November 21, 2011

Brown Sugar Banana Nut Bread

So I had a ridiculous amount of bananas, and coincidentally 4 of them were so ripe they were almost black! I came across this recipe and immediately knew how to use those bananas :) I used pecans instead of walnuts and dark brown sugar instead of light brown, but I have zero complaints and I'm not really sure it could get any better. The result: WOW!

Brown Sugar Banana Nut Bread


1 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 medium banana, mashed
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts


1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×5 pan with nonstick spray.

2.  Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Stir in vanilla and banana.

3.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Fold in walnuts until combined.

4.  Pour in pan, top with additional 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts and bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
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November 16, 2011

Coconut Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

For years I swore I didn't like onions and now I love them raw on sandwiches, salads, etc.  I keep saying I don't like coconut, but for some reason everything I taste with coconut in it is delicious.... I think my taste buds have changed! I'm all grown up now ;-)

I had some flaked coconut left over from the key lime pie I made a few days ago and I decided to throw it into an oatmeal cookie for Glen. I ate 2 before I gave them to him, but that'll be our secret. Okay?

The recipe says it makes 4 dozen cookies, but I live in Texas and we do everything bigger here. I used a 1/4 cup cookie scoop and got 20 big cookies out of the recipe. When you put the dough balls onto the sheet just BARELY flatten them before putting them in the oven because they do spread quite a bit. Trust me.

Coconut Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
Makes: 4 dozen


2  cups all-purpose flour
1  tablespoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1  teaspoon baking soda
¼  teaspoon salt
1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾  cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
¾  cup granulated sugar
2  eggs
2  teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  cups dried cherries
1  cup flaked coconut (I just dumped what I had left in the bowl) 
1  cup quick-cooking oats (I used old-fashioned)
1  cup white chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in cherries, coconut, oats, and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 1½ inches apart onto baking sheets.

3. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
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November 15, 2011

Key Lime Pie with Coconut-Pecan Graham Cracker Crust

I'm a big, make that huge, fan of citrus. I like the sour bite much more than chocolate, vanilla, etc.

Today is one of my boss's birthday and I was informed that his favorite dessert was key lime pie. I decided to go the non-traditional route and use mascarpone cheese in the filling, to make it even creamier. While I love key lime pie, I am generally NOT a fan of graham cracker crusts. I don't use it with my cheesecakes, ever. I found this recipe using coconut and pecans in the crust and decided that I could probably tolerate graham crackers if it had enough sugar and butter.

Well, it was delicious! This pie is very creamy and easy to assemble. I'm dying for Sean to cut into it so I can have a piece!!! For some reason they didn't have any key limes at the store when I went so I ended up using Persian limes, but if you can get key limes I definitely recommend using those.

Key Lime Pie with Coconut-Pecan Graham Cracker Crust


1/2 cup key lime juice, fresh if possible
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated lime or key lime zest, divided
5 egg yolks
whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
1 coconut-pecan graham cracker pie shell (recipe follows)

Whisk sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks. Whisk in Mascarpone cheese. Stir in whipping cream and lime juice. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest. Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Coconut-Pecan Graham Cracker Crust

1 ¾ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecans
7-8 T. unsalted melted butter

In a food processor, blend together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar and pecans. You want to make sure that none of the coconut is visible. Add about 7 T. melted butter. Pulse a few times. If it seems like it needs more butter add the remaining T. Pour contents into a pie pan and press to form a shell. I used a 9-inch pie pan and there was way too much crust to fit in, so next time I will try a 10-inch deep dish crust.

Bake crust for 10 minutes at 400F. Pin It

November 2, 2011

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I love a challenge. This is 99% due to my Type A personality. I'm a very jovial Type A though, promise :) My boss today told me that he was disappointed in the selection of candy in the bowl on my desk. We went back and forth about why I'm awesome (his points were not valid) and ended with this question: What have you done for me lately? I didn't save him a cookie, or alert him via email, when I brought Sarah's Pumpkin Cookies cookies to work on Monday. I refuse to have anyone think I'm less than amazing. Knowing he likes snickerdoodle cookies and not wanting to spend the time roll individual cookies (I don't like him that much) I found a recipe for snickerdoodle BLONDIES! Genius. They.Are.Delicious. Buttery and cinnamon-y. On second thought.... maybe I won't give them to him after all! I kid. Behold:

I only had one stick of butter in my fridge, so I halved all of the ingredients and baked them in an 8"x8" baking dish for 25 minutes. Turned out perfectly. The recipe below is for an full recipe. 

Snickerdoodle Blondies
Yield: 24 blondies
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 25 to 30 minutes


2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.

4. Spread the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe and picture courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker

**DISCLAIMER** The comments about my boss were made in jest, he knows I'm kidding, and he will read this. I love my job and I like the people I work with very much!! Pin It