Cranberry Turtle Bars for Amy’s Virtual Baby Shower

Do you guys remember Amy from Sing for Your Supper? She made these tasty looking Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Scones for Friday Favs back in April. Well today, I’m excited to say that I am participating in her Virtual Baby Shower!

When Kelsey from Apple A Day emailed a group of bloggers about participating, I was excited to join in! I love the idea of virtual showers. It’s so much fun to be a part of a party online for someone who you’ve never actually met.

These bars are actually from Apple A Day. I didn’t plan it that way, but I guess I’m just having some weird deja-vu situations going on this week. I wanted to make something sweet since Amy is having a sweet baby girl. And I wanted something festive since I can’t get enough of the fall flavors.

I love making homemade caramel and just don’t do it often enough. These bars were really unique and delicious. Hubby took them to work and they got rave reviews. The combination of caramel, cranberries, pecans, chocolate, and shortbread is pretty freaking amazing. You should think about making these for the next holiday dinner, potluck, or shower that you’re invited to! Check out Kelsey’s blog for the recap of what everyone else made.

One Year Ago: Caramelized Butternut Squash and Spicy Butternut Sqaush, Goat Cheese and Lentil Salad
Two Years Ago: Apple Cranberry Cake-Pie
Three Years Ago: Pie Crust

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Cranberry Turtle Bars

Yield: 30 bars

Ingredients:

For the base
2 cups flour
1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup or 12 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the topping
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) bag frozen cranberries (not thawed)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
2 oz bittersweet chocolate

Directions:

First, chop the pecans and toast on the stovetop or in the oven. Set aside and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a two-inch overhang on all sides. Butter or spray the sides (but not the bottom) of the foil with baking spray.

To make the base, blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture forms pea-sized lumps. Pour into prepared pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer.

Bake in middle of oven until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.

While base is cooling, melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245 degrees Farenheit on a candy thermometer, about eight minutes.

Carefully stir in cranberries. At this point the caramel will seize. Allow the caramel to melt back down, stirring, as necessary, to prevent burning. Boil until caramel returns to 245 degrees Farenheit.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated.

Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a fork to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.

Lift bars in foil from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into six vertical strips, then five horizontal strips to form 30 bars.

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Alternately, melt in the microwave, stopping to stir every 20 seconds.

Transfer chocolate to piping bag or small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. If using a sealable plastic bag, seal top and snip off a tiny piece of one corner to form a hole. Pipe chocolate decoratively over bars. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets, about one hour.

Recipe from Apple A Day, originally from Epicurious.com

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22 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes”

  1. #
    1
    DeliciousDish — March 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I NEED to make these. I might just start on them tonight!

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    Nutmeg Nanny — March 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    These look amazing! I would go into a sugar coma because I would probably want to eat at least three of these gems…haha.

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    3
    Melissa — March 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Oh wow these are my dream dessert! I hope you bring these ones to Cupcake Camp!!

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    4
    Erin — March 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I too have been meaning to make these cupcakes since I first saw them on the internet. I love that you combined several recipes from different bloggers. Awesome recipes, unite!

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    5
    beantownbaker — March 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Like I said, it’s a multi-step process, so starting part of it tonight might be a good idea. If you make them, I definitely want one. These were so good.

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    beantownbaker — March 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Oh that’s a thought… I still haven’t decided what I’m baking for Cupcake Camp…

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    beantownbaker — March 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Definitely give it a shot. They take some time, but it’s SO worth it.

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    8
    Shannon — March 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make these for quite a while as well. My mother-in-law LOVES cookie dough and her birthday is coming up. From all the versions I’ve seen floating around on the internet, I really like yours since you have the LOTS of cookie dough in the middle of your cupcakes. So, you baked the cupcakes with the frozen cookie dough inside? No problems with it baking up? I’m definitely trying this!

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    beantownbaker — March 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Yep, just dropped the dough into the cupcake batter before baking it. The cupcakes did rise up quite a bit and then sank back down as they cooled. I was a little concerned I had underbaked them, but they were delicious. Definitely let me know how they turn out for you if you make them.

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    Jessica — March 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    oh my Lord these look amazing! I’m having a girls night next weekend and I’m def going to try these! Thanks!

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    11
    FunandFearlessinBeantown — March 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Once again Jen, you impress me with your creativity!

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    Sarah C — March 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I want, no NEED, to make these. Does it matter what size your cookie scoop is? Mine is a medium size with about 1.5 tbsp volume. Want to make sure it won’t be too much that it prevents the cupcake from baking up (because honestly, it’s not possible for it to be too much cookie dough).

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    13
    beantownbaker — March 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I’m honestly not sure what size my cookie scoop is. It doesn’t have any markings on it to give an indication! I think it’s the standard cookie scoop you’d get at the grocery store if that helps at all… I think 1.5 Tbsp sounds about right though.

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    14
    Carrie — March 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I’m already trying to decide what occasion to make them for.

  15. #
    15
    Cara — March 31, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I’m still waiting to try these. Just sayin’. 😉

  16. #
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    ErinsFoodFiles — March 31, 2011 at 3:14 am

    WOW! Talk about decadent!

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    beantownbaker — March 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Well I *might* be making these for Cupcake Camp. So, if you make the trip into Boston for that, you might be able to have one! Too bad they’re not appropriate for Passover.

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    Rebel Mel — March 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Who needs dessert at 8am???

    I’ll give you one hint.

    Me.

    😉

    Bookmarking this! I’ve been meaning to make these cupcakes for a while now!

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    DyingforChocolate.com — April 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Will be making these soon. What a great twist.. the cookie is actually a cookie in the baking process. Yum!

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    Jene — April 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

    OH. EM. GEE. I’m SO making these for euchre night on Saturday, just to have an excuse.

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    Lovemytheekidz — March 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I found this recipeast summer and have made it several times for my oldest child, who has requested it again-for her sweet sixteen birthday. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

    • beantownbaker — April 16th, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

      So glad you enjoy it! This is one of our favorite cupcake recipes of all time.

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