Banana Bread Brownies

I have a problem. I buy way too many bananas, and then end up with more overly ripe bananas than I can use. On one such occasion, I decided to make a bunch of banana desserts and take them to work so my co-workers would eat it all up for me. While scouring Pinterest for ideas, I saw this recipe and it was a huge hit. It took my a few months, but here it is on the website at last. Recipe and photo courtesy of

For the Brownies:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, sour cream, softened butter and eggs using an electric mixer. Beat until well combined. Then, add mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the batter. Mix until combined. Then, add chopped pecans. Pour the banana batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until ready. Check the readiness of the brownies using a toothpick inserted in the center, if it comes out clean – the brownies are ready. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Let it cool slightly. While the brownies are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a saucepan, melt butter and heat until medium brown color. Turn off the heat and add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time), stir until combined after each addition. Then, add milk and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Pour the frosting over the brownies. Spread evenly. Let the banana bread brownies cool completely.

Dutch Butter Squares

One of the very first cookies I made growing up was snickerdoodles, and the recipe came from a Southern Living Christmas Cookies cookbook. The other day I took it out and decided I would try a recipe from it. The very first recipe in the book was this shortbread recipe and boy is it good. I had to give it all away otherwise I would’ve eaten the whole pan. I dipped half of the batch in chocolate, but they are equally good on their own.

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, and beat well. Gradually stir in flour, blending well (dough will be sticky). Evenly press the dough in a lined, well-greased 9×13 pan. Place pans in a cold oven. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. (Mine took 30 minutes) Remove from oven and cut into 2″ squares while warm.

Bulldog Brittle

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE baking shows. It’s one of my favorite things about Christmas time; there are so many holiday themed baking shows to enjoy. This past Christmas Food Network had a Kid’s Holiday Baking Championship special, and on it, one of the contestants made bulldog brittle. According to this girl, it’s a Georgian speciality, hence bulldog (the bulldog being University of Georgia’s mascot). It looked so simple and the judges raved about it so I knew I needed to try it. I found a couple recipes online and decided to use all butter and white sugar to make mine. Some recipes call for a stick of margarine and a stick of butter, some called for brown sugar, but I knew I didn’t want a toffee flavor in this brittle so white sugar was the winner. All in all I was really happy with this recipe. It would make a great gift for teachers or holiday goodie bags.

  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 box graham crackers

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 10×15 rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lay out your graham crackers, filling as much of the pan as possible. In a saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat. After the butter is melted, add in your sugar, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for two minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and add in the pecans. With a large spoon, spoon the mixture of the graham crackers, trying to get it as evenly distributed as possible. Bake for 10-12 minutes. When it looks caramelized and gooey, take the pan out of the oven and let it cool completely. Break into pieces and serve once completely cooled.

Lemon Bars

40d0a04679d843fff0c4fa959807feadI had a friend request these lemon bars because they remind him of his mother’s recipe. They come together very quickly and are the perfect addition to a potluck or spring get together.

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the Filling:

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • powdered sugar for dusting

In a bowl, combine the flour, butter and confectioners’ sugar. Pat into an ungreased (I prefer parchment-lined) 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. For the filling, beat eggs in a small bowl. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon juice and zest; beat until frothy. Pour over the crust. Bake 25 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into bars.

Pecan Chewy Bars

Pecan-Chewies-2These bars are so simple and come together so quickly, but they are so good. Like crazy addictive. I am seriously considering making these instead of pie at Thanksgiving next year.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 300°F and lightly spray a 13×9-inch* baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Melt butter, add sugars, and blend well by hand. Add beaten eggs, stir well. Add flour and stir until all lumps are gone. Add pecans and vanilla. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake approximately 40 to 50 minutes being cautious not to over cook. They will still be jiggly in the middle.

*I used a slightly smaller rectangular baking dish because I wanted them to be slightly thicker, but use whichever you want.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bars


I found this recipe in the Christmas edition of Food Network magazine. I used to not be much of a pecan person, but as I’ve aged I grow to like them more and more and these bars are so so good. The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, but since that’s not really my jam, I used dark chocolate chips instead. Feel free to use bittersweet in your bars if you prefer.

For the Crust:

  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into cubes

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, chips or roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat the foil with cooking spray. Pulse the pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour, granulated sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the dough starts clumping together (it will still be crumbly). Transfer to the baking dish and press into an even layer with your fingers. Bake until golden brown and set, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping: Whisk the corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in the pecans. Spread the topping over the warm crust and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate. Return to the oven and bake until the top is set and no longer jiggly, 25 to 30 minutes (took me 40). Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan. Remove and cut into diamonds or squares.

*If you are like me and don’t always have dark corn syrup, I used 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 molasses.

Iced Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini-Brownies-1-of-6wAs I mentioned in my previous post, I was gifted two huge zucchini’s that were only fit for a delicious baked good. The first item I made was iced zucchini bread and the other recipe I made were these brownies. My youngest son could not get enough. Recipe and photo courtesy of


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, 1 large or 2 small zucchinis
  • 3-5 tablespoons water


  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  •  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the batter can absorb the moisture from the zucchini. Then, if your mixture is still very powdery, add up to 5 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon and work up from there, stirring well after each addition). The batter will be very thick but shouldn’t be powdery. (It partially depends on how wet your zucchini is!) Add walnuts, if desired. You may need to use your hands to work the water in instead of a spoon. The dough is super thick, like cookie dough. Do not add too much water! Spread in prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched.

To make the frosting: Whisk butter, cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into squares and chill to semi-set. The frosting hardens slightly on the top but stays wet and gooey underneath.

These brownies are best stored in an airtight container and eaten within 2 days. Chill them to make them last an extra day. They’re what I call “fork” brownies because they are so gooey. It is also key to not add too much extra water to the mixture. I had zucchini’s with enough moisture that I didn’t have to add any additional water so the batter should be very thick.

Banana Blondie with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve been a new recipe kick for a little while now, and the other night when I was restless seemed the perfect time to try another. This time it was banana blondies. I don’t typically make banana desserts other than banana bread because for some reason I think they will taste artificial, which is never good. I decided to break out of my comfort zone and try this blondie recipe because when I looked at the ingredients I knew that it couldn’t possibly taste artificial. The original recipe came from, but instead of using the browned butter frosting, I thought it would be delicious with a peanut butter frosting and boy was I right.


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and if desired browned
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium banana)


  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In bowl of stand mixer combine melted (or browned) butter and sugar. Mix until combined. Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Stir in salt, flour and banana until batter is smooth and even. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. Frost the blondies when they are mostly cooled.

To make the frosting, cream together peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Incorporate fully, then add in milk until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Spread over cooled bars.

Peaches ‘n Cream Bars

This recipe was a huge hit.  I liked that it was a different way to use up peaches than my usual cobbler, and I am a sucker for anything with a crumble topping. I added extra peaches because I didn’t want to waste any. Recipe and photo courtesy of

Crust & Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 chopped pecans (optional)

Peach Filling:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peaches, peeled and chopped

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang for easy removal and spray with nonstick spray.

For the crust/topping: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or hands until it reaches coarse, pea-sized crumbs.  Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture to use later for the topping.  This is also the time to add in the chopped pecans if using. Evenly press the remaining oat mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes as you prepare the filling.

For the filling: Whisk the egg and sugar together until smooth and creamy.  Add in the flour and sale.  Whisk until combined.  Fold in the peaches.  Remove the crust from the oven after 15 minutes and pour the filling over the hot crust.  Sprinkle with the rest of the oat/pecan mixture and return to the oven. Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.  Transfer to the fridge and allow to chill for 2 hours before cutting into squares.

For the vanilla glaze: Using a fork or spoon, whisk/stir the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla extract together until smooth.  Drizzle over each square.  Store bars tightly covered in the fridge.

Snickers Fudge

This snickers fudge is insanely rich, but really yummy.  There are a fair number of steps, but none are hard so don’t be intimidated. Original recipe is courtesy of I would really recommend keeping this in the freezer as the chocolate starts getting soft pretty quickly. Or add in a little bit of paraffin wax with the chocolate layers to help them harden a bit more.

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1 14 oz bag of caramels (unwrapped)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. If your microwave is a little finicky, heat on power level 5 to keep the chocolate from seizing. Stir until smooth and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Put in the freezer to harden.  For the next layer, melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Add in the evaporate milk and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat then add the marshmallow creme, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until melted and well incorporated.  Add in peanuts, and spread on top of chocolate layer. Place back in freezer to harden. For the caramel layer, melt the caramels and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth.  Pour over the nougat layer and place back in the freezer. For the final layer melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave at 30 sec intervals until smooth.  Spread on top of the caramel layer and place back in the freezer to harden.