My favorite.cookie.ever. The actual cookie looked a tad time consuming and need of an insane amount of patience. Bars, I can handle 🙂  Can’t wait to try them! Don’t forget to join in by grabbing the button!!

Homemade Samoas Bars
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

Topping
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 30 bar cookies.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.

Thanks to Baking Bites!

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So a month or so ago, I made a chocolate cake and the recipe directed me to put flour in the cake pan. Thankfully, it was just for us to eat. I never would have taken it anywhere. It looked moldy and old!! I was bound and dertermined to never have that happen again! I found this great tip here: When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead-no white mess on the outside of the cake.

Peppermint Marshmallows

December.15.2008

Thanks to Little Birdie Secrets for this phenomenal recipe!!!

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1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy canes (about 6)
1/8 tsp. salt

*Tip: to crush your candy canes, break them up in large pieces, then seal them in a Zip Loc bag. Put your bag on a sturdy cutting board and use a hammer to smash them into a powder. The finer the powder, the better.

1. Into a small bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Sift 2 Tbsp. of the powdered sugar mixture into pan and tilt to coat all sides. Leave excess in pan.

3. Place 2/3 c. water in a large bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

4. In medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat sugar, corn syrup, candy cane, and salt over medium heat until completely dissolved (about 7 minutes).

5. Pour into bowl with gelatin mixture and beat on high speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy (10-15 minutes).

6. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Smooth top and dush with powdered sugar mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

7. Lift from pan with foil. With a small, wet cookie cutter, cut shapes and dip sides in sugar mixture. Cut up remaining marshmallows into small, irregular pieces (these are the ones I let my kids and husband eat!). Or, using a wet knife, cut into 6 large squares and dip sides into powdered sugar mixture. Then cut each of those squares into 9 pieces and dip in sugar mixture.

8. Store at room temp, loosely covered.

Put three in a cello bag, tie with a ribbon, and gift them along with a jar of hot chocolate mix. These are perfect with regular, dark chocolate, or chocolate mint hot cocoa. I love the way my star cookie cutter makes them just the right size to fill up my mug! But I find it hard to make them last long enough for more than one cup of cocoa. I can’t stop eating them straight out of the bowl!

Turtle Cake

October.17.2008

1pkg. German Chocolate Cake mix
2 sticks butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
14 oz. pkg. Caramels
1/2 cup pecans

Prepare cake mix as directed; divide in half (about 2.5 cups)

Melt 1 stick butter; add 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk and mix well

Pour into 1/2 cake mix and blend

Pour into grased 9×13 dish and bake at 350 for approximately 25 mins

Melt caramels with 1 stick butter

Add pecans and the remaining sweetened condensed milk

Spread over baked layer of cake

Add the remaining cake mix and bake again for approximately 25 mins.

Connie Carr’s Pound Cake

October.17.2008

1/2 lb. butter – at room temp
1/2 cup shortening – at room temp
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups + 5tbls. flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp.  vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder

**DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN

Sift flour

Cream butter, shortnening & sugar; add eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition

Add flour & milk alternately. Add flavoring & baking powder – beat well

Butter tube cake pan with crisco; dust with flour

Bake for 1 hour 35 minutes at 300 degrees.

img_29971 pkg. white or yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed

Combine dry cake mix, eggs & oil in bowl; press 2/3 into greased pan

In a microwavable bowl, combine milk, chocolate chips & butter; microwave until melted

Pour chocolate mixture over crust

Drop tsp. of remaining cake mixture over top

Bake at 350 for 20-25 min. until lightly browned on top

Ice Cream Sandwich Dream

October.17.2008

Ice cream sandwiches
Cool Whip
Caramel
chocolate syrup
Favorite candy bar

Layer ice cream sandwiches

cover with Cool whip

Drizzle chocolate and caramel over cool whip

Cut up candy bar and sprinkle over cool whip

Repeat these 4 steps

Freeze for a couple of hours