Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BiteSizedBitsofJoy #CollectiveBias

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the good old days … which for me is about ten or twelve years ago.  Still, that seems like a long time ago in a world that was incredibly different from the one we inhabit currently.

Cell phones made phone calls.  Social media wasn’t really a thing.  MTV played music videos.  Like I said – a different world.

 

Frosted Animal Cookies

 

Frosted Animal Cookies

It’s not to say that world was better than the one we experience today, but it was different and sometimes different is good.  While I can’t time travel to the past, I can recreate some of those fond memories.

I have been putting away my cell phone, limiting my time on it to between thirty and forty minutes a day.  It is like lifting a weight off my shoulders.  I am enjoying old school movies and TV shows.  I just watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for the first time and I feel like it’s about time to break out my West Wing DVDs for another viewing.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

I’ve also been picking up nostalgic treats, especially those from Keebler.  My mom loved Keebler cookies and often ate them when she was pregnant with me, so perhaps that is why I have such a soft spot for them.  Every time I pick up some Keebler cookies, I get to take a trip down memory lane and the cookie aisle at my local Kroger.

Shopping at Kroger

I like so many different Keebler cookies and am keeping my eyes peeled for the Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes, but today we’re celebrating Frosted Animal Cookies.  They are so fun with the bright colors and you all know I’m so up for anything with frosting and sprinkles.

But I wanted to do something more creative than just eat them right out of the bag … though I did a bit of that too.  So I made an Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake.  Ice cream cake is another one of those nostalgic treats that I haven’t had in forever, but I recently have been craving one, so this was the perfect time to get to work.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

I made the perfect yellow cake with some of the Animal Cookies mixed right in.  I layered the cakes with vanilla bean ice cream and a ton of chopped Animal Cookies.  I frosted the cake with ice cream and topped it with a bit of marshmallow fluff before finishing with more Animal Cookies and sprinkles!

The end result is everything my old school heart was craving.  The soft cake, the smooth ice cream, the crunchy cookies, and of course the sprinkles.  Not only is this a great way to revisit the past, but it’s an awesome treat for summer since it’s super refreshing.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

You have to check out this sweepstakes too!

Keebler Cookies at Kroger: Summer 2016

Pick up some Keebler cookies, make this cake, and relive all those awesome memories that it turns out don’t have to be left behind.

For more great ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out the #BiteSizedBitsOfJoy Social Hub http://cbi.as/3jch4 –coming soon!

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pans, room temperature

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

½ cup Frosted Animal Cookies, chopped

For assembly

2 pints high quality vanilla bean ice cream, softened

1 cup Frosted Animal Cookies, chopped

1 cup marshmallow fluff

11 whole Frosted Animal Cookies

Sprinkles

Instructions

Bake the cakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in the cookies.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool completely in pans. Cakes may be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in pans covered tightly with plastic wrap.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, remove the cakes from the pans and level the tops of them with a serrated knife. Line one of the cake pans with plastic wrap, leaving a fair amount of overhang. Place one cake in the lined cake pan. Top with 1 pint of ice cream, spreading it into an even layer. Top with chopped Animal Cookies. Press the cookies and ice cream lightly into the cake.

Place the second cake on top. Spread second pint of ice cream on top of the cake. Cover with plastic that is left as overhang and freeze for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. When ready to serve, top with marshmallow fluff and whole Animal Cookies. Finish with sprinkles. Slice cake using a large serrated knife.

Notes

Cake recipe adapted from Food and Wine Additional chilling time is necessary

http://piesandplots.net/animal-cookie-ice-cream-cake/

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

I know Memorial Day is almost here because we bought our flowers last week.  I’m looking at them on the deck as I type this.  They are in all the colors of the rainbow, soaking up the morning sun.

I hate to play favorites, because really I love them all, but there is a pink dahlia in the corner that is just gorgeous.  Of course, then there are the pansies, hibiscus, petunias … like I said, I hate to play favorites.

Red, White, and, Blueberry Banana Bread

Our trip to the garden center almost didn’t happen.  Last Friday was a beautiful day, the perfect day to go.  Not too hot, not to cold.  The garden center was pretty much empty, allowing us to look around without having to fight the crowds.

I really wanted to buy all the flowers.  They are just so pretty and the smell is intoxicating.  If only we could bottle that smell, especially for the middle of winter when it seems there is no hope left in the world.  While we didn’t buy all the flowers, we did a pretty good job.

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

But the weekend, Mother Nature and I were not on speaking terms.  It was so cold that there were wind chills.  And hail.  And snow.  It was gross.

The flowers took cover in the garage and seem to have made it through quite well.  Now they are outside, enjoying life and I am thoroughly enjoying their presence.

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Since Memorial Day is right around the corner, I wanted to make a patriotic treat.  Enter Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread.  It is soft and moist and packed with banana flavor.  The supporting flavors from cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate, totally take this over the top and make is the best banana bread I’ve ever had.

Even better, I baked it in a 9 by 13 to change things up.  It is easier to get out of the pan than in a traditional loaf pan and it cut the baking time slightly.  This is perfect for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.  The whole family will totally love it.

Enjoy everything about summer with this Banana Bread as your go to treat!

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

7 large ripe bananas, well mashed

1 cup blueberries

1 cup cherries, pitted

1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together sugars, oil, eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas until well combined. Stir in flour mixture, followed by blueberries, cherries, and white chocolate chips. Mix until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet in case it bakes over. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely in pan. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

http://piesandplots.net/red-white-and-blueberry-banana-bread/

Churro Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Churro Cupcakes #SundaySupper
I turned 26 on my most recent birthday back in January.  But I think that’s a lie.  I think I’m secretly 80.  There’s some kind of Benjamin Button thing going on here.

When did all of my excitement come from things that would excite any grandparent?  I should be young and hip and cool, but instead, I’m constantly referring to things from back in my day.  You know like landlines (which I still prefer to use over my cell phone) and VCRs.  I know all the old music and TV shows and pop culture references that my peers think are something that has been made up for their amusement.

Churro Cupcakes

It seems the vast majority of my day to day happiness comes from things like watching the birds out the window, playing along with games shows, and talking to the TV during talk shows as though I am a valued part of the conversation.

And then there’s the fact that pretty much every time I move some part of my body cracks.  Knees, shoulders, back.  I sound like Rice Krispies – snap, crackle, pop.

I feel like I’ve been an old soul since I was born.  I never rebelled or partied.  I’ve never gone clubbing or been a part of the in crowd.  I’m a misfit who should have been born several decades ago apparently.

Sometimes I wish I was normal.  Just like everyone else, blending right into the crowd.  It would make things so much easier.  It would make life much more bearable because there are a lot of differences we still refuse to accept.

Churro Cupcakes

But then I remind myself that it’s okay, if not good, to be different.  To be me in spite of all the pressure, and there is plenty of pressure, to assimilate.  See, the people who assimilate are not the ones who change the world.  It is the ones who ignore the haters who create computers and Facebook and music.  And I choose to be one of those people, even if some days I have to wage an interior battle to remind myself of this.

Baking is another thing that makes me an old soul.  I enjoy home cooked meals and fresh baked goods that came from my oven.  And these Churro Cupcakes, they are sure to be a hit.

I’ve never actually had a churro, so I can’t compare them flavor wise, but I can tell you that these super cinnamon-y cupcakes are out of this world.  They are so good they don’t even need frosting.  Soft and melt in your mouth with tons of flavor, I could eat the cupcakes all day long.

But I had to make frosting for them because I do love frosting.  I topped them with a chocolate cream cheese frosting since many churros are served with chocolate sauce.  I was afraid the frosting was a little soft and would fall off the cupcakes, but it held up great.  It is super creamy and has the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Together the combination is amazing!  And the cinnamon sugar on top is the totally necessary final touch.

While it might be cool to head out on the town tonight, I think I’ll give in to my old soul and enjoy a cupcake and movie on the sofa instead.

Churro Cupcakes

Churro Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup sour cream

Frosting

8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup carob or cocoa powder

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2-4 tablespoons milk, as needed

Topping

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 wells in a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Mix in salt, cinnamon, and baking powder until distributed.

Add the flour and sour cream alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until fully combined. Divided batter evenly among the lined muffin cups using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Bake 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream until combined using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon, and carob or cocoa powder. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time. If at any time the frosting is too thick, add the milk gradually until you achieve the proper consistency. Add more sugar for a thicker frosting and more milk for a thinner one.

Heap frosting on to cupcakes – it makes a lot – use it all! Top with a generous sprinkling of the cinnamon sugar after stirring the topping together in a small bowl.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary Recipe adapted from Baked by Rachel

http://piesandplots.net/churro-cupcakes-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Para Empezar, Las Tapas (Appetizers/tapas) –

Postres (Desserts) –

Bebidas (Drinks) –

Plus Alcachofas al Ajillo – Garlicky Artichokes – and Spanish Tapas Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

This past weekend, my parents and I got to do something really cool.  We went to the Fox Theater for Forgotten Harvest’s Comedy Night with Jay Leno.  First, the Fox Theater is an awesome spot.  It is jaw dropping gorgeous.  Alton Brown was there the night before for his tour, which I’d like to see, but my days of going out two late nights in a row are over never existed, so next time, Alton.  Next time.  But I did see his drone flyby of the theater and it is awesome.  Take a look.

Fox Theater

Next Forgotten Harvest is a local charity that rescues food that is going to be thrown away and gives it to those who are hungry.  What they are doing to help people out is remarkable.  This was their 24th annual Comedy Night.  They shared the story of a few families whose lives have been improved by their resources.

Jay Leno

After a couple live auction items, which raised $30,000 total, Jay Leno hit the stage.  Don’t get me wrong, Jimmy Fallon is great, but I still miss seeing Jay on TV every night.  He was as funny as ever and performed for about an hour and fifteen minutes without notes or even taking a drink of his water.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

As he was wrapping up his set, Jay donated $10,000 and offered tours of his garage to anyone in the audience who was willing to donate $2,000.  Very cool and very generous.  Jay truly seems like a great guy.  It was a great night from start to finish and I am so glad we were able to attend.

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

I’m also super glad I made these Triple Peanut Butter Blondies.  They are a peanut butter lover’s dream come true.  The blondie is super dense, fudgy, and chewy.  Plus it’s loaded with peanut butter.  Then I added Mini Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter chips, along with white chocolate chips for balance.

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

I didn’t love these hot out of the oven, but once they cooled, the peanut butter flavor intensified and the rich, gooey texture shined like the star it is.  Needless to say, as I was cutting these up, I kept taking taste after taste.  By the way, how is it that I don’t feel as guilty eating all those little tastes as I do eating a blondie when I clearly ate way more than one blondie???  Girl math???

Anyway, back to these blondies.  Make them.  Really.  They are crazy good.  Also, I made them gluten free and no one could tell!

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 18 blondies

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

1 ¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup Mini Reese’s Pieces

1 cup peanut butter chips

½ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.

Add salt, flour, and baking powder and stir until almost fully incorporated. Stir in Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter, and white chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars. Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Baker by Nature

http://piesandplots.net/triple-peanut-butter-blondies/

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake #SundaySupper

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I asked Mom what she wanted me to make for this Mother’s Day themed post celebrating her.  And she had nothing.  Not a single idea.

So I went ahead and chose something.  Something springy.  Something fancy but not too fancy.  Something Mom worthy, not that any dessert could really express how much I love Mom.

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

So I decided on this Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake.  It isn’t as fancy and laborious as a traditional layer cake, but it has all those classic carrot cake flavors, with the addition of crumb topping.  You can never go wrong with crumb topping.

This is so perfect for Mom too because it is a breakfast food.  While I typically don’t eat lunch and dinner can be a crazy frenzy full of interruptions, each and every day, Mom and I have a relaxing breakfast together.

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

We sit and watch Today and enjoy our breakfast whether it is oatmeal, a smoothie, or this cake.  That time is by far my favorite part of the day, especially this time of year.  There are so many sunny mornings, full of hope and promise, and enjoying an amazing meal with my favorite person is a great way to spend a half an hour.

The time sets both of us up for a great day ahead.  It gives us time to talk and plan our days and think and sometimes sit in silence that isn’t awkward at all.  You know you really love a person when you can sit in silence without it being awkward.

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

So back to this coffee cake and why you have to make it for the person you love most.  It’s crazy moist and a little dense in the best way.  Full of carrots and raisins and a decadent cream cheese swirl, I think this has forever spoiled all other coffee cakes for me.  The only thing I would change is to add some nuts to the streusel topping.  They would add the perfect crunch.  I meant to do it, but then it slipped my mind.

Don’t let this recipe or Mother’s Day slip your mind.  Here’s to many more breakfasts with Mom!

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 large egg

Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 large egg

1 cup milk (I used almond coconut blend – use what you love)

2 cups grated carrots

½ cup raisins (I always use Trader Joe’s Jumbo Medley – it is fab!)

Streusel

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup pecans or walnuts, optional

Glaze

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

2-4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan.

Make the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg until mostly smooth. A few lumps are okay.

Make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the vanilla bean paste and egg.

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in half of the cream cheese mixture, followed by the carrots and raisins.

Pour batter into prepared pan and top with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Use a fork or knife to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter.

Make the streusel. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the pecans or walnuts if using. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the cake.

Bake cake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan or serve immediately. Before serving, make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and orange juice. Add more sugar or orange juice until you achieve the desired consistency.

Cake may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Girl Versus Dough

http://piesandplots.net/carrot-cream-cheese-coffee-cake-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast):

Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Plus What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day plus Mom’s Favorite from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Many of you probably know that I live in Michigan … and also that I wish I lived in California.

It’s not necessarily that Michigan is a bad place to live.  Okay, in the winter it’s just not my thing.  Living somewhere that makes me want to stay inside for roughly six months of the year seems like a bad way to live if you ask me.

But this time of year and into summer and then fall, assuming we don’t go directly from snow to 80s back to snow again, there is something quite nice about it.  The bright blue sky, the flowers, hummingbirds, trees, it’s all very nice.

There are many lakes in the area that are beautiful.  Ornamental flowering trees are very popular and stunning as they bust out overnight and then slowly transition into leafy behemoths.  It’s so nice to head out to some of the hottest new restaurants, in what has become a foodie town.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

But at the end of the day, I don’t really think Michigan is where I belong.  I feel like my ambition, red lipstick, and Louboutins would fit in much better in California than here where I get odd looks as though I am from outer space … or maybe just California.

Still, I am here in Michigan … for now.  In addition to all those other nice things I mentioned, the coming of warm weather brings with it many wonderful foods: ramps, asparagus, blueberries, and of course cherries.

Michigan is the cherry capital.  While many varieties of cherries are grown here, it is perhaps best known for tart cherries.  I love finding fresh ones, but those aren’t quite out yet, so I picked up some dried tart cherries.  They make a great snack, but they are even better in these Carob Cherry Crumb Bars.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

I must admit, I didn’t really feel like making these bars the other day and Mom didn’t think they sounded that good.  But I had signed up for this hometown celebration Sunday Supper and so I forged ahead.

I am glad I did.  These bars … they are incredible.  I think they may have been intended to be drier and more shortbread or cake like, but mine are ooey gooey and fudgy.  The bottom is a little shortbread-y, while the filling is practically molten with plump dried cherries in nearly every bite.  The top is a bit crumbly and sandy with the snap of carob chips.

Chocolate can absolutely be substituted for the carob.  Whichever you use, make sure you try these bars, because I promise you will love them wherever you live.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups dried tart cherries

2 ½ sticks unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup water

½ cup carob or cocoa powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted

2 cups plus 7 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg

2 tablespoons pineapple vodka

½ cup carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan. Line it with parchment leaving a 2-inch overhang and butter the parchment.

Bring cherries, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in an additional ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Set aside.

Whisk together carob or cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, coconut, and 2 cups flour. Blend in remaining 2 ¼ sticks butter, cut into small cubes, using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 3 cups of this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together egg, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, and pineapple vodka until well combined. Stir in the dried cherry mixture as well as the remaining 7 ½ tablespoons of flour. Spread mixture over baked crust.

Stir the carob or chocolate chips into the remaining crumb mixture and spread over the filling.

Bake about 50 additional minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan. Once cool, lift out of pan using parchment and cut into bars. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, individually, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

http://piesandplots.net/carob-cherry-crumb-bars-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Appetizers:

Beverages:

Breakfast:

Salads:

Sauces:

Side Dishes:

Soups:

Main Dish:

Desserts:

Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Bananamazing #CollectiveBias

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

If you have been reading my blog at all since I began it, you know I’m bananas for …. Well … bananas.  I eat two a day, bake with them, blend them into smoothies, sauté them … basically I eat them anyway I can.

And now I have a new way to get bananas in my life: Sir Bananas™ Bananamilk.  Okay, first of all it’s just fun to say Sir Bananas™, and in my world, food should always be fun, especially when it also packs a bunch of nutrition with eight essential nutrients.  It is also a good source of protein, calcium, and potassium; plus it has no artificial colors or flavors.

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Sir Bananas™ is just starting to make its way into stores.  I picked mine up at Walmart.  Be sure to check out their store locator to see where it’s available near you.

Shopping at Walmart

The first thing I did was try Sir Bananas™ all by itself.  Since it’s made with real bananas, it has that wonderful creamy goodness of bananas.  Think about what they to do smoothies, adding body and creaminess.  That’s what they do to this milk.

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

I can’t believe no one has combined milk and bananas before but I am definitely glad they did now.  This milk is Deliciously Smooth.  Snackably Good.

So once I stopped drinking Sir Bananas™, as it is, I made one of my all-time favorite breakfasts: baked oatmeal.  But this is no ordinary baked oatmeal.  It’s Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal.

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Tons of blueberries and strawberries are on the bottom, creating a juicy, fruit crisp like thing.  Then it’s topped with the oatmeal, cinnamon, mashed bananas, and of course Sir Bananas™.  Some toasted walnuts finish it off.

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

This is such a comforting breakfast.  It is also the perfect make ahead dish that you can enjoy all week long, cold or warm.  Plus, it is easily made gluten free and full of good for you ingredients.

So make this Baked Oatmeal and head over to Sir Bananas™ website for some fun goodness because This Milk is Bananas and so is the website!

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Berry Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 ½ cups blueberries

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 cups Sir Bananas™ Bananamilk

½ cup walnuts, toasted

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine strawberries and blueberries in an 8 inch square pan.

In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, bananas, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a large bowl. Be sure everything is well combined. Add bananamilk, and stir to combine.

Pour over the fruit mixture in the pan. Place pan on baking sheet just in case it bubbles over. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbling. Top with toasted walnuts.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve chilled or reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.

http://piesandplots.net/berry-banana-bread-baked-oatmeal/

Cherry Walnut Biscotti #SundaySupper

Cherry Walnut Biscotti

Italian food has never really been my thing.  See the problem is I don’t like tomato sauce.  Like I can’t stand it.  The mere thought of it sends a chill down my spine.  I’m weird, I know.  This isn’t breaking news.

It’s one of those things that I just don’t get.  It makes no sense to me that people like this weird red sauce that smells funny.  But then again, I like kale, something my uncle suggested was only to be eaten as punishment the other day.

This means I’ve never had traditional pizza, lasagna, or spaghetti and meatballs.  I was on the “white pizza” bandwagon before it was a thing.  That’s right, I’m hip and weird 😉

Cherry Walnut Biscotti

Of course, I love fettucine Alfredo, but it’s not really something I eat much anymore, so my Italian food love is very limited.  Garlic bread, plain pasta, garlic bread.

Luckily, there are always Italian desserts.  Tiramisu is awesome, but I wanted to make something super shareable to bring to my friends at the dentist office.  Enter Cherry Walnut Biscotti.

I’ve eaten more than my fair share of biscotti over my life, but I had never made it until now.  Why did I wait so long?  This biscotti is super easy to whip together.  Then it is shaped into loaves, baked, sliced, and baked again.  That’s what makes biscotti … well biscotti.

Cherry Walnut Biscotti

The dried tart cherries and walnuts play so well together and are the perfect combination.  I also love how the end pieces of this biscotti are super crunchy, but the middle ones have just a little chew left.

While I’ll still be steering clear of tomato sauce, I will also be making this biscotti again and you should check it out too.

Cherry Walnut Biscotti

Cherry Walnut Biscotti #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: About 3 dozen

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

½ cup dried tart cherries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and orange zest until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the vanilla and eggs until once again light and fluffy.

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the walnuts and cherries.

Divide dough in half and shape into two long, flat logs on the baking sheet, flouring hands if the dough is sticky.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Then slice the biscotti into about 1 inch thick cookies. Turn cut side up on the baking sheet. Bake for about an additional 15 minutes, until golden brown and mostly firm. Cookies will become crispier as they cool.

Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Anne Burrell

http://piesandplots.net/cherry-walnut-biscotti-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Appetizers:

Mains:

Dessert:

Beverages:

And Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Greek Walnut Cake #SundaySupper

Greek Walnut Cake

I remember distinctly the day I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  It was the middle of summer.  One of my favorite baby sitters was helping my mom out.  She was still awesome, but had a kid of her own, so that complicated things, including making going to the movies almost impossible.

Knowing that it wasn’t always easy to make plans around her youngster or have a crying baby in the middle of a restaurant, one day she dropped her kid off at her mom’s house so we could have the day to ourselves.

Greek Walnut Cake

We turned the radio in the car up loud and headed straight for the movie theater.  We bought our tickets and then snacks.  I was in a nacho phase then and she always got the largest soda available.

I don’t remember a ton about the movie itself, which is so odd considering the day stands out in my mind.  I’m not sure I liked it that much, but I was a naïve child sometimes and movies went waaaaay over my head.  I’m excited to revisit My Big Fat Greek Wedding and check out the sequel.

Greek Walnut Cake

While I rewatch the first movie, I am definitely going to be enjoying another piece of this Greek Walnut Cake.  Awhile back when I received Debbie Matenopoulos’ cookbook It’s All Greek to Me, I knew I wanted to make this cake, and now I finally got to it.

Greek Walnut Cake

I’m glad I did.  The cake is super moist thanks to the soaking syrup and full of walnuts, cinnamon, and a hint of lemon.  It definitely makes a great dessert, but it is also breakfast and tea time appropriate.  Cake for breakfast is always a win in my book!

Greek Walnut Cake

Greek Walnut Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 18 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

3 cups walnut halves, finely chopped

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

Syrup

2 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

2 2-inch pieces fresh lemon peel, yellow part only

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla and lemon juice. The mixture may look curdled, this is okay.

In a medium bowl, stir together chopped walnuts, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Alternately add the walnut mixture and the milk to the butter mixture. Mix just until a batter is formed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Make the syrup while the cake cools slightly. In a medium sauce pan, bring water, sugar, and lemon peel to a boil. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until reduced to the consistency of maple syrup. Remove the lemon peel and immediately pour over the cake.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from It’s All Greek to Me by Debbie Matenopoulos

http://piesandplots.net/greek-walnut-cake-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Greek Appetizers:

Greek Soups:

Greek Breakfast:

Greek Main Dishes:

Greek Side Dishes:

Greek Desserts:

Greek Beverages:

Plus Baked Shrimp with Feta plus More Greek Cuisine from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Apple Crisp Bread

Apple Crisp Bread

Right now, as you are reading this, I’m probably really tired.  Like I can barely lift my head, wanna go back to bed, tired.

Because you see, last night I saw Carrie Underwood.  I’ll be posting all about it very soon, but hopefully it was an amazing show, a great time, and a night I will never, ever forget.  I was probably up way past my bedtime and danced until I couldn’t anymore.  So I guess I have a good excuse.

Apple Crisp Bread

Sometimes I think I’m more tired than most people my age.  At home, I do pretty well, going, going, going for about 12 hours every day, but send me out to a concert or a day of shopping and I get worn out.

However, I feel like so many people anymore can’t stop talking about how tired they are.  How they want to take a nap.  How they just want to sit on the couch all day.

Apple Crisp Bread

Unless it’s ten or eleven at night … okay sometimes eight or nine, I almost never say I’m tired.  I haven’t thought about taking a nap in upwards of twenty years.  And okay I like couch time as much as the next person, but after a couple hours, I need to get up and do something.

So maybe I’m not as tired as I think.  It’s all relative, I suppose.

Apple Crisp Bread

One thing we will all have in common is that this Apple Crisp Bread will be a huge hit and disappear very quickly.  It has all the classic flavors of an apple crisp – apples (duh!), oats, walnuts, brown sugar, crisp topping, but it’s in the form of a cinnamon-y bread/cake that is perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast if you ask me.  And cake for breakfast is always a win!

Oh, and it has bourbon.  So that’s a win too!

Even if you are a little tired, whip up a batch of this bread and enjoy.  It will give you a burst of energy!

Apple Crisp Bread

Apple Crisp Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients

Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats

¼ cup olive oil

Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup olive oil

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup bourbon

½ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

3 cups diced apples, peeled

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 2 loaf pans and place on a baking sheet.

Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts, oats, and oil until well combined and clumps form. Set aside.

Make the bread. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the bourbon. Then add the flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the apples.

Divide the batter evenly among the loaf pans. Top with a generous amount of the topping. Use it all. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool bread in pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto plates. Reinvert so that the topping is on top.

Bread may be served warm or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Bread may also be frozen, wrapped in quarters foil and parchment and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw bread in the microwave for about 1 minute.

http://piesandplots.net/apple-crisp-bread/

 

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