Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Friends! Hello! How are you?

Please forgive me for my absence over the past few weeks. Things got a little hectic there for a while, I got a little tired, and this ol’ blog was forced to the back burner for a wee time. But, I spent the weekend in the kitchen and I have a batch of recipes to share with you, so let’s get to it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

This ice cream. Oh, this ice cream.

I’m no purist when it comes to ice cream. I like my ice cream trashy. Full of different flavors and textures, especially big chunks of chewy cookie. I may or may not dig around in the container in search of the chunky bits. Except that I totally do. This ice cream has a creamy chocolate base that gets all trashed up with swirls of peanut butter and chunks of banana and chocolate cookies. I mean?!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Let’s just say that after having my first taste of this ice cream, I promptly shared it with anyone who was willing to eat it, simply so that I wouldn’t devour the whole thing myself.

Despite the fact that we’re dealing with more cold temperatures and another round of snow, I know that Spring is around the corner somewhere. So I’m just going to keep making ice cream and margaritas and pretend that it’s already here. If we believe it, it will come!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream base from The Kitchn, which was adapted from Jeni Britton. Makes just over 1 quart.

8 oz. good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 1/2 cups half and half
1 TBSP. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
2 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt

Mix-ins: 1 banana (chopped small), 1/2 cup chocolate cookies* (chopped), and about 1/2 cup peanut butter

*I used these cookies (minus the centers) because I had some left over, but you can use any homemade or storebought chewy chocolate cookies.

In a small bowl, mix 2 TBSP. of the half and half with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining half and half with the sugar. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate and cream cheese. Pour just enough of the hot milk over the chopped chocolate and cream cheese to cover it. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the salt. Gradually add the remaining hot milk mixture and whisk well. Cover the mixture and chill completely, preferably overnight.

Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the banana and cookie chunks. Layer in a container, along with spoonfuls of the peanut butter (I microwaved my peanut butter for about 20 seconds to make it thinner and easier to work with), then swirl with a knife. Freeze for an additional four hours (or more) in an airtight container. Scoop and serve!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Snack Attack | Chewy Granola Bars

Granola Bars



















Friends, the holiday season is upon us! Have you noticed?

Christmas music has begun to play in the stores, new seasonal drinks are now available at Starbucks and the like (Peppermint Mochas!), and every evening when Bella and I get out for a walk, there are lights twinkling inside and outside of all the houses. (Oh, and it’s also dark by 4:30pm, hence the craptastic photos. Sorry friends, I couldn’t wait to share this recipe!) I love this time of year, but I must say, it really has creeped up on me this time around. Christmas is merely a few weeks away!

Granola Bars



















Every year when December hits, I find myself scrambling to bake Christmas goodies, get my shopping done, and partake in fun holiday activities. Sometimes I am scrambling so much that I forget to take a breath and enjoy it all. And really, the main reason I am so in love with this time of year is that there is practically a standing excuse to gather together with friends and family to celebrate. There is something purely magical about coming together, eating delicious food, and toasting to the season with those people that bring joy to your heart. Call me a cheeseball, but I just luuuurrrrrve it.

On my bucket list for this holiday season:

  1. Go on a sleigh ride. I don’t know how I’m going to make this happen, but I’m sure gonna try! Anyone got a horse I could borrow? And a sleigh?
  2. Make a gingerbread house. Even though gingerbread houses never seem to get eaten (who wants to eat all that candy and cookie business after it’s been gathering dust for weeks?!), the process is so darn fun! And by process I mean putting more candy in your mouth than you put on the house. Magical.
  3. Watch one Christmas movie every week from now until Christmas. Top on the list – Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and It’s a Wonderful Life (which I’ve never seen before – how?!)
  4. Fill a huge thermos with hot chocolate and Bailey’s, get a group of my favorite people together, and go tobogganing.
  5. Learn how to play an easy Christmas tune on the guitar. A party ain’t a party without a sing-a-long.
  6. Donate to those in need. I am very inspired by this.

…to name a few. What are some of the activities on your holiday bucket list?

Granola Bars



















The holiday parties have begun. Time to get my arse in gear. But in all of this busy-ness, one cannot forget to eat! No problemo, I’ve got you covered with a dense and energy-packed granola bar that you can grab for a quick breakfast or snack on the run. I have been searching for ages for the perfect granola bar recipe. One that is chewy, not too sweet, and somewhat healthy.  The original recipe (taken from Whitewater Cooks) uses corn syrup, but I substituted brown rice syrup with great results. I’d really like to find a way to cut down a bit on the butter and sugar, but for now, it will do. This recipe makes a rather large batch, but they freeze very well once cut and put into an airtight container. I have also cut the recipe in half without issue – just use a smaller cookie sheet.

Feel free to change these up by adding your favorite mix-ins. I definitely recommend including the sesame seeds as they add a delicious crunch to these chewy bars. Any kind of dried fruit can be subbed in for the raisins, and some dark chocolate chips would take them to a whole other level.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the balsam friends. 😉

Granola Bars
























Chewy Granola Bars (slightly adapted from Whitewater Cooks)

Makes 24 very generous bars.

1 cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 ½ TBSP. vanilla

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup brown rice syrup

6 cups large flake oats

1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

1 cup sesame seeds, toasted

2 cups dried fruit/chocolate

Lightly toast the coconut, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat, then set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and brown sugar. Add in the brown rice syrup and mix, and then add the remaining ingredients and stir by hand.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large (ie. 12 x 18 inch) cookie sheet with parchment paper and press the mixture into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown around the perimeter and just set in the centre. Let cool slightly and then cut into bars. Freeze if the bars will not be consumed within a few days.

Granola Bars

How To: Easter Fun | Chocolate Nests

How to have fun this Easter…

Grab some easy ingredients and throw ’em all together. We’re talking four ingredients, friends. Easy as pie. Actually, way easier than pie. Do it!

Whatever way you’re spending this Easter weekend, I hope it involves much food, love, and happiness. And most importantly, chocolate!

Chocolate Nests (from The Pastry Affair)

Makes 8 nests. 

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup chocolate chips

3 cups chow-mein noodles

Mini-eggs (or jelly beans)

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Pour over top of the chow mein noodles and stir until evenly coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper. Try to create “nest” shapes as you work, leaving an indentation on the top of each nest. Allow the nests to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before decorating with chocolate eggs or jelly beans.

PS. The fun level of this activity is exponentially higher when you have help from little hands. 🙂

Counting Down | Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares













Hello lovelies,

Oh, how I miss you so. I have been knee-deep in boxes and packing tape and dust bunnies. My move is only four days away! I have been without Internet access for the past week or so, hence my prolonged absence. But I’ve snuck away for a brief moment to share a quick little sweet treat with you.













The best thing about these Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares, aside from the way that they melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more (more, more!), is how quick and easy they are to prepare. I’ve been doing little cooking and baking lately, so to avoid buying ingredients that will eventually take up precious space in Tupperware containers full of my pantry items. However, these squares require just four ingredients, and leave very little leftovers. There are many other versions of these squares – some call for coconut or nuts – but I love the simplicity of this recipe. Plus, I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love ‘em!

Make yourself a batch of these…they make the perfect snack, especially if you’re moving. See you next week from my new kitchen!

PS. Only four days left to enter the giveaway!













Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares

½ cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

1 bag (300g) of butterscotch chips

1 bag (200g) of mini rainbow marshmallows

In a saucepan over low heat, melt your butter, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes (we don’t want to melt the beautiful marshmallows!). Once the mixture has cooled, add in the bag of marshmallows and stir to evenly coat. Spread the mixture into a greased 9×13” baking dish. Refrigerate to set. Or, if you’re impatient like me, shove the pan into the freezer for an hour. Allow the pan to thaw for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Keep uneaten squares in the fridge to ensure that they stay firm (they get a little soft if left out on the counter).

Some Things Just Go Together | Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

Hello long lost friends. It seems like ages since I have shared any deliciousness with you. It practically has been ages. It has been a stressful few weeks. The biggest stress of all has been preparing to list my condo for sale. Honey and I, and mostly our little (but rapidly growing) Bella have outgrown the condo, and are preparing to look for a cute little house. However, first things first, we must sell my condo. It was finally listed for sale this week, after many hours of cleaning, decluttering, and all-out stress. And unfortunately, the stress is only beginning, as we now have to be prepared to get out of dodge at a moment’s notice if someone wishes to view our condo. Which is not easy when we have a pup to worry about.

My body has done a fantastic job of protecting me from all of the sickness that everyone seems to be dealing with…until yesterday. I have succumbed. I now have one of those annoying cold/flus that don’t necessarily make you feel completely terrible, but just overall pooped and blah. With a very sore throat to boot. *sigh* Life may feel rough right now, but then I think about those people who have it far worse. The current crisis in Japan has definitely made me feel thankful for my life, despite some difficult days here and there. (Boogie over at The Boogie blog has some great suggestions for how to help).

One of my favorite stress-relieving activities is baking. I find calm and serenity in measuring out ingredients and building something warm and comforting. Not to mention the bonus of eating said deliciousness when it’s all said and done. Last night, after lying on the couch watching bad TV for much of the evening, I threw these muffins together. Banana and peanut butter just go together. At first bite, these muffins took me back to my childhood of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Lots of banana flavor with a hint of peanut butter. Yum. And comforting indeed.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins (from Lululu at Home)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (next time I will try whole wheat)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup peanut butter (I used natural smooth PB)

2 eggs

3 large bananas, mashed (I used 4)

1 sliced banana for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your muffin tin with liners or grease.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the mashed bananas. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined.

Fill the muffin cups with batter. Top with a slice of banana. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

PS. Chocolate chips would be a great addition to this recipe for some added richness, although they taste just fabulous the way they are. I bet peanut butter chips would be incredible as well. Oh the possibilities!

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