Friday, December 6, 2013

Easy Dessert

Let's get this day started!  I am going to the Crain's Best Place to Work luncheon in Times Square at noon so that should be fun. As soon as it's over I am going to head home to start the weekend early.

We have some friends coming over tonight and normally Friday night dinner guests can be a lot to juggle if you're working, but have a few easy recipes on hand you can throw together the night before and it's all do-able without the stress.

I plan to make an easy, double batch of a casserole I can throw together quickly when I get home.  My friend is bringing a salad. 

Get It Done Tip: When I have people come over I prefer to make things from scratch. Homemade is always more special in my mind and I love to try new recipes. However, you don't need to drive yourself crazy making fancy cakes and pies on a Thursday night.  Tonight we're doing something fun - a little sampler of homemade and store bought.

For the store bought I love Trader Joe's; they always have new and interesting items to try.  Over the Summer when we had a dessert/play date I did something similar and picked up adorable mini, chocolate dipped ice cream cones the kids loved.

For tonight I picked up some Christmas truffles and chocolate dipped gingerbread men.  Along with the store bought I made last night super-easy chocolate peppermint cookies and these caramel pecan brownies - which is a doctored up box of brownies.

1 box brownie mix (for 13“ x 9“ pan)
1 pkg. (9 oz.) Werther‘s Original Baking Caramels, unwrapped
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups (6 oz.) chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare brownie mix according to instructions on box.
Let cool 10 minutes.
Microwave caramels and water in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 2½ minutes or until melted, stirring after 1½ minutes (I did this on the stove top).
Stir in vanilla extract.
Drizzle caramel mixture over baked brownies in zigzag pattern (it made a ton so I just covered the whole thing).
Place pecans on top of brownies, pressing gently into caramel.
Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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