{lighter} greek yogurt banana bread

And so continues the {lighter} series as I finish up week one of my gastrointestinal block…

Recipe found here.

I love reading little baking blogs with cute little stories but sadly I have none that are witty or related to baking, but I have this: make time for the things you love and the people you love. As I start my second year, I found myself giving up my weekly piano lessons and baking experiments. But, I am lucky enough to go to a school surrounded by peers and professors who value & push the importance of self care.

I rejoined piano lessons today, committing myself to learn and polish an arrangement of Canon in D I started learning when I was 12. There is something about sight reading with your right hand – and then your left – and then putting it all together that sends shivers down my spine. It is nothing short of beautiful.

And then, the day culminated in this:

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (& then some to sprinkle on top)
Beat the yogurt, mashed bananas and eggs. Add vanilla & brown sugar till combined. In another bowel, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda. Combine wet & dry ingredients. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Pour batter into a prepared loaf pan, sprinkle some extra chocolate chips on top, and bake for 50 minutes at 350*F.
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Almond butter brownies {lighter}

So last week I made this banana chocolate cake, which is on the lighter side… it turned out well but I for one am not crazy about bananas.

This batch of brownies was incredible. It only takes 7 ingredients, 15 minutes to make… and you don’t have to feel that guilty about indulging.

I think the secret to making these amazing is to not skimp out on the ingredients – buy good quality stuff!! Here is a modified recipe:::

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Nestle TollHouse)
  • 1 cup softened almond butter (I used Justin’s Classic Almond Butter)
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (you could sub this with agave)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk (I used 2%)
  • chocolate chips (optional- I used Ghirardelli)

Blend the oats in a food processor until very fine… then stir all ingredients (except milk) together until smooth. Add the milk if your batter is very dry. Pour the batter into a prepared 8×8 pan. Press some chocolate chips on top & bake at 325*F for 15 minutes.

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These turned out fudgy and best of all – it didn’t feel like there was anything remotely light about them.

Happy Friday!!

Banana chocolate cake {lighter}

I finally made a somewhat healthy recipe that tastes good!!!! (notable failures: avocado cookies, black bean brownies, yogurt cookies……..)

I used this recipe.

Ingredients
  • 3 medium bananas
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips for topping
Mix the bananas and brown sugars. Add the applesauce, vanilla & egg and mix. In another bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the wet & dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into a prepared 8×8 pan. Sprinkle the top with mini chocolate chips. Bake at 350*F for 35 minutes (check the center to make sure it’s done).
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Fudgy & delicious and somewhat light enough to justify being eaten for breakfast :9

Homemade pizza!

This needs to be documented for future use!!

I had two consecutive nights of homemade pizza (no regrets). The hardest part of making the cheeses was finding the unique ingredients (eventually found Rennet at Wards & citric acid at Earth Fare). Otherwise, followed these recipes exactly:

Dough | Mozzarella | Ricotta

The best part of making your own pizza is you can add as much or as little sauces/toppings as you want! Personally, no pizza is complete without caramelized onions…

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Boston creme cake

Inspired by the Boston creme donut, this recipe is also a “poke cake.” I previously made an Oreo poke cake and loved how simple it was.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 boxes (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 container chocolate frosting (I used chocolate fudge!)

Make the cake mix according to the box directions & allow to cool until only slightly warm. Use a large straw to poke holes evenly across the cake. Blend the milk + pudding mixes together separately and pour over cake. Refrigerate several hours to allow pudding to set. Then, open the frosting container and remove the foil. Microwave the container for 15 seconds and stir. Pour the frosting over the pudding layer and spread with a spatula. Refrigerate for several more hours.

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I love how simple yet delicious this turns out… definitely the cake version of the donut. Make sure you choose a pudding mix that you like the taste of (I used Hershey’s but wished I used Jello instead).

Also, happy 4th! :)

Homemade brownies

Historically, I have a bad rep for brownies. This is because of two unfortunate incidences. The first time I made brownies was when I was on my health kick – and made “black bean brownies.” The second time, I left them in the oven too long and they basically became cake.

My high school best friend made everything from scratch – except for brownies. “The texture never comes out right. It’s either like cake or fudge and I’m like I have to move on with life.”

So, this Friday night, I finally attempted brownies again. These are based off this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons buter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add vegetable oil and cocoa powder and mix. Then add eggs, vanilla extract, and mix. Mix in flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Do not overmix. Add the chocolate chips. Pour into prepared 8×8 pan and bake at 325*F for 25-30 minutes.

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A perfect Friday night consists of friends & pizza & brownies & food comas & sleep…

Chocablock {a la The Londoner}

The Londoner has been my favorite blog for years. I’ve been following her posts since back when I was doing IB in Saudi Arabia. I was super excited to try her triple chocolate loaf! It was my first time using almond meal and self rising flour!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 200 g semi sweet chocolate chunks
  • 200 g white chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Mix in beaten eggs. Then stir in flour, almonds, baking powder, cocoa, and milk. Stir in dark & white chocolate. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 300*F. (Will probably come out gooey in center – which is delicious so let this happen).

My cake cracked in the center (not sure how to avoid this) but don’t be alarmed.

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My pictures didn’t come out as good as hers (look at those!) but it did taste delicious! I loved the consistency/texture that the almond meal gave the cake. Also, it was the perfect amount of sweetness (surprisingly not overboard!). I think I might be growing up or something because I don’t like overly sweet desserts anymore. There needs to be a delicate balance.~

Chocolate chess pie

I made this yesterday for pi day (who am I not to celebrate?!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 9″ unbaked pie crust
Whisk together sugar, cocoa, espresso, and salt. Add butter and evaporated milk to mixture and beat with an electric mixture. Add vanilla and eggs and beat. Pour into the unbaked crust and bake for 40 minutes at 350*F. Allow to cool outside, then refrigerate overnight!

 

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So easy, so delicious, so worth it.

 

Also: U R a QT3.14

Strawberry shortcake biscuits

I was leaving for Texas (here now!) so I had to figure out a way to use all my strawberries! Strawberry shortcake is my favorite summer dessert, so I made a batch of these biscuits. This recipe makes 12 fluffy, round biscuits!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold!)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • strawberries!!
  • whipped cream
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Cut the hard cold butter into thin slices, add to bowl, and freeze mixture for five minutes. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk* and egg together). Remove the bowl from the freezer and mix (use your hands if necessary!). Add the buttermilk/egg mixture and mix into a dough (don’t over mix!).

 

You should now have a ball of dough. Pour this out onto a well floured surface (I used my kitchen countertop (so messy but so fun and totally worth the hour of cleanup afterwards).  Pat the dough out to about 1″ thickness, fold it into thirds, and path out again. Break off the dough and form flat mounds on a prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown at 425*F.
While you’re making the dough, set the strawberries out (washed) and add sugar to them!
After the biscuits are done, garnish with the prepared strawberries & whipped cream!
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* I don’t keep buttermilk in the apartment, so I used a brilliant tip: use a ratio of 1 cup milk to 1 Tablespoon distilled vinegar (mix & let sit)

I tend to make very indulgent desserts (nice way of saying sugar overload), so I was really happy with the result. As you can tell in the recipe, these biscuits don’t have too much sugar, so they end up being light and just faintly sweet. I was also really happy with how the biscuits rose!! It was tons of fun playing with dough so I’m going to have to do that again very soon. >:)

Chocolate chip oatmeal breakfast bars

This recipe makes it easier to justify having dessert for breakfast. Disclaimer: this is in no way healthy. In fact, I was aghast by how much butter the recipe called for and had to double check.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 & 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 & 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add oats and brown sugar. Melt butter and pour into mix. Add the eggs & vanilla. Combine dough (should be crumbly). Stir in chocolate chips. Pour in a 9×13 prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350*F.

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I shared these with my small group yay.