Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is a great snack for parties or any day really! This recipe reminded me of the delicious Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery and I have missed out on it since becoming gluten free and dairy free. Now I can make my own at home and you can too!

Banana Pudding

Adapted from Food Network.com 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large bananas
  • 6 gluten free cinnamon graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces – such as Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Crackers
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (Hershey’s is great)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Heat the almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering; remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, salt, sugar and egg in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour about half of the hot milk mixture into the bowl and whisk vigorously until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking vigorously, until thick and starting to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally. Cut the bananas into thin slices.
  5. Layer a few banana slices, a few pieces of graham cracker and 2 tablespoons of the prepared pudding in each of 4 glasses; sprinkle with cocoa powder and almonds, then repeat to make 2 more layers.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours or overnight.

Serve chilled and 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.

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Banana Breakfast Coffee Cake

Oh breakfast! How yummy you are. I love that you can have cake for breakfast and coffee cake is one of the best!

Banana Breakfast Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (Better Batter or your favorite gluten free flour blend)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (Better Batter or your favorite gluten free flour blend)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted vegan butter, softened (Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat a 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. For the topping, combine gluten free flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. You can use a food processor or save some water and just use your hands! You will get the same crumble texture and you don’t have to break out a dish. Stir in walnuts if you choose to use them.
  3. Set aside your topping mixture aside.
  4. For the cake, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Beat butter with a mixer at medium speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat 3 to 4 minutes or until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Add vanilla and bananas and beat until well blended.
  7. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, mixing after each addition only until smooth.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with crumb topping.
  9. Bake for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then remove cake out of pan and cool on wire rack completely.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Luckily coffee cake isn’t JUST for breakfast! I could definitely have coffee cake after lunch or as a yummy dessert. Enjoy with a delicious cup of tea or coffee! YAY 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.

Coconut Banana Fritters

I know it’s almost 2 pm here on Long Island but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about breakfast! I am a breakfast and dessert gal. Any kind of cake like recipe is perfect for breakfast and can be delicious for dinner too! (Have breakfast for dinner as a treat!) These coconut banana fritters are perfect for just such occasion!

Coconut Banana Fritters

The coconut and banana flavors play wonderfully with each other for a delectable taste. Not a huge fan of coconuts? No problem! You can make these into regular banana fritters and use rice or almond milk in place of coconut milk. 

Ingredients

  • Clean peanut or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cup chopped, packed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (such as Better Batter or Bob’s Red Mill – both great)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
  1. Fill a Dutch oven or cast iron pot with a few inches of peanut or canola oil and heat on medium-high until it reaches 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the bananas, flour, cornstarch, coconut, sugar, baking powder, and salt, followed by the egg yolks, coconut milk, and vanilla. Combine the mixture using a potato masher until it becomes a thick yet viscous batter, adding more milk—tablespoon by tablespoon—if necessary.
  3. Using a spring-form ice cream scoop to form the fritters, carefully lower 4 – 5 dollops of batter into the hot fry oil at a time. Cook, flipping once, until the fritters are a nice golden brown, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon, shaking off excess oil back into the pot, and place on a paper-towel lined sheet pan to cool.
  4. Continue with the remaining batches, making sure to return the oil to 375° in between batches. Let fritters cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Sprinkle generously with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
Oh how I love breakfast for dinner. And breakfast for…well breakfast! Whip these up for your breakfast fanatics!
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.

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.

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!

 

Grilled Chocolate Banana Melts

This is a Girl Scout favorite. When we went camping, we always made sure we brought the ingredients to make these. Grilling the ingredients for s’mores inside a banana!?! BRILLIANT! and of course delicious. I’ve tweaked the recipe a little bit to make it gluten free of course, but it will still give you that campfire s’mores taste that we all know and love.

Grilled Chocolate Banana Melts (Banana S’mores)

You’re gonna need a spoon for this one … that’s the only way to make sure you get every last delicious bite of chocolate and melted marshmallow. No grill? No problem! Just throw the foil wrapped banana straight on the center rack in a 400ºF oven for 5-6 minutes to get the same delicious result.

Ingredients (Makes 1)

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled (you do not want a very ripe banana. You want a banana that is perfect for snacking and in this case, perfect for stuffing with goodness)
  • 2 tablespoons miniature marshmallows (or more depending on your love of marshmallows (I always liked marshmallows)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free Honey Nut Chex, slightly crushed
  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  2. Slice banana lengthwise and slightly open. Place on a rectangle of aluminum foil.
  3. Pack marshmallows and chocolate chips into the sliced banana.
  4. Wrap banana up in foil and cook on the grill for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Unwrap banana and top with the slightly crushed chex. After the melt has slightly cooled eat with a spoon.
  6. REMEMBER: You can also cook these in the oven at 400ºF for 5-6 minutes.

All you need is some campfire songs and you’re ready to go!

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.

Cozy Weekend Brunch

We’ve made it over Hump Day. Today is Thursday which mean we are so close to the weekend! Brunch is a great part of the weekend. Sleeping in that extra hour, spending time with family and/or friends. The weekend was made for brunch! Here are some brunch recipes that will keep you smiling all the way to Monday morning.

Banana Bread

Using Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free yellow cake mix, this banana bread is more like a pound cake. Definitely a brunch treat. Add nuts or leave them out – it’s your choice! Save some bananas until they are nice and ripe and get mashing!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (Earth Balance Vegan Butter)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pan with shortening. (Earth Balance has a great vegan shortening)
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, mashed bananas, butter, eggs and vanilla extract with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake 9-inch loaf 55 to 60 minutes, 8-inch loaf 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Place sheet of foil over loaf to prevent overbrowning.) Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool about 1 hour before slicing.

Bananas Foster French Toast

French toast gets a tasty twist with the addition of bananas, rum extract and pecans. The use of cinnamon raisin bread makes it even better!  This recipe is made the day before your planned brunch.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 2 1/2 cups real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread cubes in baking dish. In large bowl, beat eggs, milk and 1/2 cup of the maple syrup with wire whisk. Pour over bread in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown along edges. Let stand 7 to 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 2 cups maple syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warm. Stir in rum and vanilla extract.
  4. Sprinkle banana slices and pecans evenly over bread; drizzle with warmed syrup mixture. Serve immediately.

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 member of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.