Dulce De Leche Banana Bread

It is officially Indian Summer in San Francisco!

Which means that having the oven on all day for baking is painful. That didn’t stop me yesterday though and I’m so glad because this dulce de leche banana bread is goooood!

Luckily, it was easy to make. For the dry ingredients, I just had to combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
_dsc0028

The next step was the hardest for me because I had to mush up the bananas. Eeeeek!

_dsc0029
_dsc0030

I then added a stick of butter and sugar to the bananas and mixed. Once combined, I added two eggs and a cup of yogurt.

_dsc0033

_dsc0036

_dsc0040

I poured the batter into the bread pans and then added the dulce de leche. The recipe said to add 3 tablespoons to the top and swirl it in. I ended up putting 4 tablespoons and I’m glad I did.

_dsc0041

I let them bake for an hour and when they came out, they smelled so good.

_dsc0042

_dsc0051

I could see the dulce de leche seeping through on the sides, though faintly and when I cut into it, it wasn’t until the second slice that I got dulce de leche in the middle.

_dsc0054

The bread was moist and sweet and didn’t taste overly like banana (you know how much I don’t like bananas, haha). If I were to make this again, which I definitely will do, I would add the dulce de leche in layers alternating with the batter so that it would be more evenly distributed.

_dsc0060

Sweetly,

Simona

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

I’ve had an unusual amount of marshmallows in my pantry for a long time…

So, I decided to make chocolate marshmallow cookies.

_dsc0029

First, I melted the chocolate chunks over steaming water.

_dsc0030

_dsc0033

I then mixed the dry ingredients with the eggs and then combined that mixture with the melted chocolate.

_dsc0032

_dsc0035

The next step was to take small handfuls of batter and place a couple marshmallows and chocolate chunks into the center. The batter was then wrapped around them to form a ball.

_dsc0038

_dsc0040

The recipe said to put marshmallows and chocolate chunks on top of the cookie balls and I did for the first batch.

_dsc0041

These came out alright but some of the chocolate chunks on top didn’t melt and some of the marshmallows slipped off the top. I wasn’t totally pleased with this batch.

_dsc0044

So, for my second batch, I didn’t do the last step of adding the toppings. I did, however, try to squeeze a few extra marshmallows and chocolate chunks to the inside of the cookie balls to make up for it.

I liked how these came out better. They still weren’t necessarily the prettiest cookies BUT check out how they’re not flat! I’m really onto something here.

_dsc0048

The insides were chewy with melted chocolate. So good! I thought these were a perfect end to the summer months 🙂

_dsc0058

Sweetly,

Simona

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

I am really proud of this cake I made.

There were tons of ingredients and the prep took me a while, but all things considered, it was a pretty easy recipe and it came out AMAZINGLY.

_dsc0001

I first made the cream cheese filling which included combining the softened cream cheese, sugar, and butter. Once combined, I added the egg, flour, and vanilla and beat them together.

_dsc0003

_dsc0004

_dsc0006

The next step was toasting the pecans.

_dsc0008

While they toasted, I combined the dry ingredients together, including all of the spices.

_dsc0009

I then added the eggs, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla and combined it to make the cake batter.

_dsc0011

_dsc0012

The final step to the batter was to add the toasted pecans and chopped apples. I poured 2/3 of the batter into the bundt pan then added the cream cheese filling. I used a chopstick to gently mix the cream cheese filling into the batter and then poured the remaining third of the batter on top.

_dsc0013

_dsc0018

_dsc0019

_dsc0021

I placed this in the oven for an hour and ten minutes. The whole apartment smelled amazing! It was like it was really fall in my kitchen.

It was beautiful when it came out and smelled so good. The recipe said to let it cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then 2 hours on a plate or wire rack. I followed these instructions precisely (unlike normally when I rush through frosting cakes before they’re cool).

_dsc0024

I was really nervous about flipping the cake out of the pan. This part always goes poorly for me, but to my delight, it went off without a hitch!

_dsc0026

I actually let it sit for 2 hours to cool. It took a lot of self-control.

At the very end of the two hours I made the frosting by melting brown sugar, butter and milk on the stove.

_dsc0028

I let it boil for a minute and immediately poured it over the cake.

_dsc0030

_dsc0032

Et voila!

Not only did this look beautiful, if I do say so myself, but it tasted SO GOOD. The frosting was to die for and I would definitely put it over anything. The cake was moist with crunchy bites here and there from the pecans. You would think that because of the cream cheese filling and frosting it would be really sweet but it wasn’t. It was perfect!

_dsc0036

I didn’t want to waste any frosting so I poured it over a second time and let it pool in the middle which was perfect for dunking cake pieces into 😉

I will definitely be making this again – maybe for Thanksgiving!

_dsc0040

Sweetly,

Simona

Chocolate Quinoa Balls

Before all you quinoa skeptics get on my case about this recipe, think about the other ingredients in it…

Chocolate, peanut butter, almonds, etc!

_DSC0001

To start, I boiled the quinoa for 12 minutes until softened.

_DSC0002

In the meantime, I chopped the almonds then added the cooked quinoa, dates, peanut butter, and chocolate chunks.

_DSC0003

_DSC0014

I pulsed it all together and got a very thick paste.

_DSC0021

I then rolled the mixture into balls. Some were bigger than others because some of the dates didn’t get crushed down enough.

_DSC0022

I then rolled them through coconut flakes. This part didn’t go so well. The coconut flakes didn’t really stick so I had to push them in to stick. I tried to make the flakes smaller in the food processor but they didn’t change. I placed them into the fridge for about an hour and when they were set, I took them out for a bite!

_DSC0024

I have to say, these were pretty tasty. Such a great alternative for a mid day or post workout snack that even has chocolate! They were filling too, so they would definitely curb any nasty hankerings for junk food (or a spoonful of Nutella in my case).

These are great to have in the fridge and will definitely make more!

Sweetly,

Simona

P.S. Due to 25,000 spam comments received on my blog in just 1 week (I wish I was kidding), I’m going to be disabling comments for a little while. I’d still love to hear your thoughts though, so please feel free to email, tweet and/or comment on Instagram!