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Rutherford Weekly's Favorite Reader Recipes 12-01-16

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

10 ounces soft caramels, unwrapped

1 teaspoon flaked sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with foil and liberally coat with nonstick cooking spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix well, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Turn the speed to low and add the flour. Beat to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips. Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. In a medium sauce pot, add the sweetened condensed milk and unwrapped caramels. Set over medium-low heat and stir until the caramels melt, making a smooth caramel filling. Pour the filling over the cookie dough base. Drop the remaining cookie dough over the caramel filling in small teaspoons-sized clumps. Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes, until the center is just set. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and allow the bars to cool completely. Then lift the bars out of the pan by the edges of the foil and cut. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Sprinkle Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

1¼ cups sugar

4 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups flour

⅔ cup colored sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, egg and extracts, and beat together until mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Sprinkle the salt, baking powder and baking soda over top and stir in. Mix in the flour until just combined. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and pour the sprinkles into a bowl. Scoop up a ball of dough (approximately 2 tablespoons of dough) and roll between your hands into a 1½"-2" ball. Roll the ball of cookie dough in the sprinkles to coat, then place on baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing cookie balls approximately 2" apart. Use a glass to flatten the cookies until they are ½" tall. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet. Store in an airtight container.

Christmas Meringues with Eggnog Buttercream

Meringues

6 tbsps Naturegg Simply Egg Whites, room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Optional: food coloring of choice

Eggnog Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup eggnog

1 tsp rum extract

Preheat over to 225 F. Add the egg whites and turn your mixer you high until they're foamy. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, beat for 1 minute. Add cream of tartar and optional food coloring. Beat until stiff peaks form. I did this on high for ten minutes, on and off. Spoon into a piping bag (or in my case, reusable bag) and pipe onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 2 1/2 hours and then shut the oven off (do not open the door) and let the Christmas Meringues sit and dry out for 6-8 hours. EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM: Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl (or to your stand mixer). Beat for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggnog and flavoring. Whip on high for 5-6 minutes, pausing to push down any frosting that raises up on the sides. Add to piping bag.

ASSEMBLY: Gently remove the meringues off the parchment paper and pipe the buttercream on to the back. Top with another meringue.

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