maandag 25 november 2013

Banana Split Cake Cups*****
I still remember the first thing I ever baked on my own. I was eight years old, and giddy on the knowledge that my mom was letting ME bake something...on my own....with no adult help.

As I poured through her treasure trove of cookbooks, I landed on a recipe for coffee cake and was hooked. I thought, surely I would appear very grown up, baking something that you eat with COFFEE. This nectar of the "Grown Ups" was...

...Let me interrupt my story for a minute. As I sit here trying to write this post, my son does a loving mother put this...MURDERING the keys to my piano. Now he is asking me, "Don't you love it?"

O.K, back to the story:)

This nectar of the Grown Ups, was exclusively reserved for those that had reached the "acceptable age." This age was an ongoing mystery to me, as each year that I asked if I was old enough, I was denied. Well surely, I thought, if I was old enough to bake a treat that was served WITH coffee, then I could drink it too. My reasoning proved to be wrong though.

As my parents enjoyed each crumb of the coffee cake (at least they appeared to - it could have been a "Mommy don't you love it?" situation), I was met with the familiar, "Not 'til your older."

It's memories like these, that come surfacing when I bake recipes from my childhood. Recipes like this Banana Split Cake. My mom used to make this regularly when we had company, as it was easy to throw together, and you could feed a large number of people with it. I don't know why it is called Banana Split Cake, because there isn't actually any cake in it, but it is still delicious. This is normally made in a 9x13 baking dish, but I decided to make individual sized portions, and served them in these cute half pint canning jars I found. Individual sized desserts are healthier anyway...aren't they?

Banana Split Cake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
8- oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3-4 bananas, sliced
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
9- oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine the melted butter and graham crackers crumbs. Press into the bottom of your baking dish. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, then place in the freezer to chill and set for about 10 minutes. Beat the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until creamy.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust. Add a layer of sliced bananas over the cream cheese mixture. Drain the pineapple and spread evenly over the bananas. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of nuts over the pineapple, then add a layer of sliced strawberries.

In a cold bowl, with cold beaters, whip the cream on high until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Sweeten your whipped cream to taste. Spread the whipped cream over everything. Garnish with more nuts and the cherry halves. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes: If you want to make this dessert in cups as I did, follow the same directions, but divide each of the layers between your cups. When baking the crust, place the jars on a baking sheet and bake as normal.

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