Mmmm….Chocolate Caramel Walnut Bars

Not surprisingly, I don’t have a lot of processed food in the house. I generally make things from scratch. And this week I was really craving something sweet and there was not a cookie or candy bar in sight.  Luckily, I keep a LOT of ingredients in the house. There are always chocolate chips, nuts and raw coconut flakes in the cupboard/refrigerator.

I didn’t have the time to make cookies, so these bars were born.

Dark Chocolate-Caramel-Walnut Bars

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 8 oz 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips
  • 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz of caramel chips
  • shredded or flaked coconut (I use raw, unsweetened)

8×8 baking dish, bowl

Beat butter and sugar until well incorporated. Then add egg and beat until fluffy. Add baking soda, salt, vanilla and flour.

Lightly grease bottom of the baking dish. Add batter and spread evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes. Remove and add chopped walnuts, caramel chips and then chocolate chips on top.

Return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove and use an offset spatula to spread melted chips over the top of the bars. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars.


I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe – but there is a good reason for that – I’ve been doing recipe blogging for TEN (!!) years. I’ve just run out of ideas, LOL. I do use my blog as my own personal cookbook, so it will always exist.

But if you guys don’t mind reruns, I’m happy to post recipes again – just realize they are going to be from my “archives” and only the occasional fresh, new items. I do test out new ideas, I’ve just lost a lot of enthusiasm for documenting it.

Otherwise, here’s an open thread.








Late Night Open Thread: Mmm, Grilled Cheese…

We all have our late-night fantasies of a different life…

“Get your wallet out, but don’t get your hopes up.”








Amazeballs Japanese Noodles w/secret ingredient

 

Folks,

A few weeks back, I posted about Japanese mayonnaise and mentioned some noodles that used it for an amazing and unique sauce. At least one reader asked for more details, so here they are: Ippei-chan Yakisoba Japanese Style Noodles. They are so damned good, and yes, I try to make this 4 servings, so it only ends up being 20% of my daily sodium allowance.

I love a few different dried noodles and I’ll post about them sometime, and I’m sure I’ll want to also post on ramen and similar noodle soups. I love the fact that I can take this package of noodles, and with either a microwave, immersion heater, or camp fire/stove, I can easily have an amazing side dish. It can make a crappy motel room with reheated fast food much more welcoming, let me tell you. On the other hand, I try to limit such high-sodium foods and limit my palm oil consumption, so I enjoy just a few such noodles or soups a year, not a few a month like when I was younger. Age, it changes us!

 

Open thread – on noodles or anything else.








Foreign Affairs Open Thread: Australian Election Results


 
An Aussie commentor brought the election to my attention yesterday, so here is the Guardian‘s liveblog of the incoming results.

Also — and I say this with genuine admiration, not to mention drool — if ‘this is how the sausages are made’ culinary treats were to become an American institution, there would be a lot more interest from our notoriously lackadaisical voters!








A Late Evening Snack: Mother’s Day Baking

I did some baking for the family’s Mother’s Day brunch. My brother specifically requested a key lime pie. I also made a Torta de Santiago. Torta de Santiago, sometimes Tarta de Santiago, is a regional dessert from Gailicia, Spain (torta is Galician, while tarta is Spanish) and was created in the Middle Ages for pilgrims. Which helps to explain its name: Saint James’ cake. It is an almond flour cake and there are several variations. Because I don’t eat refined carbohydrates in any significant quantities, I went with an almond flour cake recipe that is only sweetened with honey, not refined sugar. And yes, I know that honey is still a refined carbohydrate. I also know it doesn’t mess up my system the way refined sugar does. Torta de Santiago get lemon zest, but I decided to go with orange zest. And I didn’t add brandy or any of the other alcohol that can be found in some torta de Santiago recipes. The recipe I used can be found here. The only addition I made is the orange zest. It is very easy to make. One other note: torta de Santiago are traditionally finished with powder sugar that is applied over a stylized cross stencil. I went with fresh blueberries instead. Here’s another picture.

One other important note: the first time I made this cake I used a spring form pan. It came out with nice even sides and a nice even top. This time I just used a silicone cake pan and, as you can see, the sides are slightly rounded and the top is not even. I have learned my lesson.

On to the key lime pie!

The key lime pie is the same recipe that I posted here back in February 2016.

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted

2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk

1 cup key lime or regular lime juice*

2 whole eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, and slices of key lime or key lime peel.

I use the Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice.

Open thread!