Banana Pudding Trifle

23 03 2015

I served this trifle at a dinner party this weekend and it was a nice success! It’s easy enough to whip up for a backyard party, but pretty enough to serve at the end of a nice Sunday supper too! Make it easier on yourself my doing the pudding and the whipped cream a day ahead, then on the day you’re serving, simply slice the bananas and assemble.

Banana Pudding Trifle

The following makes one large trifle, about 14-16 servings (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 2 boxes instant banana cream pudding
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 3 large bananas, sliced
  • 1 box vanilla wafers

Whisk pudding mix and milk in a large bowl according to the package directions. Chill covered, following package directions, or overnight.

For the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream and the cream of coconut with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.

To build the trifle, assemble a layer of banana slices on the bottom of a trifle or large glass bowl. Top bananas with a layer of pudding, then a layer of wafers, then a layer of whipped cream. Repeat layering until you run out of ingredients, or fill the bowl, finishing with a layer of whipped cream. Top with shredded coconut and add a ring of wafers if you’d like to finish decorating (as shown above).

You’ll want to assemble the trifle at least a few hours before serving. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

Granola Cookies

10 12 2014

I like making my own granola, and the recipe I follow makes a lot! After awhile I’m usually ready to turn it into something even better…enter, these cookies! I found a simple recipe that let’s your homemade granola be the delicious star!

Granola Cookies

The following makes 24 cookies (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker):

  • 14 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (you could use AP flour as well)
  • 3 cups granola (I make my own with whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds I have around)

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with silpats or wax paper.

With electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed until smooth, 2 mins. Add the sugars and beat for another 3 mins, or until creamy. Add the egg and salt and beat until well blended.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, mixing only until Incorporated. Then slowly add the granola. Stop mixer when it’s mostly blended and finish by hand if needed, making sure to get up any of the dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl.

Scoop out 2 Tbsp of dough and arrange mounds on the prepared baking sheets, leaving room in between the cookies. Flatten the mounds lightly with your finger tips.

Bake 10-12 mins. The cookies should be golden brown but not too firm. All to rest on the sheets 2 mins before transferring to cooling racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Blackberry Oatmeal Crisp

25 08 2014

This is such a bright and yummy dessert, packed with beautiful organic blackberries from Fresh Fork Market! You could use any other berry you have or even a mix…blueberries, raspberries and/or black raspberries would all be equally delicious in this crisp.

Blackberry Oatmeal Crisp

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 6 cups blackberries (about 2 pints)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup and 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp and a pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 2-quart baking dish, you could also use non-stick spray.

To make the filling, toss the blackberries with the granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, 3 Tbsp flour and a pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to your prepared baking dish.

To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, oats, nuts, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt in another bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter into the topping mixture until coarse crumbs form. Scatter the topping over the blackberry mixture.

Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Spicy Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

7 03 2014

This healthy pudding offers lots of flavor without all the guilt of having dessert. Enjoying this treat with some red wine will help bring out the chocolate flavor, and the spices.

Spicy Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Spicy Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

The following makes 2 servings (adapted from Oh My Veggies):

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp organic maple agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Splash of non-fat half and half (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • Dark chocolate mini chips
  • Sea or kosher salt

Combine chia seeds, milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, cinnamon and cayenne in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Transfer mixture to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Mix in a splash of half and half (optional) and return to the refrigerator and chill 10-15 minutes.

Serve pudding topped with toasted almond slices, a sprinkle of chocolate chips and a pinch of salt.

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

1 03 2014

Found this gem in my Food Network Mag and was eager to give it a try, and it did not disappoint! Chia seeds are packed with fiber and antioxidants, making this pudding perfect for a protein-rich breakfast, mid-day snack or even a healthy dessert.

Look for chia seeds where they have the healthy flour (like almond or coconut flour) in your grocery store, or in health food stores.

Chia Seed Pudding

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

The following serves 4 (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis):

  • 1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup low-fat strawberry Greek yogurt (you could also use plain)
  • 2 Tbsp organic maple agave syrup (you could also use pure maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped (you could also use frozen strawberries, just thaw and drain them first)
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts, sliced almonds or any other nut of your choice

In a medium bowl, gently whisk the almond milk, yogurt, 2 Tbsp maple agave syrup, the vanilla and salt until just blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Store in a sealed tupperware container in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds will expand, thickening the mixture into a pudding.

This Girl’s Tip: I made this late on a Sunday night so that I could portion out snack sizes for the week. However the next morning it wasn’t thick enough. So I added another sprinkle of chia seeds, mixed it up and put it back in the fridge (tightly covered) and let it sit for the remainder of the day. By the time I came home from work, it was good to go. So just note if it’s not thick enough after sitting overnight, just give it a bit more time to hang out. 🙂

I recommend tasting it, and if you’d like a bit more sweetness you can toss the strawberries with 4 tsp of the maple agave syrup and then toss with nuts. I felt it was sweet enough so I skipped the extra syrup step and just topped the strawberries with nuts.

To serve, spoon the pudding into bowls or tupperware and mound the berry mixture on top.

Bagel and Berry Bread Pudding

18 02 2014

Bread pudding is a great way to use up bread that goes stale, same can be said for bagels. I had a bag of old bagels hanging out in the fridge that I had no intention of throwing out. Most bread puddings are made with cream, but I lightened this dessert up with skim milk and used applesauce rather than butter. Albeit not as creamy as the more fattening version, this is easy and delicious….making it possible to have your bread pudding, and eat it too! 🙂

Bagel and Berry Bread Pudding

Bagel and Berry Bread Pudding

The following makes 4-6 servings (adapted from Sugar Plum Blog):

  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 6 cups chopped bagels (I used whole wheat, but blueberry would add even more flavor)
  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350, and spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and lemon zest.

Meanwhile, heat applesauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in milk, honey and a good sprinkle of cinnamon (enough to see the speckles throughout as you’re whisking); bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk in hot milk with the eggs until well combined. Do this slowly to ensure you don’t scramble the eggs – whisk fast!

Stir in the chopped bagels and mix well. Allow bagels to soak up the custard for 15 minutes. Then fold in half of the berries.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and top with the rest of the berries and a dusting of cinnamon.

Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and bubbly, and set. Allow to cool slightly, then serve immediately.

Apple Bourbon Palmiers

4 01 2014

I had leftover filling from the Apple Bourbon Wontons I made for Christmas, so I decided to save the leftover filling and use it in palmiers for New Year’s. Pretty tasty and super simple 🙂

Apple Bourbon Palmiers

Apple Bourbon Palmiers

The following makes about 32 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Leftover apple bourbon filling, enough to spread across 2 sheets of puff pastry (Apple Bourbon Cream Cheese Wontons)
  • 1 egg and 1 tsp water, beaten
  • Ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

Unfold a pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10 x 14-inch rectangle. If dough gets warm, briefly freeze. Spread half the apple bourbon mixture evenly over pastry rectangle. To make it easier to spread the filling without tearing the dough, add dollops of the filling over the pastry, then spread it evenly.

Roll up pastry evenly from both short sides until they meet in the middle. Transfer rolled pastry to a prepared baking sheet; freeze until firm, 30 minutes (freezing makes slicing the dough easier). Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.

Trim ends of rolls; discard scraps. Cut rolls crosswise into 1/4-1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the palmiers on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.

Bake palmiers until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes. Palmiers can be served warm or at room temp.