Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring - Summer - Bananas!

The winter has been very long for us here at home. Grey and rainy, cold and dark. We are tired of getting up to get ready for work and school in the dark, tired of coming home in the dark, tired of rain. We know it is good for the plants, the ground, the spring - but will it ever get here? We are just sick of Eastern Standard Time here on the East Coast of the United States, and ready for Daylight Savings time. Yes, my family is all into the idea of Spring – and even looking beyond that, to SUMMER! We have family dinner together once a week, and the conversation for the last several weeks has been all about getting outside, walking, riding bikes, working in the yard, CAN’T WAIT for SPRING and SUMMER, what about vacation and even going to the beach, OH YEA!We have talked about grilling out, long evenings, chatting on the patio, playing ball in the yard, summer drinks, summer salads, summer desserts. I tell you, we can’t wait.

To make the waiting a little bit shorter, I decided to bring a little bit of that summer picnic delight to the family with one of my DH’s favorite summer desserts - Banana Pudding. But every Banana Pudding recipe I have feeds, oh, like 50 (or so it seems), making a huge bowl that lasts forever. Perfect for picnics with friends, but not so great for family dinners. And so instead of going for the big pudding bowl, I found a “Cake Mix Doctor” cupcake recipe for Banana Pudding Cupcakes. I had this recipe on my mind, and before we headed off to the grocery for ingredients, I took a look at what I could find on ETSY from BBEST that brought Banana Pudding sights, sounds, and tastes into mind. Check it out!

Searching for BBEST BANANA, I found these fabulous goodies.

The entry for this great looking candle states "♥ I've tried many Banana Nut Bread fragrance oils and this one is abolutely tops! Very true to it's name, you'd think you just baked a sweet, moist loaf of mouth watering Banana Nut Bread. ♥" Ok, now that is starting to make me think of ripe fruit, hot days, summer fruit salads!

And then, at Bags and more by Pam, I found this unique Banana Berry Bag.

Pam tells us "This unique handbag with molded resin handles is hand-crocheted and features a crocheted lining, making it doubly sturdy. The bag measures approximately 9 inches across and 6 inches deep. It will hold all of your necessities without stretching or sagging. It includes a coin/card purse which fastens over the pom pom." Looks like the perfect spring into summer delight!

Searching for BBEST CUPCAKE, these little yummies showed up!

From Joonbeam, the 8.24 ... FooD TrUcK LoVe ... Upcycled Magnets. Joon remarks "How fun are these? Set of 6 retro design all American favorites from your local food truck or diner." And look at that sweet little cupcake, right on top!

And Fantasy Creation really tickled me with the Sweet Cupcake with Orange Icing Dangle Earrings Handmade from Polymer Clay. The entry says "I acually got hungry while I was making these pretty little polymer clay cupcake earrings. I've included stoppers with the gold tone ear wires. The cupcakes are light yellow with orange icing piled high, in a pale pastel orange cup, made to look realistic." They look pretty good to me, and very much like a fanciful springy delight.

Then, just browsing, I found this lovely thread selection from SassaLynne’s Serendipity collection that reminded me of the ripest of ripe bananas. Her Sassa Lynne, Three Thread Selection, Yellow, Sunshine, Yarn, Serendipity. Sassa includes three "top quality yarns in this selection. Again from our Serendipity range these mercerised cotton threads have been dyed in the same dyebath. This selection is a very unusual combination. This collection is Yellow! Beautiful Sunshine, Butter, Daffodil - just Yellow, with the faintest hint of the odd spot of Cream. They will surely brighten your day and will stitch beautifully on fabric or canvas." Now I love fiber, and as I explored more of the shop, my DH yelled up the stairs, "I thought we were going to the grocery!?!?"

But right before I shut the computer off, I came across this from Judy's shop - and though these are not named “Banana Pudding,” they looked just as wonderful to me.

Judy describes these beauties better than I can - "Soft and generously-sized, these 100% cotton spa cloths are crocheted in griddle stitch with a shell stitch edging. They will dress up your bathroom and provide scrubbing action at the same time!"

Filled with inspiration, I set off with DH to the grocery for our ingredients, and when we came home, I made these. They were absolutely delicious and had the family grinning - and I am sure it is because my BBEST Friends had me smiling & INSPIRED, as usual! Try them, they are worth making!

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

• 24 paper liners for cupcake pans
• 36 vanilla wafers
• 3 medium-rip bananas
• 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• ¼ cup milk
• 3 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 2 cups milk
• 1 package (3 ounces) cook and serve vanilla pudding mix
• 3 Tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 2 medium-size ripe bananas cut into 24 slices

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Count out 12 vanilla wafers for the garnish and set them aside. Place the remaining 24 vanilla wafers flat-side down in the bottom of the cupcake liners. Set the pans aside.

Prepare the cupcake batter: Slice the bananas and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until the bananas are smooth, 1 minute; you will have about 1 ¼ cups. Place the cake mix, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl with the banana puree. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes mode. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it ¾ of the way full. (You will get between 22 – 24 cupcakes.) Place pans into the oven.

Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool. [At this point, the recipe has loosen the paper liners so you can ultimately remove them – I didn’t do that.]

Prepare the filling: Place the mild in a medium size saucepan. Whisk in the pudding mix and place the pan over medium heat. Continue to shisk as the mixture comes to a full boil, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla. Pour the pudding into a bowl to cool for 20 minutes.

Prepare the topping: Place a large mixing bowl and electric mixer beater(s) in the freezer to chill. Put the 12 vanilla wafers into a plastic bag and crush. Remove the bowl and beaters from the freezer. Pour the cream into the bowl and beat on high speed until thickened, 1 ½ minutes. Stop the machine and add the sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 – 2 minutes more.

Assemble the cupcakes: Remove the paper liners if desired. Spoon ½ cup of the cooled pudding into a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip. (I used a plastic bag and a funnel). Pipe a generous amount of pudding into the cupcake through the center of the top (1 to 2 Tablespoons), allowing about 1 teaspoon of the pudding to overflow onto the top surface of the cupcake. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. Sprinkle the vanilla wafer crumbs on top of the pudding. Dollop about 1 Tablespoon of whipped cream on top of the crumbs.

At this point I stopped and covered the cupcakes and put them in the fridge. The next day, just before serving, I stood a banana slice in the whipped cream.

Store these cupcakes, without the banana garnish lightly covered in the refrigerator for 1 day. Add the banana slice just before serving.


SylvieL said...

Do you ship to Vermont?
They look delicious :)

Myfanwy said...

Yum! They really do look delicious. Maybe I'll try some for DH later in the week.

Thanks too for featuring my yarn collection.

The Filigree Garden said...

Yummy! I am SOOO ready for summer as long as it doesn't rain all the time!

MagdaleneJewels said...

I too can't wait for summer, enough of all this dreary weather! Barbeques, sunshine - great finds to get us started. Can't wait to try the Banana Pudding cupcakes! They look delicious :)

circleinthesand said...

Oh my goodness, these cupcakes look heavenly!! Wonderful selections from this immensely talented group!!

Attack of the Vintage said...

Great blog post! The cupcakes look awesome and so do all of your BBEST finds to go with them.

Libertybelle said...
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