Carmelitas

Ooey gooey goodness. Yum.

Carmelitas have to be one of my favorite desserts! I crave them a lot. I want to make them all the time. I am surprised it has taken me this long to share the recipe. Something about chocolate and carmel together just makes me happy! Try these! I bet you already have all the ingredients in your pantry!

CARMELITAS

  • 60 caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

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Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

A few weeks ago my husband turned the big 4-0! We had a family party for him and I wanted the dessert to be something that he would remember. Now my husband likes soda as much as the next guy, but he LOVES Dr. Pepper! What a great way to incorporate one of his favorite things into the dessert. The Dr. Pepper makes the cupcakes moist and yummy!

DR. PEPPER CUPCAKES

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
  • 3 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Dr. Pepper, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and mix on low speed. Add half of the liquid and continue to mix. Repeat until all of the dry and liquid ingredients are combined (the last addition should be the dry ingredients), scraping down the bowl as needed.

Put batter in liners in a muffin tin. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

  • 5 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice

In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens (I would compare it to mashed potatoes). It is very important to whisk continuously so clumps don’t form. This took me about 4-5 minutes, but it’s best to go by texture.

Set milk mixture aside in an ice bath and allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, (or bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a whisk) beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. (about 4 minutes) Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat on high for 3-5 minutes. If it looks separated, keep beating.

Magic Bars

I had the best time this past weekend. Me and a couple of girlfriends drove up to beautiful Sedona, Arizona and spent the weekend. We had gourmet meals, went shopping, received massages at the hotel Spa, and oh, there was that half marathon we ran. We leisurely made our way back to the real world on Sunday afternoon, but stopped for a quick lunch at Nordstrom’s Cafe on the way home. Coincidentally, we all ordered the Magic Bar for dessert! I feel like this is one of those desserts that is an oldie, but a goodie! My husband loves them, I love them, it is a win win. If you’ve never had one, you have been missing out. They are gooey and sweet and irresistible. In case you don’t have a good tried and true Magic Bar recipe, this is the one!

Magic Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Poor the sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust. Then sprinkle walnuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and coconut flakes on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool at least 20 minutes and then cut into squares.

It’s Lucy Jane’s Birthday!

It’s THEE Lucy Jane’s Birthday today! She is turning 3. She is happy and social and oh so girly! When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, without hesitation she answered, “strawberry cupcakes.” So Lucy and I spent the afternoon making her birthday strawberry cupcakes. (She loves to bake like her momma.)

Here is what we came up with:

I used my Vanilla Cupcake recipe and topped it off with a strawberry frosting and fresh strawberries on top. We just finished devouring them and they are so delish! The strawberry frosting tastes just like strawberries ‘n’ cream ice cream. This is a definite must for a good old fashioned summertime treat! (which starts here in AZ in about 2 months!)

Strawberry Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter, slightly softened
  • 6-8 fresh, large strawberries (puree’d)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh strawberries (for garnish)

Cream butter in mixer for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and milk. Mix until combined. Then add strawberry puree and add the remaining powdered sugar. Mix well.

Baby Shower Edition Part III…The Treat

I wanted the treat for the baby shower to be sweet and simple. Nothing too overwhelming because it was at 10 in the morning, but something cute and dainty. So it was an easy choice to go with a mini vanilla cupcake. I used buttercream frosting and died it pink. And honestly, these cupcakes are delicious enough to stand on their own without the frosting! But I am a frosting lover, so I piled it on!

Basic Vanilla Cupcake

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup cour cream
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (about 4 minutes) Add the eggs 2 at a time and mix until combined. Then add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add buttermilk/milk. Beat on meduim low for one minute. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture to batter and mix until combined.

Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For mini cupcakes, bake for 10-12 minutes.

Butter Cream Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powderes sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter in mixer for 4 minutes. Then add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, a splash of milk and the vanilla. Mix on medium until the sugar is combined. Then add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, adding milk to get the consistency you want. (for thicker frosting you will not use the whole 1/2 cup of milk. For thinner frosting you will use the entire 1/2 cup) For these cupcakes I added about 8 drops of pink food coloring.

Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes

Here is another secret Shannon recipe! The first time I had these cupcakes Shannon made them for my son’s birthday. Amazing! This is the last chocolate cupcake recipe you will ever need. They are moist and full of flavor! I made these for a little get together last night and decided I was going to stray from the chocolate frosting that these little gems are usually topped with. I also made them mini, because wouldn’t it be honest to say that to eat a whole cupcake is a big commitment? Basically, it’s a large piece of a cake. That’s a lot of calories! And I don’t know about you, but sometimes that first bite makes you look like a stinkin’ pig. You have to get the frosting and the cake together in that bite and sometimes it takes a big old, wide open mouth bite! It’s not very attractive, to say the least. With the mini’s you can take a bite or two and still look dainty and sweet. And you know for a surety you will finish it! The pictures are of my mini’s from the party and the 2 different kinds of frostings I made. So, consider yourself lucky. I will give you all 3 frosting recipes!! (My favorite still happens to be the chocolate frosting, but sometimes we have to be able to think outside the box, right?) So the top picture is a simple vanilla buttercream frosting and the second picture is a peanut butter frosting. Yum!!

Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (16 ounce) package light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt semi-sweet chips in a microwave safe bowl at high for 30 seconds intervals until melted. (about 1 1/2 minutes total time) Make sure to stir after every 30 second interval. Set aside.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed in a mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beating until just blended.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with cour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Beat on low speed until just blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup of hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Add vanilla.

Place 36 cupcake liners in muffin tins, spoon batter evenly into cups, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (If you are making mini cupcakes, this recipe will yield about 95 mini cupcakes. Bake for 8-10 minutes) Remove cupcakes from tins and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter (room temp)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat the butter for 4 minutes in a mixer. (set your timer!! 4 minutes happens to be a long time) Add 4 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk. Beat until all sugar is incorporated and smooth. (I will beat my frosting at medium high for a few minutes) Then add the sugar one cup at a time, using milk to thin, until the desired consistency is reached.

Classic Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk

Melt in a small saucepan the butter and chocolate. Pour melted mixture in mixer and add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and half of the milk. Beat until all sugar is incorporated. Then add sugar and milk until frosting is desired consistency.

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Beat the peanut butter and butter together until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cream and whip at medium high until combined. (I like my frosting light and fluffy, so I tend to mix my frostings A LOT!!)

Easy Sea Salt Caramels

The sweet tooth is still going strong everyone! ‘Tis the season! I absolutely love caramel. This recipe is so easy because it is done in the microwave! Yes, the microwave. So just in case you need a last minute neighbor gift, or a sweet treat for your kids teacher, these sea salt carmels will surely delight!

Easy Sea Salt Carmels

  • 6 Tablespoons of butter cut into 6 pieces
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • coarse sea salt

Place a sheet of aluminum foil in a 9×13 pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray, making sure to coat sides as well.

In microwave safe bowl (at least 2 quart), add butter, white and brown sugar, syrup, sweetened condensed milk, & vanilla. Stir together and place in microwave, uncovered. Cook in microwave on full power for 8 and a half minutes, stopping and stirring thoroughly twice during the cooking time (about every 2-3 minutes).  Remove from microwave and stir until well mixed. Pour hot caramel into a prepared 9×13 pan. Place in fridge until firm enough to remove & cut (about 60 minutes). Pull up on sides of aluminum foil and remove the whole slab of caramel at one time. Place caramel slab on cutting board covered with parchment or waxed paper and cut into pieces of desired size. Then sprinkle a dash of sea salt on each individual caramel. On my next batch I am going to drizzle dark chocolate over the caramels!  ( At this point I wrapped each individual carmel in parchment paper to give to friends and loved ones!)

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