Monthly Archives: July 2010

Salty Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies

It has been so hot and sticky lately that I have avoided turning on the oven as much as possible. But I keep thinking about this recipe I saw a few weeks ago and decided these cookies would probably be worth sweating like a pig in the kitchen. When I told my husband I was going to bake these last night, he asked, “Are there pretzels in them?” I guess because usually when you think of salt and chocolate together, you think of chocolate covered pretzels, right? Well, although these cookies do not have pretzels in them, they do have a cup of butter and tons of chocolate and caramel, so you really can’t go wrong. I plan to send some of the goods to friends and family so the two of us do not eat all 24 cookies. Elastic waistbands are not far off in my future…

Salty Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies

Makes approximately 24 cookies

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

1 cup chocolate chips (I added a little extra for good luck)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

10 caramels, chopped into fours

Mix the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Fold in chopped pecans, caramel pieces and chocolate chips.

Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350, roll the dough into balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. (Note: refrigerating is the most important part, because the caramel pieces will sink to the bottom and stick to the cookie sheet when they are baking.)

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely, and drizzle with caramel sauce if desired.

I think I know what I’ll be eating for breakfast in the morning…

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Filed under Dessert, Snacks

The Dangers of Food Dyes

I wanted to share this article published on Wednesday by CBS about the dangers of food dyes. I was allergic to anything artificial growing up so fortunately I stayed away from them as much as possible. But I will admit that I do indulge in the occasional bag of Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kid candies (they are one of my many sugar weaknesses), but I never can indulge in them without wondering what all the chemicals in these sweet treats are doing to my body.

Besides causing allergic reactions, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a prominent watchdog group, claims that the three most widely used food dyes – Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 – are contaminated with cancer-causing substances. Another dye, Red 3, has also been identified as a carcinogen by the FDA but is still in commercial use.  Studies have also shown that dyes can cause hyperactivity in children.

Food dyes are mostly used to make food look more appealing and are mostly found on the nutrition labels of products pitched to children like brightly colored cereals, candy, ice cream, popsicles, sodas and fruit drinks.

According to the CSPI, manufacturers dump about 15 million pounds of eight synthetic dyes into our foods each year. Yuck! I am pretty sure you wouldn’t pour food coloring onto your food before eating it, so why should we let someone else do it? People need to go back to the basics when it comes to food and their health. Stay away from products loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients that were created in a lab. Hopefully you will be more cautious and look more closely at nutrition labels after reading this article.

Click here to read some insightful commentary on the use of food dyes by Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC.

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Filed under Breakfast, Snacks, Wellness