Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Caramel and Chocolate and Oats…OH MY!

This year for Christmas I had intended on making a Caramel Pecan Pie so I bought a bag of those cute little individually wrapped caramels.  I ended up making a traditional Pecan Pie instead…

Then I was going to make a Caramel Apple Pie for New Year’s Day to use up the bag of cute little individually wrapped caramels that were lurking in the pantry.  But I made a Pear-Apple Galette instead…

Here it is the middle of January and those cute little individually wrapped caramels are still begging to be used, transformed into a yummy decadent dessert.  I simply had to oblige.  These kind of remind me of a Magic Cookie Bar in texture and richness…they really pack a sweet punch but have the buttery caramel flavor instead of coconut.

This recipe uses store-bought caramels but you could sub in homemade caramel or a jarred caramel sauce.  It also calls for heavy cream and butter but you could sub in coconut milk and coconut oil respectively 1:1.  If you are not gluten-free then regular all-purpose flour and any type of rolled oats can be used, I used Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats.

Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

35 individually wrapped caramels (Kraft and Brach’s are gluten-free), unwrapped

4 T. heavy cream

3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Cup 4 Cup)

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup light brown sugar (palm sugar works here too)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick butter, melted

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish and line with parchment paper, leave a few inches hanging over the sides for easier removal.

In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.  You could also use the microwave to do this!

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Stir in the melted butter until well combined.  Press half of the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Set the other half of the mixture aside.

Bake the cookie crust for about 8 minutes.  Remove and while still warm sprinkle the crust with chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour the melted caramel over the chocolate and pecans and spread evenly, not all the way to the sides if possible (usually not though!).  Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top of the caramel and press lightly into the warm caramel.

Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 12-16 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasty brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool COMPLETELY.  Yes, this means completely…about 2 hours on the cooling rack.  Loosen the sides without the parchment paper with a sharp knife, gently lift the entire square out onto a cutting board.  Using a large sharp knife cut into 24 cookie bars.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator…they are perfectly fine at room temperature but we found the texture to be better out of the fridge!

IMG_3597

Small, but super rich and delicious!

Advertisements

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (2 net carbs!)

IMG_3076

This has got to be one of the easiest cookie recipes on the planet!  It’s really just a standard flour-less peanut butter cookie recipe, I just replaced the sugar with erythritol and it’s only 4 ingredients, one mixing bowl, one spoon and one cookie sheet! Oh, and if you eat them all in one day then you won’t even need to dirty a container to store them in (although this is not recommended unless you are sharing!).

I am very new to the low-carb baking world so I am limited in my knowledge of sugar replacements…so far I have only successfully used Swerve Sweetener, which is erythritol.  It is highly recommended by Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food, which is my absolute favorite low carb blog…she is a genius in the kitchen and every recipe I have tried has been AWESOME!  I like especially like Swerve since it subs 1:1 for sugar in just about any recipe…this takes all the guess-work out of substitutions also, it has no weird after-taste and won’t upset your digestive system!  I do also love stevia as a sweetener but I have yet to master using it alone in baking.  If you are not interested in a low carb version of this cookie it is easy to sub in your favorite unrefined sugar of choice, I think they would be fabulous with coconut palm sugar.

Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup organic unsweetened peanut butter, room temperature
1 1⁄8 cup erythritol (I used Swerve)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, 1 cup erythritol, egg, and vanilla, stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar replacement to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through baking, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar replacement. Cool slightly before removing from the pan to a wire cooling rack.
Makes 16 cookies.

Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies

Did I mention that Fall is my favorite season?

Pumpkins, pumpkin pie spice, raisins, mulling spices, chilly evenings, falling leaves…oh, I could go on forever.  This is a wonderful recipe that will definitely be a part of my holiday baking for years to come.  The spices are just right, the texture is perfectly chewy like an old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookie and it’s gluten-free and vegan!  It is also very easy to throw together, you won’t even need your mixer!  I adapted this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.

There is nothing better than a warm holiday cookie…well, except maybe a whole plate full of them!

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa flour

1 1⁄3 cup quinoa flakes

1 1⁄2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1⁄2 tsp. celtic sea salt

3⁄4 cup coconut palm sugar

1⁄2 cup pumpkin puree

6 Tbsp. butter, melted (or coconut oil for vegan option)

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup raisins (or you could be naughty and substitute dark chocolate chips here! ;))

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.   Stir to blend well. In a large bowl combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, butter (or oil), syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins (or chocolate chips!).

For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon batter onto the prepared sheet, spacing the mounds about 1 inch apart. (Or use a mini ice cream scoop.) Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to a 2-inch-diameter round.

Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Did I do that????

Yes, actually I DID do that…I had some leftover Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting in the fridge so I mixed some up with 1⁄2 a tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, dipped one half of the cookie and placed them on parchment paper in the freezer to firm up the frosting…oh my.  This was decadent…and the cookies stayed soft and moist right out of the freezer too!

This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Fridays

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

My very first job ever was at The Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory in Collin Creek Mall when I was 14 years old.  One of my favorite things to bake (and eat) when I worked there were the mini varieties of our most popular cookies.  We sold them by the half and bakers dozens and served them in a fun parchment paper cone to eat on the go!  What a treat to recreate this fond memory with much healthier ingredients…I loved cookies then and I love cookies now, especially ones that are gluten, grain and refined sugar-free.

Mini cookies in a paper cone…just like I remember them!

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1/4 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl sift together almond flour, sea salt and baking soda.  In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla.  Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Drop by 1/2 Tbsp measure onto parchment and slightly flatten.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!

Makes 24 bite-sized cookies.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday

Made From Scratch Monday

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Who doesn't love a big pile of cookies?

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cookies (makes 24 cookies)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

6 Tbsp. coconut nectar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl combine almond flour, coconut, sea salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, stir in chopped macadamia nuts and dark chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets about 2″ apart.  The dough may seem slightly crumbly, just press it together and flatten it once on the cookie sheet, they will hold together once baked.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown on top.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Although these cookies are excellent warm they really are best after they are completely cooled and in my opinion even better on day two!  Store in an air tight container.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Wellness Weekend, Make Ahead Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Almond Coconut Delight Cookies

Today I was in the mood for something sweet, chewy and warm…only a cookie was going to satisfy my craving. I didn’t want anything too rich or chocolately but more along the oatmeal raisin type of cookie…I don’t eat oats anymore so that chewy texture is sometimes a challenge to achieve in a cookie but this recipe does the trick perfectly!

These cookies are so easy to make and you can adapt them to your liking very easily.  I used coconut oil and coconut nectar but you could use any oil (or even butter) for the fat and agave, honey or yacon syrup could be used for the sweetener.  Walnuts and raisins are always my choice for nuts and dried fruit but again you can substitute your favorites without any problems…

Almond Coconut Delight Cookies

Coconut Delight Cookies

Makes about 16 cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

1/4 cup coconut nectar (or agave, honey, palm sugar or yacon)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins or cranberries) or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl combine oil, sweetener and vanilla, set aside.  In a medium bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, nuts, coconut and dried fruit or chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix throughly.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and slightly flatten.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Try to eat just one...

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Almond Blossoms

Peanut Blossom cookies are my all time favorite cookie, my grandmother sent them in a goodie box every year at Christmastime.  I looked forward to them all year…for some reason when I was a kid it was the only time I got them.  One of my passions is adapting my favorite recipes into healthier, gluten, grain and refined sugar-free versions.  In this adaptation I used almond butter, almond flour, coconut oil and palm sugar rather than the traditional peanut butter, flour, butter and sugar.  I also used 70% dark chocolate molded into starlight mint candy molds for the added nostalgic effect, but you could use a few dark chocolate chips on top for a simpler version.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do and note from the picture below…they are not just a Christmas treat for me anymore!

Almond Blossoms

Ingredients

      1 c roasted almond butter
      1/2 c coconut sugar (honey or agave both work well too)
      2 eggs
      1 t vanilla
      2 T butter or coconut oil, melted
      1 c blanched almond flour
    1/4 t baking soda
    3 oz 70% (or higher) dark chocolate chips (option to melt and mold or use as chips)
Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the almond flour, palm sugar and baking soda. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Drop by 2T balls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on oven), do not over bake. Cookies will puff up, spread a bit and get lightly golden…they will look slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven. Press molded starlight chocolates or chips into the middle of the cookies (about 5 on each cookie or one molded starlight). Cool on the pan on a wire cooling rack. Best enjoyed after about 15-20 minutes of cooling.
Makes 24 cookies, recipe can easily be doubled.
%d bloggers like this: