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Entries in bakeoff (104)

Tuesday
Nov112014

CakeSpy Does the Bake-Off, Volume 3

I feel pretty cool being able to say this: I have attended the Pillsbury Bake-Off not one, not two, but a whopping three times. This means I have also accosted--I mean HUGGED!--the Pillsbury Doughboy not once, not twice, but thrice. This time, it happened in Nashville, Tennessee.

I rule!

OK, now that I've gotten the self congratulatory part of the post done, let me give you some important links:

  • If you're keen on reading about the other Bake-Offs I've attended, here's Las Vegas and here's Orlando.
  • If you want to see all of the sweet recipes from this year's Bake-Off, click the bakeoff tag
  • If you want to see the four finalists for the million dollar prize, click here.

OK. NOW, I am ready to tell you about the 47th Bake-Off, in Nashville.

Bake-Off, Nashville

Have you ever been to Nashville? I hadn't, but have been hearing over and over how it's the "it" city. Taylor Swift has a mega apartment there (I read it in Life & Style Magazine), lots of cool new restaurants are opening, and everyone has a country music dream. It's really an interesting place to see. 

I arrived a bit early so I could add to my list of places I've done yoga (in case you didn't know, I want to take a yoga class in all 50 states). Here's my current map:

Woot! 

After that, I met up with my friends Megan and Robby. Megan you may know as the kind-of-big-deal baker behind Bake it in a Cake, the blog and the book, Bake it in a Cupcake. We had a wonderful time with a dinner at the restaurant The Wild Cow.

Then, we proceeded to Hot and Cold, a cute cafe that served interesting seasonal drinks. I got a hot chocolate, because I wanted to put something special in it: one of the marshmallows Megan gifted me, from Bang Candy Company.

Bang Candy Co., Nashville

They drove me by a mini parthenon. When's the last time you drove by a mini parthenon?

Bake-off

And then it was time for bed.

Cake in bed

The next day, before the Bake-Off events kicked off, I had an ice long walk with my friend Nicole of Baking Bites. We checked out, among other things, the Johnny Cash Museum, where I found this treasure...

Johnny cash cookbook

and the Ryman Auditorium, a landmark with rainbow windows: Ryman theater, Nashville

...and then I saw this, which I immediately photographed just 'cause: Dolly

and the Goo Goo Cluster store, where I wanted to buy one of everything but settled for some candy.

Goo Goo store

Goo Goo Cluster! Ever had one? Goo goo supreme

After that, we had a lovely coffee at Bongo Coffee, which is famous because several years ago it is the place that discovered the Mother Theresa Cinnamon roll (AKA "Nun Bun"). Apparently it was stolen--which begs the question: who does that?

The Bake-Off media events began with a presentation from GE, wherin they showed us their new Advantium line. They gave away an oven but I didn't win--Jocelyn of Grandbaby Cakes did. That's ok, she's adorable and she deserves it. 

That leads me to what else I wanted to tell you: there were all sorts of celebrities there!

Famous bloggers at the Bake-Off

I felt like a mini celebrity just being near them. They included but were not limited to:

It seems like a good time, btw, to remind you of this video Bakerella made of my cuppie character. 

Now you just try and tell me that isn't a star studded lineup. 

After our GE event, we had a fantastic dinner at The Southern. They served something called chocolate whiskey cake there which featured chocolate cake with whiskey, buttercream, and coulis. Oh-my was it good. 

Whew! I'm ready for bed, how about you?

The next day, things started bright and early with the Bake-Off. This is what the show floor looked like before the bakers walked on: 100 individual setups to bake their recipes, all at the same time. 

Bake-off

As usual, the media people stood in a little corral and were allowed to circulate after the bakers had a few minutes to acclimate and get started.

Bake-Off, Nashville

I was delighted to see a few familiar faces from previous Bake-Offs:

Bake-off

Bake-Off entrants can be in the competition three times; I was happy to see some familiar faces. I love talking to the people (mostly ladies) on the floor.

I circulated the floor, met someone famous named Carla Hall, who had glasses just as cool as me:

Bake-off

and of course, got to have a tender moment with my boyfriend (I'm not sure if he knows it though), the Doughboy.

Nashville bake-off

After a few hours circulating, the food was delivered to the judges and we had a few hours to kill. How did I kill them? By checking out the Goo Goo Cluster store again with Lindsay and Julie. I got a t-shirt this time. Yay!

I was also excited because I had found a recipe for Goo Goo Cluster pie in the hotel magazine, so I picked up more Goo Goos to try it out. Stay tuned on the blog for that baby!

In the early evening, we met up again and attended an awards ceremony. Doughboy

Here's where the Bake-Off was different from previous years.

Instead of announcing the million dollar winner, they announced the four finalists. That means that America will do the picking of the winner, which will be announced later this month on The Chew. Who will you vote for?

Find the finalists here.

u

After that, the evening wasn't done, because Nicole had found out there was a concert outdoors. So at close to midnight, me, Nicole of Baking Bites, and Ariel of The Kitchn went to see a Beiber-looking dude who sang country songs and made 13 year old girls scream. Hunter Hayes was the name, know it?

Then, it was time for bed. Glorious bed!

I awoke and had one final breakfast and press conference. After that, can you believe I did a painting in my hotel room? It's true.

Nashville painting

and finished it, too!

Nashville painting

Luckily since I had a few hours to kill before my flight, I met up with Lindsay again, and along with Amanda we visited Christie's Cookies.

Christie Cookie Co, Nashville

We also dropped by Antique Archeology, AKA the "American Pickers" store.

Pickers store

And Bang Candy, where those marshmallows had been from earlier in the post. 

Bang Candy

Then, it was time to go home. Here's what the sunset looked like from the plane, on my transfer in Atlanta. 

Sunset from plane - Atlanta

Whew! The Bake-Off was even more amazing than ever. I can't wait to see who wins!

Stay sweet! Love, CakeSpy

Saturday
Nov012014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Strawberry-Mascarpone-Hazelnut Chocolate Tart

Hazelnut strawberry tart - bake-off

What I love about this tart is...well, more than one thing. I love how it marries health food (strawberries) with dessert food (everything else in the recipe). I love how it looks super fancy but comes together rather quickly. And, I love that it has a cookie dough crust. YUM. Thanks to Pamela Shank of Parkersburg, West Virginia for coming up with this clever and pretty Bake-Off entry!

Strawberry-Mascarpone-Hazelnut Chocolate Tart

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 55 Min
  • Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 2 (8 oz) containers mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 3 cups halved large strawberries (about 2 pints)
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate candy melts or coating wafers (1 1/2 oz) or 1/4 cup white vanilla baking chips

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Press cookie dough evenly in bottom and 1 1/2-inches up side of ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and edges are set. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, 2 minutes or until well blended; set aside.
  3. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the hazelnut spread. Spread remaining hazelnut spread evenly in bottom of cooled cookie crust. Spoon and carefully spread mascarpone mixture over hazelnut spread to within 1/4 inch from edge. Arrange strawberries over mascarpone.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave reserved hazelnut spread uncovered on High 20 to 30 seconds or until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over strawberries. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave candy melts uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once or until drizzling consistency. Place melted candy melts in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag. Squeeze bag to drizzle melted candy melts over strawberries. Store in refrigerator.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Saturday
Nov012014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Hummingbird Macaroons

Hummingbird Macaroons

You probably didn't need to be told that Hummingbird cake is simply the bomb. That might be a cheesy thing to say, but it's such a beautiful cake it moves me to corniness.

But did you know that hummingbird macaroons are also exceedingly amazing? If you didn't, it's time to give this recipe from Melanie Eichman of San Antonio, Texas a try. It yields soft cookies that are bound to make you hum with joy.

Hummingbird Macaroons

  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Min
  • Makes: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup mashed very ripe banana (1 small)
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon Watkins™ Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Watkins™ Original Double Strength Vanilla Extract

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Line cookie sheets with Reynolds® Parchment Paper.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add remaining ingredients; beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 11 to 16 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Friday
Oct312014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Creamy Cashew Turtle Pie

Creamy Cashew Turtle Pie

Things that I love definitely include pie crust, chocolate, cashew butter, cashews, salt, cream cheese, and caramel. Guess what? This pie has them ALL. Thank you to Tina Repak-Mirilovich of Johnstown, Pennsylvania for coming up with such a gem of a recipe. Good luck at the Bake-Off!

Creamy Cashew Turtle Pie

  • Prep Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 50 Min
  • Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust, softened as directed on box
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups cashew butter
  • 1 cup chopped salted cashews
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup caramel topping
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 20 minutes.
  2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Add 1/3 cup of the cashew butter; mix well. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of cooled pie crust. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cashews over chocolate mixture. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup cashew butter and the caramel topping with electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes or until blended. Gently stir in whipped topping until well blended. Spoon and spread cream cheese mixture over cashews. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Place chocolate in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag; squeeze bag to drizzle chocolate over pie. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cashews. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Tropical Honey Butter Breakfast Rolls

Honey butter tropical rolls (Bake-Off)

When it gets cool outside, I begin to crave foods that make me think of warmer climates. So these rolls are just perfect for me: kissed with coconut and pineapple, they make me feel like I'm back in Bali for a moment. Now that's sweet! This recipe is via Rhodora Keegan of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Tropical Honey Butter Breakfast Rolls

  • Prep Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 55 Min
  • Makes: 8 rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut (6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple, patted dry with paper towel (from 8-oz can)
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Watkins™ Coconut Extract
  • 1 can Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated honey butter biscuits (8 biscuits)

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place 2-inch square of Reynolds® Parchment Paper in bottom of each of 8 jumbo muffin cups or 6-oz custard cups. Spray each cup with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. In medium bowl, mix coconut, pineapple, brown sugar and coconut extract until well blended. In small bowl, place 3 tablespoons coconut mixture; set aside.
  3. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press each biscuit to form 5-inch round. Spoon about 3 tablespoons coconut mixture onto center of each biscuit round. Fold biscuit in half over filling, stretching gently if necessary. Press edges firmly to seal; shape into ball. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup, seam side down. Spoon about 1 teaspoon reserved coconut mixture onto center of each biscuit; press lightly.
  4. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately loosen with tip of knife; gently remove from pan. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

 

Tuesday
Oct282014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Strawberry-Cinnamon Roll Belgian Waffles

Cinnamon roll waffles

Breakfast is served. And is it ever beautiful: these "waffles" are made using cinnamon rolls! How's that for a decadent delight? Dressed up with strawberries and whipped cream, they're the perfect cold-weather breakfast to carb-o-load for a race you're never gonna run. This one comes from Kelly Humphreys of Vancouver, Washington. Good luck at the Bake-Off!

Strawberry-Cinnamon Roll Belgian Waffles

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 30 Min  
  • Makes: 5 waffles

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Supreme refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (5 rolls)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Procedure

  1. Place large bowl and beaters in freezer or refrigerator to chill.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, mix 3/4 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in strawberries and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils (mixture will become translucent during cooking). Boil and stir 2 minutes. Pour strawberry sauce into heatproof bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat Belgian waffle maker. (Waffle maker without a nonstick coating may need to be sprayed with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray before cinnamon roll is added.)
  4. Meanwhile, in chilled bowl, beat whipping cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the orange extract with electric mixer on low speed until mixture begins to thicken. Gradually increase speed to high and beat just until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat, or mixture will curdle. Refrigerate.
  5. Separate dough into 5 rolls; reserve icing. Place 1 roll in center of each waffle section. Close lid of waffle maker. Bake 2 to 3 minutes or until deep golden brown. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  6. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave reserved icing uncovered on High 10 seconds; stir in melted butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon orange extract and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  7. To serve, place each waffle on serving plate; drizzle with icing. Top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate Hazelnut-Toffee Bread Pudding with Candied Bacon

Candied hazelnut bacon dessert - Pillsbury bake-off

The big question today is: does Chocolate Hazelnut-Toffee Bread Pudding with Candied Bacon exist, or was that just a dream?

The answer is yes...or no, it wasn't just a dream. This decadent dessert was dreamed up by Lynne Laino of Downingtown, Pennsylvania and is perfect for brunch because of the bacon, or all day long because it's delicious.

Chocolate Hazelnut-Toffee Bread Pudding with Candied Bacon

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Min
  • Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 cup toffee bits (8 oz)
  • 2 cans Pillsbury™ refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing (8 ct)
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 jar (13 oz) Jif® Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 6 eggs

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 15x10-inch pan with sides with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil. Place wire rack on foil; spray with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Arrange bacon in single layer on rack; sprinkle 1 tablespoon toffee bits over each slice.
  2. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is cooked through and toffee bits are slightly melted. Cool on rack 10 minutes; remove to paper towel-lined plate. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bake cinnamon rolls as directed on can; reserve icing. Cool 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, heat 2 cups of the whipping cream, the brown sugar and hazelnut spread over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and spread is melted. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.
  5. In large bowl, mix eggs and 1/2 teaspoon salt with whisk. Slowly add cooled cream mixture, beating with whisk until smooth and well blended.
  6. Place 1/4 cup of the toffee bits in small bowl; set aside. Cut each roll into 16 pieces. Add pieces to egg mixture; gently toss to coat, lightly pressing pieces down to absorb some of the liquid. Stir remaining toffee bits into egg mixture until blended.
  7. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread bread mixture evenly into baking dish, pressing down slightly. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, chop bacon into small pieces; sprinkle evenly over bread pudding.
  9. In large bowl, beat remaining 1 cup whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed 2 to 3 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add reserved icing; beat just until blended.
  10. Serve whipped topping with warm bread pudding; sprinkle with reserved toffee bits. Store covered in refrigerator.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Monday
Oct272014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tarts

Hazelnut truffle cups

Don't these little treats look darling? They taste just as good, since they're made with the following: chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate hazelnut spread, sweetened condensed milk, and hazelnuts. The cherry on top is what kills me, though! Recipe via Doris Rizza of Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tarts

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min
  • Makes: 24 tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 3/4 cup Jif® Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 1/2 cup Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk (from 14-oz can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 12 maraschino cherries, halved, well drained

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with Crisco® Butter Flavor or Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. Shape dough into 24 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. Bake 8 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown. Do not over bake.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix hazelnut spread, condensed milk and hazelnuts until well blended. Shape into 24 (1-inch) balls.
  4. Remove cookie cups from oven; cool 1 minute. Place 1 hazelnut ball in each cookie cup; press lightly. Top each with 1 maraschino cherry half. Cool completely in pan 30 minutes. Loosen with tip of knife; gently remove from pan. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Sunday
Oct262014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

It's pretty safe to say I am obsessed with this recipe.

It includes all of the major food groups: carbs, chocolate, salt, and peanut butter. What's missing? Cream? Nope, they have that too. They have everything, delivered in twisty-turny-yoga-pose-pretzel form.

It's super sweet too that the recipe comes from Elizabeth Bennett of Seattle, Washington--my former hometown!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

  • Prep Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 45 Min
  • Makes: 6 pretzels

Ingredients

  • 3/4cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated original breadsticks (12 breadsticks)
  • 1egg yolk

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, cocoa, whipping cream and vanilla until well blended. Unroll dough on work surface; separate into 12 breadsticks. Pinch ends of 2 breadsticks together; repeat with remaining dough to make 6 long breadsticks. Press each breadstick to form 12x2-inch strip.
  3. Divide chocolate mixture into 12 equal portions, about 1 rounded tablespoon each. Roll each portion into 6-inch long rope. Place 2 ropes down center of each breadstick strip. Fold dough lengthwise over chocolate ropes; press edges firmly to seal. Stretch each breadstick slightly. Shape rope into U-shape; cross ends, and place over bottom of U to form pretzel shape. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chocolate ropes and breadstick strips.
  4. In small bowl, mix egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water with fork. Lightly brush egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle each with a pinch of kosher salt.
  5. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

Sunday
Oct262014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Almond Butter Turtles

Turtles - Pillsbury BakeOff

Seriously. Don't these sweet little things look like sweet morsels of pure magic?

Credit for these sweet little treats goes to Christine Southard of Noble, Oklahoma, who will be attending the Bake-Off next week!

Chocolate-Almond Butter Turtles

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Min
  • Makes: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2/3 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 24 caramels, unwrapped
  • 24 milk or dark chocolate-covered almonds

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add almond butter and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon, or knead with hands until well blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Spoon and spread 1 teaspoon chocolate on each cookie.
  4. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1 1/2 teaspoons water uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until caramels can be stirred smooth. Spoon about 1 teaspoon caramel in center of each cookie; top with almond. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.

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