Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

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Who can resist a Recess Peanut Butter Cup - I mean seriously, it might be the best “chocolate bar” ever invented! Lately, my favourite treat has actually been the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joes - they are mini, delicious, and the perfect little after-dinner treat! I keep them in the fridge because 1 - it’s always warm here and I don’t want them to melt, and 2 - nothing beats really cold chocolate. Anybody with me on the cold chocolate front?

So while it is way to easy to pick up a pack of super yummy peanut butter cups it’s also kinda special to make your own now and then. Plus, if you're going to go to the trouble of making peanut butter cups you might as well up your game and add in a few extra ingredients right! Peanut and chocolate are basically the perfect canvas for adding in extra flavours. I have done a layer of raspberry jam, making them peanut butter and jelly cups, or how about adding in some marshmallow fluff, bananas, or go really crazy and toss in a little bacon - seriously, your options are endless

Today I was feeling the salted caramel and crunchy peanuts, and it honestly brings these peanut butter cups to the next level - plus the sea salt makes them so addictive, which is why storing them in the fridge is another solid plan because out of sight out of mind. It may actually help stop you from eating the entire batch in one sitting!

So next time you have a craving for your favourite peanut butter treat whip up a batch, though be careful, because you may find yourself making these more often than you will want to admit!

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prep time 40 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 12

Ingredients

2 cups good quality chocolate

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tbsp icing sugar

1/4 cup caramel + more to drizzle over the top

1/4 cup salted peanuts

coarse sea salt

Instructions

Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. In a small bowl place 1 cup of the chocolate and melt in the microwave for 1 minute - stopping every 20 seconds to stir.

Scoop a teaspoon of the chocolate into the bottom of each paper lines and spread around the entire bottom and 1/2 an inch up the sides.

While the chocolate is setting combine peanut butter and icing sugar in a small bowl and whip to combine - microwaving for 20 seconds if the peanut butter is too thick. Divide the peanut butter evenly between each of the chocolate cups - spreading so it fully covers the bottom.

Divide caramel over the peanut butter then sprinkle with the salted peanuts. Let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator to allow to harden.

Microwave remaining chocolate for 1 minute stirring every 20 seconds. Pour chocolate over each of the cups then tap the pan so that the tops become smooth. Allow to set for 10 minutes on the counter then drizzle with a small amount of caramel and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Allow peanut butter cups to fully set before serving.

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Caramel Ice Cream Sundaes with Almond Crumble

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So today I am sharing one of my favourite recipes. This is a take on a classic summertime dessert at my house growing up - though back then it was more of an ice cream square than a sundae. We called it Butter Brickle (I have no idea why) and it is still to this day one of my greatest food memories. The caramel, ice cream and crunchy almond crumble make for the perfect summertime combination.

So, while I do really love this in square form I felt like this was begging to be made into a sundae. It gives you the option to whip this up way in advance - I mean weeks if you need too, and throw it on a buffet table in a big bowl of ice and allow your guests to serve themselves. I mean seriously, if you are in charge of dessert at a group picnic and you show up with these you will be the star of the show!

For me I love to use mason jars, you know the ones that you would be gifted jam in. But, if you don’t have mason jars you could serve this in just about anything. The one great thing about the mason jar is that it seals nice and tight which allows you to keep them even longer. Imagine having a nice little supply of pre-made ice cream sundaes in your freezer for any time you want a little treat - you can’t get much better than that!

So I highly recommend that you run, don’t walk to your kitchen and whip these up. I promise you will thank me!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 15 minutes

total time 35 minutes

servings 12

Ingredients

1 cups flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sliced almonds

2 - 10 oz jar caramel

2 quarts vanilla ice cream

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter and sliced almonds. Stir until fully combined then press onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and use a spatula to crumble while still warm. Set aside and allow to cool.

While the crumble is cooling remove ice cream from the freezer to allow it to warm slightly.

Divide crumble into 3 parts then take the first third and divide it between 12 small mason jars. Drizzle with 2 tsp of caramel then 2 small scoops of ice cream. Repeat with the crumble and ice cream layers then top with crumble and a small drizzle of caramel. Place lid on each jar and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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S'mores Cookies

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Ok, guys, this recipe is a really really good one - if I do say for myself! I mean seriously, how can you go wrong with graham wafers, marshmallows and chocolate? Making this even better is that it’s a cookie, so less mess and fuss than making actual s’mores!

So I made these cookies this past weekend when we went to a bonfire on the beach. We initially were going to bring all the fixings for s’mores, but then realized we didn’t have any marshmallow roasting sticks, so to make things easy the cookie was born. Let’s just say that the classic s’mores weren’t missed in the slightest so many people said that these were the best cookies they had ever had!!!

They are so special and look amazing yet the are actually pretty simple to make. You basically make a standard chocolate chip cookie with the addition of chopped up graham wafers then topping with all of the classic s’mores flavours. The key to getting that extra crunchy top and golden brown marshmallows is to broil them for just a minute. It seriously is the key making good cookies great - plus your house smells like a s’mores, so that's a bonus!

So skip the s’mores at your next campfires and go for the cookie - I promise this is a twist on a classic that any s’mores lover will wholeheartedly approve of!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 15 minutes x 3 batches

total time 1 hour 5 minutes

servings 24 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cup chopped graham wafers + crumbs for garnishing

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter at room temperature

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chunks + more for garnishing

72 mini marshmallow

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine flour, cropped graham wafers, baking powder + salt then set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer place butter and whip until light and fluffy. Add in white and brown sugar and beat on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until it’s all fully combined. Add in vanilla and eggs and beat until just combined.

To the wet ingredients add in your flour and stir until flour ifs fully incorporated then stir in your 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop of teaspoon place heaping spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Press 3 marshmallows into the top of each cookie along with a few chunks of chocolate then sprinkle with graham wafer crumbs. Bake for 8-14 minutes or until cookies are golden and the marshmallows are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack then continue until all of your dough has been used.

One all of your cookies are baked turn your oven to broil. Place cookies back on your cookie sheet (you can crowd them at this point as they will not spread). Broil for 1-2 minutes keeping a close eye on them so that they do not burn. Allow the marshmallows to toast and the graham wafers to brown.

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Summer Fruit + Honey Pavlova

This fresh and light dessert is the perfect ending to any summertime meal.

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So, here is what I love the most about Pavlova - it looks amazing and oh so fancy, yet is actually super easy to make. If you can make whip cream, you can make Pavlova. Honestly, all you are doing is beating, then beating some more. It takes a bit of patience, but if you have that, your set!

Now let’s talk about the toppings. Your options are endless, I mean how good would it be with cherries and almonds or sweet juicy peaches. This is the perfect dessert to make if you have a bunch of fruit to use up and want to feel fancy.

Now if you haven’t ever had Pavlova it’s basically a meringue topped with whip cream and fruit. The meringue centre is like a soft delicious marshmallow with a crispy coating. If you have a tough time getting it out of the pan and some of it breaks don’t fret, you're covering the entire top in whip cream so no one will have any clue that it wasn’t perfect.

This version I made in a springform pan but you can also line a baking sheet in tin foil and spread your meringue into a circle - but if you have a springform pan use it. It gives you a perfectly uniform shape and allows you to put it on any serving tray or platter without any challenges.

So next time you want to wow your friends make this Summer Fruit + Honey Pavlova - I promise, everyone will be instantly in love!

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prep time 30 minutes

cook time 1 hour + 1 hour to rest

total time 2 hours 30 minutes

servings 6

Meringue Ingredients

4 egg whites at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

Topping Ingredients

1 cup whip cream

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 kiwi

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup strawberries

2 tbsp honey

Instructions

Preheat oven to 250. Cover the bottom of an 8 inch spring form pan with tinfoil then set aside.

in a large bowl or a stand mixer place egg whites that are at room temperature and beat until the eggs make soft peaks.

To the eggs slowly add in sugar and corn starch and beat until it becomes stiff (this could take up to 10 minutes). Once your eggs are stiff take a small amount and rub it between your fingers being sure that it is smooth and you do not feel any sugar remaining. if you do, continue to beat until it is completely smooth. Add in vinegar and vanilla and beat another 1 minute to fully incorporate.

Pour your meringue into the prepared springform pan then bake for 60 minutes then turn off the heat and allow it to sit in the oven for another 60 minutes (do not open the door during this time).

Once cooled carefully remove it from the spring form pan using a knife to help release the sides if needed.

In a medium bowl or your stand mixer place your whip cream, sugar and vanilla and beat until thick and creamy.

Evenly spread your whip cream over the entire merengue then top with your blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and kiwi. Drizzle with honey then serve.

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