Nutella Banana Purses

Picture this. It's Friday night, first weekend back at school and I have nothing to do. Absolutely, positively nothing. Picture my misery. You can almost hear my bitching from wherever you are reading this. Then suddenly I remember I bought the stuff to make nutella banana purses. It's now 10:30 and I'm thinking, "It doesn't get lamer than this, I mind as well bake."
I'm not going to lie, it's not my idea of the perfect Friday night but I was so, so incredibly wrong. Nothing could have been more perfect about last night thanks to these delightful little monsters. I'm not going to say I ate four, but I'm going to say I didn't either.

You'd be suprised the amount of attention I got on my walk back to my dorm with these in my hands, a few bouncers at a bar along the way stopped to chat with me about them, after offering him one he declined, telling me he was "on a diet". I quickly decided I'm not interested in men who diet, or men who won't eat banana nutella purses, so I continued my journey and gave away the last few pastries I had, finishing my night happy and in some very stretchy pants.

1 sheet of puff pastry (or two if you're intense like me)
1 container nutella
2 bananas

This is the world's easiest recipe. I'm pretty sure I could've made these in the toaster oven in my dorm room, but since I had nothing else to do I took a walk to the dorms on campus with ovens.

Defrost puff pastry. I forgot this step and ended up watching the 90's hit Great Pretenders (anyone remember that?) while the sheets defrosted. Cut it into nine squares.

Cut the banana

Put a spoonful of nutella on each square and a banana on top of each.

Pinch the corners together to make them into little purses.
Pop them into the oven for 15 minutes. If you're like me and are heavy handed with nutella, this is what will happen when they start cooking. But don't fret they are still delicious even if they aren't pretty. 
On my second sheet of puff pastry I put less nutella, hoping they would look a little better. 
 Om nom nom.

Baked Upside Down Apple French Toast

Let's say a big thanks to Tyler Florence for this great recipe. I'm not a big french toast eater but after watching Tyler Florence make this, I had to have it. I woke up late this morning to my mother's impatience and hunger. It's my last day at home before I go back to school so I figured I'd make a nice breakfast. Well, breakfast doesn't start at 11 in my house, not to mention this takes 45 minutes to bake. So breakfast will in fact be at 12:30. I'm writing this now as it's in the oven and it smells delicious. Although it was one of those mornings where everything was annoying, my coffee was cold and my mom was mothering, I think this may just fix it.

4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided
4 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Confectioners' sugar, garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay challah slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.

Set a 10-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 8 minutes. 

While the sugar is melting, peel apples, core and cut into halves.

Remove from heat and gently whisk in the heavy cream

Sprinkle in the pecans, dried cranberries and gently press the apple halves so there is a flat surface. (I forgot to take a picture of the apple step, sorry!)

Lay soaked slices of challah over the top so it is completely covered - you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps. Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven

Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy.
When done, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes then invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired
Serve and enjoy!
This was in fact, delicious. It's so sweet it tastes almost like a dessert. My mom and I were brainstorming and we thought of a few variations to the recipe. A few of our ideas were pear instead of apple, walnuts instead of pecans and nutella or dulce de leche instead of caramelized brown sugar. Yum, yum, yum. 

Mini Banana Cream Pies

Let's just say I had a bit of a kitchen fail tonight. I was excited to share a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough dip, but it turned out it tasted like cream cheese and nothing like cookie dough. So after dumping it down the drain I was determined to make something delicious. I made this pie once before and it didn't even last 24 hours in my fridge (banana cream pie is my dad's favorite).

This is a super easy recipe, not to mention incredibly delicious. Before making this I had never had banana cream pie, I wasn't sure I would even like it! But my friends and I ate every last bite. Because it was a last minute decision, I was a little short on pie crust and vanilla pudding so I decided to make four mini pies instead of one big one, plus they're adorable.

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoon sugar

1 pack vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
2 ripe bananas
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pack cream cheese (8 oz)
1 pack whip topping (8 oz)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the graham cracker crust, mix graham cracker crumbs with 1 cup of butter or margarine and 3 tablespoons of sugar. After the ingredients are combined, press the mixture into a 9 inch pie pan (or in my case small individual soufflé dishes). Put them in the oven for 8 minutes, then transfer them to the fridge to cool.

Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in 1 cup of whip topping.
Spread the mixture on the bottom of the each mini pie.
Cover this layer in bananas.

In another bowl combine vanilla pudding mix with two cups of milk. Whisk for two minutes and pour over bananas.

Cover with the rest of the whip topping and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Enjoy!