It started Saturday. I had a delicious iced coffee in the afternoon that kept me from sleeping more than four hours that night (whoops). Being someone who requires seven hours minimum, nine hours maximum, or a perfect eight hours in order to be a desirable person to be around – I was a bit fussy all day Sunday. I slept a gorgeous ten hours that night (going against the nine hour maximum, but hey, it worked) and felt bang-a-rang come Monday morning. Then I got food poisoning that afternoon, and well, you know. Feeling physically better Tuesday morning I started spiraling downward emotionally trying to prepare this post. These-photos-aren’t-good-enough-I’m-a-sucky-photographer-I-should-quit, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Now it is Wednesday, watcha got for me?
So, Valentines Day. How’s that for a segue? Poor Scott found out the hard way on our second v-day after getting married. I never let onto my dislike for the holiday/flowers/chocolates while we were dating. And somehow I faked enjoying his sweet commercial gestures on the holiday during our first year of marriage. But for our second, well, I was pretty transparent. I want nothing to do with a bouquet of something that will die and a box of chocolates lying around tempting me when I’ve already been planning some delicious dessert all week to indulge in that evening. Plus we always get sunflowers (my favorite) when the urge strikes, and pop into See’s Candy for a few pieces of chocolatey goodness, again, when the urge strikes. So getting those two things handed to me on this special love day everyone gets all excited about just isn’t that exciting to me. Plus he loves me so gosh darn good why should he have to stress out about doing something “special” this one day when he does it everyday. If anything he deserves a break! Plus I’m horrible with surprises, and have always cringed when this holiday comes around and stress about having to make sure I’m excited no matter what Scott does and have to be all into it and thankful and I know I sound like a horrible person. But the truth is all I want to do is hang with my bud doing things we enjoy together, make some no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies, and watch an action movie. Thats. All. I. Ever. Want. After confessing this to Scott when my less-than-stellar-attitude shone through that second v-day, he was wary to believe me. Sure Jessie, that’s what all the girls say, but then they get pissed when the guy doesn’t do anything. I’M NOT ALL THE GIRLS. So after some coaxing I convinced him, and mended his heart after tearing it apart, and we went to this farm nearby where I picked up these ginormous strawberries. We then double dipped them in way too much chocolate, stuffed them in my purse with some ice packs, and went to the theaters and saw an action movie. Thus our tradition began. We were looking through pictures of last year and realized there was no documentation of our v-day, and that’s because it was spent un-eventfully making no-bake cookies that evening and watching an action flick on our couch. I air high-fived him from across the room, we had done it right. And so it goes again this year. Time to bust out the famous no-bake cookie recipe and hmm… I’m craving the Bourne Supremacy, how about you Scott?
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PIE. I know, I should be making him this pie right? But I made it a week early for you guys to enjoy, so he ate this last week, and we can still have the no-bake cookies for our Valentines tradition. You see? We all win. This pie. It is one of the first things I made Scott when we got married that I had never had before. He always talked about some black bottom banana cream pie that he loved, and I never fully got it – until I made it. So creamy, sweet, and delicious! I took it up another notch this year with the addition of the salted vanilla caramel sauce because after making it for my pumpkin tart last fall it goes on evvvvverything. The walnut crust pairs so well with the banana flavor, the whipped cream is almost like ice cream once chilled, and the chocolate makes it taste like such a treat. Then you put the salted vanilla caramel sauce on it and pass out.
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1 1/2 cups walnuts
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil solid or liquid
1 medium ripe banana
1 can full fat coconut milk chilled
drizzle of maple syrup
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
salted vanilla caramel
1 can full fat coconut milk chilled
1/2 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the crust, preheat the oven to 350F and blend the walnuts, salt and cinnamon into a coarse meal in a food processor. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and blend until the dough comes together (scraping down sides occasionally when needed). Press into a 6 inch tart pan that has been lightly greased with coconut oil. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to fully cool on the counter.
For the salted vanilla caramel, scoop out the coconut milk cream that has separated from the water in the can after being chilled for 24 hours (or more). This should yield 1 cup. If not you can add a little of the coconut water in the can to make the 1 cup measurement, it just may need to boil a bit longer to allow the extra water to evaporate. Combine this coconut cream with the maple syrup in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low boil/simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk the caramel vigorously every 2 to 3 minutes. After the 15 minutes is up, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the salt and vanilla. Whisk well and then transfer to a glass jar and allow to fully cool on the counter. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use. It will thicken as it cools.
For the chocolate, combine the listed ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
For the filling, scoop out the coconut milk cream that has separated from the water in the chilled can. Place this cream in a mixing bowl (preferably chilled) and beat for 3 to 4 minutes (or until fluffy). Drizzle in a little maple syrup to sweeten to taste while beating. To make the banana layer you can either thinly slice the banana to layer, or do as I did and puree the banana and then fold in 1/4 cup of the whipped cream.
When the crust has cooled, drizzle a few tablespoons of caramel onto the crust base and then drizzle with chocolate. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set. Then top with your chosen banana layer listed above and smooth on the whipped cream. Drizzle with more of the caramel sauce and chocolate. Place in the refrigerator to set, preferably in an airtight container for 1 to 2 hours. Slice and serve and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best if eaten within a few days.