Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies

I know I’ve done a whoopie pie post before but was it banana caramel whoopie pies? NOPE! Here we go! (Caramel people! Get excited!!)

Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies

If you want the nice, uniform round whoopies, piping the batter is necessary here. If you aren’t so concerned with the appearance, a dough scoop works just fine. 

Ingredients 

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup mashed banana (about 1-1½ bananas)
  • ½ cup dairy free sour cream
  • 8 tbsp. vegan unsalted butter, at room temperature (Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:*

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 tablespoon unsalted vegan butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pieces, at room temperature (Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup caramel sauce (above)

*This will make more filling/frosting than you actually need for this recipe (about 1 cup extra).  You could reduce to 2/3 or simply save for another use.

  1. To make the caramel sauce, spread the sugar out in an even layer in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Once the sugar starts to liquefy around the edges, stir it gently with a spatula towards the center.  Continue stirring gently until all of the sugar is melted and no hard bits remain.
  2. Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, remove it from the heat.  (If you are using a dark pan, test a drop on a white plate or towel so you can accurately assess the color.)
  3. Off the heat, carefully whisk in half of the coconut cream.  The mixture will bubble and steam violently.  Stir until the coconut cream is thoroughly combined, then whisk in the remaining coconut cream.
  4. Some of the sugar will likely have clumped up around the whisk.  Return the pan to medium-low heat and continue to whisk gently until everything is melted and smooth.  Stir in the salt and vanilla.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  (This sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheated.)
  5. To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the gluten free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana and sour cream.
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the vegan butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  8. Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the banana mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.
  9. Pipe the batter using a plain round tip onto the prepared baking sheets into 1¼-inch rounds, spacing a couple of inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are just set and the bottom edges are starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the filling, combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat the mixture, whisking very frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and reaches 160° F on an instant read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks.  Reduce the speed to medium low, add in the salt and begin adding the vegan butter one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in ½ cup of the cooled caramel sauce until well blended.
  11. Once the cookies are completely cooled, match them up in pairs by size.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the caramel filling.  Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich the cookies together, pushing the filling to the edges.  Store in an airtight container.
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Baked Oatmeal with Strawberries, Banana and Chocolate

Baked Oatmeal with Strawberries, Banana and Chocolate

This is perfect when serving a crowd for breakfast. You can bake this the night before and reheat in the morning for an easy and impressive breakfast. Replace strawberries with blueberries or other berry. If you do not have Chinese five spice, you can simply substitute with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, the flavor will be slightly different, but still delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet gluten free chocolate chips
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (Earth Balance)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slices
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and generously spray the inside of a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, Chinese five spice, salt, half the walnuts (if you choose to add nuts), half the strawberries and half the chocolate. (Save the other half of strawberries, walnuts and chocolate for the top of the oatmeal).
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, egg, vegan butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. Arrange the remaining strawberries, walnuts and chocolate on top. Add the banana slices to the top then pour the milk mixture over everything. Gently shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar on top then place back in the oven under the broiler and broil for 20-30 seconds. Serve warm with an extra sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of maple syrup.

This can also be a great, healthy dessert? Oatmeal for dessert? Yes you can!

ENJOY!

 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I had this oatmeal this morning and it was delicious! It’s very easy to make. Oatmeal is a great vehicle to add flavor and texture.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

It is almost like a peanut butter pudding. If you would like, you don’t have to put it in the blender. But to make it smooth, definitely blend away.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free of course)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (rice is my favorite but coconut is also really good. Almond, soy whatever you would like)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a dash cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 a banana (a nice ripe banana is better of course)
  • 2 tablespoona peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sugar to sweeten (if you prefer – I like sugar in my oatmeal)
  • optional: chocolate chips or raisins or both if you would like
  1. Cook the oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk on your stove. What I do is put the milk in, then the oats
  2. Meanwhile, blend the peanut butter and banana.
  3. Add vanilla, sugar, and the cooked oats to the blender and re-blend.
  4. Serve a big bowl and top with the rest of the banana.

I hope you enjoy!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Sangria

Somewhere Over the Rainbow…Sangria! Good times are had! You too can enjoy warmth in winter with this colorful sangria recipe!

Rainbow Sangria

Ingredients

makes one tall glass

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2-3 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice or another sweet juice (pear works nicely)
  • 1-2 tablespoons ginger ale
  • rainbow colored fruits (strawberry, tangerine, pineapple, green grapes, blackberries and blueberries)
  1. Add the fruit in rainbow order to a tall glass.
  2. Then pour in the wine and fruit juice.
  3. Top it off with the ginger ale.
  4. Duplicate with as many glasses as you have people!

Rainbow Mock-ria: You can use these same rainbow fruits for lemonade, iced tea, fruit spritzers and even fizzy spa water!  

ENJOY!!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.