ORDER EARLY for EASTER..We CLOSE for Spring Break April 5th and Re-Open April 24th.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Samoa Cookies


Oh my Gosh..Oh my Gosh..Oh my Gosh..
Wow!!! These are so good you'll think your dreaming.

Since Girl scouts are out & about selling their delicious
Cookies...I thought I would bring you the BEST
"HOMEMADE"
version for these cookies I
could find. And I
think I may have found it.

If you Love the Girl Scout Samoas (a.k.a. caramel
delights) like I do....then you are going to want to try
these out for sure. I found this on Baking Bites from
a few years ago.

This version has a buttery shortbread cookie base,
Coconut/Caramel topping (I used Werther's Chewy
Caramels because that is all the store had..but I found
that they have the best flavor..using real butter &
cream) topped off by the perfect balance of
chocolate on the bottom & drizzle on the top
making it The Best Cookie ever! I knew I had
to hurry up & try these out so I could share
them with all of you. These take some time
but are well worth the LOVE & EFFORT!!
Hope you all Enjoy!!!!
*** If you would like to try a similar recipe but
less time consuming try my Samoa Bars
click here.

RECIPE
(shortbread cookie dough) or you could buy
3 dozen shortbread cookies from the store to
save time & not make the base of the cookie
from scratch...
1 c. butter, soft
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Do not use unless to dry (up to 2 Tbsp. milk)
I did not need to use any!

(Coconut/Caramel Topping)
3 c. shredded coconut
12oz. good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. milk

(Chocolate drizzle/bottom)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

DIRECTIONS:
Pre-heat oven t0 350F. Bake for 11-13 min.
(keep watch..ovens vary..mine went 13)

1) In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter
& sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder & salt at a low
speed, followed by the vanilla. Milk is optional only
to make the dough stick together Add flour if your
dough is too sticky. The dough should come together
into a soft, not-to-sticky ball. SEE BELOW:

2) Roll the dough (working in 2 or 3 batches) out
between 2 pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch
thickness & use a 1 1/2"cookie cutter to make rounds.
NOTE: you may have trouble taking the
excess dough around the cookie shape
because it is so soft..See picture below
where I use a small turner which worked
beautifully & save excess and roll out to
make more cookies. SEE BELOW:


3) It was easier for me to flip the (turner with cookie)
on to my hand & then flip it over on to the cookie sheet
because the dough is so soft & buttery. SEE BELOW:
TIP: I also used a straw to make the hole in the middle
of the cookie...However..if you look at the next picture
after they have cooked, the hole seems to have filled
up because the "spread" of the cookie as it baked.
SEE BELOW:
4) So, I used a straw AFTERWARDS (When they
came out of the oven and were still warm & it
worked out great!) Set aside to cool completely.
SEE BELOW:
TOPPING
Pre-heat oven to 300F.
1) Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined
baking sheet (preferably one with sides) & toast
20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut
is golden brown. Cool on baking sheet...set aside.

2) Unwrap the caramels & place in a lg. micro-safe bowl
with milk & salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping
to stir a few times to help caramel melt. SEE BELOW:
3) When Smooth & creamy fold in toasted coconut
with a spatula. SEE BELOW:

TIP: Below are "offset" spatulas which are the
BEST Kitchen Tool for Spreading anything I think.
SEE BELOW:
4) Using an offset spatula, spread topping on cooled
cookies, using about 2-3 tsp. per cookie. Reheat
caramel for a few seconds in the microwave
if it gets too firm to work with(it did for
me many times)SEE BELOW:
5) While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small
bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 sec.
intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching.
Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate &
place on a clean piece of parchment paper or
(I used) wax paper & spread the chocolate on
each bottom with an offset spatula (that was a lot
easier & to speed up the cooling process of the
chocolate, I put in the freezer til set. SEE BELOW:
6) To finish..Transfer all remaining chocolate
(or melt a little additional chocolate, if necessary)
into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner
snipped off & drizzle finished cookies with chocolate
in a back & forth motion for desired effect. Your Done!!
SEE BELOW:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Easter Bucket Baskets/Blog Hop

Here is an idea for Easter this year. Why not take Bucket Pails
(that can be used for Summer at the beach later in the year)
and use them for Easter Baskets filled with fun stuff & goodies
for the kids???? Here I made an Initial Decal with the Name
on top & dots. I love them & the kids will too.

Blog Hop below....Have fun leave comments.....
What have you been working on lately??? Show & Tell Time..

Monday, February 13, 2012

Easy Valentine's Day Treats/Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day!! Hope you have a fun day
with that special person. Above is a photo of the
Marshmallow
Candy Treats for my husbands class tomorrow.

These are so EASY/FAST..
1)
You just need:
Candy Melts (you can get at Walmart or Michael's)
Assorted sprinkles
Pop sticks & plastic bags with twist ties
Marshmallows (Big kind)
Oasis foam


2) Put Marshmallows on sticks (see below)


3) Line up sprinkles & put melts in bowls.


4) Put candy melts in microwave safe bowl & microwave
on high for 1 min. Take out..CAREFUL might be very hot.
Stir to help candy melt . Put back in Microwave oven
30 sec. & should be done..stir (see below) You need it smooth
enough to dip marshmallow in & turn all around so candy melts
cover the marshmallow. After that **Hold over sprinkles bowl & take
handfuls of sprinkles to cover candy melts. (See Below)


5) Place finished Marshmallows in Oasis Foam til dry.
(see below)
6) Let dry...Take dry Valentine's Day treat & put plastic
bag over Marshmallow & put twist tie around to secure for
presentation.


8) It's now ready to give the kids some Valentine Day Treats
& Homemade Candy Marshmallows.

Hope you have fun & enjoy your kids & loved ones
this Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day Dessert/Blog Hop

Valentine's Day is coming so what a wonderful surprise it
would be to have a wonderful, delectable, mouth
watering DESSERT like Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Friends always think they take a long time to make,
but truth be known they are really easy to make...

Why don't you surprise that special person that you
love ...with these babies...I bet he/she will love them &
you for being so thoughtful....

RECIPE
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips or wafers
2 Tbsp. butter or shortening
2 (1lb.) boxes of fresh strawberries

You also will need: baking sheet, wax paper,
microwave-safe bowl

Directions:
1) Line a baking sheet with wax paper (I used
Cut-Rite). This will give you a good place for
the strawberries to cool & harden after you
dip them in the melted chocolate.

2) Wash strawberries...

and dry thoroughly.

Paper towels are probably the best to use for
drying strawberries. You want the melted chocolate
to adhere to the strawberry without any problems.
SEE BELOW: (Also leave the hulls on the
strawberries so you have a "Handle" to hold
on to while dipping.)
3) Put chocolate chips & butter or shortening
in microwave-safe bowl.

4) Place in microwave & heat for 1 min (on 50%
power) Continue to stir & check every 30 sec.
until smooth. SEE BELOW:

5) To dip strawberries: Take strawberry by the
stem (hull) and dip into melted chocolate...

6) They should be dipped almost completely & placed
on prepared baking sheet (with wax paper)
SEE BELOW:
7) After placing them on baking sheet..
Let them dry thoroughly..Place in refrigerator
until hardened if necessary. (I like to do that!)
They harden faster that way...
8) You did it!!!!!!! See that wasn't so hard..
Now go share these with someone special..
These are Sooooo Delicious.....Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Super Bowl Chocolate/ Peanut Butter Brownies/Blog Hop

Who can resist a Chocolate Peanut Butter
Brownie???? These are actually very similar to
the Chocolate Mint Brownies we did before.

These turned out to taste really good...They
are a little rich but you can control that by the
the size you cut each one. Hope you like
them.. P.S. These would be a great addition
to any Super Bowl Party.
RECIPE
Bottom Layer:
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
4 lg. eggs, beaten (FYI: the original recipe in
Cooking Light replaces 2 of these 4 eggs with
1/2 c. egg substitute...that's what I did for this
recipe)
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
8oz. chocolate syrup (1/2 of a 16oz. can)

Peanut Butter Layer
2 c. powered sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. milk (I used non-fat, but you can
probably use whatever you have)

Chocolate Glaze
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. butter

Directions:
TO PREPARE BOTTOM LAYER:
Combine flour & salt..whisk set aside.
Combine sugar, 1/4 c. melted butter,
2 Tbsp. water, vanilla, eggs & chocolate
syrup in a medium bowl; beat with mixer
til smooth. Slowly add flour mixture to
chocolate stirring until blended.

BATTER WILL BE THIN! Pour batter
into 13 x 9 inch baking pan coated with
cooking spray.

BAKE at 350F. for 23 min. or until a
wooden toothpick inserted comes out
almost clean. COOL completely in pan
on wire rack.

PREPARE PEANUT BUTTER LAYER:
Combine powdered sugar, 1/2 c. melted
butter, peanut butter, & milk. SEE BELOW:

Make sure bottom layer is completely COOLED
before frosting..
Frost bottom layer with Peanut Butter filling as
seen BELOW:
TO PREPARE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
Combine the chocolate chips & 3 Tbsp. melted
butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
MICROWAVE ON HIGH for 1 minute or
until melted.(stirring every 30 sec) Let stand
2 min.

Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the top.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut & Serve...and Enjoy the delicious taste.