MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS
Years ago one of my VERY favorite treats were Eagle Brand 7 Layer bars A.K.A. as Magic Cookie Bars with sweetened condensed milk, BUT, they were so heavy and calorie packed. This recipe is a WONDERFUL substitute for that recipe and the bars are still moist and tender AND they taste amazingly similar – kind of like a loaded Blondie that strives to be overindulgent! This recipe also makes smaller portion which is great for just 2 people

BARS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon (I use Red Ape)
Heaping 1/3 cup smooth Cookie Butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted coconut pieces

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, whisking until smooth.
  • Add the heaping Cookie Butter, and stir to blend.
  • Add the flour and salt, stirring until just combined DO NOT OVER MIX!!!! – these are like brownies and overtaxing will make them tough.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips, raisins and coconut.
  • Set pan aside while you prepare the streusel.

STREUSEL
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup whole rolled old-fashioned oats DO NOT USE quick or instant oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoonS cinnamon, to taste
2 tablespoons Cookie Butter, melted for final drizzle after baking
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips

  • Using the same bowl you made the batter in add all the streusel ingredients except the 2 tablespoons cookie butter and work the mixture with a spoon, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pebbles form.
  • Sprinkle streusel evenly over top.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly; and the edges are set and have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. Test with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean, you’re good to go. EVERY oven is different so start checking these at the 30 minute mark.
  • After pulling pan from the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of Cookie Butter and 2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips in the microwave to melt, about 15 seconds.
  • Immediately and evenly drizzle Chocolate Cookie Butter over the top of bars.
  • Allow pan to cool for at least 30 minutes cutting.
  • Lift out foil and place on cutting board.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Store bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

HOT CHOCOLATE SOUFFLES

HOT CHOCOLATE SOUFFLES makes 8-6 ounce servings
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
6 LARGE eggs
1/2 + 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray each ramekin with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Using the 1/4 cup sugar, sprinkle each ramekin with sugar, coating evenly.
  • Place ramekins inside a LARGE baking dish.

 

  • Separate eggs into separate mixing bowls.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the sugar to the egg yolks, beating with mixer until light, fluffy and really thick. Set aside.

 

  • Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave.
  • Stir cream and vanilla into chocolate until smooth.
  • Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture one third at a time. Set aside.

 

  • Beat the egg whites until fluffy, but NOT stiff, 3-4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in tablespoon of sugar, beating 1 minutes more until whites are shiny and firm, but still NOT overly stiff.

 

  • Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture one third at a time, blending well.
  • Divide chocolate mixture evenly into prepared ramekins.

 

  • Place baking dish in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes without disturbing them. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!! Souffles should be puffed up and cracking on the top and should ONLY be slightly jiggly.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

NOTE: Souffles can be prepared and refrigerated until ready to bake, but they will need to be baked longer (20-23 minutes).

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD with SALTED HONEY BUTTER

BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD with SALTED HONEY BUTTER

1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons plain white cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Lightly grease an 8-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat in oven 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together first 5 ingredients in a bowl; whisk in melted butter.
  • Add eggs and buttermilk, whisking just until smooth.
  • Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake at 400° for 30 to 33 minutes or until golden brown.

SALTED HONEY BUTTER
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
2 ½ tablespoons honey, preferably raw wildflower
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

  • Using a mixer whip butter and honey together until smooth and fluffy.
  • Fold salt in gently with a rubber spatula.
  • Serve soft or at room temperature, with a few extra grains of salt on top.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

RUM RAISIN CARROT CAKE with VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

RUM RAISIN CARROT CAKE

CAKE
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Jumbo eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup golden rum*
3 cups grated carrots
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Pour rum over raisins and set aside for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.
  • In another bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and 1 egg. Add additional eggs and beat until well creamed.
  • Add dry ingredients gradually until well blended.
  • Add carrots, pineapple and walnuts until well blended.
  • Drain raisins and fold in last.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.

NOTE*:  As an option you could soak the raisins in orange juice instead and then substitute 1 teaspoon maple flavoring for the rum.

FROSTING
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Ice first layer and then add 2nd cake top and ice again including sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.

This recipe is also great as cupcakes.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

TOFFEE WALNUT CINNAMON PULLS

I hadn’t made this recipe in a LOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNG time. I made it during the winter storm a few days ago because it has a lot less sugar and I was hoping to get a few bites myself.

TOFFEE WALNUT CINNAMON PULLS
DOUGH
2 1/2 – 3 cups KING ARTHUR all purpose flour
1 package Fleischman’s Active Dry Yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fine sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 LARGE egg

  • In the bowl of your mixer combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour and package of yeast.
  • In a small saucepan combine the milk, sugar, butter and salt heating just until warm (120-130°) and butter almost melts.
  • Add milk mixture to flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
  • Add egg beating on low 1 minute, scraping bowl continuously. Beat on high 3 minutes.
  • Add as much of the remaining flour as possible.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, kneading until you have a soft, smooth, elastic dough, 3-5 minutes.
  • Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough to coat in grease. Cover and place in a warm place to rise to double in size, about 90 minutes.

 

  • Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly greased surface.
  • Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Grease a baking sheet. Set aside.

FILLING
1/4 cup fine sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cups chopped walnuts, ground fine**
1/3 cup Heath bar toffee bits
2 teaspoons QUALITY RED APE cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Caramel ice cream topping – warmed (Optional)

  • Combine sugars, walnuts, cinnamon and toffee bits.

**NOTE: I measure straight from the bag and then use my mini food processor to grind the nuts slightly. This gives a better coverage on the dough.

ASSEMBLY
2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Roll dough into a 20 inch x10 inch rectangle.
  • Brush with melted butter.
  • Evenly sprinkle nut mixture over butter, leaving about 1 inch unfilled along a long edge.
  • Roll up from the long filled edge, sealing seam by pinching dough together.
  • Place seam side down and cut into 8 equal portions.

 

  • Cut each piece (once from each side) at the 1/3 third mark, BUT DO NIT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
  • Place each roll on prepared baking sheet 3 inches apart. As you arrange each piece gently pull each end to fan the roll slightly.
  • Cover and place in warm place to rise again for 45 minutes.

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden.
  • Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE NUT BARS

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE NUT BARS – the ultimate cookie bar for those that LOVE both sweet and salty mixed together! adapted (but not by much!) from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 16 cookie bars                Prep:15 minutes
Cook:30 minutes                      Total:45 minutes

2 1/8 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips**
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
Fleur de sel (Sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Grease a 12×5 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, toffee bits and walnuts.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream.
  • Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch around the border.
  • Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt.
  • Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered.
  • Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set.
  • Cut into squares and serve.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

NOTE: ** I like to use  mixture of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips.

CARAMEL GLAZED APPLES

I’ve been making these for years, but they never grow old and are a GREAT fruity pick me up in this cold weather.
4 large Granny Smith apples (I used Honey Crisp, but they’re only available for such a short window of time)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Kahlua’
4 tablespoons golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Slice each apple horizontally into 5 or 6 slices.
  • Place apples in a 9×9 baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of raisins into each apple.
  • Melt butter and whisk in the Kahlua’.
  • Drizzle over the apples.
  • Bake uncovered 45-60 minutes until fork tender.
  • Baste every 15 minutes.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

  • In a heavy saucepan whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Boil without stirring until mixture turns golden.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Slowly stir in the cream.
  • Let cool.
  • To serve, plate apples in their stack, pour caramel sauce down the center of each apple and top with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream.

TROPICAL YUM!

Years ago I found this awesome new jello salad recipe over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook called Special Salad. This quickly became a new family favorite! We have even given it a new name and a few changes for our family.

TROPICAL YUM!
1 LARGE box orange jello (next time we’re going to try wild strawberry)**
1 LARGE box lemon jello (we used pineapple)**
3 bananas, sliced (next time we’re going to use 2 and add a kiwi)
1/2 bag mini marshmallows
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup pineapple juice*
3/4 cup FINELY grated cheddar cheese
1 small can mandarin orange segments, well drained, reserving juice (we used a large can)
1- 14 ounce can crushed pineapple, *well drained but reserving the juice and adding enough of the mandarin orange
                                            juice to make 1 cup
  • Mix the two boxes of jello powder together in a large glass mixing bowl and stir in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Mix well until jello has dissolved.
  • Add 2 cups of cold water.
  • Place mixture in the refrigerator until partially set.
  • Mix together the orange segments, pineapple and banana slices.
  • Fold into the partially set jello.
  • If using individual or multiple serving dishes, portion it at this time.
  • Top the jello-fruit mixture with 1/2 bag mini white marshmallows and then put jello back in fridge.
  • Whip together the whipping cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla until thick, cover and place in fridge.
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, *1 cup pineapple juice, egg and flour together in a small sauce pan, stirring constantly until thick..
  • Cool this mixture completely and then fold in the whipped cream mixture.
  • Spread over the marshmallow mixture.
  • Layer the 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese on the top.
  • Return to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly.

NOTE**: This recipe originally called for orange and lemon Jell-o.  I play with the flavors ALL the time.  This time I used lemon, orange crush and strawberry banana small boxes in lieu of the 2 LARGE boxes with delightful results.

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

EGG NOG CUPCAKES with RUM CARAMEL

EGG NOG CUPCAKES with RUM CARAMEL   
Yield: about 18-20 cupcakes
     Recipe adapted from: Annie’s Eats

CUPCAKES

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ cup dark rum or bourbon (optional)

1 cup eggnog

¼ cup oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚.
  • Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; whisk to combine.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, vinegar, and sugar.
  • Beat on medium-low speed until well blended.
  • Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling the cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

CARAMEL
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
3/8 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup rum

  • Whisk together the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and whisk over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Don’t stir the mixture but gently swirl the pan until it has reached a dark brown amber color.
  • At that point whisk in the butter. (Careful- it will bubble up- don’t burn yourself.)
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and bourbon.
  • Allow caramel to cool in the fridge before filling/drizzling.

FROSTING
2 sticks of butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons egg nog
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter until it is creamy and pale.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar until thick and creamy.
  • Add the egg nog one tablespoon at a time until the texture seems right.
  • Add the nutmeg and salt and beat for another minute or so.

ASSEMBLY

  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, scoop a tablespoon-size amount out of each one with a small spoon or paring knife.
  • Fill with the caramel.
  • Pipe on frosting and drizzle with remaining caramel or a chocolate glaze which is my favorite.
  • Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg and enjoy!

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

BEST Homemade DINNER ROLLS

These really are the best soft and flavorful homemade dinner rolls ever!  I found the recipe over at The Stay at Home Chef and all I can say is that she did not waste that 5 years perfecting this recipe.

Prep time 3 hours
Cook Time 12 mins
Author: Rachel Farnsworth
Yield: 24 rolls

2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
¼ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs.
  • Add in 5½ cups of flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to a low speed. Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to a medium range. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be slightly sticky and soft. Add more or less flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The amount of flour you add in bread making is always an approximation and you should go by feel.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise 90 minutes – it should double in size.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet. Punch down the dough and form into 24 rolls. Place on the greased baking sheet in six rows of four.
  • Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter. For a sweet twist I sometimes use a honey butter.
  • Serve the rolls warm, or to cool, let rest on the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled completely, store in a plastic bag.

ALMOND WALNUT DANISH

These are some of my favorite go to danish for a holiday morning. They can be made ahead and served room temperature or warmed up with a dot of butter for decadence.

ALMOND WALNUT DANISH
1 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons yeast
4 eggs, beaten
7 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup + walnut crumbles

  • In a saucepan melt butter.
  • Add milk and water whisking until smooth consistency and JUST boiling.
  • Cool 5-10 minutes so you don’t kill the yeast.
  • Add the sugar, salt and yeast to form a sponge like blob.
  • Add the eggs until uniform consistency.
  • In a mixer with a dough hook attached, combine flour and yeast mixture.
  • Knead well. Put in refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is better.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll a ball of dough the size of a golf ball into a rope and coil into a circle. Make sure the center is thinner than the outer edges to hold the filling in. Sometimes I prefer squares, but you just have to work with your dough after you have it coiled.
  • Fill with a heaping tablespoon of filling per danish (recipe below).
  • Let rise an hour in a warm place.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Frost with drizzle.

ALMOND DRIZZLE
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Whisk together butter, milk, almond extract and orange peel until well blended.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing until desired consistency.
  • Drizzle all over danish, sprinkling with walnuts.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

MOLASSES CRINKLES

Normally I leave these plain, but just for the holiday we added a little cheery icing and sprinkles.
MOLASSES CRINKLES
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
turbinado sugar for dipping

  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
  • Cream butter, add sugar gradually until consistently smooth.
  • Blend in beaten egg and molasses.
  • Gradually stir flour mixture into creamed mixture.
  • Chill dough 1 hour or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Shape dough into small balls and dip tops in turbinado sugar.
  • Place cookies on WELL greased cookie sheet or silicone mat. DO NOT FLATTEN.
  • Bake 7-9 minutes.
  • Let cool 2 minutes before moving to cooling rack.