Our Favorite Caramel Dessert Recipes -- Part One

While we love our caramel on its own, we also really enjoy incorporating it into recipes whenever we can.  We’ve developed a wide selection of app-solutely delicious appetizers using six of our fifteen flavors of caramel.  We have also showcased a fabulous array of caramel-inspired drink recipes made from infusing various flavors of McCrea’s Candies caramel into different liquors with some phenomenal results (trust us).  Additonally, we've shown you how to pair caramel and cheese for a delicious end-of-meal finale.  

The recipes below highlight some of our favorite caramel-themed desserts.  We’ve scoured the internet and taken inspiration from some of Instagram’s top dessert bloggers to create this heavenly collection of recipes, each one guaranteed to cara-melt in your mouth. 

Of note, we show you how to modify each recipe (if needed) using our caramel but have also included links to the original recipe and the fabulous chefs who created them.

Oh and P.S. This is only Part One.  We’ll be back soon with even more crazy-good caramel concoctions.

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

This fan favorite dessert is the ultimate shareable snack.  It is an addicting powder sugar-doused, pop-it-in-your mouth ideal – and irresistible -- sweet treat for parties and potlucks.  The addition of caramel takes it to new heights and if you toss in bite-sized pieces of McCrea’s Candies caramel you’ve just achieved the pinnacle of perfection. We love The Cookie Rookie’s take on this.

Ingredients
  • Chex Cereal
  • Salted Caramel Flavoring (jarred caramel ice cream topping works great)
  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Powdered Sugar (lots and lots)
  • Any flavor of McCrea’s Candies Caramel (chop or leave whole)
    Directions
    1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
    2. Next, melt the caramel topping/syrup in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds. Then combine the melted caramel and chocolate.
    3. Place Chex cereal in a large bowl and pour the chocolate caramel mixture over it. Stir well, until the Chex is fully coated.
    4. Pour the coated cereal into two separate resealable plastic bags. Pour half of the powdered sugar into each bag, then shake until the Chex is fully coated.
    5. Once it’s done, pour the puppy chow mix into a bowl, and mix in your caramels. You can also add chocolate chips or caramel chips – or all three!

             

            Coconut Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

            Coconut Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

            Bake or Break is one of our favorite Instagrammers/ Bloggers.  Her mouthwatering sweet treats are to die for.  And she has a variety of caramel-based recipes from blondies and shortbread cookies to pies and cheesecakes.  One of our absolute favorites is her Coconut-Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies which combines sweet coconut cookies, rich caramel, and a sprinkling of salt. Sweet and salty and caramel-ly all over! Right up our alley.

            Ingredients
            • 3 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
            • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
            • 12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
            • 1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
            • 1 cup granulated sugar
            • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
            • 9 ounces McCrea’s Candies Caramel (about 30 caramels of any flavor)
            • 1/4 cup heavy cream
            • Sea salt, for garnish
            Directions
            1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
            2. Whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
            3. Place the eggs in a bowl. Place the coconut in another bowl. Set aside.
            4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla.
            5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Dough will be crumbly.
            6. Using a tablespoonful of dough at a time, press the dough in your hands to form balls.* Roll each ball in beaten egg, and then roll in coconut. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make an indentation in each cookie.
            7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Then, remove the pan from oven, and use the handle of a wooden spoon to make indentations again.
            8. Bake the cookies 8 to 10 more minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Cool the cookies on pans on wire racks.
            9. Place the caramels and cream in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture is smooth.
            10. Spoon the caramel into cookie indentations. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow the caramel to set before serving.
              NOTES:
              *The dough is very crumbly. Squeeze it in your hand for a few seconds to get it to hold together. Then, you should be able to roll it into a ball.

               

              Twix Cookies

              Twix Caramel Cookies

              Obviously, we love our candy around here especially those made with caramel.  That includes Twix Bars.  However, we guarantee you that this recipe for Twix Bar Cookies from Cooking with Karli is even better than the original.  It moves the gooey caramel and chocolate goodness of the candy bar onto a buttery soft sugar cookie crust.  Simply scrumptious and a definite crowd-pleaser.

              Ingredients

              • 1/2 cup butter
              • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
              • 1 tsp vanilla extract
              • 1 egg white
              • 1 1/2 cups flour
              • 1 tsp baking powder
              • 20 McCrea’s Candies caramels
              • 3-4 tbsp half-and-half
              • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

              Directions

              1. Preheat oven to 350°. 
              2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
              3. Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
              4. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.
              5. Roll the dough out until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles. Transfer to an ungreased pan.
              6. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes. Pull out of the oven when the cookies are puffy and no longer glossy.
              7. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
              8. While the cookies are cooling, microwave the caramels and half-and-half for 1 minute. Stir at the 30 second mark. Stir until smooth and creamy.
              9. Carefully spoon a few teaspoons of caramel onto each cookie, spreading until it almost covers the cookie. 
              10. Place the cookies and caramel into the fridge for 10 -15 minutes or until completely cold. 
              11. Melt the chocolate chips for 30 second intervals until completely melted and incorporated. This will make a fudge!
              12. Spread a small amount of chocolate onto each cookie. Let the chocolate layer cool and set up before serving.

               

              Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups

              Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups

              This simple recipe from Crème de la Crumb contains just four ingredients but the end results are out of this world.  Who can resist salted caramel chocolate cups filled with ooey-gooey caramel?  Not us and we bet you won’t be able to either.

              Ingredients

              • cups semi sweet chocolate chips
              • cups McCrea’s Candies caramels
              • 3-4 tablespoons half-and-half or heavy cream
              • Coarse sea salt

              Directions

              1. Place cupcake wrappers in muffin tins. (You could use mini cupcake wrappers and muffin tins and make twice as many caramel cups)
              2. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on half-power for 2 minutes. Take out and stir. Continue to cook on half-power for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each, until chocolate is smooth.
              3. Drop about 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate into each cupcake liner. Do not use all of the chocolate, leave about 1/4 of it in the bowl. Use a pastry brush to "paint" the melted chocolate onto the bottom of the cupcake wrapper, and around the sides (only go about 2/3 of the way up the wrappers, not all the way to the top) Place muffin tin in the freezer.
              4. In another microwave safe bowl combine caramels and milk/heavy cream. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to cook on high for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each until smooth.
              5. Remove muffin tin from freezer. Pour caramel into chocolate cups until about 2/3 full. Return to the freezer for about 5 minutes.
              6. Remove muffin tin from freezer again. Use pastry brush to "paint" melted chocolate over the top of the caramel being sure to cover all of the caramel. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Return to the freezer for about 30 minutes.
              7. Remove muffin tin from freezer. Carefully peel away the cupcake wrappers from the chocolate cups. Store chilled (in the fridge) or at room temperature in an airtight container.

               

              Caramel Pecan Blondies

              Caramel Pecan Blondies

              These Caramel Pecan Blondies from Handle the Heat are hard to resist. They feature an ultra-chewy brown sugar blondie with a hidden layer of rich, gooey, and crunchy caramel pecan filling. A true slice of paradise!  We crave this one on a regular basis.

              Ingredients

              For the blondies:

              • sticks unsalted butter, melted
              • cups dark brown sugar
              • large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
              • tablespoon molasses, optional
              • 1teaspoon vanilla
              • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
              • cups all-purpose flour

              For the caramel pecan filling:

              • 25 McCrea’s Candies caramel
              • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
              • cup pecans, chopped

              Directions

              Make the blondies:

              1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with foil or parchment. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Don't skip this, the caramel filling gets sticky!
              2. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, egg yolk, molasses, and vanilla and stir until combined. Stir in the salt and flour.
              3. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top begins to set. Keep oven at 350°F.

              Make the filling:

              1. Meanwhile, combine the unwrapped candies with the cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the pecans.
              2. Pour the caramel over the middle of the bottom baked blondie layer. Pour the remaining batter over the caramel layer is completely covered.
              3. Return to the 350°F oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool completelybefore chopping into bars with a big sharp knife. Wipe the blade with hot water for cleaner slices.
              4. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

              Bon Appetit!

              Older Post