Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Milky Way Rice Krispies TreatsWhere has the summer gone?  I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized all at once that we’re basically into fall territory and it’s been over two months since I last posted!  So what have I been up to?  It’s a good question and I’ll let you stare at these delicious Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats while I explain!Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Work work work.  That’s basically been my life…working overtime and spending my little bits of time off with the husband, camping, and having my nieces over when I had the chance.  Oh and (squealing with excitement) working on buying a house.  We will be moving in mid-October!  I am beyond excited and feeling like more of a grown-up every day! :) Oh, and no more overtime, so I am one very happy girl!  I’m very much a to-do list writer/goal-setter and my latest goal is to post weekly!  Come October, with move-in and immediately beginning the update of a new-to-us-but-actually-very-old farmhouse, I really hope I can maintain that goal!  I’ll be posting lots of before and after pics, too!Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I can’t wait to have a kitchen of my own to cook and bake in to my heart’s content!  Speaking of cooking and baking, these Milky Way Rice Krispie Treats are my new favorite.  I even like them better than the Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats I made for Valentine’s day…and I so LOVED those.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Everything about these makes my mouth water.  Chocolate Rice Krispies smothered in vanilla caramel marshmallow, with chunks of Milky Way candy bars and a light drizzle of caramel.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I am an absolute candy fiend…I rarely buy any because it disappears so fast.  I love it all, but Milky Ways…ohh, Milky Ways are my kryptonite.  I bought a bag of fun size candy bars to use for this recipe, and don’t you know that half of them were gone before I could blink.  Oops.  It’s a good thing I didn’t need them all!  I blame it on my mad, mad love for caramel.  I can’t just resist it, which is why I had to give the Original Rice Krispies Treats a delicious, caramely, Milky Way twist.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I layered my 9×13 pan with buttered wax paper because I knew I wanted to remove them from the pan, cut them up and dip them in chocolate.  A good buttering will suffice if you plan on serving them straight out of the pan.  I wanted chunks of Milky Way in my bars, so I chilled the pieces too keep them from melting when I mixed them into the warm rice krispies-marshmallow mix.  You could keep them room temperature and let them melt into the mixture if you so choose.  I used this easy microwave caramel sauce recipe, but you could use salted caramel or storebought caramel sauce.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz package of vanilla caramel marshmallows
  • 6 cups chocolate Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3/4 cups chopped Milky Way candy bars (9 fun size bars)
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • Optional: Candy melts or chocolate for dipping

Instructions

  1. Melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  2. Remove from heat and add cereal. Mix until evenly coated.
  3. Fold in chopped candy bars. Drizzle mixture with half of the caramel sauce and gently mix.
  4. Press into a buttered 9x13 pan using wax paper or buttered hands. Drizzle with remaining caramel.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before slicing and removing from pan.
  6. Melt candy melts or chocolate by the method of your choice. Dip the bottom each piece in chocolate and then drizzle some over the top. Let chocolate harden before serving.

Notes

Keep the candy bars chilled; it makes for easier chopping and keeps them from melting when you mix them into the rice krispies.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/09/12/milky-way-rice-krispies-treats/

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

I love ice cream!  Who doesn’t?!  I love ice cream cake, but again, who doesn’t?!  Do you want to know what I don’t love?  The price of a pre-made ice cream cake.  It’s just a little ridiculous and completely prevents me from actually buying them.  There’s a totally obvious and very easy solution though: make your own!Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

This Turtle Ice Cream Cake was so delicious!  Fudge and caramel oozed out of every bite and the hard chocolate on top was quite literally the icing on the cake!  I intented to use actual Turtles (the candies…just in case), but could not find them at my grocery store.  I opted for Dove caramel filled dark chocolates plus chopped pecans instead.  I had no complaints!Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

I so loved the thick chocolate layer on top, but it made it a little difficult to cut into.  I used a very tricky technique where I took a chef knife and hacked at the cake until it sort of cracked on its own, then followed the natural break lines with my knife for a nice clean cut.  To avoid having to use said technique, simply drizzle the chocolate over the top instead of spreading a nice thick layer.  You could also use magic shell chocolate or make your own magic shell and it will be a little thinner.Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

Okay, so this was my first time making ice cream cake, right?  Trial and error.  It actually went very well, but next time, I must remember not to use slow churned ice cream.  It might seem obvious because it’s softer and melts much faster, but it didn’t even occur to me when I was at the store.  I was thinking, “what is the best tasting ice cream I can buy to make this cake super delicious…ooh yes! slow churned!”  Oh well!  It tasted amazing and that’s all that matters, right?  Right!Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 qt vanilla ice cream
  • 1.5 qt chocolate ice cream
  • 1 10-15 oz. jar of fudge ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 Dove caramel filled dark chocolate candies, roughly chopped
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Let vanilla ice cream soften.
  2. Line your dish with plastic wrap for easy removal. I used a 2 1/2 quart round casserole dish.
  3. Spoon vanilla ice cream into dish and level with a spatula. Cover and let it freeze until firm.
  4. Spoon half of the fudge topping onto the vanilla ice cream layer and spread evenly. Top with chopped pecans and Dove candies and drizzle caramel over the top, reserving a couple tablespoons of both the caramel and pecans to garnish the final product. Spoon remaining fudge topping on top and spread evenly. Cover and place back in freezer until firm. Meanwhile, let chocolate ice cream soften.
  5. Spoon the chocolate ice cream over the fudge layer and level with a spatula. Return to freezer for a couple hours to let the whole thing freeze completely.
  6. Melt butter and chocolate chips together by the method of your choice and let cool until it is just about room temperature.
  7. Remove ice cream cake from the freezer and invert onto cake plate. Gently pull the plastic wrap away from the cake.
  8. Drizzle the cake with melted chocolate, or cover it entirely (or both) and caramel. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the top. Serve immediately, or place back in the freezer until ready to serve.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/06/28/turtle-ice-cream-cake/

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I love caramel.  I love it so much that I often always put a spoonful of caramel sauce into my coffee, followed by a spoonful of caramel sauce into my mouth.  It’s one of those things I just can’t keep around for fear of my uncontrollable urge to eat it all in one sitting.

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate CookiesCaramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

These cookies were so amazingly delicious that before I knew it had happened, I had eaten three of them and they hadn’t even had time to cool.  Yes, I have a problem…and that’s why I happily gave them away to anyone who was willing to take them [an easy task].  The cookies had a great flavor and texture; they stayed pretty soft kept in an airtight container.  The rolos inside…well, that was the icing on the cake.  While they were still warm, the caramel was gooey, melty and a little messy; once they cooled, it was still soft and caramel-y, without the mess.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies: (Adapted from my baking addiction)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 24 Rolos, unwrapped
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter for a minute, then add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. For each cookie, flatten a 1 Tbsp sized amount of dough and wrap it around a rolo.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 7-10 minutes until set and slightly cracked.  Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Covered Caramels

Homemade Caramels via elisebakesIt’s no secret that I love caramel.  I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest and knew I would be adding these caramels to my list of things to make for Christmas.  I followed the outline exactly.  If you have any hesitation about making caramel (I know I did before my first batch of salted caramel sauce), fret not; they have a video tutorial on the page as well as an extensive tutorial on homemade caramels, again complete with video.  I doubled the recipe and let it set in a 9×9 baking pan – you can never have too much caramel.  I let my sugar/water reach 320 F, but mine had already turned a darker amber color (as opposed to the lighter color on the video); they still tasted great!  Below I have added their recipe (but doubled the ingredients) and added my notes.  It’s easier than it looks and less far tedious than the very long instruction list would suggest!

Chocolate Covered Caramels (from inspiredtaste.net)Homemade Caramels via elisebakes

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • chocolate for dipping, I did both semi-sweet and dark
  • optional: sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Lightly oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan then measure and cut a piece of parchment paper that will fit inside the pan and come up the sides by at least 1 inch. Next, lightly oil the parchment paper and place into the pan. Set the pan aside.
  2. Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces then combine with heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 minutes until hot and butter has melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan combine the water and corn syrup. Then, add the sugar, but try your best not to splatter the sugar up the sides of the pan. Now, use a spoon to gently stir the sugar into the water and corn syrup, just moistening the sugar.
  4. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has come to a boil. Then, cover with a lid for 1 minute. This adds steam/moisture to the pan, so any sugar that may have stuck to the sides of the pan melts and falls back into the boiling sugar.
  5. Remove lid then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Then, cook sugar for 5 to 10 minutes [closer to 20 for me – maybe I didn’t have the heat high enough], until the sugar reaches a temperature of 320 degrees F (160 degrees C). At this temperature, the sugar will take on a light amber color around the edges of the pan. [Mine was a amber throughout]
  6. The moment the sugar reaches 320 degrees F (160 degrees C), carefully pour about a sixth of the butter and cream mixture then stir [since I doubled it, I added closer to one tenth at a time], using the base of the candy thermometer to incorporate it. Repeat with the remaining cream and butter. The sugar will bubble violently as you add the butter and cream – so do this carefully and slowly to prevent the mixture from bubbling over the sides of the saucepan.
  7. Continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes [again, it took me a little longer], until the caramel reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F. This will create a soft caramel, if you want slightly harder caramels, bring the temperature closer to 245 degrees F. [I let mine go until 245, I like a chewy caramel]
  8. The moment the caramel reaches your desired temperature, pour into the prepared loaf pan. Then, let the caramel cool 3 1/2 hours.
  9. Unmold the caramel. If the caramel is too soft to work with, place into the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes to firm up. Then, use a large sharp knife to cut into your desired shape. We like to cut into 1-inch by 1-inch squares.
  10. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  11. Use a large knife to chop chocolate into small pieces. Separate about 1/3 cup of the chocolate and set aside then add the remaining chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter then microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, stir then repeat until melted (stirring after every 30 to 45-seconds). Once the chocolate has melted, add the 1/3 cup of chocolate and stir until smooth and shiny.
  12. Use two forks to dip each caramel into the melted chocolate then place onto waxed paper. Place a little salt on top of each caramel then allow chocolate to cool and set.
  13. Wrap caramels in plastic wrap or waxed paper and enjoy immediately, or you can refrigerate or freeze for enjoying later.Homemade Caramels via elisebakes

Holiday Russian

Holiday Russian via elisebakesNothing speaks to me during the holidays better than a comforting, creamy drink.  So I give you a festive way to ease your holiday stress – the Holiday Russian.  I’m betting there’s probably a name for a White Russian made with Eggnog, but I couldn’t really find anything other than ‘Eggnog Russian ‘ (okay, I didn’t look that hard) and that’s boring, so I’m dubbing it the Holiday Russian.Holiday Russian via elisebakes

  • 1 oz Caramel Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 2 oz Eggnog

Pour in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour in a small tumbler or rocks glass over ice.  Easy peasy!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

It’s fall, so pumpkin desserts seem only essential.  These pumpkin cupcakes were delicious; they had a soft, airy texture and weren’t overly pumpkin flavored.  But, let’s be real: the true champion here is the salted caramel buttercream.  It was out of this world.  I used homemade salted caramel, but you could use store-bought caramel sauce as well.

Pumpkin Cupcakes (from Food and Wine)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  1. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.
  3. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the oil, then beat in the pumpkin puree.
  5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches (starting and ending with dry ingredients), beating well between additions.
  6. Pipe/Scoop/Spoon batter into cupcake tins and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup salted caramel
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and salted caramel and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing between additions, until you reach desired consistency.

Salted Caramel

I made my first attempt at making salted caramel not long ago.  I have to admit that I was pretty nervous – I truly thought I would end up with a pan of crystallized sugar.  I was wrong!  I was successful and it was delicious!  The perfect amount of saltiness.

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1  tsp sea salt
  1. Heat sugar and water in a larger saucepan (2-quart) at medium-high heat.  The sugar will dissolve naturally, but you can use a whisk to help the process along.  Once  the mixture is boiling, you can swirl the pan if you think you need to mix it up a bit, but really, it isn’t necessary.
  2. When the bubbling mixture turns a darker amber color, add the butter.  The mixture will foam up and thicken. Use a whisk to mix until the butter has all melted.  Once the butter is completely melted, remove the pan from heat.
  3. Add the cream and continue to whisk to incorporate (it will bubble up again)
  4. Add the sea salt and continue to mix until the sauce is smooth.  The caramel sauce will thicken up as it cools.
  5. Let cool  for a few minutes, then pour into a re-sealable container (jar or Tupperware will work).  Keep at room temperature until completely cool, then refrigerate.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Caramel Buttercream

These delicious cupcakes were a hit with everyone.  The cake had a great flavor and texture and the buttercream was delicious, with just a hint of caramel.

Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Your Cup of Cake):

  • 1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used 3/4 tbs vinegar + milk)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp kahlua
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Combine cake mix and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix with a whisk.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, kahlua and sour cream. Do not over mix.
  3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  4. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Caramel Buttercream:

  •  butter (1 + 1/2 stick), softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 container), softened
  • 2 Tbs Coffeemate Vanilla Caramel Creamer
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Gradually mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar until well combined (1/2 – 1 cup at a time).
  3. Add creamer and vanilla and mix.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar to reach desired consistency and taste.
  5. Pipe onto cupcakes.