White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

Seattle Chocolates used to make an incredible white chocolate orange truffle. They had a gold wrapper with a creamy white chocolate truffle inside. When I was a teenager who didn’t have to worry about things like love handles, cellulite and flab, I would eat them by the handful. My first job was at a Hallmark shop (best job ever!) and we had a bin of loose Seattle’s Chocolates in various flavors. Those bins of golden wrapped deliciousness were one of my favorite things to restock because I’d sift thru them as I went, pulling out all the white chocolate orange flavored truffles.

As I searched online I discovered that the orange truffles are no longer made. Sad day. But all is not lost! They have a lemon version now. And I love love love all things lemon. So what did I do? I made some.

Teenage Tonya would have just purchased a bag. It’s only money right? Single income, two kids and bills to pay Tonya has too much frugality flowing thru her veins to spend $42 on truffles. I also would rather not figure out how to keep from eating two-and-a-half pounds of chocolate.

These truffles are exactly the same consistency I remember. A little firm, a little soft. Perfectly creamy and rich. The lemon flavor is just enough to give you a hint of tart flowing thru silken white chocolate. The dusting of lemony sugar on the outside makes these refreshing little truffles simply stunning.


White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

adapted from Wit & Whistle

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
9 ounces good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
pinch of salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
2 tsp. freshly-squeezed, strained lemon juice
superfine granulated Sugar, for coating
grated zest of 1 lemon, for coating

In small, heavy, non-aluminum saucepan, combine the heavy cream and lemon zest. Over low heat, heat until cream comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover tightly and let sit for 20 minutes.

Combine the white chocolate, salt, and butter in medium heatproof bowl. Remove the cover from the cream and reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat. Strain through fine-meshed strainer into white chocolate mixture. Press down on the lemon zest left in the strainer to extract all the liquid from it.

Place white chocolate mixture over a pot of warm water on low heat* (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir the chocolate frequently just until almost melted. Remove the bowl from the warm pot. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Chill at least 4 hours, covering tightly when cold. While truffle mixture is cooling, zest one lemon into 1/2 cup of superfine granulated sugar and cover.

To make truffles: Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, form balls of about 1 inch diameter from the cold truffle base. Roll in lemon sugar until well-coated. Store truffles airtight in refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for longer storage. To serve, remove from refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving time. Let stand at room temperature, covered, until serving time.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookie Monster is a classic. A friend of mine shared this video with me saying this is how she feels every time I post a new recipe. She’s so sweet. Enjoy a good laugh by watching this:

A while back, this same friend gave me a cookbook full of deliciousness. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever baked out of it. Especially the Razz-ma-tazz bars. Oh yum. I decided to let my hubby choose something for me to bake in honor of Sabrina. I’ll bet you think shared with her too huh? No. I’m totally lame and didn’t realize until after I’d sent them to work with the hubster that I should have saved some for Bri. I’m such a spaz. I know, it’s not as nice a story now. Sorry. 😦

Put aside your disappointment and make some of these cookies. They are full of crunchy nutty goodness and rich chocolate. It’s a basic peanut butter cookie, kicked up with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. You’ll love them.

Next time Sabrina. I’ll share some cookies maybe.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
From NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12-oz pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Directions
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and peanuts.

DROP dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly to flatten into 2-inch circles. I used a glass dipped in a little granulated sugar.

BAKE for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Nanaimo Bars​

I first saw these amazing bars when visiting Victoria for my sister’s birthday weekend. My mom and I popped into a little coffee-house to pick up some liquid caffeine and while we were waiting I drooled over the divine treats in their glass cases. These caught my eye as I’d never heard of them before. When I asked what they were, pronouncing the name wrong, the barista looked at me like I was insane. It is pronounced “nuh-NI-mo” sounds like “The wino”. Apparently these are a really big deal in Canada.

I looked them up when I got home and found that it all began when a housewife entered a recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest some 35 years ago. She called her recipe ‘Nanaimo Bars’ and when she won the contest, not only did her dessert become popular throughout Canada, so did the town they were named after.

These three-layered, no bake dessert squares start with a chocolate crumb base, get a topper of sweet custardy creamy goodness and are finished off with a chocolate layer. They are sweet and rich and amazing. Now that I’ve had one, I understand the confusion on the clerk’s face at my obvious lack of dessert knowledge.

How can you go wrong when the first layer is chocolate, butter and sugar all bound together by coconut, grahams and nuts? Ah-mazing. It’s like a graham cracker crust on crack. Maybe I shouldn’t use that phrase as much as I do. I actually have zero clue what being on crack is like. For some reason it just what I label anything that seems a little crazy and totally bad but is actually a notch more awesome than normal. Don’t do drugs. Bad. Ok, back to the dessert. The middle layer has the goodness of vanilla pudding sweetened with powdered sugar and enriched with cream and butter. Oh sweet perfection. Top it off with a chocolate ganache. Yeah baby.

I cannot decide which layer I like best. The base is really beyond description. Even if you aren’t a coconut (or nut) fan, try these – it all kind of just blends together in a perfect crunchy and sweet crust.  Seriously. Could a no bake dessert be any more decadent? I think not. Oh Canada. Well done you.


Print Recipe for Nanaimo Bars​


Nanaimo Bars

from Joy of Baking

Bottom Layer:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (200 grams) graham cracker crumbs or crushed Digestive Biscuits
1 cup (65 grams) sweetened or unsweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)
1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

Middle Layer:

1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 – 3 tablespoons milk or cream
2 tablespoons (20 grams) vanilla custard powder (Bird’s) or vanilla pudding powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (230 grams) powdered sugar (confectioners or icing)  sugar

Top Layer:

4 ounces (120 grams) semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter

Directions:

Put a foil sling in a 9 x 9 inch pan and spray with a non stick vegetable spray.

Bottom Layer: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 – 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

Middle Layer: In your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

Top Layer: Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Then, in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the filling and refrigerate for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate has set. Remove using the foil sling & using a sharp knife (or a pastry cutter!), cut into squares.

“Bethany” Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

For those of you who don’t know, occasionally I make a recipe that’s specifically for a very special person in my life. I name the recipe after them and someday when I have my own little shop, I plan to feature all my ode to friendship items. I’ll be surrounded by the baked versions of all the people I love. It will be awesome! Today’s friend is Bethany. More about her later.

These cupcakes are the best thing I’ve ever made. They are glorious. Incredible. You will need to close your eyes and breathe deeply upon first bite. They are a taste explosion. The reason I made this delicious treat is kind of a bummer. My best friend Bethany moved to Maui today. I dropped her at the airport this morning and we both bawled our eyes out. Very sad for me because I adore her. I’m trying to look on the bright side and remember that I have a new vacation destination with an extra bed, and that Bethany will be shipping me bottles of pineapple wine. But right now I just miss her terribly. Her birthday is in a couple of days so I had a pre-leaving-birthday-dinner for her and served up her favorite craving.

Bethany is the sweetest, most generous person I have ever met. We’ve been friends for eleven years and I cannot imagine my life without her. She is beyond amazing. Kind of like this cupcake. Rich chocolate cake with the perfect texture topped with fluffy salted caramel buttercream and a drizzle of fresh salted caramel sauce. I like to think of the salty kick as the hidden depths of Bethany’s character. You think you know her as this quiet, sweet woman – then you really get to know her and she’s full of spunk, stubbornness (in a good way) and sass.

The caramel sauce is the kicker in this recipe. The salty takes the edge off all that sweet decadence making each bite just perfect. There’s no caramel in the cake, but the method of melting the butter before beating it gives a little hint of nutty flavor to the chocolate. It’s halfway to a browned butter flavor and gives an excellent depth to the cake. But the caramel. Oh, the caramel. It would be fabulous on ice cream, drizzled over your favorite coffee drink or just be like me and gobble it up with a spoon. All by itself. Yup. That’s how I roll.

Print Recipe for Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
from The Brown Eyed Baker

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream

Salted Caramel Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup salted caramel sauce (recipe below – can be made ahead of time)
4 cups powdered sugar

To Garnish:
Salted Caramel Sauce
Fleur de Sel (or other flaky sea salt)

1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard-size muffin pans with paper liners.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth, and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture, beating until smooth.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix each addition until just incorporated.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

8. To finish, pipe frosting onto the top of each cupcake (or use an offset spatula to spread the frosting), drizzle with some additional salted caramel sauce, and sprinkle with a pinch of fleur de sel.

Salted Caramel Sauce
Yield: 2 cups of sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.   Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

2. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.

3. As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

5. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You’ll want to warm the sauce up before using.

Ghirardellis Caramel S’mores

No, this isn’t a “real” recipe. Just something I want to share with you all since campfire season is upon us. And that means kicking back listening to the crackle of wood burning and being mesmerized by logs turning to coals. I have to give a shout out to my amazing father. The beautiful stone fire pit you see in the background? Yeah, he built it.  He threw it together this afternoon for my mom so all us kids could come over for a campfire this evening. I’m not kidding. He’s so awesome.

When the embers are just perfect, it is time to make s’mores. Classic campfire food. Did you know s’mores are not required to have plain chocolate on them. No, there’s a world of other possibilities for making gooey, melty marshmallow goodness.

My favorite is using Ghirardellis caramel squares instead of regular old Hershey bars. First of all, it’s better chocolate. Second, it’s filled with gorgeous oozing caramel. It is amazing. Try it at your next campfire. You’ll never go back! Do you have a go-to chocolate replacement in your s’mores?

Ghirardellis Caramel S’mores

Graham Crackers
Marshmallows
Ghirardellis Caramel Squares

First, you take the graham. You put the chocolate (caramel square) on the graham. Then, you toast the mallow. Onto the chocolate it goes, top with another graham and mmmmmmmmm, enjoy.

M&M’s® Rolo® Pretzel Bites

Looking for a fabulous, easy treat? How about a little caramelly goodness sandwiched between rich chocolate and a little salty crunch? I’ve got you covered with these rolo pretzel bites. They whip up in just minutes and are perfect for munching during a movie, long car ride or on a weekend getaway. They are also HIGHLY addictive. I’d recommend making a double batch. I made the epic mistake of bringing just a single batch to a family camping trip and they were devoured the first evening. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many I shoved in my face. I could not stop. They were just glorious.

Simply top waffle pretzels with an unwrapped Rolo candy. I used slave labor and had my kids unwrap all the candies. They love helping me.

Bake for a couple of minutes and then press a peanut M&M into the Rolo – smooshing it down into the pretzel. You could use a regular M&M, but I like the peanut crunch on top.

This recipe is proof that if Mars & Hershey combined, they could take over the world. You won’t be able to stop eating these.

There are lots of combinations you could do with these little bites. During the holidays, use just red/green M&Ms. You could use Hershey’s kisses or hugs instead of Rolos (but why on earth would you want to remove the caramel from this recipe?). All you peanut butter/chocolate combo folks could press a peanut butter M&M on top to get your fix. Personally, I think these are perfection just as they are. Gooey caramel, salty pretzel and just the right amount of chocolate with a peanut crunch. Oh. Baby.

M&M’s® Rolo® Pretzel Bites
makes about 50

1 bag Rolo candies
50 waffle pretzels
50 peanut M&M’s

On a large parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread out pretzels in a single layer. Unwrap Rolo candies and place one on top of each pretzel.
Bake at 275° F for 2-3 minutes until Rolo candies are soft.
Remove from oven and quickly press one M&M into each Rolo.
Allow to cool completely.

Graham-O-Toffee Candy

The “O” is for oats. These treats are to DIE for. Incredibly easy and layered deliciousness. I’m taking them camping this weekend. If they last that long. I love recipes where the finished product seems like more work than it actually took. Shhh. It’ll be our little secret how simple these are.

Start with a jelly roll pan and line it with foil, then a single layer of graham crackers.

Mix up some oats, sugar and flour.

Then mix in an egg and some butter (mmmmm – melted butter).

Spread over the grahams. Don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. As it bakes it will spread and layer itself nicely.

Bake until golden, then top with chocolate, almonds and toffee chips.

Break apart into bars or chunks and shove into your face.

These bars are perfectly balanced. They have sweetness and crunch in all the right places plus the earthy goodness of oats.

They are a great camping food. Especially if you’re going somewhere you can’t have a fire. They are a little reminiscent of smores, except better, because they’re toffee. I love caramel buttery toffee. (happy sigh) Enjoy!

Print Recipe for Graham-O-Toffee Candy

Graham-O-Toffee Candy
adapted from BHG

15 whole graham crackers (rectangles)
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 12 ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heath bar toffee chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with foil, extending foil beyond edges of pan. Arrange whole graham crackers in a single layer in prepared pan. In a large bowl combine the oats, sugars, and flour. Stir in melted butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Spoon over graham crackers and spread evenly to edges of pan to cover graham crackers.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until oat mixture bubbles and is lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Return to oven for 1 minute. Spread melted chocolate over top to cover. Evenly sprinkle with almonds & toffee chips. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use foil to lift from pan. Remove foil. Cut or break into bars. Makes 30 bars.

Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Baked goods involving zucchini are considered a vegetable in my book. I’ve been exercising like a crazy person lately and watching my calories, so more vegetables is exactly what I need. This amazingly moist absolutely decadent tasting chocolate bread fit the bill perfectly. I don’t feel too badly about it since it’s reasonably low-calorie and very low-fat. Unless I eat the whole loaf. Hmmmm. Not gonna lie. That might happen.

Start by shredding some zucchini. You’ll need about one medium-sized courgette (yes, I just used the fancy-pants term).

Mix up some sugars and applesauce. You can use oil if you’d like, but I was going the uber healthy route with this. Then, stir in some eggs and zucchini.

Some dry ingredients get stirred in. Those little hands belong to my son, who loves helping me bake. I don’t want any of you to think I have freakishly t.i.n.y. mitts.

Then the final touch to this yummy bread. Chocolate chips. Ok, so it just ceased to be a bread and became a cake. I know.

Bake, slice and enjoy.

Rich chocolate. And I’ve convinced myself it is actually a vegetable. Yes. I am in heaven. Please don’t wake me from this dream.

You will be too. There are little pockets of melty chocolate chips in every bite and the bread is all gorgeous and moist. Enjoy!

Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread
adapted from Slice of Feist

1 & 1/2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup high quality Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash of salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

In a large bowl, combine your applesauce, sugars and vanilla. Mix in your eggs and shredded zucchini. In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture into your wet mixture. Stir until combined. Mix in your chocolate chips.

Scrape your batter into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan (I always do a little parchment paper action on the bottom too), and bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

I didn’t think it was possible, then somebody said “pretzels”. My life will never be the same.  I thought my Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars would never be topped. That they were the ultimate. The addition of pretzels is beyond amazing. These bars are essentially the same as a chubby hubby truffles, but they take 5 minutes flat to throw together and do not involve any rolling or chocolate dipping. Pretzels give these bars a little kick of saltiness to cut thru all the sweet richness of the other ingredients. They are perfection. I think I may be changing my mind about peanut butter and chocolate. The last few things I’ve tasted have been simply delightful, which is a very bad thing.  Especially these. Reading this post will take you longer to do than actually making these amazing bars will.

Pulse up your pretzels until most of them are finely ground, but there are still pea sized pieces left.

Add peanut butter and powdered sugar.

And my most favorite ingredient ever – melted butter.

Mix until well combined.

Spread into an 8×8 pan fitted with a greased foil sling.

Chill for about 10 minutes while we whip together a chocolatey peanut butter ganache for the top. I used the same ganache as on my Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars for two reasons. First, I think topping bars with a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter is perfect. Second, the site I got this recipe from used just a straight chocolate/cream ganache and the blogger said it was too much chocolate. I didn’t want the top layer to overpower the peanuty goodness of the bar. So, peanut butter and chocolate it is.

Spread in an even layer over your peanut butter mixture and chill for at least an hour.

Remove from the pan and cut (used my pastry scraper for exact lines) into squares.

Enjoy. Really. Find a quiet place to be alone with one of these and simply enjoy the perfect addition of pretzels to creamy peanut butter and rich chocolate. The salty crunch is like that one really awesome person you hope will come to your next party. They make it a par-taaaay. It’s words like “par-taaaay” that make me wish I had a New Jersey accent. Sort of.

Just marvelous.

 

Print Recipe For Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
adapted from Craving Chronicles

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups pretzel crumbs, fine
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Directions

Line 8×8 pan with foil. Spray with baking spray.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt  butter in microwave (about 30 seconds on HIGH). Stir in pretzel crumbs, peanut butter & confectioners’ sugar. Spread evenly into prepared pan and refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

Combine semi-sweet chips and peanut butter and microwave, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Spread evenly over the peanut butter/pretzel layer and refrigerate at least one hour. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

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Rolo Cake Bars

My favorite combination is caramel and chocolate. Rich sweet chocolate and gooey caramel is pretty darn close to a slice of heaven in my book.  When I saw this recipe for Rolo Cake Bars, I knew there was a batch in my very near future. But, I couldn’t just make a pan of them to have around given my addiction to all things caramel and chocolate. Lucky for me, I had some trees removed today and had three burly lumberjack type men around to help me plow thru these bars.

This recipe has one tricky part. It comes when you are at the store (or in your pantry) getting your ingredients. All cake mixes are not the same. I know these look like they’d both work, but they wont.

Check the ounces on the box. You want the big one. 18.25oz. Accept no other.

The dry mix, melted butter and evaporated milk get combined together and half is pressed into a pan. My dough was very sticky so I used an offset spatula to get it mostly flattened into the pan. Don’t worry if your dough isn’t completely firm. They still bake up beautifully.

While the crust cooks up a bit – we get to hang with some Rolos.

Mmmmmm. Caramel. Cut them in half.

When the crust comes out of the oven, place the Rolos caramel side down on top. Can I just say that the smell of warm cake batter hitting the chocolate was almost too much for me. I was tempted to just scoop it out of the pan and shovel it into my mouth.

Then dollup the remaining batter on top.

Bake until golden. Attempt to keep your mitts off it and let it cool. Then cut into squares.

Sweet light cake mixed with decadent rich caramel and chocolate. Oh baby.

Seriously. Oozing Rolo goodness. A riot of amazingness.

I don’t think four ingredients could get better than this.

Rolo Cake Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) yellow, vanilla or white cake mix, dry
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 40 Rolo Candies, unwrapped and cut in half

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. With your mixer, beat cake mix, evaporated milk and butter until combined. Mixture will be thick and sticky.
  4. Divide batter in half and press 1 half into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake until just set, approximately 8-9 minutes.
  6. Remove base from oven and place Rolo candies, caramel-side down on top.
  7. Drop remaining batter on top of Rolos in teaspoon sized amounts.
  8. Bake for 24-26 minutes longer until top begins to golden.
  9. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
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