Posts Tagged ‘caramel’

Samoas Cheesecake Bars

What's better than a Girl Scout Samoas cookie? Nothing, but these Samoas cheesecake bars come in at a very very very close second.

It’s Spring and love is in the air! There’s love for that special someone, family, friends, life, Girl Scout cookies, cheesecake… all of these things inspire feelings of love. Today is an extra special day for love as it also happens to be Camilla over at Culinary Adventures with Cam‘s 15th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary darling! She and her husband love to celebrate with cheesecake, so she’s having a virtual party with over 25 different cheesecakes to celebrate! That’s how you throw a party. ūüėČ

What's better than a Girl Scout Samoas cookie? Nothing, but these Samoas cheesecake bars come in at a very very very close second.

My cheesecake bars are inspired by my favorite Girl Scout cookie – the Samoa. I adore caramel, and my mom is a fan of coconut and chocolate, so as a little girl I always saw these as the perfect cookie and each year, when I sold Girl Scout cookies growing up, we always bought a few boxes of Samoas and one Thin Mints for our house.¬†Before we get to the bars though, I’d like to add a small PSA on behalf of the older Girl Scouts everywhere. The Juniors, Cadets, and Seniors would really appreciate it if you’d buy cookies from their booths every once in a while. I know those pre-teen/teenage years are a little awkward compared to the Daisy and Brownie cuteness, but that’s also the age where a girl’s confidence is usually put through its first real test. If they’re out there and you’re planning to buy cookies anyway, please support your older Girl Scout troops.

What's better than a Girl Scout Samoas cookie? Nothing, but these Samoas cheesecake bars come in at a very very very close second.

Back to cheesecake. I was originally going to make this as a classic cheesecake, but opted out for two reasons – the first being that it’s incredibly difficult to safely dip the bottom of an entire cheesecake in chocolate and I really wanted to keep that aspect of the original cookie, and second, my cheesecake pan fills to the top with cheesecake, and I didn’t want spillover from the caramel layer as it sets. I also envision taking these to a party or potluck at some point and bars are easier to serve than a full cheesecake.

What's better than a Girl Scout Samoas cookie? Nothing, but these Samoas cheesecake bars come in at a very very very close second.

This caramel layer is actual caramel candy from scratch. If you’d prefer something softer, use a thick caramel sauce recipe and refrigerate it until firm. You won’t have the clean cuts, but the texture will be closer to that of the cheesecake. I wanted a thick layer of caramel that stayed cleanly on each bar, so I made it into a candy. It doesn’t provide a clean bite through, so use a fork, or if you’re not in the mood to be graceful, just take the caramel off, hold in one hand, bite the caramel, and then bite the cheesecake you have in the other hand. It’s like having two desserts at once.

For the chocolate, you don’t have to temper it because the cheesecake stays in the fridge, but if you’d like that crunch, go ahead and temper the chocolate or use a good quality candy coating¬†so you still get actual chocolate flavor.

Enjoy!What's better than a Girl Scout Samoas cookie? Nothing, but these Samoas cheesecake bars come in at a very very very close second.

Samoas Cheesecake Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: about 12 bars
  • 8 oz (225 g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ c (45 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp (1 g) salt
  • 8 tbsp (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese (24 oz/678 g), softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ c (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp (6 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 g) vanilla extract

Toasted Coconut Caramel
  • 8 tbsp (113 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅔ c brown sugar
  • ⅓ c granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup or honey*
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 c toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

  • Dark chocolate or dark chocolate candy coating
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F and butter at 7"x11" baking dish.
  2. Combine the first four ingredients (graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter) to make the crust. Once well combined, evenly press into the baking dish and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer whip the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract on high for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to combine and scraping the sides of the bowl after each egg.
  5. Stir in the flour.
  6. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and use an offset spatula to ensure it's spread evenly.
  7. Place the baking dish in a larger baking dish and fill the larger baking dish with water until it comes about ⅔ of the way up the sides of the smaller dish. Place the cheesecake and water bath into the oven.
  8. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes then, without opening the door, lower the heat to 350 F and bake an additional 15-18 minutes until the cheesecake is set but still jiggles slightly in the center.
  9. Turn off the heat and crack the oven door open. Leave the cheesecake in the oven 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and water bath, and allow to cool on a rack an additional 30 minutes before refrigerating until well chilled.
  10. While the cheesecake is cooling in the oven, you can toast the coconut if it isn't already. Place the coconut in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat about 5 minutes until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from heat immediately and allow to cool.

Make the Caramel
  1. You may make the caramel while the cheesecake is cooling on the rack or make it later when the cheesecake is chilling. To make the caramel place all ingredients in a medium saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is melted.
  2. When the sugar has melted, attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 238 F.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the toasted coconut flakes and pour over the cheesecake. Refrigerate at least two hours until set.

Assembling the Cheesecake:
  1. The easiest way to cut the bars is to remove the caramel layer (it comes off cleanly), cut the caramel into squares, then return the squares to the cheesecake (they'll fit together perfectly) and cut along the lines. Return the cut bars to the refrigerator while you melt the chocolate so they are well chilled for dipping.
  2. I used dark chocolate candy melts, which I melted in the microwave at 50% power, for 1 minute, then 20 second intervals, stirring after each until smooth.
  3. Set out a sheet of wax paper for the dipped bars. Dunk the bottom of each bar in the chocolate, wipe off excess, and set on the wax paper. Repeat for each bar.
  4. To drizzle chocolate on the bars, place the remaining melted chocolate in a piping bag or ziploc bag, snip off a corner or the tip, and drizzle chocolate over the bars. Allow to set and serve chilled!
*You need to add either corn syrup or honey as an inverse sugar to stabilize the caramel. The honey will add a slight flavor to the caramel, but it does work as a substitute for corn syrup in this recipe.


Today we are helping Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary with waaaayy more than #fifteencheesecakes.

Here’s what everyone brought to the cheesecake table, listed in alphabetical order. Enjoy!


Cheesecake Bars
by Baking and Creating with Avril

Cheesecake Bites
by Cookaholic Wife

Caramel Cheesecake
by Dancing

by My Hobbie Lobbie

Topped Peppermint Cheesecake
by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Brulee Cheesecake Bars
by Tara’s Multicultural Table

Basket Mini Cheesecakes
by Little Bit of Everything

by Things I Make (for Dinner)

Cream Cheesecake
by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Layered Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake Cake by Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Blackberry Cheesecake
by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Matcha-YuzuCheesecake with a Meyer Lemon Gelée by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Churro Caramel Cheesecake
by Cheese Curd In Paradise

Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes by Join Us,
Pull up a Chair

Mom’s New York Cheesecake by Taste Cook Sip

Mudslide Cheesecake by Sew You Think You
Can Cook

{No Bake} Marshmallow Cheesecake by An Affair from
the Heart
Pumpkin Cheesecake
by Angels Homestead
Samoa’s cheesecake
by Goodie Godmother

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars by The Savvy Kitchen
Sopapilla Puff Pastry Cheesecake by Pink Cake Plate

SkinnyVanilla Bean Cheesecake by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Cheesecake Brownie Torte
by Making Memories With Your Kids

Shortbread Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

This year I participated in a really fun holiday event that put me immediately into the Christmas spirit – the Great Food Blogger Cookie Exchange!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

Hundreds of bloggers from around the world participate. Each blogger is assigned 3 other bloggers to send a dozen cookies and in turn, you receive a dozen cookies from three different bloggers in return. It’s so exciting and has all food blogger participants running to the mailbox checking for treats during shipping week. I’m pretty sure we all had cookies for dinner, and just cookies, at some point.

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies Ready for Baking

I wanted to make something extra special as my “calling card” to meet my new friends. I asked the Godfather what I should make and we came up with a list, but the turtle cookie won before we even hit the testing phase. The moment it was suggested I envisioned darling little thumbprints piled on a platter¬†based on the classic turtle and¬†it just had to be.

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies with homemade caramel

To make sure the cookies had the very best flavors and that the caramel sat perfectly in each one, I chose to make my caramel candy instead of using store bought. It’s a very straightforward process, and you’ll end up with more caramel than cookies, so if you don’t want to make extra dough, you can just pour the excess caramel into candy molds or a small pan, allow it to set,¬†cut,¬†and you have a second delicious treat to eat before anyone else notices share! This my dears, is what we call a win-win. ūüėČ

Shortbread Turtle Cookie Recipe

I had so much fun making the cookies, and they were a hit with the Godfather, his office, the bloggers who received them, and a few friends lucky enough to try a few extra. They’ve definitely earned a spot on my “classics” list, and I hope you enjoy them just as much!

Turtle Thumbprint Cookie Recipe by Goodie Godmother

Shortbread Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The popular turtle candy recreated as a delicious thumbprint cookie with homemade caramel!
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 5½ dozen cookies
  • ¾ lb unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Finishing Touches
  • ¾ cup dark or semi sweet candy melt wafers
  • 66 pecan halves (one for each cookie - recipe makes 5½ dozen)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars until just combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix to combine.
  4. Add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. Stir in the chopped pecans
  6. Drop the cookies in 1 tbsp-sized balls onto ungreased cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and create an indent in the center of each using either your thumb or the back of a ½ tsp measuring spoon.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges just start to turn golden.
  8. Remove from the oven, use your measuring spoon to define any caramel wells that may have lost their shape and allow the cookies to set on the pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. While the cookies are cooling make the caramel...
  10. Combine all ingredients except the vanilla in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 242 F on a candy thermometer.
  11. Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the vanilla extract (be careful, it bubbles!).
  12. Using a spoon (the mixture is too hot for a piping bag), spoon the caramel into the cookie wells and allow to set.
  13. You will have extra caramel, so pour it into a 6" square container lined with buttered parchment paper. Once that sets you have "bonus" caramel candies!
  14. Once the caramel in the cookies has set, add the finishing touches... Melt the chocolate according the package instructions in a microwave or double boiler. Spoon into a piping bag or freezer-weight plastic bag and snip the corner.
  15. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and top with a pecan half before the chocolate has set. If the chocolate sets, pipe a dot of chocolate in the center of each cookie to act as "glue"
  16. The cookies will keep in an airtight container up to two weeks.






I Am Thankful for Salted Caramel Apple Pie


This post updated Oct 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project. 

All butter flaky crust, loads of fresh apples, and caramel. I *need* this apple pie for Thanksgiving!


Goodie Godmother Salted Caramel Apple Pie Recipe from Scratch

The last time I baked an apple pie was¬†many¬†months too long ago, which I find funny because apple pie has to be one of my favorite types of pie ever. I like to enjoy warm apple pie plain or with homemade vanilla ice cream, apple pie at room temperature after a meal, or even cold apple pie late in the evening curled up on the couch watching a show. It reminds me of childhood, even though all our apple pies came from Publix. Publix makes delicious apple pies, but they don’t make this one! ūüėČ (more…)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Lava Cake

This post updated January 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add delicious new photos to already delectable recipes. Enjoy!

Make salted caramel lava cakes at home with this easy recipe! A delicious Valentine's Day dessert idea brought to you by GoodieGodmother.comThe Godfather and I have always stayed in for Valentine’s Day… remember the 17 hour key lime cheesecake I mentioned in this post? That was from our first Valentine’s Day together. At first we alternated years cooking for each other, but it’s devolved into us just making a meal together and enjoying it with a movie or some board games. This year we’ve decided on dim sum if you’re curious. Some we’ll try to make and some we will outsource to the Trader Joe’s frozen food section since it’s our first Valentine’s Day with the little one.¬† (more…)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake with Crunchy Streusel Topping

This post updated December 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add new photos to early recipes. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake - A creamy vanilla bean cheesecake on a cinnamon graham crust topped with a homemade apple pie filling, a crunchy streusel topping, and liberally drizzled with caramel sauce! Get the recipe on

Happy 2014 darlings! I know we technically haven’t entered the new year until midnight, but there’s nothing wrong with a little early celebration, right? And I’m giving you the perfect decadent little dessert recipe to enjoy before those resolutions kick in tomorrow.

photo 1 

2013 has been an incredible year, thank you for sharing it with me (all 8 of you who read

Tonight, we will celebrate the new year with my parents, who are visiting, in our usual quiet style – tapas, movies, and board games at home. I hope you all enjoy celebrating in your own manner safely with people who make you smile. May the next year be filled with joy, love, blessings, and fulfilled resolutions for those who make them!¬†this!). My “baby”, Goodie Godmother, grew from an idea on a piece of paper to a thriving little business, the Godfather and I found we were going to grow our family by one human child (adding to our fur baby Dolce and my business baby), and the latter part of the year brought news of yet more changes in 2014!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake - A creamy vanilla bean cheesecake on a cinnamon graham crust topped with a homemade apple pie filling, a crunchy streusel topping, and liberally drizzled with caramel sauce! Get the recipe on

Miss A will be the first major change – she hasn’t come yet for those on baby watch – then my next youngest sister will be celebrating her wedding this summer, and our little clan will be relocating. The Air Force has decided it’s time for us to add a little sparkle someplace new. We’re still here for a few months yet, so don’t panic!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake (1 of 2)photo 3I stopped making resolutions a long time ago for the New Year, but I do take some time to reflect and evaluate choices from time to time, and given the season, one of those times always falls around the New Year. This year, I am choosing to:

  • Continue to find the joy in the everyday things
  • See the positive aspects of every situation
  • Continue to remove unnecessary negativity from my life – people, situations, etc
  • Find beauty in the unexpected
  • Try to invest more time with those who matter and keeping in touch with friends (I’m awful about it, I’m sorry!)
  • Understanding my own limits. I’m very good about working myself to exhaustion behind the scenes. I’m thankful the Godfather is so incredibly supportive, but I want to teach my daughter about balance and I can’t if she doesn’t see it at home first.
  • Blog more! It’s embarrassing to see the number of recipes I have photographed and in queue with no posts written for publication.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake - A creamy vanilla bean cheesecake on a cinnamon graham crust topped with a homemade apple pie filling, a crunchy streusel topping, and liberally drizzled with caramel sauce! Get the recipe on

If you’re up for sharing, I’d love to read your plans for the next year!photo 5Caramel Apple Cheesecake - A creamy vanilla bean cheesecake on a cinnamon graham crust topped with a homemade apple pie filling, a crunchy streusel topping, and liberally drizzled with caramel sauce! Get the recipe on

And now… the recipe you will “need” for tonight or in a few months when it’s time for a party and sweet indulgence.

Caramel Apple Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Streusel Topping
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 servings
Crust Ingredients
  • 10 ounces graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Cheesecake Ingredients
  • 5 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups sugar
  • 3 vanilla beans, scraped
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Streusel Topping Ingredients
  • ¬ĺ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¬Ĺ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Apple Pie Topping
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (approx the juice of ½ a lemon)
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Mix the crust ingredients* and press into a 9" springform pan, going up the sides. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. Set crust aside while you make the filling.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, ginger, flour and vanilla beans in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition, then slowly add the lemon juice and mix until smooth.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and place into a water bath. Basically, fill a larger pan with water about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Then, carefully place the whole thing in the oven and shut the door.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then - without opening the oven door - reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 50-60 minutes until the cheesecake is set on top but still jiggles slightly. Don't over bake.
  6. Turn off the oven, crack the door open and leave the cheesecake be for 30 minutes, then remove from the water bath and place on a wire rack to cool for an additional 30, then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. You want to bring the temperature down slowly to prevent cracking on your cheesecake's surface. This won't matter so much if you choose to top the cheesecake with the apples, streusel and caramel, but if you leave all parts of the cheesecake separate to be added to individual slices as preferred by those enjoying, you'll want a pretty cheesecake.

While your cheesecake is baking and cooling...Make the apple pie filling:
  1. Peel and slice the apples while you melt the butter in a large skillet.
  2. Mix the apples with the sugar, lemon juice, and spices
  3. Add to skillet and stir occasionally until apples are tender.
  4. Set aside and use to top cheesecake just before serving. I like to serve the topping warm.

Make the streusel:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Mix all streusel ingredients in a bowl and arrange in a thin layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. Bake 20-30 minutes until crunchy, stirring and checking at the 10 minute, 20 minute, and 25 minute marks to prevent burning.

  4. Top with your favorite caramel sauce or make your own usingthis recipe.
- The crust for this recipe may seem a little crumbly, but it will hold together very well after baking.
- If you'd like a more firm cheesecake, add 2-3 tbsp all-purpose flour to the cheesecake filling. As written, it will look a little more jiggly at the end of the baking time, but as you can see in the photos, sets fully when chilled.

Find this link and other great ideas on Way Back Wednesday! 

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