Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

Winter = dark = no good natural lighting

Winter = dark = no good natural lighting

So it’s been a while since I last posted (I feel like I say that a lot). As usual the lack of posts hasn’t been due to an infrequency of cooking here, but rather due to the fact that a) I haven’t cooked many new things lately, b) of the the new things I have tried, none of them have been all that visually appealing, and c) I’m often times too lazy to try to make them visually attractive for a picture.

I did try some new slowcooker recipes for coq au vin, chili, and broccoli cheddar soup. The first two turned out quite well, but the broccoli cheddar soup was a major disaster. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but some form of dairy curdled and stuff burned, and it was all in all unpleasant. I think it’ll be a while before I attempt another cream-based slowcooker soup.

The coq au vin recipe turned out pretty well. Unfortunately I can’t remember what recipe I used (it happened in September) and I also didn’t take a picture of it. All I can remember is that I used chicken thighs, garlic, mushrooms, frozen pearl onions, carrots, and red wine. I think I browned the chicken before putting it in the slowcooker so that the chicken would maintain intact, but that’s about all I remember. It was good though, so I might try it again and actually write down what I do.

The chili was for snacks after service at church one Sunday when my family group was in charge. We ended up making probably around 100 servings in 8 slowcookers. I have a picture of how it turned out (below), but it’s not a picture that’s worth making a whole post on. I also freehanded a lot of the recipe, so I don’t have measurements of what went into it. I might also try this one again to actually get a recipe.

photo

Anyhow, for some reason I felt like baking cookies, looked through my repository of saved off cookie recipes, and well here they are! The recipe came from Scrambled Henfruit. I followed it pretty closely, but instead of using the individually wrapped caramel candies I used caramel bits because they didn’t require manually unwrapping each caramel. As a result, the caramel to cookie ratio ended up a little low because I wasn’t sure how many bits to use per cookie. I used 5, so probably 7-8 is the right number.

Regardless, the cookies still taste pretty good. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow whether other people (other than me, my fiance, and my roommate) like them.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This year is the first year (I think) that I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving. My family has lots of Thanksgiving traditions, so it was kind of sad to not be there. But neither of my brothers would have been home anyway, so even if I had gone home it wouldn’t have been then same.

Instead of going home I went to Deerfield, Illinois on Thanksgiving day to hang out with my brother, my sister-in-law, and a bunch of my brother’s friends. We played a lot of games and ate a LOT of food. All in all it was fun, but it wasn’t the same as being at home.

The rest of the time I stayed (am staying? I guess the weekend isn’t over yet) in Madison. Worked yesterday, then had dinner with a student and made these chocolate chip cookie bars.

Don’t have a whole lot planned for the rest of the weekend… just relaxing, hopefully.

This recipe came from Cate’s World Kitchen. The only thing I changed was instead of using 2 cups of regular chocolate chips I used 1 cup of milk chocolate chips and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not going to re-post.

Millionaire’s Shortbread

It’s late, I’m tired (worked until 9 today) and I just posted two minutes ago, so this will be brief.

This recipe was quite good too. The shortbread base was good… and very buttery. I didn’t deal with the white chocolate swirl because I’m lazy. They reminded me of Twix bars, but they’re really sweet and rich.

The original recipe said to prick the shortbread with a fork, but I wouldn’t do it next time. Also, it took more time to make than I thought it would because it took longer for things to cool than I thought it would.

Anyway. It’s 11:30 and I have to be up at 6:30… plus I have to drive an hour and a half to get to Green Lake, WI tomorrow night after work, so I should get some rest!

Recipe adapted from KitchenSter

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 (3/4 cup) sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
7 tbsp butter
3 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 1/2 oz milk chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar. Mix in softened butter. Press into the 9×13 pan and back 20 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool.

In a saucepan, put sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and remaining butter and heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Simmer, stirring constantly until it reaches the desired consistency. Be careful not to burn!

Pour mixture over the shortbread and let cool.

Place all chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power in increments of 1 minute, stirring time until the chocolate is melted and mixed together. Pour on top and let cool again.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Tim Tams

It’s a Wednesday night (well, Thursday morning). It’s past midnight. Why am I not in bed? I’ll tell you why – I’m headed out to my alma mater tomorrow for a recruiting trip! I’m sooooo excited! Traveling tomorrow, career fair on Friday, then chillin’ for the weekend with old friends!

This week has felt so long… and it’s only Wednesday. Had family group tonight, studied Romans 7… always an interesting passage to read.

I’m actually really tired, so I’m going to wrap this up. I came across this recipe in my routine browse through Tastespotting and Foodgawker and it made me think of a friend here who’s from Australia, so I showed it to him. He hooked me up with some Tim Tams so I decided I had to try the recipe.

A few notes:
– I only use 10 Tim Tams, so 20 cookies. All the other ingredient amounts were the same. I only had 11 to begin with (they come in packs of 11) but I ate one because I’d never had one before. They’re quite good by themselves too.
– Because of the first note, I thought the cookie-to-Tim-Tam ratio was a little too high. The mix of the cookie and Tim Tam together is really good, but you have to eat too much plain cookie to get to it.
– There was no temperature listed, so I ended up baking at 375 degrees for around 12-15 minutes.
– They were delicious, but there was also ice cream, red velvet cake and apple pie at family group today, so I have leftovers. College friends (if you’re reading this), I’m bringing a bunch of these with me tomorrow. Find me!

Not going to repost the recipe. Just follow the directions from The Cherry on Top.

Cookie Dough Dip

So I guess it’s been about 3 months since I last updated. Work has been really busy. I barely ever have time to cook anymore. How sad is that?

I don’t even know what to write. A ton has happened since December. So I’m just going to talk about the last week or so. I spent last weekend (March 2-4) in Williamstown visiting college friends. It was quiet and relaxing, but it was so nice to get away from Madison for a bit and catch up with old friends.

After that I went to Birmingham for a few days for a work trip. Did some floor support, at some bbq, did lots of work at the hotel… all in all a pretty uneventful trip.

In other news, I hate daylight savings. It was so nice last week when it was light out when I got up for work. Now it’s all dark again at 6:30 and it’s so much harder to wake up.

Anyway, on to the dips. The dips were for church on Sunday. They were all pretty good, but in all honesty I was a little disappointed. The cream cheese flavor was a little overpowering. But they were all still pretty tasty on animal crackers and vanilla wafers. Maybe a bit of a sugar overload though.

Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients (per batch– I made 3 batches total)
For the base:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

For chocolate chip cookie dough dip:
3/4 cups chocolate chips

For snickerdoodle dip:
2 tbsp cinnamon

For chocolate fudge dip:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups chocolate chips

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the brown sugar until all the sugar dissolves and the mix starts to bubble. Take off the stove and add the vanilla extract.

With a spoon, mix the cream cheese and the powdered sugar together. Add the butter/brown sugar/vanilla extract and mix well.

For regular chocolate chip cookie dough dip:
Fold in chocolate chips.

For snickerdoodle dip:
Mix in cinnamon.

For chocolate fudge dip:
Mix in cocoa powder and chocolate chips. For more chocolate flavor, melt chocolate chips in the microwave and mix in until the desired chocolate-y-ness (yes, that’s a word) is reached.

Homemade Samoas/Caramel Delights

Today my church had a Christmas potluck. When it comes to potlucks I’m always torn between trying new recipes and sticking to recipes I know are crowd favorites. This time I decided to be bold and daring and tried two new recipes that I’ve never tried before.

The first of the two was this recipe for samoas (or caramel delights depending on where you’re from). Of all the kinds of girl scout cookies out there, samoas are not my favorite (not a huge fan of coconut). Personally I prefer thin mints and peanut butter patties, but a friend mentioned that she liked these ones, so I decided to give it a try.

Recipe adapted from {Sweetly} Serendipity

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp milk
2 2/3 sweetened, shredded coconut
14 oz chewy caramel candies
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the shredded coconut evenly in a parchment paper-lined pan. Toast the coconut shreds for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the coconut (should turn a dark orange). Cool and set aside.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, then the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk. Knead the dough together into a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit of extra flour.

Roll out the dough (in a few batches) to a thickness of around 1/4″. Using a cookie cutter or another round object (I think I used my 1/4 cup measuring cup), make round, flat discs of dough. Place dough on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes then cool and set aside.

Unwrap all the caramel candies and place them in a microwave safe bowl. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of milk and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping every minute or so to stir. When the caramel is melted and smooth, fold in the toasted coconut shreds. Use a spoon and spread over the cookies.

In a microwave safe bowl, pour chocolate chips and microwave for a minute or so, stirring halfway through. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate and place on parchment paper. Drizzle remaining chocolate on top of the cookies.

Cool completely to let the chocolate to set.

Double Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling

Today’s the day! Today is the last recipe I have in my arsenal. So after today I won’t be posting until I try something new. Sadness. I know you’ll all miss me.

But! Today’s recipe is a good one! I made these with my friend at her house when I was in Singapore. You can just just from the name that these cookies are intense. For those of you out there who don’t like coffee, don’t worry I couldn’t even taste the coffee… in fact, I’m pretty sure it can be omitted. For those of you who like coffee (or are addicts like me), don’t worry chocolate and peanut butter are a good enough combination to make up for the fact that you can’t taste the coffee.

I ended up making a decent amount of changes, mostly to simplify/shorten the preparation, but they were still delicious!

Recipe adapted from Jules Food.

Ingredients
For the cookies:
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee
¾ cup milk chocolate chips

For the filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preparation
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars with a hand mixer. Fold in egg and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and coffee. Stir in chocolate chips.

On a greased baking sheet, spoon out heaping teaspoons of dough and form flat discs. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix all ingredients for filling together.

When cookies have cooled, assemble sandwiches.

Makes around 20-25 sandwiches (40-50 cookies).

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