Thursday, March 26, 2009

Banana-Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I haaaaaaate brown bananas. Ick, ick ick. I like to eat bananas when they are still slightly green. If there is a single brown spot on a banana, I will not eat it because that is disgusting. Ewwwww.

The problem comes when I have a banana that is slightly too green one night, so I plan on eating it the next day. OF COURSE, by the next day the banana is brown and rotting. Because that is how my life works.

The obvious solution to this problem is to make banana bread, but I saw this recipe on Taste & Tell and decided to give 'er a try. I made a few little changes, and the end result is delicious!

You need: flour, rolled oats, salt, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, butter (softened), an egg, icky brown bananas, chocolate chips, and cinnamon (optional).

NOTE: The one banana looks weird in this picture because it is frozen. When I have nasty bananas, I usually stick them in baggies and put them in the freezer. Then I can use them in smoothies, or I can pull them out when I want to make banana bread. Or cookies.

I didn't have any chocolate chips on hand (gasp! horrors!!!), but I did have this bag of mini Hershey kisses, which are smaller than normal Hershey kisses but bigger than normal chocolate chips. I like to eat these by the handful. For proof of this habit, see my butt.

First, cream together 3/4 cup of butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Then, add an egg and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix well.

Once the wet ingredients are fully combined, add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 3/4 cups oats, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I don't really like cinnamon, so I left it out). Add 1 cup of mashed banana on top (about 2 bananas). Mix well until everything is evenly combined.

If I were using normal chocolate chips, I would mix in 1 cup of them at this point. With the big chips I was using, I was worried that they wouldn't distribute evenly throughout the dough, so I decided to stud them on top.

Whichever method of chocolate-chipping you prefer, blop your dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in generous tablespoons. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

Once they're done, let them cool on wire racks. The recipe made 3 dozen plus 2 cookies for me.

Overall, I think this is a great cookie. I like the sweetness of the Hershey kisses, and the little chunks of banana. They're really good with milk (which, duh, all cookies are good with milk. But these are especially good with milk).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sheila Bars

I'm on spring break! Whoooooo! I decided to make some bars to celebrate. I saw this recipe for Sheila's Dream Bars on Schweet 'n Savory, and decided they would do the job nicely. I made some changes to the recipe, and they turned out really delicious.

"Hello, my name is Sheila! I'm a delicious bar. Please eat me."

You need: AP flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, quick-cook oats, vanilla, baking powder and chocolate chips.

First, mix together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 cup flour. They will end up looking like a shortbread dough.


Press this layer into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. It will be a pretty thin layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

While the bottom layer is baking, you can make the dulce de leche that goes in the middle. In the original recipe, it says you can use caramel ice cream topping from a jar, but I didn't have any. In the future, I might just use the jarred topping, because I don't think my bars ended up caramelly enough. Or, I might just make more caramel. In any case, what I did next was melt 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar over low heat, stirring constantly. Once it reached a boil, I let it boil for a minute (still stirring!) before removing from the heat.

Yummmmmmmmmmm. You could just eat this and I wouldn't judge you.

Once your bottom layer has baked for ten minutes, spread the caramel on top.

Now, mix together 4 eggs, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup oats. The original recipe called for half of each of these amounts, but I wanted a thicker top layer.

Dump your top layer on top of the caramel layer, and throw 'er back in the oven (still on 350 degrees). Bake for 20 minutes.

The end result? A chewy, chocolate chippy bar with a slight caramelly accent. If I made these again, I would add more caramel, but these were still deeeeeeeelicious. AND, they have oatmeal in them, so you can eat them for breakfast!


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