Frozen Chocolate Bananas

Quite possibly the best discovery of my summer, I can’t believe I haven’t had one sooner. My freezer is stocked with these and I plan to keep it that way. These are incredibly easy to prepare, and another wonderful way to use up all those bad bananas (which now has its own category!).

Make some today and find out why, “[t]here’s always money in the banana stand.

Alternate endings: I’ve been told that frozen bananas are also quite tasty when dipped in flavored yogurt. Obviously, my first thought would be to roll them in granola, but you could also keep them a skinny treat and go light on the toppings. I’ve also heard tales of mixing peanut butter in yogurt and covering the banana as a quick and easy after workout snack. I plan to try both of these and will report back.

Frozen Chocolate Bananas

  • 6 overripe bananas
  • 12 popsicle sticks (or skip them and make frozen chocolate banana bites)
  • 10 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs light corn syrup
  • Optional Topping – I’m using peanuts and crushed chocolate chip cookies

Preparation:

1. Peel and half bananas. Insert popsicle stick halfway into cut end. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for three hours.

2. Once the bananas have frozen, place the chocolate chips and butter into a microwave safe bowl and nuke for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat once more.

3. Heat the cream and corn syrup in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and pour it over the just melted chocolate. Let this sit for 5 minutes without stirring, then, when you can’t take it any longer, stir until the cream and the chocolate combine.

4. Ok this is the best step. Dip the bananas into the melted chocolate and roll in the crushed topping of your choice. I highly recommend the crushed chocolate chip cookie route.

5. Freeze for at least another twenty minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Share them with a friend.

Banana Pudding Dessert

This classic Southern dessert is a summertime favorite in my family; I remember hanging around the kitchen until the pudding had cooled, afraid to miss the opportunity to lay out the Nilla Wafers and slop goo onto them. I am, frankly, always surprised at the taste of this dessert, considering the appearance (it won’t be winning any beauty pageants). Looks aside, this tastes awesome and is an incredible solution to the problem of wasting overripe bananas.

I chose to make my own vanilla pudding (to avoid another trip to HEB) and used homemade sugar cookies for the wafers, but store bought instant pudding and Nilla Wafers produce an incredibly agreeable result as well.

Banana Pudding Dessert

  • a dozen baked Fool Proof Rolled Sugar Cookies, or 1 box Nilla Wafers
  • 1 recipe homemade vanilla pudding (see below) or 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 6 unripe bananas, or more, if you like bananas

Preparation:

1. Layer sugar cookies/wafers on the bottom of a large bowl or individual bowls. Cover cookie/wafer with layer of pudding followed by a layer of bananas. Repeat until you’re all out of goodies. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (I recommend overnight) before serving.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs butter

Pudding Preparation:

1. Place cream and 2 Tbs of the sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Mix until stiff peaks form and transfer into a large bowl. Keep cool while preparing the rest of the pudding.

2. Manually whisk the rest of the sugar, corn starch, salt, egg yolks, and 1/2 a cup of the whole milk in the bottom of a saucepan. Once completely incorporated (make sure there’s no lumps of cornstarch stuck to the pan) add the rest of the milk and begin heating on the stove, stirring constantly.

3. Once the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, remove from heat but continue to whisk. If you’re doing this without the aid of an electric mixer, be prepared for a few solid minutes of stirring while this pile of goo cools. It’s super important to be constantly stirring here to avoid forming lumps. If you have a stand mixer, you can use the same whisk attachment and bowl as before, no need to clean it with soap and water.

4. Cut up dem nanas. Once the custard has cooled, use a spatula or wooden spoon to combine it with the whipped cream.

5. Layer pudding with bananas and wafers. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

When my awesome, foodie friend named vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream as her favorite cake/icing combination, I couldn’t help but feeling uninspired. I prefer the richest cakes possible, you know, like a chocolate icing on chocolate cake smothered in chocolate ganache type. So, for her birthday (yay! 23!) I put my own tastes aside and made her some  vanilla on vanilla and boy, was I glad I did.

I found this awesome recipe on a fellow baking blog, my baking addiction, that calls for the seeds of a vanilla bean, to make this cake a little more memorable.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

  • 2  1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  1/4 cups whole milk (room temperature)
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • seeds from one vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, soft
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 24 oz powdered sugar
  • 4-6 Tbs whole milk

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2.  Whisk milk and eggs in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center and use the knife, or your fingernail, to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and mix to incorporate. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add about 1/3 of the flour to the butter and sugar and mix until combined. Add half of the milk and eggs and mix until combined. Repeat until all of the flour and liquid have been added and then mix on high speed for 2 minutes to aerate.

5. Line cupcake pan with tins and fill each 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden. While they’re baking, whip up some icing!

6. For the icing, place softened butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

7. Add the vanilla extract and any food coloring you want to use. Once combined, assess the consistency of the icing. If you want to thicken, add more powdered sugar. If you want a thinner product, slowly add the milk until you reach the consistency you want.

8. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, place icing in pastry bag fitted with metal icing tip, if you have them. You could also just use a knife to slab it on. Decorate any way you choose!

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

The quintessential spring dessert: light, airy cupcake with a tart lemon sugar glaze. A few weeks after I started making these at work, the compliments to the baker started rolling in. One lady even confessed that she’d tried five times to reproduce these at home since she was buying them so often. Don’t worry, though, she’s probably not cupcake broke since I gave her my recipe. And here it is for you, too!

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs matcha powder (Where to find? I’ve found it cheapest – I can’t believe it’s true – in the bulk tea section at Whole Foods)
  • 8 oz butter (soft)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk

Lemon Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2+ Tbs lemon juice
  • zest of 1 orange or lemon (optional, but it looks nice)

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and matcha powder in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently and that you keep mixing until all the butter is incorporated into the sugar. No clumps, folks!

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl between each egg.

4. Add flour to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until entirely incorporated. Mix here for a few minutes, scraping down the bowl (always important). Try to mix until most of the lumps are gone, but you probs won’t get all of them out.

5. Slowly add the milk while mixing. The batter should begin to lighten up in color and begin to work the the lumps out completely. Scrape down those bowls, too!

6. Spoon into a tin lined cupcake pan and fill almost to the edge. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops begin to brown slightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the glaze:

Mix powdered sugar and lemon/orange zest with 2 Tbs lemon juice until it forms a glaze. Thicken the glaze by adding powdered sugar 1 Tbs at a time or thin the mixture by adding more lemon juice. There’s really no one “right” consistency, but you want the glaze to drip off of the sides of the cupcake, not glob on top like icing.

Spoon over cupcakes and let it drip drip drip. Bam, glazed.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!