Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and more...


Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies on 5DollarDinners.com

I need you to RUN right now to the store and buy one of the following. Or just buy them all, so you can make these over and over in all the different ways!

  • Chocolate chunk baking chips & “Caramel Bits”
  • Rolos & chocolate chips
  • Caramel filled baking chips

Oh, and I assume you have the basic ingredients for making cookie dough…if you don’t grab all that stuff too 😉 Just go crazy and hit up that baking aisle and get all you need for a binge cookie baking sesh. (Kidding, sorta.)

I got so excited about these cookies that I hopped on Periscope (new live video streaming app) while I was prepping the dough…because there’s just that much to say about these bad boys. I detailed all of the different ways you could make these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies…including with a Rolo stuffed in the middle of the cookie dough. (Recipe below is different from the Rolo one!)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies-3

{Follow me on Periscope and/or Instagram!}

Couple Tips for These Cookies

  1. Soften Cookie Dough completely.
  2. If the butter isn’t softened all the way, cream the butter by itself before creaming with the sugar. These leads to ultimate softness in your dough.
  3. Chill your dough!!! (I know it’s hard, but it’s crucial to get the best cookies!!!!)
  4. If you use the “caramel bits,” you need to eat them warm because the caramel bits will harden when the cookies cool.

3 Options For Making these Cookies

  1. Rolo Stuffed Cookies
  2. Regular chocolate chips/chunks & caramel bits
  3. Caramel-filled chocolate baking morsels

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from: Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield – 3 dozen

Preparation Time – 15 minutes plus 2 hours chill time

Cooking Time – 9 to 11 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, creamed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/3 to 2 1/2 cups flour, until dough isn’t too sticky
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup “caramel bits
  • about 1 Tbsp coarse or large sea salt

Directions

  • Cream the butter. Cream the sugars with the butter. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  • Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until dough forms.
  • Stir in the chocolate chunks and “caramel bits.” Chill at least 2 hours to allow butter and flour to “gel together.”
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Spoon chilled cookie dough onto baking sheet, then sprinkle the top of each with a pinchful of coarse or large sea salt.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until baked to your liking.
  • Serve Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies.
 

Gnocchi Mac n Cheese

Gnocchi Macaroni & Cheese on 5DollarDinners.com

Alright my friend. Let me tell you about this homemade mac n cheese sauce.

The closest thing I can describe it to would be the Stouffer’s freezer mac n cheese flavor. Except this is so much better, and fresher, and tastier. (aka not-processed sauce, so better tasting!)

If you’ve never made a homemade cheese sauce, don’t fret…I’m going to talk you through it. It looks like this.

  • Melt butter in a skillet or saucepan. In this case, I made it in my Dutch oven.
  • Whisk in the flour until a paste forms.
  • Quickly pour in milk and whisk vigorously until flour melts into the milk. The vigorous whisking is to keep the flour from clumping.
  • Bring to bubbling and sauce will thicken. You can add more milk if you want a thinner sauce.
  • Stir in the creamy ingredient – often sour cream or cream cheese.
  • Stir in the cheeses. (I usually mix 2 different varieties of cheese – ie part white cheddar, part sharp cheddar or part mozzarella and part mild cheddar.)
  • Stir in the seasonings, to taste. (I usually keep this simple with garlic powder, onion powder and salt/pepper.)
  • Toss with the noodles or gnocchi.

Boom, done-zo! Homemade Mac & Cheese is ready!

Gluten Free Notes

Yes, this could easily be made into a gluten free meal by using a brand of gnocchi that is gluten free. (Of course, you could also use GF pasta noodles instead of the gnocchi.) Also, you’d need to use a GF flour or GF flour blend when making the cheese sauce.

Get the inside scoop from my kitchen on Instagram!

Gnocchi Macaroni & Cheese

I’ve shared the specifics for this particular sauce and the cheese varieties I used below.

Make sauce in one pot.

Boil the gnocchi in another pot, drain it well and toss with the cheese sauce.

DIVINE.

Gnocchi Macaroni & Cheese-2

 

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

Sauce adapted from: Chicken Spinach Mac & Cheese

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. potato gnocchi
  • Fresh veggies, as side dish

Directions

  • Bring 8-10 cups of water to boil in large saucepan. This is to cook the gnocchi.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce in a large skillet, saucepan or Dutch oven. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Quickly whisk in the milk, so no clumps form. Bring to bubbling over low heat. Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the cream cheese until it melts. Stir in the shredded cheeses until they melt. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. Once sauce is finished, remove from heat.
  • Once the gnocchi water is ready, add the gnocchi and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Once they “float,” they are ready to be removed from the pot. Add to strainer or plate with paper towel. Continuing cooking the gnocchi until they are all finished.
  • Toss the cooked gnocchi with the homemade cheese sauce.
  • Serve Gnocchi Mac & Cheese with veggies.
 

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake from 5DollarDinners.com

That is a little slice of breakfast heaven on a plate.

It’s the fluff of the cake, and the sweetness of the crumbled topping, and the teeniest bit of tart from the softened blueberries.

The key to making the perfect coffee cake isn’t the coffee. It’s the full fat yogurt. (At least in my opinion.) Sour cream in the batter has a similar effect, but full fat yogurt doesn’t leave as much of a tangy cake aftertaste. Hence why this recipe calls for full fat yogurt.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Go ahead and get this made and enjoy yourself a little taste of heaven.

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Adapted from: Southern Living

Yield – 8 servings

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour + 1 Tbsp, divided
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar + 2 Tbsp, divided
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided in 1 cup portions
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 9 inch casserole dish with parchment paper. Spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Whisk well.
  • In a small bowl combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and fold in just until dry ingredients are wet.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 cup of blueberries. Coat the blueberries with flour. Pour these coated blueberries into the dough and gently fold in.
  • Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Top with the remaining 1 cup of blueberries. Gently press them into the dough. Top the blueberries by sprinkling the 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar and cinnamon over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or  until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

Shredded Salsa Verde Chicken

Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken

If you’ve spent any time on $5 Dinners in the past, then you know that I’m all about recipes that are quick, easy, simple, family friendly and budget friendly. I’m all about hacking the grocery shopping experience, so I (really, we!) can spend less money on groceries.

This Salsa Verde Chicken recipe is super versatile and here’s why…

1. It only uses 2 (maybe 3) ingredients plus some salt and pepper. {Salsa Verde & Chicken Breasts and/or Chicken Thighs.}

2. It cooks in the slow cooker.

3. Then you shred it in a stand mixer.

4. It freezes, thaws and reheats beautifully.

5. It’s gluten free and dairy free – when served with appropriate sides.

6. It’s Whole30 & Paleo – when served with appropriate sides.

7. It can be used in any and all Tex-Mex flavored recipes that call for cooked & shredded chicken. I know it’s February 1st and we’re fresh off of the 31 Days of Rotisserie Chicken recipe series…I didn’t have room for this one, so I’m sharing it on the “32nd” day of the month 😉

P.S. When chicken goes on sale, buy a few extra packages and make a big batch of shredded chicken for the freezer.

See why I’m totally crushing on this shredded chicken…I’m sharing a few tips below, so be sure to check those out!

Shredded Chicken in Stand Mixer-2

About shredding chicken in your stand mixer.

I love shredded chicken, you can use it in all kinds of recipes.

My favorite way to make shredded chicken is to slow cook it with some sauce and then take the chicken and a little bit of the juices from the slow cooker and add it all to the stand mixer and let it work the elbow grease for you.

Also, if you wanted to do a large batch to season/flavor later, you could cook the chicken with some mild seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, or a seasoning mix. Then you can add sauces to it later.

The longer you leave it in the stand mixer running, the more shredded and “fine” it will become.

Important: I noted this above, but to keep it from drying out (especially if you are making a large batch and plan to freeze any!) you’ll want to add some of the broth or sauce from the slow cooker. I usually add about 3/4 to 1 cup of the sauce to the stand mixer before shredding it. You can add more or less to your preferences.

If needed, season with salt and pepper to taste. I prefer to do this after shredding, as it’s tough to judge how much salt and pepper to add when you start the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker.

Ok, I think that’s enough on the tips…let’s get to the 2 (or maybe 3) ingredient recipe!

Shredded Chicken in Stand Mixer-3

Please note: This recipe below is written for 8 to 10 servings, which the intention of eating half for 1 meal and freezing the other half. You could easily cut it in half for just a single meal. Or if you’re feeding a larger family, then make it all for 1 meal :)

 

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Shredded Salsa Verde Chicken

Adapted from: Ranchero Chicken

Yield – 8 to 10 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 8 hours in slow cooker

Ingredients

  • about 2 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (or you could do half chicken breasts & half chicken thighs for a mix of white & dark meat flavors)
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa verde
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: garlic and/or onion powder to taste

Directions

  • Add the chicken breasts (whole) and chicken thighs (if using them) to the base of the slow cooker. Pour the salsa verde over the top. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  • (If you slow cooker “runs hot” and has a tendency to dry out meat, you might want to add about 1/2 cup of water as well.)
  • Set on low and cook for 8 hours.
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken pieces to stand mixer (or large bowl) and add 3/4 to 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and mix until shredded to your preference. (If you don’t have stand mixer, you can use 2 forks to shred the chicken in a larger bowl.)
  • Use to fix with favorite shredded chicken recipes.
  • Freezer Instructions: Freeze in plastic baggie or container. To thaw, place in bowl of warm water in the fridge and then reheat over low heat in large skillet with oil or water.

Shredded Chicken in Stand Mixer | 5DollarDinners.com

 

Homemade Chicken & Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken and Spinach Macaroni n Cheese-3

I’ve got one more brand new recipe to share with you as part of this month’s 31 Days of Rotisserie Chicken recipes. I adore homemade macaroni and cheese. I love ‘fiddling’ with the cheese sauce. I love mixing and matching cheeses and this one just might be my favorite…I’m still drooling over this combo of white cheddar and sharp cheddar.

The Homemade Bacon & Spinach Mac and Cheese was such a ginormous hit with everyone, that I decided to sneak in one more new recipe in this month’s 31 Days of Rotisserie Chicken recipes. This one basically swaps the bacon for rotisserie chicken…and you end up with a ‘one-dish meal.’

Chicken and Spinach Macaroni n Cheese-2

For this meal, you cook the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, you prepare the cheese sauce. Warm and drain the spinach. Pull or shred the chicken, if needed.

Then toss it all together in a baking dish. Warm it all together in the oven. Top with some grated Parm and dunzo.

Chicken and Spinach Macaroni n Cheese

Spinach laced. Chicken laced. Perfect cheese sauce. That’s a little taste of heaven in that baking dish my friend!

Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Homemade Chicken & Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

Adapted from: Homemade Bacon & Spinach Mac and Cheese

Yield – 6 to 8 servings

Preparation Time – 25 minutes

Cooking Time – 15 to 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. elbow pasta
  • 10 oz. box frozen spinach
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • about 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, garnish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook the pasta as directed.
  • Warm the frozen spinach and drain well.
  • In a skillet, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Then whisk in the milk and let simmer over low heat until sauce thickens. Stir in the sour cream, garlic powder 2 cheeses until they melt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the shredded chicken and drained spinach.
  • In the prepared baking dish, add the cooked pasta and then pour the cheesy chicken sauce over the top and gently combine and mix well in the baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Serve Homemade Chicken & Spinach Mac and Cheese as one dish meal, or with small side salad or veggies.

Pin all of our 31 Days of Rotisserie Chicken Recipes here!

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Erin’s Personal Recommendations for Rotisserie Chicken Supplies:

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See all of our 31 Days of Rotisserie Chicken Recipes here!

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