Archive for Dessert

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cookie Bars

Caramelitas232

Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I heard the sound of a snow shovel banging the pavement outside my house.  My first thought was, “I hate winter! Please spring hurry up”! In my neighborhood, people are really go getters when it comes to shoveling.  The last snow flake has barely fallen before people are out there clearing the walks and driveways.  On this particular day, it had only snowed a few inches so I knew that it would not be enough to warrant my neighbor getting out his snow blower and so kindly doing his walk and mine, but that it was too much to ignore, so I would have to shovel.  I can’t really complain too much though as like I said, we have the world’s best neighbors who have been so kind as to use their snow blower to clear our sidewalk and driveway all winter long.  I could never thank them enough, so I always bake them something special just to say thank you.

Just before I got into bed I decided to peek out my window and see which of my neighbors was so motivated that they were shoveling their walk at 10:00 at night.  As I looked out the window, I was shocked (and thrilled) to see that the teenage boy who lives next to me was actually out there shoveling MY driveways. OMG what a fantastic surprise.  I quickly put on my slippers and popped out the doors to say thank you, thank you, thank you to this sweet young man.  He just smiled and said “sure no problem” as if this is something all people do.  As I laid in bed thinking about that kind kid, I knew I had to bake him something really really delicious.  Salted Caramel and Chocolate bars were the perfect thing!

Let me start by saying that I think this may be one of the most delicious and most addictive things I have ever baked.  The best part is that it is actually a really simple recipe too.  People will love you for these and think that they were much harder to make then they actually were.

Here is what you need:

1 c. flour

1.5 c. oats (old-fashioned or quick oats)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c. (1 and a 1/2 sticks) melted butter

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

3/4 c. chocolate chips

The caramel decision:

Next you will have a decision to make.  For the caramel sauce, you could easily melt about 30-40 caramel squares in a pan with about 1/2 c. of heavy cream. Then add about 1/2 teaspoon good sea salt once the caramel is melted and smooth.  If you are feeling a bit more adventurous you could make a salted caramel sauce. I had made this a few days ago for another recipe so I had some in my fridge already.  I think for many people making caramel might sound a bit intimidating.  Well let me tell you, if I can do it, you can do it.  The only hard part was not getting distracted and walking away.  You just need to stay with it for the entire 5 minutes or so in order to keep it from burning.  This is such a delicious sauce that I really recommend that you make it.  If you follow the recipe here for salted caramel sauce it will make some extra. You will need about half for this recipe. Put the other half in the fridge in a jar and enjoy on everything (or just by the spoonful as I do).

For the caramel sauce you will need either:

30-40 caramel squares

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 tsp. sea salt

OR

1 recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce ( you will only need about half for this recipe)

Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and melted butter.  Spread half of the mixture on the bottom of and 8×8 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove from oven and evenly pour chocolate chips and caramel sauce over the crust.  Then spread the remaining dough mixture on top.  Then return to the oven and bake for about 15-20 more minutes or until he edges are bubbly and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting and removing from the pan.

You may be thinking that this makes a pretty small batch as it is baked in an 8 x 8 pan. Well it does and at first I was tempted to double the recipe.  These are so delicious and irresistible that I was glad I did not double it.  We gave about half to the neighbor kid and then ate the rest at home. I literally could not control myself around these.  Every time I walked into the kitchen, I had just a little piece.  That little piece became half the recipe in no time.  I was glad when they were gone so I could go back to life and stop obsessing over these.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

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Zucchini and Apple Cobbler

 

If you read the title of this recipe and thought “yuck”, you are not alone.  A couple of months ago, another blog I read posted a recipe for zucchini cobbler and I thought the same thing when I read it. You can check out that recipe here.  After reading the reviews, which were amazing, I decided I needed to give this recipe a try, but make it my own in doing so.  Boy am I glad I did because it is a wonderful dessert!

If you are like many gardeners you have had you fill of zucchini for a while and yet your zucchini plants keep on producing.  That is the problem that I have been  having.  Well problem solved. This recipe will use up a few of those zucchini and you will not even know you are eating it.  I have made this recipe a few times for family and friends and they all raved about it and swore it was not zucchini. It tastes just like apple cobbler!

Here is what you need:

2 medium or 3 small zucchini

2 granny smith apples

2 lemons

1.5 cups sugar (I used Truvia for baking)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

6 tbsp butter (cold)

3/4 c. oats ( I prefer steel cut but quick cooking would be fine)

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

Here is what you do:

First peel and dice the zucchini and apples into about a half-inch dice.  Then add the zucchini and apples to a pot and squeeze the juice from both lemons into the pot.  Cover and cook the zucchini and apple mixture for about 10-12 minutes or until they just start to get soft.  Once the zucchini and apples are soft, add 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg and 1 cup of sugar.  Reduce heat and simmer just until the sugar is melted.

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, oats and flour. Cut the very cold butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter (or two knives) until the mixture has formed a large crumble.

Next pour the zucchini and apple mixture into a 2 quart baking dish and cover the top with the oat crumble.  Place the baking dish in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until the top of the cobbler is golden brown.  Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (or both if you are me).

Hopefully if you are still reading this then I may have  convinced you to try this.  It is truly delicious and I promise that you and everyone you feed it to will not believe that you are eating zucchini!

Have you ever made any unusual desserts before just to find out it was delicious?  Does this recipe sound gross or are you willing to give it a try?  I would love to hear from you!

 

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