Jan 01
2015

Twix Cookies

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  I have been absent lately enjoying time away from the internet world spending quality time with family and friends.  I hope that you all had lovely holidays and are looking forward to the New Year and fabulous new recipes.

Twin Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I participated in my first cookie exchange this year which I really enjoyed and absolutely loved the cookies that I contributed.  Any type of shortbread has a special place in my heart and when you top buttery shortbread with sticky, sweet caramel, rich chocolate and sea salt, the combination is the same as one of my favorite candy bars.  Meet Twix Cookies.  I’m sure you will quickly become closely acquainted with these irresistible cookies.

Twin Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Twin Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

My board that has the most pins on Pinterest by far is the Cookie Board.  I am always pinning new recipes that catch my eye because cookies are my dessert of choice anytime.  I pinned these Twix Cookies months ago and was just waiting for the right reason to make them.  They worked out perfectly for a cookie exchange because they are sturdy, have great flavor and were pretty unique among the other exchange contributions.

Twin Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Twix Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

Yield: about 50 cookies

Twix Cookies: Buttery shortbread cookies slathered with sticky, sweet caramel, rich chocolate and a balancing sprinkle of sea salt

Ingredients

    For the cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups (24 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the caramel layer
  • 1 (11-ounce) bag of Kraft caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • For the chocolate layer
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

    For the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add flour and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Then use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place cookies onto prepared cookie sheets. Re-roll the remaining dough and repeat this process.
  4. Bake 14-16 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned.
  5. Cool cookies completely before proceeding.
  6. For the caramel layer
  7. Place unwrapped caramels and water in to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 1 minute increments until caramels are melted. Stir mixture until smooth.
  8. Use a spoon to spread a small layer of caramel onto each cooled cookie.
  9. Allow the caramel to set before proceeding.
  10. For the chocolate layer
  11. Place chocolate chips Into another small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 1 minute increments until chocolate chips are melted. Stir until smooth.
  12. Use a spoon or small spatula to top the set caramel on each cookie with a layer of chocolate.
  13. While the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle each cookie lightly with sea salt.
  14. Allow the chocolate to set (placing the cookies into the refrigerator will speed up this step).
  15. Recipe adapted from www.Chef-In-Training.com

Twin Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Yes, Pumpkin Pie is a classic and I will certainly be making one for Thanksgiving next week, but in addition to the classic, I also like to make something with a little twist on the good old pie.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing are one of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes and would still satisfy that craving for something pumpkin after turkey dinner.

Apples are probably tied with pumpkin for people’s favorite fall dessert flavor and this Apple Streusel Cake will provide comfort with warm spices and sweet apples.

Slab pies are a great way to still serve pie but without so much fuss.  This blueberry version is calling my name and could be made with frozen blueberries if fresh are not available.

If I’m making something that is not either apple or pumpkin, you know it’s going to be something chocolate like this classic Chocolate Pie from The Pioneer Woman.

Butterscotch is another flavor that makes me think of fall for some reason.  I bookmarked this Pumpkin Butterscotch Spice Cake Trifle and have been dying for an excuse to make it.  Trifles are such awe-inspiring desserts, yet they can be so easy to make.

I LOVE pecan pie maybe more than pumpkin and I am naturally drawn to any pecan dessert that incorporates chocolate into the mix.  These Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars are such a fantastically rich combination.

Tarts are so beautiful and look complicated, but actually are easy to make, especially with step-by-step instructions like in this recipe for a French Pear Tart from The Mediterranean Dish.

Maybe you want to totally step away from classic fall flavors all together and go with a much loved flavor combination:  peanut butter and chocolate.  These Peanut Butter Cup Pots de Creme from Glazed and Confused look dangerously delicious.

Still want to serve pie, but just not pumpkin?  Check out my board on Learnist for 7 other irresistible pie flavors.

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When it comes to chocolate preference I am a milk chocolate girl.  In my opinion, you either appreciate bitter flavors such as dry red wine, strong coffee and extra dark chocolate or you don’t.  I don’t.  With one exception.  If dark chocolate is balanced with nutty caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt to balance the bitter notes, I start to sing a different tune.  Most desserts in general need the right amount of salt to balance their sweetness and there is no better example of that balance of flavors than dark chocolate and salt.  When I saw these Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies in Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook, I ran to the store to buy a bag of Rolos and got baking immediately.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

You usually have to choose whether you want chewy, gooey brownies or the crispy corner pieces of the batch, but with these Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies, you don’t have to choose, you get both.  Imagine a richly dark chocolate brownie-like consistency cookie bursting with semisweet chocolate chips and oozing with soft caramel when you bite into it and that is what you get with these cookies.  If you aren’t salivating yet, you might want to consult someone about that.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

A light sprinkle of sea salt to balance out the chocolatey richness, and these Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies go down in the record book as one of my all-time favorite decadent treats.  These mouthwateringly delicious cookies are just one of the 75 irresistible recipes that you will find in Sally McKenney’s book Sally’s Baking Addiction:  Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes & Desserts for your Sweet Tooth Fix.

Sally began her blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction, not long ago, in 2011.  I have continued to be impressed by the rapid growth and success that she has had.  And let me tell you, she is as sweet as her desserts!  I feel like I have gotten to know Sally just through correspondence we have shared between blog comments and emails and I am so happy when good things happens to good people.  Sally’s beautifully photographed cookbook has chapters covering Breads & Muffins, Breakfast, Brownies & Bars, Cakes, Pies & Crisps, Candy & Sweet Snacks, Cookies, Cupcakes and Healthier Choices.  Each recipe is accompanied by a full page color photo so you know exactly what you are going to be enjoying when you begin making one of Sally’s recipes.  This Brown Sugar Glazed Apple Bread is high on my list of what to make next.

Sally works hard testing her recipes to get them just right and so many of her recipes offer helpful tips that she has discovered that will help you to have success when recreating one of her treats.  For example, she has discovered that rolling cookie dough taller than it is wide results in cookies that have some substance and stay more puffy rather than becoming totally flat when they are baking.  Who doesn’t love a thicker cookie?

Sally’s book has a dessert for any occasion you may be celebrating and one of the nicest aspects of her book is that there are no fancy, special ingredients that are difficult to find.  The book is filled with approachable treats that will bring a smile to any face you present them to.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 18 cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies: The perfect blend of rich chocolate, sweet caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt that will keep you reaching for one more

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 18 chocolate-coated caramel candies, such as Rolos
  • coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and use a mixer on low speed until combined. Add the milk. With a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the dough. The dough will be heavy and sticky. Cover and chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  4. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to soften slightly at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Take 2 tablespoons of chilled dough, split it in half and roll each piece into a ball with your hands. Stick a caramel into 1 ball of dough. Top the caramel with the other ball of dough and seal the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and caramel candies. Place balls 3 inches apart onto each cookie sheet. Sprinkle each with sea salt before putting into the oven.
  7. Bake each batch for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.
  8. Recipe source: Sally's Baking Addiction cookbook

*Race Point Publishing provided me with a review copy of Sally’s Baking Addiction:  Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes & Desserts for Your Sweet Tooth Fix but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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I will be taking the next week away from the computer to spend quality time with family.  I hope that you will be doing some of the same.  I love the way that the blessings of family and traditions makes me feel so content and satisfied.  I believe that the love we feel this time of year is the true meaning of Christmas.

Here is a round-up of some of the recipes that I shared with you this holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Vanilla Bean and Sea Salt Caramels

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Turtle Snowball Cookies

Turtle Snowball Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Chewy Ginger and Molasses Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Ginger and Molasses Chocolate Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Chocolate Croissant Cookies

Chocolate Croissant Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Candy Cane Cookies with Mint Chocolate Centers

Candy Cane Cookies with Mint Chocolate Centers {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Crushed Candy Canes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

 

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When I posted this Peanut Butter Cup Fudge,

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I shared some of my candy making conundrums with you and offered some tips that I have learned for how to resolve them.

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I have had my fair share of caramel-making challenges as well, but the past few years, I have been able to make chewy caramels that are soft and so buttery.  This year, I decided to add some some vanilla bean paste and sea salt to my mom’s classic caramel recipe.  The sea salt really takes these over the top and balances the sweetness so perfectly.

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I also attribute some of my recent candy making success to the use of the Thermapen.  This digital thermometer allows for precise accuracy down to the tenth of a degree which is so crucial for candy making.  Read my full-review of this helpful kitchen tool here.

To help  your candy-making courage and encourage you to try some new recipes, the kind people at Thermoworks have offered to give a Thermapen to one lucky Satisfy My Sweet Tooth reader!  Use the widget below to enter and good luck!

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 50 caramels

Soft, chewy and buttery caramels infused with vanilla bean paste and sprinkled with sea salt

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Liberally butter a 9X13" glass pan. Line with parchment paper overhanging the edges and lightly butter the parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat.
  3. Add sugar, milk and corn syrup and heat over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring only a couple of times.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until mixture reaches 240 degrees on a thermometer.
  5. Remove from heat and quickly and carefully stir in vanilla bean paste.
  6. Pour (carefully) into prepared pan, sprinkle modestly with sea salt and allow to cool completely (you can place the pan into the refrigerator once it is cool enough to handle and allow to cool and set).
  7. Once cooled, lift caramels out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper.
  8. Cut into desired size (I like to use a buttered kitchen scissors to cut the caramels) and wrap individually in wax paper.

melt butter

IMG_0258

add sugar, milk and corn syrup and bring to a boil

IMG_0259

cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees (I am aware that the thermometer does not read the correct temperature in this picture, I had to snap a photo before the critical temperature was reached!)

IMG_0261

pour into prepared pan and cool before cutting and wrapping

IMG_0262Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

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*ThermoWorks provided me with a Thermapen to review however, all opinions are, as always, my own.

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