Caramel Filled Chocolate Chip-Pecan Cookies & My Inner YHL

by Heather

Recently I’ve gotten more than a few comments/questions about the way my house is painted. I’m guessing it’s from my ‘I love lamp’ post? Who knows.

lamp action

So with that in mind today I’m channeling my inner Young House Love and sharing some before and after house pictures with you. :)

A little background: The husband and I bought our house two years ago, after the rental rates at our apartment sky rocketed and we were tired of being harassed by our neighbor (that’s a story for another day.) We looked and looked and looked and looked. Just as we were about to throw in the towel and succumb to inflation and badgering, we stumbled upon this “beauty”.

b ac d

Now, this was when we were newly employed, newly wed, and newly grown-ups. We barely had a dime left by the time the process was done- we considered things like beds, console tables, and kitchen chairs a luxury. I’m not kidding: we slept on a mattress on the living room floor, and our high end furniture consisted of mismatching camping chairs. There was a lot of work to be done on the house, and no money to do it.

So what did we do? We worked on it ourselves. Little by little. With the cheapest things possible. [Read: paint & elbow grease.]

And with that I present Casa de SoS:

The Kitchen

Before:

b

After:

kitchen

kitchen renovation

The Living Room

Before:

c

After:

living room

The Dining Room

Before:

a

After:

dining room

photo installation

The Office:

Before:

d

I kid you not on this one. It gets worse:

After:

office

girl's office

Oh how I wish I knew of Young House Love before I embarked on this process. I’m pretty sure they’re now my heroes.

Cookie Time

To reward you for suffering through my house pictures, I’ll present to you my award winning cookie recipe. Ok, they’re not award winning. Unless you count “Oh my gosh these are amazing!” as an award.

IMG_9497

(Why cookies + house? Because baking cookies before an open house is supposed to make it sell faster!)

Caramel Filled Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Recipe

1 c butter, softened

1 c granulated sugar

1 c brown sugar, packed

1/2 c egg substitute (or 2 eggs)

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp warm almond milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 c all-purpose flour

1 c whole wheat flour

1 c oat flour

1 c chocolate chips

1/2 c toasted pecans, chopped

12 caramels

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(See, even I can leave a recipe unveganfied. Although I had to whole grain it up, I couldn’t help it.;))

Cut caramels in half. Put in freezer for at least an hour.

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Cream together butter and sugars.

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Add eggs & vanilla.

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Dissolve baking soda in warm almond milk. Add to bowl with salt.

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Mix in flour 1 cup at a time. Mix just until combined.

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[To make oat flour just spin some oatmeal through the food processor. Try not to spill it everywhere.]

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Oops.

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Steal some cookie dough to eat. (I don’t like chocolate so I like to have some dough before it gets tainted.)

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Stir in chocolate chips & pecans.

IMG_9447 IMG_9448

Feel free to add in double the chocolate chips. (Again, I don’t love chocolate. Let’s move past this. ;))

Tip: toss the pecans in the oven while it’s pre-heating to easily toast them. Just don’t forget about them!

IMG_9441

Here’s the fun part.

Make cookie dough balls as you normally would, but stick a frozen caramel candy in the middle and roll the dough around it.

IMG_9460

This is a good time to use one of those silicon baking mats if you have one. Parchment paper will work too.

Put the formed cookie dough balls in the freezer for a few minutes (your hands warm them a lot.)

IMG_9461

“Clean” bowl while you wait. And yes, by clean, I mean lick. I do not fear salmonella. (Ahem, consider this your disclaimer. This is what I do- not what I suggest as an professional haha.)

Bake at 350 for ~12 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on how long you left them in the freezer.)

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Let cool for a minute, then move cookies to cooling rack. It’s probably a good idea to spray your spatula with cooking spray (those caramels are sticky little devils.)

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The caramel may melt out of the cookie. It’s ok- just stick it back in there. After they cool a little bit you can turn them upside down if you want.

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Mmmmm. Delicious cookie with a surprise in the center.:)

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YUM!!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or chime in }

Alex @ I Eat Asphalt October 10, 2010 at 10:06 am

Your house is beautiful! I’m so impressed that you did everything yourselves, you are very creative my friend.

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Kelly October 10, 2010 at 11:24 am

Yummy!! I make a stuffed cookie: I take two sugar cookies and put a thin mint in between and then seal the two cookies then bake. They are so good!!!!

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Heather October 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

That sounds amazing!!!

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Liz @ LBBakes October 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

Both your house and those cookies look amazing!
Liz @ LBBakes Just blogged…RTCP- Dehydration Makes for Unhappy Running

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sarah (the SHU box) October 10, 2010 at 11:59 am

!!! i absolutely love your house. the striped wall in the living room!?!? and the superclean lines in your office? i am so impressed!

i also LOOOOVE YHL. too much. apartment therapy also makes me happy (since we live in one!)
sarah (the SHU box) Just blogged…the details of daily life

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Madeline - Greens and Jeans October 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm

What to come to Philadelphia in a couple weeks and help me move into my new apartment?
Madeline – Greens and Jeans Just blogged…ode to the couch

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Heather October 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Sure! ;)

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Dorry October 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Love what you did with each room! I’m terribly indecisive when it comes to decorating and design so I always look to others for inspiration – simply gorgeous!
Dorry Just blogged…Blogging While Traveling

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Heather October 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I’m indecisive too- as soon as I paint a room I decide I want to do something different. Terribly inconvenient haha.

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Heather October 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Those cookies look amazing – caramel is one of my faves!

Beautiful house – my husband and I hope to buy one day and move out of apartment living – I won’t miss it!
Heather Just blogged…Egg Cups

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Kristina @ spabettie October 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I love your house – just beautiful – the kitchen especially! :)

these cooking look fabulous… I may have to make these today… I veganize everything too, unless it comes to caramel or cheese! ;)
Kristina @ spabettie Just blogged…maple donut french toast

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Lisa October 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I LOVE the after photos. You guys did a fantastic job redecorating. And it looks like it was fun too.
Lisa Just blogged…I’ll Take a Case of Wine Please

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Estela @ Weekly Bite October 10, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Those cookies look amazing!! Love your home too :)
Estela @ Weekly Bite Just blogged…Rockin’ The French Braid…

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Teri [a foodie stays fit] October 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

wow, impressive work in your house! I really hope we get to stay in W-S so we can buy our house we’re renting and do similar things!

Those cookies sound awesome!
Teri [a foodie stays fit] Just blogged…The Weekender a new kind of Weekender

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BroccoliHut October 10, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Loving the decorating pics–you have lovely taste! I get a kick out of seeing my fellow bloggers’ living spaces:)
BroccoliHut Just blogged…October Flowers

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Erin October 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I absolutely love the way you’ve redecorated, proving that sometimes just a coat of paint (and nice furniture) can transform a room. I’m still in that ‘young 20s, first apartment, hand-me-down’ stage and get excited when I buy an actual piece of furniture or a decent appliance for the kitchen. Hoping the ‘grown-up’ home comes soon because I have big dreams. :)

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Heather October 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Thanks!! Just paint is amazing- we’re still working on that nice furniture thing. We mostly have hand-me downs and leftover college stuff that we’re slooooowly working on replacing. :)

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brandi October 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

i love your place!!! And I love YHL :) Your kitchen looks amazing! And I think we have the same couch!
brandi Just blogged…Falling for Fall

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Heather October 11, 2010 at 6:52 pm

How cool! I love that couch- so comfy! :)

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Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat October 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Wow, your house looks amazing! You could give YHL a run for their money!

I’ll have to try this cookie recipe! Thanks for sharing!
Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat Just blogged…Battling the Fall Cold In an October Heatwave!

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Claire October 10, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Beautiful house photos and design! Oh, and the cookies don’t look too bad either….

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Becca October 11, 2010 at 6:34 am

Oh wow – those cookies look delicious! And that poor child who lived in that room – imagine the nightmares!
Becca Just blogged…Friday Funny

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Heather October 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I know, right?! You can still see some of it through the paint- despite 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint. Poor kid.

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Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness October 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Wow, a double-whammy post… house decor and a killer cookie recipe, you know how to reel us in! :-)
I love your decorating style. The boyfriend and I just bought our house in April and while the place has been nicely updated, we could stand to repaint a few rooms to make them feel more ‘us.’ I especially love your office and kitchen updates. The horizontal paint technique in the living room looks awesome, too!
Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness Just blogged…Pumpkin protein yogurt with pumpkin spice granola

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suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] October 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I love the updates to your place. Makes it looks so bright and welcoming! :)
suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] Just blogged…Food Baby

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Katie @ Healthy Heddleston October 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for showing your before and after pictures — I love what you have done with the paint jobs! And the kitchen is just stunning!
Katie @ Healthy Heddleston Just blogged…Friday Fondue

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Sarah @ Newlywed and Decorating October 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Love all of your room makeovers! You did a great job! Love your taste. And those cookies look to die for :)
Sarah @ Newlywed and Decorating Just blogged…Fall Weekend in Massachusetts

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Jaclyn October 24, 2010 at 12:56 am

WOw, those look seriously amazing, yum!

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