Banana Pudding with Toasted Meringue

Traditional banana pudding recipes have been around for years.  It first originated in the early 1900′s without using Nilla wafers.  Thankfully, someone along the way decided to add Nilla wafers and the results were splendid.  The intense vanilla cookie accompany layers of homemade pudding and sliced ripe bananas that is set to chill to soften the cookies.  In the June 2014 Bon Appetit magazine, I spotted a recipe for banana pudding that swaps out the classic whipped cream topping for toasted meringue.  I thought this was a refreshing updated version and I wanted to try it. The results were fabulously delicious! I will continue to make it this way especially in the Summer.  Thanks Bon Appetit for another great recipe to add to my collection.

 banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding

 If you have a kitchen torch, you can toast the meringue in seconds.  If not, use your oven as indicated in recipe directions below.

banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding

banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding

layer upon layer of delicious homemade vanilla pudding, Nilla wafers and bananas.  Make sure you use ripe bananas for superior flavor.  If you are short on time, you may use boxed vanilla pudding but scratch made is always better.  This recipe only takes 8 minutes to make a fabulous pudding that is smooth and delicious.

banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding

banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding

banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding

After chilling the dessert for an hour or so, it’s ready for you to dig in.  The Nilla wafers will be soft ( like cake) and compliments the bananas and pudding amazingly well.  Each bite is pure delight.

banana pudding with toasted meringue #bananapudding 

Don’t be fooled. I had two helpings. This plate is way too small for a large portion and I gobbled it up in seconds.  It’s so darn good!

Banana Pudding with Toasted Meringue

Banana Pudding with Toasted Meringue
Serves 6
a delicious pudding trifle layered with scratch made vanilla custard, bananas and vanilla wafers and topped with fresh whipped meringue lightly toasted in oven.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. ⅔ cup sugar
  2. ¼ cup cornstarch
  3. 4 large egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
  4. 4 cups whole milk
  5. 2 tablespoons butter
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 1 box Nilla wafer cookies
  8. 4 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
  9. ½ cup sugar (for meringue)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk together sugar mixture, 4 egg yolks and milk in a medium-size heavy saucepan until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until pudding is thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla and whisk until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. In an 8 inch or 2 quart baking dish, add a little pudding to the bottom (about 1/2 cup or so). Add nilla wafers on top of pudding. Do not overlap. Then add half sliced bananas and more pudding (about 1 cup or so to cover cookies). Repeat with more nilla wafers and bananas and end with pudding. Set aside and make meringue.
  3. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pudding, sealing just about to edge of dish.
  4. 4. Bake at 375° for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden. Alternately, you may use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue. Let chill an additional hour or so, and serve very cold.
  5. Chill until cool, about 1-2 hours.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/
 

Molasses Cookies

The smell of molasses cookies baking in the oven can be unharmonious  to the sights, sounds and scents of Summer. It’s mid July and my house had the warm, comforting scent of cinnamon and sugar with a hint of warm molasses permeating through the thick humid air. It smelled just like Christmas. I’m a Christmas fanatic so for me, this is a real treat. The Christmas in July thing is my thing. My one thing that I let myself get into. Each year I want to sing and dance to the tune of “rocking around the Christmas tree” all while wearing flip flops, sweating in the Summer heat and dreaming of a white Christmas. My kids don’t understand the appeal. They think it’s weird and just want to go to the pool. It’s hot and I don’t do hot very well! Escaping to the bliss of the Holiday season during this yucky heat is pure heaven to me.  And so are these delicious molasses cookies. A soft and fragrant cookie with a chewy bite that has the perfect blend of cinnamon, ginger, sugar and cloves that keeps you coming back for more.  They are a breath of fresh air to enjoy in the Summertime. Merry Christmas in July my friends!

molasses cookies

This recipe is from the Betty Crocker website.  There are a lot of times I will tweak a recipe to make it my own, but this time it was too spot on to adjust anything.  The spices are a perfect blend of cinnamon and cloves with a touch of molasses (anymore and it would be a gingerbread cookie)  and the texture is incredible thanks to using crisco instead of butter.  Crisco keeps the cookie moist and chewy and helps keep the fabulous round cookie shape.  Use a cookie scoop to turnout perfectly round shaped cookies every time.

molasses cookies

soft on the outside and chewy and decadent on the inside.  It’s hard to eat just one.  

molasses cookies

The molasses cookies will let you know when they are ready to be pulled from the oven.  When the crinkles set in and the spicy fragrance hits you.

molasses cookies

Bake a batch and see for yourself how divine they are.  I bet you’ll have a new favorite cookie in your household.

 Molasses Cookies

Molasses Cookies
Yields 24
A spicy chewy cookie made with molasses for a rich flavor perfect for the Holidays.
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Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
1 hr
Cook Time
9 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  2. 3/4 cup shortening
  3. 1/4 cup molasses
  4. 1 egg
  5. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar.
  2. Shape dough 1 inch balls or use a small cookie scoop. Roll each ball into granulated sugar. Place balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake 9-10 minutes or just until set and cookies appear crinkled on top. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/
 

Southern Sweet Tea with Basil

There is nothing better on a hot Summer day than to sit outdoors and enjoy a glass of ice cold Southern Sweet Tea.  It’s considered the “house wine of the South” and for good reason.  It’s pretty darn delicious! If you are a tea lover and never had a batch of sweet tea, you’ve been missing out.  Hop on board and make a batch of this antioxidant drink that can be considered a healthful and beneficial beverage when made with agave nectar. Simply swap out the sugar for agave nectar as indicated in the recipe and you have a detox sip that not only tastes amazing, but is good for your body too.  I relish in old Southern recipes with a new age twist so this time I made a batch of my usual Southern Sweet Tea ( I use real sugar) and immersed a handful of fresh homegrown basil from my garden to marry with the tea.  It only takes a little bit of time to really taste the benefit of adding herbs to your tea.  It gives a complimentary hint of fresh herb flavor that is subtle and delightful.   The scent and tartness of the lemons is a must for this sweet tea as it adds a slight lip puckering essence that screams summer.   

southern sweet tea

I found these mason jar glasses HERE and I have also seen varieties at Walmart.  This old Southern tradition of sipping a beverage from a mason jar dates back to the early 1900′s.   

southern sweet tea

Southerners have a sweet tooth.  After all, they did invent both coke and pepsi.  If you don’t share the same sweet tooth, you can adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe to suit your taste buds.  You can also add honey in place of the sugar or agave nectar.

southern sweet tea

Cool and refreshing!

southern sweet tea

Don’t mind if I sip on a glass of my own….

southern sweet tea

Or down the entire pitcher myself!

southern sweet tea

 Southern Sweet Tea with Basil

Southern Sweet Tea with Basil
Yields 1
a southern ice cold sweet tea with basil and lemons. Great to cool off with on a hot summer day.
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Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups water
  2. 2 family-size tea bags
  3. 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
  4. 7 cups cold water
  5. handful of fresh basil
  6. ice cubes
  7. 2 lemons sliced
Instructions
  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
  2. 2. Remove tea bags. Add sugar honey or agave nectar, stirring until dissolved.
  3. 3. Pour into a 1-gallon glass pitcher, and add 7 cups cold water, lemons and basil. Let sit for 30 minutes or longer for more intense basil/lemon flavor. Serve over ice.
Notes
  1. To replace the sugar with agave nectar or honey, add 1 cup agave nectar or honey to taste.
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/
 

Blueberry Orange Juice Bread

Whether you are looking for a quick bread for breakfast or a sweet snack bursting with blueberry citrus flavor, this easy to make blueberry orange juice bread will suit your taste buds just fine.  The moistness  is incredible thanks to the addition of greek  yogurt and tangy orange juice.  Each bite is bursting with fresh, plump blueberries and tastes like dessert when dusted with a touch of powdered sugar.  I made this for my kiddos this morning and it was gone in seconds.  I bet the Hubs thinks he’s missing out because he is after all, my favorite taste tester.  But not to worry, because this bread can be whipped up in less than an hour so I’ll have a loaf waiting and ready for him when he comes home.  

blueberry orange juice bread #buttercreambakehouse #quickbread 

I added less blueberries than I would have liked for this smashing loaf of goodness.  Someone (kiddos) got into my blueberries this morning.  Grrr!!!  There is something to be said for little ones home all day while you are trying to work.   Love them to pieces but a food blog and Summer with a house full of kids doesn’t always mix.  

blueberry orange juice bread #buttercreambakehouse #quickbread

Nevertheless, they gobbled up the blueberry orange juice bread with honest feedback and instructions to produce more in a hurry.  They wanted thirds. 

Another trip to the store for more blueberries is on the agenda for today.  


blueberry orange juice bread #buttercreambakehouse #quickbread

A dusting of powdered sugar is all the loaf needs but feel free to drizzle with warmed canned vanilla frosting or by making a sugar glaze.  Anything would suit this breakfast treat just fine or even nothing at all.  It’s that good.

blueberry orange juice bread #buttercreambakehouse #quickbread

Blueberries are plump and juicy and always my favorite berry to bake with.  The deep blue and purple hue it turns into means it’s natural sugars have baked into a sweet treat that’s hard to resist.

Blueberry Orange Juice Bread

Blueberry Orange Juice Bread
Serves 8
a moist quick bread bursting with blueberries and made with orange juice and greek yogurt for added moistness and flavor.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  5. 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  6. 1/2 cup orange juice
  7. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1 cup fresh blueberries
  11. powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, vanilla, yogurt, and orange juice. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Stir in blueberries to coat evenly. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold batter until combined. Pour batter into pan. Batter should be no more than 3/4 full or it will overflow.
  3. Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.
Adapted from betty crocker
Adapted from betty crocker
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

10 easy Fourth of July Desserts!

This 4th of July roundup has a little something for everyone. Whether you are planning a big Patriotic bash or just hanging around the pool with your family, these treats will sooth your sweet tooth as you celebrate our glorious country and the men and women who gave us our freedom. These easy recipes come with simple directions so you can turnout a spectacular dessert that is not only delicious but picture worthy too. I think I will be making the blueberry pie since I like rustic, scratch made desserts to share. Try your hand at making cake pops, a star spangled pie, brownies, parfaits, cheesecake mini’s or even a berrylicious tart.  Drop me a line and tell me which dessert you featured at your 4th of July celebration.  Celebrate safely ( I am not a fan of fireworks) and eat lots of sweets!  Happy 4th of July my friends!

10 Easy Fourth of July Desserts!

fourth of july desserts

Betty Crocker shares a simple Firecracker Red White and Blue bundt cake. Looks complicated but it’s truly an easy dessert to make that’s out of this world. 

fourth of july desserts

Bee in our Bonnet is creative with Patriotic Cake Pops to dazzle your guests with a bite size treat.

fourth of july desserts

Cupcakepedia has incredible cheesecake dessert shots topped with pastry stars and happy little berries to incorporate red white and blue.

fourth of july desserts

Cosmocookie has a recipe for a delicious rustic blueberry pie that looks heavenly, patriotic and picture perfect.  I will be baking this for sure and can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

fourth of july desserts

Skinnytaste is cutting calories but not taste in these amazing low calorie bite size cheesecake mini’s.  Looks too good to be true.

fourth of july desserts

Bon appetit tops off their holiday collection with a white balsamic custard tart.  Nuff said!

fourth of july desserts

Better Homes and Gardens has a light refreshing recipe for a red white and blue parfait made with yogurt and whipped cream. 

fourth of july desserts

Secret life of a chefs wife made a beautiful pudding pie topped with raspberries for a spectacular, creamy dessert that a crowd would devour in minutes.

fourth of july desserts

Glorious Treats doesn’t forget the kids who may not eat pie and cake and creates a Patriotic snack mix that’s fun and colorful.

fourth of july desserts

Betty Crocker included brownies in their 4th of July roundup. You can’t have a Holiday without chocolate…don’t forget the brownies!

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