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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Banana Nut Bread

Sooo....some of you may remember when I claimed this was the BEST banana bread recipe ever and to not bother trying another one...well, I've changed my mind :) That one is definitely good, but THIS is in another league! I played around a bit with the old recipe and came up with an improved version. Less oil and sugar, all banana and more of the moistness and texture that I loved from the first recipe.

Makes 16 servings.

-2 eggs
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1/3 cup of oil
-4 medium sized bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
-2 teaspoons pumpkin butter (found in the jam section)
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

-1 2/3 cup flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (or cinnamon)
-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1 cup walnuts

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread walnuts on a baking sheet. Toast for 8-10 minutes, then chop roughly.
-Whisk sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Drizzle in oil as you continue whisking. Add bananas, pumpkin butter and vanilla.
-In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Stir just until combined, do not overmix. 
-Spray a bundt pan OR 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and spread toasted walnuts onto the bottom of the bundt pan. Pour the batter over the walnuts. Bake for 44-50 minutes for bundt pan (baking time will be around 30-35 minutes for 2 loaf pans) or until center of cake is set.
-Slice and serve!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

I just finished making these and HAD to share them with you guys right away! They're that good...and simple! I spent the better half of the morning searching for oatmeal cookies, but everything called for 1 stick+ of butter, and thats just not my style. I finally found a low fat oatmeal cookie recipe and then discovered that I only had 1/2 cup of oats :-/

So to improvise and satisfy my oatmeal cookie craving, I came up with these :) Feel free to add your own mix-ins. Macadamia nuts would go great in these cookies...

Makes 26 cookies

-1 box yellow cake mix
-1/2-2/3 cup of oats
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup of vegetable oil
-1/2 cup of shredded coconut (go for the unsweetened)
-1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
-1/2 cup of dried cranberries (I used orange flavored)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
-Mix cake mix, oats, eggs and oil until combined. Add coconut, chocolate chips and cranberries.
-Scoop into balls using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon. Arrange 13 cookies per sheet and bake 8-11 minutes.
-Cool and enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Egg-less Tiramisu

I've got nothing against eggs (in fact, I love eating them), but something about using half a carton of raw eggs in a dessert is really grossing me out. Which was a big issue when I started craving tiramisu. My friend Lubna makes an AMAZING homemade tiramisu, so we colaborated on substitutions for the egg. After a lot of research we decided that replacing the eggs with vanilla pudding should achieve the same custard-like texture as the eggs. I gave it a try and was quite pleased with the results!

Just to clarify, this is not completely egg free, since the lady fingers have eggs. The recipe is free of RAW eggs.

Serves 6.

-1 package lady fingers (you will need 28 total)
-1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee, cooled and mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar (I used hazelnut flavored, and the subtle taste really added depth to the tiramisu).
-1 tablespoon coco powder (for garnish)

Mascarpone Cream Filling
--3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
-4 ounces mascarpone cheese (1/2 of the 8 ounce package, about 1/2 a cup)
-3/4 cup vanilla pudding
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Place heavy whipping cream in a bowl and freeze for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes until the cream forms stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, mix together mascarpone cheese, pudding and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the whipped cream.
-Soak each lady finger in coffee and place in an 8x8 inch baking dish. Place 7 lady finger side by side in two rows on the bottom layer of the baking dish. Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers. Repeat the soaking process of the remaining lady fingers and arrange a second layer over the mascarpone cream. Spread the  rest of the mascarpone cream and sprinkle with coco powder. 
-Cover and refrigerate over night. Because of the coffee and cream, the longer this soaks the better it will taste.
-Enjoy and leave a comment :)