Sunday, May 13


For the past few months I've been trying to broaden my horizons by experimenting more in the kitchen.  For many of these culinary escapades, I have had a wonderful partner in crime.  We've had some successes, and we've also had some epic failures (Reese's Cheesecake Brownies?  Ugh.  Such an embarrassing night.).

I wanted to share two successes: one of which I promised to KH forever ago; the other being my most recent epicurean creation, made especially for my dear mother today for her special day.

Homemade Oreo Cookies
This recipe is originally from Sister Kim and has been a personal favorite (and quite the crowd pleaser) for many, many years.  Enjoy, KH!

2 packages of Devil's Food cake mix
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup shortening

Mix the above ingredients together in a large bowl for the cookie dough.  With your hands, form into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix the above ingredients together in a medium bowl for the icing.   If desired, add food coloring.  Use as filling to make a sandwich out of two cookies.

Best when refrigerated, better when frozen!

Banofee Pie
"an English pastry-based dessert made from bananas, cream, toffee, either on a pastry base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter."  Mom and Dad first had this dessert over in England and today I attempted to recreate the deliciousness.  I found a lot of different recipes for this pie - I ended up choosing this one.  There are some steps that I would do differently next time, but over all it turned out to be just as yummy as advertised.  Enjoy!

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 package (half-size sleeve) of digestive biscuits (an English cookie-cracker, can be found at stores like Central Market) or graham crackers
1 stick of butter
2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 bananas
1 small bar of chocolate

First Step: Magically turn a can of sweetened condensed milk into toffee!  This can be done either hours or days (or months, apparently) beforehand.  Remove the label from the can and submerge the unopened can in a pot of water.  Cover and boil for 2.5 hours, always making sure the can is covered by water at all times.  After the 2.5 hours have passed, take the pot off the stove and allow the can to cool.  Abracadabra!  You just made toffee!  (Warning: be careful opening the can - toffee is prone to splatter and may be hot... and may burn your fingers.  Not that I would know anything about that.)

Second Step: Make the pie crust!  In a food processor (or a blender if you don't happen to be the proud owner of a food processor), grind up the digestives to a fine powder.  Melt the butter in the microwave and pour into the crumb mixture.  Stir until you have a sandy mixture.  Press and smooth mixture into pie plate to make the crust.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool completely. (Alternate Method: simply buy a pre-made graham cracker crust.  Less kitchen-saavy, but way easier.)

Third Step: Make the whipped cream!  Combine vanilla and cream on high until thick and whipped (this may take a while...).  Set aside.  (Alternate Method: skip the mess and just buy a tub of Cool Whip.  I'll most likely be going the store-bought route for this step next time.)

Fourth Step: Put it all together!  Cut up bananas into slices (thick or thin, doesn't matter) and arrange on the crust.  Open the toffee can, mix until smooth, and pour on top of bananas.  Spread the whipped cream on top of the banana-toffee goodness.  Grate chocolate over the top and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Fifth Step: Slice and Enjoy!!!

Hope your day has been as sweet as mine :)

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