Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Caramel Awesomeness!

Yep….you read that title correct!  So if you don’t like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter M&Ms, or Caramel….you should probably skip this post.   This cookie bar has everything I mentioned in it!  This by no means is healthy…but it is a CHEAT treat!  You have to have this every now and then.  That being said….this cheat is better suited for a party situation.  That way, you can have some but won’t be tempted every time you walk into the kitchen.  🙂

I have made this for several parties (including a dinner party I am going to tonight), and everyone who has tried it has loved it, so I know you will too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp coarse Sea salt(seems like a lot, but with all of the sugar in this recipe….you need to counter it)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups peanut butter M&M’s
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 1 (14oz) bag caramels unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan.

Cream butter and sugar together.  Then mix in the eggs and vanilla.  Make sure all the wet ingredients are mixed well.  Slowly add in the baking soda, salt, and flour until it is all mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter M&Ms.

Take 2/3 of the batter and spread it in the pan.  Now this can be messy!!  A little tip is to spray your hands first with the cooking spray and then use your hands to spread the dough out.

Dough ready to go in the oven

Dough ready to go in the oven

 

You will bake this for 8-10 minutes.  You want the dough to set, but not golden brown.

After baking for 10 minutes

After baking for 10 minutes

 

Now that the first part is finished baking, you can work on your caramel layer.  Take your unwrapped caramels, put them in a microwave safe container with the milk.  Microwave for 1 minute at a time.  After each minute, stir.  Keep doing this until all of the caramels are melted.  Should take between 2-3 minutes.

Melted caramel

Melted caramel

 

With the caramel melted, gently pour it over the dough in the pan.

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With the last of your dough, you will cover all of the caramel as best as you can.  It might not be perfect, but that doesn’t matter.  The dough will spread.  Try not to leave any major holes.

Ready to go back in the oven!

Ready to go back in the oven!

 

Put the pan back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.   Now you do want it to be golden brown this time.

 

MMM....

MMM….

 

Turned out great!  Except for the part when I accidentally let my oven mitt touch the cookie bar.  Oops!  Oh well….I guess that means that I get to have a sample before the dinner party tonight!  🙂

Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m back!  Sorry for being MIA!  I have been busy!  Finished moving in with my boyfriend into his house.  It’s still a mess!  Just because we moved all of my stuff in, doesn’t mean that my stuff is organized.   Actually, the master bedroom is now where all of my furniture is until we renovate the master bedroom and bathroom.  As you could probably tell, this means that we have a lot of things to do around the house before we officially settled.

I did try several new recipes in my absence from blogging……but……they were total failures and I haven’t had time to rework them.   So, to keep your taste buds occupied, I wanted to share with you this tried and true recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!

I found this recipe through one of the blogs I follow.  The original recipe is for a Chocolate Bundt Cake, but I made these into cupcakes instead for a party.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Put cupcake liners in muffin tin.  I lightly sprayed them with a coconut oil spray.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, syrup, and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients.  Pour batter into the cupcake liners in the muffin pan.  I used a 1/2c measuring cup to put the batter into each liner.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Now, if you want to get fancy…..which I did with these cupcakes….I ended up making a caramel sauce to “fill” the cupcakes with.  I ended up using this recipe.  I tried to make the caramel sauce from Life Made Full, but I have yet to perfect it.   But the recipe from A Calculated Whisk, was easy to make and so tasty!  I couldn’t stop eating it, even days later I would find things to put it on so I could have more.  If I can’t get the Paleo caramel to work, this will be my go to caramel sauce.  No more store bought caramel for me!

Look at that beautiful caramel sauce!  Yum!

Look at that beautiful caramel sauce! Yum!

 

Take a cupcake and create a small hole in the center of the cupcake.   I used a potato peeler.

IMG_1749Put a spoonful of caramel into the hole.

After you have filled your cupcakes, you can ice them.  For the party, I did a simple chocolate cream cheese icing.

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces of softened unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla (to taste)

Mix the butter and cream cheese together.  Then add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in gradually.   Those are just some starting measurements that I gave you.  Depending on how sweet you like your frosting will determine how much of the powdered sugar and cocoa that you put in.  I tend to make mine less sweet.

Once you have the icing to your liking, ice your cupcakes and decorate!

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Our friends at the party couldn’t believe that these were gluten free!  I even let a coworker try one the next day, and he still does not believe that there is no traditional flour in them.  🙂

Hope you enjoy this tasty treat!