Monday, October 30, 2006

Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are very popular this time of the year. I bought a whole bag of apples for just $2.50, and decided to make some caramel apples with these. I made some with plain caramel but of course couldn't resis the urge to roll some in walnuts and dip some in chocolate. The recipe is from Allrecipes and is fairly simple to make. Just make sure you don't do what I did and stick your finger in the hot caramel!

Caramel Apples
adapted from Allrecipes


6 apples
6 wooden sticks (I used bamboo skewers)
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Insert wooden sticks into apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased wax paper.
2. Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan. Place on the wax paper and place in fridge.

Roll the apples immediately in a bowl of chopped nuts after dipping in caramel, if desired.
After the caramel layer is cool, melt some chocolate chips and shortening in a bowl and drizzle over the top, or dip the caramel apple into the chocolate mixture.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I love cookies and I love oatmeal...put them together and I'm one happy girl. Unfortunately I'm not a fan of raisins so the most common form of the oatmeal cookie, oatmeal raisin cookies, doesn't really excite me that much. Chocolate chips, on the other hand, are decadent paired with oatmeal, so here's my version of the oatmeal cookie, with chocolate chips, adapted from soft oatmeal cookies from Allrecipes

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup chocolate chips

1. In a bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir into the first mixture. Mix in oats and fold in the chocolate chips. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Gently press to flatten each one

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pecan Bars

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. I've been making things but didn't bother taking pictures. Anyway, the autumn weather is definately making it's appearance! When I think of autumn many food related items come to mind: pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, pomegranate, and my favorite, the nuts! Pecans were on sale over the weekend, so I bought a bag and decided to make pecan bars. The recipe is from Epicurious and involves two steps: a shortbread base, and a sticky caramel like topping.

Pecan Pie Bars
Source: Epicurious

Shortbread Base:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pecan filling:
8 ounces pecans (about 2 cups)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. For the shortbread base: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Blend together all of the ingredients and use a spatula to pat mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes.
2. While shortbread is cooking:
Chop pecans into pieces of desired size. In a saucepan melt butter and stir in brown sugar, honey, and cream. Simmer for 1 minute and stir in pecans. Pour pecan mixture over hot shortbread and spread evenly. Bake in middle of oven until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars.

Note: I only baked the filling for 15 minutes because it was starting to bubble and I didn't want to end up with a burnt filling.