I know everyone is on a diet this time of year as we are all desperately trying to lose the annual holiday weight gain, but I had to share with you some new cookie recipes I found that I absolutely loved. I made all these cookies for the Christmas season, but they would be good any time of the year, or even for Valentine's Day; so if you're on a diet right now, just pin and save for later!
These are absolutely delicious and super fun to make. I love poking the holes in the cookies and filling them with the caramel. And oh my, that caramel, was it yummy. It was the first time ever I made a homemade caramel. I had no idea caramel was just made basically of sugar, butter, and cream. The only drawback to these cookies is they do harden a bit after a few days (not the caramel, that stays nice and soft), but that was OK with me because I love to dip cookies into hot tea. It softened them up just fine.
This is what the cookies look like before you bake them. I used the end of a wooden spoon to make the holes. Be careful not to bake them too long as my first batch got a little too dark underneath.
What I love most about my next recipe is the shortbread and the toasted coconut. I was so surprised by this recipe because I usually don't like coconut (it's a texture thing not a taste thing). But I think because the coconut is toasted, it changed the texture and it tasted SO GOOD. And the shortbread...oh my, delicious! I could have eaten just the shortbread alone, it was so good.
The only thing I didn't like about these bars/cookies was they were a little too chewy, especially when they started to get a few days old. I noticed in the reviews people said they had a hard time getting the caramels to melt (I did not. Mine melted perfectly) and they would use a caramel sauce next time. I think if I ever make this recipe again, I would do the same because I think the candy caramels re-harden once cooled making the cookies hard to chew. But other than that, a wonderful recipe!
Cranberry, Walnut, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dried cranberries, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips all in one cookie, what's not to love? Well, my husband does not love dried cranberries, so he did not like these cookies; but I LOVE dried cranberries, so I loved them. There's something about biting into a cookie and tasting the slightly bitter dark chocolate with the walnuts and then getting that sweet, yet tart, cranberry flavor at the same time. YUM!
If you love Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups you will LOVE these cookies! Out of all the cookies I made over the holidays, these were the only ones that I didn't have any leftovers . They got gobbled up so fast! But beware, they have a lot of sugar and calories...over 300 PER cookie! But the good news? They are gluten-free. Absolutely no flour was used whatsoever. My daughter, who is gluten-free, loved the cookie shell and said she would love cookies made with just the shell and not even put the peanut butter cup inside. I might have to try that sometime.
The recipe calls for a full Peanut Butter Cup per cookie. I used a a snack size peanut butter cup and found that size worked perfectly. Also, be careful about what peanut butter brand you use. A lot of reviewers complained that their cookies were too oily. Mine were not oily at all. I used Aldi's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. I would think any "healthier", natural peanut butter would work well. The cheaper peanut butters that contain a lot of vegetable oils probably caused the "oily" problems other reviewers had.
I had trouble finding the "course sanding sugar" the recipe called for, so I just bought a bag of natural , chunky sugar. You can see it in the pictures...it looks like sea salt. It really makes a difference instead of using just regular granulated sugar.
If there was any complaint about these cookies it was that were too sweet. So I ended up cutting mine in half and eating only a half of a cookie at one sitting.
Is your mouth salivating yet? Mine is. These pictures make me wish I still had some of these cookies in my cupboard. But it's probably a good thing, as my waistline couldn't handle it. But I will definitely be making this recipe every birthday and holiday from now on!
Have a Great Day! Amy
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