  • Now it is time to dip your Oreo pops (you may need to put your candy melts back in the microwave for a few seconds to remelt them)
  • Holding the stick, lower the entire Oreo into the bowl of melted white chocolate, spooning it over the top and sides to cover it completely.
  • Allow the excess chocolate to drain off and gently place covered Oreo on a piece of parchment paper to harden. 
  • Immediately place two eyes on the front and gently lay strips of fondant back and forth across the cookie.  It took me a little bit to figure out a pattern that looked good and worked– copy mine if you want!!
  • Allow everything to harden and place in treat bags with ties.

My thoughts:  These are a little time-consuming, but if you enjoy the process  (I do!) and you have a free afternoon (I did!) these are just really fun to put together.  The smiles when people see them make all that work worthwhile!  Enjoy!  ~r

Other recipes you might enjoy (click on the image to see the recipe):

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Creamy peanut butter piled high on rich dark chocolate cheesecake makes this dessert absolutely decadent!

INGREDIENTS:

Cheesecake:

  • 9 oz. chocolate wafer cookies (I use animal crackers)
  • 1/4 c. margarine (melted)
  • 2 (8oz.) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1/2c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. dark chocolate chips (melted)
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. margarine (melted)
  • 3 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/4c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Topping:

  • 1/2c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1c. peanut butter baking chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Crush cookies into fine crumbs and add melted margarine.  Combine well and press into the bottom of a 9-Inch Springform Pan
  • Beat softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each one.
  • Add remaining cheesecake ingredients, beating until smooth.
  • Pour into crust and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes,
  • Turn off oven, open oven door a little and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and run knife around edge of pan.  Remove edge of pan. 
  • Allow to come to room temperature (make toppings during this time)
  • PEANUT BUTTER: Put whipping cream into saucepan and heat just until bubbling at edges.  Turn heat off, add peanut butter chips, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • CHOCOLATE:  Put whipping cream into saucepan and heat just until bubbling at edges.  Turn heat off, add chocolate chips, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, stir both until smooth.
  • Pour peanut butter over top of cheesecake, smoothing to edges
  • Refrigerate about 10 minutes.
  • Pour chocolate over peanut butter and smooth into a center circle.  
  • Decorate as desired.
  • REFRIGERATE cheesecake overnight before serving for best consistency. Remove bottom part of pan when cake is chilled.

My thoughts: This is my dessert contribution for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  My family is starting to get used to getting desserts that already have a piece cut out- for photo purposes of course!  I’m also bringing broccoli (lest you think I am truly the most unhealthy person in the universe!)  I’ve made this cheesecake for years and it always is just soooo creamy and smooth.  So here’s my little Thanksgiving treat for you my faithful readers!!  I’m very thankful for YOU and all of your encouragement in this crazy new venture in my life!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

one. last. bite………

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