Posts Tagged ‘Caramel’

Whenever I start thinking about favorite fall flavors, my first choice is always apple.  Some people LOVE pumpkin with a capital “L”, but I’m an apple girl.  This recipe from King Arthur Flour Company (also one of my faves) is awesome!  How can you go wrong with a caramel apple in cake form?


For the topping:

2 medium apples (I used Galas.)

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tbsp. thawed apple juice concentrate (or boiled cider if you have it)

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup light corn syrup

For the cake:

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tbsp. thawed apple juice concentrate (or boiled cider)

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur.)

1 large apple, peeled & finely chopped (I used gala.)

3/4 cup chopped pecans


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan at least 2 inches deep.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper and spray that as well with non-stick spray.

Slice and peel the top with the stem off one of the apples and set it aside.  Peel and slice 2 apples into 1/4 inch wedges. Place the apple top, stem side down, in the middle of the pan, and overlap the rest of the apple wedges in a ring around that piece.


Over low heat on your stovetop, melt the butter with the 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. apple juice concentrate, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup light corn syrup.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture over the apple slices and set the rest aside.



For the cake: Beat the vegetable oil, 1 cup light brown sugar, 2 tbsp. apple juice concentrate, eggs, spices and salt together for 2 minutes at medium speed.

Sift together the flour and baking soda then stir this into the batter.  Add the chopped apples and nuts and mix until just blended.


The batter will be thick so scoop the batter into the pan over the apple slices then carefully spread it so it completely covers the apples.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


Remove from the oven and run a knife along the outside edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan.  Let the cake cool for 5 minutes then turn it out on to a serving plate.  Make sure and save any of the tasty topping that might stick to the pan.

Reheat the reserved topping and pour it over the cake.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8-10 servings



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I wanted to make something different for one of our Christmas dinners and I knew that several people there were cheesecake fans.  This was my first cheesecake so off to the internet I went in search for a recipe to try and found this one on Pinterest (of course) from Kraft. 

It ended up being a simple recipe and oh, so tasty.  C’s cousin’s little boy who is one and a half years old kept sneaking a bite while the adults were playing a game.  Needless to say, there wasn’t much left at the end of the night and that’s exactly how I like it.

Praline Cheesecake

66 Nilla wafers, divided

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

25 Kraft caramels

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Completely crush 50 of the Nilla wafers.  Mix the crushed cookies with 1/4 cup sugar and butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Stand the remaining wafers around the edge of the pan, pressing gently into the crust.


Beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sour cream and vanilla.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each until just blended.  Pour the batter over the crust.


Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is almost set.(I baked mine for 55 because my oven cooks a little slow and I was scared the center wasn’t done.)  Run a small knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool before removing the outer ring of the pan.  Refrigerate for 4 hours.

When you are ready to serve the cake, microwave the caramels and milk on high for 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted.  It took about 1 1/2 minutes for mine.  Cool slightly then pour over the cheesecake and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.


Praline Cheesecake

This finishes up my Sweet Treat month here at Picture Perfect Cooking, but I am sure there will be plenty more to come in the future.

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Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I LOVE chocolate and I think caramel is pretty tasty, too.  My MIL subscribes to a magazine called “Midwest Living”, which is a lot like Southern Living just about the Midwest.  This awesome looking cake was featured in one of these books and I knew I had to make it as soon as possible. 

I think I have found my new favorite cake recipe because this is one of the best things that I have ever put in my mouth.  I am not a coffee fan.  Love the smell, hate the taste, so I have never been brave enough to try a chocolate cake recipe with brewed coffee as an ingredient.  Coffee is included in this cake and now I know why so many recipes to include it.  There wasn’t a strong coffee flavor, and the cake was so moist from it.  This would make an awesome birthday cake or even a groom’s cake.  It is that good!

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see note)

2/3 cup cooking oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + a little extra for dusting the pans

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Frosting (see recipe)

1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted

3/4 cup purchased caramel ice cream topping


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare three 9” cake pans by spraying with non-stick spray and dusting with extra cocoa powder.  Then line them with wax paper circle.  In a small bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk and cooking oil.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, beating with an electric mixer until combined. Gradually beat in hot coffee. Pour batter into prepared pans; spread evenly. Layers will appear thin.




Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pans then turn the cake layers out of the pans to cool completely.


Chocolate Frosting

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

6 tablespoons butter

12 ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces

1 – 2 teaspoons freshly brewed hot coffee

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and milk. Add butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add semisweet chocolate pieces. Using a wire whisk, mix until smooth. If frosting is too thick or grainy, stir in coffee.



Now here comes the fun part…

Place 1 cake layer, top-side down, onto a serving plate. Using an icing spatula or wide knife, frost the top of this layer with one-third of the frosting, pushing it out slightly from edges to make ripple or petal effect. Arrange one-third of the pecans on top and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the ice cream topping. Top with the second layer, top-side down. Repeat with frosting, pecans and caramel topping. Top with the third layer, right side up. Repeat with remaining frosting, pecans and caramel topping.  Chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.


Just look at all that decadence.  Mmmmm…wish I had a piece right now.

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This recipe was made specially for my dad.  This is his favorite all-time ice cream from a certain chain store and he asked me to try to duplicate it at home.  I think it turned out to be a huge success!  The praline pecans are wonderful by themselves and I had to mentally smack my hand to keep from eating too many.  The recipe for them (which is a Paula Deen recipe) makes enough for two batches of ice cream.

I started with my basic dairy-free vanilla ice cream recipe and added in the praline pecans while it was processing.  After that, it is so easy to layer the ice cream with caramel ice cream topping to make the final product.  Yes, it would probably be even better with homemade caramel sauce, but I went the easier route and it was still yummy.

For the praline pecans:

2 cups whole pecans

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons heavy cream

For the dairy free vanilla ice cream:

1 14oz. can full-fat coconut milk

1 1/4 cups soymilk or other nondairy milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar (or agave syrup-I just bought some and will try this, too.  The agave syrup lowers the glycemic index which makes it better for diabetics.)

2 tbsp. real vanilla extract

1 jar of caramel ice cream topping


For the praline pecans:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine pecans, brown sugar and heavy cream. Spread into a square baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes, or until coating is dry, and slightly crystallized, stirring every 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven to cool and stir once more.




For the ice cream:

Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 

Turn on the ice cream maker and pour the vanilla base into it.  Process for 20 minutes and add the praline pecans in the last 5 minutes. In a lidded freezer safe container, spread a layer of the ice cream.  Next, pour a thin layer of the caramel topping over the ice cream and repeat, starting and ending with the ice cream.  Freeze until hard, 2-3 hours.  Enjoy!!!




Please join over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday to see this and other delicious recipes.

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I love chocolate as many of you who read this blog should be able to tell, but I also love caramel and pecans, too.  Well, guess what?  This brownie recipe combines all of those into one ooey-gooey piece of heaven.  I found this in the Fall 2010 edition of Kraft Food and Family magazine, but it got pushed back in my recipe drawer and I had not made it. 

Let me tell you, it was worth the wait!  If you have a chocolate lover in your household, please make these for them.  You will be their new favorite person!

I did make a couple of little changes to the original, one because I had to and one because I wanted to.  I was almost out of white sugar (oops), so I had to substitute light brown sugar for most of the white.  I don’t think it made any difference at all.  I also chopped my pecans instead of using the whole pecan halves.  I think you get more crunch and flavor that way.  I am listing the original recipe below.

4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate

3/4 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

1 pkg. (14 oz.) caramels

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 cups pecans, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13×9” baking pan with aluminum foil and allow the ends of the foil to hang over the pan.  Spray the foil with non-stick spray.  Microwave the chocolate and butter on high for 2 minutes or until butter is melted.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.


Add sugar and eggs.  Mix well.  Stir in flour until well blended.  Spread half of the batter in the pan and bake for 25 minutes.

About 20 minutes into the baking process, microwave the caramels and whipping cream on high for 2 minutes or until caramels begin to melt.  Stir until completely melted.  (I had to put mine back in the microwave for about another minute to get the caramels melted.)  Stir in 1 cup of nuts.


Spread the caramel mixture over the brownie layer and cover with the remaining brownie batter.  Some caramel will show through.  Sprinkle with remaining nuts and bake for 30 more minutes.  Let cool completely and cut into small pieces.  A little bit of this brownie goes a long way!





Please join me over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for this recipe and many yummy others!  She even spotlighted little old me for my BBQ ribs last week.  Thanks, Miz Helen!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Scharffen Berger.

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