Category Archives: Desserts

Cannoli Ice Cream

This recipe was born of a request from Dennis to whip up some pistachio ice cream without the actual whole nuts in it – just smooth pistachio goodness.  As my brained churned with thoughts of embellishments and goodies to add to the ice cream, I thought, why not a cannoli?  Ricotta, chocolate, pistachios and crispy fried pieces of dough all swirled together into some frozen majesty.  Well, aside from the little bit of prep required, this one is deluxe and a sweet reminder of the Big Apple and splitting a cannoli on a date night.  Maybe if I floated a scoop in a cup of espresso for a little Affogatto action, I’d be totally authentic!

Despite its Italian leanings, this recipe is ice cream, not gelato – meaning that the richness of this dessert comes from butterfat in heavy cream rather than eggs cooked into a custard (similar to the preparation in my Basil Gelato recipe).  The result is a quicker dessert – a good thing given that the components of the ice cream take a little time.  No bother, though.  The result is well worth it.  Also, rather than mixing and rolling your own cannoli dough, I use pre-made wonton wrappers, fried and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.  They end up tasting a lot like a waffle cone, which is novel and genius given the ease of the wontons.

Recipe for

Cannoli Ice Cream

vegetable oil
5 wonton wrappers
powdered sugar

1/2 c. pistachios

2 eggs
3/4 c. of sugar
2 c. of heavy cream
15 oz. whole milk ricotta
1 c. of milk
1 tsp. of vanilla

dark chocolate, roughly chopped

In a frying pan with high sides, heat an inch of oil.  When smoking hot, drop in one or two wonton wrappers and fry until golden on both sides.  Remove to paper towels to drain and repeat until all 5 are fried.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar and set aside.

In a coffee grinder, add your pistachios and mix until completely ground.  Set aside.

In a standing mixer (or with an egg beater), beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until frothy and golden.  Add the heavy cream, ricotta, pistachios and milk and continue to beat until well-incorporated.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  While the ice cream freezes, break up the wonton wrappers into small pieces and toss with the chocolate (I like to use Lindt Intensely Orange Dark Chocolate).  Place in the freezer until you are ready to mix into the ice cream.  Once the ice cream is just set, mix in the wonton pieces and chocolate and turn the mixture out into quart containers.  Chill for a while if you like your ice cream a little stiffer, or eat right away.

Watermelon Sorbet

All the Fun Without Spittin’ Seeds

Summer in NYC is marked by the presence of the hallowed italian ice trucks (or up in Spanish Harlem and the Bronx, the Coco Helado cart).  Lemon, cherry, watermelon and the ever descriptive “rainbow” flavor are doled out into paper cups that are then eaten without a spoon – it’s a one-handed treat that is meant to be enjoyed on the run.  The ices are a revelation, especially in the oppressively warm summer temps in the concrete jungle.  How could you not be a fan?

This sorbet is an absolute delight that celebrates the joy of the season – fresh watermelon.  The sticky pulp is heightened by zesty limes, with just a bit of grenadine and cherry to enhance its bright pink color.  As much as I’d love to simply tuck into a little paper cup of this stuff, I usually make it by the quart and for some crazy reason, it disappears just like that!  Who woulda thunk it? Continue reading Watermelon Sorbet

Berry Lemonade Sorbet

Nothing says summertime like a tall glass of fresh lemonade – or as the Baroness Shraeder said in The Sound of Music (one of my favorite movies of all time), “something long and cool, Georg?”  This sorbet would have certainly captured their hearts on that gorgeous patio in Austria – pink, boozy and tart, full of just enough zest and sweetness to keep everyone happy.  And yes, my dream job would have been to cater for the von Trapp family – those singing, dancing, curtain-wearing charmers have had my heart for a while now.

I make this treat in an ice cream maker so as to give it lightness and creaminess, but if you’d like to enjoy it in a little more icy format (or if you don’t have an ice cream maker), you can absolutely make it as a granita.  Once the base is made, rather than pour it into the ice cream maker, pour the liquid into a 13×9 baking pan.  Place in the freezer and on 20 minute intervals, scrape up the ice crystals that form with a spoon.  Keep on doing this until the entire mixture is icy and a gorgeous garnet color.  Transfer to a plastic quart container until ready to serve.

The optional shot of Absolut Açai, an Amazon superfruit that is the new feature flavor of Absolut’s vodka line, is there to enhance the rich, wild flavor of the blueberries.  It’s absolutely optional, but a lovely addition.  The berries should be whatever is cheap and good looking at the grocer or farmer’s market.  Mix and match to your hearts content – this one is an absolute celebration of the season, and you can’t very well celebrate without the loveliest of fresh ingredients.

Recipe for

Berry Lemonade Sorbet

2 pts. of fresh berries (I like 1 pt. each of blackberries and blueberries)
1 c. of sugar
1/2 c. of water
zest of 1 lemon
juice and pulp of 3 lemons
1 tbs. of Absolut Açai vodka (optional)

In a small saucepan, bring the 1 c. of sugar and 1/2 c. of water to a boil.  Stir to make sure that all the sugar has dissolved and then strain into a tupperware.  Chill in the fridge.

To a blender, add the sugar/water mixture, the lemon zest, lemon juice, vodka and 2 pints of mixed berries.  Blend until smooth.  Strain mixture into a bowl, pressing on the solids to get all of the pulp through and leaving just the coarse bits and the seeds.  Cool mixture and then pour into an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove sorbet to a plastic container and freeze until solid.  Serve to your most creative of friends – like maybe the family of exceptional singers from Austria?

Açai Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Only my second foray into the fabulous world of fro-yo (the first being the currently unpublished recipe for Strawberry Fro-Yo that was consumed before the photo shoot could happen) and it’s some serious stuff.  I love this recipe because it’s such a short list of ingredients that begets something so wholesome and lovely – not to mention that you could absolutely, positively never get this in the store.

Acai Blueberry Frozen Yogurt © Spice or Die

Brazileira that I am, of course I have a love for açai, a potent little superfruit found in the Amazon rainforest.  Known for its energy jolt and wild blueberry flavor, it has gained quite a bit of a following here in the states as of late.  It has also gained a slew of folks pronouncing the name incorrectly – as the daughter of a language teacher, I have to take this opportunity to give you a mini lesson.  Say it after me, stressing every single syllable…AH-SIGH-EE.  Not “ah-KAI” like some people would have you say.  It’s AH-SIGH-EE.  There, that wasn’t so hard.

I get my açai from Whole Foods or online at Fresh Direct, but you can also get it at health food stores and sometimes even in the plain old supermarket in the frozen fruit section.  If you have a choice, try to get the pure puree (say that 10 times fast) so that you can fully control the excellence of the ingredients that you are using.

Açai Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

1 c. of frozen blueberries
7 oz. (200g) of pure açai puree (Sambazon-brand, frozen pouches)
1/2 c. of honey
32 oz. of fat-free plain yogurt
1 vanilla bean
zest of 1 lemon

Begin by tossing the frozen blueberries with the açai puree, honey and lemon zest.  Slice the vanilla bean in half with a paring knife and scrape all the black paste in the middle of the bean.  Save the beans to flavor coffee grinds or sugar.  Place the blueberries in the fridge to hang out while you prep the yogurt.

Line a sieve with paper towels and place over a bowl.  Add the yogurt to the sieve right on top of the paper towels and place in the fridge.  Let the liquid from the yogurt drain off, about 2-3 hours or overnight.

Dump the thickened yogurt into a bowl and discard the liquid that has drained off.  Drain the liquid from the blueberry bowl right into the thickened yogurt and set the blueberries aside.  Whisk the yogurt/blueberry liquid mixture until smooth. Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer’s instructions. In the last two minutes of mixing, pour in the blueberries.  When finished, remove to a tupperware and freeze for a little bit to allow the ice cream to solidify a bit more. Serve.

Sweet Tomato Tart

Tomato lovers rejoice, for now you can celebrate these delicious orbs of sweet majesty at all meals.  This is truly the ultimate tomato dessert given that a) there aren’t too many others in competition and b) it is as simple as it is wondrous.  “Tomatoes for dessert?!?” you scoff.  What better way to enjoy the sweetness of a tomato than in a simple tart brushed with currant jam until a rich, garnet color and then baked just enough to release the natural juices and crisp up the delicious tart crust?  You’re welcome.

Sweet Tomato Tart © Spice or Die

I first had this dessert with my mom at the restaurant Tosca in DC, and after the first bite, we totally understood how commonsensical it was to use tomatoes for dessert, particularly heirlooms.  For those that don’t know – there are two main types of tomatoes: heirlooms and hybrids.  Hybrids are the most common – they grown all year round and produce several crops of tomatoes throughout the growing season.  The tomatoes (and sorry if I am getting dorky here) are created through self-pollination, meaning that a farmer/scientist/botanist/whatever can control what specific traits that the tomato’s offspring will harbor.  This has resulted in hardy, disease-fighting tomatoes that can be enjoyed whenever and wherever.

The rarer heirloom tomato is created through open-pollination, as occurs in nature – bees and other pollinators pass on genetic traits from various types of tomatoes, resulting in wild cross breeds that are hard to genetically track and control.  The tomatoes come in wild arrays of colors, shapes and sizes, and typically only give off a single crop per growing season.  They can be bumpy, even ugly on the outside (some grocery stores actually call them “ugly tomatoes”, but cut into one and you’ll find the juiciest, sweetest flesh that you could possibly imagine.  These are the tomatoes that make people fall in love with them.  They are our oldest tomatoes as well – many of the strains were grown by the indigenous peoples of not only the continent of North America, but also around the world.

For this recipe, I encourage you to go out and find some heirloom tomatoes that look special to you – pick a fun color like the dark purple of a Black Krim, or the sunshine bright Brandywine Yellow.  You could even try one of the striped varieties for a best-of-both-worlds situation.  They’re really worth a trip to the Farmer’s Market just to check them out.  Of course, if you can’t find heirlooms, you can absolutely make this tart with a juicy, meaty hybrid tomato – just find the best ones available and treat them lovingly when assembling the tart.  It’s all good at the end of the day!


Sweet Tomato Tart

1 pie crust (can also use puff pastry)
2 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes (any color, can also use hybrid)
5 tbs. of red currant jam
4 tbs. of raw sugar (can substitute light brown sugar)

Preheat your oven to 400°.

Slice tomatoes as paper-thin as possible (thick tomatoes won’t cook properly) and carefully lay them on a paper towel to dry them a bit.  You’ll want enough slices to cover the pie crust in one even, semi-overlapping layer.

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt the currant jam.  If the jam has pieces of currants in it, strain them out.  You can actually save these little currant pieces as a topping for ice cream or a sweet treat.  I actually use them like caviar (ha!) on top of a cracker spread with my mock boursin cheese recipe for a little taste of sweet and savory combined.

Roll your pie crust out into a 9″ tart pan, making sure not to tear any holes.  Lay your tomatoes out on the crust in overlapping concentric circles, making sure that the whole thing is pretty and even.  Using a pastry brush, apply a generous layer of the melted currant jam over the tomatoes.  Sprinkle the sugar on top.

Place the tart in the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the tomatoes are bubbly and a lovely red, about 15-20 minutes.  Let rest until warm and serve with ice cream – maybe a lovely scoop of basil gelato?

Basil Ice Cream (Basil Gelato)

I feel like we all need more awe-inspiring, eyes of wonder moments in our lives.  Moments when, on a total leap of faith, our handiwork comes together in majestic ways.  I have to say that, for me, making ice cream for the first time was a blissful moment of awe.  I trusted that my uber-creamy, eggy base would taste good.  I trusted that I had left my ice cream maker attachment in the freezer long enough.  I even trusted that I made the right decision to simply get a KitchenAid mixer attachment rather than a CuisineArt ICE50BS Supreme Ice Cream Maker for a whopping $200+ dollars, as per David Lebovitz.  A little pricey, mister.  And my KitchenAid attachment has yet to fail me.  Case in point, my recipe for Strawberry Frozen Yogurt was a KILLER – so good that I can’t post it yet because my darling husband ate every last bit of it before I could snap a picture.  In the words of Ron Burgundy, “How’d you do that? I’m not even mad…that’s amazing.”

Basil Gelato © Spice or Die

I decided to make a batch of basil ice cream because I am a fan of not only the glory of the celebration of the sweetness of basil, but mainly because of the polarizing nature of this dessert.  It’s a love it or hate it kind of thing.  Maybe for the folks that try it and hate it (my best friend Kate’s mom, Dennis eating Strawberry Fro-Yo and leaving all of this behind in the freezer), they’d need to give it a few chances.  It’s different, yes.  But it is so so very good. Eyes of wonder good.

I first tasted basil ice cream at a special birthday dinner with my mom – I decided to take her to Tosca in DC for her celebration, just the two of us.  She had fallen in love with the place after we took my sister there for her graduation celebration.  The place is gorgeous – uber-minimalist and luxe, bringing your focus directly to the food.  My mom is an August baby, so when we went, they were serving a special tomato menu, celebrating the glorious heirlooms available during that small window of time in the summer that you feast like a king, nay, a tomato demi-god.  So what do they close the meal with?  A sweet tomato tart with basil gelato.  Go through the mental checklist with me: tomatoes and basil go together? Check.  Tomatoes can be sweet? Check. Basil can be sweet? Check.  It was a go on all counts.  And kids, the final result was one etched in my brain on the short list of tastes I’ll never, ever forget.  I swoon just remembering that very first bite.

It was inevitable that I’d make it for myself someday, and once again inevitable that I’d share it with you.  Definitely tuck into this with the tomato tart as well, if you want the full experience, but know that this is a treat all by itself.

Basil Ice Cream (Basil Gelato)

3 c. of basil leaves
2 c. of heavy cream
2 c. of whole milk
1 c. of sugar
2 vanilla beans
1 pinch of kosher salt
12 egg yolks

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  While the water comes to a boil, take a large bowl and fill with cold water and 6-8 ice cubes.  Plunk the basil leaves into the boiling water and stir for about a minute and then drain and place into the ice bath to shock the leaves.  Let them hang out in the ice water for a bit while you prep the creamy good stuff.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and kosher salt.  Using a paring knife, carefully split the vanilla beans in half and scrape the black pasty goodness in the middle of the bean into the cream.  Add the whole beans to the milk as well once they’ve been scraped.  Bring the mixture to a slow simmer, making sure not to let it boil.  Once simmering, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Drain the basil leaves and add to a blender along with a cup of the hot cream mixture, making sure not to include any of the vanilla bean pods.  Place the lid on the blender and a towel over the lid to prevent a hot, sticky splatter from the blended cream.  Blend on high until smooth and then strain mixture back into the rest of the cream using a fine strainer or chinois.

Set up a double boiler – you want a metal bowl for the top that fits over a pot on the bottom.  You want to add enough water to the bottom so that it will easily boil without touching the bottom of the top pot.  Wikipedia has a diagram of it that hilariously looks like it was drawn in MS Paint, but gets the point across.

While the bottom pot of the double boiler is coming to a boil, work off the heat and take your top pot and separate 12 egg yolks into the bowl.  Beat until pale golden and smooth and then slowly add a cup of the hot cream, whisking the entire time to keep the mixture smooth and prevent the egg from scrambling.  Set the pot over the now boiling water and continuously whisk in the rest of the cream.  Discard the vanilla pods, or clean them off and reuse them to flavor sugar or coffee – Marx Foods actually has a huge list of suggestions of what to do with the pods.  Keep on whisking until the mixture thickens and the ice cream base can coat the back of a spoon.  Turn off the heat.  Strain the mixture into a large bowl and let the base cool in the fridge.

Once cooled, pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer’s instructions.  When finished, remove to a tupperware and freeze for a little bit to allow the ice cream to solidify a bit more.  Serve to people with curious palettes looking to try a little something special.

Nyquil-Induced Trishy Lou Brownies

Say, What’s in These Brownies? Um, Deliciousness…

Nyquil brownies…yeah, I said it.  You look a little sick and also a little skinny, so I thought I would do you a favor.  You’re welcome.

This recipe is actually a hack of the clutch recipe of my best friend Kate’s mom’s brownie recipe, combined with the idea of Nyquil Brownies as featured on Bittersweet Blog.  Let me tell you this, if ever there were two recipes that were meant to be combined, it’s these two.  I stumbled upon the Nyquil Brownie recipe on FoodBuzz and laughed my ass off – they were touted as a way to get rid of unwanted house guests, but for me, they proved a way to get rid of the noxious green swill in my medicine cabinet.  I hate that shit with a passion and yet it still ends up next to the Mucinex every winter.  WTF, Nyquil?  Bittersweet has you whip up a lovely cheesecake topping for boxed brownie mix, and spikes the creamy goodness with a shot of the mint Nyquil.  Genius, I thought, and I immediately tucked the recipe away.

Nyquil Brownie © Spice or Die

Though I’m no baker, I recently fell in love with Pat O’Malley’s super fudgy, failproof brownie recipe.  They taste like gourmet, are easier than box brownies and satisfy an addict’s level of chocolate craving.  I don’t know why I just thought of the song Constant Craving, but if K.D. Lang came over, I’d serve these brownies.  But I digress – these brownies deserved some sort of crowning glory, and I decided what-the-hell, how about Bittersweet’s Nyquil topping.

I liken them to Thin Mints in taste.  The hubby said they remind him of Andes Mints.  I didn’t really get a definitive response from my other buddies munching with me other than “mmmmmmmm”.  Best of all, they didn’t make us sleepy so much as blissfully happy that we thought to put all of the goodness together in a pan.  So I’m sorry if you’re looking for a way to kick people out of your house – this doesn’t seem to work as quickly as I had hoped.  But it does seem to work to make some culinary excellence, so I’m fucking fine with it.

The cream cheese topping was thick for me, so rather than bake in a rectangular pan, I cooked mine in a 9 in. round pan (3 in. tall) just like a cake.  This works REALLY well and looks gorgeous when you cut into it – like a giant chocolate mint cheesecake.  If, however, you’d like to go with traditional brownie squares, use a 13×9 pan and cut the cooking time down a bit to keep the brownies moist – about 10 minutes.

Nyquil-Induced Trishy Lou Brownies

1 package cream cheese softened
1/2 c. of sugar
1 egg
1 shot of green Nyquil (or 1 tbs. of creme de menthe, or 1 tsp of peppermint extract plus 4 drops of green food coloring)

1 stick plus 3 tbs. of butter (11 tbs.)
4 oz. of baking chocolate (4 squares)
1 1/3 c. of flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of vanilla
1 tsp. of peppermint extract
4 eggs
2 c. of sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Using a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer and a bowl), cream together the sugar, cream cheese and Nyquil (or mint flavor of choice) until smooth.  Add egg and blend until creamy.  Set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, add butter and then the chocolate on top.  Microwave until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes) in 30 second intervals, taking mixture out to stir in between.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar over the melted chocolate.  Stir.  Add the vanilla, peppermint extract and eggs and stir.  Do not overmix.

Pour brownie batter into a buttered (or cooking sprayed) 9 in. round baking pan.  Pour the cream cheese mixture on top and spread evenly to cover the brownie batter.  Bake for 45 minutes until the edges are cooked through and the middle of the brownies are just set.  When cooled, cut into wedges and serve.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Sesame Street has been brought to you today by Guinness Stout.  Oh my goodness!  Actually, this guest post is brought to you by Jennifer White, self-proclaimed foodie, and soon-to-be culinary school star.  When she’s not inventing majesty, such as this incredibly decadent cupcake recipe, she can be found scouring restaurants, food + wine festivals and hopping around the globe eating well.  She get’s a big virtual hug for this one – it rocked my socks to the point that we didn’t actually eat dinner the night we made these.  Just cupcakes and Patron XO on ice.  Now if that ain’t a party, I don’t know what is.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcake © Spice or Die

I thought I would contribute a recipe that is a sort of ritual between myself and some friends in Miami, but also extremely you-can’t-get-enough-of-it tasty. When I lived in South Beach, there was a group of us dedicated to drinking Guinness. The fridge was always packed and the corner store always sold out. Finally, one day I had an epiphany and thought of what else can we do with Guinness to spice things up, and started making these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes. The recipe is not for the lighthearted, but you can be sure that when all those unhealthy things come together, it’s going to be nothing but goodness. So here is my sacred Guinness Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. You should definitely try it out. Although my original group of friends all live in different parts of the world these days, we always manage to make these cupcakes when we get together.

They even look like mini Guinness’ and pair wonderfully with (you guessed it) a nice cold glass of Guinness.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of fine salt
1 bottle Guinness
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes on the top rack of the oven and then rotate the pan(s) to the bottom rack. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make your icing.  In a medium bowl with a hand mixer (or using a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

Note (from AG)

Jenn uses muffin tins, but for easy cleanup, you may want to pick up some of the standing foil muffin cups from the baking aisle and the grocery.  You don’t have to worry about the cupcakes sticking and there aren’t any dishes to clean when you’re done.  Cheers!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread

Turning the Busted into the Beautimus is Totally Bananas

I’m no freegan (or as my Dad would say, dumpster diver), but banana bread is my favorite celebration of letting as little as possible go to waste.  When you’ve forgotten to hit Chiquita up fast enough and your bananas have gone from yellow to brown (or black, even!), that’s when you need to pull out this recipe.  Banana bread is not only exceptional with old bananas, it truly can ONLY be made with old bananas.  So next time you’re thinking about tossing those seemingly junky bunches, save them for this delicious treat.

Dark Chocolate Banana Bread © Spice or DIe

Banana bread is certainly a morning treat, and has a reputation for being a nutritious breakfast.  This is not that banana bread.  Gooey dark chocolate and crunchy pecans are mixed into the rich, buttery batter.  I make this bread when I’m looking for something slightly sweet for dessert – it’s still light like banana bread, but the chocolate just takes it to another level.  Don’t skimp on the chocolate, by the way – the finer the cocoa content, the better.  I like the Lindt bars with 60% cocoa, broken into pieces.  If you’ve only got chips in the house, though, you can certainly use them.  Just try to buy good ones, like Ghiradelli.

Banana bread, as you may have guessed it since I’m the one making it, takes no skill whatsoever to bake.  Although it takes about an hour to bake, it’s one of those excellent dump and stir operations that you can do without much thought.  That’s the kind of baking for me 😉

Dark Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread

3-4 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp. of vanilla
1/2 c. of butter, softened
1 c. of sugar
1 1/3 c. of flour
1 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 c. of pecans, chopped
1/2 c. of dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°. Mash the bananas in a bowl.  Mix in the eggs, vanilla and softened butter.  Sift in the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.  Fold to incorporate dry ingredients into the wet.  Mix in pecans and chocolate.  Butter a 9x5x3 pan and turn out the batter into the pan.  Place in the oven and cook for 55 minutes.  Let cool and slice into squares.

White Chocolate Walnut Brownies

A Blond Walks Into a Bar

As I’ve said before, I can’t be bothered to bake.  So a long time ago, when my best friend Kate told me that her mom only made brownies from scratch, I dismissed the recipe as way out of my league.  Years later, and a whole lot of convincing later, I was swayed into taking a peek at the recipe.  I have to say, kids, I’m eating my words as fast as I’m eating these brownies, because the recipe is so damn simple.

I’ve never been a choc-o-holic – I’ll take an extra piece of bread in lieu of a sugary treat. I have always had a slight weakness for white chocolate, however – the combo of sweet and slightly salty has always been a palette pleaser.  Because of the simplicity of Kate’s mom’s recipe, I thought why not try it with white chocolate.  Throw out all your preconceived notions of “brownies” – this one is a total winner.  The bars are dense and moist like a brownie, but also light and slightly crumbly like cake.  Best of all, the crunch from the walnuts and the slight saltiness of the treats make it a total winner.  My mom, after trying them for the first time, said that they reminded her of these coconut cakes they make in Brazil.  It goes to show you that you can take the girl out of Brazil, but you can’t take Brazil out of…you know the rest. Continue reading White Chocolate Walnut Brownies