Guest Post: Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

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Yesterday (well, today as I write this, yesterday as you read this) was moving day! All I can say is thank goodness we hired movers and thank goodness they were so patient with the obstacle course that is my new apartment (technically condo) complex! I also have to say thank goodness for thefantastic friends I’ve made through blogging! Today my guest poster is Jessica, from My Baking Heart. Just a few weeks ago I participated in a virtual wedding shower in her honor. Her wedding is just around the corner so I can’t tell you how lucky I feel that she made time to guest post for me! Just another example of how amazing she is! If your looking for more examples of her amazingness just check out this Chocolate Cinnamon Bread, these Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread Muffins, or these Chile-Cheese Chicken Enchiladas! Thanks so much, Jess! These cookies look and sound delicious!

Happy Friday, Sunny Side Up readers! Another Jessica here, from My Baking Heart! What an super honor it is to guest post for my sweet friend today. Besides the fact that she has the most amazing name on the planet, she’s one of the sweetest gals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and I’m so happy that she and Jesse are back in the states!

Since she’s driving cross-country at the moment, I baked up a batch of these ‘Caramel Oatmeal Chewies’ for you to enjoy. They’re a perfect little treat for the cooler temps, changing colors and every little loveliness that Fall encompasses. Although, I believe they’re the best straight from the oven (with those tiny melting bits of caramel), they’re still pretty great warmed up in a microwave for the next morning’s breakfast. Grab a cup of joe and a plate full of these and you’ll be in heaven!

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Chocolate Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Chocolate Birthday Cake

It seems like every year someone asks me who will make my birthday cake. And I guess that makes sense, usually people enjoy letting other people do some of the work for their birthday (or maybe they just enjoy the cake?). But for me, more than half the fun comes from planning and making my cake.

Through out the year I keep mental notes of cakes and flavors that look or sound interesting and then a few weeks before my birthday I started planning what I actually want to do. Last year, I had ice cream on the brain. This year, I had gelato on the brain.

Back in San Diego there is a gelato shop that Jesse and I love. The location is awesome, right near La Jolla cove, so we would typically treat our selves after a nice evening of watching the waves and seals. The first time we went I got a scoop of salted caramel and scoop of chocolate hazelnut and I was immediately hooked. It became my standard order. Makes me drool just thinking about it! Like a match made in heaven!

With that in mind, I created the concept for this years cake. I.am.so.excited about how it turned out. The frosting is an absolute dream. Smooth and creamy with the perfect hint of hazelnut. The salty caramel is the perfect match. In fact, I’d like to go out on a limb and say that chocolate hazelnut and salted caramel is the new peanut butter and jelly. Finally, when we threw our party last month one of our guests brought us Ferrero Rocher candies and they were the perfect garnish. Happy Birthday to me!

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

I know I just posted a recipe for Dulce de Leche but can you really have too many different kinds of caramel? The answer is no. You can’t ever have too many kinds of caramel.

Salted Caramel is pretty popular right now and for good reason. If you’re new to the salted craze you may think it’s a strange addition. But don’t be scared. The salt really takes the caramel, and anything it touches, to a whole new level. This sauce is amazing on apple slices, ice cream, pies, or straight up on a spoon. It’s also the perfect ingredient to take a special dessert to the next level (spoiler alert for tomorrows post!).

You might think caramel is hard to make, and if your making candy it’s can be a bit more challenging, but for this sauce it’s really not hard at all. You won’t believe how quickly it all comes together. And I’m including a boat load of pictures to help you along the way.

 

Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

I feel like I write this all the time, but the moment I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. What’s not to like about a shortbread cookie base, topped with Dulce de Leche and Chocolate? These are like the grown up answer to Twix candy bars.

As I said, I knew right away I would make these cookies, and I think I waited all of 24 hours before I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t have great luck with the first batch. The cookie dough was way too dry and crumbly. I was able to force it into ball shapes, but the moment I pressed down to make the thumbprint, the cookie cracked all around, almost in half. I baked them anyways, but they weren’t very pretty and seemed too hard. They were fine for dunking in coffee but not quite what I was hoping for in these cookies.

I could have easily enjoyed eating the dulce de leche all by itself with a spoon, or even dunking the sad crumbly cookies in it, but I was determined to make the whole cookie work. So, I took a peek at my usual thumbprint recipe and, as I suspected, it called for a much higher wet to dry ingredient ratio. I made a few adjustments and the second batch turned out just the way I wanted. Still a lower ratio than the other recipe, but it worked perfectly for this short bread base. Just goes to show the difference a half of a cup of flour can make in a cookie. Of course, these adjustments are reflected in the recipe below.