Pumpkin Banana Bread with Praline Pecans

It’s about that time of year again- FALL! My absolute favorite :) What would a little pre-fall celebration be without some baking?? Oh the fall baking list is endless. Be prepared for lots of recipes coming your way. The first day of autumn is officially this Sunday, the 22nd, so let the countdown begin!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Praline Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all pourpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans for topping (chopped and optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs and yogurt together.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until well blended. Add in the chopped pecans if you wish.
  4. Place batter in a lightly greased bread baking pan and then top with the chopped praline pecans and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
  5. Bake at 350F until golden brown- about 60 minutes.

**Once cool, refrigerate bread (wrap in tin foil) to let the bread gel together and become more moist/ gooey. (Optional- but my preference!)

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Blackberry Bourbon Pie

Since fall is approaching sooner than we think, I decided to make a list of all the summery things I wanted to do before it ends. Mostly it consisted of recipes I wanted to make…. And that is how I got the urge to bake a pie! Fresh blackberries sounded so good so I went with just that. However, as always I like to add a twist on things- spice things up a bit! Hence, the bourbon part. What is great about this is that the alcohol pretty much bakes out of the pie so if you never told anyone you spiked it- they would never know. However, the bourbon does soak into the blackberries making them extra sweet and rustically delicious and the bourbon really makes the lemon zest flavors pop. I mean really, you can’t go wrong here.

Ingredients:

Oh, first, since most do not like to mess with getting a pie crust just right- you can easily use a store bought one. If you do, sometimes I like to shake things up a bit and maybe add sprinkle of vanilla (just slightly) and flour one I put the store-bought crust into the pie dish.

About 5 cups of blackberries (more or less depending on size)

2/3 cups sugar

A dash of salt

The juice of 1/2 lemon freshly squeezed

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons Woodford Reserve bourbon

The zest of one lemon

A hint of cinnamon (to your preference)

1 egg (beaten) **used for dusting top layer of crust

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400. Take blackberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt and put them on the stove top at a low simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend and warm together…stir occasionally.

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While this is simmering, place the pie crust into the dish or pan and lightly dust with flour (maybe a dash of vanilla if you like). Once the berries look warm and blended with the other ingredients, remove from heat and mix in the bourbon. Place berries (with juice- do not drain) into crust in pan. Add your lemon zest.

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Next, cover with second layer of crust. Pinch or fold edges together to your liking and vent how you wish (cuts, slits, cute cut-outs, woven, etc.) Take the beaten egg and dust the pie crust nicely…I sometimes just use my fingers because it is easier- or you can use a brush.

Place in the oven for roughly 30-40 minutes- this you really should just eyeball. You want the crust a golden brown and you should be able to see the juices bubbling before taking out.

From there, just ENJOY! Happy summer lovelies :)

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xxx SSG

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Avalanche Bark (aka Rice Krispie treats on crack)

Depending on where you live or where you have traveled to, you may be familiar with the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Mmmmm mmmm, can’t beat it! If you have been, you may know of what I am about to talk about. If not, you’re in for a real treat! (No pun intended)

Ohhhh the delicious Avalanche Bark at RMCF….. just amazing. If you like Rice Krispie treats, chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallows, and any kind of sensible goodness, you’ll love these bars!

Anyyy whooooo, I was perusing Pinterest the other day, naturally, and I came across a recipe for these babies. Of course, I had to check it out. Within minutes, I was craving these and decided to give the recipe a try. Pretty good, but I had to tweak most of the things so I am going to give you my own recipe which, trust me on this one, tastes IDENTICAL to the bars found at RMCF!

Okay so this recipe is super easy, but you have to follow the directions step by step or they won’t come out right. Again, trust me- my mom made these without precise directions and they tasted good but were not the same.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 12oz bags of NESTLÉ Toll House white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup mini NESTLÉ Toll House milk chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups mini NESTLÉ Toll House milk chocolate chips for topping

What to do:

  • On low heat, melt one bag of white chocolate chips on the stove top. Once almost completely melted, add in the second bag. Melt until creamy, stirring pretty constantly. Be careful, chocolate can burn pretty easily if you are not watching it.
  • Once melted and creamy, remove from heat and add in the 1/2 cup peanut butter. Stir together.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the 6 cups Rice Krispies and the white chocolate and peanut butter mixture. Mix together, completely coating the Krispies with the chocolate.
  • Let this cool for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally. (Do not skip this step!)
  • Once cool, stir in the 4 cups mini marshmallows.
  • After that, stir in the 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. **If you add the mini marshmallows and chocolate chips before the krispie mixture has cooled, they will all melt together so be sure to let it cool first.
  • Once everything is mixed together, place mixture into a lightly greased pan and spread evenly. Press lightly with your spoon back but do not compact the treats because you want them to be fluffy and compacting them too much will cause them to get hard.
  • Add the remaining 2 and 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips over top, also lightly pressing them so they stick.
  • Once cooled, cut into squares and enjoy!

After testing the recipe, I took these to work with me and everyone went crazy over them! A few people began to refer to them as rice krispie treats on crack. Yep, that good. And of course, much cheaper than buying them individually from RMCF, if you have one near you.

Enjoy!

xxx SSG

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