Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Bars

Chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter 🙂 Delicious combination perfect for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Bars

Ingredients

For the Cookie Base:
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie mix
  • Butter, pure vanilla extract and egg called for on cookie mix box (I use Earth Balance Vegan Butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I add more chocolate chips to the cookie mix for some extra chocolate but you do not have to)
For the Filling:
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance)
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Dash salt
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For the Caramel Layer:
  • 1 bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
For the Topping:
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Make cookie dough as directed on box, using vegan butter, vanilla, egg, sugar and extra chocolate chips.
  2. In ungreased 13 x 9-inch pan, press dough evenly. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, beat all filling ingredients except powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until well blended (filling will be thick).
  4. Press filling over cookie base.
  5. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 2 tablespoons water uncovered on High 2 to 4 minutes, stirring twice, until caramels are melted. Stir in peanuts.
  6. Spread evenly over filling. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until caramel layer is firm.
  7. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until melted.
  8. Spread evenly over caramel layer. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chocolate is set.
  9. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.
  10. Store any leftovers covered at room temperature.
ENJOY!!

Oooey Gooey Caramel Popcorn

Food Network’s Tyler Florence is one of my favorite Food Network chefs. His recipe for caramel popcorn is perfect for a movie night, girls night in or just a little sweet snack!

Oooey Gooey Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1/2 (10-ounce) package marshmallows, about 4 cups
  • 10 cups hot, salted popcorn, uncooked kernels removed or if you do not have a popcorn maker or know how to pop the kernels – 10 cups of popped popcorn – kept warm
  1. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, corn syrup, vegan butter, and cream of tartar (fun food note – this bit of acid keeps the sugar from crystallizing)
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. When thesugar syrup reaches a boil, stop stirring and swirl the pan around over the heat so it doesn’t burn.
  3. As the syrup reaches the caramel stage, the bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and closer together. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the caramel coats the back of the spoon. (If you have one -stick a candy thermometer in the pot and cook until the syrup reaches the “soft-crack stage”, which is about 270ºF. When you drop a bit of this syrup into cold water, it will solidify into threads that, when removed, are hard yet bendable.)
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Fold the marshmallows into the hot caramel so they all melt into a gooey caramel sauce.
  5. The caramel will coat better if the popcorn is hot, so make it while boiling the sugar or pop it first then keep it warm. Put the popcorn in a big bowl and pour the caramel marshmallow mixture over thepopcorn. Gently fold with a wooden spoon to coat each kernel.
  6. If you want to make this into popcorn balls, grab handfuls of the popcorn and squeeze it together to form popcorn balls; make them about the size of a tennis ball. Put the popcorn balls on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper to cool completely.
  7. If not, just spread the popcorn caramel mix onto a baking pan lined with wax paper and let cool then break into pieces.

ENJOY!

Samoa Cake

Love my Samoa cookie recipe? Want all those delicious flavors in a cake?! Of course you do (if you don’t think you do, after reading this recipe you will) Two separate batters, one yummy cake! (This recipe is adapted from Breakfast to Bed – THANK YOU for the inspiration!)

Samoa Cake

Ingredients

For the First Batter

  • 1 stick of vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

For the Second Batter – This is a recipe from Hershey’s that I tweaked to make gluten free and dairy free.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

For the Frosting

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk or homemade sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut or rice milk
    • 1/2 or 2/3 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweetened toasted coconut (if you don’t have toasted ones you can toast them yourself)
For the Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened toasted coconut (if you don’t have toasted ones you can toast them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF The following instructions apply to both batters. (Remember you are making two separate batters
  2. Beat liquids/wet ingredients on medium high (except for boiling water in the cocoa cake – that will come later)
  3. Sift in dry ingredients until combined.
  4. Add boiling water for cocoa cake here when making the chocolate batter.
  5. Grease and flour (with gluten free flour) the bundt pan VERY WELL. You don’t want the deliciousness to be stuck in the pan now do you!? (If you don’t have a bundt pan, use a round cake pan that is the same size as a bundt pan – about an 8 inch cake pan)
  6. Layer the cake pouring some of the brown sugar batter, then cocoa batter, then brown sugar, until both batter bowls are empty.
  7. Tap the pan to remove any bubbles that may be in your batter
  8. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  9. Let the cake cook ENTIRELY!! This is IMPORTANT! A cool cake is a happy cake. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Let’s start to make the frosting!
  11. If you don’t have toasted coconut flakes, toast sweetened coconut flakes on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil in the oven on 350ºF tossing occasionally until they reach a warm light brown color
  12. Beat cooled condensed milk, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt for 3 minutes.
  13. Add in 1 cup toasted coconut.
  14. Chill for 1 hour
  15. Frost cake with frosting and top with remaining toasted coconut.
  16. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, place in a ziploc bag with a corner cut out about 1/4″ up from the corner, and drizzle stripes on the cake. (if you have a pastry bag, that’s even better)
  17.  SERVE!

I know it seems like a LOT but the reward is delicious cake that tastes like a favorite girl scout cookie!

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 Apple & White Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Caramel Apple & White Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars. A mouthful yes. A mouthful of tasty!! (See what I did there). You’ll enjoy these. Peanut butter and apples go so well together. So does caramel and apples. White chocolate is delicious, well…with a LOT of things! With the edition of oats, these bars are sure to be a hit!

Caramel Apple & White Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance)
  • 2 cup gluten free rolled oats (not the quick cook ones)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apples, diced & peeled
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or regular dark/semisweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips if you don’t like white chocolate…but I REALLY suggest using white chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan with foil and then spray foil with non-stick vegetable baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine applesauce, peanut butter, vegan butter in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine them.
  3. Then add oats, sugars, cinnamon,ginger and nutmeg, and vanilla extract and stir.
  4. Then fold in diced apples and white chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter (it will be pretty moist) into a foil-lined and spayed 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.  The bars may still look underdone, but that’s ok because they will continue to set up as they cool.
  7. They will be bubbling rapidly upon removing them from the oven.  Let the bubbling stop (about 5 minutes) and then carefully drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the bars.  Allow bars to to cool very well before slicing. (if you are in a hurry to bite into the deliciousness, pop in the freezer for 15-30 minutes)
  8. Store extras in the freezer for long term storage.

These are one of the many perfect taste combinations. The bars are like the perfect brownie: chewy edges with soft middles, and dense (not cakey, airy, or light). Plus brown sugar makes everything more caramely and chewier and gives baked goods that sink-your-teeth-into-it texture,  which is always a bonus.

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.

 

Flourless Caramel-Almond Brownies

Anyone can enjoy flourless brownies whether they are gluten free or not! Take the flourless chocolate dome at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. That thing is DELICIOUS! I get it each time I go to P.F. Chang’s not just because it’s gluten free, because I would get it even if I wasn’t gluten free. That being said, this flourless caramel almond brownie recipe will make you and your gluten free gang happy and your non gluten free friends thinking they are eating a regular brownie.

Flourless Caramel-Almond Brownies

Ingredients

Yields 64 brownies. (You can scale down if you like)

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 percent to 70 percent cacao), chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted, salted chopped almonds
  • 0.5 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream, warmed
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Line with foil; grease foil.
  2. In 4-quart saucepan, combine chocolates, 4 tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Melt on medium-low 4 minutes or until smooth, stirring. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended.
  3. Into same pan, sift cornstarch and cocoa; fold to incorporate. Stir batter vigorously for at least 1 minute or until batter thickens slightly and begins to pull away from sides of pan. Fold in 1 cup chopped nuts. Spread evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 27 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  4. While brownie cools, in 4-quart saucepan, stir remaining 3/4 cup sugar, water, corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium-high 9 to 12 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is amber, swirling occasionally to get even color. Working quickly, remove from heat and add coconut cream. Once bubbling begins to subside, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter until incorporated. Stir in remaining chopped nuts.
  5. Pour caramel over cooled brownie, tilting pan to spread evenly. Let stand at least 2 hours or until caramel has set. Cut into 1-inch squares. Store brownies in airtight container, layered with waxed paper, at room temperature up to 2 days.

Your taste-buds will thank you. Make sure you say you’re welcome.

ENJOY!

Double Caramel Cake

DOUBLE CARAMEL CAKE!! I don’t even know what else to say other than YUM!

Double Caramel Cake

Ingredients 

For the Cake:

  • 1/3 cup plus 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided use
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted gluten free flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Caramel Frosting:

  • 3 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. To make the cake, melt the one-third cup sugar in a heavy skillet, stirring constantly until deep-brown syrup is formed.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly stir in boiling water, being careful that steam does not burn your hand. Set syrup aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, place parchment paper in the bottoms, then grease and flour the bottoms and sides.
  4. Cream vegan butter in bowl of electric mixer. Add 11/4 cups sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is well-incorporated. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the reserved syrup.
  6. Sift together the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt. Combine coconut milk and vanilla. Add flour mixture to the batter alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth.
  7. Divide batter evenly among the two prepared pans and bake 25 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting.
  9. Mix sugar and half and half in a heavy saucepan and cook, stirring over low heat until syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 235ºF on a candy thermometer. If lacking a thermometer, check doneness by dropping a tiny bit of syrup into a cup of cold water. When the syrup can be gathered up in fingers and will almost hold its shape, it has reached the soft-ball stage.
  10. Remove pan from heat. Stir in butter, then let syrup cool. Add vanilla and beat until frosting reaches spreading consistency. A little cream (or half-and-half) may be added is mixture is too thick.
  11. Remove pans from oven and let stand about 10 minutes, then turn out cakes onto wire rack, peel off paper and cool completely.
  12. Place one layer on a plate or cake pan. Frost with a thin layer of caramel frosting. Place top layer on and frost with the rest of the frosting.

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.

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!! 😀