Posts Tagged ‘Caramel’

I am sooo excited to share this recipe with you guys!!  Not only is it AMAZING but it’s a family recipe!  We make it every year for the holidays, a family tradition for sure.  I always remember my mom making it once the holiday season was in full swing.  She would have a bowl with her morning coffee and perhaps a handful after dinner.  About 5 or so years ago I started making it as well because there was no way I could wait until Christmas week to partake.  There are many ways I follow in my mom’s footsteps and this is no exception.  Piping hot coffee in one hand, small bowl of caramel party mix in the other.  Life is good!

This caramely mix has made an appearance at numerous holiday parties and been given as countless homemade gifts.  It’s always a hit!!  I like to think the obsession goes somewhat like this for a newbie:  “Caramel Party Mix…hmm…sounds pretty good.  First few pieces are consumed, this stuff is GOOD!  Another few pieces maybe even a handful later, what is this??  It’s so addicting!  Email is composed and the recipe is requested!”  2 years ago I made it for some co-workers and got a request from them the next year to have another bag, and if I could make that bag bigger than last year that would be great!

Enough talking it up….what does it taste like?!?  Well……it’s sweet and caramely and crunchy and addicting!!!  Soo addicting!  Don’t be turned away by the hour baking time.  It’s well worth the every -15-minute stirring process.  If you have some left over cereal from making salty party mix, give this one a try!  You will be hooked.  Coffee drinker?  Start your morning off right and add this to your pre-breakfast roundup.  It’s especially yummy sitting in front of a fire on a crisp winter morning.   Not that it changes the taste, but it creates a relaxing picture, doesn’t it??  I hope you enjoy this sweet treat as much as we do!!

(Printable Recipe)

Caramel Party Mix


  • 10 cups cereal (cereal recommendations listed below)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Cereal Recommendations
  • 2 cups rice chex
  • 2 cups corn chex
  • 2 cups bugels
  • 1 cup kix cereal
  • 1 cup cheerios
  • 1 overflowing cup of pretzels
  • 1 cup peanuts OR you can do 1/2 peanuts 1/2 cashews


1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Place cereal in a large foil pan.  Set aside.

2.  In a large saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, light corn syrup and vanilla extract over medium-low heat.  Stir frequently until butter is melted and mixture is combined.  Allow mixture to come to a rolling boil, allow to boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and add baking soda.  Stir quickly to combine, the mixture will expand which is what you want.  Pour caramel mixture over cereal.  Stir cereal and caramel until well combined.

3.  Bake  for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.



  • I use a turkey roaster pan to make the party mix in.  You can find foil ones at Wal-Mart for about $1.  The nice thing about the foil pans, they are disposable.  It looks similar to this. 
  • While cooling, stir occasionally to make sure mix doesn’t stick to pan.  
  • Sample Often!  

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Is there anything better than a soft and chewy cookie??  Well I guess if you don’t like soft and chewy cookies, than yes there is.  But for me, a slightly crisp edge and a melt in your mouth middle cannot be resisted.  Nor should it be.  I may have even stolen 1 or 2 extra from the jar and ventured into another room just so I could eat in peace and get lost in cookie heaven.  I may also do that so I don’t get judged by the husband or the dog.  Isn’t it weird how dogs can give you that look like YOU are the one that’s busted??  How do they do that??

You know what IS better than a soft and chewy cookie?  A soft, chewy, chocolaty, toffee, rolo stuffed cookie!  Oh my dear heavens.  The melted butter in this recipe amps up the toffee flavor which is a perfect combo with the melted caramel center.  Let’s not forget about those dark chocolate chips that bring the cookie full circle.  Get it?  Full circle? You know because a cookie is a circle.  Yes….I do make corny jokes like that all the time.  Unfortunately what you don’t get to see is me laughing at myself in an awkward giggle that usually results in some sort of snorting.  Beautiful picture I am painting here.

I’ve been on a toffee kick the past few months.  I can’t stop myself.  What is your favorite candy bar/mix-in to use?

(Printable Recipe)

Rolo Stuffed Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated


  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits
  • 12-16 Rolos

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.  Set aside.

3.  In a 10-inch skillet, melt 10 tbsp butter over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 1-3 minutes.  Using a heatproof spatula, pour melted butter into a large heatproof bowl.  Add remaining 4 tbsp butter into hot butter and stir until completely melted.

4.  Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla to bowl with melted butter.  Whisk until fully combined.  Add egg and egg yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for another 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is smooth, thick, and shiny.

5.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture just until combined.  Add chocolate chips and toffee bits.  Place dough in fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

6.  Measure out about 2 tbsp of dough.  Place 1 Rolo in center of dough and then cover with 1 tbsp of dough.  Roll into a ball.  Place on cookie sheet.

7.  Bake 1 tray of cookies at a time until edges are golden brown and set and middle is still soft, about 9-12 minutes.  Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.


  • Although the recipe doesn’t say to put the batter in the fridge before baking, I have found that it produces a thicker cookie if chilled.
  • If you want a smaller cookie, cut the Rolo’s in half and use about 1 1/2 tbsp of dough.
  • Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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I know what you’re thinking.  Another banana cupcake recipe.  Really Brooke? You just posted something very similar a few months ago.  Indeed I did.   But before you click over to your next favorite foodie, let me tell you that this banana cupcake recipe is stellar!  Originally meant for a cake, perfect for a cupcake, no??

The cupcake is perfect in flavor and texture.  This light and airy cake pairs perfectly with the slightly rich peanut butter caramel frosting.  I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but banana and peanut butter make such a wonderful couple.  If you are not a frosting gal/guy, these cupcakes are just as good plain.  Too bad they don’t travel well by plane, my family would have loved these!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for stopping by Baking with Basil!

(Printable Recipe)

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Caramel Frosting

Banana Cupcake Ingredients

Adapted from Baker’s Royale

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)

1.   Place sour cream in a bowl and add baking soda; set aside.

2.   Mix butter and sugar until light and creamy.

3.   Add eggs in one at time and beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

4.   Mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Mix bananas and sour cream mixture. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with banana mixture. Mix after each addition until just combined.

5.  Using a medium sized cookie scoop, evenly distribute cupcakes in liners.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in cupcake tin. Remove cupcakes and continue to cool completely on a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Caramel Frosting Ingredients

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of table salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce

1.  In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and salt to the bowl and beat at low speed just until the combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the mixture on med-high until fully combined

2.  Mix in vanilla and caramel sauce and beat until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again then beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

3.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


  • Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Was anyone else obsessed with the Caramel Apple Suckers when they came out?  I would always dig through the box to find the sticks with the most caramel coating.  I never choose sour apple flavored candy but I loved those suckers.  I’m pretty sure my parents bought them in bulk from Sam’s at some point while we were in high school.

These cupcakes will take you back to that nostalgic sugar high state, only they are much better!  Because the apples are shredded and not diced, they are evenly distributed in the batter.  Between the shreds of tart sweetness and the GENEROUS topping,  you are sure to get a little of both in every bite!  I used Honeycrisp apples which I think made the recipe that much better.  Honeycrisp are hands down my favorite and I’m so excited for them to be back in season.  YAY!

Caramel topping not your thing??  I am good with…..

or without…..

Happy Monday all!!


(Printable Recipe)

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 rome apples (about 1 lb), peeled and shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups chewy caramel candies
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream

1.  Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake pan with baking liners.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.  Whisk in the oil and vanilla.  Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full.  Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

3.  In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream.  Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.  Let cool.  Spread frosting generously on the cooled cupcakes.


1.  Any type of apple will work for this recipe.  I used Honeycrisp and the cupcakes turned out great.

2.  You probably wouldn’t need to do all the caramels the recipe calls for.  I found the “generous” topping sometimes was a bit much and really sticky.  As good as the topping was, I wish I would have left a few without.  The cupcake itself is really good.

3.  Make sure you allow the caramel to cool before topping cupcakes.  You won’t end up with a runny mess like I did on some.  :)

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