Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Caramel- Filled Cookies

We Came across these amazing morsels and they are beyond decadent!

Here is the blog where I found the recipe: Hayley Parker, The Domestic Rebel: http://thedomesticrebel.com/2012/12/17/deep-dish-chocolate-chip-caramel-filled-cookies/

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 12

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies baked deep-dish style and stuffed with gooey caramel candy.

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all- purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips

12 Ghiradelli Caramel Squares, unwrapped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a muffin pan or deep dish cookie pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, cornstarch and salt and set aside. Meanwhile in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy, about a minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla to combine.

Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Once dough has come together, stir the chocolate chips in by hand with a wooden spoon.

Drop a tablespoonful full of dough into the bottom of each cavity. Gently press it to cover the bottom of each cavity. Top with an unwrapped caramel chocolate square. Top the candy with an additional tablespoonful of dough and gently press the top of the dough ball to cover and enclose the candy.

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the centers are set and the edges are golden and lightly crisped. Allow the cookies to cool in the pan about 5 minutes before gently removing to wire racks to cool completely. You can loosen them from the pan very carefully with a butter knife.

**note** you can also make this recipe without a deep dish cookie pan- just drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough 2-3” apart on a greased or silicone-lined cookie sheet.

I hope you enjoy making these and eating them as much as we do! Happy Baking Everyone! Thanks for stopping by today… I will be on again soon!

Separation Anxiety?

Recently I was given an opportunity to pick up some hours with my previous employer. Some background on this story, about three weeks ago, I came across a form I needed to have signed by the human resources department and so I needed to stop by the office. When I stopped in one afternoon, my former supervisor explained her need for extra help and she asked me to consider coming back to help given my experience in the field and with the company. It was really wonderful to see familiar faces and touch base with everyone I have not seen over the last two and a half years.

We have been blessed because I have the opportunity to stay home with Emie and take care of her during the day. The option we have been given is definitely rare and I realize we are in the minority. Many homes have both parents working outside the home. I mentioned this opportunity to pick up a few hours of work outside the home with Craig. Craig is easy, he just wants me to be happy, and he wants what would be ultimately best for Emie. We knew having Mom with her, would be the next best thing for Emie and it would be good to help where it is needed.

Since my mom has Mondays off, I opted to agree to working one day a week to help the company. Just to give you a little more insight, this job is near and dear to my heart. It is in the medical field and the icing on the cake; it is cardiology- another passion of mine. In so many ways, not only are my former co-workers and physicians like extended family, but so many patients are too. I have never found more happiness in life other than serving Jesus and being a Mommy, than helping others and brightening someone’s day.

This week I had my first day back to work. I was nervous, of course, and when I woke up in the morning I was finding it difficult to leave Emelie. I know 8 hours is a VERY short time frame. This was the first time in two and a half years I was leaving Emie. I was blessed she woke up before I left and I was able to give her a hug and kiss before I left for the day. Can you guess where this went? Yes, I cried! This is not a new trend for me, but it broke my heart to leave her. She was in good hands. Her Janou is really the only person I can ultimately trust Emie with and know she will be happy. My mom was thrilled! She was looking forward to French lessons, playtime and baking with Emie. Leaving the house was the hardest, but the excitement on Emie’s face when I came home at the end of the day was best! She was able to tell me all about her day and it made our evening even more wonderful. We could cuddle and laugh together. I know some separation is good, and it is ultimately inevitable as she grows up.

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I believe this opportunity is going to bless our family and gives me a new outlet to witness to people and be the salt and light in the world I know we are all called to be. I am happy I can help financially support the family, not only with the Bowtique, but by picking up a few extra shifts at work too. It is a good environment with rich opportunities around me.

I just wanted to share this story with you. What was it like when you have left your child for the first time? Share your stories with me. Thank you for coming by and reading today. I always look forward to hearing what feedback you give me. Make today a blessed day!

London Fog Shortbread Cookies

I stumbled across this recipe recently on Pinterest and I knew when I saw the recipe, it was a MUST MAKE! Here is the link to the website where I found it:

http://www.oleanderandpalm.com/2012/08/london-fog-shortbread.html?spref=fb

I saw some interesting alternatives to this recipe when I read others’ comments and I am looking forward to trying them! For instance, adding some lavender to the cookie dough. I adore lavender and baking with it has dual wonders- the smell and taste! I encourage you to try these and let me know what you think!

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London Fog Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 3/4 cup flour, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 vanilla bean split and scraped or 1Tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 Tablespoons Earl Grey Tea (about 3 tea bags)

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla, vanilla bean, and the tea. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough to a little less then 1/4″ on a well-floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Chill the cut cookies for at least 20 minutes before baking. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until the edges are just barely brown. Cool on wire racks.

Per mentioned on the website, I personally have not tried it, they were too good not to eat nearly all of them in one weekend… BUT… These cookies freeze well in an air tight container.

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I hope you are making today a fabulous day! I invite you to make a pot of delicious tea and make these amazing cookies!

Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY BAKING!!

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Remembering “Mayberry”

My family and I are fortunate to live in a primarily retired neighborhood. It’s great, because many of the residents have known me since I was three years old when my Mom bought this house. I have grown up with these people and they are definitely an extended family to say the least. Recently, we have had a significant increase in crimes specifically on our street. These have been burglaries that have occurred during the day and some even have occurred when the resident is home. It is definitely concerning and puts one on “high alert” with this form of activity. My main priority, of course, is the safety of my little Emie. Nothing is more important than her safety. With all of the recent activity, I feel as though my feelings have changed significantly merely because my dad is no longer here to guard and protect the family. My dad was a veteran and a retired police officer, so I can say with certainty, he always made me feel safe and secure in all circumstances. I know, Craig is my husband, the “Man of the house,” but he is NOT DAD! The man works on computers and works in healthcare. He is the complete opposite of my dad. Not a character flaw, by any means, but still… it’s just not the same. Does anyone else feel a sense of security only your dad can provide? Thinking back to my youth and childhood growing up here with my sister, we would always be outside. There were no computers, gadgets, iphones/ipads and very little television. You couldn’t pay us to come inside when the weather was nice. We played in the afternoon, playing Frisbee, would go bike riding around the neighborhood and really enjoyed exploring and having grand adventures in the condo community behind our street. The community is somewhat small, but has neat steps to ride our bikes down and we would always play pretend. When Kellie and I were kids, there were no concerns or a care in the world! It was all about fun and games and not worrying about crimes and what “might” happen. It makes me sad to think about the world Emelie is growing up in and how much things have changed over the last 25-30 years. It’s times like this to reflect on one of my favorite Psalms, of which I was recently reminded can help in times of fear. Please note, when I quote scripture, I specifically am OLD SCHOOL! I love my KJV, and wouldn’t have any other version 🙂

“ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, there will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” Psalms 91

Thank you for stopping by today and reading. Here is another memory verse I hold in my heart always.

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Make the rest of today a blessed day! I will be posting again soon. I have some great things to share with you soon!