Chocolate Swirl Banana Cream Pie

     If you’ve been following Chew Wanna Eat? for any length of time and actually read my ramblings, you know that some of my best creations just pop into my head.  I’ll get a craving for something (today it was Banana Cream Pie), and then I’ll think to myself, Oooooh, what if I made a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust instead of a Regular Pie Crust?  Ooooooh, what if I add some sort of Chocolate to the Filling?  And there you have it.

     This Pie is SOOOOO good.  I always make my Cream-Style Pies with Homemade Filling.  It’s simple, takes less than ten minutes, and once you try it, you’ll never use Pudding again.  This is the first time I made this Pie.  The Crust and Filling are tried and true, but I’ve never added a Chocolate Crust to a Banana Cream Pie before, nor have I ever added a Chocolate Swirl.  Not gonna be the last time I make it; I’ll tell you what! 

Chocolate Graham Cracker Pie Crust Ingredients

1 sleeve (approx. 9 whole) Chocolate Graham Crackers

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Butter, melted

PREPARATION: 

     Place whole Graham Crackers in a ½ gallon plastic bag.  Close the bag with its zipper or use a twist tie.  You can either roll the crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin, or do what I do.  Take a nice heavy meat mallet and pretend you’re playing whack-a-mole.  That’s right.  Whack those suckers into crumbs.  It only takes about 30 seconds.  Flip the bag over here and there to make sure there are no large pieces left.  Open the bag and pour the crumbs into a small bowl.

     Add your Sugar and stir with a whisk.  Slowly drizzle in the melted Butter. 

     Using your fingers, the bottom of a glass, the bottom of a smooth measuring cup or something similar, press the mixture into a 9” pie plate.

     Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside until cooled.

PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS:  Yields one 9” Pie

1 cup Sugar

½ cup + 1 TBSP AP Flour

A couple dashes Salt

3 TBSP Butter

3 cups Milk

4 egg yolks (Use whites for Meringue, Omelets, or cook for the dogs)

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 medium Bananas

¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

PREPARATION:

     Place the yolks in a small bowl and lightly whisk or beat with a fork.   Set aside.

     In a medium saucepan over medium heat add Sugar, Flour, and Salt.  Whisk to incorporate.  Add Butter and Milk.  Continue cooking and whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil.  Turn heat down a little and continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes.  DO NOT WALK AWAY!  You’ll end up with a scorched bottom if you do. 

     Remove from heat.  Bring the Yolk bowl close to your saucepan and begin adding a TBSP or so of the hot mixture into the Yolks, stirring after each addition.  Continue doing this until you have added about 1 cup of the mixture.  (You have just tempered your eggs!  Simple, right?)

     Return the saucepan to the stove and pour the Yolk mixture into the filling mixture.  Continue whisking.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the Vanilla and whisk in.

     Let your Filling cool for 15-20 minutes.  I like to Whisk it here and there to help it cool faster.  Now, the next fun part is to drop your Chocolate Chips into the cooling Filling.  I don’t throw them all in at once, I add a small handful at a time, and then stir a bit to create the swirl.  Keep adding and stirring lightly until you have a nice swirl.

     Place sliced Banana on top of the crust until it’s covered pretty well.  I usually use about 1 ½ of the Bananas in this step.  Pour about half of the Filling on top.  Do another layer of sliced Bananas, add the remainder of the Filling.  If you want to do the Meringue, make it now.  Personally, I like Whipped Cream on Banana Cream Pie, so I never make Meringue, but if you love it, make it.  I know where you’ll find 4 Egg Whites!  Lol

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

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Raspberry Apple Pie with Crisp Topping

     Today was one of those days.  A day where I wanted something sweet, but wasn’t sure what I wanted.  I wanted cookies, but didn’t feel like making them.  I kind of wanted Apple Crisp, I kind of wanted to figure out a way to make Raspberry Crisp.  I checked the freezer and only had a partial bag of Raspberries.  Time for my trouble-making, kitchen-destroying thinking cap.  Take a look at that dessert!  Is it not beautiful?  Wait until you make one.  Oh my!  It’s knock your socks off good!

INGREDIENTS:

One 9” Pie Shell, Unbaked

4 large Cooking Apples (Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith, etc.)

1 ¼ cups Fresh Raspberries, or Frozen and Thawed

2-3 TBSP Cinnamon/Sugar mixture

1 TBSP Sugar

1-2 TBSP AP Flour

TOPPING:

¼ cup Wheat Flour

¼ cup AP Flour

½ cup Brown Sugar

¾ tsp Cinnamon

¼ cup Butter, chilled

PREPARATION:

     Thaw Raspberries if frozen and set aside.  Drain.  Stir in 1 TBSP of Sugar and taste an apple.  If too tart, add a little more Sugar.

     Peel and quarter Apples.  Feel free to use a mixture of Apple varieties.  Slice about 1/8” thick.  Place in large bowl.  With a large spoon, mix in enough of the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture to suit your taste.  I always taste the apples after adding Cinnamon/Sugar.  Depending on tartness of Apples, you may need to adjust. 

     Add the drained Raspberries and stir to incorporate with the Apples.  If you end up with a puddle of liquid at the bottom you will end up with a very juicy pie and possibly a soggy crust.  You may want to add 1 TBSP AP Flour, stir again and watch for a puddle to form at the bottom.  If still too much, add a bit more Flour.  Pour into Pie Shell.

     In the same bowl, make the Topping.  Mix the Flours, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon.  Stir with a fork.  Cut the chilled Butter into chunks and mix with a Pastry Blender until crumbly.  Don’t over-mix.  You want some pea-sized pieces, not a smooth mixture.  (See photo).  Sprinkle mixture on top of Apple/Raspberry mixture.

     Bake at 375° F for 50-55 minutes.  You want the Apples to be tender.  You can poke with a fork to test.  The Topping should be browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Chocolate Chess Pie, a Southern Favorite

Chocolate Chess Pie, a Southern Favorite

     If you’ve never had Chess Pie, you are truly missing out!  Compare the taste to a Brownie Sundae.  Or Creamy Chocolate Custard.  OK, I’ll admit it – It’s like licking the brownie batter.

     I designed my recipe to be nice and tall.  If rich, chocolate decadence is what you’re looking for, get the ingredients out.  This is it!  The end result is a taller pie than most and it has a very, very thin shell on the top. I was told by a Southern lady that you only find the thin crust on a real Southern Chocolate Chess Pie.  It’s one of the quickest pies you can make.  Super simple, too.

    You can use a Regular Unbaked Pie Shell, Graham Cracker Crust, Shortbread Crust, Animal Cracker Crust or whatever strikes your fancy.  Don’t forget to dollop with Whipped Cream or even Ice Cream on the side. 

Ingredients – Yields 1 Pie

2 ¼ cups Sugar

1/3 cup + 1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Dashes Salt

Optional: ½ tsp Espresso Powder -OR- Cinnamon

6 TBSP Butter melted and slightly cooled

¾ cup Evaporated Milk

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs 

1 (9-inch) Unbaked Pie Shell

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F.

     In mixer bowl on lowest speed, (You can use a Whisk if you’re afraid of ingredients flying). beat Sugar, Cocoa, Salt and (Espresso Powder or Cinnamon if using) together.  Add Butter and Evaporated Milk and beat on high speed. Add Vanilla and Eggs. Beat another 3 or 4 minutes on high speed.

    Pour mixture into 9 inch unbaked pie shell and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. The center of the pie will be a bit soft, and that’s ok because it will continue to set while cooling.  If it seems very jiggly, let it bake for another 2 minutes and check again.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.  Let sit at room temp for at least 2 hours.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

See the thin shell on the top layer? That’s what you want!

Walnut Roca, Toffee topped with Chocolate and Nuts

Walnut Roca, by Chew Wanna Eat?

     Of all the Christmas candy I make, I have to say that this was the favorite and makes a wonderful, impressive gift. It’s my version of the famous Almond Roca.  I made it with walnuts, and it was outstanding.  After all, what’s not to like about sweat buttery toffee topped with rich chocolate and walnuts?  Don’t worry, it’s very easy.  You MUST have a candy thermometer because the temperature of the toffee is extremely important. Best of all?  It makes over 2 lbs of candy. 

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups coarsely-chopped almonds, divided (Or pecans or walnuts)

16 oz. (2 ½ cups) Domino’s light brown sugar

1 lb. butter (4 sticks)

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¾ cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

PREPARATION: 

Line an 18” x 13” half sheet with Parchment paper. Sprinkle ¾ cup chopped nuts. Set aside.

In a 2 qt. sauce pan, combine sugar and butter over medium/low heat while stirring frequently for several minutes unit bubbly and thick. As it cooks, you will begin to see the mixture foaming on the top.  Just like when you clarify butter, the milk solids are rising.  Use a candy thermometer, and do not let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan or you will get a false high reading.  (Once it reaches about 245° F, you will begin to notice the aroma.  Heavenly).  The color will begin to change to a rich amber and by the time it is finished, will be a golden brown). At 290° F remove from heat. Watch carefully toward the end to prevent it from burning. 

Add the vanilla, stirring to combine.  Pour candy evenly on top of the nuts on the cookie sheet. Let stand for a few minutes.

Melt good quality chocolate chips in microwave with a scant tsp of canola oil.  If you microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, you will end up with perfectly smooth melted chocolate.

Spoon the melted chocolate over the toffee layer, add the remaining nuts, and press lightly into the warm chocolate.

Allow to set up for a few hours.  Break into random-sized pieces using the tip of a sharp knife.  Eat a piece and prepare to say, “Oh my goodness!”

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Sponge Cake with Lemon Curd and Raspberries

Sponge Cake with Lemon Curd and Raspberries

I LOVE Sponge Cake.  I love Lemon Curd, and I love Raspberries.  We were having company, and I made two cakes for dessert.  The other one was Boston Cream Pie with Sponge Cake which I’ll share in another Post.  Easy, and delicious!

NOTE:  I often make the Lemon Curd the day before so I have one less thing to do the next day, and it’s nice and chilled

 

INGREDIENTS FOR TWO 8” OR 9” LAYERS

4 Eggs

2 cups White Sugar

2 rounded tsps Baking Powder

2 cups AP Flour

1 cup Whole Milk or Buttermilk

4 TBSP Butter

PREPARATION:

I want to point out before we get started that instead of baking one layer and then having to cut it in half horizontally, I divide the batter between two pans.  When semi-cooled, I pull them out of the pans using the Parchment paper and set them on a rack until completely cooled.  Saves a pain in the butt step by doing it this way!

Prepare pans (8” or 9” Round or Square baking pans) and set aside.  I like to use Buttered parchment paper to line the pan.  Then you can easily lift the whole cake out if you want to.

Preheat oven to 350° F now.

Beat eggs for three to four minutes on medium speed.  Gradually add the sugar, beating for another four minutes or so, scraping bowl often.  Mixture should be light yellow and a bit bubbly.

Add baking powder and give it a quick 15-second mix.  Add flour in batches, and mix until just combined.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter just until butter melts.  Pour into the batter, mixing constantly.  Divide batter into prepared pans.

Bake 27-29 min or until cake is a golden color and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Time will vary depending on the size pan you use.

 

LEMON CURD INGREDIENTS:  Enough to fill and top cake.

¾ cup fresh lemon juice (4 large lemons)

1 TBSP grated lemon zest

¾ cup sugar (sugar is adjustable to taste)

3 eggs

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter and dash salt – OR – ½ cup salted butter

 

PREPARATION:

In a 3 qt saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs and butter.  (It will spatter as it’s cooking, so you need a big pan.  Cook while whisking over medium/low heat until thick and bubbly.  (About 6 min) Let it simmer for another 2 minutes or so, whisking constantly. It should be about the consistency of gravy. (If you walk away, I promise you will have to strain your curd.  So don’t do it.) Cover and refrigerate.  It will thicken as it cools.

Keeps about a week.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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Lemon Curd

Sponge Cake with Lemon Curd and Raspberries

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (2)

Strawberry Rhubarb is Bob’s absolute favorite pie.  He likes it so much that he even bought a rhubarb plant which we tried to grow in a large barrel container.  I don’t know if deer eat rhubarb, but they eat everything else.  Luckily, it died after the second year.  (No, I didn’t do it). Since I am not a huge fan of making pie crusts, and refuse to use store-bought, I don’t make them often.  I add enough filling so that I end up with a nice thick pie (not a fan of shorties).  Here’s my recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups White Sugar

3 ½ cups Rhubarb, washed and cut into ½” pieces

2 ½ cups Strawberries, washed and quartered or sliced*

3 ½ TBSP Quick-Cook Tapioca

¼ tsp Nutmeg

2 TBSP Butter

Pastry for Double-Crust Pie **

 

PREPARATION:

In a large bowl, mix Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Sugar.  I stir it with a large serving spoon.  I normally add a few quick dashes of Salt to bring out the natural sweetness of the filling, but it isn’t 100% necessary.

In a small bowl, mix Tapioca and Nutmeg.  Add to Fruit mixture.

Place one of the Pie Crusts in the bottom of a 9” pie place and pour Fruit mixture into the shell.  Make sure to use a spatula to scrape all the Tapioca and Nutmeg into the pie.  I never smooth it out.  I like how it looks old fashioned when it’s bumpy.  Cut the Butter into small pieces and dot over the top of the Fruit.

As for the Top Crust, you can cut a design with a sharp knife, put slits in it, or make a lattice top.  After you place the top crust or lattice top on, make sure to pinch or press it onto the bottom crust to seal them together.  Either use Aluminum Foil or a Pie Crust Ring for the first 30 minutes so the edge of the crust doesn’t get too dark.  Remove foil for the remaining 30 minutes.  Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes with foil around the outside edge, and then another 35 minutes with foil removed.

*If the berries are very large, you’ll need to cut them smaller than quartered.

**NOTE:  I use King Arthur Flour’s Pie Crust Recipe.  I think it’s easy to work with, and you end up with dough is NOT thin enough to see through after it’s rolled, and it’s very flaky.

 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (2)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (5)

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (3)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (2)

 

Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping

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Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping8

     This is an outstanding recipe for a moist cake with a tender crumb.  Blueberry swirls and a crunchy topping and Optional Glaze make this the perfect cake for any occasion.  We could eat it all day, every day.  I’ve been making it for years and it is always well received no matter whether we’re entertaining or bringing dessert to a party.  It travels well, and doesn’t need refrigeration.

INGREDIENTS:

1 stick butter (8 TBSP)

1 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 cup Sour Cream

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups Flour

1 ½ tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Salt

One 21 ounce can Blueberry Pie Filling

¾ cup Fresh Blueberries

 

PREPARATION: 

Cream Butter and Sugar on medium/low speed for about 3 minutes or until light and airy.  Add Eggs one at a time.  Add Sour Cream and Vanilla.

Add Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt and mix until incorporated.  Add Flour and beat until combined.

Pour half of batter into a Buttered 9” x 13” baking pan.  Pour Pie Filling on top and smooth evenly.  Sprinkle the Blueberries on top.  Add remainder of batter and swirl with a butter knife.  Then smooth evenly.

Sprinkle on the Topping and Bake at 350° F until topping is golden brown.  (About 45 minutes).

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

6 tbsp BUTTER

¾ cup Flour

¾ cup Sugar

1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

 

PREPARATION:

Put all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of cake and bake.

 

OPTIONAL GLAZE:

¾ cup Confectioner’s Sugar

¼ tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ tsp Almond Extract

Dash of Salt

Enough Warm Water to give you a drizzling consistency

 

PREPARATION:

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl with a fork or spoon.  Make sure it’s smooth and there are no Sugar lumps.  Drizzle over cake once the cake is cool.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

Blueberry Swirl Cake With Topping 9

Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping

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Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping3

Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping4

Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping5

Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping6

Blueberry Swirl Cake with Topping8

Blueberry Swirl Cake With Topping 9

Orange White-Chocolate Sheet Cake

Orange White-Chocolate Sheet Cake (2)

     This cake is SO delicious and pretty enough to serve as a birthday cake or family get-together.  And easy?  Yep!  You use a Cake Mix and Instant Pudding.  Anyone can make it.  It’s nice and light, too.  We just love it!

INGREDIENTS:

White Cake Mix (3 egg whites, 1/3 cup Canola Oil, 1 ¼ cups Water)

One 4 Serving Size Box of Instant White Chocolate Pudding

2 cups Cold Milk

1 tsp Orange Extract

2 drops Red Food Coloring

4 drops Yellow Food Coloring

GANACHE:

1/3 cup Good White Chocolate Melting Disks or Baking Chocolate

2 TBSP heavy cream

 

PREPARATION:

Line a 13” x 9” cake pan with Parchment Paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Bake cake according to package directions.  Let cool.

Mix Pudding with Milk, Extract and Food Colorings.  You can use your mixer or a whisk.  When it begins to thicken pour over cooled cake. Chill.

Ganache Prep:  In a microwave-safe bowl, cook White Chocolate and Heavy Cream for 20 seconds.  Stir.  Keep heating for 10 seconds at a time until Chocolate melts.  Use the back of a spoon to help dissolve it.  Let cool a bit and then drizzle over Pudding.  Let chill for a few hours.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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Orange White Chocolate Cake (2)

Orange White Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

     Known more in the South, Sweet Potato Pie has been around for hundreds of years, and for good reason.  It’s good!   If you plan ahead, cook 3 extra Sweet Potatoes the night before when you’re having them for dinner.  Save them in the refrigerator and that will be one less step to this incredible pie.  Sweet Potatoes are high in nutrition, and very delicious, we have them often.  I sub out half the White Sugar for Dark Brown Sugar because it gives you a more flavorful Pie.  You can use all White Sugar if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 9” Unbaked Pie Crust (I love King Arthur Flour’s Crust)

2 cups Sweet Potatoes, Cooked

2 TBSP Salted Butter, room temp

2 Eggs

Scant ½ cup White Sugar

½ cup Dark Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 TBSP AP Flour

½ cup Buttermilk or Heavy Cream

¼ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Ginger*

1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

¼ tsp Allspice

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

 

PREPARATION:

Quickly mash the cooked Sweet Potatoes with a fork and measure out 2 cups.  Add to mixer bowl and beat them until they are smooth and lump free.  (You will end up with a smoother pie.)  Then add Butter, Eggs, Sugars.  Beat well.

Add Vanilla, Flour, Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Ginger, Cinnamon, Allspice, and Nutmeg.  Beat well and pour into unbaked Shell.

Bake at 350° F for 65-70 minutes or until center is set.  I jiggle the pie, and if it looks set, it’s done.  You can also stick a butter knife in the center.  If it comes out clean, the pie is set.  Serve Warm or Chilled.  Serve with Whipped Cream.

* I don’t like the Seasonings to over-power the flavor of the Sweet Potatoes.  You can add more than I call for if you’d like.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Sweet Potato Pie (2)

Sweet Potato Pie (3)

Sweet Potato Pie

Banana Oatmeal Cookies with Blueberries

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    I had some overripe bananas and was bored with banana bread.  I wanted a cookie.  With oatmeal.  Something chewy and healthier.  I wanted less sugar, less fat, and whole wheat flour.  Oh, and I had blueberries.  And dates.  You’ll feel good about giving these to your kids.  I love it when a plan comes together.  Here’s what I came up with: 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 35 Cookies

1 cup Bananas, mashed

4 TBSP Butter, salted

½ cup Canola oil

1 egg

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

½ tsp Salt

1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

½ cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

2 TBSP Wheat Germ

2 TBSP Flax seed

Scant 3 cups Quick-Cooking Oatmeal

½ – ¾ cup Fresh Blueberries

½ cup Dates, chopped

 

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, beat Bananas and remove to a 1 cup measure.  In same bowl, beat Butter, Canola oil, egg, Vanilla, Salt, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Wheat Germ, and Flax Seed until well blended.  Return the bananas and mix in.

Add Oatmeal and mix until incorporated.  Fold in Blueberries and Dates.

I used my large cookie scoop and baked on a stoneware baking sheet at 350 ° F for 10-12 minutes.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Banana Oatmeal Cookies with Blueberries

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