Tag Archives: Joy the Baker

Pecan Praline Topped Pumpkin Pie

pecan praline topped pumpkin pie 5967

For me personally, Thanksgiving is simply not Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie, so I couldn’t not share one with you this year. And while there is absolutely nothing (in my book anyway) wrong with a classic pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream, I wanted to do something a little more unique this year.

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Enter a pecan praline topping! I’d actually tasted such a pumpkin pie a couple years ago, when my sister made one for us. We all raved, and even strongly considered stealing my brother-in-law’s slice when he left the house on some errands, as it was the last piece. Integrity got the better of us.

Pecan Praline topped pumpkin pie 5930

Pecan Praline Topped pumpkin pie 5937

Needless to say, this pie is delicious and will be a huge hit at your dessert spread, oh, two weeks from this past Thursday.

A few recipe notes:

1) Make sure your pie is completely cooled before you add the praline topping.

2) The praline topping doesn’t spread like frosting or glaze. Wherever you put it, that’s where it immediately starts to set up. So plan accordingly.

3) You can serve this as soon as the praline sets up (which only takes a few minutes), but for best results, let the pie chill in the refrigerator for several hours or up to overnight.

Pecan Praline Topped Pumpkin Pie 5969

Enjoy this beautiful pie! I think it’s sort of a mish-mash between my Southern-ish roots (the praline) and my northern surroundings (pumpkin pie is more common up here, whereas sweet potato pie is more common down South). The praline topping would also be delicious on sweet potato pie, I should note. I hope you love it!

Pecan Praline Topped Pumpkin Pie 5975

Sources: Pie is from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion; Pecan Praline is adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

{One Year Ago: Buttered Spiked Apple Cider}
{Two Years Ago: American Breakfast Sausage}

Ingredients:

PIE:
Pie dough for 1 (9-inch) pie
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree, not pie filling
3 large eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

PRALINE TOPPING:
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tbs heavy cream
1 ½ cups pecan halves
2 ½ tbs unsalted butter

Directions:
First, make the PIE. Preheat your oven to 425 F. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pie dough to about a 12” circle. Grease a 9” pie plate, and carefully transfer the pie dough to the prepared plate. Use your hands to work the pie shell into place and then turn the edges under and crimp them decoratively. Set the pie shell in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Set the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and carefully transfer to the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Bake an additional 35-40 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges, but still jiggly in the center. Always remember, the center of the pie should be jiggly like Jello but not liquidy.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.
Now make the PRALINE TOPPING: place a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add both sugars, salt, and cream. Heat to boiling, turn the heat to low and continue cooking until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Add the pecans and butter to the mixture and cook, stirring, until butter is melted. Let the mixture cook at a rolling simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit until the bubbling has stopped.
Quickly pour the hot praline over the top of the pie. Let the praline harden into place, then for best results, let the pie chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, if not overnight. Slice into wedges and serve.

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats #SundaySupper

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats 115

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where our theme this week is Back to School!! At present, the most affected I am by anything Back to School is seeing pictures of friends’ kids on my Facebook newsfeed in first day of school outfits every late August. I have no kids myself and I’m not in school of any kind. So I thought that today, I would reminisce a little! Because yes, my sister and I did attend public school growing up, and yes, my mom had to figure out the whole school lunch and afternoon snack thing for us, too.

browned butter peanut butter crispy rice treats 102

And since my parents were quite adamant that we eat healthfully, our afternoon snack usually consisted of apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Something I did not consider much of a treat, thank you very much. I would have *much* preferred something in the sweet treats or dessert category awaiting me as I got home from school each day. And yes, I did make my feelings known, to no avail.

Browned Butter peanut butter crispy rice treats 110

So today I’m blogging a more sophisticated version of one of my childhood faves, the crispy rice treat, something I would have loooooooved to see show up as my after-school snack, but alas, never did. However, a caveat here – upon reaching adulthood, I must freely admit my mom was right to feed us a more healthful afternoon snack, and were I to have kids, I would/will do the same as she did.

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So in conclusion, I must say two things: first of all, thank you Mom, for feeding us healthy after-school snacks that gave us energy and nutrition and thanks for putting up with our grumbling and at-the-time pure ungratefulness; and secondly, these crispy rice treats are delicious, very easy to make, and would make any kid or adult very happy to have them as an occasional treat. Enjoy!

Browned butter peanut butter crispy rice treats 130

Browned Butter peanut butter Crispy Rice Treats 131

And of course do not forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang!

{Two Years Ago: Cherry Limeade, Soft Cheese Tacos, Jamaican Jerk Snapper}

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 (10 oz.) bag of marshmallows, large or small, doesn’t matter
½ cup smooth, all-natural peanut butter
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Directions:
Grease a 9×13” pan. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat until just browned. You’ll know because the popping and sputtering will be slowing down and little browned bits will appear. If you are new to browning butter, I would advise using a stainless steel pan for this step so you can see it brown and know when to stop. When the butter has browned, be sure to stir or whisk the browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate them. You want that tastiness in your final treat.
After the butter has browned, add the marshmallows, peanut butter, and salt. Stir with a large spoon or spatula until the mixture is silky smooth and flecked throughout with the browned bits.
Add the cereal to a large mixing bowl. Once the marshmallow mixture is smooth, carefully pour it over the cereal and stir to thoroughly coat the cereal.
Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. With buttered or oiled fingertips, gently press the mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan. Let cool and set for at least 30 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
This will last (maybe!) well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Back to School Beginnings

Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Happy Friday!! We are wrapping up Carrot Week on an extremely delicious, breakfast-y note. Carrot. Cake. Pancakes. Oh, yes, I went there.

Now, I always loved pancakes growing up. They were probably my number one favorite breakfast food that my mom would make. But it wasn’t until adulthood that my eyes were opened to all the pancake possibilities that exist out there. For most of my childhood and adolescence, I figured pancakes came in two forms: plain, or blueberry. Of course that was very wrong.

shredded carrots

And I’m quite happy to have added these carrot cake pancakes to my I’ve-eaten-that list. Because they are insanely tasty. Instead of maple syrup, you spread cream cheese frosting on them, like you would an actual carrot cake. It’s just divine. And very impressive – you could definitely bust these out for company.

carrot cake pancakes

And now for our usual week recap!

We began the week with Nocello-Spiked Carrot Cupcakes, so now I can check the box of having put a carrot cake on my blog. These are quite lovely thanks to the addition of walnuts and the walnut liqueur.

Nocello-spiked Carrot Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

Next we made Vegan Carrot Soup, a lovely rendition of a classic that non-vegans will scarf down enthusiastically.

Vegan carrot soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up: if you can have carrot cake, why not Carrot Pie? You can have it. It’s a thing. And it’s delicious.

Carrot Pie

 

 

 

 

 

And then yesterday, we had a cooked carrot side dish which we glazed with whiskey, butter, and brown sugar (oh, my!). Whiskey Glazed Carrots would make a beautiful side dish to any Easter spread.

Whiskey glazed carrots

 

 

 

 

 

And be sure you check out these carrot recipes from the food blogosphere!

Carrot Cake Scones from Rachel Cooks
Carrot “Fettuccine” with Lemon-Thyme Sauce from In Jennie’s Kitchen
Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta, and Mint from Smitten Kitchen
Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts
Pickled Carrot Sticks from Smitten Kitchen
Spiced Carrot Kale Muffins from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Super Moist Carrot Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Enjoy this lovely breakfast/brunch, y’all!

Carrot cake pancakes

{One Year Ago: Greek Salad with Chickpeas}

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
PANCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Generous pinch of ground ginger
1 large egg
2 tbs brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
3 tbs butter, for the griddle

FROSTING:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbs whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dash of ground cinnamon

Directions:
First, make the pancakes. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots.
Pour the buttermilk mixture, all at once, into the flour mixture. Whisk until mostly incorporated, then switch to a rubber spatula to combine the rest of the way. Let the batter rest 5 minutes while you make the frosting.
For the frosting: in a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Set aside while you make the pancakes.
Preheat your skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and smear it around to melt it and cover the whole surface. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into rounds on the skillet or griddle. Cook, flipping once, until golden on both sides and cooked through in the middle. Transfer the pancakes to a plate or platter. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
To serve, spread each pancake with a dollop of cream cheese spread. Stack them if desired. Consume immediately. 🙂

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

As we were riding home with our stash from apple picking, I promised Matt I would make one of his faves, apple crisp. I made good with this lovely recipe I found in Joy’s cookbook. It’s quite tasty; such a flavorful, earthy apple crisp with just the right amount of sweetness. All was well in our humble abode.

apple crisp, before baking

Joy actually entitled her recipe “Man Bait” Apple Crisp; Joy is single, but is convinced that this crisp is what will land her a husband someday. Well, this crisp plus some heels and lip gloss.

apple crisp

Since I bagged my man years ago, I really can’t comment on whether this crisp will *get* you a man. But I can say with some authority that it may help you *keep* your man.

Apple Crisp

My hubby was extremely smitten with this dessert, so I’m pretty sure I cemented my place for a few more years, at least. 😉 And on the plus side, when you’ve been together as long as Matt and I have, you can usually get away with skipping the heels and lip gloss as you present him with a dish of this yummy goodness. Just sayin’!

apple crisp

No real recipe notes here, it’s pretty straightforward. It makes a ton, so feel free to halve the recipe and use an 8×8” baker instead. Oh, and obviously what nuts you use for the crispy topping are up to you. I had some hazelnuts lying around, so I went with those. But pecans, walnuts, or almonds would be fantastic too. Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
FILLING:
10-12 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
6 tbs granulated sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon

TOPPING:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups chopped, toasted, and skinned hazelnuts
2/3 cups old-fashioned oats
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Directions:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish and set aside.
Place the apples in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Toss well. Set aside while you make the crisp topping.
To make the topping, in a medium to large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, oats, and salt. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse meal. Remove 1 heaping cup of topping and add it to the apples. Stir to combine.
Spread the apples evenly in the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining topping mixture. Bake the crisp until the topping is toasted and the apples are bubbling, about 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Bourbon Banana Bread

bourbon banana bread

Last year I shared one of my most favorite recipes ever: my mom’s banana bread. It’s the recipe she’s been using since I was little, I grew up eating it and occasionally helping her make it. It’s extremely nostalgic and special to me.

making banana bread

It’s a delicious banana bread, and while I know there are many other delicious banana bread recipes out there, I’ve never felt compelled to try them, because I love my mom’s so much. I wrote in that post about how I never stray from her recipe and how loyal I am to it.

Bourbon Banana Bread

And here I am, sharing a banana bread recipe that is not my mom’s. So what, pray tell, could induce me to cheat on my mom’s banana bread? In a word, bourbon. Yep, bourbon! It tempted me and lead me astray and I shamefully fell down the rabbit hole.

bourbon banana bread

And I must say, it was quite yummy. The bourbon really lent a lovely bite to the familiar flavors, and we both loved it. Don’t worry, I still love my childhood banana bread. This one was different and wonderful, but it by no means replaces years of nostalgia and memories. Forgive me my one indiscretion, banana bread. I’ve had my fling and now I’m ready to be loyal again. Those of you who don’t feel the need to be loyal to any one recipe for banana bread, definitely give this one a shot. It’s pretty cool. Enjoy!

Bourbon Banana Bread

{One year ago: Hatch Chile White Cheddar Scones}

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups mashed, overripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs bourbon, divided
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Grease a standard 9×5” loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the bananas, lemon juice and 1 tbs bourbon. Beat until well incorporated.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Immediately spoon the remaining 2 tbs bourbon over the top of the hot loaf of bread.
Allow loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You heard it here first – brown butter is the new bacon. Why? Because it makes everything better! Sweet, savory, cooking, baking, it really doesn’t matter. Add browned butter and everybody loves you. Kind of like bacon.

chocolate chip cookie dough

baking chocolate chunk cookies

So a few weeks ago I was searching for a cookie recipe. Some friends of ours had just had a baby, so I wanted to send them a meal, complete with a dessert (preferably a portable dessert that wasn’t temperature sensitive and would travel well in the car without making a mess. Cookies are usually good for that, right?).

brown butter chocolate chunk cookies

So anyways, when I saw the title Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, hello! the search was immediately over. They were so amazing – everything a chocolate chip cookies is supposed to be and then some. Brown butter has a somewhat nutty flavor, and it lent an intensity to the familiar cookie. They were a big hit.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I should apologize for not having any decent pictures of the browning butter process. But I’m sending you to Laurie’s blog, where she has a fantastic tutorial on browning butter, with great visuals. It is extremely important that you use a stainless steel skillet or pot for browning the butter. You need to watch it to avoid burning it, and a dark colored skillet will not allow you to properly determine how brown your butter is getting. Everyone enjoy these cookies, they are so awesome!

brown butter chocolate chunk cookies

{One year ago: Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Ginger Barbecue Sauce}

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 1 tbs unsalted butter; 1 stick needs to be at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp molasses
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Directions:
Brown the butter. Place 9 tbs (1 stick plus 1 tbs) butter in a medium-sized, silver-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Allow butter to melt. Once completely melted, the butter will foam, froth, and make a crackling noise. This is the water cooking out. Swirl the pan gently and occasionally during this process. Once the water is cooked out, the butter will begin browning. This happens quickly, so do not walk away or attempt to muti-task here. Once the solids reach a rich, chestnut color, remove the butter from the heat and immediately pour it into a separate container. Make sure you scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. It should smell rich and nutty with no traces of anything burned. Let the butter cool a bit. For a visual tutorial, click here.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining 8 tbs (1 stick) softened butter with the granulated sugar. Cream on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla extract and molasses; beat until incorporated. Once the brown butter has cooled somewhat, pour it into the creamed butter mixture, along with the brown sugar. Cream about 2 minutes until well incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for 1 more minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
Add the flour mixture, all at once, to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until the flour is incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks with a spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and space about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake cookies 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned on the outside, but still soft and tender in the center. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Then transfer the cookies to cooling racks. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Chocolate and Salty Peanut Butter Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate Salty Peanut Butter Chunk Ice Cream

Well, you know that my household goes bonkers over anything chocolate-and-peanut-butter, so this was bound to be a huge winner. I made it the same day I made the coconut poke cake, which called for only egg whites, of course leaving some unused yolks. And ice cream is the most obvious means I can think of to use up yolks, especially seeing as an egg yolk omelet just sounds so … wrong.

chocolate peanut butter chunk ice cream

chocolate peanut butter chunk ice cream

This ice cream is love, especially if you’re bonkers for chocolate and peanut butter together. The peanut butter bits are chunked all through the chocolate ice cream – delicious…

Chocolate and Salty Peanut Butter Chunk Ice Cream

Recipe notes: the original recipe says to complete the churning of the chocolate ice cream, then stir spoonsfuls of the peanut butter mixture into it in the container that’s going into the freezer. That way you end up with big chunks of the peanut butter mixture. I hate doing that. I think it’s because my freezer is rather tiny, so my ice cream containers have a small footprint, which makes it nearly impossible to stir the ice cream in said container. So I let the ice cream maker do the work instead. In the last five or so minutes of churning, I dropped spoonsfuls of the peanut butter into the ice cream maker. It works, though your peanut butter chunks will be smaller. But still unmistakably there and oh so tasty. The choice is yours!

UPDATE: I made this ice cream again, and had something a tad bit funky happen. When I mixed the chocolate chips with the custard base, either the cream or the chocolate chips were too cold, and the chocolate seized up a little bit. The end result wasn’t perfectly smooth, there were teeny, tiny little chocolate flecks through the ice cream. It certainly wasn’t a big enough deal to bother us, but if you want it perfectly smooth, I would definitely recommend either making sure your chocolate and heavy cream are close to room temperature, or drop the chocolate chips in while the custard is still cooking; let them melt completely before straining the custard.

Chocolate and Salty Peanut Butter Chunk Ice Cream

chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM:
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup sugar, divided
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
4 egg yolks
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

SALTY PEANUT BUTTER CHUNKS:
½ cup smooth/creamy all natural peanut butter
1 tbs heavy cream
Healthy pinch of sea salt, like fleur de sel

Directions:
Make the ice cream: in a medium saucepan, combine milk, ½ cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Set over medium heat and heat until the edges just begin to bubble. While the milk mixture is heating up, combine the egg yolks and remaining ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk vigorously until the yolks are pale yellow in color. Set aside.
Temper the egg yolks by pouring in about half a cup of the milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Now pour the entire egg yolk mixture into the milk mixture in the saucepan, slowly, whisking constantly. Set it over medium-low heat. Stir until it’s the consistency of runny pudding and it coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5-8 minutes. Pour through a strainer into a large bowl. Add the cream and chocolate chips and stir until they are melted and the mixture is smooth. Let it come to room temperature, stirring every so often.
When it’s cooled to room temperature, place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours.
While the custard base is chilling, make the peanut butter chunks. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, heavy cream, and sea salt. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.
When the ice cream base is thoroughly chilled, churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last 5 minutes of churning, add in the peanut butter in small chunks with a spoon. When done churning, place the ice cream in a container and let it set up in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Despite the fact that my parents never used the “starving children in China” line on me growing up, I really hate wasting food. More specifically, I seem to hate wasting ingredients. Like when I need a handful of chocolate chips for a recipe, but then I have the rest of the bag just sitting there staring at me. And maybe chocolate chips is a poor example, because we all know how easy it is to obliterate a bag one handful at a time every time you pass by the pantry. But I think you get my drift.

cooking oatmeal cookie pancakes

I had to buy some raisins to make Mole Poblano a couple months ago, but only needed a tablespoon or so of them. Which of course left almost a half cup of raisins sitting in the bag. And unlike chocolate chips, I’m most definitely not going to use them up by the snacking handful. I really dislike eating raisins straight up. I know I used to like them at one point. I remember getting the little red boxes of raisins with the bonnet woman on the cover in my school lunches frequently. And I promise you Mom, I did eat them! But sometime since elementary school I have completely lost my taste for them. So, what to do…

oatmeal cookie pancakes on griddle

Enter these ridiculous pancakes. I will happily eat oatmeal raisin cookies, so I figured the pancake version of those cookies wouldn’t be too objectionable. Um, no. They were most certainly not objectionable – not in the least. Much restraint is needed to not inhale the entire batch all by yourself. We raved and raved. And all because I refused to throw out some raisins…

oatmeal cookie pancakes

This post is quite appropriate today, in a sort of thematic way, I think. Matt and I are venturing to DC for a wedding this weekend and I realized that we had sitting around some gorgeous rhubarb, some sweet cherries, most of a bag of shredded coconut, and five overripe bananas, all of which would likely decay before we return Sunday evening. I couldn’t let that happen. So I went on what can only be described as an insanity-fueled baking bender today, all to avoid throwing out a few ingredients.

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Actually, it was really fun. I might need to do this again sometime. And, I had to walk to the store to get some extra basic ingredients; also, I was on my feet the whole day – so that counts as exercise… right?? Over the next couple months, be on the lookout, because I may be blogging today’s loot! Rhubarb scones, coconut poke cake, cherry muffins, bourbon banana bread, chocolate and salty peanut butter chunk ice cream, and banana and dark chocolate chunk mini muffins. Mmmm….. In the meantime, do NOT deprive yourself of these pancakes!

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
2 tbs packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
Big pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tbs pure maple syrup
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the griddle
1/3 cup dark raisins*
*If you should happen to measure out 1/3 cup of raisins, and find a small handful left in the bag, feel free to throw those in too.

Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, and melted butter. Add the buttermilk mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture. Fold together with a spatula until all of the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix. Fold in the raisins. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Heat your griddle over medium heat and add a touch of butter to melt. Spoon batter onto hot griddle, about ¼ cup per pancake. Heat until the bottom is browned and the top is bubbly. Flip and cook through, about 2 minutes per side. Adjust your heat level as needed; I find that most of my pancakes get cooked perfectly somewhere between medium and medium-low heat level. When each pancake is done, remove to a plate. Continue until all batter is used up. Serve immediately with extra maple syrup and watch everyone devour them.

Strawberry Banana Bread

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Summer is on the horizon, so we’re making vacation plans and storing our warm-weather clothes. I’m very excited for it to get here. It’s got me thinking about all my favorite things about summer, and isn’t it shocking that most of them revolve around food!

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Like eating sweet cherries on the beach. And putting berries in almost every dessert I make. Peaches – ‘nuff said! And grilling almost every night. Ice cold refreshing beverages. Lobster going on sale at my grocery store. Eating outside at restaurants in Manhattan. Lots of salads and seafood. And ice cream – lots and lots of ice cream, with some sorbet thrown in for good measure too.

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Most ice cream I consume these days is homemade, but that wasn’t the case until a few years ago. I can’t remember my mom ever making ice cream, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t own an ice cream maker. Some good family friends did though, and they brought that thing out several times a summer. I loved it. Their machine was the older hand-cranked model, and it made the softest, most delicious ice cream.

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I think there were several flavors in rotation (if I’m remembering correctly), but my favorite was always strawberry-banana. It’s such a great combo, but I don’t see it around the foodie webs much these days. Is it just done and overdone, or is it cliché at this point? I’m not sure.

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I still love it, and while I’m on no mission to single-handedly revive it, I will make this one contribution to the wonderful flavor combination with this quick bread.

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It was delicious and more cakey than bready. I found it on Joy the Baker, but couldn’t resist tweaking it quite a bit. It turned out to be lovely. Heads up – it’s best to let it cool for awhile. Matt and I decided we couldn’t wait, and the first two slices really fell apart on us. No matter, they didn’t taste any different!

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Oh, and I was figuring I would freeze some of this bread, but I blinked and it was gone. So good! Enjoy!

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Source: adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt (any fat content)
3 medium overripe bananas, peeled and chunked
1 cup diced strawberries plus enough thinly sliced strawberry to cover the top of the banana bread in a single layer (I used 7 small and medium strawberries)

Directions:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, yogurt, and banana until well incorporated.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Fold in the diced strawberries. Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

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Matt and I are neither milk drinkers nor cereal eaters. We don’t even put milk in our coffee. (He prefers half-and-half while I find that chocolate soymilk disguises the coffee-ness of coffee just enough to make it barely tolerable). Thus, as you can imagine, we don’t ever purchase a carton of milk unless some is needed for something I’m cooking or baking.

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So a few weeks ago, when I somehow managed to misread my own grocery list, and bought an entire gallon of organic milk from grass-fed cows because I needed, oh, half a cup of milk for something, well, that leaves quite a bit of extra milk that nobody’s drinking, now doesn’t it.

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And since that milk was so high-quality, I really couldn’t stand the thought of throwing it out. Yet, there was so much of it. What to do… I began searching my arsenal for recipes that called for a lot of milk and stumbled upon this pudding that I’d pinned several weeks ago. 4 cups. That’s quite a bit. Pretty helpful in my quest to use up good milk before it spoils.

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This pudding was so yum! Chocolate and peanut butter is such a wonderful combination, we go crazy over it in my house. And this pudding is made completely from scratch, so you know there are no nasty chemicals in there. Homemade pudding is delightfully easy to prepare and deliciously fun to eat.

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So if you and/or yours go bonkers over anything chocolate-peanut butter, then you’ve got to make this one. So good!!

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Source: Joy the Baker

Ingredients:
PEANUT BUTTER PUDDING:
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
CHOCOLATE PUDDING:
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
WHIPPED CREAM:
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
PEANUT BUTTER PUDDING:
In a medium saucepan whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk just to combine.  It’s ok if the mixture is just a bit lumpy. Add the milk and heavy cream and whisk.  Turn the flame on to medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking occasionally along the way.  Be sure to whisk in the rounded corners of the pan so that pudding doesn’t burn.
Once the peanut butter pudding comes to a simmer, whisk constantly at a simmer for 1 minute.  Mixture should thicken but still remain a bit loose.  Remove from the heat and add peanut butter and vanilla extract.  Quickly whisk and pudding will thicken substantially. Divide warm pudding between six glasses.  Store uncovered in the refrigerator while you make the chocolate pudding.
CHOCOLATE PUDDING: in a (clean and dry) medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt.  It’s okay if there are a few brown sugar lumps remaining.  Add milk and cream and whisk to incorporate.  Turn the flame on to medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally along the way.  Be sure to whisk in the rounded corners of the pan so the pudding doesn’t burn.
Once the chocolate pudding comes to a simmer, whisk constantly at a simmer for 1 minute.  Mixture should thicken but still remain a bit loose.  Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and pudding is thickened.
Spoon the pudding atop the peanut butter pudding.  Cover each pudding cup with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap touches the top of the chocolate pudding.  Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.  This recipe can be made a day in advance.
WHIPPED CREAM:
When ready to serve, whip heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract into soft peaks.  Top each pudding with whipped cream and serve.