Monday, February 20, 2012

Gooey Caramel Pecan Brownies

I love the Pioneer Woman.  I've been reading her cooking blog for years, and most recently I've been watching her show on the Food Network.  I saw her make these super simple brownies on an episode of her cooking show, and I knew I had to make them.  These have a ridiculously thick layer of caramel, which is why the brownies need to be completely cool before cutting.  I cracked open a 12 ounce can of evaporated milk to get the 1/3 cup and 1/2 cup needed for the recipe.  The remaining evaporated milk was the exact amount needed to make some simple fudge so I went ahead and whipped some of that up as well. Cut these brownies into small squares.  They are rich!
Adapted slightly from the Pioneer Woman

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/3 plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 box (18 1/2 ounces) German chocolate cake mix
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 bags (11 ounces each) Kraft caramel bits
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Begin by pouring 1/3 cup evaporated milk into a bowl with the cake mix. Add the melted butter and the chopped pecans. Mix the ingredients together; it'll be pretty thick.

3. Divide the dough in half down the middle. Press half of it into the bottom of the prepared pan to make the first brownie layer. Bake until slightly set, 8 to 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside.

4. While the brownie layer is baking, in a double boiler (or glass bowl set over a bowl of simmering water) combine the caramels and the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir occasionally until the caramels are totally melted and the mixture is smooth. This step can also be done in the microwave. Pour the caramel mixture over the first baked layer, spreading so it's evenly distributed. Sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top.

5. Next, on a clean surface or a sheet of waxed paper, press the remaining dough into a square shape slightly smaller than the baking pan. Carefully set it on top of the chocolate chips. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool to room temperature. Cover the pan and refrigerate the brownies for several hours to allow them to set

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Almond White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Work kept me away from my kitchen for nearly two weeks, so upon my return this past weekend I just had to bake something immediately.  My husband and I took an inventory of possible cookie ingredients that we had in the house, and we decided that the combination of almonds and white chocolate chips would be tasty.  These cookies turned out to be really good.  The edges bake up slightly crisp while the center stays nice and chewy.  These were a definite winner at our house!
From Hannah's Kitchen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag (11 ounces) white chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extract and beat until well mixed. Slowly add the flour and mix until just combined.

4. Stir in the white chocolate chips and almonds.

5. Use a tablespoon-size cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday.