Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies

You know what gets me excited? Super ripe bananas! Like, seriously, the possibilities are endless AND bananas taste way better when they’re overly ripe…who cares if they’re less nutritious that way? Not I.

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So anyway, I’m dieting again, for like the 180 billionth time in the past few months, but I’m seriously sticking to it this time…except for these cookies…which I will eat in moderation…because everything is ok in moderation…right?! 🙂 But really, I only made these cookies because my little girls were giving me sad puppy eyes and asking if they could help me baking something yummy, and if you know my little girls you would know it’s like, nearly impossible to say no to them.

I can easily say that these have made it into my top three favorite cookies of all time list. I’m SO glad I stumbled across them over on Six Sister Stuff which I adore and is one of my favorite blogs ever and I highly recommend checking out…well…everything!

On top of the fact that these cookies are amazingly delicious, they’re also super easy and kind of customizable to your preferences. For example, I don’t like chocolate chips, so I doubled the recipe from Six Sisters, split it in half, put chopped pecans in my half and put peanut butter/chocolate swirl chips in the girls half. I bet they would also be good with white chocolate chips or chopped walnuts…or just plain old banana oatmeal cookies for that matter!

Ok, I’m babbling. I know you’re drooling now and want the recipe, so here it is!

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next sift together your flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Take your softened butter and mix it thoroughly with the white and brown sugar until its nice and fluffy, then add in eggs and vanilla extract, mix well. Take your smashed up (very ripe) banana and mix it into your batter, then slowly add in your flour mixture about half a cup at a time until it is well incorporated.

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I would like to take a second here to add that if you are choosing to do this old school style with a bowl and spoon, I hope you ate your Wheaties or did a few arm reps before hand, because my stand up mixer was struggling at this point, and that thing is a beast! BUT I also was making a double batch so perhaps that had something to do with it? Anyway…

The next step is to add your rolled oats to your cookie batter (dough? I’m having a very hard time referring to this as “dough” because once everything is done mixing, it’s probably the most runny cookie dough I’ve ever worked with). Once you mix your oats in nicely, you can add 2 cups of whatever you feel like will make you smile to the “dough”, but I will highly recommend chopped pecans, because it’s like banana nut bread cookies, which is just amazing!!!

After you get your ingredient of choice mixed in well, scoop up about 1/4 cup of your cookie dough and form it best you can into a ball and plop it right onto your parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Leave about 2 inches+ between each cookie, because these get pretty big while they’re cooking.

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Bake for about 12-13 minutes or until edges become golden. They won’t seem very done at first but just allow them to cool and they will harden up a good bit. I can’t speak for these cookie specifically, but when I made regular oatmeal raisin cookies last time I baked the first batch a couple minutes longer than the instructed time because they didn’t look ready, and they weren’t very soft and chewy after awhile. When I cooked my second batch I did it exactly how long it said to, let them cool and harden, and they stayed soft and chewy until we finished them (like 2-3 days after baking).

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I hope you all enjoy these as much as we did! Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

What You’ll Need…

• 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 t. salt
• 1/2 t. baking soda
• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1.5 t. vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
• 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
• 2 cups chopped pecans (or your add-in of choice)

How To Make It…

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
• Sift together 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, set aside.
• Beat together softened butter, brown sugar and white sugar until fluffy.
• Add in egg and vanilla extract, mix well, add in mashed banana, mix well.
• Slowly add in flour mixture ~1/2 cup at a time until it is all completely incorporated into the dough.
• Add in oats, mix well, add in chopped pecans, mix well.
• Form balls of dough, about 1/4 a cup each, and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
• Bake for 12-13 minutes or until edges are golden, remove, allow to cool.
• Enjoy! 🙂

Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

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Late Night Deep Dish Cookie

So I just got back into town this evening. I’ve been back in Greenville, NC visiting friends the last four days, so I don’t have any goodies cooked up and ready for when I get my fat girl cravings every night on occasion. Well, tonight it happened, and the garlic parmesan pita chips just weren’t cutting it. I knew there was no way I was going I whip up a batch of cookies or cupcakes at midnight, so I settled for this pin I remembered pinning a few weeks ago for just such occasions (like a girl scout, always prepared 😉 ). The results where very much like I expected. If I had to describe it, I would say it tasted very much like Spongebob would after he was shot with a chocolate chip machine gun and then nuked in the microwave for 1 minute.

Before I continue, let me say this, I’m not one of the “Pintesting” blogs (although, I adore them) and I don’t intend to regularly post my Pinterest experiments on here, but I wanted to take this experience as 1.) an opportunity to link you all to my friend Mandy’s blog that she just started where she will be doing some Pintesting (to which I will be contributing) and to 2.) give my take on the microwaveable deserts fad that seems to be going on.

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So my review of this is…not great. Maybe I’m a cookie snob, but the consistency was more like bread than cookie, very spongy and my chocolate chips didn’t melt, which, in my book, is no good. I won’t lie to you though, I did eat most of it just because I was dying for something sweet.

I’m glad I put this whole curiosity of cooking sweets in the microwave to rest, it’s just tooooooo good to be true I suppose, but for those of you who are interested in trying this recipe out, I will post it below. I would love to hear if people yielded any different (better) results.

Ps. There’s no link to the recipe. It was the caption of the pin and when you clicked on the picture it took you to a page that “no longer existed”.

What you’ll need…

• 1 T. melted butter
• 1 T. white sugar
• 1 T. brown sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 3 drops of vanilla extract
• 1 egg yoke
• 1/4 cup of flour
• 2 T. chocolate chips

How to do it…

• Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
• Pour into a small microwaveable glass dish (much like an individual serving porcelain dish).
• Microwave for 40-60 seconds.
• Attempt to enjoy. 🙂

Banana Nut Bread

I really should be folding laundry instead of typing this…but…this bread was so good I kinda feel like it’s urgent that I get this posted up here ASAP. I mean, it was really THAT good. The other awesome thing about this recipe is that it makes TWO loaves of bread instead of one, so you can have one to enjoy with your family and another one to shamelessly shove in your face after everyone goes to bed another one to share with someone you wanna make feel special. 😉

This was the first time I had ever made bread, but it’s kind of easy compared to normal bread because there’s no kneading the dough and having to let it rise (or whatever order that goes in), which is the part that intimidates me. All you have to do with this is mix everything together, pour it in the loafpan and let it cook…So I guess it’s kinda just like a giant cupcake.

I looked over at my bananas today and noticed that they were getting quite brown, which instantly reminded me I had pinned this recipe a few months back and completely forgot about it. I have always wanted to try making banana nut bread because I love love love it! This one in particular caught my eye because it had an entire block of cream cheese in it, and oh my, do I love cooking with cream cheese! I probably have a few boxes on hand at all time. I have no idea why but every time I go to the store I grab 1 or 2 more boxes just because I always am finding ways to use it.

So this, much like the strawberry coconut rum buttercream I posted, should probably require a stand up mixer, or at least a good electric hand mixer. I’m not saying it would be impossible, but you better have hulk arms if you want to attempt this with a bowl and whisk…

First, assemble your ingredients (sans the coffee maker and coffee) and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start off by beating your softened butter and cream cheese together until they become one fluffy, delicious looking mixture. After that, gradually add in your sugar and lightly beat in your eggs one at a time. At this point it will look more like a runny, yellowish mixture. In a separate  bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add it to your egg/butter/cream cheese mixture that you got going on (about half a cup at a time) mixing well after each addition. This will make it much less runny and yellow and turn it into a much thicker, light beige colored batter. Now grab you bananas and  mush them up as much as you can. Add the mushed bananas, crushed pecans, and vanilla to the mixing bowl until they are throughly incorporated into mixture…

After that, grease and flour your loaf pans (remember this makes two 8×4 loaves) to ensure it will easily fall right out of the pan when it’s done cooking. Once they’re ready to go, evenly distribute your banana nut bread mixture into the pans and pop them in the oven.

The original recipe says to bake for one hour, the blog I found this on says hers took 1 hour and 15 minutes. MINE took 1 hour and 45 minutes! I’m not sure if it was the fact that my oven sucks or that our electricity went out for a brief second while this was cooking and I forgot to immediately go press the button in the cabinet above my oven (I have no idea what it’s called, I just call it the “reset” button), but I had to eventually cover mine with foil because the tops of the bread were getting a little too golden brown for my liking but the wooden skewer was still coming out of the bread all gooey, so I guess just watch it around the 45 minutes – 1 hour mark and do whatever you feel like needs to be done. I wish I could offer up a better answer, but with three different people coming up with three different times, I’m not sure what to suggest besides that.

After they’re done cooking pull it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before you pop them out of the pans. Mine fell right out of the pan no problem.

After it’s all done cooling, slice and enjoy!

What you’ll need…

  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 8oz of cream cheese
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t of baking powder
  • 1/2 of baking soda
  • 1.5 cups of mashed bananas (about 4 bananas)
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 t. of vanilla extract

How to do it…

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together softened butter and cream cheese
  • Gradually add in sugar 1 cup at a time
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing lightly between each egg
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add to mixture ~1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after every addition.
  • Add in smashed bananas, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Grease and flour your loafpans. Evenly distribute the mixture into two 8×4 in. loaf pans.
  • Bake in oven for 1 hour to 1.5 hours, making sure the tops do not burn (if they are too golden brown on top and the insides are not done cooking yet, cover with foil until a wooden pick comes out clean from the center of bread)
  • Remove from oven. Allow loaves to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from loaf pans.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Recipe via sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com

Crunkcakes with strawberry coconut rum icing

I’m not trying to brag or anything, buuuuuut I’ve had quite a few requests to post this recipe up.

I’ve been slow on updating this blog because my head is so clogged with crap going on in my life, but the good thing about that is that the more stressed I get, the more I cook and bake, and trust me when I say this, I will be cooking and baking A LOT in the coming months. Soooo bittersweet.

Speaking of bittersweet, lets get to talking about these cupcakes crunkcakes. 🙂

I pinned this while I was pregnant with Elijah, so I have been anticipating making these for a few months now. Even after I was no longer pregnant I put off making them until a special occasion arose, and then my birthday came along and I felt it was the perfect excuse. When I told my mom I wanted to make my own cupcakes for my birthday cookout she objected immediately, but after I explained to her a little about these cupcakes she agreed. I was super excited to make these, and even more excited that my mom was going to watch the kiddos while I made them. Very seldom do I ever get the chance to cook or bake without little hands tugging at my shirt/pants saying, “Can I have some mama?”.

Alright, so lets start out with the fact that I was kinda lazy/in a hurry and decided to use box cake mix instead of making it from scratch. Sue me. I’ve actually read there’s not much difference when it comes to that sort of stuff. Maybe there’s an exception when it comes to things other than your basic vanilla and chocolate cake, but for stuff like this, unless you have the time, I would stick with the box.

So started by mixing up the cake mix as the directions say. I always replace the amount of oil it says for 1 stick of butter (Paula Dean would be so proud!), but thats just a personal choice. After you get done mixing but the batter pop them in some cupcake liners (don’t forget to spray them with oil!) and put them in the oven for the suggested time the box says.

While those are cooking pull out your stand-up mixer (if you don’t have a stand up mixer, or at least an electric hand mixer, I would suggest seeking another icing recipe or just buying some pre-made stuff…unless you have super strong, super spinny go go gadget hands) and mix up 1.5 sticks of ROOM TEMPERATURE butter and 1 cup of hulled and sliced strawberries. Mix them all up until they reach a consistency that resembles this one…

Then mix in 1/4 t. of salt and 1/3 cup of coconut rum (or 2 t. of vanilla if you don’t want to use alcohol) and blend it a little more. I didn’t get a picture after this step but the point is to get the strawberries a little more pureed. After that add in 7.5 cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time mixing well after each cup. You will eventually end up with something that looks very similar to this…

This recipe makes a LOT of frosting, which is awesome if you’re piping your icing on since you use so much more when you pipe (or at least I do). Once you get all that done put it in the fridge to chill so it won’t melt when you put it on your crunkcakes. I had an issue with this because the kitchen was SO hot that it was melting right off.

So by now all your cupcakes are probably done cooking. I would also recommend putting those in the fridge to completely cool. While that’s happening pull out our box of jello (I used strawberry, but next time I’ll play with the flavor, maybe kiwi? Do they make kiwi jello?) and mix it with 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of coconut rum (I used Captain Morgans). Mix it up until the powder is completely dissolved.

Once your cupcakes have cooled off a bit pull them out of the fridge and poke holes in the top using a fork or toothpick, making about 10-15 tiny holes. After you do that get your jello/rum mixture and spoon about 1-2 T. of it on top. The original recipe says 3 T. but I did my first 6 with 3 T. and holy crap, I felt like I was taking a straight shot of rum when I took a bite.

If you didn’t get the chance to let you crunkcakes cool really well before you did this, it’s not a huge deal, but I would def let them get nice and chilled before icing them. Once you get that all done pull out your icing of choice and frost them all up and enjoy! 🙂

Crunkcakes 

What you’ll need…

  • 1 box of vanilla cake mix (and the ingredients it takes to make it as directed on the box)
  • 1 box of Jello (I used strawberry)
  • 1 cup of light coconut rum
  • 1 cup of boiling water

How to make them…

  • Make vanilla cupcakes as instructed on the back of cake mix box, cook cupcakes as directed
  • Mix together 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of coconut rum with 1 box of jello
  • Let cupcakes cool and then poke 10-15 holes using a fork or toothpick
  • Spoon on 1-2 T. of jello mixture on top of cupcakes

Strawberry Coconut Rum Buttercream

What you’ll need

  • 1.5 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced and hulled strawberries
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup of rum OR 2 T. of vanilla extract (your choice)
  • 7.5 cups (2lbs) of powdered sugar

How to make it…

  • In a stand up mixer (or an electric hand mixer) mix together strawberries and room temperature butter
  • Add in salt and rum OR vanilla. Mix until most of your strawberries have pureed.
  • Add in 7.5 cups of powdered sugar 1 cup at a time mixing well after each cup is added.
  • Once well blended cover and chill until ready to use

Cupcakes recipe adapted from iheartcuppycakes.com

Frosting recipe from how2heroes.com 

Mint Oreo Balls

Christmas before last my BIL and his girlfriend at the time made Oreo balls to give out as Christmas gifts. I was hesitant to try one because (get ready for this) I don’t like chocolate that much, but my husband INSISTED on me trying one and ohhhhhh my goodness I’m glad I did! This is chocolaty, but not too much. They’re perfect, in just about every way. I got the recipe from him with the intentions to make some but never got around to it and after awhile the thought was lost, UNTIL, I was (of course) scanning Pinterest and I ran across these. Not only where these the delicious Oreo balls that I had forgotten about Christmases ago, but these were MINT Oreo Balls (I looooove mint!).

So when the kiddies were somewhat focused on watching TV and eating a snack one day I decided to throw these together (I use the term “throw together” very loosely here, it actually took about an hour to an hour and a half from beginning to end) and they came out JUST as amazing as I expected! The hardest part about making these is probably setting them down once you dip them in the chocolate without making them look completely disheveled. I got the hang of it around the last five, but no matter what they looked like, they all tasted yummy!

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What you’ll need…

• One bag of mint Oreos
• One 8oz cube of cream cheese
• One 10oz bag of white chocolate morsels
• One teaspoon of peppermint extract
• 2-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
• Green food coloring (optional, I didn’t use)

How to make it…

• Take 3-5 oreos and finely crush in food processor (I used my magic bullet) and set aside in a bowl for later.
• Take remainder or Oreos and crush to finest consistency in food processor (also used my magic bullet)
• Take softened cream cheese and mix thoroughly with the crushed oreos (minus the first 3-5 you set aside earlier) until it reaches a gooey sticky dough consistency. Roll dough into small half inch balls and place on parchment paper and set in fridge to chill until you are done melting chocolate.
• Melt white chocolate morsels either over a double boiler or in the microwave with desired amount of vegetable oil (I used two tablespoons and placed the entire bag of chocolate in a large microwave safe mixing bowl and heated/stirred in 30 sec intervals until completely melted). After melted add one teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir until well blended. Add food coloring to reach desired green color (optional)
• Take Oreo balls and dip in the melted chocolate and set on parchment paper. (I did this by dipping the balls in the chocolate one at a time by setting them on a fork and letting the excess drip off the bottom before setting them down on the paper. Half way through I also added about 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds and stirring to thin out the chocolate because it was starting to clump up)
• Once you have finished coating all your balls in chocolate take the small bowl of crush Oreos and sprinkle desired amount on top.
• Set balls in fridge to chill and let chocolate harden and enjoy! 🙂

Recipe via amandeleine.com

Butterfinger Pie

Yes, you read that right, now roll up your tongue and put it back in your mouth.

Butterfingers are unquestionably my faaaaaavorite candy bar, however I’m not too fond of most pies.  You won’t catch me blogging about making too many unless I have some sort of change of heart. BUT this is the exception.

When I say I don’t like pie, I mainly am referring to the fruit filled pies. I’ve never been a cobbler fan either to be honest. I would much rather eat a cupcake (I think I would probably always rather eat a cupcake but that’s beside the point). Now I WILL jump on a whipped topping filled pie, maybe a pecan or peanut butter pie here or there (Pumpkin? Key Lime? Lemon Curd? No, thanks) but this pie takes the….cake? Hmmmm…

This is probably one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. I cannot for the life of me remember where I got this recipe from, but I can guarantee you they left out a very important detail when writing out this recipe that was KEY, but don’t fret, I will make sure you don’t become a victim like I did. I had to do one of the MOST heart breaking thing after I made this the first time…

Are you ready?

I had to throw it away! Yes, I know. Tragic, horrible, a “party fowl” if I may.

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This pie has 4 ingredients. Pie crust, cool whip, butterfingers, and cream cheese. That’s IT. You start out by crushing 6-7 (of course I recommend 7 😉 ) regular sized butterfingers. You can use a food processor, magic bullet, or, if you don’t have anything along those lines, a ziplock bag and a mallet will also work. Once they are crushed reserve about 3/4 a cup of your finely crushed butterfingers to use as a topping for your pie. Your next step is to mix your cool whip and cream cheese together until it is FINELY BLENDED. Remember back a second ago where I said the original recipe left out an important detail? Yeah, that was it. I mean I know it’s kind of a given, but seriously, make sure it’s softened, I recommend putting it in the microwave to make sure it blends with the cool whip REALLY well because there is nothing like having little chunks of cream cheese mixed in with your sweet cool whip and butterfingers. Gag. Anyway, once you have those two blended well, throw in your crushed butterfingers (sans the 3/4 cup you reserved) and mix them in all nice until your heart is content. Then, pour all the yummieness into your pie crust, get it looking all pretty and pie like, and then top it with the remaining butterfinger pieces! After that cover it and put it in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours, I know the temptation is STRONG).

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So there you have it, super delicious, super easy, sent from the heavens above, Butterfinger Pie. Thank you and you’re welcome. 🙂

What you’ll need…

  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 12oz container of cool whip
  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese
  • 6-7 butterfingers

How to make it…

  • Crush butterfingers until they are almost at a powdery consistency (reserve 3/4 cup for topping)
  • Blend room temperature cream cheese and cool whip until FINELY BLENDED (I still strongly recommend microwaving it for about 30 seconds prior to mixing it with the cool whip)
  • Mix in crushed butterfingers and blend well
  • Pour mixture into pie crust and form
  • Top with remaining crushed butterfingers
  • Place in fridge overnight (minimum of 4 hours)
  • Enjoy!