Banana Split Brownie Pie

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Crust
1/3 box of graham crackers, ground into crumbs
4 T butter, melted

Brownie
1/2 c butter at room tempremature
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

Banana Topping
8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/4 c sugar
1 vanilla
1 egg
1 very ripe banana, smashed
2 Tablespoons flour

For Serving
Sliced strawberries
Hot Fudge

Preheat oven to 350. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into 9″ pie plate.

For the brownie later, beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Next, beat in eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients, stir until just combined. Pour batter into crust and spread carefully (the batter is thick and may pull on the crust if you aren’t careful). Bake 15 minutes.

While that’s cooking, beat cream cheese, banana and sugar until fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla, beat in, beat in flour last. When brownie is done (it won’t be set yet, so again, be careful), remove from oven and spread cheesecake mixture evenly over it. Put back in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the middle is set (it won’t jiggle when you gently shake the pie plate).

Remove from oven, let cool, then refrigerate until serving. Serve with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of hot fudge. Yum!

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Sweet Crepes

  • crepe2 c flour (trust me from experience, don’t try to get healthy and use whole wheat flour, it doesn’t work. Stick to AP, pastry or some other fine flour!)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c milk
  • 4 T butter
  • pinch salt

Suggested toppings:

  • nutella or chocolate peanut butter
  • hot fudge or chocolate sauce
  • peanut butter
  • cream cheese with lots of powdered sugar beaten in
  • your favorite fruit – we love bananas, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • whipped cream or ice cream
  • plain crepes with butter, powdered sugar and lemon are also out of this world!

The original recipe called for eggs, and I totally forgot to put them in, which I am happy about because these turned out so well! Also, this is for a double recipe, because I don’t know how you can make a single recipe (for more than two people) and have enough to go around!

Whisk ingredients together in a medium size mixing bowl. Pour roughly 1/4 c of batter into frying pan over medium heat and swirl around until very thin. Once the batter is no longer wet, flip the crepe. Let it cook a bit longer on the other side (cook them longer for a crispier crepe, shorter if you prefer them softer. Personally, I like them on the crispier side). I know the timing isn’t helpful, but it is more of an eyeball thing with these. Remove crepe from heat and repeat process until the batter is gone. Fill crepes with your favorite toppings and enjoy with a mimosa or coffee!

Stout Brownies

2014-04-07 13.36My husband hosted a diaper party this weekend, complete with the final four, poker and lots of beer, so it was only appropriate to try a new recipe that would go along with the theme! These brownies are much different than my usual recipe, the yeast in the beer makes them more cake like, however they were still fudgey in the middle. The beer is more of a subtle after taste, next time I might add in a bit of whiskey, which makes all brownies better, even the ones in the box!

  • 1 c AP flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 6 T butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use 60% or more cocoa chips)
  • 3/4 c white chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c granulated white sugar
  • Just under 1 can of Guinness Stout at room temperature
  • 1 c semi-sweet or white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt, then set aside. Melt the butter, bittersweet chocolate and white chocolate chips using a double boiler or following the package microwave directions. Remove from heat (I find that a double boiler works better with white chocolate. If you don’t have one, put a bowl over a pot of boiling water and stir stir stir!). Using a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy, about three minutes. Add in melted chocolate and beat until combine. Beat in the flour mixture, then whisk in the stout by hand. The batter will be on the thin side. Pour into prepared pan, then drop remaining chocolate on top of batter. Bake for 25 minutes, share with friends! Adapted from http://abt.cm/1ac9GtV

Yeast & Gluten Free French Bread

2014-03-12 12.58.03This is my new favorite yeast free bread recipe. It is still somewhat dense, but much more “bread” like than soda bread. I think this has a lot to do with the psyllium powder and vinegar. Whatever it is, it is delicious, chewy, and amazing toasted with cheese and eggs!

  • 1 c milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, but dairy is great, too)
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons psyllium powder (I found it in the bulk section of Whole Foods)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 3/4 c flour (original recipe calls for rice flour, I used a combination of spelt and oat flours)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • water, if needed
  • cornmeal or flour for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put milk and vinegar in a mixing bowl, let stand one minute, then whisk in psyllium powder. Let stand 5 minutes. Mixture will turn gelatinous. Mix in remaining ingredients using a wooden spoon, batter may be a little dry. If it doesn’t start to thicken into a dough ball, add a little water, 1-2 T at a time so you don’t over do it. You don’t want the dough too dry, but you don’t want it to be sticky either. Once it starts to come together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times (I just did this part right in the bowl). Shape into a long loaf. Put some cornmeal or flour onto a baking sheet. Place loaf onto cornmeal surface. For a crustier outside, brush additional olive oil onto the loaf. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and rest on wire cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Enjoy! http://bit.ly/OncbFj

Mocha Cheesecake Brownies

2014-02-15 10.42.39Cheesecake:

  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/3 granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 T milk heavy cream
  • 2 eggs

Brownie layer (uses the best brownies. ever. recipe, just adding in espresso powder)

  • 1/2 c butter at room temperature (if you are in a rush and it’s cold, stick it in the microwave for 11 seconds, that usually does the trick!
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c flour (recipe calls for AP flour, I use whole wheat pastry or cake flour, spelt would work, too)
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1 T espresso powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1.5 semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×9 baking pan. Then, make the:

Brownies: Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer bowl or with a hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix in the chocolate chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Cheesecake: (Separately from the brownie mixture) Using a stand mixer with paddle or hand mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Add sugar, flour, and espresso powder, mixing until incorporated, then add vanilla, milk and eggs.

Take about 2/3 of the brownie mixture and pour into the bottom of your prepared pan, spread evenly. Then top with the cheesecake layer, spread evenly.

2014-02-15 10.00.48

Top with remaining brownie batter.

2014-02-15 10.01.43

Using a knife or spatula, swirl the brownie and cheesecake mixture together (clearly swirling is not my specialty!).

2014-02-15 10.02.57

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until middle is set and the edges are pulling away from the sides. Let cool COMPLETELY before trying to cut (they continue cooking in the pan, plus they will be a hot mess if you try to cut them before they cool.

Personally, I thought these needed more mocha and I will probably experiment with adding more espresso powder next time, but overall, these were amazing brownies.

Something else I would do differently…the original recipe calls for pouring half the brownie batter in the pan, spreading it around, then pouring the cheesecake in, spreading it out, and pouring the rest of the brownie batter on top and swirl the top two layers. This creates a small problem because the cheesecake swirl layer pulls away from the brownie layer when you try to take them out of the pan. Next time, I would swirl it all together better so it holds nicely when cutting them up.

Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

2014-02-15 10.26.31I was trying to find something creative to make for Valentine’s day, and came across this recipe. Of course, it called for Valentine m&ms and raspberry ice cream, but I’m not a big m&m fan and raspberry ice cream just didn’t sound right, so we opted for peanut butter chocolate swirl and mint moose tracks…I’m sure whatever flavor you choose will be perfect! I think the reason this cookie recipe works so well with ice cream is the flour to butter ratio. I feel like using the normal Tollhouse recipe for the cookies, they would be too thin and malleable, and wouldn’t hold very well.

Another secret I learned (after the first four sandwiches completely fell apart due to melting ice cream in the freezer), after the cookies are cooled, stick them in the freezer for a while. They frozen cookies with frozen ice cream are MUCH easier to work with. You can tell the mint chocolate ones were done and got a little bit melt-y in the photo.

If you really want to get fancy, smoosh them together better than I did, then roll the outsides of the ice cream in sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.

  • 2 1/4 c flour (AP, whole wheat pastry or cake are best for cookies)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (or holiday themed m&ms of your choice. I used the mini chocolate Cadbury eggs, crushed, along with chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Then, using a stand or hand mixer, beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate, then drop about dough onto baking sheet (parchment lined if you want easy dishes), about 2 T of dough for each one (this will help so your cookies are all about the same shape/size). Bake for 9-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes (they will finish baking at this time); remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Once they are completely cooled, throw them in the freezer for an hour or so. Match the cookies up so they are paired with one that is roughly the same size, then scoop ice cream in between. Smoosh the cookies down a bit to evenly distribute the ice cream. Enjoy immediately, or put back in the freezer until you are ready to eat. Based on http://bit.ly/1f5LSxo

Best Brownie Recipe. Ever.

I have made these at least four times in the last few months, and can’t believe they haven’t made it on the blog yet. This is by far the best (and easiest!) brownie recipe I have ever tried. They are fudgy, chocolatey, amazingness. Best served with ice cream, if you can get them in a bowl before devouring the whole pan. I try not to make them too often because just knowing they are in the house, I can’t stop eating them!

Recipe

  • 1/2 c butter at room temperature (if you are in a rush and it’s cold, stick it in the microwave for 11 seconds, that usually does the trick!
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c flour (recipe calls for AP flour, I use whole wheat pastry or cake flour, spelt would work, too)
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1.5 semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 baking dish, set aside. Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer bowl or with a hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix in the chocolate chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula. Spread the batter (will be thick) into the prepared pan and bake for 25 (ish) minutes, or until brownies start to pull away from the edge of the pan and middle is set.  **With brownies, the toothpick trick doesn’t really work, because by the time the middle is completely set, the edges are burned. Not worth burning brownies!
Based on http://bit.ly/1c1rmfD

Yeast Free Pita Bread

2014-01-07 12.11.02Okay, I would probably count these more as tortillas, but I REALLY wanted pita bread, so I found a recipe that said “yeast free pita bread”. It’s really good (who doesn’t like fresh tortillas or pita hot out of the pan?!), just not as fluffy as the real thing. So far, it’s excellent with hummus, and I am looking forward to trying it with lentil sloppy joes tonight or guacamole tomorrow! The recipe is fairly easy…it’s like making pancakes, but easier. I halved the recipe for the first round because that is a lot, and wasn’t sure if they would turn out, but next time, I will make the whole batch and freeze some! I didn’t use any spices this time because I wanted to see what the base recipe was like. It’s delicious on its own, but if I were to make these into pita chips for a party, I would throw in 1 t garlic and rosemary.

  • 3 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c of warm water
  • Olive oil or spray
  • Optional spices: garlic, pepper, rosemary, parsley, etc.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir until it’s too tough, then start to knead with your hands. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. If it is, add a little more flour. Once the dough is in a large ball with the right consistency, break up into 16 smaller balls. Put them back in the bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let rest for 10-12 minutes (or in my case, an hour, I was busy making granola and yeast free bread!). Roll the balls out onto a floured surface until desired thickness, mine were probably between 6-8″ wide. Put a small amount of oil at the bottom of a frying pan (cast iron is ideal, or even better, a griddle, but I just used a plain ol’ non stick pan, and it was just fine). Turn burner to medium heat. Let pan heat up, then drop in rolled out pita. Cook for about 2 min, then flip. It isn’t a science, some cooked longer than others, just check frequently, because as the pan heats up, then can burn easily. If necessary, turn burner to medium low. Enjoy warm! Based on http://bit.ly/19Z18Kc.

Coconut Banana Quinoa Granola

2014-01-07 11.41.58The snowed in baking continues! Since we are recovering from the holidays, I’m trying to make healthy snacks…and this one did not disappoint. This granola is crazy delicious, and doesn’t have a ton of ingredients (which was convenient, because I’m not running out for anything when the windchill is -40!).

  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1.5 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts (I had walnuts on hand)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 over ripe bananas, smashed
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 3 T maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients. In another bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then add in coconut oil, maple syrup, salt and vanilla. Stir together, then pour over dry ingredients. Mix until well coated. Spread mixture onto either greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once in the middle. Let cool on cookie sheet until room temperature, then transfer to an air tight container. Try not to eat it all at one time. 🙂 Based on http://bit.ly/1htfsiC

Breakfast Cookies

2014-01-07 11.43.14What happens with three days of being snowed/wind chilled in the house? Lots of productivity in the oven!

I recently read the book “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist, a collection of stories about life around the table, with (fantastic) recipes included. Everything I have tried to make has been outstanding, so when I had three over ripe bananas and was craving comfort food after being trapped in the house, these did not disappoint!

The original recipe said it makes 12 cookies, however I made them smaller and ended up with about 24. I also used a few less nuts and a few more chocolate chips. These would also be excellent with raisins or other dried fruit mixed in!

Enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate or tea for a mid afternoon snack on a blustery day. Or, for breakfast. 🙂

  • 3 large over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, warmed enough so it isn’t solid (olive oil works too, but you lose that coconut flavor)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 c almond meal (or in my case, 1/3 c garbanzo flour, 1/4 c flax seed and 2 T chia seeds)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2/3 c shredded coconut
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chips

2014-01-07 11.44.25Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, coconut oil and vanilla. Add the oats, almond meal, walnuts and chocolate chips, stir together. Form the dough into 12 balls on a parchment lined (or greased) cookie sheet and flatten them slightly. Bake for 14-16 minutes (or 10 minutes if you go for the smaller ones).