Recipe

It’s like being a rock star who can’t really sing

Did your spouse invite friends over for dinner and forget to tell you?  Or did he/she accept a dinner invitation at their house and fail to mention it until a couple of hours before it’s time to leave?  If you ever need to whip up something quick and impressive to take somewhere (no one likes to arrive empty-handed), or as a thank you gift to a neighbor for watering your plants and picking up your mail when you were on vacation, or just because someone means a lot to you and they deserve something for being so wonderful, I have the perfect thing.  It’s fast, it’s simple, it looks impressive, and most importantly, it’s magically delicious. 

When you saw this picture, couldn’t you smell it?  Didn’t your mouth start to water?  Or maybe my picture just wasn’t appetizing enough?   Here, try this one:

I could’ve taken a shot of one with a prettier caramel-filled center, but you get the idea.  The big secreat?  Ghirardelli Caramel Turtle Brownie mix!  It comes with everything you need except an egg, butter and a few pecan halves.  When these boxes go one sale, run to the store and stock up.  It’s well worth it! 

The cookie recipe is on the back.  It’s practically no-fail.  They don’t come out crunchy, but perfectly chewy.  And I usually make about 22 instead of 18.   That way you can give a good-sized container/plateful away, which is about 20, and keep a few for yourself, and no one would ever know.

It’s kinda funny, I don’t care much for brownies, but I’ve only met about 3 cookies that I didn’t particularly care for.  Even though these are brownie hybrids, they’re still one of my favorites.  The high selling point is that it’s so simple, Big Mochi did most of the work.  Cracking an egg is still a challenge for her, but she’s getting much better at it.  At this rate, she’ll be doing my holiday baking by the time she’s 9! 

Just don’t tell anyone our little secret.  Make them think you slaved over these just for them.  I won’t tell because halfway across town, I’m doing the same thing.  Shhhh!

Be warned, this mix already has the walnuts pre-mixed in, so if you or your buddies have nut allergies, you’ll have to pass on this one.  And that’s okay.  I have a ton of these little known secrets!

Ancient Chinese Family Secret Recipe*

As you may already know, I am no genius in the kitchen.  I know my way around, but I am not one of those people who can taste something, know what is in it, and recreate it.  I like exact measurements and dummy-proof instructions.  That way if it doesn’t turn out, it’s not my fault; I was just following directions.  So my Aunty sent me this recipe for the best banana bread ever.  It’s simple and worked out incredibly well!

Banana Bread
 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp  baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
 
Grease 1 large loaf pan
Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla
Add dry ingredients, then bananas, nuts and then sour cream
Mix well
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
 
I used 2 medium sized pans and baked them for 45 minutes.
I also sprinkled a small handful walnuts down the center of the top.  That way it was easy to cut out if someone didn’t want nuts in theirs. 
Let me know how it turns out!
*Not a family secret, and I doubt it’s even Chinese.  It was, however, passed down to me from my Aunty, who is half Chinese, but I think she got it off the net somewhere.  😉

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