Banana Peanut Butter Chip Breakfast Sundae

Hello and happy Friday! Today I’m dropping in before I head off for a whirlwind weekend in Florida to share the “recipe” for a breakfast I posted on Instagram on Monday morning. I say that in quotation marks because I don’t really think of it as a recipe, just a bunch of ingredients I mix together to have myself a little dessert for breakfast. But a friend and follower put in a request, so those who want to enjoy a blend of bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and sweet creamy goodness at the start of the day, you’re in luck with this Banana Peanut Butter Chip Breakfast Sundae.

 

 

Banana Peanut Butter Chip Sundae

 

 

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Dessert for Days

This Thursday, I’m not thinking about too much too serious (except for contracts law, which nobody feels like thinking about unless they have to!) Instead, I’m thinking about dessert. Of which I eat a lot. While I like both sweet and savory foods, my taste buds definitely tilt to the sweeter side. Most of my oatmeal cakes and muffins could qualify as dessert, except I eat them in the morning and call them breakfast. I eat sweet snacks all day, and I always like to end both lunch and dinner with something sweet, whether it’s fruit, ice cream, or baked treats. Or, more commonly, all three! I try to keep the processed sugars in check, but since I don’t actually eat many processed sugars or carbs other than what I make myself for dessert, I like to say it’s all about balance. For example, my gluten free ice cream cone from Ferris Acres last Saturday – that balanced out a whole day of healthy eats beforehand!

 

Gluten Free Ice Cream Cone

 

 

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Beat the chill…with ice cream!

Ice cream is my favorite food. Of course, I eat more fruit and veggies and yogurt and eggs than ice cream, but when I picture my happiest times, ice cream was always what I was eating (or what I wanted to top off an otherwise perfect day). Even on my birthday, I’d opt for ice cream over cake or cupcakes – and since I have a summer birthday and was often away at camp as a kid, this worked out well! Lots of people think of ice cream as a summer treat, but I enjoy it year round. While it may seem counter-intuitive, eating a bowl of ice cream can enhance an evening of sitting by a cozy fire with hot cocoa. The trick is to create an ice cream experience that doesn’t rely on the tradition of grabbing a cone of your favorite flavor at an outdoor window, and mix it up instead!

 

Salted caramel ice cream in a crystal cruet

Salted caramel ice cream in a crystal cruet

 

One of my favorite ways to treat myself is to have a decadent flavor of ice cream nicely scooped into a crystal glass, topping it with a complementary seasoning. Here, I took caramel ice cream and added a pinch of sea salt and a dash of molasses, and paired with a mug of spiced apple tea.

 

 

 

Perfect nostalgic treat

Perfect nostalgic treat – vanilla with rainbow sprinkles

Another serving style evokes the nostalgia of childhood. I have four small ice cream dishes, with pastel bowls on the inside of little tubs shaped like the bottom of wafer ice cream cones. I’ll scoop a classic flavor like vanilla or strawberry into one of these, and top with gluten-free rainbow sprinkles. It takes me back to summers down the Cape, where I used to get strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles from a shop called Emack & Bolio’s in Orleans, Massachusetts. They’ve expanded throughout New England and the rest of the US, but to me, the other locations aren’t quite the ‘real thing’!

 

 

My peanut butter cup sundae - I just threw the rainbow sprinkles on top for good measure!

My peanut butter cup sundae – I just threw the rainbow sprinkles on top for good measure!

For an extra special splurge, turn your ice cream and toppings into a swoon-worthy sundae. Start with a basic base flavor, then add sauces and toppings. One of my favorites is a peanut butter cup sundae. I start with peanut butter cup ice cream, then add some extra peanut butter and chocolate chips. If I’m feeling very nostalgic and I happen to have some regular-size peanut butter cups around, I’ll break one in half and stick the pieces on top to make it look like those Friendly’s sundaes with the smiles! (And if you really want to go all out, make a batch of peanut butter cookie bites to crumble on top).

 

 

 

Of course, you can just have ice cream straight from the carton or in a regular dish, but I like to dress it up a little in the winter. It feels like a special treat, a welcome spot of cheer on an otherwise dreary day. (Caveat: I run outside when it is below freezing all the time. I am probably a classified crazy winter weather person, at least for locations outside the Arctic and, you know, Chicago. So feel free to mock my recommendation of eating ice cream this time of year. I’ll keep doing it anyway.) And I’ll mix it up with the seasons. In the autumn, I love pumpkin ice cream. In the spring I go for berry sorbet. Summer will find me with a gluten-free cone full of strawberry or Moose Tracks. So find your flavor and figure out how to make every spoonful special.

 

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Ready to be filled with delicious creations!

 

I’m planning to fix myself a bowl of ice cream for dessert tonight, to basically tell this snowstorm it’s time to get lost!

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Do you eat it all year round or save it for a seasonal treat?

Have you ever tried making snow-cream? It’s delicious (but I would never trust NYC snow…)

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Dreamy Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Peanut butter is one of my weaknesses. Luckily, peanut butter is great fuel for a runner. I’m constantly finding new ways to incorporate it into recipes to avoid spooning it straight from the jar (which often happens anyway…but I digress!) Peanut butter is great for any PB&J treats, paired with maple syrup or honey like in my Peanut Butter Cups, or dotted with dark chocolate chips. But sometimes, I just want creamy (or crunchy!) peanut butter, pure and simple. For that, I turn to these peanut butter cookie bites, so simultaneously creamy, crunchy, and peanut butter-y, it’s tough to stop at just one! So make a batch to share with friends – they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, so everyone can enjoy.

 

Dreamy Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Dreamy Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

 

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free quick oats (you can also use instant oats for smoother cookies, but I love chewy ones)

1/4 cup gluten-free instant oats

1/3 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (either works, so pick freely!)

6 tbsp powdered peanut butter

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup dry sweetener (brown sugar is great, but you can also use white sugar or stevia)

1/4 cup applesauce

Cookie sheet and parchment paper

 

 

Cookie batter (tip: you can use an ice cream scooper to make evenly-sized cookie bites)

Cookie batter (tip: you can use an ice cream scooper to make evenly-sized cookie bites)

Instructions:

1. Mix 6 tbsp powdered peanut butter with 4 tbsp water in a small bowl.

2. Melt regular peanut butter in a saucepan or microwave and combine the two.

3. Add all other ingredients to peanut butter mixture and stir. The batter will be fairly thick and clumpy, but don’t add any extra liquid – trust me!

4. Roll dough into small spheres and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, pressing down to make cookie shapes as you go.

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

6. Let cool for at least 10 minutes to allow the cookie bites to firm up. Then, enjoy!

 

Note: this recipe will yield 12 cookie bites. You could also make 6 giant cookies, or 24 truly bite-size cookies!

 

 

Cookie bites as part of a Galentine's Day dessert spread!

Cookie bites as part of a Galentine’s Day dessert spread!

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.