Your entire life depends on whether or not you foil and grease the pan you’re using to make this liquid gold/drug of a dessert. Don’t learn the hard way. Also, if you’re as impatient as me when it comes to waiting, the bark a few minutes fresh from the oven is equally good spooned over ice cream as it is when it’s solidified in bark form.
Make the Bark:
20-30 saltine crackers
2 sticks of salted butter (1 cup)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup of whole almonds, roughly chopped
Line a baking pan with foil and grease it. Cover the bottom of the pan with saltines and sprinkle a handful of almonds over the crackers.
In a small saucepan, stir together the butter and sugar until boiling. Reduce the heat and let the toffee simmer for a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Once it’s thickened, stir in the rest of the almonds and pour the mixture over the saltines.
Let the bark cool before cutting, or just wait a few minutes and spoon the toffee over ice cream.
(Also referred to as “please end my suffering” bars and “I cried harder eating these than I did watching Bridge to Terabithia” bars.)
Whenever I’m on Pinterest, like the white mom I am, I see beautiful things. There’s always photos of promising recipes and DIY ideas, and I always pin stuff hoping one day I’ll get around to recreating all the mouthwatering projects I come across. This morning, since it actually is, in fact, a rainy day, I decided to turn the tables a bit and not let gloomy day laziness get the best of me:)
Whilst scrolling through the food tag on my pinterest, (still not positive how the site works in general btw), I was reminded of a pin I pinned a phile pack. (That sounded so much funnier in my head I’m so sorry..) There was a recipe for “carmelitas” with a short description, “Chocolate and caramel sandwiched in an oatmeal cookie crust. No mixer needed!” Almost immediately, with only 12 words to guide me, I knew exactly what had to be done.
Make them as soon as you can. You will cry yourself to sleep, trust me.
Make the Carmelitas
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 glass pan.
In a small saucepan, heat white sugar and 5 tablespoons of water and swirl over medium heat until golden. Add 1/2 stick of butter and heavy cream, stir until smooth. Whisk in flour and baking powder, then set aside.
Melt butter until brown in another saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add rolled oats and stir until combined. Press the mixture into the pan in an even layer, then bake for 10 minutes.
Pour caramel into oat crust and add a layer of chocolate chips. Sprinkle more oats on top, then bake until golden for about 15 minutes. Let sit for a few hours before cutting into squares!
For me, ice cream is a year-round commitment. To the people who stop eating ice cream in the winter: you are weak and natural selection is coming for you. However, it does feel slightly wrong to be cuddled next to the fire with a bowl of lemon sorbet. So instead of stopping ice cream consumption altogether because it feels “wrong,” I thought it would be best to just adjust the flavor so it feels more winter-y.
Here’s my recipe for rosemary (infused) caramel ice cream. It’s almost like warm ice cream because of the flavor (don’t actually eat it warm). This recipe is for one pint, but I won’t judge you if you double/triple/quadruple the serving size. Enjoy!
Make the ice cream
6-8 sprigs rosemary
3 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
2 c heavy cream
In a small saucepan, heat milk until it begins to bubble at the edges. Add rosemary and let simmer for a minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
In a saucepan, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture can coat a wooden spoon.
Stir in caramel. Chill the mixture until cold (1-2 hours).
Add heavy cream and churn in an ice cream maker. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.
Caramel sauce: dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 5 tbsp of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until the caramel is amber. Remove from heat and add 1/3 cup cold butter. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Refrigerate until cool.
This cake needs no introduction. It’s all in the title. However, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with how this turned out; the sponge is moist and came out of the pan crack and crumble free, the frosting was so amazing that I found myself eating the extra right from the bowl, and who doesn’t love a creamy sepia-tone dessert after a long week? I cut the recipe in half and made a 2-layer, but the recipe below is a 4-layer. Enjoy!
Though I didn’t do it this time, you can garnish the cake with some coarse fleur de sel salt, or even a drizzle of ganache or caramel sauce.
Make the cake:
2 sticks of butter (8 oz, softened)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 cups white sugar
4 cups flour
2 cups milk
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350, butter & flour 4 8-inch cake pans.
In a kitchen-aid, beat the butter for about 1 minute, then add the white & brown sugar and beat until it’s fluffy. (Don’t use the whisk attachment!) Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping the bowl occasionally. Then add the flour and milk.
In another bowl stir the vinegar and baking soda, then add to the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes.
Tip: Rotate the pans half-way through the baking time.
Make the fluffy caramel frosting:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 sticks of butter, divided
2 bars of cream cheese (16 oz, softened)
2/3 heavy cream
dash of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
In a saucepan, whisk 1 stick butter and sugar on medium heat until combined and boiling. Let the mixture boil for a few seconds, then remove from heat and stir in the cream.
In the kitchen aid, beat the rest of the butter until creamy and beat in the cream cheese. Add the salt, then scrape the bowl.
Turn the mixer on slow and gradually pour in the cooled caramel. Once combined, add the powdered sugar.
Frost the cake when all 4 rounds are cool. Level them by slicing off the rounded tops, and use an off-set spatula to cover each layer’s top before moving onto the next. Enjoy! <3, B
(This cake was inspired by Antique Caramel Cake from Baked Elements)