Banana Split Ice Cream Pie

It’s practically the 4th of July and while normally I would’ve given you something red, white and blue for a dessert, I’ve moved on to more sinful pastures. Can you blame me? It’s hot and all the grilling and poolside drinking (and by poolside I mean daydreaming about a pool because I don’t have one) and chatting with friends and family calls for ice cream, because as we all know, ice cream is the answer to everything, especially holidays. Have I mentioned before that the 4th of July is my favorite holiday?! Well it is and I might be slightly obsessed, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s the grilling, the eating, the American flag paraphernalia, the cocktails and cold beer that have a lot to do with it. It’s just the best holiday all around. Relaxed and chill without any of the effort of Halloween or the stress of Thanksgiving or even the commitment of Christmas. The way I look at it, July 4th is a chance to not work, to see friends or family and to fire up that grill. No one is worrying about anything, maybe just wondering where we can watch fireworks for free and that’s it. Stress-free is the way to be. 

Speaking of stress-free, a dessert for the greatest holiday ever needs to be easy and straight to the point. Let’s not worry about such things as baking times, or whether something is cooked all the way or not. No stove needs to catch on fire this time around. I’m throwing the word pie out there, but don’t worry, this pie is the easiest pie you’ll ever make. The kid in us all will be jumping up for joy with this behemoth of an ice cream dessert, and not just one ice cream flavor but three. Yes three ice cream flavors and bananas and whipped cream and chocolate and cherries. Let’s not fight it. 

I just recently got a new-to-me cook book called First Prize Pies by Allison Kave. I say new-to-me because it was published last year and I only recently came across it. I’m a little late to the party, but the more important thing is that I finally arrived and it’s everything I never knew it was. I know that pies can be a year round seasonal treat, but for some reason I only make baking and eating pies during the summer and autumn seasons. I think that’s because berries are perfectly in season during the summer and in the fall it’s because I just like being in the kitchen baking. It’s no surprise that I got this book and am now making pies left to right. It feels like the appropriate thing to do this summer. So let’s all get in the kitchen, making and eating pies like our lives depend on it. And if you don’t want to turn on that oven because it’s so hot outside, don’t worry about. Allison and I have you covered with this no-bake chilled pie because that’s what friends are for. To tempt you with ice cream. You can thank us later. 

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Blueberry Hazelnut Cobbler Cake

I’m a firm believer that if you incorporate fresh fruit into any dessert, like cake for instance, then it instantly becomes healthy. It’s a great rule to live by, trust me. A good-for-you cake that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Maybe not dinner because you should probably eat something a bit more substantial, but hey, after dinner the cake is all yours. I’m not one to say no to any cake, I’m not an animal, but during the summer months when it’s super hot outside, cakes with seasonal fruit just sound so much more appealing to me than regular cake. Maybe it’s the idea of having fresh fruit in a dessert, and feeling like I just made the best series of healthy decisions I could ever possibly make. I feel like I could run the world. All of this from just making and eating cake. Do you see the power than cake has? 

So what’s a cobbler cake you might be asking. It’s basically a combination of two great summer desserts. An upside down skillet cake and a fruit cobbler. In other words, a cobbler cake is your new favorite dessert. I already know. It’s just as easy to make as an upside down cake but it has much more fruit and you don’t have to worry about flipping a hot pan over and praying that the cake comes out. That’s a scary situation that lasts for about 10 seconds, but still, its scary. This cake though, you don’t have to worry about any of that. You can just cut and serve without any worries because a worry-free baking experience is what I’m all about. And you should be too. Speaking of blueberry cobbler things, we mustn’t forget about these Blueberry Cobbler Biscuits from last year. Once you’re done making and eating this cobbler cake, you can mosey on over back into the kitchen and whip up some blueberry cobbler biscuits because it just seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it? How do you follow up a delicious cake? By making biscuits. Don’t fight it. 

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The Classics: Strawberry Shortcake

Here we are once again with a Candid Appetite Classics on our hands. Where have the days gone? This time around I decided to take the sweet route, since the last one was so savory and cheesy. Not that there’s anything wrong with savory and cheesy. I actually prefer it that way. I just wanted to switch things up a bit, that’s all. Since strawberries are in season at the moment, here in Southern California, I thought the best thing to do was to take all those fresh berries I have lying around in the fridge, and turn them into something more useful and productive. (Yes, dessert can be productive. Just go with it). I decided to stuff said strawberries into homemade sweetened biscuits with a ridiculous amount of freshly whipped cream. I’m declaring this whole week “Dessert for Breakfast Week” so you better get a move on it and make these shortcakes pronto. I’m giving you a whole week to celebrate, rather than just one day, because I know we all get busy and don’t always have all the time in the world to get in the kitchen and bake something sweet. Let alone eat it for breakfast. So don’t worry about it, take you time. You have a week to stuff your face with whipped cream, biscuits and berries first thing in the morning. 

I was just talking to a friend the other day about strawberry shortcakes, because that’s what you do with your friends. You talk about rich whipped cream slathered desserts on your way to brunch, where you’re about to eat too much food and drink way too many drinks on a late Sunday morning, well into late Sunday afternoon. We both sighed in disgust when our very important discussion lead to sponge cake strawberry shortcakes. We decided then and there that no strawberry shortcake should ever be made with those rubbery twinkie wannabe store bought sponge cakes that could double as something you wash your dishes with (I’m exaggerating). It’s blasphemous. They should only ever be made with lightly sweetened biscuits, and you should make them yourself, if possible, or trick your friends into making them for you. That’s the smart way to do it. Clearly we both have a love of biscuits, that’s why we’re friends, and furthermore we think biscuits should be incorporated into every one of our meals. Don’t you? He’s Southern so it’s allowed and I’m Southern at heart so it’s okay.  

In case you’ve missed any of the other Classics in this series, you can search for “Classics” in the search bar to the right, on the site. Or you can just click here, I went ahead and did it for you because that’s how much I care. I CARE ABOUT YOU! You know what else I care about? Strawberries and biscuits, and since this dessert has both of them in one mega treat, I really care about this dessert. I won’t go ahead and say it’s my favorite thing to eat in the summer, that’s a loaded statement, I’m no fool. But I also won’t say that it isn’t my favorite thing to eat during the summer. Maybe because it’s easy enough to make without having to spend too much time in a hot kitchen when all I really want to be doing is laying under the air conditioning vent with a pair of sunglasses and a cocktail. Hey, you enjoy the heat the way you want to, and I’ll (not) enjoy it the way I want to. Either way, strawberry shortcakes are on the top of our summer lists. I just know it. 

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Caramelized Banana Rice Pudding

Because it’s Monday and because we all need a little help to get us through the work week—I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started counting down to the weekend—I bring to you Caramelized Banana Rice Pudding. Cue the music, part the clouds and shine the light directly on us right this very second. This pudding should make these grueling weekdays a tiny bit more bearable, don’t you think? It’s like regular rice pudding but one hundred times better because salted caramel and bananas are involved. I think by now we all know how salted caramel takes everything to the next level. It’s liquid gold is what it is. I don’t have to tell you that, though. You already know this. So why don’t I tell you something you don’t know. Like as a kid I used to beg my mom to make rice pudding all the time. Although, I refused to eat it warm. No way, what am I an animal? I’d have to wait rather impatiently until it got super cold, it was a necessity, and only when it was properly chilled did I go in and eat more than my fair share. As a child I’d douse the top completely with cinnamon. Now as an adult I still refuse to eat it warm, but now instead of cinnamon, I douse it completely with salted caramelized bananas. It just makes perfect sense. 

I don’t know if you’re aware of it or not, but I’m no stranger to salted caramel. The two of us go way back. These Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies are as big as your head and they’re not only filled with caramel but they also get a drizzle of the stuff right out of the oven. Just making it rain down salted caramel. It’s my only goal in life. And because I’m so head over heals obsessed with doughnuts I just had to remind you about these Baked Salted Caramel Chocolate Doughnuts. They will haunt your dreams but in a good way, I promise. Speaking of dreams and caramel and bananas, how could we forget about the ultimate of dessert collaborations that are Chunky Monkey Sticky Buns. If you have yet to make them happen, then you need to remedy that this weekend. Get going on this rice pudding first though, and then move on to the sticky buns. Trust me on this, I know what’s best for you. Don’t give it a second thought. In fact, don’t think about it at all, just go ahead and eat your weight in salted caramel and bananas. It’s what I’m going to do and I won’t regret it. 

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Carrot Cake Scones

I’ve been making scones for as long as I can remember. I used to sell homemade baked goods out of my tiny kitchen when I was in college, to help my mom with my tuition. She had already put my two sisters through college, by the time I got around to it, so I wanted to help out any way I could. I’m sure it was illegal and it inconvenienced my family because I’d be in the kitchen for hours and hours, but I did it anyway because I was a rebel like that and I actually enjoyed it most days. It was a nice break from all the homework and studying. Really it was just a way for me to procrastinate the things I had to get done. There were two items that I had to make on a daily basis because people ordered them a lot, scones and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I’ve made so many batches of both that I now have the recipes permanently engraved in my brain. It’s helpful. It got to the point where I refused to bake scones because I got tired of making them. At the time I offered the classic flavors, cranberry, blueberry, (and my all time personal favorite) cherry dark chocolate chunk. My family has since then made it a point to relentlessly try and coerce me into baking scones for them or their coworkers, and sometimes I do it. Other times, they’re not as successful. Sorry family.

I’ve taken a break from my scone strike, however, to bring you these Carrot Cake Scones. I think it’s worth breaking my promise to never make scones again, but let’s not get used to it. It’s a phase that will pass. I grate fresh carrots and mix them into my go-to scone recipe, with a few other twists, like a blend of spices, raisins and cream cheese frosting on top with chopped pecans make them taste just like a classic carrot cake. Which happens to be one of my favorite cake flavors. So if you like carrot cake and you like scones, then I don’t think I need to say anything more to try and convince you to make them. They can speak for themselves. “Make me. Make me. Eat me. Eat me.” Can you hear it? 

This is our second to last Easter Brunch Bonanza post/recipe and I’m a little sad about it. Sure, I’ve saved the best for last (stay tuned tomorrow to find out), but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s almost over. I’ll still bring you awesome and delicious recipes that’ll get you excited though, and these springtime recipes from this week will now forever live online for all of your brunch needs so there’s no need to cry about it. Let’s get these scones started though, shall we? They wont stop calling out our names until we eat them. 

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Chunky Monkey Sticky Buns

I’d never tried Ben and Jerry’s ice cream until I met Julian a couple years ago. It’s his favorite ice cream of all time. I don’t know how I went through my entire 26 years of existence without trying this deliciously irresistible treat. I guess you can say I was missing out on something incredible, on both aspects of my life. Needless to say, when I took that first bite of Ben and Jerry’s, I became hooked, instantly. Obsessed isn’t really an appropriate word to throw around. I feel like that doesn’t adequately describe my feelings for this icy cold dessert, so I won’t call it an obsession. I change my mind. Instead, let’s refer to this newfound love affair of mine as an admiration. I think that sounds better, don’t you? I still remember that first flavor I tried, Cinnamon roll. I picked it out of the crowd because cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite desserts, so I thought to myself, “Why not try a cinnamon roll flavored ice cream, Jonathan?! That sounds like the greatest thing ever invented.” So I picked it up and never looked back. After eating the entire tub in less than five minutes, I remember thinking I found my new favorite ice cream flavor, and nothing could change my mind. Nothing. As far as I was concerned, I’d only ever have eyes for that cinnamon swirl and no other ice cream could make me think otherwise. Then one day I needed to get my fix so I took a trip to the grocery store and the most horrible thing happened. All of the cinnamon roll Ben and Jerry’s was gone. GONE. Nowhere to be found. I almost cried. Okay, I cried. After I gathered myself together, I picked up chunky monkey instead (thinking ugh, what a subpar choice) and I instantly forgot about the other one. What was it again? I can’t even name it anymore. It isn’t worth it. Chunky monkey is life.

Confession time: This is actually the first time in my life that I’ve ever made sticky buns before. I know I know, I’m over here going on and on about sticky buns as if I’m some sort of sticky bun expert or something. Is it possible to become an expert after only making something once? Yeah I think so. Maybe I’m just saying this because I wan’t to be referred to as an expert of some sort. It’s been a life goal of mine and I think with this post I’ve earned it. (Humble brag). I’ve been wanting to attempt a sticky bun recipe for a very long time now, but something kept me from it. I think it’s the whole making of the caramel and inverting of the buns that really scared me. I still get nightmares every now and then. Plus I kept reading all these scary reviews online of people and their horror stories involving dry buns. That’s tragic. I remember thinking, how can sticky buns be dry? I didn’t have the strength or the courage to overcome that fear so I just kept putting it off. Until the other day when I was trying to figure out what to make and photograph for my post, to share with you guys. I started brainstorming all sorts of different ideas and this one crazy idea just wouldn’t go away. All of a sudden I was envisioning some sort of chunky monkey dessert. Mainly because I was really craving a pint of chunky monkey, but also because I love the flavor profiles, which deserve to be showed off all day every day.

Too many sticks of butter, a couple pints of heavy cream and a lot of brown sugar later, I came upon the ultimate sticky bun recipe and still wasn’t sure if it would go over well. I shared a few photos on instagram and it’s almost like you guys read my mind because you reassured me that everything was going to be alright. Y’all went nuts over a vision I got in passing and it made me realize that I should really listen to my instincts more often. It’s like my mamma always says, “You should always go with your first choice.” And so from now on that’s what I’m going to do, although sometimes my first instinct is to deep fry everything and somehow that doesn’t seem right…or healthy. So maybe I’ll practice this new rule in moderation. One thing that I won’t censor and moderate are these Chunky Monkey Cinnamon Rolls because I’m now convinced that this would be my last meal on earth. An entire pan right out of the oven because there’s nothing better than this in the entire world. Nothing. 

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