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Helllllllooooo cookie-loving friends! Are you ready to get your bake on? It’s my favorite time of the year and my kitchen looks like an F5 tornado ripped through it leaving a wake of flower, butter and sprinkles. My Kitchen-Aid has cranked out more dough than I ever imagined it could (I’m still going 13 years strong on this motor!) and we’re constantly finding bits of hardened dough stuck to random cabinets and nearby appliances.
All in all, it’s good stuff.
I’ve got a beautiful, diverse and TASTY list for you this year. I made sure to throw in a couple “shortcut” or “easy” cookies because that’s what many of you requested last year. But mostly you’ll find the homemade, melt-in-your mouth versions that beg to become family favorites each and every year.
Are you ready? (I feel like a parent at Christmas, waiting to give her kiddos the big gift she’s be working on ALL YEAR!)
This first cookie fulfills the "shortcut" requirement you asked for last year. Lindsay, please give us at least one recipe that doesn't have to be 'from scratch'. Something we can whip up, say, the day of a holiday party and not be super stressed about it.
10-4 buddy. I heard you loud and clear. Not only do I have a shortcut recipe for you, but I promise no one will ever know you started with packaged cookie dough. Seriously, these are divine. (Probably one of my favorites of the series.) The salty sweet combo is a nice change of pace from all the other cookies on your holiday table.
Bonus: these are incredibly easy and very pretty to look at. Bakery-worthy. Good stuff.
Shortcut Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars
Before serving, I cut the outside perimeter cookie crust off – just a teeny-tiny bit on each side. The bars look better and aren't too crunchy on the sides.
1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping (I like Hershey's)
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup broken pretzel pieces
Heat oven to 350°F. Let dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. (These will be used as "handles" to remove bars later.) Spray foil with cooking spray.
In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add 1/4 cup of the flour; mix with spoon or hands until well blended. Break up three-fourths of the dough in pan; press evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until starting to firm and get a tiny bit golden around very edges. (It will NOT look done.) Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir remaining 2 tablespoons flour and the caramel topping. Pour over crust in pan; carefully spread evenly. Sprinkle salt and 1/4 cup of the pretzel pieces over caramel.
In small bowl, mix remaining dough and remaining pretzels until well blended. Crumble over bars in pan.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Cool 1 hour.
Remove bars from pan using foil "handles." Cut as desired (see my note above about trimming the sides).
Makes 12 bars (or 16 minis).
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.