Saturday, December 22, 2018

Amaretto Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce

Oh My Goodness. A wonderful decadent fudge brownie with slightly crispy edges with just a hint of amaretto. How can you go wrong?   Go easy….the alcohol doesn’t completely bake out of these brownies! 

     Amaretto Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur 

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

   Line a 9 by 9 square baking pan with parchment paper, making sure  
   paper hangs over the edges. Grease paper with butter so the brownies
   don't stick.

   Melt butter and chocolate over a double-boiler and stir gently until   
   smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and set 
  aside. Whisk together eggs, sugar and amaretto in a mixing bowl until 
  combined. Pour in chocolate mixture and continue to whisk until 

  Gradually add flour mixture, then add walnuts and incorporate with a   
  wooden spoon. Transfer batter to baking pan and bake for 40 to 45   
  minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle 
  of the pan.  Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes while you make your 
  caramel sauce.

    For the caramel sauce:

      1-1/4 cup sugar
      1/3 cup water
      1 stick salted butter, cut into small pieces
      2/3 cup heavy cream

    In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar and 
    the water. Simmer just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter, and 
    let it boil until it turns a deep amber color. 

    Remove from heat and carefully add the cream. Whisk to combine, and 
    place back over medium-low heat and cook for about 30 minutes, until 
    it has thickened and is nice and creamy. 

    Invert brownies onto a cutting board and remove paper. Drizzle 
    caramel sauce on top and cut into squares.

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Magic Pecan Cookie Bars

I know..... it's one of those photos that stops you in your tracks and makes you stare at it for a few minutes until you feel that tiny bit of drool escape from your mouth.  It's one of those photos that you can almost taste before you make it.  It's one of those photos that make you run to the store to get the ingredients when you weren't planning on it. It's one of those recipes that you make for your friends and family but end up hiding it in a secret place for yourself.  And it's one of those recipes that when you taste it, you can only come up with "D" words.....delightful, delicious, decadent, and divine!

Magic Pecan Cookie Bars


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cup sliced pecans
12 oz. sweetened condensed milk 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang for easy removal and spray with cooking spray; set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar until creamy, using a hand mixer.  Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Next, add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt and mix until fully combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Press dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking pan.  Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with almost all the mini chocolate chips. Reserve about ¼ cup. Next sprinkle coconut and pecans.  Then drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top and sprinkle with reserved ¼ cup of mini chocolate chips. 

Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to prevent the coconut from burning.  Rotate the pan and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until set. 

Allow to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate for another two hours. Bars must be cold when you cut them or they will run and not hold their shape. Once cold, cut into squares.  

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

White Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Cranberries

I love this stuff!  I love passing by it and breaking off just little pieces so I don't feel like I am eating too much of it.  Then I notice the tray is empty and I have to make more so I don't feel so guilty. Sometimes I make it with a few drops of peppermint extract for a real holiday taste!

White Chocolate Bark with Nuts and Cranberries
16 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries or Craisins
1 cup  pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped fine
1 cup of cashews

In bowl over saucepan of hot water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally. Stir in cranberries and pistachios.  Pour onto foil-lined or parchment lined baking sheet; using a knife or rubber spatula spread  into 12- x 9- inch rectangle. Drop in cashews randomly.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until hardened. Break into pieces.

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Sunday, December 09, 2018


This little cakes are just the right size for that pop in your mouth deliciousness.   Perfect Christmas treat!

Strawberry Mini Bundt Cakes
 1 cup of flour
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest
1/3 cup of sliced strawberries (or much as you wish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a bowl mix your sugar, eggs and soft butter. Add the flour slowly to the mix followed by the milk and lemon zest. Lastly, fold the strawberries into your batter.

Pour batter into your mini molds, bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Decorate them with powdered sugar and extra strawberries on top! 

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Pecan Meltaways

I loved these cookies growing up. I can’t remember a Christmas without them. My Mom would make them every year and they were always our traditional cookie that we would leave out for Santa. Every year she would hide a single Hershey’s kiss inside one of these cookies and we would get to pick which one we wanted. Whoever got the kiss when they took a bite would get to open one present early. I love these things. They literally melt in your mouth.

Pecan Meltaways

1 cup finely ground pecans
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse pecans with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar until nuts are very finely ground. Add butter and vanilla, and process until smooth. Scrape down the bowl frequently.

Add in the flour and continue to blend until dough forms. With floured hands, shape dough by rounded teaspoon full into small balls.  

Place cookie dough balls one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 16 - 18 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are light golden.

Transfer cookies to wire rack. Cool for 3 minutes, then roll cookies in remaining confectioners' sugar and place back on wire rack to cool. When cookies are completely cool, roll in sugar once again. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar.


Cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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My Three Layer Peppermint Fudge

This fudge is so pretty and festive for the holidays. It's always my go to when I want to make a special gift from the heart for friends, family and neighbors.  It takes a few steps, but it is so simple and so fast and so pretty to give away. And it is heavenly!  A layer of rich chocolate fudge covered by a layer of peppermint fudge and topped with a layer of white chocolate fudge!  Then it’s all covered with that familiar peppermint candy crunch.  This fudge is so creamy and so decadent!  Each layer has a distinct flavor of its own and when you bite into it, it melts in your mouth! This is a keeper my friends! 

  My Three Layer Peppermint Fudge

   3 (14 ounce) cans of sweetened condensed milk
   3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
   6 cups chopped white chocolate melting wafers or white chocolate chips
   1 teaspoon peppermint extract
   3 drops red food coloring
   Crushed peppermint candy for topping 

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with on stick spray and then line it  with parchment paper. Then spray the paper.  I like to let the excess paper hang over the sides to use later as handles to lift out the fudge.

 In a medium non-stick sauce pan, pour in the first can of sweetened condensed milk and set heat too low. Add the semisweet chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Pour this bottom layer into the prepared dish and smooth out flat with spatula.

Clean that saucepan to use it again.  Pour the second can of sweetened condensed milk in the saucepan and place it over low heat again.  This time, add your white melting wafers or white chocolate chips and stir until white chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Mix in 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, 3 drops of red food coloring. Mixture should be pink.  Pour this on top of the bottom layer in your dish and smooth out to the edges with and off-set spatula.

 Clean the same saucepan a final time to use again.  Pour the last can of sweetened condensed milk in the saucepan and place it over low heat again. This time, add you’re the remaining 3 white melting wafers or white chocolate chips and stir until white chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Pour this on top of the peppermint fudge and smooth out to the edges with an off-set spatula.  Sprinkle your crushed peppermint candy all over the top.  I like to cover completely but you can use as much as you’d like.

Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for about 2 hours. Lift the fudge out by the parchment paper and cut into squares or smaller pieces.

NOTE:  Clean your knife in between cuttings to make sure you don’t get chocolate on your white or pink layers. Store in air tight container or in refrigerator.

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