Caramel Blondie Bites

Caramel Blondie Bites
I’m embarrassed. Actually, maybe that’s not the right word to describe it.

I don’t know if you saw my Super Bowl Sunday post (it was a last-minute, 2 hours before kick off, mainly just pictures kind of post), but these delicious little bites were in the post. Well, not exactly these bites, cause I made more. Like the next day. The other ones were devoured.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a recipe repeater.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Can we all agree that’s perfectly acceptable? If you say no, I’ll just have to force feed you these bites until it is. Yeah, I know, I’m just the nicest.

I also liked the toothpick idea so much that I had to copy that too. Sorry I’m not sorry for that one. There is one difference though, I didn’t make these toothpicks. I bought them.You know what that means right?

More time to pop these into my mouth.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Let me just tell you, these little bites are ADDICTING. And yes, all caps and bold letters are necessary. Seriously, though, they’re like Oreos or popcorn or chips, you can’t just eat one.

I dare you to try. No, really, I triple dog dare you.

Anddd, I’ve reverted back to my five year old self with that comment.

Caramel Blondie Bites
Yeah, that was a lie. Just last week I triple dog dared someone to sing Taylor Swift songs over the loud-speaker. She didn’t do it. I, for one, was disappointed.

You know what hasn’t disappointed me? These Caramel Blondie Bites. Cause, seriously, they are little squares of utter heaven. I repeat, heaven.

This is the kind of dessert that literally melts away all will power. I’m not kidding here. You start off thinking, “I’ll just have one”, but after your sixth bite is done, the only thoughts in your head are: “How can I hoard these?”, “Why is that guy over there eating yet another bite?”, “I need another one, right now!”…those may or may not be direct thoughts of the people who ate these bites.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Why all the fuss over these little guys? Simple. They are gooey, fudgy, buttery, brown-sugary, caramel blondies. Each bite has a crisp exterior, ridiculously gooey moist center, and a sort of caramelized caramel bottom layer—the caramel bits decided to huddle at the bottom of the blondie while baking, but I didn’t mind in the slightest.

I highly doubt you’ll mind either.

Caramel Blondie Bites
Recipe adapted from these Almond Joy Blondies
Yields: 64 bites

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 to 3 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup caramel bits

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar, until no clumps of brown sugar remain.Add eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla. Whisk in flour and salt, until just combined—try not to over stir the batter or it will become tough to work with.Using a spatula, fold in the caramel bits.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top, if needed, lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick, stuck in the middle, comes out clean.Let cool completely before slicing into bites.

 

Caramel Blondie Bites

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Super Bowl Sunday

T-minus 2-ish hours until the big game.

You could say I’m a little excited. Actually scratch that. More than a little excited.

I bet you can guess why. If not, just look at the pictures that follow. I’m pretty sure that will clear it up.

Super Bowl Sunday

Cleared up for you? You see I’m kind of sort of totally into football (who knew, right?). And, I rather enjoy being apart of the 12th man. One could say that picture above is the epitome of 12th-manning it. I mean, my Hustle Like Russell Shirt, that chipped glitter blue polish, the large Seahawks helmet ring, and lets not forget the star of the picture, that cupcake.

My oh my what a good-looking cupcake. Blue and Green never looked better on something.

Super Bowl Sunday

I give you Super Bowl Sunday Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue and Green Swirl Vanilla Frosting and Football Sprinkles. Could it get any better than that?

Why yes, yes it can, with these Shortbread Chocolate Dipped Football Cookies.

Super Bowl Sunday

That right there is the bomb.com

But, don’t worry, it gets better. Much MUCH better.

Super Bowl Sunday

What are those you ask? Caramel Blondies with Seahawk flag toothpicks (courtesy of Emerald City Sisters Design). I’m dying at how yummy they are (no, seriously) and at how stickin adorbs these toothpicks are. I mean come on, tell me you don’t just love them.

Super Bowl Sunday

I’ll stop now. I just couldn’t let the day go by without you seeing the dessert spread I put out for the game. I mean, I totally maybe value your opinion. No big deal or anything.

Super Bowl Sunday

Wait, I lied. One more thing. LETS GO SEAHAWKS.

Coconut And Chocolate Cream Scones

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Guys, it’s been a long week.

And, no, I haven’t completely lost it. I know it’s Tuesday, and that the week barely just started. But, you see, today is my Saturday. My weekend is just starting.

And let me just tell you, it took forever and a year to get here.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

This past week I worked six out of seven days. Burnt my finger with the straightener, not once, or twice, but three times. Got yelled at by a few visitors at the hospital. Forgot to bring my badge to work. Had my order messed up at Starbucks, twice. And, bought a pair of the cutest booties online, and then found out that they sold out right before they could process my order. Oh, and can’t stop thinking dreaming being in love with craving breakfasty foods.

Who knew that could be a thing?

All I want for dinner is omelets. All I want for lunch is parfaits. All I want to snack on is croissants. And, all I can dream of is recipes for scones, pastries, and breads.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

And, when I said want up there in that sentence. I really meant to say have been eating. Because, let’s be honest, my meals have consisted of omelets, parfaits, croissants, and scones.

These scones to be more exact.

These beautiful, wonderful, life saving scones.

Okay, fine, that’s an exaggeration. They didn’t save my life. But, I will say making these scones was the second best part of my week.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Wanna know what the best part of my week was?

Yup, eating the scones. Said with absolutely no shame what so ever.

Some of you may think that’s kind of sad that my favorite part of the week revolves around a breakfast dessert. You may be right, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

You see, these Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones are packed with mini chocolate chips and sweetened coconut shreds. They are ridiculously light and airy on the inside and have a flaky and crisp outside. It’s kind of like eating a chocolate coconut infused pie crust. Delicious, I know. The top of the scones are drizzled with a sweet coconut glaze, which I may or may not have been eating out of the bowl, and sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds.

Now, tell me, does that sound sad?

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Lets make a deal. Make these scones and then let me know if you think they rank in the top 3 best things about your week. If they don’t, we’ll agree to disagree, but if they do, then let’s have a scone party, cause it’s Tuesday, and what better day to have a scone party then right now.

Coconut And Chocolate Cream Scones
Yields: 8 scones

Ingredients:
Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar, plus a little extra for brushing
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen*
½ cup sweetened coconut shreds
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup heavy cream, plus extra for brushing

Sweet Coconut Glaze & Garnish
1 cup powder sugar
½-3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
toasted coconut, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until combined. Grate the frozen butter—the frozen butter is a trick I picked up from Sally’s Baking Addiction, it helps make the scones light and airy on the inside and flaky on the outside—with a cheese grater or food processor.
Toss grated butter into flour mixture, and combine it with a pastry knife or your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Mix in coconut shreds and mini chocolate chips.
Using a spatula or fork, stir in heavy cream and coconut extract until dough begins to form. Transfer dough (and all the dry, floury bits) to a floured countertop and knead until dough comes together into a rough, sticky ball.
Form scones by pressing dough into a prepared 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a very sharp knife, cut dough into 8 wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet with a little room in between each wedge.
Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each scone with a little bit of cream and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops of scones are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
While scones are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, coconut extract, and heavy cream until of drizzling consistency. If you want more of sweet coconut flavor add more extract. If the glaze is too thick add more heavy cream until of desired consistency. Drizzle the tops of each scone with glaze and sprinkle with toasted coconut shreds. Best served the day of, but scones will keep for two days in a sealed container at room temperature.

NOTES: *place butter in freezer 30 minutes before you start scones
*If I made these again I would use 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips, the chocolate flavor slightly overpowered the coconut on the inside of the scone
*cream scone recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

 

Coconut & Chocolate Cream Scones

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

I like to think I have some self-control when it comes to desserts.

As in, I don’t typically pig out on what I bake. I’m more of a taste-as-I-go kind of gal, sampling my way through the making and baking process, and taking a bite (or, three) of the final goodie before sharing with whoever wants some. If I’m not baking, then I’m what’s called a dessert nibbler-yes, I did just make that up. I prefer to nibble on all available dessert options rather than commit to eating a single sweet. I’m just not ready to settle down with just one dessert. I like to give everyone their fair chance to win over my heart.

Notice I said typically.

I’m going to openly admit, all self-control went out the window with this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And, when I say all, I mean every single little ounce of self-control, completely gone.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

For starters, I couldn’t stop eating the batter. Why? I have no idea. It tastes like fluffy vanilla-yellow-cake yumminess and I was all but, sticking my face in the bowl, to eat it. No joke. I even scolded myself to stop while baking. Who does that?

Crazy baking ladies, that’s who.

Did I tell you that I not only made Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake in a cake pan, but also Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake donuts baked in a mini donut pan?

Yup. No self-control.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

You see, I really really really wanted to make coffee cake donuts. So, I did. But, I got a little too excited while filling each donut well, and ended up with muffin top mini donuts that didn’t really come out of the pan in one piece.  I blame the moistness of the cake. Seriously, it’s so ridiculously moist that it practically melts in your mouth. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the moistness scale. True Story.

So, I have a whole cake and a baker’s dozen of deliciously edible but, not super pretty Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake(s) in my kitchen.

Betcha wanna be my best friend now, huh?

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Want to hear how much I’ve pigged out? I’ve eaten four donuts (and counting). One before they had even cooled. Two before the cake had even finished baking. And my last one just because the cake looked so good, that I felt the need to eat another. Did I mention that was all in a matter of 30 or so minutes? Yeah, don’t judge me. I can’t help it. Really, I tried too. I offered some up to my mom, who like me, ate four donuts, and then simultaneously said we wouldn’t be sharing these with anyone, and that I was never allowed to make this coffee cake again.

And then we ate a slice of cake, because, well, what else do mothers and daughters do when they are faced with deliciousness? 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

The best part is, once the donuts are gone, I have a whole damn cake left. That tastes just as good, if not better, than the donuts. Insert delighted school girl squeal. And, a happy dance, which I just did around the kitchen. See, crazy baking lady in the house. Don’t worry, I know you love my craziness. Because without it, you wouldn’t get this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And without this cake, your mornings will be the worst.

And when I say the worst, I mean worse than the worst.

Doesn’t that sound bad? Cause it is. And, you don’t want that. So, do me a solid and make this. Or, better yet, come visit me so I can make you your own share coffee cake with you.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
Pecan Topping
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 coarsely chopped pecan pieces

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Coffee Cake
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all pecan topping ingredients–brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, flour, pecans–except the butter, until combined. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all cinnamon filling ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream until incorporated.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon filling, using a spatula to evenly spread. Top off with the remaining batter.
Sprinkle the pecan topping over the batter, pressing lightly for it to stick.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning too much, cover the top with foil and place back in the oven to continue baking.
Let cake cool completely before serving.

 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Shortbread CookiesYou know what I was just thinking?

It feels like it’s been forever since I made cookies. Like, I can’t even remember the last cookie I made. Eek.

Oh God, when was the last time I ate a cookie?

I. Can’t. Even. Remember.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Is it sad that I’m sort of maybe totally kind of panicking? Cause I am. You gotta understand, it’s a pretty sad day when you realize you haven’t made or eaten a cookie in what seems like a million years.

A. Million. Years.

So, as we can see, when I panic I apparently like to over exaggerate. It hasn’t been a million years, but it has been about seven months since I shared a cookie recipe. You have to admit, that’s kind of a long time. I don’t even know how that happened. Definitely not intentional either. I wouldn’t deprive you like that on purpose. That would just be cruel.

Funny enough, the last recipe I posted was also a chocolate dipped cookie. I really don’t know how that slipped my mind considering it was the beginning of my obsession with dipping the bottoms of cookies. I find it unfair for the top of the cookie to have all the fun. Fair point, huh? The dipped bottom, to me, is like putting a big fat shiny bow on top of a present; it just makes it that much better.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These cookies almost didn’t make it up on the blog. Why you ask? Oh, let me just tell you. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, my brother has two huskies, (Ms.) Meeka and (Mr.) Archer (look here for their picture). They are the cutest things on the planet. And, that is in no way an exaggeration. Scouts honor on that one. As a rule we don’t feed them human food, mainly because they have super sensitive stomachs and can’t seem to handle it. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t try to eat human food whenever they get a chance. Adorable troublemakers. That’s what they are.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

I’m sure you noticed these cookies require some work–I swear the end product is so totally worth it though. The dining room table became my work station, or at least half of the table did. It’s a pretty big table. Decent height. Lined with chairs on each side. I had rows of finished cookies just sitting on wax paper as I finished up with the caramel outlining. There was about five cookies left when it happened.

Meeka, my lovely little niece, came running in and quite literally face dived into a row of completed cookies. I repeat face dived. She tasted licked about two rows worth of cookies before I could pull her away. TWO. ROWS. WORTH. That’s a lot of deliciousness (and hard work, I might add) that went straight into the trash. Oh, and the kicker, in the panic I forgot to finishing filling in the trees with caramel on the cookie I had been working on when the face dive occurred. Ask me when I realized this? When I was opening the container filled with cookies to give to one of my coworkers. I was completely embarrassed. Like, blushing hardcore red. I gave someone an unfinished cookie. Poor under-decorated cookie. Poor person eating the cookie. Sad. Sad. Sad. Luckily, my coworker didn’t seem too mind at all. Thank the Baker God’s on that one.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Anyways, I should probably tell you a little about these cookies. It’s a buttery, melt in your mouth, shortbread cookie packed with chopped up pecan pieces dipped in milk chocolate and then outlined with some caramel. Oh, and it’s stamped with a Merry Christmas cookie stamp to make it festively beautiful. This is probably the first cookie I’ve made that I received equal amounts of compliments on taste and looks. Seriously, people love these cookies. I ate more than half of love these cookies. And, clearly, dogs love them too.

You know what that all adds up to, right?

Winning.

And, the fact, that I absolutely insist that you go make them. If you don’t, I may or may not have to force feed you to eat them. You don’t want that. You just don’t.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Yields: about 30 large cookies

Utensils:
Merry Christmas Cookie Stamp
Large circle cookie cutter

Ingredients:
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans
3 cups milk chocolate candy melts
1/2 cup of caramel

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add salt and cornstarch. Mix until incorporated. Gradually beat in the flour until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the chopped pecans.
Gather the dough as best you can into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll to ½ inch thick. Slide the parchment-covered dough onto a cutting board and place in the fridge. Let chill for about 50-60 minutes.
After the dough is finished chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large circular cookie cutter (or, cup that is slightly larger than the stamp), cut your cookies into circles. Firmly press the cookie stamp into each cookie-if the dough becomes too sticky or tough to work with place back in the fridge until it’s easier to handle.
Bake for 6 minutes, reverse tray (this will ensure an even color on the cookies!), and bake for another 5 more minutes or until lightly brown.
Let cookies cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Once cookies have completely cooled, melt the milk chocolate candy melts in a microwave safe bowl, in 15 second intervals, until of drizzling consistency. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the melted chocolate. Place cookie upside down on parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened.
Once chocolate has hardened, flip the cookie around. Using a piping bag with a very small tip or simply dipping a toothpick in the caramel (I used the toothpick method, it takes more time, but it ensures that the ‘Merry Christmas’ stays legible), fill in the stamped part of each cookie with caramel.

 

Pecan Shortbread Cookies