I’ve been on a chocolate and caramel kick recently so I jumped at the opportunity to make Emily’s, of Life on Food, Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal. I had a huge block of chocolate and an extra jar of fleur de sel caramel sauce that was itching to be used up so it was just meant to be.
The hardest part about these bars is pressing the cookie dough-like filling into all of the crevices of the pan. I found that if I took balls of dough and didn’t press too hard, I was able to fill most of the spots in one round. That being said, this was a super easy and great recipe. Everyone in my office loved them, marketed as Salted Caramel Blondies.
Each year during the holiday season, I prefer to give comestibles. These edible gifts have the bonus of not only not arriving with a price tag, but it’s a reflection of time and effort instead of just checking someone off of a gift list.
Hot chocolate and s’mores are some of my favorite things to consume. Nothing like sitting by a fire (or a video of a fireplace) and sipping cocoa or chomping on a burnt marshmallow. This recipe is incredibly easy and customize-able. I like to use higher-quality, locally made marshmallows, but you can also drink with mini-marshmallows. I filled each jar with 5 servings (180g) and the larger with 8 servings. Some have peppermint marshmallows from Bread Furst and some have vanilla marshmallows from Fleurir.
Here are some different packaging styles I’m gifting:
I wasn’t lying when I said that we make oatmeal cookies all the time. They serve as a great base for many different flavors and can be customized with consistent results. They take less than 15 minutes from bowl to mouth (if you don’t mind burning your tongue) and only dirty one bowl.
This particular flavor combination was inspired by a vacation we took to Seattle. I had heard a lot about Macrina Bakery and we loaded up on baked goods while we were there. We managed to keep ourselves from eating all of the cookies and brought back a Rick’s Apricot Chocolate Espresso cookie. I substituted apricots with dried cherries here and used ground espresso powder.
2014 has been a busy year already and it is only going to get busier!
This year we are already have on the plate:
- January – Getting our first mortgage & becoming homeowners
- February – Moving in to our first home!
- September – Celebrating our 10-year anniversary & getting married
- October – Honeymoon to West Coast & Hawai’i
In addition to those items, I’d like to add a couple more to the list. Instead of making specific New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to make a change in lifestyle with the mantra “Active & Aware“. To me, this means:
- Be aware of what is in my diet. Decrease meat intake and consume less processed foods. This will be a lot easier since I got a NINJA prep/blender for Christmas!
- Actively “vote with my wallet”. Support local businesses more and be aware of what I’m spending money on. Quality over quantity. This applies to food, drink, clothes, and furniture.
- Be aware of what I have in my life. Emotionally & Physically. Keep existing relationships active & appreciated (I’m horrible at keeping in touch with friends & relatives!). De-clutter. If I have something, use it. If I’m not going to use it, get rid of it.
To celebrate the new year, I’m having a double giveaway! I’ll give 1 prize to Facebook followers and 1 prize to blog comments.
Prize – Tea Lover
Lots of different types of tea in loose leaf form or bags. If you prefer tea bags, a pack of empty tea bags are included as well. Teas include: Stash, Harney & Sons, Trader Joe’s, Twinnings, Numi, DavidsTea, and local company Spice & Tea Exchange.
Prize – Milk Chocolate Stash
Godiva treats including milk chocolate covered pretzels, cocoa, graham crackers, and caramels.
Enter the giveaway below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway