It seems like everyone makes Snowballs, Mexican Wedding Cookies, whatever you like to call them during the holidays.  You know, the little nut-blasted cookies rolled in powdered sugar.  We call them Snowballs at my house and they have been a tradition for as long as I can remember.  I can remember tossing the cookies in a big bowl of powdered sugar after my mom baked them.  They always taste so good fresh and warm out of the oven.

I wanted to shake things up a bit this year, but still preserve the basic flavor of these much-loved cookies.  I decided to stuff them with caramel bits and give them a drizzle of chocolate.

The nuts in the cookie dough together with the caramel centers and chocolate topping make you think of a turtle candy.  I think after chocolate with peanut butter, chocolate with caramel may be the 2nd most popular flavor combination and so these cookies seemed like a natural progression of the traditional Snowball cookies.

I used the Kraft Caramel Bits that come unwrapped, but I think next time, I would use the individually wrapped caramels so that there is even more caramel that oozes out of the cookie when you take a bite.  Or better yet, a Rolo stuffed in these cookies would be fantastic.  Next year…..

Turtle Snowball Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Traditional Snowball cookies kicked up a notch with caramel and chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup, plus 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)
  3. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and vanilla and mix.
  4. Add flour and mix to incorporate.
  5. Mix in chopped walnuts.
  6. Roll into balls the size of a walnuts. Make a small indentation with your finger into each ball of dough and place 4-5 caramel bits into each indentation. Pinch dough closed over the hole with the caramels and place onto cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 10 minutes.
  8. Cool completely. Place remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl and toss cookies into the sugar.
  9. Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave for one minute, or until melted.
  10. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies.

roll dough into balls, make small indentation,  place caramel bits inside and seal

drizzle cookies with melted chocolate

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I haven’t baked in nearly a month and I chose the hottest day of the summer to turn the oven back on.  And not only turn the oven on, I baked cookies AND stood over a boiling pan of sugar making candy!

And the truth is, through the sweat and heat, I couldn’t have been happier.  Since I started Satisfy My Sweet Tooth one year ago, this is the longest I have gone without baking up a new creation in the kitchen!  I missed my relaxation time creaming, blending and tasting.

The recipe that broke my unintentional baking fast was not just any old cookie recipe.  One bite of these fudge brownie like cookies and you will know why I slaved in front of a hot oven on a steamy summer day.  As if a fudgey, chewy, chocolatey cookie wasn’t enough to make you feel faint with glee, how about chewy caramels and pecans to add a bit of texture variety and put these cookies into turtle heaven.

Fudgey Caramel Turtle Cookies

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: bake dessert chocolate caramel nuts cookie

Ingredients (30 cookies)

  • 8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits (or cut up caramels)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolates and butter and microwave in 1 minute increments until melted, stirring in between heating increments.

Stir until melted and combined and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl and with an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes.

Add melted chocolate mixture and mix to combine.

Add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, 1/2 cup caramel bits, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans and mix.

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drop 1/4 cup balls of dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets (6 per sheet).

Bake 6 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips, caramel bits and pecans onto cookies and press lightly. Return to oven and bake another 7 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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combine chocolates and butter and microwave to melt

in another small bowl, combine dry ingredients 

beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 5 minutes

mix in melted chocolate mixture

mix in dry ingredients

mix in half of chocolate chips, caramel bits and pecans

refrigerate dough for an hour then place 1/4 cup dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheet

bake for 6 minutes, then remove and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, caramel bits and pecans

bake for another 7 minutes, remove from oven and cool

Recipe adapted from Cooking Club of America
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It still feels unreal to me that it has been one year already since I published my first post on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.  I have enjoyed the whole blogging experience so much and you all are truly the best part.  I love the community of bloggers that I have met that feel like friends even though we have never met in person.  And I love all of the kind and thoughtful comments that you readers leave on my posts.  I could have never imagined how much time I would spend taking photographs and baking and how much I would continue to love to write.  Thank you for your support and continued reading.

I thought that in honor of Satisfy My Sweet Tooth celebrating it’s first birthday, I would share some of my favorite posts and the most popular posts according to readers.

In no particular order:

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars

Peanut Butter Pretzel  and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut M&M Cookie Bars

Profiteroles

Brownie Pie

Babybel-stuffed Meatballs

Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Fresh Spring Rolls

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Peanut Butter Cups

My favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

Is there anything in particular you would like to see on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth in the future?

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Valentine’s Day was always my favorite holiday growing up.  I know it sounds strange, but I have always been quite a girly-girl and I have always melted over anything pink, red and/or heart-shaped.  I was the girl who made my valentines out of paper doilies and would go so far as to string ribbon through the edges of the doilies!  Naturally there was also plenty of glitter and stickers involved.  There was nothing better to me than coming up with a clever idea for my valentine box for school and I just loved bringing it home, dumping it out and reading notes from friends, trying to decipher what the boys really meant with the messages on the conversation hearts they gave me and eating candy!  While my love for Christmas has probably surpassed my feelings about Valentine’s Day, the holiday is still a close 2nd.  And not for any of the materialistic reasons either.  I don’t want or expect anything from my husband.  A thoughtful card means more to me than any roses or jewelry.  I just love making treats for others and being able to whip out my pink and red food coloring!

So with Valentine’s Day only a few days away, my brain has gone to all things pink, hearts and chocolate.  I came home on Monday and my sweet valentine had some lovely red tulips waiting for me which was completely unexpected and therefore made my day.  So now I want to make my Valentine’s Day complete with some delicious and festive treats.

With how much of a chocoholic I am, it is surprising that I don’t make brownies more often.  I have had this recipe tucked away for a while and it combines  two of my favorite ingredients:  chocolate and coconut.  There is even a layer of caramel in these brownies, so they are pretty close to perfection.  Even without all of the toppings, the brownies themselves are rich and fudgey due to the combination of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and unsweetened cocoa powder.  And the toasted coconut gives just enough crunch to keep you very interested.  If you need a sweet Valentine treat for a chocolate lover in your life, these will earn you serious brownie points (pun intended :)).

 

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A few tips:

  • After making this recipe, I think you could simply grease your pan and not line it with parchment paper.  Your choice, I just felt like all the parchment paper did was make the sides of my brownies and uneven shape.  And if you grease the pan well, you shouldn’t have any trouble removing the brownies.
  • Spray the bowl that you use to melt the caramels in with nonstick cooking spray and it will be much easier to clean when you are finished :).
  • Nuts would be another lovely addition to these brownies.

combine chocolate chips, butter and water and microwave until chocolate is melted

whisk in sugar, then eggs

whisk in flour, cocoa powder and salt

pour batter into prepared pan and bake

melt caramel candies and milk together and pour over cooled brownies

sprinkle toasted coconut over the top and press gently

allow caramel to cool completely, then cut and serve

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Is there anything more fabulous than brunch?  It is two meals in one which is a perfect excuse to eat more and really indulge.  In my opinion, a good brunch has both savory and sweet offerings, which can also be a reason for over-indulging.  For example, I can only eat 3-4 bites of something sweet like pancakes or a yogurt parfait

and then my palate wants a bite of something salty to cut the richness.  So then I will have a bite or two of eggs

or a salty starch, and what do you know?  I am ready for something sweet again!  It is a deliciously vicious cycle!

I also love brunch for another reason.  When else (after your college years have passed :)) is it acceptable to have a cocktail before noon?  I love a refreshing bellini or mimosa to wash down my sweet and savory bites.

I was invited to a brunch this past Sunday and I was asked to bring “some type of bread” which in my mind meant a sweet bread.  I wasn’t feeling scones and muffins just seemed a little blah so I turned to my good friends Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito and their book Baked Explorations.  Ok, Matt and Renato are only my  friends in my imagination, but I can still always count on them to offer something perfectly scrumptious for any occasion.

(image source)

Since I purchased this book, I have been waiting for a reason to make the Monkey Bubble Bread.  I have had Monkey Bread many times before, but in this recipe, the dough is made from scratch and each dough ball is dipped in melted butter followed by a roll in a cinnamon sugar mixture which then makes a caramel while the bread is baking.  Are you drooling yet?  This Monkey Bubble Bread not only tastes amazing but it looks very impressive and is a fun dish to share because everyone can just pull apart as many pieces as he or she wants.  And trust me, you will want many pieces.

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combine warm milk and yeast

in another bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt

add egg, milk and melted butter and mix with paddle attachment 

switch from paddle to dough hook and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes

dough should easily form into a ball and pull away from the bowl

cover dough and let rest until doubled in size

punch dough down and then cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces

dip dough balls into butter, then cinnamon sugar and place into bundt pan

let dough rest until doubled in size again, then bake and cool for 5 minutes

invert onto serving dish and serve warm

What is your favorite brunch dish?

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