Baked Sunday Mornings: Banana Mousse Parfait

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The banana mousse we made this time was quick, easy and yummy. A great treat for the summer.

I really lagged on making it because I wasn’t sure whether I was going to use vanilla bean paste (would have to purchase) or substitute regular vanilla extract ( had on hand.)

In the end I decided to buy the vanilla bean paste because it came in a good-sized ( 4oz.) jar so I will definitely use it for when I want that iconic vanilla bean-speckled appearance. (scones, ice cream)

I waited so long to make this that my original bananas got a little too ripe:

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Oops!

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I used my shiny new food processor instead of my old cranky blender to blend the bananas, milk, sugar and vanilla bean paste. The heavy cream whipped up fast in the stand mixer–I chilled the bowl over night. Folding in the whipped cream was quick and the finished product was swirly and speckle-y–very pretty.

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I keep pint glasses in the deep freeze for summertime iced tea and lemonade so I used four of those for the mousse. I was curious to see what it tasted like on it’s own so I just put the mousse by itself in the glasses and chilled for most of the evening.

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I let my boys (judges of all desserts in our house) each have one after dinner. My Monkey wanted cookies on top of his:

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But the other two boys ate theirs as is:

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Everyone really liked it!

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This was a good, quick way to make an ice-cream like dessert without dragging out the ice cream attachment. The flavors were perfectly balanced and it wasn’t too sweet.

It would also be great frozen into popsicles, which is what I think I will do next time.

Go over and see what everyone else did with the recipe!!

Next up: (for July 7) Malted Vanilla Milkshakes–yum!!

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Baked Sunday Mornings: Cream Cheese Chocolate Snacking Cookies

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It’s a miracle these cookies ended up in the oven– the dough was so smooth and tasty on it’s own. Almost like pudding.

And if you know me at all, you know that chocolate pudding is one of my huge weaknesses.

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But they did get baked and I was very happy with the final product. Soft and chewy cookie, perfect size. They taste even better as they cool. I used a medium scoop and got about 30 cookies.

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We have friends coming over for dinner tonight and my sweetie suggested I make homemade chocolate malt ice cream sandwiches for the dessert.

I was planning on making these cookies for them but loved CCCSCs so much that I made a second batch of dough just for the sandwiches. (without chocolate chips)

The original batch of cookies I am definitely keeping for snacking. 🙂

I had a ladies’ clothing swap to go to and took a bag of cookies with me. Otherwise I know I would have single-handedly eaten them all!

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Since I had to throw out more than half of my Mississippi Mud Pie, I was happy to share the cookies with friends. We made a valiant effort, but it was just too much pie for two people to handle. A batch of cookies is much easier to finish off!

I’ll include the outcome of the ice cream sandwiches in a separate post, it was my first time making chocolate malt ice cream and I can’t wait to let you know how it turned out!

In the meantime head over and see how my Baked Sunday Mornings friends’ cookies turned out!

Next up: (in two weeks) Banana Mousse Parfaits! Can’t Wait!

Baked Sunday Mornings Next Up: Cream Cheese Chocolate Snacking Cookies

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I wrote my last Baked Sunday Mornings post in a hurry. I didn’t write it before I went out of town and was too tired on Saturday when I returned. I wrote it before work on Sunday and forgot to mention what we were baking next!

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We are working from the Baked Elements book and this weeks’ recipe is cream cheese chocolate snacking cookies.

The name is funny to me because in my world every cookie is great for snacking, but I am especially excited about this recipe because I don’t believe I’ve ever put cream cheese in a cookie before. Also, it has the word chocolate in it so I’m in!

I also have to admit that I do not yet own the Elements book, so in between work appointments I am going to stop by the book store and grab it. I saw from another blogger that these cookies are hard to photograph…and the pictures are not my strong point in the first place, so I’ll have to look for a cute plate or something while I’m out!

What’s going on in your kitchen this week?

School’s Out for the Summer!

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Last Friday was the final day of 2nd grade for my big littles. The year went by pretty quickly, and I felt like this by the end, but since I am on the PTO board it was a huge final push to pull off the biggest party we had all year–The End of Year Bash!

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We did silly huge projects like candy balls and staying at the school all night to pop corn and make hundreds of bags of cotton candy. (so many that the machine conked out, hopefully not permanently) Even though we were all tired, it was so amazing to come together to make something fun and awesome happen for our kids. I love being a part of the community that we are building.

We had face painting, a dance party, a really amazing photo booth, sno-cones, plus the aforementioned cotton candy and popcorn. The kids were pretty amped up all day, and so was I after drinking a giant coffee:

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I had such a fun time volunteering and seeing how much fun the kids were having, and getting to hang out with my guys:

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I was so energized by the party and the caffeine that I decided to drive alone with all 3 boys to Dallas for my family’s memorial. I am so glad I went, but on the drive home after school to pack I was definitely wondering if I had lost my mind.

I had to stop by Target to get my guys some dressy-ish attire, all of their black pants and polos are pretty tired after being worn to school all year. That required another huge coffee.

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And then we were ready to hit the road.

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The service was lovely and my boys were not as weirded out by it as I had thought they might be. They were both very sweet and said they were happy to learn so much about family members that were such awesome people. It felt really good to hear them say that.

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Dealing with another loss kicked off a huge wave of processing things I have gone through in my life and really evaluate where I am at and who I am. It’s intense when things like that happen suddenly, especially if/when the circumstances were very tragic, like they were in this case.

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After our quick trip I dropped my boys off at their dad’s house to start his summer visitation with them. It was very jarring to be on this hurried trip, then have to say goodbye for a couple of weeks suddenly. I didn’t really get a good chance to work up to it in my mind, so it still feels weird to not hear their sweet little chipmunk voices at home.

In some ways I am thankful for the chance to get to regroup and plan our summer activities. I definitely feel like I am scrambling to get back to normal life, to work, to the whole balancing act. If I had to try and plan a fun (yet educational!) summer break right now I may actually fail miserably.

I definitely want to do this, then make a list of things I hope to do when the guys return. I’m looking forward to a summer filled with love, laughter, swimming, exploring, learning, crafting and relaxing.

I hope you are planning a summer filled with love and family too!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Mississippi Mud Pie (A), aka Coffee Ice Cream Tart

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I have never made (or eaten?!) a Mississippi Mud Pie before and was a little unsure how to approach it. I wasn’t 100% sure what a chocolate wafer cookie was, and the cookie aisle at my local grocery store is not usually one I usually spend a lot of time on. I briefly considered my store bought options then began to think about my homemade ones.

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I realized this could be the perfect time to combine the recipes and techniques of some of my favorite pastry chefs. I was a bit baffled by the crumb section of the Milk Bar cookbook initially but after making a few of the recipes I realized how great it is. You can eat the chunky crumbs alone by the handful, sprinkle them on ice cream, mix them into bars or cookies, use them to plate desserts or make a pie crust with them.

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I’ve been flipping through the Bouchon cookbook again and saw their take on Oreos and that is what I decided to make my crust with.

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It was really quick to mix up the dough in the food processor. I scooped it out when it was still a bit clumpy/crumbly and sprinkled it on a cookie sheet and baked at 350 for about 20 minutes, until the crumbles felt dry and firm but not rock-hard.

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Once I had my crumbs the crust was all set, one batch of TKO dough was too much, but I plan on using the leftovers for something else later. If I had planned on making just the crust I could have halved it and had plenty.

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I loved how deep and dark the dough was–it was barely sweet and rich and a bit salty. I personally love the addition of a good amount of salt in sweet desserts, especially since I knew this one would end up being really sweet with all the other layers.

But if someone didn’t like that then this cookie would definitely be too salty for them. I let the crust chill overnight and made the fudge the next day.

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While the fudge layer chilled I made the coffee ice cream. I was getting anxious to try the pie already so I was tempted to just go buy a pint of coffee ice cream.

But I’ve never made coffee ice cream before and Matt’s recipe looked straightforward and I had all the ingredients so I made up the custard and chilled it for an hour in the fridge then an hour in the freezer instead of four hours in the fridge.

Four hours is a long time to wait when you are trying to get to the eating part of a tasty pie!

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The recipe made the perfect amount for the pie. I was a little bummed to not have any leftover (to sprinkle cookies on?) 😉 but it was pretty satisfying to see all the ice cream hanging out in the pie, ready for the pecans and the final layer of boozy fudge.

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I didn’t toast the pecans first, I just used them straight out of the bag. I had the oven pre-heating then figured I’d just jump to the topping instead and tossed the chopped pecans on top of the ice cream and smooshed them in slightly with the back of a wooden spoon.

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I was really excited about the pie and couldn’t wait to taste it. After all the layers I had made over several days I wasn’t too concerned with how my final product looked. When I cut it the first time the ice cream was a bit soft, but I kind of like it better that way.

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Of course the next day when I had a piece it was firm and easier to cut. (the top picture was from day 2)

I will definitely make this again! It would be the perfect thing to make for a summer birthday for a grownup friend. I did give my boys a bite, but even though they have a summer birthday they always request cake instead of pie.

Go by and see how all my fellow bakers’ pies look!!