Samoas Krispie Treats

Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 4
You know what’s the best idea ever? A babysitter. During the week. While your husband is at work. That’s what’s going on as I write this. Yep, I’m in a coffee shop by myself sipping the most glorious iced coffee known to man. Is it really that good or is just because I’m alone and don’t have this toy going off every 2 seconds? When I was first considering this I felt guilt and was having a hard time justifying it since I don’t have a real job. Then summer started and I decided it would be good for everyone’s sanity.

In four hours I’m able to write posts for the whole week and they can be more substantial and include quality information. I even have time to run an errand by myself too. Not having kids screaming through the grocery store that the other is touching them is worth the money alone. Instead of writing and editing photos after the kids are in bed, I can actually spend quality time with Joel. And I feel so refreshed and way more patient when I return home.
Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 3
Rice krispie treats take me back to easier times when I was the kid, not the adult taking care of them. They are just so dang nostalgic for me. Add a girl scout cookie twist and it’s like I’m running around outside barefoot without a care in the world. I guess what I’m saying is I should make rice krispie treats everyday. Did I just find the solution to world peace?

This ooey-gooey treat is made by combining chocolate cereal, toasted coconut marshmallows, a coconutty chocolate topping and a drizzle of caramel. That’s some serious, messy indulgence right there.
Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 2

We all know samoas are the king of all the cookies so these are a complete no-brainer. So go make these, then hide in the closet and pretend those kids banging on the door are just playing a friendly game of hide and seek instead of stalking you.

Samoas Krispie Treats

8 oz. toasted coconut marshmallows
3 Tbsp. butter
5 1/2 cups cocoa pebbles cereal
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted coconut
Caramel sauce, for drizzling

1. Spray a 13×9 with non-stick spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and marshmallows. Stir until combined.

2. Drizzle melted marshmallows over the cocoa pebbles and stir until completely combined. Press into prepared pan.

3. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave, in 30 second increments. Once melted, stir in the toasted coconut. Spread thinly over the rice krispie treats. Drizzle with desired amount of caramel sauce.

 

Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats

2Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 2
When I think of fall, pumpkin and apples always come to mind. But another flavor profile that screams fall to me is caramel. Whether it’s caramel cornrolls, cake, cider or apple pie, it’s always fall when I consider them.  It’s rich, sweet and creamy and salt always makes it better.Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 1
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 1
We had some friends over recently for a Husker game and I wanted to try a recipe from one of my new cookbooks and when I flipped to these salted caramel rice krispie treats in Sally’s Baking Addiction I knew the search was over. Everybody loves a thick, chewy rice krispie but these are elevated to a whole new level with a homemade salted caramel and a finishing sprinkle of flaked sea salt. Are you drooling yet?
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 4
Not only are they easy but they are the perfect treat to enjoy on a crisp, autumn night while watching the game.
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 7
Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes, and Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix

For the caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp.salt

For the rice krispies:
4 Tbsp. butter
1 (10 oz.) bag marshmallows (regular or mini)
4 1/2 cups rice krispies
1/2 cup salted caramel from above
sea salt, to sprinkle

1. For the salted caramel: Heat the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will start to form clumps and melt into a thick brown liquid; be careful not to burn it. Once the sugar has melted completely, add the butter. The mixture will bubble rapidly. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the butter is completely melted then stir in the heavy cream and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Pour into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool and thicken before using.

2. Lightly spray a 9×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the marshmallows until they are completely melted and incorporated into the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal. Gently fold in half the salted caramel.

4. Dump cereal mixture into the prepared pan and gently spread it out. Drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce then sprinkle to your liking with the sea salt. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.
Salted Caramel Rice Krispies 3

Caramel Rolls

Caramel Rolls
I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week, I know I sure did. I got to spend the week with my parents, brother and my aunt who was visiting from Jersey. We had a great time hanging out together, shopping, cooking and stuffing our faces of course. I definitely did some backtracking on the baby weight loss plan. Oh well, Thanksgiving only comes once a year.
Caramel Rolls
Something I have been incredibly thankful this year is the opportunity to move back to Nebraska and be closer to family. It has been such a blessing for our family. I do find myself missing certain things from Fargo though.

One of those things is this doughnut shop that had the most amazing caramel rolls. They were as big as your head, super tender and amazingly sugary. They were the kind of thing that was so good but once you ate the whole thing you totally felt sick. Worth it, but sick all the same.
Caramel Rolls
So since they are a thing of my past, I decided to go on a hunt for something similar. These caramel rolls totally hit the spot. They are way smaller than those caramel rolls we used to occasionally indulge in but taste incredibly similar. They take some time and planning but they are so delicious.
Caramel Rolls
Caramel Rolls
recipe from With a Grateful Prayer and Thankful Heart

For dough:
1 large egg plus enough water to measure 1 cup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups bread flour
3 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
3-5 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. yeast

For glaze:
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. rum, optional
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped pecans

For filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. flour

1. Mix egg, water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of your mixer and stir. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy. Mix in flour, nonfat milk and salt into dough. Mix in butter and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until a smooth ball forms. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place dough in the bowl. Let rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

2. Meanwhile, mix all filling ingredients together in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix together corn syrup, rum and butter.

3. Once dough has risen, divide the glaze evenly between two 9″ round cake pans. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a 16″ x 12″ rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over dough, leaving an uncovered strip about 1″ wide along one long end of the rectangle. Starting with the sugar-covered edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Cut into 16 rolls, using a serrated knife.

 5. Space eight buns in each of the prepared pans. Cover the pans, let rise till they spread out and touch one another, about 60 to 90 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F while rising.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Then cover lightly with foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
7. Remove the buns from the oven, and loosen their edges with a knife. Carefully (the sugar is hot) turn them out onto a rack or parchment-covered sheet pan to cool, scraping any glaze that may have stuck to the pan onto the warm buns.

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
I am so ready for fall weather! It’s still in the 80s around here and I am so tired of it. It seems a little wrong to be making so many pumpkin treats when we don’t have the cool fall breeze, scarves and sweaters but alas, it’s still happening around here.
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
I’ve been seeing pumpkin drinks floating around pinterest like crazy and definitely wanted to join in on the fun but a hot coffee drink just isn’t an option right now. So when I saw this frappuccino recipe I knew it would be a good one to try. And since I’m not really a huge fan of coffee, it appealed to me because it had the same amount of coffee and milk so it wouldn’t have too strong of a coffee flavor.
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
I also liked the combination of pumpkin and caramel. I used the delicious fleur de sel caramel from Trader Joe’s and leftover pumpkin from one of the many recipes I have been whipping up. It was the perfect afternoon pick me up!
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
recipe slightly adapted from Miss in the Kitchen

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled (I used caramel flavored coffee)
3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
3 tablespoons dulce de leche or salted caramel
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for garnish
pinch of ground ginger
1 1/2 cup ice
1 tablespoon fat free Cool Whip

Blend all ingredients, except the cool whip, together in a blender. Pour into a glass and top with cool whip.

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

2012 has been a wonderful, busy, crazy year and I’m so glad I have been able to share it with you all! My readership and views have skyrocketed this year and it’s all thanks to you. I truly appreciate all the views and comments and just for giving me a little of your time each day! So here are the top 12 most viewed recipes of 2012. I hope you take a look and {hopefully} enjoy them again! Happy New Year!

Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken
Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken
Sweet Cornbread
Sweet Cornbread
Cheesy Bread
Cheesy Bread
Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Mexican Chicken Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette
Mexican Chicken Salad
Salted Pretzel Caramel Bark
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
Bang Bang Shrimp
Lasagna Cupcakes
Lasagna Cupcakes

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
So do you all follow How Sweet It Is? If you don’t, you must follow the link know because she is amazing and quite hilarious. The recipes she dreams up are spectacular and this is one of them!

I only recently became a fan of sweet potatoes and now I’ve kind of become obsessed. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately since I certainly don’t need 12 of these in my house), Joel hasn’t jumped on my sweet potato band wagon yet so I’ve had these bookmarked for awhile waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them for someone else. When we were invited to a friends house recently to watch the Husker game I knew the time had come. And brought my cupcake holder home empty!
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
The cupcakes themselves were warm and spicy with a nice crunchy texture from the graham cracker crust. The marshmallow frosting was really, really sweet. I’m not a big fan of frosting in the first place so it was a bit much for me but the frosting lovers reported that it was yummy. The caramel drizzle of course adds more sugary goodness. The pecans added another layer of crunchy texture which I really enjoyed (but they are optional so do as you please).
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
These cupcakes would be a perfect update to the regular ‘ole sweet potato pie that usually graces the Thanksgiving buffet.

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
recipe from How Sweet It Is
makes 12 cupcakes

Graham crust:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 ounces cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with liners. In a small bowl, mix melted butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until moist, then press about 1/2-1 tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each liner.

2. In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until combined and no lumps remain. Add in vanilla extract and butter, then whisk in sweet potato. Add in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in milk and stir until combined and smooth. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on top of each graham cracker crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and spring back at the touch. Let cool completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
3 cups of powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. milk, if needed

Beat butter in the bowl of electric mixer until creamy. Add in fluff and beat for 2-3 minutes, then add in vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. If mixture if too runny, add a bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a bit of milk one teaspoon at a time. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

Salted Caramel Thumbprints {Christmas Tray 2012}

Salted Caramel Thumbprints
I know I’m starting the Christmas baking a little later this year but don’t worry, there will be lots of ideas for your Christmas cookie trays. Like these delicious gems. Joel’s very favorite Christmas cookie is the traditional jam thumbprint cookie. I have never been a big fan of them but always make them for him, they just seem like a requirement at Christmastime for our family. Last year I decided to try an updated version and they were a huge hit. So why not continue with the unique updates and fill them with caramel instead?
Salted Caramel Thumbprints
When I stumbled across this recipe, I knew it was one that I would have to try when my dad was around. He is a caramel lover and I immediately thought of him when I saw these. My mom loves shortbread and tried one before they were filled with caramel and loved them. I think I will use the cookie recipe to make shortbread cookies in the future.

Needless to say, they were absolutely amazing and we devoured them rather quickly. The dough is a bit crumbly and it’s hard to not have cracks in the cookies so they aren’t super attractive but the taste totally makes up for their bumpy, lumpy appearance.
Salted Caramel Thumbprints
Have you noticed that my photos took a turn for the worse? Yep, my external flash is not working with my umbrella at the moment so the quality of lighting has become questionable…because I still don’t know how to perfectly work that darn camera. So, sorry about that.

Salted Caramel Thumbprints
recipe from This Week for Dinner

Cookies:
1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel:
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. ream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla (if you have a stand mixer, use paddle attachment). In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a log, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take out the fridge and cut into 16 equal slices.

2. Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Hold the cookie steady with one hand and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Jane note: again, the dough was pretty crumbly, even when I had them shaped into balls. I had to sort of press each cookie down and shape it into a circle, then press the indentations in. A note on the indentations – I thought the cracked edges would be pretty, but the caramel oozed out of the cracks, so try not to have too many of cracks. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re just a little golden brown on the sides. Let cookies cool. While they’re cooling, make the caramel.

3. Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Do not stir. Cook over medium-high heat to a dark caramel, swirling as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar. While the sugar and water are going at it, heat up the cream in a saucepan or microwave just until warm. Take off the heat and add your room temperature butter. Whisk the butter in, being sure it’s totally combined. Add your warmed cream and whisk vigorously.

4. Spoon a teaspoon of warm caramel into the indentations of your cookies and top with sea salt. You can eat right away or let sit for 2 hours so the caramel sets.

Makes 16 cookies