Caramel Corn Cookies

Sometimes you have an excess of caramel corn in your house that you need to find a use for... right?

I found myself the proud owner of several cups of caramel corn, and instead of having it hang out on my counter staring at me, I decided to throw it in some cookies. You see, I don’t really care for caramel corn but this stuff was pretty magical. We made it in our candy class at school and my teammate didn’t want it, so I brought it home for the hubs. Turns out I like it too, when it’s homemade and delicious!

Caramel Corn Cookie Snack

I had seen versions of recipes where people put all kinds of crazy things into cookies with popcorn, but I wanted to highlight the caramel notes and use other ingredients in a more supporting role. Using a ranger cookie recipe as my base, I went to work tweaking and changing{my favorite thing to do!} to create a salty/sweet cookie that is soft, chewy, and packed with delicious texture and flavor.

Caramel Corn Cookies // Makes 24

½ c brown butter, solid at cool room temperature

½ c sugar

¼ c brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 c flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

1 ½ c homemade caramel corn, chopped (or buy good-quality!)

½ c oats

¾ c sweetened flaked coconut

½ c pecans, toasted & chopped

*If you are new to making brown butter, check out this great tutorial. I melted and browned 10 tablespoons to get the ½ cup needed for the recipe. Do this the day before, refrigerate it, then take it out to come to cool room temperature like you would in a recipe calling for regular butter. Alternatively, you can use plain, unsalted butter; you will just be missing a bit of that warm nutty flavor!

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream brown butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. There will be beautiful brown specs in the mixture from the butter and that is good! Add in the egg and vanilla, and beat another 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon.

CCC Ingredients

If the dough seems a bit too soft, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Chill dough for 30 minutes; preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment.

Using a small cookie scoop, place dough on prepared baking sheets and bake until just set, 8-10 minutes. The bottoms and edges should be just lightly browned. Allow to cool a couple of minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack.

Cooling CC Cookies

I loved these cookies because they weren’t too sweet and there wasn’t any one flavor dominating; they all played nicely together. You must try one warm, dunked in milk - divine. My husband took the lot to work and set them on the counter while he got settled at his desk - when he came back, they were gone! I think that means these are a great one to try for a group, who doesn’t love a warm, caramel-y flavor this time of year?! 

Cookies and Milk

Now, go make someones day with a tasty cookie and a cold glass of milk.

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

 

Wellness Wednesday {raw}: Energy Bars

Energy Bars

After spending ten days with my sister in Vancouver, I was inspired to stretch my culinary muscles and experiment with more raw & vegan recipes. It blew my mind that she had an entire 'cook'book dedicated to raw desserts! In the last year or so, I have focused a lot on my health, starting with checking my portion sizes, alcohol consumption, sweet eating, and all around movement in my life. Since moving to California, it's been so easy to eat tons of great vegetables and fruit and incorporate them into our diet new ways too! I can't say that I'll ever give up baking with butter or eating cheese, bread & bacon, but I love the idea of enjoying those things 20% of the time, with the remaining 80% making healthy, well-rounded choices with new and interesting twists! I pulled from a few recipes I found, using what I had on hand, to give these energy bars a go.

Energy Bars} Raw, Vegan, Dairy & Gluten Free // Makes 16

1 c raw almonds, divided

5 T chia seeds, divided

1/3 ground flaxseed

4 T cacao nibs, divided

1/2 c + 2 T raw sunflower seeds, divided

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c pitted Medjool dates 

1/2 c raisins 

6 T raw applesauce

1/4 c raw shredded coconut

2 T raw sesame seeds

5 T raw hulled hemp hearts

Line an 8 x 8" dish with parchment paper and allow some to hang off the side for easy removal. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 3/4 c of the almonds, 3 T chia seeds, ground flaxseed, 3 T cacao nibs, 1/2 c sunflower seeds, and cinnamon. Run until the mixture is fine; add dates, raisins, and applesauce. Process until it comes together in a sticky dough, scraping the sides as needed.  Transfer almond mixture to a bowl. Chop remaining almonds and add them, along with the remaining ingredients, to the mixture; stir to combine well. Press into prepared pan and freeze for at least an hour. 

Pull the parchment to remove the whole square and place on a cutting board. Cut into 16 equal pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. These are sweet, chewy, delicious, & filling! These would make a great little mid-afternoon treat to power through until dinner, or a pre-workout snack in the morning to get you going!

Stacked Energy Bars

Try swapping in a different nut for the almonds or adding some pepitas or pistachios for color (when I started this, I thought I had pepitas, but  no luck - next time!) Create & enjoy!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

Comment