Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Salted Graham Cracker Toffee

I love it when a recipe finds its way to me, instead of me having to search it out.  I like it even better when the recipe comes from someone that has very similar tastes to my own, so I know I'll love it!  My aunt texted me this recipe and said we needed to try it immediately, so I did...and it is awesome!  It is a little different from the saltine cracker version that I have seen plastered all over Pinterest, and in this case...different is AWESOME!

Be warned, though.  When you start consuming this stuff, you will not stop until the entire pan is gone!  So be prepared to give some of it away as soon as it is ready :)  Enjoy!

Salted Graham Cracker Toffee

14 whole graham crackers (I used the honey-flavored kind)
1 bag (8oz) toffee bits
1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped toasted natural almond (I had sliced ones...they work fine)
1/2 c. sugar 
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 c. (4oz.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay graham crackers in a single layer across foil with their edges touching.  Sprinkle toffee bits and almonds over graham crackers.  In a saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and cook at a rapid boil, swirling pan occasionally, for 2 minutes or until mixture becomes syrupy.  Immediately pour over graham crackers.  

Bake until topping is bubbly, about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate and salt over top.  With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares.  Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.  

Recipe Source:  aunt Trish

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights

Next up, some yummy cookies!  I love cookies that are just a little bit different from the norm...hence these cookies.  I know with most people there is a love or hate relationship with chocolate covered cherries.  I really had never had them growing up that I remember, but they have always been one of my husband's favorites.  So we always have a box or two around during the holidays, and I have grown to really like them myself!  

Even if you don't like the boxed variety, these cookies will still knock your socks off!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick) 
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 10-oz. jar maraschino cherries*
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Melt the butter and mix in the sugar. When the mixture has cooled off a bit, add the egg and mix. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and cocoa, stirring after each addition. Add the flour and mix well. The dough will be stiff and a bit crumbly.

Drain the cherries and reserve the juice.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet, 12 per sheet. Press down in the center of each ball to make an indentation. Place one cherry in each indentation.

In a double boiler, combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat on low, stirring, until the chocolate chips have melted. Start adding in some of the reserved cherry juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the sauce is thick and will glob off a spoon. If it won’t glob off, keep adding juice until it is the right consistency. Spoon a small bit of the sauce over the center of each cookie – just enough to cover the cherry. It shouldn’t drip down the sides.**

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source:  Taste and Tell