Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

How about some good old-fashioned chocolate chips? And bananas, of course.

Today is a celebration of two of the best paired foods. To give you a taste, I will give you the sweet, scrumptious recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Squares.


  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 6 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 chopped walnuts (optional, but recommended)

Step one: Grease a square or rectangular baking pan and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine, along with the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined.

Step two: Add egg, bananas, and vanilla until combined. Then add the flour. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. You can do all this with an electric mixer or by hand. Either one will work.

Step three: Spread in baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares. Makes 36 squares.

The last time I made these little bite sized wonders, everyone had them eaten in about 10 minutes! They’re a huge hit for small get-togethers and family gatherings. And it’s a sweet treat to cure any chocolate craving.


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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Here’s a tasty cold weather treat that will leave you begging for more. This apple oat coffee cake tastes great when it first comes out of the oven (or you can always heat it up again when you’re ready to have a piece later). Not only that, it is also complemented quite well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You have to start off by making the crumb topping. Simply mix 3 tablespoons margarine (or light butter), 1 cup quick cooking or old fashioned oats, 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup chopped nuts together in a small bowl. I think chopped walnuts go for the crumb topping.

After you’ve created the yummy part, you can start mixing the other ingredients together…

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine (or light butter), softened
  • 1 cup skim milk (or soy milk)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup fat free egg product or 2 egg whites
  • 2 medium apples, chopped (2 cups)

Step one: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square baking pan and set aside.

Step two: Mix all ingredients, except for apples, together in a large bowl. You can use an electric mixer if you wish. When all is mixed well, add the apple pieces.

Step three: Spread half the batter into the pan, then sprinkle with half of the crumb topping. Repeat with the remaining half of batter, then add the last of the topping.

Step four: Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick or clean knife inserted in center comes out clean. Then, cut into 12 pieces. If you want, you can add apple slices to the top of each piece for a lavish look. Of course, it is tastier to eat when it’s fresh out of the oven.

For all you health nuts out there, each slice is only 270 calories. It really fills you up, too. This is a great winter treat!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s the dead of winter. Eating comfort foods is right on this time of year. But comfort food doesn’t have to be bad for you if you know how to make healthy alternatives. Enter the blueberry almond oat muffin.

This little treat makes a delicious snack, on-the-go food, breakfast, dessert, or lunch side. It also pairs very nicely with a hearty winter bean soup.


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries (see my note about blueberries below)*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk (or soymilk)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped

Photo by Kate Langenburg

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

Step 2: Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Stir in blueberries and lemon zest. Add milk, butter and egg; mix until dry ingredients are moistened.

Step 3: Scoop batter into muffin cups. Sprinkle almonds evenly over batter, pressing down gently (or you can dump the almonds right into the batter while you’re mixing all the ingredients together). Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.

*A quick note about blueberries: it’s hard to find great tasting berries this time of year. Most berries have to be shipped in from far away countries, like Chile or Venezuela, so they are often not fresh and loaded with preservatives to keep them from spoiling on the journey. As a result, a tangier taste ensues. Keep this in mind when you cook with berries during the winter.

Thanks to the Pampered Chef cookbook for this one.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

With Christmas rapidly approaching (and by rapidly, I mean tomorrow), my family has always embarked on a tradition that I’m sure many of you have also enjoyed: the delicious making of the christmas cookies.

After perusing the cookie cookbooks, we have come across a tasty little treat that we have made many Christmases before. I love these cookies. They’re called chocolate oat chewies and they’re filled with chocolate cake batter, oats, and pieces of chocolate, too. (I’ve always been an avid chocolate fan, if you can’t tell.)

Yum, here are the ingredients:

  • 1 package Duncan Hines moist deluxe Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted and divided
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 bars (1.55 ounces each) milk chocolate, cut into rectangles

You can also use dark chocolate if you’d prefer. They come out equally as rich and delicious. Anyway, here are the simple steps to follow…

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Combine cake mix, oats, 1/2 cup coconut, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Remove from oven. Press one chocolate rectangle into center of each cookie, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut. Remove to cooling rack.

A word about toasting your coconut…it’s not necessary. You could have regular coconut flakes, but it tastes better if you toast it. To do so, spread it on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350 degrees for three minutes. Stir and bake one to two minutes longer or until light golden brown.

Enjoy, and happy holidays from A&E Groove!

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