Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Bars

Caramel and Chocolate Pecan Bars
Addictive you won’t be able to stop at one.
Serves: 36 bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • For the Caramel
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. To make the crust:
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. Press onto bottom of ungreased 9″x 13″x 2" baking pan.
  4. Place pecans evenly over top of crust.
  5. To make the topping:
  6. Preheat oven to 350°.
  7. Combine butter and brown sugar in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Continue stirring and allow mixture to boil for 1 minute. Pour evenly over crust and pecans.
  8. Bake 18-22 minutes, until caramel layer is bubbly. Be sure not to overbake.
  9. Remove from oven.
  10. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to melt slightly. Swirl chocolate chips over the crust. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
For variety add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of vanilla to the crust . To lessen the calories you could substitute Splenda brown sugar and sugar free chocolate.


Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Carrot Cake Cheesecake
A cheesecake and carrot cake that are baked simultaneously in the same pan what could be better.
  • Cheesecake:
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Carrot cake:
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ lb carrots, finely grated in food processor
  • Cream cheese frosting:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. sour cream
  • Topping
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your chosen springform pans with cooking spray (I did 1 6" + 6 mini, but you could also do 1 9" or 10" pan).
  2. For the cheesecake, in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat until just incorporated. Transfer batter into another bowl, set aside, and clean your mixer bowl.
  3. For the carrot cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth and light, about 2 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Fold in the carrots by hand with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.
  4. Spread half of the carrot cake batter into the bottom of your prepared pan(s). Then dollop half of the cheesecake batter on top of the carrot cake layer in large spoonful’s. You don't need to swirl them together or anything, just keep it dolloped. Then dollop the rest of the carrot cake batter on top of that layer, and finish with the cheesecake on top. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top cheesecake layer out and tap the pan(s) on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
  5. Bake the mini cheesecakes for about 30 minutes, and the 6" or 9" pan for 60-70 minutes. If the top starts to brown, tent the top with foil during the last 20-30 minutes of baking. The cheesecake will probably crack due to the carrot cake inside, but that's why we have the cream cheese frosting - no worries. Careful not to overbake the cake - the top center part of the cheesecake should still be slightly soft and jiggly when you take it out.
  6. Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. While it cools, make the frosting by first combining the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar slowly and beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat again until well mixed. Toast the coconut flakes in a dry pan if you're using them!
  7. When the cheesecake is completely cool, spread the frosting evenly on top and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  8. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving (minimum of 3 hours, maximum of 2 days in advance).
You may not get distinct layers in the cake as the carrot cake part tends to be on the bottom. With the cupcakes layers can be seen.
You can lighten up the calories by using no fat sour cream and light low fat cream cheese. Sugar can be replaced by artificial sugar.

carrot cake cheesecake

Gin and Maple Macerated Berries


Gin and Maple Macerated Berries
In this fruit salad, sugar, lime, and gin soften and preserve berries while extracting their natural juices to become a syrupy sauce.
Serves: 4½ cup servings
  • 1 pound mixed berries (such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons gin
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar **
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  1. Hull and slice strawberries, if using; place in a medium bowl.
  2. Slicing bigger berries speeds up ¬maceration**--liquids will release faster.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes or until mixture is syrupy, gently stirring occasionally. Sugar, lime, and gin soften and preserve the berries while extracting their natural juices to become a syrupy sauce.
  4. If desired, refrigerate and continue to macerate for up to 4 hours. Delicate raspberries and strawberries can over soften, so macerate them only a few hours. Thick-skinned berries like blueberries can go overnight.
**Turbinado Sugar is a minimally processed sugar that is light brown in color. This sugar retains much of the natural molasses found in sugarcane juice. Can be substituted with light brown sugar, raw sugar, and Demerara sugar.
**Maceration is softening or breaking into pieces using a liquid. Raw, dried or reserved fruit or vegetables are soaked in a liquid to soften the food and/or absorb the flavor of the liquid into the food. In the case of fresh fruit, particularly soft fruit such as strawberries and raspberries, they are often just sprinkled with sugar, (and sometimes a little salt) then left to sit and release their own juices. This process makes the food more flavorful and easier to chew and digest.

This salad is also good using only one type of berry.

Coke-Cola Cherry Pineapple Jello Salad

Coke-Cola Cherry Pineapple Jello Salad
This is the Old Fashion & Amazing Coca-Cola Salad. The cherries and cola flavor put this salad over the top. While the added sparkle (air bubbles) that the coke will add to this salad will make it even more of a standout.
Serves: 8
  • 1 (20 Oz) can of crushed pineapple, drained, but juices reserved
  • 1 (14.5 Oz) can of sweet Bing cherries or dark sweet cherries, drained, but syrup reserved
  • 2 (3 Oz) or 1 (6 Oz) package(s) cherry flavored Jell-O
  • 1 can of Coca-Cola (or diet Coca-Cola) chilled
  • Topping
  • 1 (8 Oz) package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of thawed Cool Whip or whipped cream
  1. Drain the cherry syrup and pineapple juices into a saucepan. Set the fruit aside in the refrigerator to chill. Bring fruit juices to a boil, remove from heat and mix in the Jell-O powder until fully dissolved. Put in a 4 cup measuring cup and stir in cola to make 4 cups of liquid about a can of cola. You will need 4 cups of gelatin liquid so you may need to add additional liquid. You can use more coke or else fruit juice or even water to make up the difference. Place the gelatin mixture in a mold and stir in the pineapple, cherries, Allow to fully set for at least 3 to 5 hours or longer - do not stir!
  2. For the topping, cream together the cream cheese and sugar; stir in the Cool Whip or whipped cream, until well combined. Use as a topping for salad.
  3. To serve top with a small dollop of the cream cheese topping.
You must use sweet cherries for this recipe.
Chill the fruit cans in advance if you have time - it will help the gelatin to set.
Do not use fresh pineapple as the enzymes in the fresh pineapple will prevent the gelatin from setting. In Canned pineapple the enzymes will have been removed.

To increase this salad, just keep the ratio of 4 cups of liquid for every large package of Jell-O you use, or 2 cups per small Jell-O package.

To lower the calorie fruit in unsweetened juice, diet cola, low fat cream cheese, Light Cool Whip and sugar substitute can be used.


Bailey’s Irish Crème Anglaise

Bailey’s Irish Crème Anglaise
Rich and creamy crème Anglaise is perfect drizzled over fresh fruit, pound cake, or other desserts
Serves: 21/2 cups
  • ¼ cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges
  2. While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour ½ cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Add the Bailey’s half way through the reduction. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Great with Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake


Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake with Irish Cream Anglaise

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake with Irish Cream Anglaise
An awesomely moist gingerbread cake topped with caramelized pears and accompanied with Irish Cream Anglaise makes this cake exceptionally tasty,
  • Pears
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 medium Bartlett Pears peeled and thinly sliced
  • Cake
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ Cup molasses
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  1. Pears
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Spread over bottom of a greased 9 inch round baking pan. Arrange pears over top.
  3. Cake
  4. Mix the milk and vinegar; let stand 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, molasses, melted butter and milk mixture until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt and cloves. Gradually beat into molasses mixture. Spoon carefully over pears.
  5. Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with Bailey’s Irish Crème Anglaise Sauce



How to make super easy sugar cookie bowls.

 Quick and easy sugar cookie bowls.

 Sugar Cookie Bowls

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark
These cool and refreshing low calorie treats are a great, healthy snack. Surprisingly full of nutrient power packed with calcium, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.
Serves: 12 pieces
  • 2 c. plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ c. honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)
  • 2 c. blueberries, washed and stray stems removed
  1. In medium sized bowl, stir together the yogurt, honey and vanilla.
  2. Gently stir in the blueberries and mix until all combined.
  3. In a parchment lined 9 x 13 pan, pour in the yogurt mixture and spread out evenly making sure blueberries are evenly distributed.
  4. Freeze overnight and cut into desired serving size
**If you have other flavored yogurt on hand, omit the honey and vanilla and just mix the yogurt and blueberries together instead.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece 38 g Calories: 47 Fat: 0 Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 11.7 g Sugar: 10.5 g Sodium: 4 mg Fiber: .7 g Protein: .4 g Cholesterol: 0


Frozen Chocolate Mint Dessert (Weight Watchers)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Frozen Chocolate Mint Dessert (Weight Watchers)
Keep a stash of these low calorie chocolate-mint treats in your freezer for a sweet summer indulgence
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 oz. Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers, or other brand (about 5 cookies)
  • ¼ tsp mint extract
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 7 oz. fat free whipped topping, about 1 whole aerosol can
  • ¼ cup(s) fat free skim milk
  • 41 gm York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties, (3 patties, chopped into pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 6 Tbsp. whipped topping light or fat free, vanilla or chocolate
  1. Line six muffin holes with foil muffin liners.
  2. In a blender, combine wafers, extract, cocoa, fat-free whipped topping and milk; blend until completely combined. Divide mixture among prepared muffin liners; freeze for 2 hours or more.
  3. Just before serving, top each with ⅙ of mint patties, 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup and a tablespoon of whipped topping. Yields 1 mint dessert per serving.
This easy chocolate dessert can be made in several flavours. For a pure chocolate treat, replace the mint extract with chocolate or vanilla extract and swap the peppermint patty for an ounce of mini chocolate chips.

Weight Watchers PointsPlusValue 3

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake
A classic Southern cake full of banana, pineapple, and pecans.
Serves: 12 to 16
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • CAKE
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 very ripe large bananas, peeled and mashed (2 cups)
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 20 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups (20 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 20 ounces cream cheese, chilled and cut into 20 equal pieces
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 light-colored 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. Drain pineapple in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, pressing to remove juice. Pour juice into small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to ⅓ cup, about 5 minutes; set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in bowl. Whisk sugar and eggs together in separate large bowl; whisk in oil. Stir in bananas, pecans, vanilla, drained pineapple, and reduced pineapple juice. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake until dark golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack, about 2 hours.
  4. FOR THE FROSTING: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together on low speed until smooth; continue to mix for 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-low, add cream cheese 1 piece at a time, and mix until smooth; continue to mix for 2 minutes.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 2 cups frosting evenly over top, right to edge of cake. Top with second cake layer, press lightly to adhere, then spread 2 cups frosting evenly over top. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides of cake. To smooth frosting, run edge of offset spatula around cake sides and over top. Sprinkle top of cake with pecans. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before serving.
Cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days
Toast a total of 2 cups of pecans to divide between the cake and the frosting.
The cake will slice more cleanly if you refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.
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