This is exactly what friends are for - banana pudding. There's no dessert that gets Annie as excited as Nat's banana pudding. If you don't have a friend making it for you, the good news is it's easy to make yourself! We also love how it gives you all the feelings of comfort with classic vanilla wafer cookies. We like to keep it on the rustic side and throw all of the ingredients in a glass dish in no particular order (we eat it way too fast to spend too much time making it pretty!). Grab a spoon, grab a friend, and dig in!
Makes 6 individual servings
30 vanilla wafer cookies
*2 large bananas, sliced
For the pudding:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
For the pudding:
Whisk together sugar, cream, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks and milk, and whisk together. Over medium heat, gradually whisk the milk and egg mixture into the cornstarch mixture. Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickens (about 7-10 minutes). Mixture will become very thick quickly. You want the texture to be similar to pudding. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and butter. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any lumps, if desired. Allow to cool.
For the whipped cream:
Add heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer. Turn mixer on to medium for one minute, then increase speed to high. Whip cream until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
In 6 glass individual serving dishes, alternate layers of pudding, banana slices, whipped cream, and 4 vanilla wafer cookies. Crumble up the remaining vanilla wafter cookies and sprinkle on top with a dollop of whipped cream. Place in the refrigerator prior to serving.
*If you aren't serving these right away squeeze lemon juice over bananas to prevent browning.
Truffles fall into the category of things that are always better when homemade. Rich, creamy, indulgent - and so incredibly simple to make! Made from scratch truffles always trump any of the pre-packaged kind. And a bonus! These are made with coconut milk, so they are a little more feel-good friendly. Shhhh...no one would ever know the difference!
Makes 3 dozen
12 oz. dark chocolate (60% or higher)
1 can (5.4 oz.) coconut cream
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
For coating: dutch cocoa powder
Optional: maldon or flakey sea salt for finishing
Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a medium bowl (the finer the chocolate is chopped the easier the process will be). In a separate bowl microwave the coconut cream and coconut oil until hot and melted. Alternatively, heat the coconut cream and oil in a small saucepan.
Pour the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt, and whisk together until smooth and shiny. The mixture will be slightly thick.
Transfer to a a shallow dish and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
Scoop and roll the truffles with gloved hands. Don't worry about rolling into a perfect shape, rustic is great for this type of truffle. Roll truffles into the cocoa powder, and lightly sprinkle with flakey salt to finish. These truffles keep best in the refrigerator. Remove 20 minutes before serving.
3 medium avocados, peeled and pitted
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 (5.4 oz ) can coconut cream
½ cup, plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Optional: ¼ cup toasted sweetened coconut
Chill a loaf pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
In a high-speed blender, add the avocados, coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Process until it is a smooth and creamy mixture.
Pour the mixture into the chilled loaf pan and place in freezer overnight, or least up to 5 hours. Remove from freezer and allow to soften for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe is an oldie that Natalie got from NY Times ages ago, and has stuck in her rotation. Because IT IS THAT GOOD and so easy to whip up! Trust us, once you make this you’ll never go back to boxed brownies again. The key is not to overcook the brownies. Pull them out BEFORE you think they are completely done and allow them to finish cooking in the pan. Perfect every time!
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
3⁄4 cups plus
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
Optional: maldon or flakey sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray, and line with parchment, if desired (they are easier to remove from the pan this way).
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium metal or glass bowl and place the bowl on top of a pot of simmering water. Stir frequently until the butter begins to melt. Once the butter is completely melted remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time stirring until each egg is fully incorporated. Add the flour and stir until it disappears, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon (yes, it’s important to count to 40!).
Pour into pan, add maldon salt if desired, and bake for 20-25 minutes (do not overbake!). A tester will come out mostly clean, but will still have traces of batter. Allow to cool before cutting into 9 squares. Top with raspberries or your favorite fruit!
Impress your friends, impress your beau-friends, impress just about anyone with these grilled peaches. The most divine peach that will ever cross your lips. Promise.
4 ripe peaches, halved
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 cup honey
1/3 cup candied walnuts
8-10 Fresh mint leaves
Heat grill to medium high. Brush peaches with oil and grill cut-side down for about 3-4 minutes or until slightly charred. Flip and grill opposite side for an additional 3-4 minutes or until soft.
Place peaches on a serving dish cut-side up and place a dollop of fresh ricotta in the center of each peach.
For the balsamic reduction: Combine vinegar and honey in a medium pot and cook over medium-high heat until it’s reduced by half. Remove and cool.
Drizzle each peach with the balsamic reduction, top with candied walnuts, and chopped mint.
This is our all-time favorite cookie recipe! Nat has been making these for Annie and her clients for years, and they couldn't be any simpler. The two secrets are using salted butter and vanilla bean paste. You can certainly substitute vanilla extract, but the paste takes these cookies to the next level. You can find vanilla bean paste online or select grocery stores.
¾ lb good quality salted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
In the bowl of your electric mixer cream together butter and sugar. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix until combined. Slowly add flour with the mixer on low and mix until the dough begins to come together.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a round disk. Roll the dough 1/3 inch thick, adding more flour as needed. Using a cooking cutter, cut desired shapes with your dough and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly golden brown. Depending on the size of your cookies the cooking time will vary.
Allow to cool on the cookie sheet. Drizzle with melted chocolate or use for a killer s'mores!