Monday, February 21, 2011

Frosted Banana Cookies

Here for your consideration is yet another way
to use up those bananas that are sitting on your counter!
The cookies, while they are tasty - are elevated to another level
with the browned butter frosting.
I'd never made browned butter frosting before,
but I LOVE BUTTER. So how could I go wrong?
It is fantastic.

Frosted Banana Cookies:
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 c. mashed banana's
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. distilled white vinegar
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. walnuts (optional)
Mix together the first 8 ingredients until light and creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix until it comes together.
Chill for 1 hour.
Drop by teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
Let cool then frost.
Browned Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. butter
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1 t. vanilla extract
Place stick of butter in a small saucepan and set it over low heat. It is best to not use non-stick or a dark coated pan in this step because it will be difficult to tell when the butter has turned brown. Let the butter melt over low heat and turn a caramel color, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so the butter doesn't burn. Once it has turned a nice medium brown color, remove from the heat. Pour the butter into a medium bowl. Immediately add the powdered sugar, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix well with electric mixer until the frosting is smooth and thick.
Bon Appetit!

P.S. I did try some with a whipped chocolate frosting, but I fell so deeply in love with the Browned Butter Frosting that the chocolate didn't even appeal to me. You may enjoy chocolate though.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

I love the salty and sweet combination in this classic cookie. I like to use chunks of chocolate, like chopped Hersey Kisses. Any kind of pretzels will do--just give them a good smash with a rolling pin and throw in!

3/4 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C crushed pretzels
1 1/2 chocolate chips /or chunks

Line a cookies sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla; beat well. Mix the flour and baking soda together and then beat in.
Stir in the pretzels and chocolate. Scoop out onto the cookie sheet and bake 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before taking off of the cookie sheet. Place on a wire rack to finish cooling. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Penne with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

I love any kind of pasta-- especially anything from Giada. Start to finish, this really tasty, flavorful pasta dish comes together in 20 minutes--( but tastes like it took a whole lot longer!)

Cook 1 lb of pasta in boiling, salted water, for approximately 12 minutes, or until tender.

While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. You will need:

1 270ml jar (9 oz) of sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil--do not drain
2 garlic cloves
1 C packed, fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

Put the above ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in:
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain, reserving 1 C of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the pesto, tossing to coat, adding enough of the cooking water to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bon Appetit!