Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

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Since I was little, I’ve been a notorious cookie-dough lover. Whenever my mom and I  baked cookies I would do whatever I could to make sure I ended up with a sufficient number of tastes before the cookies made it into the oven. That meant licking the spatula, licking the spoon, scraping the bowl, and forming the dough balls with my fingers so that I could have an excuse to lick them, too. It’s a wonder I never got salmonella! No matter, I loved my cookie dough. Once in a blue moon I managed to convince my parents to buy a roll of Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough, which always seemed to taste so much better than any homemade dough. Most likely because of all of the artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. But boy did that dough taste good!

I wish I could say that I’ve overcome my cookie dough addiction, but sadly I have not. In all honesty I much prefer cookie dough to actual cookies, which is too bad since cookie dough contains raw eggs and I know I shouldn’t be eating it. Sigh. The good news is, there are more of my kind in the world! Other cookie dough addicts! Like Lindsay Landis from Love and Olive Oil, who wrote an entire cookbook full of eggless cookie dough recipes! My dream come true. This recipe for cookie dough fudge is from her book, and it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. I can only handle eating one tiny delicious square at a time since it’s so rich…it tastes exactly like you’re eating a hunk of raw cookie dough! Also, since it’s eggless there’s absolutely no risk of making yourself sick…unless of course, you eat the entire pan. And with this fudge, I wouldn’t blame you.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

Yield: one 8″x8″ pan, about 36 servings

For the cookie dough:

1/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 Tbs half-and-half

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

For the fudge base:

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup butter

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup half-and-half

4-5 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (for topping the fudge)

Directions:

Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang around the edges. Set aside.

For the cookie dough, in a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, salt, and half-and-half. Stir in the flour, mixing just until combined. Fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Set aside.

For the fudge base, in a medium-sized saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, and half-and-half. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be smooth. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. (The more powdered sugar you add, the sweeter and thicker the fudge will be). Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes before proceeding.

Fold the cookie dough into the fudge mixture. If you like chunks of cookie dough, gently fold so that the two mixtures aren’t completely combined; if you want a uniform fudge, mix the cookie dough in completely. Press the fudge into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and gently press them into the dough.

Chill for 3-4 hours. Then lift the fudge out of the pan, invert onto a cutting board, and slice into squares. This fudge can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator!

(Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, originally from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook)

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Caramel Pretzel Turtles

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I’ve always wondered why in the world of baking, “turtles” referred to a combination of caramel and pecans. I’ve heard of turtle ice cream, turtle sundaes, and turtle brownies and could never understand what caramel and pecans could possibly have to do with turtles. Until I made these Caramel Pretzel Turtles and had a revelation. When pecans are whole, they look a lot like a little turtle shell. Mystery solved! I could be wrong about this, but let’s just say I’m right because it makes such perfect sense. I love it when things actually make sense, unlike the facts that:

A fat chance and a slim chance are the same thing

Feet smell and noses run

We play at recitals and recite at plays

Quite a few and quite a lot mean the same thing

We fill out forms by filling them in

We drive in parkways and park in driveways

The word lisp has an “s” in it

It’s nice to know that these Caramel Pretzel Turtles actually have a legitimately logical name. And I can guarantee that when you pop one of these salty, caramel-y, chocolatey, nutty little turtles into your mouth, everything will feel right in the world. These are dangerously delicious turtles, my friend.

Caramel Pretzel Turtles

Yield: 24 candies

2 dozen pretzels (I like to use the square kind)

2 dozen Rolos

2 dozen shelled pecans or M&Ms

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or baking mats. Place pretzels onto cookie sheets and top with Rolos. Bake for 3-4 minutes, or until chocolate is shiny but still maintaining its shape.

Immediately press a pecan or M&M onto each pretzel. Allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set.