Tagged by: dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies

Salted caramel cookies feature

I hope your week is going well lovely people.

No complaints coming from this family of 5, we’re fortunate enough to be having ourselves a sneaky family holiday up at Noosa this week (accommodation is much more affordable outside school holidays). The kidlets have been swimming their little hearts out, so much so that yesterday even one 9-year-old had himself a little afternoon snooze while Alani caught up on some much needed Zzzzzzzzz’s.

I know I’m on holidays but I couldn’t resist the urge (yes I’m addicted) to share another delicious treasure with you all.

Who loves Salted Caramel…….ME! And who loves Dark chocolate……..ZADADA!

So with Valentines Day just around the corner I thought I’d be fair and bake a batch of ‘Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies’ to satisfy both mine and Zadada’s taste buds, I will add the kidlets taste buds were more than satisfied too!

If valentines day isn’t for you that’s ok, personally I love any day that might prompt Zadada to buy me flowers, I love them maybe even more than salted caramel? (maybe not, but don’t tell Zadada that!). The good news is you don’t need a particular day or date as an excuse to bake these mouth-watering morsels, I would happily indulge myself any day or night and now that night has been mentioned, these cookies are perfect for turning into a dessert, just try giving one a zap in the microwave for 20 seconds and serving it with a scoop of your favourite ice cream, you’ll be in sweet foodie heaven!

Three simple but delicious ingredients are the secret in these cookies…A block of dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa content the better), a packet of werthers caramel chews and some sea salt, the remaining ingredients are pantry basics.

Here’s your How-To:

Salted caramel cookie instructions

Salted caramel cookie teaser

3.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: baking
Serves: 20
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain four
  • ⅓ cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g block dark chocolate, chopped
  • 135g pkt Werther's original caramel chews
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 170C fan forced.
  2. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Sift in flours, cocoa and soda. Stir through dark chocolate.
  5. Using a tablespoon sized portion of cookie dough press a caramel into the centre and mould dough around caramel to completely cover and form a ball.
  6. Position balls on trays 5cm apart and flatten slightly. Sprinkle each ball with a little sea salt.
  7. Bake cookies 15 minutes.
  8. Cool on trays 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

If you had to choose between dark chocolate and salted caramel which would be your number 1?

Coming to the blog later this week is a delicious smoothie I’ve been enjoying for breakfast.

Until then…….


I hope your week is going well lovely people. No complaints coming from this family of 5, we're fortunate enough to be h...

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Mars Bar & Pretzel Cookies

Header Mars bar and Pretzel Cookies

I’ll start things off with a little confession…….. about 4 months ago I employed the services of a cleaning lady to come and keep me sane , I mean help clean our house once a fortnight, with working part-time at the optometrist, running a family of 5, living out of town and running a Blog things were starting to become a little more overwhelming than usual.

And guess what……..she’s my little piece of heaven, some girls like pedicures, manicures and facials, me I like having my amazing cleaner, I feel like I have my very own fairy godmother (FGM)….seriously that’s how much difference her services make to my life. I will say when I first proposed the notion to Zadada all he could see were the $$$$$$, I said lets just give her a go, I’ll make the finances work (like I do with all our other expenses, anyone would think I was the accountant in the family, hahahaha). There is absolutely NO turning back now, I just love walking into the house after she’s been each fortnight even if the pristineness only lasts 5 minutes (thanks to 3 little kidlets), it’s psychological for me if I know certain jobs have been done I’m ok (no Mummy melt-downs), I think Zadada has noticed a slightly less frazzled Zamama……as the saying goes ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ (I’ll be sticking with that saying forever!).

You may ask why I’ve shared such homely information with you all? Well, I wanted you to know where my inspiration for these Mars Bar and Pretzel Cookies came from……….It was my FGM, we leave each other little ‘hello’ and ‘see you in another fortnight’ notes each round.  Last week my FGM had left me a note asking if I knew of any good recipes for Caramel & Pretzel Cookies…..you see where I’m going with this, I did point my FGM in the direction of Pinterest but since the worm had been dangled I wanted to come up with a recipe of my own so I could share it with her and here we are! I’ve put a little twist on her caramel request and used Mars Bars sending these little cookies to the next level of yumminess!    

I admit I may have a slight MAJOR weakness for all things in the salty sweet department, see here, here and here. This little cookie ticks all the salty sweet boxes.

We had quite a few visitors come and go over the weekend and each time I set a plate of these freshly baked cookies out it came back empty! Even my Dad commented how delicious they were, and I take that as a real compliment because he’s not got a huge sweet tooth (although from what Mum said on Sunday, he’s been enjoying a few sweet treats of late, I think I’ve turned him).

Now to get baking……..

Here’s your how-to:

Core ingredients 1

Cookie construction

drizzling chocolate


Mars Bar & Pretzel Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 36
  • 200g butter, cubed and softened
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups pretzels, crushed (I purchased the 225g parkers mini pretzels and had some left over)
  • Extra 36 pretzels for topping cookies
  • 216g Mars Bars roughly chopped (I used the snack size 12 pk)
  • 120g dark chocolate for drizzling over baked cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan forced, line 2-3 flat cookie trays with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, cornflour, baking soda and salt over creamed mixture. Mix again on low speed or alternatively (if you have good muscle power) you can mix with a wooden spoon until evenly combined.
  4. Stir through pretzels and Mars Bars. Dough will be quite sticky but thick enough to handle.
  5. Using heaped teaspoons of dough, roll into a rough ball and sit on prepared cookie trays about 3cm apart.
  6. Grab your extra pretzels and gently press one on top of each cookie ball.
  7. Bake in oven for 18 minutes or until just starting to golden up.
  8. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe jug/bowl using 30 second blasts on high, stirring after each blast, you should have your chocolate melted by the 90 second mark.
  10. Spoon melted chocolate into the corner of a snap lock bag, snip off the corner and drizzle away all over your cooled cookies.
  11. Place cookies in the fridge for 10-15 mins to set the chocolate.
  12. Store cookies in airtight containers for up to 1 week, room temp is fine unless it's the middle of summer (that's if they last that long, 2 days and our 36 cookies were gone!)
  13. Enjoy!!

Now tell me are you like me and love sampling a bit of raw cookie dough? I seriously can’t help myself!

And the big question, do you have melt downs if certain jobs don’t get done around the house? May I suggest a ‘FGM’.

Until the next time……..


I'll start things off with a little confession........ about 4 months ago I employed the services of a cleaning lady to...

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Almost GUILT-FREE Jaffa Bliss Balls

Jaffa Bliss Balls Header

Every time I’ve entered a café of late I’ve been faced at the counter with the temptation of a variety of energy balls or Bliss Balls and for the record I have caved to temptation on a few of those occasions (they were right under my nose!!). I thought it was about time I got creating to make some of these tasty little morsels myself!

As far as I’m concerned these Jaffa treasures are my version of a guilt-free treat! If you had to pick at them for being unhealthy in any way it would only be for the small amount of dark chocolate in them which I worked out is about 3/4 of a little square for each ball so not much at all and if you’re worried about it being in there just leave it out, I know they’ll still taste delicious!

The beauty of these Bliss Balls is that you’ll have them whipped up in no time at all, about 20mins from woe to go!

Ingredients for Jaffa Bliss Balls

My first attempt at  Bliss Balls was just recently when I spied the gorgeous Bake Play Smile’s recipe for Raw & Guilt-Free Peanut Butter Bliss Balls, I whipped up a batch of these tasty little morsels, they were a huge hit with the whole family! After making this batch I still had quite a few almonds leftover (I did buy the mega pack!). Feeling inspired, thanks Lucy, I came up with the idea to attempt a Jaffa version of these balls, incorporating some freshly squeezed orange juice, some dark chocolate, cacao powder, almonds, dates and a pinch of salt. The end result was another big thumbs up from everyone who tried them. If you’re a ‘Jaffa’ fan then you will be in a healthier version of ‘Jaffa’ heaven! Strangely I’m not a big fan of the well known ‘Jaffa’ but I do have a soft spot for these little Jaffa balls, I think it’s the combination of all those fresh, tasty ingredients, soooooo good!

Finished product of Jaffa Bliss balls

If dining on the healthier side of treats doesn’t really float your boat you can make a batch of my Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffles here, there’s an option for a Jaffa version too! I love to indulge with truffles at Christmas and Easter.

Bliss Balls are great if you’re a bit of a sweet tooth addict like me who needs loves a little bit of something sweet each day, these little treasures help to balance out the days I over indulge with REAL sugar treats, I do love a good cake!

Blending Jaffa Bliss Balls

Now let’s get BLISS BALLING!!!!!

Blended Jaffa Bliss Balls

Dusting Jaffa Bliss Balls

Almost GUILT-FREE Jaffa Bliss Balls
Prep time
Total time
The perfect almost guilt-free treat that's sure to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings!!
Recipe type: Healthy Treats
Serves: 22 balls
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 100g dark chocolate, grated (make sure you use chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content)
  • 1 Tablespoon cacao powder/or cocoa powder, sifted.
  • 12 pitted dates (I used medjool dates)
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt flakes
  1. Place dates, cacao powder, salt flakes and dark chocolate into a food processor.
  2. Blend until well combined ( will resemble a sticky paste).
  3. Add the almonds, orange juice and zest and blend again until almonds are finely ground and mixture is well combined.
  4. Scoop up a heaped teaspoon sized portion and roll into a ball, continue the process until mixture is all used up.
  5. If you like dust some of the balls with cacao powder, it breaks the sweetness nicely.
  6. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week!
  7. Enjoy!

Until the next time……..




Every time I've entered a café of late I've been faced at the counter with the temptation of a variety of energy balls o...

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Salted Caramel Cracker Slice

Labelled Slice

My Salted Caramel journey continues with this absolutely gorgeous, mouth watering slice!

‘Oh my goodness’ were the words silently swirling around in my head when I sampled a piece of this slice recently. My next thought was ‘I have to make this’. I never got to trace the slice back to the creator on the day but with some online detective work I have been able to put together a recipe that works deeeeliciously well and tastes very much the same as the one I sampled.

The bonus my lovelies is that it is conveniently easy to make using only 6 ingredients. You’ll have it whipped up and ready to set within about 15 minutes & ready to eat within the hour, how’s that?

Salada bics

Sugar and butter

Boiling Caramel

ready for the oven

Post oven

Chopped Choc

Scatter choc

Spreading after 1 minute in oven

Roasting alomonds with ground salt flakes

Ready to set

Cut slice

Yum Enjoy!!!

You will need:

7 full sheets of plain Salada Crackers (each sheet consists of 4 small squares)

250g butter

1 cup brown sugar

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

50g Flaked almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground salt flakes


1. Preheat the oven to 190C.

2. Line a 24cm x 30cm (or similar size) shallow baking tray with baking paper. Place the crackers in the base of the tray without overlapping, so they cover the base, carefully cutting them with a sharp knife to fit if required.

3. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring well until it boils and is combined. Remove from the heat and pour immediately over the crackers, spreading it evenly over the top. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until bubbling all over and the caramel is starting to darken (keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn).

During this time you can also pop the almonds in the oven to lightly roast, just line a separate baking tray with baking paper, scatter the almonds on a baking paper lined tray and sprinkle the ground salt flakes over the top. Pop tray in the oven and roast almonds 3-5 minutes.

4. Remove slice from the oven and sprinkle over the chocolate, then return to the oven for another minute or until the chocolate has melted enough to spread. Using a spatula or knife, spread the chocolate evenly.

5. Sprinkle the roasted almonds over the top and let slice cool to room temperature then place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set completely.

6. Once slice is set cut into wedges and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

NOTE: the baking tray you end up using may require a few more or less crackers, just have a few on standby incase, also good to have a few extras to allow for breakage of biscuits.

So there you have it, a delightful little slice to satisfy any sweet tooth! I hope you all enjoy it as much as my family, friends and I did, ENJOY!

Next up on the Blog will be Chicken & Bean Enchiladas! Zadada and I got cooking in the kitchen recently and came up with these tasty little Morsels!

Chicken and Bean Enchiladas

Stay tuned for the recipe and creation process this weekend………

Until then,


My Salted Caramel journey continues with this absolutely gorgeous, mouth watering slice! 'Oh my goodness' were the words...

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Salted Caramel Brownie Sandwich Cookies

‘Sharing is caring!’, I love this saying especially when it involves a great recipe that someone thoughtfully brings to my attention.
My gorgeous Aunty Gail is the beautiful soul who surprised me with a copy of this amazing Donna Hay recipe in my Christmas card. Earlier last year Aunty Gail visited our family and brought a batch of these delicious morsels along with her to share. When I Sampled my cookie all I could say was ‘Mmmmmmmm I want this recipe’. Some of you may already be familiar with Donna’s ‘Salted Caramel Brownie Sandwich Cookies’ for those of you who are not you need to become familiarised, they are divine. If you are like me and love chocolate and salted caramel you need to bake a batch of these cookies or find someone who can bake a batch for you.
I made a batch up this week and took them along to an afternoon tea I had been invited to. They got great feedback.


You will need:

350g dark chocolate chopped (I used a 200g block Coles dark chocolate and used dark chocolate chips for the remaining 150g)
40g unsalted butter (I prefer standard butter I like the fuller flavour it gives)
2 eggs
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

For the frosting:
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pouring cream
150g unsalted butter, chopped (again I used standard butter)
sea salt flakes for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 180C (I did 170C for fan forced).
Place 200g of the chocolate (use the block chocolate for this part) and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and cook stirring frequently, until melted and smooth (when melting chocolate I like to do it over a pan of simmering water, it’s a much gentler heat). Set aside.


Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and whisk for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy.


This is how my mixture looked after 15 minutes of whisking.

Stir through the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixture and remaining chocolate (this is where I used the chocolate chips) and allow to stand for 10 minutes.


Chocolate mixture.


Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until puffed and cracked.


Allow to cool completely on trays.


To make the salted caramel icing, place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir with a metal spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook for 8-9 minutes or until golden (I set the timer and sat with the caramel while it was boiling away, as soon as you see it start to get that golden tinge remove it from the heat straight away so it doesn’t burn). Once caramel is away from the heat carefully add the cream and butter (I stress carefully).


When I added the cream and butter I ended up with a big hard clump of toffee in the saucepan but I just followed the recipe directions of returning the saucepan to the heat and stirring until the mixture was smooth again (this process took me a good 10 minutes or more).


Remove saucepan from heat again. I allowed my mixture to cool to room temperature I then placed it in fridge and left it to cool completely (for me this was overnight) as I was getting tired and it was past my bedtime. The pictures above show the caramel ready for the fridge and post overnight refrigeration.


Place mixture in a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer whisk the mixture until soft peaks form.
Spread half the cookies with the frosting, sprinkle with salt and sandwich with remaining cookies.
Recipe says you should get 12 (I got 11.5).


I will just say enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and as Kaymac would say YOLO!!!!

Coming up on the Blog next week is a little bit of Zamama sewing action (scary I know, as in no way am I an experienced sewer, year 9 and 10 textiles & design is the extent of my training!). I also Plan to share a delicious savoury appetizer with you all.

Until then……

'Sharing is caring!', I love this saying especially when it involves a great recipe that someone thoughtfully brings to...

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Dark Chocolate Tim Tam truffles

Dark chocolate Tim Tam Truffles feature
If you like chocolate then you are in the right place.
It’s that time of year where lots of us are baking for School Christmas parties, neighbourhood get togethers, gifts for teachers, you name it there is usually always a good reason to be baking especially at Christmas!!
I have been wanting to make truffles at Christmas for the last couple of years but just never seem to have got around to it?
After seeing posts on Facebook and pins on Pinterest I decided to adapt my own version of a truffle. Zadada and I don’t mind a bit of dark chocolate as a little after dinner treat, that’s how I came up with the ‘Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffles’.

250g block Philadelphia cream cheese softened a little (just take out of fridge 1 hour before using)
2 x 200g pkts Dark Chocolate Tim Tams
125g Arnott’s Choc Ripple Biscuits
300g Dark Chocolate

1 Process all biscuits in a food processor until very fine.
2 Add Philadelphia cream cheese and process until well combined. Mixture will look a little like children’s Play Dough but a little rougher in texture.
3 Roll mixture into a ball sized to your liking. Bite size worked well for me I used a heaped teaspoon as my guide. Place rolled balls onto baking paper lined trays. Pop balls into fridge for about 20 mins especially if it’s summer where you live. Once you have melted the chocolate in the next step get them out ready for dipping.




4 Melt chocolate ( I use the good old-fashioned method for melting chocolate, see here)
5 Secure balls on a skewer or fork ready for dipping in chocolate. I found spooning the chocolate over the balls in conjunction with dipping a good way to ensure good chocolate coverage. Let excess chocolate drain as best you can and place coated ball back on baking paper lined tray.
6 Decorate truffles with whatever your heart desires. I used shredded coconut and Coles brand edible white pearls.
7 Place in refrigerator to set, then transfer to an airtight container and continue storing in the fridge until they disappear.


Extra Options
As you can see from the picture below I did a little bit of experimenting.
When my mixture was at the Play Dough stage I halved mixture placing 2nd half into another bowl. I then added a Jaffa twist by Squeezing the juice of 1/4 of orange and adding 1 teaspoon of fine orange zest. You may need to knead it through a little. I added some shredded coconut on top. I also had a bit of fun with some white chocolate on the Jaffa flavoured truffles. It’s all pretty much up to your imagination.
You could experiment with all the different flavours of Tim tam biscuits and hey why just limit it to Tim Tams the biscuit aisle at the supermarket has lots of inspiration on offer.
What ever you choose to do just have fun with it and enjoy!!!!


If you like chocolate then you are in the right place. It's that time of year where lots of us are baking for School Chr...

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Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Almond Icing

I discovered this recipe a couple of weeks ago while having a look through ZaPop’s copy of The Daily Telegraph Newspaper. It was in the “Eat well” section. There was also an article by Grant Jones called “Season to Taste”, he writes
“A little salt used at the right time in the cooking process can go a long way”.
I completely agree with the above statement as this cupcake recipe below by Marion Grasby, Masterchef combines salty and sweet in just the right proportions to tantalise one’s tastebuds.

The temptation for baking these cupcake’s had been hovering in my kitchen for a couple of weeks as I had kept the article and recipe aside from ZaPop’s newspaper when I discovered them those few weeks ago.

I found these cupcake’s didn’t bake up like a standard cupcake they were a little more crisp on top (not that, that was a bad thing) probably because the recipe does not use flour. In fact the recipe I believe is actually gluten-free provided you use pure icing sugar in the icing, so everyone gets to enjoy this delicious recipe.

Here is what you need


200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped

150g unsalted butter, chopped

2 tbsp brandy (I only used 1 tbsp. just to be safe but I would recommend the 2)

4 eggs, separated

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup natural almonds, sliced


125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste instead)

1/2 tsp almond essence (I did not use almond essence)

1 tsp sea salt flakes

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 170C. Double line a 12-hole (80ml/1/3 cup) muffin pan with paper cases.  (I filled 14 paper cases)

Place chocolate, butter and brandy in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes or until combined.

Cool for 15 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, sugar and 2 teaspoons of water on highspeed for 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Fold in chocolate mixture, then fold in ground almonds.

In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold one-third into chocolate mixture until just combined, then fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool cupcakes in pan.

To make the icing, use an electric mixer to beat butter, vanilla, almond essence and salt until pale and fluffy.

Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well-combined. Cover surface of icing with plastic wrap to prevent it drying out. Set aside.

Stir icing to a spreadable consistency, if necessary, then spread over cakes. Top with sliced almonds to serve.

Recipe: Marion Grasby, MasterChef

Below you will see how crisp my cupcake’s looked on top, infact Zadada thought they were biscuits when he first saw them come out of the oven.
I would love someone else to try this recipe and let me know the outcome of texture on top they get. Regardless of the texture these cupcake’s were a delight to eat and I will happily make another batch very soon. I think they are a delicious cupcake for adults.


I hope you get to make and enjoy a batch of these soon.


I discovered this recipe a couple of weeks ago while having a look through ZaPop's copy of The Daily Telegraph Newspaper...

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Gluten free chocolate loaf

I have made this cake several times now and it never fails. We are not a gluten free household but I do have a few friends who are gluten free which was what originally led me to discovering this recipe, however now I bake it because we enjoy it so much. It is beautifully moist and chocolatey!!! I did discover it at taste.com they are my online cooking bible love their site!!!!
I don’t always use Lindt chocolate, I usually just buy the dark chocolate on sale with the highest cocoa content.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. Click here for a fantastic recipe!!!



I have made this cake several times now and it never fails. We are not a gluten free household but I do have a few frien...

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