elvis’s peanut butter & banana “ice cream” cookies

Yusra recently bought the Les Miserables soundtrack, which I, of course, immediately co-opted for my iTunes library.

So, naturally, I spend any time that Noosh happens to be out of the apartment traipsing about, bellowing all the tunes in a voice so loud that I’m shocked the neighbors haven’t filed a disturbance complaint.

Not that I found the adaptation to be particularly brilliant, or anything. (Annie’s performance aside, which was actually beyond brilliant. If you have any desire to see the film, go for her performance.)

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But I mean, it’s not that great of a musical. And I’ve seen many adaptations. Hell, I’ve been in one (a fact which I never failed to reminder others about whenever Les Mis became the subject of any pre-Christmas conversation). It’s stupidly depressing (which, I attest, can be anticipated by anyone with an elementary education and an exposure to the title of the thing), it’s unbearably lengthy (though I am consistently amused by people who surprisedly exclaim, “It’s literally a musical. Literally the entire thing is sung. What the hell,” as if they’re personally offended by the audacity of it), and all the worst characters survive at the end (Please, don’t get me started on my hatred of Cosette. I could write you a 50-page thesis about it.).

And even still, I can’t help but sing through my favorite tunes on repeat, all whilst imagining myself wearing the outrageous, early-19th-century garb I came to know so intimately during scene changes.

(Let it be known that, no, I didn’t have a starring role. My voice is neither that brilliant nor that powerful. But I did play a variation of a female extra in every single scene. And was honored with an on-screen death. I am, quite clearly, stupidly proud of this 3-month period of my high school career.)

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Elvis’s Peanut Butter & Banana “Ice Cream” Cookies
Adapted from pies and plots.
Yields 14-16 cookies, or 7-8 sandwiches.

Ingredients for the cookies:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients for the banana cream:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Method to prepare the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat all ingredients together on medium-high speed until they come together as a dough. Drop dough by the spoonful on the parchment paper, flattening with the back of a fork. Cookies will spread out a bit, so space them about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 mins and cool completely on a wire rack.

Method to prepare the banana “ice cream”: 

Chop the bananas into thin pieces, store in an airtight bag, and freeze overnight.

Toss the frozen banana pieces and into a food processor. Puree until bananas form an ice cream-like consistency. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Return to the freezer for an hour or two to firm up.

Assembly:

Put a spoonful of the banana cream on the back of one cookie. Sandwich another cookie on top of the ice cream. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • Recipe is 100% gluten and dairy free.
  • Despite the homage to Elvis, there is no bacon in this recipe. I suppose you could crush some up and stir into the banana cream, if you feel so inclined.

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I’m being unfair to Les Mis. Much of the music is quite beautiful. And appropriate, given the atrocious weather as of late, since campus feels like one downpour away from a student-led revolution for 24/7 PJs and no class. Most days are spent scurrying from building to building, headphones in and head downcast, weaving in and out of the throngs of students, trying in vain not to get poked in the eye by rogue umbrellas. It really is evasion of militarian proportions.

Still, it’s gotten old, dragging on as painfully long as the final act of the play. Not that I’m looking forward to an ending nearly as depressing. Just sunny skies and warm weekends. Writing my thesis outside, perhaps, rather than hunched over my laptop on the musky sofa like a gremlin. Transporting my winter coats back home in an effort to ease the moving-out-process half a year from now. Leaving my window a crack open to welcome in the spring breeze.

But, you know, that’s my big problem. Always wanting something else. Wanting Eponine to have ended up with Marius, wanting the rain to cease and bring with it sunny mornings, wanting to have evenings devoted to eating spring berries with honeyed cream. And once it happens, I’ll lament a winter gone by far too fast, a loss of ripe root vegetables in earthy stews, and cold nights spent in the company of hot teas and stacks of fleece blankets.

So, maybe that should be my year’s resolution. To stop wanting so much. Wanting time to move by so quickly, leaving me feeling as though I’ve let it slip through my fingers once it happens. It was Dan Millman, I think, who said something along the lines of “even once you get what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.”

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I mean, I’ll still want things. I’ll never stop wanting Cosette to have not appeared in Les Mis at all. And my inability to express myself half as beautifully as writers and poets and artists will continue to be a source of resentment, no matter how much I manage to mold my perspective into that of a Mother-Teresa-esque-Ghandi. (Thank you, Dan Millman.)

But perhaps I can make myself enjoy today’s steady downpour. Enjoy it even when it morphs into the slushy snow anticipated for this evening. And, if not, at least there’ll be hot tea to look forward to when I get home.

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