Cookie's crumbles, morsels and tidbits

Jan’s Chocolate Caramel Brownies

I used to work with a woman named Jan. She is a wonderful woman, great co-worker, wife, mother and breast cancer survivor. I don’t get to see her often and I miss working with her.  She loves to celebrate birthdays; her own and every one else’s. She used to make these brownies for me every year during my birthday week.  They are the best brownies you will ever eat, because what’s better than chocolate, caramel and goo all rolled into one?  The best part, there are only 5 ingredients in these brownies, so easy to make!  Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

1 pkg German chocolate cake mix

2/3 c. evaporated milk, divided in half

1 pkg Kraft caramels

3/4 c. melted butter

1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan.  Mix cake mix, butter and 1/2 the evaporated milk.  Divide batter into two parts.  Pat one part into the greased 9×13 pan.  Bake for 6 minutes.  While that is baking, melt remaining evaporated milk and caramels.  Pour over batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel.  Crumble remaining batter mix over the top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes more.  MMMMM…..IMG_7976 IMG_7978 IMG_7985

Butternut Squash Soup

I love fall.  I love squash.  I love to cook on cold, dreary days.  This soup sounded so good.  It was a little bit of work, but well worth it.  No one else in my house will eat this, but I am going to bring it into work this week and share with my co-workers.  I also bought a large baguette loaf of bread to dip into it.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup:

1 large buttenut squash, diced and roasted

1/2 onion, diced

1 large granny smith apple, peeled and diced

4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup milk

1 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1 T olive oil

Peel and dice the squash.  Place on a roasting pan.  Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.  Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  While roasting, pour olive oil into dutch oven.  Cook apple and onion until soft, about 15 minutes.  Pour vegetable stock and milk over apple mix.  Add roasted squash when done.  Bring to a boil.  Decrease temp and let simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree soup.  Enjoy!


Shortbread Cookies

I love shortbread cookies.  I especially love plain vanilla shortbread cookies.  I found this recipe online today and it was so easy!  Only a couple ingredients and took less than 30 minutes total to make. These will definitely be on the Christmas Gift Trays this year.  I cut these really small today so I could walk past every five minutes and pop one in my mouth.  Because, you know, you consume way less calories if you eat 50 bite size pieces than if you’d just eat 2 regular size cookies 🙂  Enjoy!


Shortbread Cookies:

2 cups flour

3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter (room temp)

1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. baking powder

Mix all ingredients by hand until mixed.  Press into a 9×13 ungreased pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Cool, cut and enjoy!


Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Caramel Frosting

I found this recipe on Pinterest and knew as soon as I saw the coconut frosting that I had to make this.  I love coconut and I love oatmeal, what could be better than mixing the two?  Tonight I needed to de-stress and decided to do it in the kitchen.  By Sunday, I will have worked six 10 hour days in a row.  I have two days down, only four to go.  Even though it’s 90 degrees outside and I had to turn my oven on, I thought it would be worth it to try this out.  Enjoy!


Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Caramel Frosting:


1 cup uncooked oatmeal (instant or rolled)

1 1/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 t. vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg


1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 T. milk

3/4 cup flaked coconut

1/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In a shallow bowl, soak oats in boiling water for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix butter and white sugar in a bowl, beating until light.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour, soda, salt and spices.  Fold in oats.  Pour into a 9×9 buttered pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Mix all topping ingredients.  Once cake comes out of the oven, spread topping on top and put cake under a broiler until bubbly and tinged with gold.  Watch carefully, as sugar will burn.  Remove and cool.  Enjoy!


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Butterfinger Caramel Poke Cake

I can’t remember where I found this recipe, I saw it somewhere online and quickly wrote down the ingredients and directions.  This is such an easy recipe and always a hit whenever I make it.  I try to make this for my dad a couple times a year, he has always loved Butterfinger candy bars.  He used to take one in his lunch every day and no one else was allowed to eat them.  Enjoy!


Butterfinger Caramel Poke Cake:

1 box of German chocolate cake mix

1 cup sour cream

1 jar caramel ice cream topping

4-5 regular size Butterfinger candy bars

1 – 8 oz whipped topping

Mix and bake cake according to the package directions, also adding in the 1 cup of sour cream.  Bake in a 9×13 inch pan.  While still warm, poke holes all over the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.  Pour caramel over entire cake so it can drizzle into the holes.  Cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Spread whipped topping over cake.  Crush candy bars and sprinkle over cake.  Store in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Chili Bean Corn Salsa

A coworker brought this salsa in to work last week and I was hooked after one bite.  She gave me the recipe and I thought I would share it today, as picnic and potluck season is fast approaching.  You can throw this salsa together in less than 10 minutes.  I made a batch this week and my husband ate all of it in less than two sittings.  I like to add diced mango to my half.  But the basic recipe is below.  Enjoy!


Chili Bean Corn Salsa:

1 can chili beans, DO NOT drain

1 can mexicorn

1 small can sliced black olives, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes with chopped jalapenos (Rotel)

1/2 onion, chopped

salt/pepper to taste

3 T. white sugar

Mix well and refrigerate.  Enjoy!


Caramel Apple Dip

I recently saw a version of this apple dip on Pinterest.  My mom has been making this dip for years, so I thought I’d share her version today.  Obviously, this is not a healthy snack, but the kids love it and it is quick and easy.  Enjoy!


Caramel Apple Dip:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 t. vanilla

3/4 cup chopped peanuts (I used honey roasted peanuts and chopped them myself)

Mix all well.  Keep refrigerated.  Serve with sliced granny smith apples.

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Chocolate Volcano Cookies (Gluten Free)

I pulled this recipe out of Good Housekeeping magazine this month.  We do not follow a gluten free diet at our house, but one of our favorite babysitters does.  I thought I better try these out and make them the next time she comes over.  They also only have six ingredients, which makes throwing them together so easy.  And to top it off, each cookie only has 135 calories and 4 grams of fat.  Not bad, as far as sweets and cookies are concerned.  But nothing prepared me for how good these would be!  If you love dark chocolate, or any chocolate at all for that matter, you will love these.  They are almost like chocolate meringue.  Light and fluffy, but rich and decadent.  You have to try them, they will not disappoint.  Enjoy!


Chocolate Volcano Cookies:

1 lb confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 t. salt

4 large egg whites

1 T. vanilla

1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Lightly spray paper with nonstick spray.  In a large bowl, stir powdered sugar, cocoa and salt.  Add egg whites and vanilla.  Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add chocolate chips.  Stir well.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls, about a dozen per cookie sheet.  Bake 13-15 minutes, until set and cracked.  Let cool on cookie sheet about 5 minutes.  Carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

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Super Yummy Carrot Cake

After being gone all week for work, I really had no motivation today to do anything.  But I got the laundry done and decided I needed to cook a little to relax.  There were actually carrots in the refrigerator and I have been craving a carrot cake for weeks.  Today was the day.  As the cakes cooked in the oven, I went to pull the ingredients for the cream cheese frosting… and realized I had no cream cheese.  Luckily, I had two cans of pre-made frosting in the cupboard.  So while I can take credit for the cake, I had to improvise on the frosting.  Enjoy!


Carrot Cake:

1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

6 eggs

1 T. vanilla

3 1/4 cup flour

1 T. cinnamon

2 t. baking soda

2 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

dash of ground nutmeg

dash of ground cloves

1 pound fine grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 9″ pans or three 8″ pans.  Mix oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add all remaining dry ingredients except carrots.  Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed.  Add carrots, stirring until just mixed.  Pour into the prepared pans.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.  Once completely cool, frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.  Enjoy!

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Giant Cinnamon Roll

I found this recipe on Pinterest this week and thought today would be the perfect day to give it a try.  You can find the original post here.  I did not change anything, other than using just a plain powdered sugar/milk frosting.  This was much easier to make than I expected and the dough actually rose, sometimes I have a problem with that.  And yes, I did eat this for dinner tonight, don’t judge.  Enjoy!

Giant Cinnamon Roll:

2 1/4 cup flour

3 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 package instant yeast

In a large bowl, mix evenly.  Set aside.

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk

3 T. butter

1 egg

Melt water, milk and butter over medium heat until melted and it reaches a temperature of 115 degrees.  Pour this liquid mixture into the flour mix and stir.  Add 1 egg.  Stir to make a soft dough.  Dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is somewhat elastic.  On a slightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 minutes.  Form into a ball and place in a bowl.  Cover tightly and let rest for 30 minutes.  The dough will rise slightly.  After 30 minutes, roll out the dough into a 15×12 inch rectangle.

3 T. butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

2 T. cinnamon

Spread melted butter over dough.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.  Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into even strips.  Spray a 9″ pan with non-stick spray.  Take one strip and roll into a traditional cinnamon roll shape.  Place in the middle of the pan.  Continue adding the strips on in one big circle.  Loosely cover with foil and place into an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees and then turned off.  Let rise for 60-90 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Cover at 15 minutes with foil to keep from browning too fast.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Drizzle with your favorite cinnamon roll frosting.  I used just plain powdered sugar and milk.  Enjoy!

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