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

IMG_9426

(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.

IMG_9411 IMG_9416 IMG_9422

Cream together butter and sugars.

IMG_9432

Add eggs & vanilla.

IMG_9434

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

IMG_9437

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

IMG_9439

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

IMG_9442

Oops.

IMG_9446

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

IMG_9454 IMG_9455

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.)

IMG_9466

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.)

IMG_9468IMG_9470

IMG_9472

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.

IMG_9479

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

IMG_9480

IMG_9486

YUM!!