Tag Archives: dessert

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

18 Jan

frozen peanut butter chocolate banana bites

Frozen bananas used to be a staple in my refrigerator for making “milkshakes” since their frozen consistency closely mimics that of ice cream. But now that I’m traveling and sadly without any method of blending, I’ve had to give up those tasty desserts. When a couple bananas were on the verge of being overripe recently, though, I cut them in slices and froze them without thinking about it. The frozen banana slices were good even eaten up plain, but I wanted something that was a bit more of a treat. So, with thoughts about my banana breakfast roll in the back of my head, I mixed up some peanut butter and honey (plus a little water to thin it out) and dipped them in that. And then, because peanut butter always calls out for some chocolate, I dipped them in a little melted chocolate, too. Dark chocolate is always my preference – here, I used a chocolate with 85% cocoa content that was too dark for eating out of hand but worked well with the creaminess of the banana and richness of the peanut butter. The result is decadent enough to satisfy an ice cream craving, while still being a healthy option. I like them in bite-sized form like this, but you can also cut the bananas in half and put them on a popsicle stick for something more closely resembling an ice cream bar.

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Brown Butter and Dulce de Leche No-Bake Cookies

12 Oct

brown butter and dulce de leche no bake cookies

The eyes of every Argentinian I’ve met have lit up upon the mere mention of dulce de leche – this extra-sweet milk caramel is widely loved here. In the supermarket, there’s practically an entire aisle dedicated to the stuff, row upon row of different brands and variations. After a couple weeks of sneaking spoonfuls out of the jar on a regular basis, I decided that I needed a better excuse for eating it. I was hoping to make some sort of cookies (like the alfajores that commonly sandwich the caramel here), but I’m a little intimidated by the oven in my apartment, as it’s not labeled with temperatures or even the so-called gas mark system. Instead, the knob is identical to those for the stovetop, spanning from the image of a tiny flame to that of a big flame. So these no-bake cookies seemed absolutely perfect (and it certainly didn’t hurt that they include another of my favorite ingredients – brown butter). And not only are they quick and simple to make, but they’re downright addictive, with the nutty notes of the brown butter proving to be an excellent complement to the dulce de leche, and the extra pinch of fleur de sel on top taking them to my favorite sweet and salty place.

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Snickerdoodle Bars

5 Oct

snickerdoodle bars

I’m a big fan of cinnamon – it’s a major flavor in many of my favorite sweet and savory dishes, featuring in garam masala, spiced chocolate, and even my favorite chili recipe. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m a big fan of snickerdoodles. But I prefer my cookies in bar form (easier to make and much more decadent!), so these snickerdoodle bars are, in my opinion, even better than the traditional snickerdoodles. I dialed up the cinnamon, adding extra to the batter and a thorough topping of cinnamon sugar (using turbinado sugar for a little change in texture – I like the crunch on top). Perfect for any other cinnamon lovers out there, and you certainly won’t have a hard time getting anyone else to eat them either.

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The Perfect Brownies

14 Sep

the perfect brownies

Okay, okay, these brownies might not be perfect for everyone. But I’ve been searching for a basic brownie recipe to be my go-to, and this is the one. If, like me, you want your brownies to be rich, dense, super chocolate-y, and so fudgy that they’re best stored in the refrigerator, then these are the brownies for you. Of course, you can easily tweak the recipe to your liking. Because there’s only a little bit of flour in these, I think it could be swapped for cocoa powder for a gluten-free dessert with even more intense chocolate flavor. These brownies would also do well with mix-ins, and although I know this is sacrilegious to many brownie lovers, I think nuts would actually provide a great contrast to the richness of the brownies. Personally, I put my twist on the recipe by adding a sprinkle of fleur de sel on top – I find it adds extra depth to the chocolate.

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Layered Fruit Salad with Whipped Coconut Cream

10 Aug

layered fruit salad with whipped coconut cream

I have a history of becoming really passionate about something and then letting it fall by the wayside when a new obsession comes my way. When I was really into knitting, for example, I didn’t just knit scarves and hats; I knit complete sweaters, bookmarked hundreds of patterns, and collected boxes and boxes of yarn. And I still have those dusty sweaters, patterns, and yarn, despite not having knit anything for years. So when I started this blog, I was worried that I might lose interest, stop posting, or get sick of food (okay, I never thought that last one could actually happen). But over the past year, I’ve only found myself becoming more and more passionate about cooking. This blog has become extra motivation to keep expanding my repertoire, and I’ve found that not only has my cooking improved as a result, but so has my photography and writing. Yes, this is my one year anniversary – for an entire year, I’ve been posting three recipes a week (not always an easy feat with a full-time job), and although it’s been difficult and stressful at times, it’s also been really really fun. Nothing too fancy today to celebrate, just a tasty and simple fruit salad with a twist. Whipped coconut cream on top adds the perfect amount of richness to this summer dessert, and sliced almonds add a little crunch. I hope you enjoy the recipe and hope you’ve been enjoying my blog! Thanks to anyone who’s reading this, and here’s to another year.

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake

3 Aug

lemon olive oil cake

I’m a big fan of olive oil. Extra-virgin, of course. It’s my go-to for roasting vegetables, the first thing I reach for when sauteing onions, and the natural base for homemade salad dressings. I even add it to my soap (it’s a moisturizer!). So here is my ode to olive oil, in the form of a cake. Paired with lemon and rosemary, two among many flavors that sing alongside its fruitiness, the olive oil somehow yields a cake richer than if it had been made with butter. This cake is similar to a sponge cake, fluffed up with beaten egg whites and topped with turbinado sugar, and although I found it deflated after leaving the oven, the texture still seemed spot on to me. I intended to try a couple slices with fresh fruit and whipped cream, but to be honest, it was gone before I had a chance and tasted just perfect as is.

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Pluot Mint Salad

27 Jul

pluot mint salad

I love pluots – a fruit that is the wonderful combination of plums and apricots. I bought some on sale and knew I needed to do something simple but special with them. So I picked some fresh mint from my garden (it’s been growing like crazy!) and squeezed an orange for a tasty fruit salad. Together, the flavors set my mind down the path of Turkish food, so at the last minute, I tossed in a little Turkish red pepper. If you don’t like spice, feel free to omit it though. And if your fruit isn’t sweet enough on its own (and by the way, feel free to try this out with other stone fruits as well), you can add a little bit of honey. I also had this salad with a little yogurt after it had marinated in the refrigerator for a few hours, and it made for an absolutely delicious dessert. Next time I might try it after grilling the fruit first for a little caramelization.

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Honey Lavender Shortbread

20 Jul

honey lavender shortbread

I remember baking shortbread when I was younger and craving something sweet. The memory is fuzzy so I must’ve been fairly young, perhaps late elementary school, but I definitely remember the feelings of surprise and pride at my ability to combine ingredients and create something delicious. Shortbread is still a favorite of mine and, luckily for young me, is quite easy to throw together. Adding a little corn starch, as I’ve done here, helps to create the rich crumbly texture. This version is also delicately flavored with lavender and honey for a grown-up twist (that kids will still love). A great recipe, no matter your age!

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Peaches in Basil Syrup

13 Jul

peaches in basil syrup

I knew I wanted to combine peaches and basil for a tasty summer dessert, but none of the recipes I came across seemed quite right. I wanted something simple, something that would really focus on these delicious, seasonal ingredients – peaches from the farmers market and basil from my garden. So I created my own easy recipe. Basil leaves pureed with orange juice and honey then poured over peaches (I actually used a mix of peaches and nectarines). You only need a handful of ingredients and a couple of minutes of work to create this delicious concoction – great eaten plain but absolutely fantastic served over strained yogurt (straining yogurt makes it extra thick and creamy, just perfect for desserts). A wonderful little celebration of summer!

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Bourbon Cherry Pie

2 Jul

bourbon cherry pie

Now that summer is in full swing, I’ve been thinking a lot about pie. Discussing favorite pie flavors with friends, saving up pie recipes, and keeping an eye out for sales on seasonal fruit. So when I saw a major sale on cherries, I knew I had to make a cherry pie. I wanted to put my own twist on the recipe though, and what better way to do that than adding a little bourbon? Maybe it’s just because it’s my favorite liquor and I always have a little around, but I find that bourbon really lends itself well to cooking applications. Here, I soaked pitted sweet cherries in bourbon overnight and was surprised at how much of the whiskey’s oak notes and sweetness came through in the soaked cherries and the resulting pie. I also kept the sugar quantity low to really emphasize the natural flavors of the bourbon and cherries. But this twist is still close enough to the original to please fans of traditional cherry pie. A great choice for the fourth of July – delicious seasonal cherries and a uniquely American liquor.

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