Category Archives: Dessert

Easy as banana cream pie

All time favorite dessert? Key lime pie. Close second? That would have to be homemade banana cream pie. It’s so creamy and comforting, my grandmother always made it for us growing up. It’s still my request at holidays and whenever I see her. It’s actually less of a pie than a banana custard dessert but tastes amazing all the same.

For the crust, you will need

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • pinch of salt

For the filling you will need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3-4 bananas

Mix together the ingredients for the crust. An easy tip is to mix them together in the baking dish, so that you can just smooth it out in the pan you will bake in. poke the crust with a fork all over prior to baking to make small holes. Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until browned.

To make the filling mix together the sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan. Add the milk and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Cook for two minutes and remove from heat.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks. Stir in a small amount of the warm mixture and blend. Add the yolk mixture to the pan and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, it will start to thicken. Add in the butter and spices to taste (nutmeg or cinnamon – optional).

Place a layer of bananas on the crust

Add the custard on top of the base, then top with more bananas

And there you have it – homemade banana cream pie ready in next to no time. I used whole wheat flour and raw sugar in mine (health food sneak) but play around with this basic recipe and make it your own. Hope you enjoy it!


Let him eat cake

Birthdays are a perfect time to get creative, and for people who love to bake making a homemade cake is the obvious way to go. Some people are great at decorating, some make balloon animals, me – I bake. So for Andrew’s birthday I took his favorite theme (next to horror movies or music – maybe I’ll try one of those next year) Space! I made him a space themed cake.

You can do one of two things, make cake batter from scratch or use boxed cake mix. I honestly don’t think it makes you a bad person or means you care any less if you use boxed mix when you’re pressed for time. Same with the icing, pick which side you want to be on; make your own or use premade. Either way, the cake assembly will be the same. You will need: cake batter (enough for two layers), icing, food coloring and any accessories or candies that you want to add.

Find a large piece of cardboard or a box, and cover it with foil. This will make a great base for your cake.

Bake your cake in square or round pans, you will need two full cake slabs to make a two tiered cake.

While your cake is baking, mix your icing. I used a combination of mainly blue colouring with a few drops red added slowly to make a very pale blue (almost grey). I used this as to cover the base I constructed the cake on and to make it look like a planet, with craters and an uneven texture by pushing it with a spoon (I was trying to make it look like the moon).

Next add your sheet of cake, I trimmed the top off to make it flat. Add a layer of icing to this layer, and top with the second layer of cake. From here, ice the entire cake top and sides (I used a much more vibrant shade of blue as “the sky”).

The fun part is decorating. I went to a toy store and found some great figurines, the entire solar system in miniature along with astronauts and space equipment. I placed the planets on the cake, dotted the entire cake with yellow icing as “stars” then placed the space explorers around the cake.

This is how it turned out:

Andrew was surprised, and I was so happy I was able to make his birthday special. (It’s really hard to surprise someone when you live together – a.k.a please leave for a few hours). We celebrated with great friends and food, and I look forward to making personal cakes a bit of a birthday tradition.

If you don’t have time or feel like making the cake yourself, why not buy a premade cake and decorate it with icing and personal touches? The fact that you took the time and wanted to make something unique is guaranteed to make anyone feel extra special.

Happy birthday Andrew!


Only Three Ingredients = Delicious Dessert Bars

I’m not sure who invented this recipe, but my mom made it quite a few times when I was younger. Bake sales, bringing treats to school, these were always very popular and everyone loved them. When my mom taught me how to make them I could not believe three ingredients were all you needed to make one of the best dessert bars I’ve ever had.

What’s in them:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 bag of Skor bits/chips (or 6-7 Skor bars, broken into tiny bits)
  • 1 bag of regular Ritz crackers

What you do: 

If you have any pent-up aggression, this is the dessert for you. You take the bag of Ritz out of the box, keeping them in the sealed bag, and crunch them up into small pieces. Not large pieces but not a fine dust either, manageable little chunks.

I personally like using the packaged Skor bits/English Toffee better, but after going to 4 stores and not finding any we used regular Skor bars. The added chocolate was also nice so it worked out. Take about 6 Skor bars and break them into tiny “chip-sized” pieces. A meat tenderizer works pretty well.

 

In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until well blended.

 

Press into a greased pan (seriously, grease the pan. I can’t stress this enough)and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees

 

While still warm cut the bars. I found it easier to cut them in the pan while warm, cool them in the fridge and then remove them from the pan as they can be a bit crumbly while still hot.

 

These really are incredibly tasty, despite having so few ingredients. Give them a try and let me know what you think!


Black Forest Easter

Easter and chocolate, they just goes hand in hand. Black forest cake is a bit retro, but I’m pushing for it to have a comeback. Even though the name makes me think of being lost all alone in a dark forest filled with wolves, it really deserves a second chance to prove it’s not that lame last-minute birthday cake your parents just picked up from the grocery store on the way home because they forgot to order you one, and then they stick in candles leftover in a drawer from last year. Not that anything like that has ever happened to me. Sigh.*

These individual sized black forest cakes are super easy to make, but if you are a kitchen superstar with a lot more time on your hands than I have lately you can make the batter, icing and even filling by scratch.

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What you need:

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix (as well as the ingredients to make the mix specified on the box)
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 tub of white icing
  • Cocoa powder
  • 1 sandwich bag**

What you do:

  1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions
  2. Lick cake mix off of spoon (optional)
  3. Prepare cupcake tin with paper liners
  4. Spoon in 1 tablespoon of cake mix (to cover the bottom)
  5. Top with 1 teaspoon of cherry filling in the centre
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of cake mix to seal in and cover the cherry mixture
  7. Bake according to package directions
  8. Once baked, cool completely. While the cupcakes are cooling, snip the corner off of the bottom of a sandwich bag. Fill with icing, and twist
  9. Ice the cupcakes. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and top each with an individual cherry
  10. Eat any remaining icing directly out of the container (optional, but recommended)

If you want to get a bit fancy (and who doesn’t like to get fancy?), you can add a bit of Bailey’s to your cake mix before you bake (aprox ¼ cup). Liquor and cupcake batter were made for each other.

* If my parents are reading this, um, thanks for the cake. It was delicious.

** This is only if you want to neatly swirl the icing onto the cupcakes. You can also spread the icing onto each with a spatula or butter knife.


When Oreos and chocolate chip cookie dough collide

… this happens. Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies.

Did that cookie just eat my Oreo?

And it’s freaking delicious. (Don’t let my messed up iPhone picture tell you otherwise.) If my friends and coworkers want anyone to blame (or thank) for bringing this hybrid of goodness into their lives it’s my friend Marissa who shared this recipe from Very Culinary. (Who borrowed the recipe from Picky Palate and so I’ll give the original creator her due.)

What’s in it:

  •  1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package Double Stuff Oreo cookies

Confession: much cookie dough was eaten in the process

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In medium bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
  4. With a spoon, use about a tablespoon to form small round balls of dough.
  5. Place one ball on top of an Oreo cookie, and another ball on the bottom. Press top and bottom to flatten, then seal the edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is fully enclosed with dough.
  6. Place onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheets and bake cookies for approximately 13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Warm and gooey!

If you’re short on time I don’t see any reason why you can’t make the above recipe using a pre-made cookie dough (like Pillsbury). Yes, homemade tastes better but if you have little ones running about or are making treats for birthdays/school functions go right ahead and cheat. You’ll get no judgment here.


Tipsy Cupcakes!

Homemade cupcakes are amazing. When I have the time to make them from scratch, icing and all, it’s sugar coma time. But you can still do great things with boxed cake mix and adding flavored liqueur to your cupcake batter is a really easy way to customize your desserts.

It’s been hectic in the office and I wanted to make my coworkers a TGIF treat, so I whipped up two batches last night: Grand Marnier (the orange icing) and Raspberry Chambord cupcakes (pink icing). My neighbor and fellow blogger Reggie Ramone taste tested four of them after I baked them, so they must be good. 😉

What you need: You have two options, make the base from scratch or use boxed mix (the white cake mix variety). I really like this basic cupcake recipe from “Our Kitchen”; it’s been my “go to” lately. (They also give me major camera envy; I’ve just been using my iPhone for most of my food pictures while I try to decide between three SLR cameras).

You can either make just one flavor or split the batter to make two or more types. You’ll also need bottles of whichever liqueur you’ll be using – I like having the little mini ones hanging around because they’re great to flavor so many things.

What you do: To make two types like I did, once you have your batter mixed divide it equally into two bowls. Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of liqueur to each batch.

Pour into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and then add icing. I split my icing into two bowls and colored them separately before topping the cupcakes.

There are so many combinations you can try but here are a few that I really like:

  • Chocolate base with banana liquer
  • Chocolate base with kaluha
  • Vanilla base with Peach Schnapps
  • Chocolate base with Crème de Menthe
  • Chocolate and Guiness cupcakes (trust me, it’s amazing)