Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I can never get enough cookies! Gooey, chocolately mmmm mmm good!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks softened vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 oz bag mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chunk-size chopped good quality chocolate
  • Sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla following the caramel sauce until well combined.
  2. Place the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl; mix. Slowly add to wet ingredients then add the mini chocolate chips.
  3. Place 1/4 cup of cookie dough on a cookie sheet. Press down then sprinkle with a pinch or two of sea salt then press chocolate chunks over top. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden around edges. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

OOOOOH HOW GOOD DO THOSE LOOK!! 😀

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Bananas Foster on a Crispy Tortilla Shell

Bananas Foster on a Crispy Tortilla Shell

Reminiscent of New Orleans, this class dish is typically served on vanilla (or even rum raisin or pecan) ice cream and it is FABULOUS! By placing the bananas and ice cream on a crispy, salty piece of baked tortilla, you’ve added another level of delight. 

Ingredients

For the Tortilla Shell

  • 1 gluten free tortilla, such as Food for Life or La Tortilla Factory
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted vegan butter, such as Earth Balance, melted 

For the Banana Foster Sauce

  • 1/3 cup unsalted vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (or rum extract)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe, but firm medium bananas
  • 1 pint gluten free vanilla ice cream, such as Ben & Jerry’s, or Häagen-Dazs (or for you dairy free darlings any vanilla non-dairy ice cream)
  1. Make the tortilla shells: Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Brush the top of the whole tortilla with melted butter. Cut the tortilla into quarters with kitchen scissors and place the quarters on a foil-lined baking sheet or pizza pan (not nonstick). Lay an oven-proof wire rack (the kind used under roasts) over the tortillas to prevent them from curling.
  2. Bake the tortilla chips for 3 to 5 minutes or just until they look golden brown. Watch carefully because they CAN BURN QUICKLY. Remove them from the oven, sprinkle very lightly with salt, and let cool while making the caramel-rum sauce.
  3. Make the caramel-rum sauce: In a medium skillet, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat and stir in rum and vanilla.
  4. Peel bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices, and to caramel mixture in skillet. Return skillet to low heat and cook gently just until bananas are heated trough.
  5. Place the 4 tortilla quarters on 4 dessert plates. Spoon 1/2 cup ice cream on each tortilla quarter. Drizzle banana-caramel mixture on each and serve immediately

MMMM MMMM!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies

I know I’ve done a whoopie pie post before but was it banana caramel whoopie pies? NOPE! Here we go! (Caramel people! Get excited!!)

Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies

If you want the nice, uniform round whoopies, piping the batter is necessary here. If you aren’t so concerned with the appearance, a dough scoop works just fine. 

Ingredients 

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup mashed banana (about 1-1½ bananas)
  • ½ cup dairy free sour cream
  • 8 tbsp. vegan unsalted butter, at room temperature (Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:*

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 tablespoon unsalted vegan butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pieces, at room temperature (Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup caramel sauce (above)

*This will make more filling/frosting than you actually need for this recipe (about 1 cup extra).  You could reduce to 2/3 or simply save for another use.

  1. To make the caramel sauce, spread the sugar out in an even layer in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Once the sugar starts to liquefy around the edges, stir it gently with a spatula towards the center.  Continue stirring gently until all of the sugar is melted and no hard bits remain.
  2. Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, remove it from the heat.  (If you are using a dark pan, test a drop on a white plate or towel so you can accurately assess the color.)
  3. Off the heat, carefully whisk in half of the coconut cream.  The mixture will bubble and steam violently.  Stir until the coconut cream is thoroughly combined, then whisk in the remaining coconut cream.
  4. Some of the sugar will likely have clumped up around the whisk.  Return the pan to medium-low heat and continue to whisk gently until everything is melted and smooth.  Stir in the salt and vanilla.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  (This sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheated.)
  5. To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the gluten free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana and sour cream.
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the vegan butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  8. Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the banana mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.
  9. Pipe the batter using a plain round tip onto the prepared baking sheets into 1¼-inch rounds, spacing a couple of inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are just set and the bottom edges are starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the filling, combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat the mixture, whisking very frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and reaches 160° F on an instant read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks.  Reduce the speed to medium low, add in the salt and begin adding the vegan butter one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in ½ cup of the cooled caramel sauce until well blended.
  11. Once the cookies are completely cooled, match them up in pairs by size.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the caramel filling.  Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich the cookies together, pushing the filling to the edges.  Store in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate

It’s (still unfortunately) winter time. Yea I am officially finished with winter, BRING ON THE SNOW!! Nothing beats the chilly winter nights or rainy winter days like a nice cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I am in the mood for something a little different that just run of the mill hot chocolate. Hot chocolate will always be delicious no matter what (nothing beats a classic right?) but how about some WHITE hot chocolate with the delicious twist of cinnamon? Hmmm yea cinnamon would be nice. Maybe brown sugar, a little caramel? Sounds like some of the ingredients to a yummy cinnamon bun! YES! Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate.

Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate

The overwhelming flavor is cinnamon, with a nice vanilla undertone and a caramelized flavor from the brown sugar. It’s a fun change from regular hot chocolate. This almost reminds me of the Starbucks White Hot Chocolate but this version has all the cinnamony goodness of a cinnamon bun AND its gluten and dairy free!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk (you can use rice milk if you like)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, coarsely broken
  • 4 ounces good-quality, gluten free white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional garnishes:

  • 2 tablespoons rice whipped cream
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecans or candied pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caramel sauce
  1. Combine the milk and the broken cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring the milk to a simmer. Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse the milk with cinnamon flavor.
  2. After 30 minutes, remove the cinnamon sticks and return the saucepan of milk to medium heat. Add the chopped white chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt, and ground cinnamon. Heat, whisking frequently, until the milk is hot and the white chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Pour into two mugs to serve. Garnish with your choice of whipped cream, additional cinnamon, toasted or candied pecans, or a drizzle of caramel sauce. (Or all of the above!) I would go with of the above!

Great…now I want a cinnamon bun 🙂

ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Caramel Fondue

I am quite fond of caramel. So caramel fondue is right up my ally. Fondue is a fun and easy way to have a dessert! So many dipping options, the dessert possibilities are really endless!

Caramel Fondue

Rich, creamy caramel tastes delicious with just about anything! Sweet and luscious, you won’t be able to resist dipping in your favorites!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or buttery spread, such as Earth Balance, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dippers: apple slices (Fuji apples are the BEST!), banana, 1-inch cubes of gluten free pound cake (recipe coming soon!), large marshmallows, whole strawberries, gluten free graham crackers or your favorite dipper!
  1. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil, swirling the pan occasionally without stirring, until the caramel sauce turns a deep amber color, about 7 minutes. As the mixture boils, wipe down sides of pan frequently with a wet pastry brush to prevent the crystallization of the sugar.
  2. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the rice milk with a long-handled spoon, carefully avoiding the splatters as it bubbles up. Add the buttery spread, reduce the heat to low and return the pan to the heat, stirring until the buttery spread melts and the caramel is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and the salt.
  3. Place the mixture in a fondue pot. Arrange your dippers on a platter and make sure you have enough forts or bamboo skewers for your guests to dunk their favorites in the warm caramel. Now if the caramel starts to firm up, add a tablespoon of corn syrup and transfer it from the fondue pot to a microwave-safe bowl and reheat it in the microwave. Return to the fondue pot and continue to dip away!

ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.