Caramel Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Did you ever want chocolate chip cookies but wanted to make something a little different than plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies? If so, this recipe is perfect for you! Taking the base of original chocolate chip cookies, this caramel chocolate chip skillet cookie combines a thin ribbon of caramel sauce and is so much harder to burn (I’m not the only one who routinely burns chocolate chip cookies, right?).

What You Need

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce + extra to drizzle

How You Do It

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. While oven is heating, combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla
  3. Add in the egg.
  4. Going 1/3 cup at a time, add the flour and baking soda.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips. If you’ve been using a hand or stand mixer a up until the point, stir in the chocolate chips by hand to prevent them from breaking.
  6. Separate the dough in half. Press one half into the bottom of an ungreased, 10-inch cast iron skillet. It’s okay if the bottom isn’t completely covered; the dough will expand as it bakes. Pressing the dough into a 6 or 7-inch disk will work
  7. Avoiding the edges, pour over the caramel sauce.
  8. Heavily flour your hands and shape the second half into a disk (saving a little). When it’s roughly the same diameter as the first half, place it on top and press together the edged.20180826_140409.jpg20180826_140816.jpg
  9. If there are any cracks, or caramel seeping through, fix them with any dough that you’ve saved.20180826_140606.jpg
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Note: it’s incredibly easy to overtake this. Because there might be air pockets inside, the cookie might jiggle a little, making it seem like it’s undercooked. If you’re unsure, simply take it out, wait five minutes, and cut open slightly.
  11. When done, drizzle over as much caramel sauce as you’d like, slice, and enjoy!

I wanted the caramel sauce to harden slightly so I popped it back in the oven for 5 minutes, but totally not mandatory.

These are perfect for dunking in milk. Maybe put some whipped cream on them. Absolutely delicious.

Plus, they’re absolutely stuffed with chocolate chips–no skimping here.

Give these a try and let me know how they turn out. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow me on Instagram. Until next time,

-Danielle

Mix It Up: Prefer butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips? Feel free to substitute those!

S’mores Cupcakes

Picture it: it’s a warm summer night, you’re gathered around the campfire, you have nowhere to be the next morning, and you’ve spend a full day relaxing. The only thing that can make it better? S’mores, of course!

But how do you create s’mores without the campfire? And how do you make it a cupcake? Actually, its really easy! This recipe comes together with minimal effort, you can decorate it however you want, and there’s marshmallow fluff in the frosting to really amp up the flavor and texture. You know how a roasted marshmallow is gooey? Same concept here.

A quick note: this post is NOT sponsored by Hershey’s. I know their product is featured heavily in some of the photos, and while you’re more than welcome to use any chocolate you want, when I think of s’mores, I automatically think of Hershey’s. Yes, their branding is that strong.

What You Need

20180715_084101.jpgGraham Cracker Crust

  • 8 graham crackers (approximately 1 ¼ cup)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Blog Cake Batter IngredientsCupcake Batter

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coffee

Marshmallow Frosting

  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Decorations

  • Graham crackers crumbs
  • Chocolate bars

 

How You Do It
Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and place liners in cupcake pan.
  2. Using a rolling pin, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
  3. Add in the sugar and butter until fully mixed. Mixture should be slightly crumbly.20180715_085538.jpg
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each liner, pressing down lightly.20180715_085828
  5. Bake for no more than five minutes. Because the crusts are prone to burning, check halfway through.
  6. When done, remove from oven and let cool. Keep oven at 350 F.

Cupcake Batter

  1. Mix together sugar and butter until combined.Blog Sugar Eggs
  2. Add in milk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will become slightly foamy and might not fully combine. To avoid splatters, mix on low (speed 2 on stand mixer).Blog Wet Ingredients
  3. Add in flour, baking soda, and baking powder.Blog Flour
  4. When combined, add cocoa. The consistency should be that of brownie batter.Blog Cocoa
  5. Finally, stir in water and coffee.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake pan. Because the batter is fairly thin, it would rise too much during baking, so you can just about fill up the liners.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When done, place on cooling rack until ready to frost

Frosting & Decorations

  1. Combine all ingredients. Mixture should be sticky and not overly firm. Soft peaks should form.Blog Finished Frosting
  2. Place in decorating bag and begin to pipe the cupcakes. Because frosting isn’t firm, it will level out slightly.Blog Piping
  3. After the frosting flattens out, crush graham crackers and sprinkle over cupcakes.Blog Decorate 1
  4. Lightly press pieces of chocolate into the middle of the top of the cupcake.20180715_105607.jpg

That’s it! A delicious cupcake with a no-stress decoration. These are amazing both warm and cold, but should we take a second to just admire them?

Blog Finished 2

And that graham cracker crust? Gorgeous!20180715_112851.jpg

I know I should share these, but I absolutely don’t want to.

Blog Finished 3

What do you think? Are you a huge fan of s’mores? What’s your favorite summer dessert? Let me know below. Until next time,

Danielle

Mix It Up: Don’t want to use chunks of chocolate to decorate? Try chocolate syrup instead! You can even use bigger pieces of graham crackers–it’s entirely up to you!

Coffee Caramel Ice Cream & Cotton Candy Cupcakes

With summer officially here, I think it’s only fitting that we pivot to hot weather recipes. Ice cream isn’t one of those things that I eat often, but when I do, I love it homemade. And the cupcakes? Both fun and delicious. In case you missed June’s recipes, catch up below!

Continue reading “Coffee Caramel Ice Cream & Cotton Candy Cupcakes”

Lemon Blueberry Cookies

Looking for a cookie that’s soft, refreshing, and full of lemon? Then boy do I have a treat for you! Similar in taste to a scone, these lemon blueberry cookies are their lighter, fluffier cousin. Not only that, but they have lemon throughout all three parts: lemon zest in the cookies, fresh lemon juice in the glaze, and lemon sugar. Plus, using fresh blueberries provides a burst of flavor with every bite.

Not a big fan of lemon glaze? Feel free to omit it. I promise they’ll taste just as great.

A quick note about storage: these are best kept in the fridge, or at least stored in a cool room. Otherwise, because they’re so moist, they won’t keep as long.

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg

Cookies

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon (approx. 1 ½ teaspoons)

Glaze

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Lemon sugar (enough to sprinkle–not even a ¼ cup)

 

How You Do It
Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and zest lemon.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Wash and thorough dry blueberries. Coat with cornstarch. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the cookies.Blog Blueberries.jpg
  4. Mix together the butter and cream cheese.Blog Cream Cheese Butter.jpg
  5. When combined, add in the sugar and eggs.Blog Sugar Eggs
  6. Pour in the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.Blog Milk
  7. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches (1 cup, 1 cup, ¼ cup), making sure to stir between each. Batter will be thick and shouldn’t stick to your finger when touched.Blog Dry Ingredients
  8. Dump the blueberries in, and using a spoon, fold them into the dough. Be as gentle as possible, but if you break a few of them, that’s okay. When done, stick in the fridge for 10 minutes.Blog Adding Blueberries
  9. When ready, remove from fridge and begin shaping. Spooning out one (generous) tablespoon at a time, place cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. You can either roll the dough into a ball or leave it as it is. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.Blog Cooling

Glaze

  1. When cookies have cooked, combine all ingredients. Because powdered sugar dissolves fairly easily, you can mix by hand if you’d like, simply use a fork. Note: try not make this too far ahead of time. If you do, the glaze will harden, making it difficult to dip the cookies.Blog Glaze
  2. Dip the cookies into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off.Blog Dipping
  3. Wait a couple of seconds before sprinkling on the lemon sugar. I like to dip 4 cookies and then put on the sugar. This gives the glaze a just enough time to firm up on the cookies and prevent sliding, but not so long that the sugar won’t adhere.Blog Sprinkle Sugar
  4. Continue to glaze, and, when done, enjoy!

Blog finished 1And look at the centers! Absolutely full of fruit.Blog CenterIf you’d like, you can even omit the glaze–they still look and taste amazing.Blog Unfrosted.jpg

The choice is completely yours.20180707_182954

Until next time,
Danielle

Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pops

Happy 4th of July! If you’re looking for something last-minute that has a huge wow factor, this recipe’s for you!

Cake pops (in this case, brownie pops!) do take some time and there’s a bit of technique involved with dipping them in the chocolate, but, overall, these are a lot easier than you think. Not only are we using an easy-peasy brownie recipe, but because all of these are hand-dipped, you don’t have to worry about uniformity, meaning there’s no stress if they don’t all look the same. After all, that’s part of their charm!

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg
Brownie Batter

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (2 bars)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup flour

Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

White Chocolate Coating

  • 4-5 cups white chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup blue chocolate (pre-colored)
  • 1 cup red chocolate (pre-colored)


How You Do It
Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9×13 inch or 8×8 inch pan.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter on medium-lowBlog Butter
  3. Add water and sugar to butter. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture starts to bubble.Blog Sugar Water
  4. Turn stove to low and add chocolate and vanilla. Stirring frequently, cook until chocolate melts. When mixture is similar in consistency to frosting, remove from stove and let cool. Note: cooling time is important. Otherwise, the eggs will begin to cook if added immediately.
  5. When cooled, add in the eggs and stir. At this point, the consistency will be similar to pudding.Blog Egg
  6. Going 1/3 a cup at a time, add in the flour and baking soda.Blog Batter
  7. Spread evenly over the pan and bake. If you used a 9×13 pan, cook time will be 10-12 minutes; if 8×8, it’ll be 25-30.Blog Unbaked

Frosting

  1. Combine butter and vanilla.Blog Butter Vanilla (2)
  2. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. If the mixture is dry and clumpy, that’s okay!Blog Frosting 1
  3. Mix in 2 tablespoons and milk. At this point, the frosting will he on the thinner side, but still hold its shape.
  4. Add in the remaining sugar. Frosting will be thick.Blog Frosting 3
  5. Add in the rest of the milk. Depending on your desired consistency, add in either 1/2 or 1 tablespoon.Blog Frosting 4

Cake Pop Balls

  1. Using a fork, crumble the brownies. Break down as many as large chunks as possible, and pour into a large bowl.Blog CrumbleBrownie Crumbles
  2. Add in 3 dollops of frosting (there might be leftovers) and mix with a spoon. Roll some between your hands. The mixture should be moist, but not overly wet. If too dry, add in more frosting.Blog Brownie Frosting
  3. Begin to shape into balls. Roll into desired size, placing on a plate. When finished, cover, and stick in fridge until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Coating

  1. When ready to assemble, melt chocolate in separate bowls.  If you’re using a microwave, melt for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring between each.Blog Chocolate Colors
  2. To add sticks to brownie balls, dip into white chocolate, scraping edges.
  3. Slowly push stick into the brownie balls. This will act as a glue, keeping the stick firmly in place.Blog Stick
  4. Combine colors. Using either piping bags or plastic baggies, but the red chocolate in one bag and the blue in another.
  5. Alternating between colors, drizzle over white chocolate.Blog Drizzle
  6. Swirling as you go, dip the cake pop into the chocolate. Continue to swirl as you pull up.Blog Dip
  7. If you don’t have full coverage on the first dip, use a knife to spoon out a small amount of chocolate and spread over and part that isn’t covered in chocolate.Blog Knife
  8. Stick in freezer until hardened, then move to fridge. When ready to eat, remove from fridge, wait five minutes, and enjoy!20180701_181958

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love how no two are alike.20180703_122903.jpg

Some even remind me of planets.20180703_122814.jpg

They’re absolutely perfect for lounging poolside.

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So what are you waiting for? Give these a go, and let me know how it goes! Until next time,

♥Danielle

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

With summer officially in swing, I can’t help but think of fair food: funnel cakes, candy apples, corn dogs, and, as you can imagine, cotton candy! Growing up, I used to LOVE cotton candy, especially the blue (actually, anything blue candy gets my vote), so it only makes sense that I made a cupcake version.
The cake itself is a pretty standard vanilla–where the cotton candy comes in is the lovely cotton candy toppings (of course) and the frosting. Yep, that’s right: there’s cotton candy in the frosting. Not only does it provide a bit of coloring (I opted to add a bit of coloring, but it’s optional), but some of the cotton candy doesn’t fully dissolve, leaving lovely little pieces.

What You NeedBlog Batter Ingredients

Cupcake Batter

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup milk

Blog Frosting Ingredients

Frosting

  • 2 ¾ cups powdered sugar (+ more, if thicker consistency is desired)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup cotton candy
  • Food coloring gel, optional

Decorations

  • Cotton candy
  • Lollipop sticks

How You Do It
Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix eggs and sugar until combined.Blog Eggs Sugar
  3. Add in softened butter and vanilla. Beat until lumps are minimal (about 2 minutes).Blog Butter
  4. In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients: flour and baking powder. Alternating with the milk add into the wet ingredients, mixing for 10-15 seconds each.

½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
½ cup flourBlog Batter

Blog BatterBlog Batter

5. Pour batter into the muffin tin, dividing equally.Blog Cupcakes in Pan

Blog Cupcakes in Pan
Blog Cupcakes in Pan

6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out cleanly.Frosting

  1. Starting with ½ cup powdered sugar, combine with 1 tablespoon of milk and all of the softened butter. If mixture appears stiff or dry, that’s okay! 

  2. Add in vanilla and ½ cup of cotton candy.Blog Frosting CC
  3. Add in the rest of the milk, confectioner’s sugar, and cotton candy. Not all of the cotton candy would dissolve, and, if you’re like, feel free to add in a bit more–no rules here! If the frosting is too thin, feel free to add in more powdered sugar.20180610_102517.jpg
  4. Color. Because the cotton candy turned the frosting a pale blue, I opted to use red; it turned it a light purple. Because I wanted it to remain a pretty pastel shade, I added only a tiny bit, but there’s no right or wrong amount.blog-frosting-add-color.jpg
  5. Using your desired tip, pipe on the cupcakes.Blog Frosted

Decorations

  1. Wash and dry your hands. Dry hands are crucial to this! If you’d like, either wear gloves or coat your fingers in cornstarch. Otherwise, the cotton candy will dissolve against your fingers.
  2. Tear off some cotton candy. Using as little pressure as possible, wrap it around the lollipop stick.Blog Cotton Candy
  3. Press the stick into the center of the cupcake.Blog Decorate
  4. Step back and admire your work!

Blog Finished Close Up

A quick note: if you can, hold off on decorating these. As pretty as they are, if the cotton candy is exposed to air for too long, it hardened as becomes brittle (see below).

Blog FInished Difference

Otherwise, I absolutely love these! They’re just so fun. They’re both super easy and have a huge impact. Plus, it’s a good use of leftover cotton candy that you brought home from your local fair or carnival.

Blog finished 1
What do you think? Give them a go, and share your results! Until next time,
♥Danielle