My dad had a sweet tooth – I’m proud to say that I’m certain that’s where I inherited mine from. Father’s day is tough each year, even though it’s been 9 years this upcoming Wednesday since he passed away. It never gets easier – how can it? Instead of celebrating with him, I thought I’d make him something in honour of him, and his sweet tooth.
I can remember every night after dinner my dad would want something for dessert, usually we would have ice cream, maybe a fruit salad. When my mom and I would go grocery shopping he would be sure to remind her to “pick up something sweet.” It was the way he would say it, “something sweet” with a grin on his face. One of his favourite desserts was a deep dish brownie from Safeway, the square one in the tinfoil packaging and clear lid, with a sickeningly sweet thick chocolate ganache frosting smeared on top in such a way that it left a distinct pattern. I’m fairly certain it didn’t last more than one night in our house. I can’t remember the last time I had one of those.
I thought I would make one of his favourite desserts to celebrate father’s day this year. And while I no longer have my own father, I am very thankful to have two father figures in my life who are there for me always.
These are a much healthier version than the Safeway brownies, but I think my dad would have approved of them for his sweet tooth craving. The ganache is decadent and silky, and the brownie is almost like fudge – sweet tooth satisfying.
If you’re lucky enough to celebrate father’s day with your dad this year, be sure to share it with him – and maybe a slice of brownie or two.
happy father’s day dad, miss you like crazy
Fudgey Banana Brownies
*can easily be made vegan by swapping out the butter for vegan butter, and egg for egg replacement*
*Wheat Free* *Gluten Free*
recipe by Bakeaholic, original post here
- 6 tbs. Butter
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Extra Dark Chocolate (can use dark chocolate chips)
- 2 medium Ripe Bananas
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1 cup Rice Flour/Brown Rice Flour/GF Flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Heat butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium low heat Stir until everything is melted. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
- In stand mixer with whisk attachment, or medium bowl and blender, mash the bananas, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add the egg and blend again.
- Add in the melted butter-chocolate mixture and mix well.
- Stir in the flour mixture and blend just until combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You want it to be slightly gooey when you check it, not completely dry. If it needs another couple minutes increase baking time.
** These brownies are best after they are refrigerated! ** Make them the night before **
Tip: I always refrigerate my brownies – it makes them extra dense and fudgey. I recommend letting them come to room temperature on the counter, and then cover and transfer pan to fridge for a couple hours, or even better, overnight.
For these, you want them to be completely cooled before adding the ganache frosting. I refrigerated these ones for an hour or so, then added the frosting then refrigerated for another couple hours, or overnight.
Chocolate Avocado Ganache
This is a seriously amazing ganache – much healthier than the regular version, and includes healthy fats
*Vegan- sub agave for honey*
- 2 medium rip avocados
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup melted extra dark chocolate
- 2-3 tsp. honey/agave nectar
Cut avocado in half, remove skin and pit from avocados and scoop out the flesh.
In a food processor, add avocados and puree until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend it in a blender.
Once smooth, add the cocoa, melted chocolate and honey and blend again until smooth. Mixture should be thick and glossy.
Scoop onto cooled brownies and spread evenly over top.
Cover and refrigerate for an hour, or longer until ganache hardens. ** NOTE: Definitely refrigerate the brownies once you add the ganache, the longer it sits the ganache gets sweeter as the flavours medley together**
When ready to serve, take out of the baking dish by lifting the parchment – cut into squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers in container.
This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I thought I would share some things that my mom has taught me. I’ve seen other bloggers post about what they’ve learned from their mother over the years and I started thinking about all of the things she has said to me, taught me, and continues to teach me in life.
My mom and I are close – really, really close. People confuse us for each other on the phone (we sound a lot alike). We are often mistaken for sisters (I’m sure she’ll love hearing that, again), and we have become even closer as I grow older, when the big stuff happens and real life begins. Many people comment to her asking ‘how’d you get so lucky to have two good kids?’ – well, I think I’m a little better than my brother, Nick ;) but, I think she is a pretty lucky mom to have us too. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a loving, crazy, funny, caring, and strong mom.
After losing my dad when we were younger she had to become two parents in one, and I want to thank her for being there for us through the hard times, and the really hard times, and never ceasing to love and support us in all our of endeavours.
She is the first person I tell important news to, and the not so great news to, the first person I look to for advice, even if I don’t always want to hear it (ahem, the couch
), the first person to know when I’m sad, upset or something is bothering me just by the tone in my voice over the phone, the person who encourages me that everything will be alright, not to stress and the first person to forgive me when we have a fight (i’m pretty stubborn).
Things my mom has taught me
- There’s no excuse for rudeness
- Manners matter, always say thank you
- Don’t hold a grudge, life is too short
- It’s better to be overdressed, than underdressed
- Saying sorry is one of the hardest things to do, and admit your wrong
- Always be the bigger person
- How to be a good friend
- Any education is a good education
- Never leave the house without making the bed (this one is still a work in progress..)
- How to host a family dinner
- Advil and Zantac cure all
- How to properly fold sheets
- How to cook a roast
- How to make a roux
- How to make a good chili, and simple tomato sauce
- If you don’t want to have a drink, just order a coke with lime
- Don’t stress, everything will work out
- Always be kind to animals
- Do what makes you happy
- Trust your instincts
- How to be strong
People ask me where I got my love for cooking and baking. While my dad was my biggest influence, my mom always made really great cookies, without a recipe – and really good cinnamon buns.
I made these brownies last week when I wanted to use up some ripe bananas on the counter. I wanted to make something other than Banana bread. I decided to make 1-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, recipe here
- but then I had more bananas to use up. So, I thought about what I could make with them, or what recipe I could add them to. I decided to make brownies, with the addition of Bananas. Some people don’t like certain combinations of chocolate and fruit, but Bananas and Chocolate are one of my favourites. The bananas make the brownie super dense and rich, like fudge. The banana flavour is certainly there, but it’s not as strong as say banana bread. The chocolate takes over, which makes it deep and rich.
And then I went a step further, and topped the Banana Brownies with Banana Ice cream.
Let’s just say I couldn’t eat it fast enough. Plus, there’s no guilt in adding the ice cream because it’s just Banana.
These are also gluten free, I made them with Rice Flour. You can sub regular flour as well. I recommend refrigerating them for a couple hours, or even overnight. I always refrigerate my brownies because it allows them to become more dense and fudge-like.
Fudgey Banana Brownies
recipe by Bakeaholic
6 tbs. Butter
3/4 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate (can use chocolate chips)
2 medium Ripe Bananas
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
½ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Cocoa
1 cup Rice Flour
1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.Heat butter and chocolate in a small saucepan, stir until everything is melted. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
In stand mixer with whisk attachment, or medium bowl and blender, mash the bananas, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add the egg and blend again.
Add in the melted butter-chocolate mixture and mix well.
Stir in the flour mixture and blend just until combined. Stir in all of the walnuts, you can save a few and sprinkle on top too.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You want it to be slightly gooey when you check it, not completely dry. If it needs another couple minutes increase baking time.
** These brownies are best after they are refrigerated! **
I always refrigerate my brownies – it makes them extra dense and fudgey. I recommend letting them come to room temperature on the counter, and then cover and transfer pan to fridge for a couple hours, or even better, overnight. Of course, if you can’t wait feel free to eat them immediately =)
Store leftover brownies in the fridge for up to a week, or, freeze.
You can sub AP flour for rice flour also.
Even Better Topped with Banana Ice Cream!
I made these brownies for a girls night last week and thought they would also be great for any Super Bowl Sunday get togethers this weekend! I wanted something easy, but not a regular brownie like my usual go-to. I also apparently can’t make great cookies lately (dry, too puffy, rise too much) – but something that combines the two? Perfect.
I don’t think we’ll be doing anything special for the Super Bowl – except for maybe make a turkey Sunday night that we forgot to take out of the freezer until yesterday morning, so it’s likely not defrosted enough to eat tonight like originally planned. I’m not sure a turkey dinner is ‘Super Bowl’ meal equivalent, but we’ve eaten our fair share of chili last month, plus I really wanted turkey leftovers.
I don’t exactly follow the sport, nor do I pretend to understand what the rules are or what is happening on the field. The only football I was ever interested in was my high school football team – the Sun Devils – I helped my friend one night as a ‘water girl’ - we handed out water bottles to the players during the game. That’s the closest I’ve been to on the field action. Needless to say I never really caught on to the game – I was more just a supporter of my friends who played on the team – school spirit and all.
The only sport I do follow however, is Hockey – and thankfully the NHL is back and so are our Canucks. Last night we watched the game at my cousins with some friends, and they won their second game in a row, miraculously by shoot out! Well done Lou.
Now for the brownies – I had seen recipes like this before but hadn’t tried making them yet. There are a lot of ridiculous brownie recipes out there, like the ones with ten layers of fudge brownie cookie pretzel Oreo madness. These are sort of on the same page as those Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies – I keep seeing them but haven’t made them.
However now that I’ve made them, it’s a bad bad thing. I combined my regular brownies with a half batch of my chocolate chip cookie recipe. And they are really good – like, really good. The fudgey brownie layer and the gooey chocolate chip layer are delicious together. You’ve been warned.
If you’re heading out to a Super Bowl Party tomorrow I suggest making a batch and bringing them along – just try not to eat the entire platter.
Another delicious brownie combo is the Pumpkin Swirl Brownies I made in October.
Chocolate Chip Brownies
recipe adapted from here
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the brownie: Place butter and chocolate in small saucepan set over medium-low heat, stir constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Whisk in sugar, egg and vanilla. Whisk in cocoa. Stir in flour until evenly combined.
Scrape brownie batter into an 8×8 inch baking pan that has been lightly greased and lined with parchment paper; smooth top.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks/chips
For the cookie dough: Cream together butter and sugars, in a large bowl. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add baking soda, baking powder and flour; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Spoon cookie dough on top of brownie layer and spread out evenly with a knife or spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. You want the middle to be slightly gooey, not fully baked/dry when you do the ‘knife test.’ Start with 30 minutes, and add 5-10 minutes more if needed but be sure not to over-bake.
Let cool completely before slicing. You can also place it in the fridge for a bit – I always find brownies become fudgier once refrigerated.
Happy Super Bowl! Will you be watching? Do you follow football??