Cookies, Cake, and Marshmallows, oh my!

For this week’s WIAW, I’m going to share with you the recipes I promised I’d post this week. We’ve been baking up a storm!

We’ve made these caramel cream cookies three times in the last week. They were so good, we can’t stop eating them! They’re ridiculously soft and taste like sugar cookies with a hint of caramel. Oh my gosh I’m in love.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3-5 Tbsp. cream

In large bowl, cream 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolk and mix well. Then add flour until dough forms. Chill for 2-8 hours.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/8″ thickness.Bake at 325 degrees F for 8-11 minutes until cookies just begin to turn very light brown around edges. Remove from cookie sheets immediately and cool on wire rack.

In saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over low heat until butter just begins to brown, watching carefully, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and blend in powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream until desired spreading consistency.

Frost the top of the cookies with a swirl of frosting. If frosting hardens as you work, beat in a bit more cream.

The second is the Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. These ones were my mom’s favorite but I don’t like them as much. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate based cookies. Chocolate chips, sure, but not the full cookie. And I’d rather have caramel without the salt. But still delicious!

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 dozen caramels (such as Kraft), unwrapped (Rolos would also be good)
  • coarse sea salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar and light-brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until combine. Mix in vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combine.
  • Scoop dough out 2 tbsp at a time and roll into a ball. Press one caramel into the center, sprinkle top of caramel with a small pinch of coarse sea salt then fold cookie dough around caramel and salt (make sure the caramel is fully covered with dough around all sides). Shape into a ball once more then roll in powdered sugar*. Align cookies on Silpat lined or buttered cookie sheets and bake in preheated oven 11 – 13 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool (note that the caramel will set after it cools, I liked these cookies best warm for soft gooey caramel). Store in an airtight container.
doesn't that look so tempting?
Lastly we made a Red Velvet Trifle. This was so, so delicious. I’m pretty proud of my efforts, especially considering I don’t cook. However, we did forget to stock up on food coloring. How were we supposed to know that you have to use 2 OUNCES of food coloring to make the cake turn red? So it came out as more of a brown velvet…
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking sodaPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup half and half
1 cups dark chocolate, chopped

Warm the half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to almost boil, but don’t let it boil. As soon as is it really hot, remove it form the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until melted and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once it has cooled (at room temperature), it is ready to be used in the trifle.

Mascarpone Whipped Frosting

8 ounce mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
*If you don’t have mascarpone, sub all cream cheese, so a total of 12 ounces.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in whipping cream. Continue whipping until mixture resembles soft whipped cream. This took about 10 minutes.

Trifle Assembly
Arrange a single layer of red velvet cake chunks on the bottom of the trifle dish. Spoon about 1/3 of the ganache on top of the cake cubes, then spoon about 1/3 of the frosting onto the ganache. Sprinkle the frosting with mini chocolate chips. Repeat layers until you run out of room in your dish (which took 3 layers for me). Garnished with some crumbled red velvet cake and a little sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. It was super pretty and even more tasty!


The marshmallow part came in when we went to my cousin’s house for Christmas day. They’re 5 and 7 years old and got marshmallow guns from my aunt. When we got home last night, we were finding marshmallows in our bags, stuck to our clothing, and in the car. The marshmallows were flying! It made for one entertaining afternoon. Especially when the “big boys” (my brother and cousin) were getting tackled by the little guys.

give a kid a cookie....

give a kid a cookie….

give a 20 year old a cookie (or 10)...

give a 20 year old a cookie (or 10)…

What were your big Holiday treats?

About pickyrunner

I'm Sarah, a (mostly) health-crazed 20-year old New Englander living in Baltimore. Taste buds of a 4-year old, joints of a 90 year old, brain of a chemist, appetite of a teenage boy, legs of a runner. Mindset of a Champion. Follow @pickyrunner
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42 Responses to Cookies, Cake, and Marshmallows, oh my!

  1. Girl.. you are my favorite person ever right about now. I mean forreal…. so many delicious recipes all in one post =)

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!

  2. Chelsie S says:

    These are suuuuuuper complex. Might need to return to them after I hit up a baking jedi for some guidance. haha. I know how much you loved them, though, so they’re definitely going to be on my list of cookies to somewhat attempt at some point. (The first ones, that is, the trifle will be wayyyyy out of my reaches for a looooooong time!!) Or, alternatively, perhaps we could team up and combine our non-baking talents and attempt to whip together something resembling these joys at some point in the somewhat not so distant future? (Yes, that is my super long way of saying, let’s get together and bake some cookies, girl!!)

  3. Ok, I’m dying. Those caramel cream cookies look fantastic. I may have to make those for my New Years celebration! Looks like you had such a great time with family, friends and the foods🙂 Happy Holidays!!

  4. All three of these sound absolutely amazing, but the caramel cream cookies definitely stole the show for me. As much as I love chocolate, I have to agree that chocolate based cookies aren’t really all that great. The caramel cream ones, on the other hand? I’ll definitely be making those… as soon as I get through my snickerdoodles, shortbread, and gingerbread cookies anyways😀

  5. chasingchels says:

    Umm I just looked at the boy and said I’m baking today…he groaned (since we have a crap ton of cookies from his mom from yesterday) until I showed him these recipes…then he nodded in agreement😉

  6. lifeasliv says:

    Holy moly this looks SOOOO GOOOD!

  7. trifles are where it is at. that is like one of those desserts I can’t pass down. not a huge cookie girl, I know strange but baked goods just don’t get me excited like candy does. I hope you had a great Christmas!!!

    • pickyrunner says:

      I’m actually not a huge cookie person either but these ones were SO good! I’d rather have ice cream and cake (or trifle). Or any kind of sugar, really haha I hope yours was awesome too🙂

  8. I want to try all of these! All those recipes look amazing…especially that trifle. I made a bouche de noel for dessert last night, and a gingerbread trifle for dessert tonight (I’ve got my extended-family Christmas tonight)

  9. Kaitlin says:

    Mmm so much caramel goodness. I’m loving the chocolate ganache too. I realized the cocoa overwhelms the red food coloring and turns brown. Hmmm. We had pear clafouti (sp?) and junk in da trunk cookies haha. Recipes to come out shortly.

    “Keep Calm and Carry On”

  10. Brittany says:

    I ate so many treats leading up to Christmas, that yesterday I didn’t eat anything sweet except ONE Oreo.!! Crazzyyy! These cookies look so goooood.

  11. Yum yum yum…. delicious! I had so many cookies!!!

  12. Hayley says:

    Even though I am in a sugar coma from yesterday I am still finding myself wanting to bake one of these things tonight…

  13. Caitlin says:

    Umm I’m flipping out over those caramel stuffed cookies! The trifle sounds great too. I love red velvet. FYI you accidentally made all the 2nd half to this post bold. Just letting you know!

  14. Runner Girl Eats says:

    Oh my, just when I thought I was done baking for the season…these all look amazing!

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  18. deangump says:

    That trifle looks deliciious!

  19. Oh my gosh, such delicious looking cookies! I’m with your mom, those salted caramel stuffed chocolate cookies look like my kind of cookie for sure. Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Abby J says:

    Ahh! They all look so good!! Glad you’re having a yummy holiday🙂

  21. livliveslife says:

    Those cookies look amazing!

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