Tag Archives: banana

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies (GF)

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowMichelle threw a surprise party for Derrick and asked me to make these and these.  But she also wanted a gluten free option.  I used my go-to GF option and just swapped all-purpose gluten free flour mix for regular.  I thought about making brownies or cookies, but when I was in the middle chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies, I was inspired!

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowWhoopie pie epidemic? Possibly.  I find myself going in phases of making different versions of the same thing.  Clearly this weekend was all about the whoopie pies.  Lately it’s been all about the bar recipes; easy breezy.

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowI know I am not by any means a gluten-free baker, but the one-to-one replacement seems to be working.  The only weird thing is the odd flavor of the raw batter.  The final, baked product tastes fine, but the raw version is really awful.  I don’t understand what happens in the baking process to change it, oh well, if it works, it works

Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale YellowThese are some tasty little whoopie pies.  I made them tiny so everyone could have a bite.  The bananas and cinnamon match perfectly with the cinnamon-raisin peanut butter.  The raisin bits are small and provide bites of sweetness throughout.  Whether you make these whoopie pies gluten free or regular, they are pretty fantastic!  Not too sweet, great for a little snack or dessert.Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale Yellow

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GF Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Whoopie Pies, page 55 & 87
Yield – 12 mini whoopie pies

Whoopie Pies
1 cup gluten-free AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 ripe bananas, smashed
cinnamon

Filling

3/4 cup cinnamon-raisin swirl peanut butter, PB & Co.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt onto wax paper.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar until pale yellow.  Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well combined; scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture.  Then add in the smashed banana.  Beat until just combined.
  5. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough on the cookie sheets.  Leave at least 2 inches of space between each whoopie pie.  Sprinkle cinnamon on the top of each.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.  Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Add the peanut butter and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy.  Turn the mixer to low and beat in the powdered sugar and salt.  Mix for about three minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
  8. Match halves together based on similar size.  Use a piping bag with a round tip to pipe the frosting on each half.  Gently squish the halves together.Banana Cinnamon Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Pale Yellow
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Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale YellowWould you believe me if  I told you I was virtually unpacked?  Well I am!  Thanks to great movers, Michelle’s task master ways, and Jackie’s kitchen stacking skills, all the boxes were unpacked, the cardboard smashed and taken downstairs.  There is no way I could have done it with out them!

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale YellowYesterday I got up and rearranged my bedroom furniture because the bed felt like it was in a weird location; now it feels right!  The kitchen needed a little rearranging and Dean came over to help set up my internet/TV.  Decorations are not up, but with time and inspiration they will be up soon.  As things start to look cute and lovely I’ll try to post pictures to the What I Learned series.

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale YellowThe strangest thing  about moving so far has been adjusting to a new grocery store.  I knew Key Foods like the back of my hand and it’s frustrating wandering the aisles.  Plus, Waldbaums doesn’t seem to carry Kind bars – my breakfast staple.

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale YellowI made these scones right after Thanksgiving as a little snack for myself.  They were a lovely snack on my flight back to New York after my Michigan weekend.  These scones are not dry at all and are filled with goodies.  There is plenty of banana flavor and lots of chocolate and walnut goodness.  Sometimes scones can be not-so-good; I promise you, these are not those!

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Vanilla Pudding Shots

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Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones
Adapted from How Sweet it is
Yield – 8 scones

Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, loosely packed
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/3 cup buttermilk (or squirt of lemon juice + enough milk to make 1/3 cup, let sit 2 minutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ripe banana
scant 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
scant 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
splash vanilla
extra walnuts & chocolate chips to sprinkle on top, optional

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 ˚F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  3. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  4. Use your fingers to massage the butter into the flour.  Keep mixing until the flour and butter are combined in coarse crumbs.
  5. Mash the banana into the buttermilk and stir in the vanilla.  Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the banana/buttermilk mixture in the middle. Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  6. Use a fork to combine the ingredients.  Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
  7. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead together lightly.  Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  8. Push the mixture into a 6” circle and cut into 8 pieces.Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  9. Place the pieces on the baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until the scones just begin to brown.
  10. Let cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  11. Make the glaze by stirring together the milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  If you like a lot of glaze, double the amounts.Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow
  12. Spoon the glaze over each scone and sprinkle with walnuts and chocolate chips.Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Scones | Pale Yellow

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Brown butter, banana, bourbon, and bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowYes, this happened; 48 mini cupcakes filled brown butter, banana, bacon, bourbon, and a peanut butter frosting.  All of your wildest dreams have come true in one tiny bite.  These little guys made a special appearance at our second annual (and final) Fall Fest!  Needless to say, they were a hit.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowDo you want to know what I did yesterday?  Regardless of the answer, I’m going to you anyway.  I volunteered at the NYC marathon.  I have watched the marathon for several years and was scheduled to volunteer last year, but due to Super Storm Sandy, I was unable to do so.  Volunteering is 10x better than being a spectator, for real!

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowEven though I was up at 5:30 a.m. and hauling boxes of Gatorade by 6:30, I had a fantastic experience!  I mixed Gatorade, poured Gatorade, handed out Gatorade, cleaned up Gatorade, and absorbed all the spilled Gatorade.  While all this was going on I was able to cheer on the elite men, women, and wheelchair racers.  I was also able to cheer on all the regular runners from New York, the United States, and all over the world.  When I looked down 4th Avenue and saw the thousands of runners coming, I was in awe.  It’s one of those moments when you’re glad to be alive and glad to be apart of your community.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowAs excited as I was to open a new chapter in my life and leave New York this summer, I’m glad I stayed and yesterday cemented that decision for me.  I was so proud to stand on the sidelines as New Yorker; I felt like a true representation of New York City!  It was a great day!

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowIt was also a great day when I ate the cupcakes.  The banana keeps the cake portion super moist and allows the brown butter flavor to shine.  Let me tell you a secret: I cooked the bacon on the stove and then added the butter to the same pan to brown, IN BACON GREASE!  Yep, brown butter bacon grease in cupcakes – it spectacular, make it happen!  Add in a peanut butter frosting, bourbon syrup reduction, and a piece of bacon and you’re golden.  Cupcakes out.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Apple Pie Cheesecakes

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Brown butter, banana, bourbon, and bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting
Adapted from How Sweet it is
Yield – 36 mini cupcakes

Cupcakes
8 ounces bacon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large bananas, mashed

  1. Cook your bacon until crispy and set aside.
  2. Leave the bacon grease in the pan and add the butter.  Melt the butter and cook until it is browned.  Be sure to scrape off all the lovely bits at the bottom.  Measure out 1/2 cup of this mixture and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your mini muffin tins with papers.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  5. In a larger bowl whisk together the egg and brown sugar.  Whisk in the vanilla, sour cream, and cooled brown butter.
  6. Stir in the the dry ingredients.
  7. Mash the bananas and stir into the batter.  The batter will be thick.
  8. Use a scant 2-tablespoon scoop of batter in each cupcake liner.  Bake for 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
splash of bourbon
splash of cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until well combined.
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small batches, thoroughly mixing between each.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and bourbon.
  4. Add the cream to reach the desired piping consistency.
  5. Use a large star tip to pipe a swirl on each cooled cupcake.

Bourbon drizzle
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 bourbon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
cooked bacon

  1. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat until all the sugar has been dissolved and you have a thick syrup.
  2. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over each cupcake.
  3. Top each cupcake with a piece of cooked bacon.Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale Yellow

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowMy college girlfriends and I were getting together for the weekend to run a 5K and spend some quality time together.  Friday night we grilled some burgers and everyone brought a salad to share.  Now I make some delicious salads, but I had a feeling my friends would want a little bit more than a salad from me!

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowWhen you have a baking blog, people expect dessert!  I’m fine with that expectation and am happy to oblige, especially for my Michigan friends and family.  They see what everyone gets to eat in Brooklyn and they are a little sad they don’t get to taste all my treats.  When I brought the jars up to Angela’s gorgeous rooftop eating area everyone exclaimed, “Are these going to be on your blog?  Are we going to be on your blog?”  Apparently everyone wants to be featured on the blog.  Here you go ladies!  Love you bunches!

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowNeedless to say the pudding was the perfect fuel for us to run our race.  If you’ve never run a Color Run you should totally do one soon.  As a non-runner who needed to train a year to run a 5K, the Color Run is friendly to people like me and completely do-able.  It really is the #happiest5K

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowI was lacking in my training and doubted I would be able to run the whole thing, but with plenty of encouragement from Angela and a slow pace I ran the whole race in a speedy 38 minutes!  I’m so proud of Angela and myself.  We left colorful and sweaty with smiles on our faces.  The Color Run was a great way for my college friends and I to celebrate 11 years of friendships and the start of our 30th birthdays!

Color Run Grand Rapids #happiest5K | Pale YellowAfter we brunched, showered, and de-colored it was time for drinks.  Grand Rapids, MI has become Beer City, USA and it was time for me to properly explore some of the options.  Even though I went to college there, I wasn’t a huge beer drinker then and there wasn’t the beer culture there is now.  We spent a delightful afternoon at Founders Brewery drinking and laughing – a typical afternoon together!

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowLets talk about desserts in jars for quick second – I’ve made desserts here and here, but these are the cutest and most practical usage.  These are easy to carry and transport and put together.  Most importantly, desserts in jars are a breeze to serve because everyone gets there own little dish.  Cleaning is a bit of work, but nothing a bottle sponge can’t take care of!

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowBanana pudding is a classic dessert for a reason; it’s delicious, especially when jazzed up with chocolate and peanut butter.  Yummy.  Creamy vanilla pudding with bananas topped with peanut butter cookies is an awfully good start.  Dig a little deeper and you’ll find some rich chocolate mixed with peanut butter, so decadent and creamy.  Scoop to the bottom and find the crunchy wafer bottom.  If you’re lucky you’ll get a little bit of everything in one bite!

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars
Adapted from Bakerella
Yield – 8 servings

30 vanilla wafers
3 + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 medium bananas
1 lemon
2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 ounces each)
2 cups milk
8 ounces cool whip, thawed
8 nutter butter cookies
8 1/2-pint (8 ounce) wide mouth pint jarsChocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale Yellow

  1. Crush the vanilla wafers in a baggie with a rolling pin.  If you’re fancy you can use a food processor.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter.  Add the butter, sugar, and crushed vanilla wafers to a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Divide the crust evenly between the 8 jars and press down gently.  I used about 2 tablespoons in each jar.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.  Heat in 20-second intervals and stir in between.  Stir the peanut butter into the chocolate.
  5. Place the chocolate-peanut butter mixture in a piping bag and pipe on top of each crust distributing the chocolate peanut-butter mixture evenly.
  6. Slice the bananas into thick slices and toss in a bowl with the juice of one lemon.  Place 5-6 slices in each jar, press down on the chocolate mixture.
  7. In a large bowl whip together the pudding packets and milk until thick.  Fold in the cool whip with a rubber spatula.
  8. Use another piping bag to pipe the pudding into each jar.  I had a lot of extra pudding so I layered some in glasses with extra banana slices and vanilla wafers for my family to enjoy later.
  9. Break up the nutter butters and place on top of the pudding.
  10. Close the lid and refrigerate until serving.  Take the puddings out of the fridge about 20 minutes before eating to allow the chocolate and crust to soften – perfect eating!

Chocoalate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars | Pale Yellow

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Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale YellowDo you know what I did yesterday?  I did something very adult, very grown up.  I bought a car!  I went to several car dealerships, wheeled and dealed, and drove myself home.  Buses, trains, and borrowed rides are now a thing of the past.

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale YellowAlthough I was sweating during the purchasing portion of the day, nothing made me more nervous than actually driving home.  Here’s a secret, I’ve never driven in Brooklyn before.  Scary, but true.  For the past six years I’ve managed to avoid driving in my own city.  It’s pretty easy to avoid driving when you don’t have a car!  Luckily I made it home safe sound.

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale YellowAfter a stressful experience you need something comforting.  Ice cream is pure comfort for me.  It’s in the freezer just hanging out waiting to comfort you after a rough day.  Or waiting to celebrate with you after a fantastic day.  Or just there for a regular day.  Ice cream is a fantastic friend.

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale YellowThis particular batch of ice cream is full of comforting and familiar flavors.  The ice cream starts with a roasted banana custard.  Custard-based ice creams are rich and velvety on their own, but when you add toasted, roasted pureed bananas you get some magic.  The textures are soothing on the tongue and there is no gross artificial banana flavor here, just pure banana goodness.

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale YellowSince I can’t leave anything alone I began to think about accompaniments to banana and chocolate and peanut butter sounded like the right choices!  A sweet, chewy peanut butter fudge ribbon and a decadent chocolate swirl were the right decisions.  They added sweetness and dimension to a simple banana base.  Banana, chocolate, and peanut make a tasty threesome sure to improve any stressful day!

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Shepherd Salad

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Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl
Ice Cream adapted from Zoe Bakes
Peanut Butter Fudge created in my Mind’s Eye
Chocolate Swirl adapted from Baking Illustrated, page 499
Yield – almost 2 quarts

Roasted Banana Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split & seeded
1 cup sugar
10 egg yolks
2 tablespoons banana liqueur
4 bananas, as brown as possible

  1. Place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer at least 24 hours before you want to make the ice cream.
  2. Heat the cream, milk, vanilla bean seeds, and split vanilla bean pod in a medium saucepan until it simmers.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow.  Meanwhile heat the milk mixture back to a simmer.
  4. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the eggs to temper the eggs.  Once the eggs are warm add them to the pot on the stove.
  5. Whisk and heat until the mixture thickens.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the banana liqueur.
  7. Set aside to cool.
  8. While this is going on you can roast your bananas: Place the bananas on a foil lined baking sheet, do NOT skip the foil.  Poke a few holes in each banana and bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes.
  9. Let cool slightly and then squeeze the banana inside into a bowl.  Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the bananas smooth.
  10. Stir the bananas into the ice cream base and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to marry and the custard to ripen.
  11. Churn the ice cream according to your manufacturer’s directions.
  12. Once churned layer the ice cream with dollops of peanut butter fudge and swirls of chocolate.  I made three such layers.
  13. Freeze overnight to harden.

Peanut Butter Fudge
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the marshmallows until they melt.  Whisk in the peanut butter, cream, and corn syrup.
  2. Heat and whisk until everything is combined.
  3. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Chocolate Swirl
3/8 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
pinch of salt
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  1. Heat the cream, corn syrup, and salt until the mixture simmers in a small saucepan.  Once simmering turn off the heat and add in the chocolate.  Let this sit for a few minutes before stirring to combine.
  2. Stir in the butter.  Set aside.

Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Swirl | Pale Yellow

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Baked Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Doughnuts

banana nut chocolate chip baked doughnuts | pale yellowI assume (and hope) most people are on vacation today.  It’s July 5th, no one should be working.  Everyone should be in a post-Fourth stupor/rest.  It’s hard work to play all day at the beach and stay up late to watch the fireworks.  Today is a day of rest before the real weekend begins!  Today is a day for fresh, homemade doughnuts.

banana nut chocolate chip baked doughnuts | pale yellowI made these one early Saturday morning when I was waiting for my running pants to come out the dryer.  Talk about motivation to go for a run – a warm, fresh, chocolatey doughnut awaiting you on your return!  After my run I ate three doughnuts; all exercise officially negated.

banana nut chocolate chip baked doughnuts | pale yellowHowever, I don’t feel like these doughnuts are that bad for you.  First of all they are baked, excellent start.  Second, they only contain 4 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Third, they are tiny and the recipe makes a lot.  And finally, they contain banana and walnut, total health foods!

banana nut chocolate chip baked doughnuts | pale yellowRegardless of whether or not you agree with my justification, these are some good doughnuts whether healthy or indulgent.  They are so moist and a little crunchy from the walnuts.  Obviously chocolate makes everything better!  Make sure to eat these doughnuts fast, they only have about 24 hours of life before they start to get a little stale.  Eating fresh food has so many constraints, but it sure tastes better.

banana nut chocolate chip baked doughnuts | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

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Baked Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Doughnuts
Adapted from That’s So Michelle
Yield 20-24 mini doughnuts

1 cup (about 2 large) mashed bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and spray the doughnut pan with Baker’s Joy.
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork.  Mix in the sugar and the yogurt.
  3. Keep using the fork to mix in the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Make sure the liquids are mixed well together.
  4. Add in the powder, soda, salt, chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Scoop into the doughnut pan using 2 teaspoons, about 2 scoops for each doughnuts.  Spread to smooth and make sure to only fill the doughnut pan about 3/4 of the way.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until just browned on top.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack before storing.  They are lovely to eat warm!

banana nut chocolate chip baked doughnuts | pale yellow

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Banana Bourbon Cupcakes

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

This is a recipe I really wanted to try.  As everyone knows, I’m in love with bourbon right now and the idea of a spiced banana cupcake with a bourbon buttercream and chocolate-bourbon drizzle sounds spectacular.  Unfortunately, I made these cupcakes towards the end of February, my vegan month, and was unable to taste any portion of the cupcakes.  However, there might be a cupcake in the freezer I’m saving for March, I hope it thaws well…

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

Jackie should really win an award for wife of the year.  For their first anniversary she ordered bacon cupcakes to give to her husband as a gift and for his birthday she ordered these cupcakes.  This woman knows the way to her man’s heart.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

For those of you that are subscribers I’m sorry the mess up this morning.  I started the post but never finished because of a couple late nights and parent teacher conferences.  This morning in the post-parent teacher conference hang-over I jumped on the computer to take down the post.  Sometimes work really gets in the way of blogging.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

So now on a lazy Friday night I have lots of time to write a complete post.  According to Ruth, my official taste-tester, these cupcakes were moist and flavorful.  The frosting was sweet and bourbon-y.  The bourbon-chocolate drizzle was a lovely accompaniment the sweet bourbon goodness.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

Now that it’s March 1st, and I’m easing my way back to dairy, butter, eggs, and meat, I had a little taste of left over frosting; it’s sweet, really sweet.  The powdered sugar really comes through and the bourbon is present in a lovely way.  This is a bourbon cupcake my friends, and I can’t wait to make more.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

One Year Ago: Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese

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banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

Banana Bourbon Cupcakes
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yield – 14 cupcakes

Banana Spice Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup mashed bananas (about 3 large)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg onto parchment paper and set aside
  3. In a large bowl beat the egg and whisk in the brown sugar until smooth.  Whisk in the vanilla, sour cream, and melted butter until well combined.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Stir in the the dry ingredients and then add the mashed bananas.
  5. Stir in the milk and chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
  6. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter into lined cupcake tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Bourbon Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons bourbon (I used 3)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale yellow.  Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the powdered sugar until it is fully incorporated.
  2. Add in the vanilla and bourbon on low speed and then switch to a high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the frosting is super fluffy.  Add more bourbon for a looser frosting if desired.
  3. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a round tip.

Bourbon Chocolate Ganache & Assembly
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon bourbon

  1. Heat the heavy cream until it is simmering and then pour over the chocolate; stir until all the chocolate is melted.
  2. Stir in the bourbon until smooth.  Allow the ganache to cool slightly.
  3. Smear a nice dollop of bourbon ganache on top of each cupcake and then pipe a blob on top.
  4. Drizzle with the remaining ganache.banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

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Banana Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate

Banana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

This recipe is adapted from Deb’s Jacked-up Banana Bread.  I think I did a pretty good job of jacking it up even more!  Does this make the official title jacked-up jacked-up banana bread?  I don’t know, that’s why I’m going with banana bread with hazelnuts and chocolate.

Banana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

With all of the millions of banana bread recipes out there, it is difficult to find the one that is perfectly perfect at the right time and place.  Banana bread is like chocolate chip cookies, my favorite recipe is the one I’m eating right now!  This is a good recipe, perhaps not the banana bread to end all banana breads, but pretty damn tasty.

Banana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

We have a problem in our apartment with banana over-rippening.  Instead of throwing the bananas away, we throw them in the freezer in hopes of making banana bread one day.  We can all bake, yet no one ever makes banana bread :-(  Our stockpile was getting pretty high so I’ve been looking for a new banana bread recipe to try.  One of the first places I always look is the Smitten Kitchen, Deb has a superb collection of classic recipes with little twists.  Also, I had a bag of hazelnuts that were calling my name after an impulse buy a couple of weeks ago!

Banana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

I whipped up this banana bread on a quiet Sunday morning, my favorite time to bake!  There is something so peaceful about waking up, turning on music, and baking in your pajamas.  It’s like the world hasn’t really started yet.  I love the peacefulness and by 10, I’m usually all cleaned up and ready to start my day eating something delicious!

Banana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

This banana bread is nice and moist with a good amount of chew from the hazelnuts and applesauce.  The chocolate chips give a little burst of sweetness but the bread isn’t overly sweet.  In general, this is a banana bread that you won’t feel too guilty eating for breakfast!  The background notes from the spices and bourbon add an excellent complexity to an otherwise simple recipe.  And how can you beat a recipe that only requires one bowl and a spoon!?!?

Banana NBanana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Banana Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield – 1 loaf

3/4 cup whole, roasted, unsalted hazelnuts
1 1/3 cup mashed bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a loaf pan well.
  2. In a small, dry skillet roast the hazelnuts until they begin to smell nutty and turn slightly brown.
  3. In a large mixing bowl mash your bananas.  Stir in the applesauce, brown sugar, beaten egg, vanilla, bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves with a wooden spoon.
  4. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the top and stir to combine.
  5. Add a 1/4 cup of flour to small bowl and set aside.
  6. Gently stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour.
  7. Crush the hazelnuts with a heavy jar and add 1/2 cup of hazelnuts along with the chocolate chips to the bowl with the 1/4 cup of flour.  Toss to combine and stir gently into the batter.  (This keeps the nuts and chocolate chips from sinking in the batter.)
  8. Add the batter to the greased loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of crushed hazelnuts on top.  Press the nuts slightly into the batter.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  10. Let the pan cool on a wire rack before removing the bread from the pan and allowing to cool further.Banana Nut Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate // Pale Yellow

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Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Ruth’s cousins were in town visiting from Kentucky and she was hosting a dinner party in their honor.  She, of course, invited Andrea and I to the party so I offered to make dessert.  There wasn’t a dessert that was particularly inspiring to me at the time, so I told Ruth to look around my Pinterest boards and find something I should make.

She chose this pie, this pie with 30 steps.  Yep!  Sure!  Why not?  It only has five different components.  Totally a piece of cake (pie), I’ll just phone this one in!

Not so much.  I’m not saying any specific step was difficult, just time consuming.  This pie requires some planning:  make the pie crust and refrigerate.  Roll and bake the pie crust, let cool.  Make the pastry cream, let cool.  Here is the biggie – assemble the pie at least 2 hours before you want to serve, refrigerate.  Make the fudge sauce now!  Right before serving make your whipped cream and top and garnish.  Piece of cake (pie)!

I’m writing this post from my work computer in a mood of uncertainty.  My computer it giving me the blue screen of death despite being told that Macs don’t do blue screens of death.  Well, I’m staring at one buddy!  I really don’t want to go buy a new computer right now, the funds are just not where they should be…

However, I do use my computer A LOT and I’ve been powering this blog on a five year old MacBook.  I can’t even download proper photo editing software :-(    I honestly can’t use any new programs because it won’t let me input my password.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve been looking at new computers, I even have one all picked out, but I’ve been waiting, trying  to be financially responsible.  I have known for awhile that my computer was terminal, but I was just hoping to make it until January when my tax return came back.

Ok, enough whining, back to the the pie.  Despite laborious steps, this pie is quite delicious!  This is definitely an elevated banana cream pie, the chocolate and peanut butter are welcome additions.  I would recommend cutting smaller pieces, this is a rich dessert!  Let’s walk through each part of the pie!

Crust – Flaky, sweet, and the best pie crust I’ve ever made!  Making the dough in the mixer is totally the way to go

Chocolate/Peanut Butter/Banana – There was some debate here.  Some tasters enjoyed the stiffness of the chocolate on the crust, but others found it difficult to eat.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the stiff chocolate on the crust.  Next time I would either mix the peanut butter and melted chocolate together to spread on the bottom OR spread fudge sauce on the bottom!  There was plenty of extra fudge sauce!  The peanut butter is awesome, so incredibly salty and gooey!

Banana Pastry Cream – The pastry cream was smooth and perfectly sweet but I wish it had more banana flavor.  Maybe banana extract of more banana liquor.

Whipped Cream/Garnish – How can you go wrong with whipped cream?!?! Come on!  Add lots of chocolate fudge, it makes everything better!

Was this pie worth it?  Yes!  Sweet, nostalgic, and challenging – my favorite type of dessert!

Print the Recipe!

Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate & Peanut Butter
Adapted from Annie’s Eats (all the parts are from Annie and are linked in her post)
Yield – 9” pie, 8-10 servings
Crust
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons very cold water (I add ice cubes to water and measure from that)

  1. Cut the butter into small pieces and toss with 1/4 cup of flour.  Place in the freezer while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment with the sugar and salt.  Mix to combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the butter into the mixer and blend on medium speed until the mixture is in coarse crumbles.
  4. Add the water and mix on low until just combined.
  5. Knead the dough together to form a disk and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  7. Lightly flour a surface and roll out your pie dough into a circle large enough to fit in a 9” pie pan.  Carefully lift the dough and set in the pie pan.
  8. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges to reflect your unique style.  Prick the sides and bottom of the crust with a fork.
  9. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights – I use dried beans for this exclusive purpose.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes and then remove the beans and bake for another 5-10 minutes to brown the crust.
  11. Let cool on a wire rack.

Banana Pastry Cream Filling
1/4 cup banana liqueur
3 1/2 teaspoon powdered, unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 packets)
1 vanilla bean
2 3/4 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Add the banana liqueur to a small glass bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  Set aside for about 5 minutes to bloom.  Microwave for 10 seconds to dissolve the gelatin.
  2. Add the milk to a medium saucepan and split the vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds with the back of your knife and add to the milk.  Throw in the vanilla bean pod for good measure.  Slowly heat the milk until it boils.
  3. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.  Then whisk in the cornstarch.  Add a ladle full of hot milk to the egg mixture slowly to heat the eggs.  Once the eggs are warmed, add everything to the pan on the stove.
  4. Heat and whisk until the mixture reaches 170 F.  Whisk in the gelatin mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the vanilla bean pod and anything unpleasant and chunky.
  6. Let the mixture cool for at least 30 minutes.  I put the mix in the fridge.

Hot Fudge Sauce
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

  1. Make a double boiler with a small bowl over a small saucepan with a thin layer of water.  Add the chocolate and the butter to the bowl and melt slowly.
  2. Remove the bowl from the double boiler remove all the water from the small saucepan.  Add the 2/3 cup of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the boiling water and stir to combine.  Stir in the sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Boil the mixture for 9 minutes with continual stirring.  Be careful, this gets hot.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve and store until ready to use.  Any extra can be stored in the fridge and heated as needed.

Whipped Cream
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to make the whipped cream, put the stand mixer bowl and whisk into the freezer.
  2. Add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and beat on medium until you reach soft peaks.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on high until stiff peaks form, don’t over beat.

Assembly
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3-4 bananas sliced
Whipped Cream
Hot Fudge Sauce
Honey roasted peanuts

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in short intervals.  Spread on the bottom of the pie crust and put the pie in the fridge until the chocolate sets up.
  2. Spread the peanut butter on top of the chocolate.
  3. Add a layer of sliced bananas.
  4. Pour the pastry cream on top of this and add another layer of sliced bananas.  Cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve, at least 2 hours.
  5. Before serving spread the whipped cream on top and decorate with squiggles of hot fudge sauce, slices of banana, and honey roasted peanuts.
  6. Garnish with extra fudge sauce and whipped cream.

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Banana Nut Waffles

My parents bought a cottage in Northern Michigan this past spring.  I grew up going up there and staying at my uncle’s cabin, and needless to say, my parents are are thrilled to have their own cottage just down the road.  Now, I used to be an outdoorsy type girl – swimming in lakes, building fires, and running through the woods with my cousins.  I’m kind of a city girl now and I haven’t been up there in at least 10 years.  My mom was persistent that I come up and see the cottage and all of the hard work they had put in.

So I went.  I forgot about all the trees and how the dark the sky gets at night, you can actually see the stars!!!  When up north you do up north things like drink cheap beer at the local joint, build fires, burn sticks in said fire, shoot the old Red Rider BB gun, make s’mores, and cook waffle.  Obviously, you cook waffles!

My parents were given a Belgian waffle maker for the cottage and I couldn’t wait to use it!  I’ve always wanted a waffle maker but it always seemed like an extraneous purchase.  As soon as I heard about the waffle maker I started to look up recipes.   My mom suggested a plain waffle recipe, and I was like, “Do you even know me?  Plain waffles?  I don’t think so!”

I settled on banana nut waffles because they sound moist and delicious and not plain at all!  Because of the limitations of cooking in a cottage I mixed all of the dry ingredients together at my parent’s house.  I also used ingredients I don’t normally use like pancake syrup *gasp* and I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter *gasp, gasp*.  These were still some pretty wonderful waffles!

Because of the bananas, they were nice and moist!  The chocolate chips and nuts added texture and flavor.  These waffles needed a little bit more cooking time because of the bananas, so if you wanted a drier, but not so brown waffle, place them in a warm oven for a few minutes.  Waffles are kind of a lot of work, but a fantastic treat on a lazy, sunny, Sunday!

Print the recipe!

Banana Nut Waffles
Adapted from Shutterbean
Yield 5-6 large Belgian waffles

1 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 bananas
2 cups (1 pint) buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons syrup
Cooking spray
Bananas, walnuts, chocolate chips, and syrup for garnish

  1. Chop the walnuts nice and small.
  2. In a large plastic bag, add the flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts.  Shake and mix the dry ingredients until well combined.  Seal up the bag and save for waffle making!
  4. Preheat your waffle iron.  Mash the bananas well.
  5. Add in the buttermilk, melted butter, and syrup and mix until well combined.
  6. Add your dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
  7. Liberally spray your waffle maker with cooking spray.  Pour in enough batter to cover most of the bottom of the waffle maker.  Cook for 5-6 minutes or whatever is necessary for your waffle maker.
  8. Remove from the waffle maker and garnish as desired.
  9. Repeat until you are out of batter. You can keep the cooked waffles in a warm oven until all or made.  Or just eat them as they come off the waffle iron!

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