Cookie Bars

I make the best chocolate chip cookies. In fact, fights have ensued over my chocolate chip cookies. That being said, sometimes I don’t want to take the time to make cookies. Therefore, I use this recipe for a quick satisfying substitute for chocolate chop cookies. This is my go-to recipe when I volunteer to bring dessert, but I’m short on time. Since these ingredients are almost always on hand in my kitchen, I don’t even have to make a stop at the grocery store. I recommend that you volunteer for dessert at your next potluck and use this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or mini M&Ms

DIRECTIONS

Cream together sugar and  butter (and peanut butter if using it). Mix in the egg.

Egg mixed into the butter and sugar
Egg mixed into the butter and sugar

Add the remaining ingredients except the milk and chips.

Adding the dry ingredients
Adding the dry ingredients

Stir in the chips and the milk.

Adding the chocolate chips
Adding the chocolate chips

Spread the batter into a 9×13 inch greased cake pan.

Cookie Bars--ready for the oven
Cookie Bars–ready for the oven

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool. Slice into rectangles.

chocolate chip cookie bar
chocolate chip cookie bar

Banana-Nutella Frozen Dessert

You should never throw out an over-ripe banana. ALWAYS stick it in the freezer. I usually use them later for banana nut muffins or hummingbird cake. Actually, I like to eat them just plain frozen. However, I saw in a video someone shared on Facebook. However, it didn’t give specific proportions for this yummy treat, but I decided to give it a try. All you need are frozen bananas, Nutella, and a food processor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup nutella

DIRECTIONS

Since I freeze my bananas with the peel, I ran the bananas under the faucet using warm water for about 20 second so that the peeling would release from the banana. Place the bananas in the food processor.

Frozen Bananas
Frozen Bananas

Blend until the bananas are a creamy mixture.

Blended frozen bananas
Blended frozen bananas

Add the Nutella and process for another minute to blend the two ingredients.

Nutella blended into the frozen bananas
Nutella blended into the frozen bananas

Eat the mixture like soft serve

soft serve texture
soft serve texture

or put it in a bowl and place it in the freezer for a few hours to get it like hard ice cream.

Hard Frozen
Hard Frozen

Peaches in a Butter-Rum Sauce

Peach season is a delight! I recommend you buy them by the bushel if you have enough members in your family to devour them. Although my husband doesn’t usually eat many of the peaches, he will almost always say yes when I offer to make this treat. The blend of hot with cold and the flavor of this sauce with the slightly melting ice cream makes this an exciting and flavorful topping for summer ice cream dessert! This recipe will serve about 3 people.

INGREDIENTS

  • two peaches
  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum

DIRECTIONS

Place the peaches in a bowl.

Boiling water poured over peaches
Boiling water poured over peaches

Pour boiling water over the peaches. Drain the water. The peels should easily slide off.

peeled peach
peeled peach

Slice the peaches. Melt the butter in a stainless steel skillet. This is one of the few time I don’t use a cast iron skillet. You want a non-reactive metal any time you are deglazing with alcohol. Add the pecans to the melted butter and toast the pecans over medium-low heat.

pecans added to melted butter
pecans added to melted butter

After the pecans turn toasty brown, stir in the brown sugar and peaches.

peaches and brown sugar added to the toasted pecans
peaches and brown sugar added to the toasted pecans

Add the rum. Raise the cooking temperature to medium-high. Continue stirring as the alcohol and some of the liquid evaporates.

evaporating the alcohol and excess liquid
evaporating the alcohol and excess liquid
peaches in butter-rum sauce over ice cream
peaches in butter-rum sauce over ice cream

Serve over a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Peach Custard Pie

I love peach season! I like to stop at the Peach Barn as we are entering Muskogee and buy a peck. I eat them with my cereal. I eat them with my ice cream. I eat them with my yogurt. However, sometimes I want to do a little more with the peaches. This is a delicious way to use peaches during peach season.

INGREDIENTS

Pie

  • 1- 9 inch pie crust, unbaked
  • 3 peaches
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg

Streussel Topping

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons chilled butter
  • 1/3 chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

Wash the peaches and place in a bowl. Bring water to boil. Pour the water over the peaches.

Boiling water poured over fresh peaches
Boiling water poured over fresh peaches

Drain the water. Peel the peaches.

peeled peach
peeled peach

Slice the peaches and layer them in the pie crust.

sliced peaches layered in pie crust
sliced peaches layered in pie crust

Mix the remaining ingredients together with a mixer.

filling mixture
filling mixture

Pour over the peaches.

filling poured over peaches
filling poured over peaches

Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the streussel topping by cutting the butter into the flour and sugar until it is coarse and crumbly. Mix in the pecans.

streussel topping
streussel topping

After the pie has baked for 10 minutes add the streussel topping.

streussel added after 10 minutes
streussel added after 10 minutes

Continue to bake for about an hour until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Peach custard pie
Peach custard pie

Let cool and serve.

peach custard pie--ready to eat
peach custard pie–ready to eat

Cakeballs

I first discovered cakeballs when I had a batch of cupcakes that fell to pieces when I tried to take them out of the pan. However, I later decided it was a great way to recreate leftover cake. Maybe you don’t have a problem with leftover cake, but somehow an 8 inch round two-layer cake is a bit much for my husband and me to finish. I feel much better about taking cakeballs to the teachers lounge rather than half of my leftover cake especially since I wouldn’t brag about the looks of my lopsided two layer cakes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2  cake with icing
  • almond bark

Put the cake in a large mixing bowl and crumble.

Cake with icing
Cake with icing

Stir until it is a paste.

cake paste
cake paste

Form the paste into balls about 1 inch in diameter.

Cakeballs--ready for dipping
Cakeballs–ready for dipping

Melt the almond bark according to package directions.

Covering cakeball in almond bark
Covering cakeball in almond bark

Using two spoons cover each cakeball in almond bark and place on wax paper.

Cakeballs on wax paper
Cakeballs on wax paper

 

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

So, you have extra cranberry sauce from the holidays? I get really excited about this recipe. In fact, I would make cranberry sauce just to use in this cake recipe. Actually, the cranberry sauce is optional since the cake is absolutely wonderful as is. However,  I think the cranberry sauce makes a wonderful addition. This recipe is for a 12 cup bundt pan, but I often make half a recipe and bake it in my 6 cup bundt pan. That means you only have half the guilt when you devour the entire cake. Reduce the baking time to about 55 minutes if you are using only half the recipe.

CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. orange extract
  • 5 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 3 drops of red food coloring (optional)
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • leftover cranberry sauce (optional)

ICING INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • juice of 2 oranges

Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

greased and floured bundt pan
greased and floured bundt pan

Cream together butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy.

butter and sugar creamed together
butter and sugar creamed together

Add eggs and mix another couple of minutes. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a separate bowl.

flour. baking powder, baking soda, and salt
flour. baking powder, baking soda, and salt

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix together with the mixer. Add the sour cream. Mix until smooth. Add vanilla and orange extract, food coloring (if desired), and remaining flour. Mix until smooth.

orange cake batter
orange cake batter

Fold in the orange zest and pour the batter into a greased and floured 12 cup bundt pan.

orange cake batter in a bundt pan
orange cake batter in a bundt pan

Spoon leftover cranberry sauce on top of the cake batter.

orange cake with cranberries--oven ready
orange cake with cranberries–oven ready

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let it cool in the bundt pan for about 10 minutes before removing.

Cooling before removing
Cooling before removing

While the cake is cooling, mix together powdered sugar and orange juice. Remove the bundt cake from the pan.

waiting for icing
waiting for icing

Drizzle with icing.

orange cranberry cake--ready to eat
orange cranberry cake–ready to eat

Serve warm or room temperature.