My Perfect Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

We’ve all got a recipe — or three — for banana bread floating around our kitchens. There are so many ways to make this baking staple, and this is my go-to recipe for chocolate chip banana bread.

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Cookie Soldiers and Candy Dippy Egg

Happy day after Easter, everybody! You know what I love more than holiday candy? Holiday candy on sale. The day after a holiday is the best day for hitting up those candy aisles, filling your cart to the brim, and inducing a sugar coma for less than $10. It’s awesome.

Easter candy is a little rough, though. Have you noticed it’s all the same things, over and over? Lots of plain chocolate shaped as different animals. Lots (and I mean lots) of jelly beans. And of course, marshmallows (a.k.a. Peeps). It gets a little boring, especially when trying to eat my entire weight’s worth.

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Hosting Halloween: Spooky Dinner Setting

Velcome, to the second installment of my Hosting Halloween series where I take you through spooky dinner setting ideas! I hope you enjoyed my first post and are excited to see what other tricks I have in store for you.

This is my go-to Halloween table setting, and I often refer to it as a vintage Halloween setting. It uses stark blacks, bright oranges and mellow greens, which always put me in the mind of a 1950’s Halloween party.

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Hosting Halloween: Halloween Brunch

It’s that time of year again, friends, and if you thought that you could get this far into October without me going a bit overboard, then you have no idea who you are messing with! We are halfway through the most glorious time of the year (the 31 day celebration of Halloween), and it’s time to get some serious spook on.

This year, I’ve decided to take on Halloween from a hostess’ point of view, and I’m going to give you a couple of different suggestions on how to make the most of your scare-tastic celebrations. I’m calling this series Hosting Halloween, and it’ll have ideas on decorating schemes, drinks, activities, and of course, treats. So let’s get started with some brunch!

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Chocolate Teaser Cookies

How stinking cute are these pinwheel cookies? I know pinwheel cookies aren’t new, but you won’t believe how not-new they really are.

I found this recipe while trolling through a 1980s edition of Southern Living cookbook! And Pinterest thought it had found something innovative.

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German Chocolate Cake

My family has what I call birthday bunches–all of our birthdays come in pairs. This is pretty common when you have a large family, but my family isn’t that large. On my husband’s side, it’s just him and his parents, but all their birthdays happen in the same week! Everyone in my family has a birthday buddy, everyone that is, except my sister.

When the first birthday bunch rolled around last month for my mom and dad, I went ahead and asked my sister what she wanted her cake to be. Last year, the cake I made her was pretty awesome, in my humble opinion. I had my expectations high for what she would ask, anticipating fondant and colors and layers–the works! What she asked for, though, surprised me! All she wanted was a simple German chocolate cake.

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Death by Oreo Cake

Forgive me for being gone so long, but inspiration has been a slippery beast these last few weeks. I’ve been baking, friend, believe you me! But none of the new recipes I was working on were coming out right. None of them were good enough for the blog.

Until now, that is.

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Milk Hot Chocolate on a Stick

I promised I would adapt (adapt being a strong word) this for milk hot chocolate, and I did!

It’s getting chillier around here. Well, as chilly as it can get in Kentucky in November. But I am already in the holiday spirit of things.

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‘Hocus Pocus’ Booook Brownies & a Drinking Game

Happy Halloween! It’s finally  here. There are ghosts and goblins running up and down my street as I type! Leaves are crunching under foot. Jack O’Lanterns are lit. So as my last Halloween post, I decided to do an homage to my favorite Halloween movie of all time, “Hocus Pocus.”

I have been watching this movie every year for as long as I can remember. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I highly recommend it. Honestly, I’m not sure how you managed to not see it–TV stations play it non-stop around Halloween. And occasionally around Easter, too!

#hocuspocus #faustbakes #halloween

For those who don’t know, these brownies are modeled after Winifred’s spell book given to her by the devil himself! It’s supposedly bound in human skin, which my husband told me makes it a necronomicon. So I guess that would make these brownies om-nomicons. HA! I’m sorry, I had to say it!

#hocuspocus #faustbakes #halloween

These brownies would fall into my category of Cheater, Cheater recipes, since it took no baking skills or artistic talent to create! And while I’m very proud that anyone can make these brownies in less than an hour, I also feel like I’m cutting my Halloween post short. So to beef it up a little, I’ll include the drinking game I use for watching this movie every year.

The rules are pretty simple, but very effective. I got them from this blog, but had to modify them a little. Momma Garvin parties too hard for me, I guess! The modified rules are as follows:

Take One Drink Every Time:

Winifred calls for her “Boooook!”

Mary smells a child

Sarah loses focus

Billy Butcherson loses a body part

Thackary Binx loses a life

Additional Rules:

The entire group must finish their glass during the “I Put a Spell on You” performance.

Anytime someone in the group starts to chug their beer, everyone must chime in saying, “Amok! Amok! Amok!” The last one to catch on has to take a drink.

“Damn, Damn, Double Damn!” is the only curse word allowed during the game. If anyone says anything else, they have to take a drink.

If you end up taking three drinks in a row due to breaking rules, you have to say, “I’m gonna puuuuuuuke!” If someone in the group catches you not saying this, you have to take another drink.

Anytime someone misquotes the movie, they have to wear a witch hat until it gets passed to the next misquote-er. When the movie is over, the last person wearing the witch hat has to shotgun a beer and finish by saying, “The witches are dead. My soul is finally free!”

#hocuspocus #faustbakes #halloween
“Boooooook!”

Here’s a printable version of the original drinking game for you.

Okay, now that we’re good and liquored up, let’s make some om-nomicons!

So the mix that I used for this recipe, I chose for a few specific reasons. I chose the kind that form the thin, flaky chocolate crust on top to lend to the look of a skin book–all cracked and damaged. I also wanted a brownie that would remain fudge-y to ensure they’d hold their shape after being cut. Those things aside, you can technically use any brownie recipe you’d like!

You’ll need:

1 box Pillsbury Milk Chocolate brownie mix

2/3 cup oil

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

1 jar dark fudge frosting

1 package eye candy sprinkles, like these

Directions:

Bake brownies as indicated on packaging. To ensure a thick brownie, bake in a 9×9-inch baking lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray. 

Once completely cooled, remove the brownies from the pan and cut into rectangular shapes.

#faustbakes #halloween #hocuspocus #boooook

Using a piping bag fitting with a 4 or 5 tip, pipe a small dot of fudge frosting near the right-hand side of the brownies where the eye will be attached.  Next, pipe a line down the left-hand side of the brownie, and punctuate it with several small, intersecting lines. This mimics the spine. Circle the eye of the book.

In the two corners of the book that aren’t yet decorated, there coiled snakes. If working with a smaller piping tip/more patience, you can pipe a figure 8 with a line coming through it. Or you can just pipe some squiggles, and it’ll look just as good!

nomicon-8

And seriously, guys, that’s it! I’m not sure what took me so long to do these, but I’m so glad I did. They really pack a wow factor at parties, and it takes no time at all! 

I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween and that you get a chance to use this hilariously fun drinking game. If nothing else, I hope you get lots of tasty treats.

For more spooky fun, check out my #HostingHalloween series

How To: Pinch Roses and Southern Red Velvet Cake

I absolutely love Halloween! Positively can’t get enough of it, in case you couldn’t tell by the insane number of posts I’ve been doing lately. Everything about it is fantastic–the thrills, the sugar rushes, the chilly nights.

So far, I’ve made you graveyard cookies and a tombstone cupcake, but my confectionary cemetery is missing something. Hmmm . . . Ah! Yes! What’s a grave without flowers?

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