Banana Blondies with Chocolate Crust

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Banana Blondies with Chocolate Crust
Source: New York Times

Makes about: 9×13 pan, or about 35 cookies, depending on how you cut
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 45-55 mins

These were very sweet, very rich, and very buttery. They were really delicious, likely from the fact that it contains a TON of butter. The banana topping is especially rich because it’s got 1.5 sticks of browned butter goodness. This is also very easy to make!

Ingredients
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups), more for greasing pan
200 grams chocolate wafer cookies (to make about 3 cups crumbs), crushed into crumbs
55 grams light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)
3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), plus a pinch
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
455 grams dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
80 grams toasted walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F and prepare 9×13’’ baking pan.
2. To make the crust: mix together the butter, chocolate cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and salt. Process in food processor until “damp sand.” Dump into pan, press to an even layer, and bake 7-10 minutes. Let cool.
3. Reduce oven to 350F.
4. Brown 12 tablespoons of butter (cook until foam subsides and butter turns a deep brown, 5 min). Let cool
5. Whisk together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, rum, and butter. Mix in flour, salt, walnuts. Pour over prepared crust
6. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Lime Yogurt Cake

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Lime Yogurt Cake
Source: Smitten Kitchen

So I had some limes, and some yogurt…and decided to make this cake. The cake was very moist and fairly similar to other citrus-juiced-based cakes. It didn’t really rise that much and was pretty dense, but I also baked it in a loaf pan and not a 9’’ round pan.

Makes about: 1 loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
zest of one lime
1/4 cup lime juice
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9’’ round pan or 9×5 loaf pan with parchment or greasing.
2. Whisk together yogurt, oil, eggs.
3. Mix in sugar and lime juice.
4. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda salt.
5. Pour into prepared pan.
6. Bake 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean in center.

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Blueberry Boy Bait

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Blueberry Boy Bait
Source: Smitten Kitchen

Makes about: 9×13” pan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 45-50 minutes

This cake is very light, fluffy and moist, which was surprising for something with so much butter! I used almond milk instead of regular milk, which turned out fine. I’ve also substituted vegetable oil for the butter, which has also turned out equally delicious. I’ve also only used frozen blueberries with great success. It’s quick and easy cake to make, especially if you have frozen blueberries on hand!

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (can also use vegetable oil)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup milk (used almond milk)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost frozen ones)+ 1tsp flour

Topping
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9×13’’ baking pan with parchment paper or by greasing.
2. Beat together butter and sugar.
3. Add eggs and milk.
4. Mix in flour.
5. Mix blueberries with 1tsp flour. Mix into batter.
6. Spread into prepared pan.
7. For topping: scatter blueberries over batter.
8. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over batter.
9. Bake 45-50 mins, until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Whole Lemon Tart from Smitten Kitchen

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Whole Lemon Tart
Source: Smitten Kitchen

This tart is super easy to make because you can blend everything in the blender. They are more eggy and less lemony compared to the whole lemon bars from David Leibovitz (my version here), though it probably depends on the size of your lemon. I used a Meyer lemon. I used a tart dough recipe from Tartine that I had left over from a previous project, but Smitten Kitchen’s suggestion looks great as well.

Makes about: one 9inch tart
Prep time: 10 mins (not including tart dough time)
Bake time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients
Tart dough-your choice.
Filling
1 lemon, rinsed and dried.
1 ½ cups sugar
1 stick butter
4 large eggs
2 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt.

Special equipment
Blender. Tart pan.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Prepare tart dough and pan.
3. Cut lemon into thin slices.
4. Put lemon, sugar, butter, eggs, cornstarch, and salt in blender. Blend until completely smooth.
5. Pour mixture into tart dough.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes or until tart has set.
7. Let cool before serving.

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Tropical Oatstacks

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Tropical Oatstacks
Source: The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Makes about: about 20 cookies, tablespoon scoop
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake time: 12-15 minutes

These cookies are crunchy and slightly crispy with a nice banana flavor. I enjoyed the difference in textures. There’s no added sugar in this cookie, so I’m not sure we can actually call it a cookie ☺ I imagine you could make it vegan by not using butter, and it’s already gluten-free!

Ingredients
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 large ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c rolled oats
½ c chopped cashews or macadamias
1 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking pan by lining with parchment.
2. Melt butter.
3. Mash bananas in a large bowl (use your hands!). Mix in butter and vanilla.
4. Mix in oats, cashews, coconut, baking powder, and salt.
5. Scoop by tablespoons onto prepared pan.
6. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

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Neely’s Lime Bars

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Neely’s Lime Bars
Source: Food Network

These are very sweet bars. I omitted the zest because I was too lazy to zest the limes. You’ll get more lime flavor if you put in the zest, but it was still good without it. There’s a very high crust to filling ratio, which I didn’t like as much.

Makes about: one 9×13 pan
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes (crust) +25-30 minutes (filling)

Ingredients
Crust:
1 cup butter
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Filling:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp flour
¼ cup+ 2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp lime zest

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cream together butter, confectioner’s sugar.
3. Mix in flour, salt. Should be sandy in texture.
4. Press into prepared pan.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
6. Mix together eggs, sugar, flour, lime juice, and zest until well blended.
7. Pour over prepared crust.
8. Bake until the filling sets (no longer jiggly), about 25-30 minutes.
9. Let cool completely before cutting (place in freezer or fridge to help that process along.

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Jelly Tots

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Jelly Tots
Source: Joy of Cooking

Makes about: 24 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 5 min+18 minutes

These delicious jam cookies are not too sweet. The cookie itself is buttery and slightly crispy, which makes a nice contrast to the sweet and sticky jam.

Ingredients
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Jam of choice (I used raspberry)
Sugar for rolling

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare baking pan with parchment paper
2. Cream together butter and sugar
3. Mix in vanilla and eggs
4. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Form dough into 1’’ balls.
6. Roll cookies in sugar (I skipped this step.)
7. Place balls on baking sheet and bake 5 minutes.
8. Remove balls from oven and use your finger (or the end of a utensil) to poke dents in the tops of the balls.
9. Scoop jam into the dents just created.
10. Return cookies to oven and bake another 8 minutes.
11. Enjoy!

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Apricot Coffee Cake

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Apricot Coffee Cake
Source: Chocolate and Zucchini

I made a half recipe (half is listed below). For some reason, my flour was super absorbent, so I needed to add a whole lot more milk (used almond milk). Also, didn’t have crème fraiche, so I used almond milk instead. It seemed like the topping didn’t really do much, but the cake was still pretty good. The apricots were a bit tart, so there was a nice contrast in this really moist cake

Makes about: one 9×5 loaf pan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients
250g apricots (about 4 small apricots), washed and quartered
1/2 + 3/8c flour
½ tsp baking powder
dash salt
¼ tsp baking soda
5 tbsp butter
½ tsp milk + extra if needed (I used 6 tbsp)
¼ cup sugar
½ egg

topping: 1 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix flour and butter.
3. Add in sugar
4. Add in egg and milk. Add more milk till the mixture is a thick batter.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan.
6. Arrange apricots on top.
7. Pour topping over the apricots.
8. Bake 40-50 minutes, until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Orange Almond Macaroons

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Orange Almond Macaroons
Source: Feed Zone

Makes about: 10 small macaroons (1 tbsp scoop)
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Bake time: 10-15 minutes

This is a quarter of the original recipe, and portions are smaller. These nice and chewy macaroons are very to make easy and are gluten-free. The first time I made these, I didn’t have unsweetened coconut, so I omitted the extra applesauce or honey. The second time around, I used unsweetened coconut, which made them slightly less sweet.

Ingredients
¼ cup raw almonds
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut*
¼ tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp orange marmalade
¾ tsp to 1½ tsp apple sauce or additional honey
1 egg white

*I used sweetened coconut and omitted the applesauce/additional honey

Special equipment
Blender/food processor and hand mixer

Directions
1. Preheat to 350F. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.
2. Process almonds till ground
3. Add coconut, vanilla, honey, marmalade and pulse.
4. Add applesauce or honey if desired until mixture forms a thick paste.
5. In separate bowl, beat egg white till stiff.
6. Combine eggs and the rest of the ingredients.
7. Scoop by tablespoons onto prepared pan.
8. Bake 10-15 minutes until tops are lightly golden brown.
9. Enjoy!

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