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Mrs. Olson’s Banana Bread with Buttercream Frosting

21 Dec

When my girlfriends and I were visiting Jen Olson in Iowa last fall, we talked a lot about food and recipes. We started to swap some recipes as well. Jen showed me her mom’s banana bread recipe and I quickly asked Jen to email it to me.

This bread is heavenly. It’s like no other banana bread I’ve ever had. It’s much more of a cake than anything.

You can really taste the brown sugar in the recipe – I think that’s what sets it apart from the rest. That, and there is a great amount of bananas added. Pay no mind to the burned quality of the bread……my oven was in poor shape 😦

And the icing…..oh man. This buttercream icing will now be my GO-TO icing for everything from now on. It is fabulous and sweet and creamy. I will probably need to make it its own blog post in the near future.

It’s a very simple bread, that is very people-pleasing. I took some in to share with my co-workers after Hurricane Sandy, and it was eaten immediately.

I am so thrilled that Jen shared her mom’s recipe with me. This will be my only banana bread recipe that I will ever need for life.

Look at this stuff……..sinful!!!!!

Mrs. Olson’s Banana Bread with Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown sugar (you can sub a cup of white for one of brown if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans.

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla and bananas. Add dry ingredients last.

Pour in loaf pans. Bake at 350 45-50 minutes or until done. (start checking around 40 minutes)

Jen’s mom served this bread with a buttercream frosting recipe that she added just a little bit more milk to make it a creamy spread.

The BEST Buttercream Frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions:

Beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until creamy.

Gradually add powdered sugar and salt alternately with half & half and vanilla, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Stir in corn syrup.

When loaves are fully cooled, spread over top and serve.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

6 Dec

It’s still considered fall. And I wanted to make something fall-y and pumpkin-y for my co-workers.

I perused some online recipes and found this one. It looked easy and somewhat healthy. Pumpkin is healthy, right? 🙂

These bars were so darn moist and flavorful! They had just the right amount of cinnamon and allspice without being too over-powering.

And the cream cheese icing…..I mean, you could slap cream cheese icing on most baked goods and it makes it that much more amazing. But this was just incredible.

I think everyone should just whip these up real quick – they will please almost anyone. It’s a perfect treat for family, friends, and co-workers!

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 and 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 14oz. can pure organic pumpkin
  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

1. For the Bars: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9×13 pan and set aside. Mix flour, soda, powder and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

2. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until completely smooth and blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until fully combined. Stop as needed to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

3. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is set and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely to room temperature before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In a mix whip together cream cheese and butter. Then add sugar and vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Ice Cream Pie

27 Sep

Hurry up! It’s still warm outside to enjoy this awesomeness!!!

This is an old family recipe that my mom’s been making all my life. Everyone LOVES this treat in the summertime. I watched my brother, Pat, take down FOUR pieces in one sitting this past summer….it was quite impressive I gotta say.

My mom used to make it with Starbucks Java Chip ice cream – coffee ice cream with chocolate chips. But they no longer make that flavor – so we improvise!

This couldnt get any easier…..Make an oreo crust, dump ice cream in, and make sauce for top! It’s fabulous and so yummy when it’s hot outside. There are also different variations on ice cream….strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, mint chocolate chip…..you can really use any flavor you like! However, I recommend using premium ice cream.

Above is the cookie crust…..below is the softened iced cream poured into the crust. I used coffee ice cream and made my own “chips” by grinding up chocolate chips in the food processor and incorporating.

Next is the homemade chocolate sauce. You can cheat by buying store-bought sauce, but it wont sit right on the pie and wont adhere. (You will see pics of it later on – my mom tried to use it a couple times recently in a pinch.)

You can see how the sauce lays thickly on top of the pie. It is supposed to look similar to this.

Here is the side view of the pie as we devoured it.

Here is a slice of an ice cream pie my mom made this summer. You can see how her store-bought sauce doesnt adhere well to the pie.

Below is what remains of a Dulce de Leche ice cream pie my mom made this summer. Our family’s favorite was the Java Chip cake with oreo crust…..but sometimes, it’s a really really tough choice when the Dulce de Leche with vanilla oreo crust is offered as well. In that case, we mostly choose to have a SLIVER OF EACH 🙂

I cant tell you how simple and delicious this ice cream pie is. I encourage you all to come up with your own option for flavors and report back to me!! I am thinking about trying a strawberry version next summer.

If you are an ice cream lover – this is for YOU!

Ice Cream Pie

Pie Ingredients:

  • 18 whole oreos (approx)
  • 3 tblsp melted butter
  • 1 quart (or more) of ice cream (choose your flavor), softened a little

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • Small can evaporated milk
  • 2 squares bakers chocolate

Directions:

Crumble oreos in processor or blender until they are crumbs. Mix with melted butter and press into 9” pie plate. Freeze and then fill with ice cream (flavor of your choice).

Put back in freezer to harden and then make sauce.

Combine chocolate, sugar, and evaporated milk in saucepan. Stir and cook on stove until thick – it will take a while and feel like nothing is happening, but will suddenly thicken and come together. Chill the sauce for a couple hours. Spread over top of pie. Voila!

Other flavor combos:

–       Chocolate Oreos with java chip ice cream and chocolate sauce

–       Vanilla oreos with dulce de leche ice cream and caramel sauce

–       Strawberry ice cream with berries and chocolate sauce

–       Chocolate oreos with mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate sauce

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

30 Jul

Robbbb was craving blueberry muffins. I was craving an upgrade to blueberry muffins.

Ingredients

I settled on these Blueberry Streusel Muffins.

Muffin mix and Streusel mix

They were so moist and delicious.

Mmmmm collective yum

And the streusel topping was the perfect mix of sugar and spice.

Cracklin’ with Blueberries

Sooooooo chock full o’blueberries!

What a fine specimen

Take a BITE

I definitely recommend these muffins – they are suuuuuuper yummy and they freeze well, too!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

For the streusel:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed

 For the muffins:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

For the streusel topping, mix together all ingredients with your fingers, rubbing to make a coarse meal. Set aside.

To make the muffins: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until pale in color, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the flour mixture then the milk and finally the remaining flour mixture, beating only until just combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl then add the blueberries, folding them into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pans, filling each about 3/4-full. Break the crumb topping into small pieces and scatter over the tops of the muffins, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pans to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan to the rack to cool completely.

New York-Style Crumb Cake

25 Jul

I dont even know why I wanted to make this cake.

Ingredients

I found it on foodgawker and both the pics and the mixture of spices for the crumb topping suckered me in. There was cinnamon and cardamom – yum!

Crumb Topping

Wet mixture in dish

I love dishes where you can see distinct layers in the food!

Look at the layers

Baked layers

It was so easy to throw together.

First piece!!

Look at that dish of sweet goodness

It was great to take to an early morning meeting that I had with clients – and then was nice to leave at my client’s office, rather than in my house 🙂

Look at the crumbs

New York-Style Crumb Cake

(makes a 9″ x 13″ cake)

For the topping:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and warm

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 100% whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2) sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan. You can use glass or metal, but the sides of the cake may get a bit crispier if you use metal.

For the crumb topping, mix flour, both sugars, salt, cinnamon and cardamom together in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk or stir until well incorporated. Set aside.

For the cake, sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a hand or stand mixer until completely smooth. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture begins to look pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, scraping down the bowl before each addition. Be careful not to overmix.

To assemble the cake, pour all of the batter into your prepared pan. Use your hands to scoop up a handful of crumb topping and squeeze it in your fist until it holds together. Break off in chunks and drop them over the cake. Repeat until you’ve used all the topping (and yes, there’s a lot of it).

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes (rotating the pan once or twice) or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting; about 30 minutes.

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