Baking

Banana Bread Cookies

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

I’m excited about this challenge because it comes from The Girl Who Ate Everything. If you haven’t checked out her site before you are missing out. I haven’t tried a recipe from her that I thought tasted like crap.

This post is for her Banana Bread Cookies. I love banana bread! My favorite fruit may be apples but banana bread is just the best. It’s easy to make and is always quickly eaten in my household. The cookie style is appealing because I don’t have to butter and flour any pans.

RECIPE:
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

As always let’s start with what I’ve changed. I used dark chocolate chips instead of the mini ones and I substituted the sour cream with a 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (suggested by one of her readers). That’s it. Like I said previously, her recipes are awesome!

Butter

I melted the butter on the stovetop as per the instructions. One of the smells I hate is melted butter. It makes me want to barf. I think of those nasty little breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds. Straight-up butter smell. Yuck! Anyways, not really sure I understand why you do this until it turns brown and frothy. Why can’t the butter just be melted?

Dough

That’s the only assembly step I really followed. Everything else was dumped in my mixer and blended together. I put the mix in the fridge to setup a bit. This makes it easy to scoop them out and plop them on the cookie sheets.

Dough Balls

The mix turned out 36 cookies. By my calculations, it’s about 72 calories per cookie. I don’t think that’s too bad. The taste of the cookies is great!

Finished Cookies2

The next time I make them I will cut out the chocolate chips and add another banana. I like a strong banana taste. I’m not against the chocolate it gives a different taste but it does overwhelm the banana a bit. I deem this one a success. I can’t eat just one and find myself snacking throughout the day on them.

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Pinterest: Success or Fail?

It’s time again for another Pinterest creation. I’m someone who enjoys Halloween. For my work Halloween celebration, it was encouraged to bring food that embraced the holiday. Last year I stuck with something easy (witch’s hats created with Hershey kisses and fudge striped cookies) but this year I wanted something a little more difficult. I spied Reese’s Frankenstein Cupcakes created by Lizzy from Your Cup of Cake.

They are so adorable and they didn’t look too difficult. I don’t know if it was stupidity or ambition that got the best of me by picking this creation. Now don’t get me wrong, I can bake. Making food items cute and fancy on the other hand is not my forte.

So I didn’t follow the recipe. Really no surprise there… I didn’t make my own cake mix. Mine came from the grocery store. I didn’t use white chocolate or Reese’s pieces or whatever she suggested to use for the dark part of the eyes. Why? Two reasons: I can’t melt chocolate correctly for the life of me and secondly I’m cheap.

RECIPE:
I left out what I didn’t use. If you want the full list check out Lizzy’s page.
Chocolate Cake Mix
Icing:
1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3-4 C. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
Green Food Coloring
Decorations:
Reese’s Cups
Chocolate Chips

I made the cupcakes the night before to save me some time before construction. I knew it was going to take me a while to do this. I was prepared to allow extra time for frustration ie. cussing and throwing.

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Here’s some happy, naked cupcakes. All prepped and ready to become monsters. I started off making the icing. Nothing too special about it, it’s close to a typical cake icing but this one calls for cream cheese. I can’t complain about that addition.

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First shot of my icing. I’m still feeling good about this. I followed the directions and I did end up using all 4 cups of powdered sugar.

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I made the icing green. Yet again, easy kid stuff. I loaded up “my” (my mom’s­čśë) cake decorator to pipe this stuff on the naked cupcakes. I’m still feeling confident at this point. I grab the first cupcake, shoot some icing on it. “Hmmm… That seems a little runny. Oh well.” I give 5 more cupcakes green tops. I whip out my knife and try to start smoothing the icing out and up. This is where that frustration I spoke of started to set in.

I scraped the icing off of the cupcakes who now looked sickly because of this green ooze sitting atop their fluffy heads. I stirred in more powdered sugar to thicken it up and tried again. Nope! That’s it. It goes back into the mixing bowl and I added at least 2 more cups of powdered sugar into the bowl. I’m now grumbling about why I felt the need for cute cupcakes and 4 cups of powdered sugar!?! REALLY!?!

The perfect thickness for this icing is: if you scrape it up in a spoon, turn it over and it doesn’t fall off, then you’ve got it! At this point, I’m starting to feel nauseous. I don’t know if it’s all the “frustration” or the thought of the amount of powdered sugar going into this icing.

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First, pathetic Frankenstein. I kept a little bit of icing out before coloring the rest green. I used that for the white part of the eyes. I also used chocolate chips pushed deep in his head for the dark part of his eyes.

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The army of pathetic. Poor little guys. Their creator had such high hopes for them. There was no loud cackling of celebration after making these guys. It was more of a quiet, hide them in the fridge kind of moment. I deem this a Fail. Not only on my part but on that icing recipe. I think I should stick with food that tastes good and stay away from cute.

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

It’s time again for me to tryout one of my bazillion pins on Pinterest. Again it’s food; Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins! I’ve been eyeballing these little muffin guys for awhile. I’m not really one for banana and chocolate together but I thought I’d give it a go anyways. They are supposed to be healthy and I consider a muffin more of a treat so a healthy treat is all the better. The recipe comes from Running With Spoons. There’s really not much to the recipe. It’s rather super easy to get together.

RECIPE
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 cups oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon
1 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup chocolate morsels

Right off the bat I changed a few things. I didn’t use plain Greek yogurt. I had vanilla on hand. I used three bananas. I had three so I figured why not? I threw in some walnuts, just 1/4 cup. Banana and walnuts are a match made in heaven. Lastly, I used dark chocolate chips. No big game changers here.

When you’re mixing all this up it looks like vomit. No lie. Vomit. This is everything but the oats and chocolate chips.

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Speaking of the oats… I had a heck of a time getting the oats chopped up to a fine texture. I have one of those cheap-o mini choppers. I could only put 1 cup of oats in at a time and I shook the chopper as it ran to hopefully chop up every oat. This is as good as it got for me. I wanted it a bit finer but cheap-o wasn’t having it.

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Alright, here’s everything mixed together. It’s a bit lumpy but that’s the non-finely chopped oats and the walnuts. Still a little vomit like. Sort like you just had a meal and it’s starting to process.

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This recipe makes 12 muffins. You’re only supposed to fill the tins 3/4 full. Yeah, not happening. Each little guy was completely full. I did make sure to put a baking sheet under the muffin pan on the lower rack just in case there was spillage. 12 guys ready for the oven!

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I did not sprinkle the tops with extra morsels. I didn’t think it was necessary. They turned a nice golden brown in about 19 minutes. My muffin tops aren’t as smooth as the original but we all know who is to blame for that (cheap-o).

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This is what mine look like up close and personal.

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I have to say surprisingly, even after looking at the difference between mine and the original, it’s good. It’s actually really good. I think it could stand to even have more bananas in it. I like the little bit of chocolate. It’s a taste of it but not overwhelming. The walnut gave the muffin some nice texture. The oats that cheap-o didn’t chop into a fine texture weren’t even noticeable. This is a definite success and a good change up for regular banana bread.
Here’s the calorie count for 1 muffin 159 calories for Running with Spoons version. Mine was a bit higher at 181 calories. That would be the walnuts doing.

Theirs vs Mine

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

For the hubby’s b-day treat, I made a peach cobbler. Since it’s one of my fav treats I figured it would be best to make him a backup dessert just in case I devour his peach cobbler on my own. I found a recipe for a Reese’s Cup Cheesecake. The recipe comes from Taste and Tell blog. The cheesecake looks extremely rich and chock full of the hubby’s fav candy.

I have never made a proper cheesecake from scratch with the whole spring form pan and all. I didn’t feel deterred by this. I’m pretty stubborn and with the mindset “if I see it, I can do it”, I started off.

I’m going to say outright that making this cheesecake is expensive! Luckily I didn’t have to buy a spring form pan, I borrowed it from Mom. The recipe calls for a 9″ and she had a 10″. That’s pretty much the same thing.

RECIPE
Crust:
30 Oreos
6 tablespoons Butter Melted
Dash of Salt
Filling:
32oz Cream Cheese
5 Eggs
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
12oz Reese’s Cup Miniatures
Ganache:
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
8oz Reese’s Minis

I’m not going to go into complete detail on this because you can check out Taste and Tell’s blog for a complete break down. Start out by making the crust and squishing the mess into the spring form pan. It’s all nice and shiny from all that butter…makes me a little sick.

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So here it is after baking.

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See how the sides that I so carefully built fell down? Bunch of crap. Oh well, we trudge on! When making the filling I strayed from the recipe. I know, I know. Not smart for someone that has never made a cheesecake like this. I do not care! I have no fear! ­čÖé Instead of using all the brown sugar I may have only used 1 1/4 cups. I was talking to Hubby at the time and not paying strict attention to what I was doing. I also didn’t use all the Reese’s miniatures. I used probably over half. I figure this is saving me a few hundred calories, not that this is in any means a low-cal treat. This is how many I used. I think it looks like a ton of little cups. You can see the on lookers in the back that will be eaten at a later time by Hubby.

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I baked the cheese cake for 1hr and 20min again straying from the recipe. I’m such a rebel. It has a slight brown color across the top. I don’t know if this is right because the original recipe doesn’t really tell you what it should look like. I was starting to think this recipe is for people that have made cheesecakes before. Not good for me.

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Here she is cooled and out of her spring form. I really wasn’t sure when was a good time to remove it. It didn’t say. I was terrified either it would stick to the sides and just tear into pieces or run everywhere like a gooey mess. Neither happened so I was already feeling triumphant. Now onto the ganache.

I’ve never been good at melting chocolate. It constantly seizes up. I’ve tried the microwave method and stove top. Neither are my friend. So creating a ganache had me quaking’ in my boots. Honestly it didn’t come out bad. It was smooth but seemed a little runny. I tried letting it cool off a bit but it still wouldn’t thicken. Again the recipe didn’t tell me what my consistency should be. Chocolate syrup? Hot fudge? Mine was leaning more towards the syrup. I poured it on very slowly afraid of creating a giant pool of chocolate on my counter. I sprinkled not even half the bag of minis on top and here’s what I ended up with.

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I’ll admit she turned out pretty. The amount of time it took to make her was ridiculous! People, it took all day! Needless to say, I don’t care how much Hubby loves it, it’s never being made again. The taste is okay. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my first cheesecake and I don’t know what I’m doing but I give it an “Eh”. Not “Best cheesecake ever!” and not “Eww that’s awful”. I’ll say it’s a Pinterest Success. It’s edible, Hubby likes it, and she’s easy on the eyes.

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Hubby’s Peach Cobbler Birthday

Today is my hubby’s 30th birthday. He’s not one for cake so I get to bake something random for his b-day treat. He decided on peach cobbler or as he called it “peach pie”. What excites me about this recipe is that it’s my g-ma’s and it’s awesome stuff! It has a hard crust on top like a pie. (That’s probably what confuses the hubby)

WARNING: Before you think about making this dessert, I want to be kind and let you know that this does not turn out well in a gas oven. Don’t know why but my mom’s many failed attempts are enough proof for me.

RECIPE
Top:
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Shortening
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
Filling:
32 oz Frozen Peaches
2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Sugar

Throw all the filling ingredients in a sauce pan and heat. G-ma says until boiling but since I’m using frozen peaches I wait until they are squishy.
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At this point, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350. It should be good to go after you make the dough. Take the peachy filling and pour into a 8×8 dish.

The top is a whole three ingredients. Not too much work there! I take a fork and cut the shortening into the flour and baking powder. It eventually all works together. G-ma says she would add milk to her dough but I don’t because mine isn’t dry enough to need anything else. It’s definitely something that you can determine on your own.

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You can see from the pic above how it’s working together. Once it’s all combined just squeeze it together with your hands into a nice ball.

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Roll the little dough guy out on a floured surface just like you’re making a pie crust. You’re going to roll it into a 8×8 square. Before covering the peachy goodness put a few small squares of butter on top of the peachy filling. Then lay the freshly rolled dough on top.

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Bake the cobbler for 35-40 minutes. And it should come out like below. The top will not be crusty. Not yet! When it cools a little bit, pop it in the fridge for a while. After it completely cools pull it back out and give that crust a poke. Crusty perfection.

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Top with vanilla ice cream (my fav) or reddi-wip (hubby’s fav) and enjoy!

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