Tuesday, December 11, 2012


When you can't do an "in person" cookie swap with friends you go for the next best thing...


The participants and rules are:

So here are my recipes:

Salted Caramel Brownies
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 oz. plus 6 oz. Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate 
3 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules, such as Nescafe
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. of sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
5 to 6 oz. good caramel sauce, such as Fran's
2 to 3 tsp. flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter and flour a 9x12x1 1/2 inch baking pan.
2. Melt the butter, 8 oz of the chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar.  Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature (it is very important to allow the butter to cool before adding the chocolate chips, or the chips will melt and ruin the brownies.)
3. In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt and add to the chocolate mixture.  Toss the remaining 6 oz. of chocolate chips and the remaining 2 Tbs. of flour in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture.  Spread evenly in the bottom of prepared pan.
4. Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick come out clean.  Do not over bake!
5. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the jar of caramel sauce without the lid in a microwave and heat just until it's pourable.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle the caramel evenly over the hot brownies and sprinkle with the sea salt.  Cool completely and cut into 12 bars.

Note: the above recipe isn't a family recipe, it was just something I found in the Food Network magazine that turned out to be a big hit with my knitting group and my family so I figured they were awesome enough to share here :)

Holiday Rolo Melts
I have no idea what these are called, I just made them because the recipe was on the back of a rolo bag and again, another hit with everyone I shared them with.  They are yummy and really easy to make.

1 bag of holiday pretzel rings
1 bag of rolos
1 bag of glazed pecans (found in the baking section of the grocery store)

1. pre-heat the oven to 350
2. line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. lay out as many holiday pretzel rings as you can fit on the parchment paper
4. place one rolo in the center of each pretzel ring
5. place cookie sheet in oven 1-3 minutes (test every minute because some ovens melt the rolos faster than others). 
6.  when the rolos is melted (usually in about 2 minutes), remove from oven and set the cookie sheet on counter.
7. place a glazed pecan into the center of every rolo, push down until the chocolate fills the pretzel (if it doesn't fill the pretzel then the rolo and pecan will fall out of pretzel when it cools).
8. you can allow the rolo melts to cool on the counter until hard enough to eat.  I usually pop mine in the fridge to cool them quickly.  

and even better than what is above...

More Recipes!
Please stop over to visit the blogs of the wonderful virtual cookie swappers.  All of these awesome ladies have great recipes to share and bake a million times better than I do so don't miss out!!  (a few may not have finished uploading their recipes yet so stay tuned because all recipes will be live soon).


Teresa Robeson said...

You know, if hubby comes home tomorrow and find me rolling around in a pan of brownies, he'll know who to blame...LOL!

I've never bought Rolos before but may have to break down and get a bag to try the second recipe. :)

Michelle said...

The brownies are really really really really good! I love Food Network because they have such easy recipes that taste amazing!

Epicure68 said...

Those brownies sound really good! You know I'm going to be 300 lbs by the time the holidays are over.

Michelle said...

That makes twi of us. Lol!

Carrie Garvin said...

I am soooo going to make the Rolo melts!!! I haven't seen these before.

Everything looks wonderul!!!!

Michelle said...

For something so simple, they really do taste good. Let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Wow I want to make both!

Kathy N. said...

Yum I want to make both!

Alina Klein said...

My husband will laugh when I tell him about these because I once made caramel chocolate cookies dusted with sea salt and got carried away with the pretty crystals on top. :D He will never let me live it down. I can't wait to try these and prove that I CAN indeed make salted caramel deliciousness.

Michelle said...

I am always tempted to go over board on the sea salt crystals myself so I know just how that can happen :)

Elly's Extras said...

Hi - your recipes look delicious! I am actually a fellow Minnesotan and was googling soapmaking classes when I came upon your blog. I know your post is a few years old on soapmaking but I am curious if you still offer classes (or would consider it). I have been searching for one in the Twin Cities and have not yet found any. If you have any other ideas - please share!

Happy New Year!

Michelle said...

Hi. If u jist need someone to show you how to make cp soap, I'll be more than happy to. Just shoot me an email: lotus at charter . net