Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Salted Carmel Hot chocolateI love Starbuck’s   Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – but the nearest Starbuck’s is almost 2 hours away!

We desperately needed to find a recipe we could make at home, because – let’s face it – you never know when a craving will hit!

So Dagmar and I hit the kitchen with lots of enthusiasm and a recipe to try.

An hour later we had four dirty saucepans, major sugar buzzes – and some amazing salted caramel hot chocolate.

***At this point – those of you who need a quick fix – simply make an envelope of hot chocolate mix, squirt  some caramel ice cream topping in it and sprinkle it with salt and enjoy.

If – however – you want the real deal – so rich and creamy and wonderful that the Hallelujah chorus plays when you drink it – keep reading.***

Let’s start with the caramel sauce. The original recipe was a disaster. (That’s why we had so many dirty saucepans – what a mess!)

So I dug out a recipe for caramel sauce that I pinned on Pinterest. Hot diggety! That was some seriously good caramel! It was so good that you could eat it by the spoonful! (not that I would know from personal experience or anything ! 🙂 But seriously – you should try it with a whole almond!)

Caramel Sauce

1/4 c. butter
1 c. corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly. Keep cooking and stirring until the temperature reaches 235 -240 degrees (soft ball stage).

Remove from heat and add vanilla.

At this point – you could make a delectable caramel candy by pouring the caramel mixture into a foil-lined baking dish and refrigerating. Then cut into squares and enjoy. Or – you could add nuts or coat with chocolate…but I’m getting carried away.

We’re making caramel sauce here – so you need to add half – half to prevent the caramel from turning hard. (We didn’t add enough and ours turned into a semi-solid that makes it very difficult to sneak out of the fridge when the kids aren’t looking!)

Now for the hot chocolate part. You could use a packet if you wish, or my hot chocolate recipe, or even hot milk with chocolate syrup stirred in. But if you want to go over the top – try this one.

Uber Rich Hot Chocolate

12 oz. chocolate
1 c. heavy cream
milk

Melt together the chocolate and heavy cream in a double broiler.

When melted and mixed, add milk until you reach the desired consistency and chocolately goodness.

Now let’s assemble –

Coat the inside of a mug with the caramel sauce and fill with hot chocolate. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on the very top and behold your masterpiece.

Now slowly inhale the chocolate aroma before taking your first sip.

Did you hear the music?

Yep – I thought so.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

Caramel Bars

CaramelI really should call these “panic bars” because I made them in a panic!

It was about 10:30 in the morning and I realized I had company coming at 1:00 – and that company didn’t like chocolate. (Poor kid.)

All of my favorite go-to quick recipes include chocolate (of course!)

To  make matters worse – I was out of butter and margarine.

A quick thumb-through my cookbook collection yielded this recipe – and a quick perusal of the pantry yielded the needed ingredients.

I was back in business!

With just five ingredients – not only were they fast to make –  but they were really rich and gooey and yummy!

Caramel Bars

1 package dry yellow cake mix
2 cups quick- cooking oatmeal (uncooked)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1- 12.5 ounce jar caramel ice cream topping

Mix together the cake mix, oatmeal, and brown sugar. Add the oil and egg; mix well.  Spread half of batter in to a greased 9 x 13 pan. Press a ridge around the edge; then spread with caramel topping. Sprinkle remaining batter on top. Bake 30 minutes ate 350 degrees.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at At the Well and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Caramel Snack Mix

Chex MixHere it is!

The super yummy – diet busting snack mix I promised you – just in time for swimsuit season! 🙂

Dagmar entered this mix as her entry for the annual family Iron Chef competition and won second place in the “Yum” category.

It was first place in my heart! It’s an addicting sweet and salty combination – think Chex Mix meets caramel corn.

I literally couldn’t stop eating it.

Frosting True confessions here – if you look very closely at the picture of  Butterbuns Iron Chef entry that I posted last week – you will see a pink arm in the background.

That arm is mine.

It is in the bucket of Caramel Snack Mix – where it spent the weekend.

My nieces and nephews had to wrestle it out of my hands just to save me from myself.

It’s that good.

I hope my family enjoyed it – ’cause I’m not sure the scale will allow me to ever make it again! 😉

Caramel Snack Mix

1 – 12 oz. box Crispix
1 cup peanuts
1 cup almonds
1 cup cashews
6 ounces mini pretzels or sticks
2 sticks butter or margarine
1/2 cup Karo syrup
2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together the Crispix, nuts and pretzels sticks in a large bowl. (We used 3 cups of mixed nuts in ours.)

In a 3 quart saucepan combine the oleo, Karo syrup and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add 1 teaspoon soda. Stir. It will foam up.

Pour over the cereal mix and stir.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.

Dump out on the table to cool and harden.

Now – I dare you not to eat the whole thing!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up at Tasty TuesdayTempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table.

Caramel Apple Crumble

Carmal Apple Cobbler I told you all about our family Iron Chef competition a few weeks ago…

Well… I just got the recipe for my favorite entry of the weekend!

My nine year old nephew invented this delectable dessert that had all his aunts swooning!

It was a caramel and apple combination on a cake base that was truly memorable.

Caramel Apple Crumble

1 package french vanilla cake mix
2/3 cup evaporated milk (separated) – ( this equals one small can)
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1 can apple pie filling
14 ounce package of caramels

Mix the cake mix with the melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk.  Add the pecans if desired.

Press 1/2 of the mix into a 9 x 13 greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels with the remaining 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and set aside.

Remove from the oven and spread the can of apple pie filing over the crust. Pour the melted caramels over the apples and dot with the remaining cake mix.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is not doughy.

PS: My home canned apple pie filling works great in this recipe!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Cheesecake My wonderful children – knowing my love for chocolate – made me a very special dessert for Mother’s Day – chocolate cheesecake with caramel and peanut topping.

This was their first attempt at cheesecake and although it wasn’t as pretty as the picture in the cookbook, but it sure did taste good!

Chocolate Cheesecake with Caramel Peanut Topping

Ingredients:

Crust:

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Topping:

1 pkg. (14 0z.) caramels
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 cup peanuts, chopped

Filling:

16 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Combine graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder and melted butter. Press crumb mixture evenly on bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool.

Combine caramels and milk in heavy saucepan (or in microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave). Cook over low heat until melted, stirring often. Mix in chopped peanuts. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese at high speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy, Gradually add sugar, mixing well.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate, beat until blended. Pour over graham cracker crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour caramel and peanut mixture on top. Run knife around edge of pan to release sides.

Let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 hours.

What a blessed momma I am!