Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Last week was on of those weeks that couldn’t end fast enough. Nothing horrible gone wrong, just in desperate need of the weekend. An easy way to cruise into the weekend with a happy note is cookies! I saw these a few weeks ago and knew that my husband would love them. He’s been on a salted caramel kick for about a year. I prepared the dough while my daughter was at pre-school, baked them while she was taking a nap, and we enjoyed them before and after dinner!

These cookies were delicious! I loved the chunkiness of the dough and will probably experiment a bit with this dough as a base in the future. The caramel took the chocolate chips up a notch but I will say they are best when warm or dunked in warm tea or hot cocoa. the caramel gets a bit chewy when it has cooled while can be a little difficult for some to eat. These definitely were a nice treat for the fall though and something different that definitely put us in a happier mode to start our weekend.

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits
  • Flaked sea salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together. Add vanilla and egg and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients, up to chocolate chips and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and caramel bits by hand. Place dough in refrigerate and chill for 2 to 4 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

Using a medium scoop, scoop the dough and place on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Take care that the caramel bits are not on the bottom of the cookies as they will caramelize. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges. Sprinkle sea salt on top of cookies while still warm.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the cookies and finish cooling on the wire rack. If you’ve got a steady hand you can carefully transfer the silpat or parchment paper to the wire rack and cool that way.

Store cookies in an airtight container.

Makes about 21 cookies.

Source: Baked by Rachel

Basil Compound Butter

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I’ve been trying to use up all of my herbs since I don’t have the window space to keep them all winter long. There are so many great ways to use or save your herbs after harvesting, but making compound butters is always one of my favorites. Everyone loves butter, right? This is so easy to do and really brings a nice change to your bread at dinner or you can use it melted over pasta, seafood, etc.

Basil Compound Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine butter, basil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to parchment or wax paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Will keep in the refrigerate for 1 week.

Source: Martha Stewart

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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When I was little my favorite part of Halloween wasn’t the candy, but pumpkin seeds. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t love the candy, but I could have that any time of year. The pumpkin seeds were a seasonal treat. I’ve yet to find them in the store prepared the way I like, so they are still a treat that only comes once a year. I’ve made them a few different ways over the years. I have a quick version that is tasty and of course there are some fun flavors as well, but this recipes brings out the flavors and tastes just like my  mom used to make. If you have the time, this is the way to go, and it’s really not that much more difficult!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Cut pumpkin and scrape seeds out. Work seeds out of the pulp as best you can. Place seeds in a colander and rinse until the seeds are completely clean.

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Place oven rack on top shelf.

Measure the seeds using a measuring cup. For every half cup of seeds you have, add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a medium saucepan. You can add additional salt if you prefer a saltier end product. Add the seeds and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.

Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil and add the pumpkin seeds, tossing to coat with oil. Then spread the seeds in a thin, single layer and roast anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, lightly browned. The time depends on the size of the seeds. Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack before eating.

Source: Simply Recipes

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Have I mentioned that I love bread? I can ruin any good dinner by diving right into the bread basket. I’m a carb fiend! Give me a delicious butter or spread to smear on top of it and I’m in heaven! I’m also a huge fan of dips, if you haven’t figured that out by some of my recipes. So, give me some bread and something to dip it in and I’m in heaven. This one is delicious and so easy. If you’ve been to Carrabba’s you already know how tasty it is. It’s easy enough to treat yourself on a weeknight while you prepare dinner or serve it up as an easy appetizer for guests. Who doesn’t love easy entertaining? Make sure you make extra though if you’re like me because you *may* eat a lot before guests even arrive!

I adapted this recipe slightly, by adding more oil and less garlic. It makes the dip go further and doesn’t make you a social pariah with garlic breath! You can also use all fresh herbs with this, just use more when you are using fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Herb & Oil Dip ~ Carrabba’s Copycat

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine herbs and garlic in a small dish, until herbs are moistened. Pour olive oil onto mixture and serve with fresh bread.

Slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction