No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies

No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies

I mentioned on Monday that I am on vacation at the lake for a week, and it is friggin’ hot! The area where I live is somewhat coastal, so it gets warm but not unbearable. The weather here is in the high 90s. I know everyone in inland California, Arizona, Texas and other part of the US are rolling their eyes right now, but seriously, I am not used to this and I don’t know how you deal with it! Thank god I can just jump in the lake at any given time during the day.  So there will be very little baking going on while I am on vacation. Grilling? Sure, all day long, but I am NOT turning on the oven. Therefore, desserts will be of the no-bake variety. I guess it helps that we can hop in the boat and cross the lake for some frozen mud pie!

How about these No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies? They couldn’t be easier to prepare. I used a container of store-bought brownies, some Haagen-Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Gelato and homemade whipped cream. These mini ice cream brownies are the perfect little snack. I usually feel less guilty when I eat things in smaller portions, until I eat 3 or 4 of them. Oops. Anyway, I am totally head over heels in LOVE with this Sea Salt Caramel Gelato ice cream. I am not usually a salted caramel type of person, but I could eat a pint of this ice cream about as fast as I could down a pint of Ben and Jerrys.

No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies Continue reading

Chunky Monkey Magic Bars

Seven layer bars

Growing up in Vermont, we know a few things: maple syrup, cheese, cows and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. All of these things I love, well except the cows, they kinda smell, especially in the summer time. Every year, Ben and Jerry’s hosts Free Cone Day, which is a national holiday in my opinion.  There was a Ben and Jerry’s café down the street from my elementary school, so on free cone day (if you had a good teacher) your class took an afternoon field trip to get a free ice cream cone. Then, after school, you and your friends waited in the longest line ever for your second free ice cream cone. And then maybe you repeated that a few times. I remember one year, this kid had every flavor on the menu, no joke, there was something like 50 flavors on the menu.

Seven layer bars

What was awesome about free cone day was trying new flavors that you might be out of your comfort zone. For me, that was Chunky Monkey. Chunky Monkey is a banana ice cream with chocolate fudge and walnuts mixed in. I had about a dozen “favorite” flavors of their Ice Cream. Once I tried the Chunky Monkey, it was added to my list. Today, the Chunky Monkey ice cream was the inspiration behind these bars. Continue reading

Caramel Apple Pie Cake

Duncan Hines Spring Bake Contest

Do you favor cake or pie? What if I told you that you didn’t have to choose?! That’s right. Today, just for you, I have a Caramel Apple Pie Cake. I recently found out about Duncan Hines Spring Bake contest and I knew I had to enter. The contest gave me the opportunity to try some Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. There are all kinds of fun flavors of Frosting Creations, such as cinnamon roll, cotton candy and peach. I chose to use the caramel flavor for my recipe.

I love apple pie. It is the easiest pie for me to make, it’s good warm or cold, all year- round and it’s complimented by ice cream. I created a caramel apple pie cake using a Duncan Hines white cake mix as the base and layered it with caramel frosting and apple pie filling. There are a few steps involved, but follow along. It’s pretty simple.

Duncan Hines Spring Bake Contest

Start with the cake. I used two 8” layers for my cake. Don’t worry if you don’t have 8” pans, you can use 9” and adjust the baking times. If you plan to travel very far with this cake, I suggest baking it in a 9” x 13” pan. I did learn that once I cut into this cake, it wasn’t as stable as I would have liked. I prepared my apple pie filling while my cake was baking, since it needs to cool completely before using it to fill the cake. Continue reading

Sweet and Salty Junkyard Brownies

Caramel brownies

Who’s ready for some more chocolate? I am so good during the day while I am at work (most of the time), but I get home and I just need something sweet. Yesterday, my second reminder to “get my butt in shape” popped up on my iPhone; I set them for myself in January. Yet, I traded in my workout shoes for one of these Sweet and Salty Junkyard Brownies.

A couple of months ago while browsing through my favorite Wholefoods ever, I spotted some ridiculously amazing looking brownies topped with all sorts of salty snacks. I could see the caramel oozing out the sides and knew I was going to have to make them at home.

caramel brownies

These are really quite simple. I used a boxed mix of brownies and added some Hersey’s baking melts for added chocolate, because nothing goes better with chocolate than more chocolate. I smothered my brownie in caramel sauce and then topped it with pretzels, crushed cashews and caramel popcorn. Continue reading

Samoa Cupcake Shooters

Samoa Cupcakes Shooters

Cupcakes never go to waste in my house, well as much as I can help it, but I can’t eat them all myself! Earlier this week, I made the Thin Mint Mini Cakes and I had leftover cake. So I made some Samoa Cupcake Shooters to continue on with Girl Scout Cookie week!

Now, when I was a Girl Scout, we called these Caramel Delights. No one here knows what I am talking about when I say Caramel Delights, so for this post, I am going with Samoas!

Samoa Cupcakes Shooters

These are pretty easy to make and they taste AH-mazing. Between the chocolate, caramel and coconut, your mouth will be watering for more. Here is what you need:

2-3 C Chocolate cake crumbs

6 Samoa cookies

1/2 C Chocolate ganache or melting chocolate

1/2 C Caramel sauce (I used Smuckers)

1/2 C Toasted Coconut

1 batch Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

*This will make enough for six cupcake shooters. Continue reading