Tag Archives: Fall

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

7 Nov

I made these the week before my big birthday cupcake fest, after I made that pumpkin blondie cake for the second time. I needed something to do with the leftover frosting from that, and I felt that these cookies would be a very suitable match for it. They were fun to make, and actually a little difficult. I couldn’t find the cider mix that the original recipe called for, so I had to improvise a little bit. All I could find was CARAMEL flavored apple cider mix in a big container, so I bought that. Although the mix did smell very apple-y, I was worried that there would end up being too much caramel flavor, since the mix wasn’t supposed to even BE flavored. So I didn’t really measure out the mix, I just kept pouring it into the batter until it tasted good enough to me. I regret not adding more flavor than I did, though. The batter tasted SO much like apples that I was getting worried, but the flavor actually mellowed a lot during the baking process, and I was left wanting more of the apple flavor that had disappeared. To fix it, I actually sprinkled some of the cider mix on top of the icing, which fixed it quite nicely!

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies with Cinnamon-Vanilla Frosting
(From HERE – makes about 4 dozen)

What you need:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (7.4 ounce) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix (*not sugar free*)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft Caramels, unwrapped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. The melted caramel WILL stick to it.

2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.

3. Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut (about 2 tablespoons).  Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Shape the dough into a ball, and place on parchment covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Cookies will be on the larger side.

4. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment or silpat off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter.  Allow cookies to cool on the parchment paper until they are only slightly warm, but cool enough to handle and not fall apart. I used a spatula to separate my cookies from the foil I used (because I was out of parchment paper), since the caramel was so sticky.

5. While cookies cool, prepare the frosting.

6. Allow cookies to finish cooling upside down, either on the parchment paper, a rack, or wherever else you’d like. When cookies are completely cool and the caramel in the bottom no longer gooey or sticky, turn them over and ice them!

We took these to our Ultimate game that night and shared them with both teams. Everyone loved them. My biggest complaint, though, is the caramel in the middle. While it DOES melt a bit during the baking process, once the cookies cooled, it hardened back up. If I make these again I will need to figure out how to keep it from hardening again. I felt especially bad, because we’d left them sitting in the cold while we played our 2 hour game, so when we handed them out, the caramel was kind of like a giant rock right in the center, and very hard to chew through. We took the leftovers home, and after sitting in our warm apartment, the caramel had loosened again to be edible, at least. So if you plan on taking these to an event, I suggest keeping them as warm as possible for as long as possible!

Pumpkin Krispies!

19 Sep

These are another magnificent treat that, after snacking on them for a whole week and not sharing with anyone at my husband’s office because I loved them THAT MUCH, I took to share with our Ultimate team. As much as I WANTED to eat the rest of them myself, I had to resist that urge more strongly than I ever had any urge thus far in my relatively short life, and let me tell you, it was very difficult. I’ve already established my adoration for fall flavored pumpkin treats, and pairing that with the ever simple Rice Krispie Treat was just ingenious; obviously I was in love from the very first nibble.

My health is very important to me, and I indulged in way too many treats last week. Yes, I made the truffles, the brownies, and these all in the same week :X not particularly wise, but eh… I was bored? which I found to be such a shame, because I didn’t get to eat as many of them as I WISH I had. I don’t like wasting, especially when ingrediants are expensive, as the white chocolate was for the truffles. Therefore, I cut out one treat with my pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and topped it with the remaining bit of white chocolate and orange sprinkels. Orange sprinkles obviously because it was near impossible to even tell that was a pumpkin and not just a circle, ESPECIALLY after I put the chocolate on it. Yeah… didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats
(from Cookies and Cups – She has fabulous pictures!)

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 (10.5) oz bag mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

1. Spray 9×9 pan with non-stick spray.

2. Over med-low heat melt your butter.

3. Once your butter is melted, continue to cook until butter starts to brown (it will turn a golden brown color and develop a nutty aroma). Be careful not to burn (once the butter begins to brown it can burn quickly). Stir up any brown bits.

4. Add the marshmallows and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until marshmallows are melted.

5. Remove from heat and stir in rice krispies.

6. When mixed spread the krispie mixture in your prepared pan. Spray a sheet of wax paper or parchment with non-stick spray and gently press the krispies down evenly. Let cool for 30 minutes and then cut into squares.

These taste divine. The amount of pumpkin spice called for is perfect – not overwhelming at all, adds just enough hint of pumpkin and spiciness to make this simple treat far more gourmet than I’ve tasted it done yet. The spice compliments the softness of the delicate marshmallows so well. You get all the taste benefits of heavier pumpkin pie in a more light and airy package that you feel completely guiltless for eating squares and squares of! And right there, you can now see my dilemma! I actually bought enough supplies to make 2 sets of Rice Krispie Treats, these and a set of cake batter flavored ones. I am still undecided if the cake batter ones will be getting made… There is a massive desire in me to just made another batch of these!! I still can’t believe Rice Krispie doens’t actually sell these come fall time… I feel like they would surely make a fortune if they did…

After this past week being so full of baking, I’ve fallen behind on my cooking recipes! So expect to me to catch up on those as I take a small break from baking. Time to focus on the healthier things again! Aside from the mock Chick-fil-A nuggets I made the other night… but those will have their own post!

Pumpkin Bumpkin

6 Sep

In celebration of Labor Day weekend and Fall and our good friend Matt’s hosting of a board game night (Arkham Horror!), I decided to make a delicious treat to bring for everyone! I’ve had this one open in a tab for freaking ever, and have just been WAITING for the perfect opportunity to make it (and, plus, now that this is out of the way, I can finally start working slowly through all the amazing new concoctions I’ve found through Pinterest…).

These are AMAZING. SO delicious, even with what seems like a massive change to recipe that I had to make. I searched online to see if Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Pie Mix were interchangeable in recipes. Among some largely mixed reactions, I felt people were leaning towards “NO WAY NO DON’T DO IT DON’T EVER SUBSTITUTE MIX FOR PUREE.” I scoured the supermarkets but I couldn’t find any Pumpkin puree in the stores here just yet; I was lucky enough to find even the Pumpkin pie mix at one (and only one) Safeway near me. Therefore, I used 1 cup of canned Pumpkin Pie mix in place of the puree the recipe calls for, and added just a dash of the pumpkin pie spice (since canned pumpkin pie mix is already spiced). I also just felt like these needed some frosting, so I made my own Cinnamon Vanilla frosting to drizzle on top! It compliments these SO well! They are the perfect fall treat!!

Here is my VERY own:

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Blondie Cake
(Adapted from Sing for your Supper)

What you need:

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Caramel Sauce
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, divided
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup canned Pumpkin Pie Mix (whereas the original recipe calls for Pumpkin Puree)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Butter a 9×9-inch baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.  Stir together and set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

3. Pour half of the batter in the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle the caramel in an even layer and sprinkle with the other 1/2 teaspoon of salt (feel free to leave the salt out if you’re not a fan of salted caramel). Carefully drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the caramel and smooth out as best you can (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

4. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes around 9 squares. Taste, and see if you want to add the icing or not.

What you need for the icing (original recipe from here):

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used 1 unsalted + 2 salted sticks, because that was all I had! Still worked.)
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Directions:

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and cinnamon, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

I was on a time crunch when it came to making the icing, so I did not sift the powdered sugar or even add it in the exact increments prescribed by the recipe. I PROBABLY didn’t aerate it as much as it said to because of that, and therefore, while it was still fluffy, it probably wasn’t as fluffy as the recipe intended it to be. To that, my husband only had this gem to say: “Who cares about sifting it, it’s sugar, just get that shit in there!!!” He thought the icing tasted AMAZING.

I also ended up having to use 2 sticks of salted butter (rather than unsalted, which is what the recipe called for), but it was still AMAZING. This icing was the PERFECT compliment to the pumpkin flavor, as the amount of cinnamon present adds a subtle but nice kick of extra spice – just the right amount!

I could see this recipe being too sweet for some, though, if you are sensitive to too much sugar (which I think is mostly fault of the icing), but everyone who had this cake said that it was phenomenal, so I think it worked out well! My first big baking experiment: great success! And Arkham Horror was a super fun board game to boot! Highly recommend playing it, especially with a good group of hilarious friends!