Tag Archives: dessert

Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

I can’t make Banana Bread. And by can’t, I mean shouldn’t. Does anyone else have a problem not eating an entire loaf of banana bread in one sitting? I think I have everything under control until I pull the pan out of the oven and the aroma that envelopes the entire house cradles me and slides me into the Land of Absolutely No Willpower. I’ll just cut a slice off the end. I’ll just slice one more piece. Okay, just one more and I’m done. Well, that piece was lopsided so I might as slice this off. Now, that looks weird so I should cut another piece. Have I really almost eaten half of this bread? What’s one more slice? You know what I mean. When I see a recipe like this Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze, I tell myself I shouldn’t make it. I even convince myself I won’t make it and consider for a second not keeping the recipe. But then when I have those dark brown bananas sitting on my counter, well, I’m not going to throw them out. And putting them in the freezer for smoothies is just not a train I can get on. I hunt down that recipe.

The bananas are sautéed in butter with brown sugar until thick and caramelized. The gooey goodness is mixed with your standard quick bread ingredients (oh, and a little rum) and baked until puffy and golden. Then, to take things over the top, butter that is cooked until toasty brown is mixed with half-and-half and powdered sugar. This brown butter glaze isn’t needed, but you’ll be glad you added it. When you slide that glaze over the bread and watch it as it seeps into it’s deep, crusty crevices, you’ll be thankful. Just try to contain yourself and eat one piece. Just. Try.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and bananas; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

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Combine buttermilk, oil, rum and eggs. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.

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Scrape batter into a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan, and cool on wire rack.

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Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until butter begins to brown; remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and half-and-half, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

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Drizzle glaze over bread. Let stand until glaze sets.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

If you have seen my Instagram account, you might know that I’m a little bit obsessed with Target’s dollar spot. While I’m typically scooping up notepads, pens, markers, and other cute office supplies, one day I came across red, white, and blue sprinkles for the 4th of July. SPRINKLES for a dollar? I can’t even.  I have a little bit of a sprinkle problem (not that you would know it because I haven’t baked that much) so there was no question those sprinkles were coming home with me. My favorite funfetti anything are these cookies I posted a long time ago which have become my go-to cookies whenever I feel like baking. But this time, I decided I do something a little different for the 4th and make these Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes from one of my favorite bloggers ever, Jessica from How Sweet Eats.

A simple vanilla batter is carefully folded together with sprinkles, baked, cooled, and topped with a smooth buttercream frosting which is sprinkled with even more sprinkles. The best part is, you can use any color of sprinkles you want depending on the holiday or event to easily make these festive cupcakes! What else is there to say? Sweet, creamy, rich, decadent, colorful. Everything you want in a cupcake! Thanks, Jessica!

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

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Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients.

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Fold in assorted sprinkles.

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Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.

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Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until completely smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly. Gradually increase mixer speed and add vanilla, then beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. If frosting is too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached If it’s too thin, add sugar gradually until it thickens.

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Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: How Sweet Eats

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

I was in Atlanta last week for work (hence my silence) and when I’m there, I like to go to a cute little spot called The Cookie Studio. The first time I was there, I immediately proclaimed “This is the kind of place I want to own.” This time when I was there, I said the same thing to the owner who handed me some tea and told me how hard it is. I always say that when I’m done working, I just want to make cookies. And while my dreams aren’t dashed, I realize owning my own cookie place will probably never happen. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t make cookies anytime I want to. A day after flying home, I was eager to make some cookies. These Chocolate Pretzel Cookies were exactly what I had in mind.

Chocolatey cookie dough is mixed with pretzel pieces and semi-sweet chocolate chips before being dropped onto a cookie sheet and topped with a whole mini pretzel. Chocolate and pretzels? Mmkay! The only thing that would be better? A little peanut butter. My wheels are turning. Anyway, these cookies are a perfect treat when that after dinner sweet tooth starts talking. The worst part is trying to just eat one. Making cookies is so satisfying to me. Whether I ever make cookies for a living or just make cookies at home, making cookies will always be the sweetest thing I do.

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Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 2 minutes, until fluffy.

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Beat in egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Pour in flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Carefully fold in chocolate chips and chopped pretzels.

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Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Press down lightly to flatten. Gently press a whole pretzel on top of each cookie.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Family Circle magazine

Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars

I’ve already given away dozens of the cookies and treats I’ve featured this week but I still have so many left in my house. It’s killing me. I’m trying sooooooo hard not to eat them and for the most part, I’m doing pretty good. Or at least I was. But these Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars are evil little magic waves of sweetness and they are torturing me. They appear in my dreams, whisper my name when I’m standing strong, and wrap their sweet scent around me everywhere I go. My knees are getting weak.

Inspired by traditional Hello Dollys, I changed things up by using pretzel crumbs in place of graham crackers, caramel topping instead of butterscotch, peanut butter filled morsels in place of plain chocolate, and almonds instead of pecans. The result is basically…well…crack. I was doing so good on watching my sugar and this week it’s all down hill. I know that’s what happens during the holidays but I thought I could keep it under control. This is the problem with working from home. I no longer have an office to take all these leftover cookies to so instead they sit in my kitchen. They taunt me. Make fun of me. Call me names. This weekend may turn into a real battle. Me against them. I have a feeling these layer bars will be the victor.

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Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars (adapted from Hello Dollys)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 ground pretzels
  • 1 9-oz package Nestlé Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels with Peanut Butter Filled DelightFulls(or 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and 3/4 cup peanut butter chips)
  • 1 12.25-oz jar caramel topping
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in 13 x 9 inch pan and melt in oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides with butter. Spread pretzel crumbs evenly over bottom of pan. Layer morsels over pretzels crumbs followed by caramel topping and almonds. 

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Pour condensed milk over almonds. Sprinkle coconut over condensed milk.

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Bake 25 minutes until edges are golden brown and bubbly.

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Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

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Easy Salty and Sweet Christmas Bark

I used to go with my mom to a small chocolate store half an hour from where we lived in Illinois every December. We would pick up bags of red, green, brown and white melting chocolate which we would bring home, melt and pour into different Christmas molds like wreaths, bells and snowmen. I really miss that. I hadn’t played with melting chocolate since then which was way too long ago. I found melting chocolate at Target and next thing I know, I’m throwing pretzels, chocolate cookies and peanut M&Ms into my cart. I ended up making this Easy Salty and Sweet Christmas Bark.

Why haven’t I been doing this before? Making bark is SO easy! And now that I know that, I’ve been looking up different kinds of bark on Pinterest and my mind is reeling. I want to make more! Now that I know where to find melting chocolate, how easy it is to work with and how stinking good it is, I’ll start making bark all year, not just during the holidays!

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Easy Salty and Sweet Chocolate Bark

  • 1 pound white melting chocolate (I used CandiQuik vanilla candy coating)
  • 1 cup pretzels (preferably holiday shapes – trees, bells & stars)
  • 6-8 chocolate sandwich cookies with red or green filling (like Oreo)
  • red and green m&ms (regular or peanut)
  • red and green sprinkles

Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or wax paper; set aside. Chop cookies into 1/4th; set aside. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Pour half the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet; spread to approximately 1/4 inch thick.

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Working quickly, add the pretzels, cookies pieces, m&m’s, and sprinkles over the chocolate in a sporadic pattern.

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Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate on top of the pretzels and cookies. Garnish with additional sprinkles; if desired.

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Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Once set, break the bark into pieces.

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Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti

I didn’t grow up familiar with biscotti. I’ve only ever made it once and each time I make it, it seems daunting. But even though there are a few steps, it really is easy. I took some of this Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti to the Philadelphia Eagles tailgate I went to on Sunday and saw someone eat one, then walk over and grab another one. I hadn’t even tasted one yet so I tapped him on the arm and asked him how they were. “The best biscotti I’ve ever had,” he said. His wife agreed and said she’d never seen him eat TWO biscotti. I was thrilled!

With a chocolate dough base, these biscotti have dried cherries (my fave!) and pistachios mixed into the dough giving little flecks of red and green that seem so appropriate for the holidays. Dried fruit and nuts are such an amazing combination and putting them in a cookie is a great way to enjoy them without having to cut into a fruitcake. With one end dipped in a little semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate, these will sure to satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

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Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until blended.

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Stir in pistachios and cherries.

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Place half of dough on each prepared baking sheet. Shape each half into a slightly rounded log about 10 x 3 inches using floured hands. (Dough will be very sticky.)

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Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is firm to the touch. Let cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack.

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Transfer logs to a cutting board, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-wide slices with a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes on each side or until crisp. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Dip ends of biscotti in dark chocolate, and drizzle with white chocolate, if desired.

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Place on wax paper to set.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living magazine

Chewy Molasses Cookies

This really is my favorite time of the year. And I’m not just talking about Christmas time. I’m talking about cookie time! I know I can make cookies at any time during the year but the truth is I don’t. So I get giddy like I a little kid when I can carve out a weekend day to spend hours in my kitchen covered in flour baking batch after batch of cookies and treats. I had a lot going on this past weekend but I didn’t let anything get in my way when it came to baking on Saturday morning. The first cookie I decided to make were these Chewy Molasses Cookies.

Similar in flavor to gingerbread, these molasses cookies are soft, chewy, and mouthwatering. With warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves, these treats scream happy holidays and belong in anyone’s cookie jar. Ginger and spice and everything nice? Check! As much as I love baking cookies, I don’t like having cookies in my house so I bake for my family instead. We all live far apart and I love nothing more than filling up a tin of cookies, shipping them away, and having my family thankfully appreciate them. It makes me warm and fuzzy. Kind of like these cookies.

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Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place butter, 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg; beat 30 seconds.

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Add molasses; beat just until combined.

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Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed or just until combined. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 24 balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Roll balls in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or just until set.

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Cool 3 minutes on pan; remove to a wire rack.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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