Banana Pudding Sundae

More ice cream is coming your way! I hope you aren’t getting tired of it yet.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Today’s recipe is for a delicious, simple ice cream sundae created by Top Chef All-Star, author and busy mom Antonia Lofaso. I have always loved Top Chef and it’s amazing to see the careers chefs build because of the show. Banana Pudding Ice Cream
Antonia recently teamed up with Breyers to create 5 amazingly easy and delicious family friendly recipes inspired by her childhood and favorite ingredients. All the recipes feature Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream which is now made only with milk and cream sourced from farmers who do not treat their cows with artificial growth hormones. The vanilla beans that go into this sinfully simple ice cream are 100% obtained from Rainforest Alliance Certified vanilla beans and sustainable farmed sources. Pretty awesome, right? Because much of the time, there’s just not enough hours in the day to make homemade ice cream so knowing we can choose something that’s better for our family and the environment is a major plus.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream

All of the recipes seriously scream summer and it was incredibly hard to choose just one to feature this week. After some family polling, we decided on the Banana Pudding Sundae. This sweet little sundae took about 5 minutes from start to finish and was a total crowd pleaser. The kids were hanging on my legs, begging for more. Banana Pudding Ice Cream
It starts off with Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream and is topped with caramelized bananas and vanilla wafers to simply recreate the childhood classic, banana pudding. The bananas were sweet and when combined with a bite of cookie, tasted like banana bread topped with ice cream. Honestly, I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. Sort of didn’t want to share with those little beggers.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream
The combination of temperatures and textures made this perfection for me and I predict it will be making many appearances around here this summer.

I have to share these last two photos of my little assistant. I told him I was going to take some pictures quick then we could eat. He disappeared and reappeared in a flash with his new camera he got for his birthday in hand. He thought we needed an extreme close up.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Gosh I love this boy. He’s going to be 5 on Sunday and I’m trying to keep it together. Banana Pudding Ice Cream
*Disclaimer: the ice cream was provided to me free of charge but all opinions are my own.

Banana Pudding Sundae
recipe from Antonia Lofaso
serves 2

1/2 large ripe banana, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
1 tsp. butter
1 cup Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
4 vanilla wafer cookies

1. Put banana pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle flat sides with turbinado sugar. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet and sauté bananas.

2. To assemble each, scoop Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream into a small wide rimmed glass. Then wedge 2 cookies on either side and top with sautéed bananas.

 

Sunday Inspiration {S’mores Edition}

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I have to admit I don’t love marshmallows. The only time I’m down with them is when they are brown, bubbly and melty between chocolate and graham crackers. Aka the s’more. With summer around the corner, s’mores are going to be all over the place. But why stop at a simple, traditional s’more when you could make them into pies, cookies and desserts galore. Am I right?

S’mores Macaroons. You so fancy.

Fun and portable Mini S’mores Hand Pies.

Making anything sweet and salty is always a good choice.

S’mores Buttercream Frosting, whaaaat?

S’mores for breakfast? Yes and yes.

S’mores Cookie Dough Dip. You all know how I feel about dip.

Make ’em boozy

Add fruit, it makes them healthy.

I’m seriously dying over this pie.

Toasted S’mores Milkshake. Enough said.

Ooey Gooey s’mores combined with oatmeal cookies. Winning combination.

A kid’s dream right here.

A new campfire spin on s’mores.

So there you have it, enough s’mores recipes to last you all summer.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I just realized it’s been over a year since I shared a cookie recipe. Say what? Super weird seeing that we make cookies quite a bit. But I guess we have our favorites and don’t always branch out.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 4
Well, Noah and I were craving cookies recently so we decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I love a cookie with a little texture and chew so when I came across this recipe, I had a feeling it would be a winner. Especially since it’s been declared King Arthur Flour’s Recipe of 2015. That’s quite a claim so we felt it our civic duty to make sure.
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I haven’t tried any of their other recipes but I have to say these were pretty dang delicious. They are packed with melty chocolate chips, chewy oats and crunchy walnuts (not in the original recipe). Pretty much my dream come true when it comes to cookies.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 2
My only complaint is that they didn’t stay fresh for very long, probably 3 days max. But, if you’re like us and don’t eat your way through a batch in that amount of time, you could freeze half for when your sweet tooth hits.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 1
Do you like nuts in your cookies? I’ve found people either love them or hate them. I think they totally make a cookie but Joel of course doesn’t agree so I usually bake half without and the other half with so we can both be happy. The kids will take a cookie any way I give it to them so they are easy to please! If you don’t dig walnuts, just leave them out. I taste tested both options, for you guys of course, and they are great either way.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 5
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined. Add in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients until dough comes together.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack.

 

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 2
Sometimes during the holiday season, you get busy and stressed with your mile long to-do list. Right? So sometimes you need a really easy cookie recipe to whip up so that you can just get something marked off the dang list. That’s how I felt this weekend as I kept adding more and more things to my to-do rather than getting anything checked. I mean, seriously, getting an entire household ready for Christmas by the 22nd with a husband working late every night is kind of hard. But I was determined to get my Christmas baking done this past weekend so that Joel could take a bunch to work and I could deliver some treats to our wonderful friends.

I kept perusing my ever-growing list of treats then had the stupid idea of going on Pinterest…and found a gazillion more recipes I wanted to try. But it ended well because I found this super simple 4 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe in the meantime and ultimately decided to pare down my list. I decided on cookie dough bites (pretty much my favorite thing ever), old fashioned iced oatmeal cookies, pretzel m&m rings, peppermint brownies (which I will share later this week) and these giant beauties. I baked them all up yesterday and promptly gained 4 pounds in the name of food blogging. I had to taste them to make sure they were good. Well, I’ve made the majority of the items on my list before so I guess I can’t put all the blame on you. Darn it.
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 3
While we’re on the topic of overeating, I’m kind of ready for the new year so I can get back on track. The holidays really throw me off and a new year brings revived discipline.

But let’s not talk about discipline now, let’s talk about thick cookies as big as your head. These cookies call for 4 ingredients which you may already have in your pantry. And you won’t guess the 4th ingredient….Bisquick. I wasn’t sure at first but was willing to try it since they were so easy and quick. And I’m so glad I did.
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 1
They are soft, thick and not too sweet or rich like a lot of peanut butter cookie recipes. Although the recipe calls to make them huge, you certainly could scale them down to fit on your holiday cookie trays. Make sure to try these simple recipe to help you get that next thing checked off the list!

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from Averie Cooks

1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use natural or homemade for these)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup Bisquick

1. In a stand mixer, stir together peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until combined. Add Bisquick and stir to combine.

2. Using 1/4 cup measure, roll balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Smash halfway down with a fork twice, making a crisscross pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until just set. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes so they can firm up. Cookies keep in an airtight container for 1 week.

Coconut and Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Toasted Pecan and Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies 6
Are you all getting tired of being bombarded with sweet treats from around the blogosphere yet? I hope not because I have some giant, chewy, decadent cookies to share with you. They are officially my new favorite cookie.
Toasted Pecan and Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies 4
I took the glorious bakery style cookie recipe I shared last summer and updated them a bit to fancy them up. But don’t worry, they are still just as simple.
Toasted Pecan and Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies 3
I took some inspiration from one of my favorite candy bars, Almond Joy, to create this tasty cookie with unsweetened coconut, chocolate chunks and toasted pecans. And man was that a good idea! What I love even more about these is that you can freeze the dough and have it ready for whenever the craving strikes. It’s also a nice way to control yourself at the holidays because I know if there is a whole batch of cookies laying around I have a lot less self control. This way, you can just bake one, get your fix and move on. `
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I’ve been thinking about my Christmas baking list for awhile now and these are a definite must!
Toasted Pecan and Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies 2
Coconut and Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugars until they are light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs, one at a time, to the sugar mixture. Add vanilla.

3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chunks, coconut and pecans.

4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out dough and form into balls then slightly flatten the top. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Place in freezer for 2 hours. At this point, you can either bake the cookies or place them in a freezer bag then throw them in the freezer for future use (up to 3 months).

5. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake on a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet for about 15 minutes (mine took about 17).

Take the Crown Cookies

Take the Crown Cookies 3
Has baseball taken over your house like it has mine? Joel grew up in Kansas City and therefore is a big Royals fan. The last time they were in the World Series, he was not yet 1 (and I wasn’t alive). He has always had “see the Royals play in the World Series” on his bucket list and last Monday night he got to mark it off. Unfortunately, they lost game 1 but he still had a blast and couldn’t get enough of the atmosphere.

So needless to say, my house has felt like a bundle of nerves as we have watched these games play out. We’re sitting watching the game as I write this. After last night’s loss, we needed a little pick me up so when we were at the grocery store, Noah and I picked up the Blue Velvet cake mix that he begs for every time we go to whip up something festive. After discussing ideas, Noah thought cookies would be best so we went to work.
Take the Crown Cookies 1
This time around we decided to mix in some quick oats and chocolate chips. White chocolate would have been great with the buttery vanilla (blue) cake mix but alas, we didn’t have any…what kind of food blogger am I? Nuts would be a great addition too but the biggest Royals fan in our house doesn’t like nuts so we skipped them this time. He got lucky.
Take the Crown Cookies 4
These are dense and seem like cookies that would dry out quickly, so eat them within a day or two. We shouldn’t have a problem with that…..

Let’s pull it together Royals and take that crown! Otherwise I might have to move out for a couple of days because it will be grump city around here.
Take the Crown Cookies 2
Take the Crown Cookies
recipe slightly adapted from All Homemade Cookies

1 cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
2/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (and/or nuts, raisins, white chocolate…)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together, dough will be very thick.

2. Scoop onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet then remove to rack to cool completely.

 

It’s Shark Week Peeps!

I professed my love for Shark Week last year with some yummy shark/ocean themed treats and I totally planned on doing it again this year. But then I didn’t. Sorry. I fell off the wagon a bit with my healthy eating with birthdays and vacations so I’m back at it and therefore, haven’t been baking much. But, Joel’s co-workers have slipped hints that they would really enjoy some shark cupcakes again. I hope to make it happen but it’s a busy week with Noah’s first day of preschool and a trip to Fargo for a wedding so we shall see.
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Whether or not they get whipped up, I still wanted to remind all you lovely followers of these fun treats in case you are having a Shark Week shindig. I hope that you impress your friends and family with these delicious, gruesome goodies.

Shark Cupcakes – Moist, white almond-y cupcakes bursting with strawberry preserves and topped with a simple ocean blue cream cheese frosting.
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Beaches – a vanilla version of dirt and worms, Beaches combines vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers and cool whip for the perfect summer dessert. Top with gummy sharks to make it especially festive!
Beaches 3
Blood in the Water – basically just a creepy name for a Lava Flow. This frozen tropical drink combines strawberries, pineapple and coconut for the perfect refresher while watching some gory shark attacks.
Lava Flow 1