Caramel Cookie Dough Bars

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Caramel Cookie Dough Bars

I am not usually a fan of a cookie bar………until I made these Caramel Cookie Dough Bars. All I can say is yum!!!

Caramel Cookie Dough Bars

Shortbread is one of my favorite tastes, a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and little bit crispy……just an all around tasty treat. Every year for Christmas,once we reached a certain age,my Grandma would buy us a tin of shortbread cookies and wrap them in a dish towel. I loved those tins and the cookies.To this day shortbread always reminds me of my Grandma.

Since this is a layered bar I guess I will need to speak of each layer. Shortbread……check!

Caramel…..it can make anything taste great. Now, I have made homemade caramel many times, but I discovered a little secret…….Dulce de Leche. It’s caramel, in a can, already to go! It’s in the same section as the sweetened condensed milk at the grocery store. If I can save a step,and it tastes great, I say why not! But feel free to make your own for this recipe.

Cookie Dough……I have never made cookie dough without eggs before and since you do not bake these bars, except for the shortbread layer, you need an egg free cookie dough. This one is really good and you don’t have to worry about getting sick from eating it.

Chocolate Ganache…….what can I say about dark chocolate and cream that hasn’t already been said……….it’s a slice of heaven.

Combine all these layers and you get a sinfully rich and delicious bar. Speaking of which, I think there are two still left…………yeah!

Caramel Cookie Dough Bars Collage

Caramel Cookie Dough Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • For Shortbread:
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For Caramel:
  • 1 can dulce de leche (by the sweetened condensed milk)
  • For Cookie Dough:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • For Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1½ cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides.

To make the shortbread, beat butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in flour and salt and mix on low until just combined. Press the dough into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
  2. For the caramel layer: Spread caramel evenly over the shortbread crust. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
  3. To prepare cookie dough, beat butter and sugars on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Spread cookie dough on top of caramel layer using a spatula to smooth dough into an even layer. Refrigerate the dough while you prepare the chocolate ganache.
  4. Chocolate Ganache Layer: Place 1 cup chocolate chips and heavy cream in a glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Remove from microwave and add remaining chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until smooth and silky. Pour the ganache over the cookie dough layer and chill until set, about 30 minutes.
  5. To remove bars from pan, grasp the edges of the parchment paper and lift out the entire block. Place on a cutting board and use a large sharp knife to cut into 2-inch squares. Refrigerated in an airtight container, bars will keep for up to 3 days.

This recipe was adapted from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/cookie-dough-billionaire-bars

Rueben Pizza

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Rueben Pizza

Rueben Pizza

 As promised, yet another Corned Beef recipe. This one is a simple and easy way to use left over Corned Beef from your St Patty’s Day Celebration.

Once again I cannot say enough about pizza…………I swear you can put anything on a pizza crust and have it come out tasty. After all pizza crust is bread, so any sandwich filling will make a great pizza. And who says pizza has to have tomatoes for the sauce…….mix it up sometimes , after all variety is the spice of life.

The Rueben Sandwich……….One account holds that Reuben Kulakofsky, a Lithuanian born grover, residing in Omaha, Nebraska, was the inventor.  Kulakofsky’s weekly poker  game was held in the Blackstone Hotel. The participants, who nicknamed themselves “the committee”, included the hotel’s owner, Charles Schimmel. The sandwich first gained local fame when Schimmel put it on the Blackstone’s lunch menu, and its fame spread when a former employee of the hotel won a national contest with the recipe.

Other accounts hold that the Reuben’s creator was Arnold Reuben, the German owner of the once-famous, now defunct Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York City.

Corned Beef Pizza

Whatever the origin, it’s a yummy sandwich. If you make the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner you are likely to have corned beef left over…………why not try a Rueben Pizza. Pizza crust with thousand island dressing ……no need for the traditional tomato base for this pizza. Topped with all the sandwich fixings, that left over corned beef ( you can buy deli corned beef and chop it up if you prefer), sauerkraut, and swiss cheese. I added onions……….because I like onions on a sandwich and on pizza…….you can leave them off if you prefer.

Try the Rueben Pizza……….before or after St Patty’s Day or any day you are craving a Rueben.

Rueben Pizza Collage

 

Rueben Pizza
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1-14 oz. Boboli Pizza Crust
  • ¾ cup Thousand Island Dressing
  • 4 oz. shredded corned beef, chopped
  • 1 cup onions thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup Sweet Bavarian Sauerkraut , drained and squeeze out excess water
  • 1½ cups shredded Swiss Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450*
  2. Place pizza crust on pizza stone or cookie sheet. Spread thousand island dressing over the pizza crust. Top with corned beef, onion, sauerkraut. Sprinkle swiss cheese over toppings.
  3. Place in preheat oven and bake until heated through, cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.
Notes
You can use deli corned beef in place of the shredded corned beef.

 

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: Copycat Recipe

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Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: Copycat Recipe

Adapted from Food Network & Yammies’s Noshery Pretzel Collage

Today was another freezing *#&%$#@ cold day. To cold for school. I must say that the beauty of working for a school, besides winter break, spring break, summers off, and a smattering of long weekends, is the occasional surprise day off. You know for a snow storm, or as was the case today a wind chill that would freeze you to the spot in a few seconds. Well yeah ……… I got to cook all day……..or should I say bake……..soft, chewy, warm buttery pretzels………sorry I lost my train of thought. Having the oven on all day……..I made a few other things…..stay tuned…….. took the chill off the house quite nicely.

Now I know we all have stories about these kinds of pretzels. The first was I ever had was at a mall. Tim and I visit Vegas frequently………….it is our favorite place in the world…….so far. We really aren’t world travelers…….we leave the world traveling to Tim’s identical twin brother Tom who currently resides in the Philippines. The last time we were in Vegas we had pretzels after a show……..Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club………if you are in Vegas do yourself a favor and visit the comedy club…………. the comedy and the pretzels were great! Continue reading “Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: Copycat Recipe”