Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Baking with whole wheat flour can be hit or miss because if you're not careful, the finished product can be dry since the flour makes the product denser and coarser.  But this recipe was designed to make a moist loaf (helped along by the bananas) so in the end you have a sweet and nutty banana bread that's slightly healthier than other versions and still tasty. It's definitely a whole wheat bread, so don't try to pass it off as something else, but it's still good.  Just be mindful if you have picky eaters!

When I found Breadtopia and thought this recipe would be a good one to try.  The spices provide the traditional banana bread flavors and the added nuts meld nicely with the whole wheat flour.  I opted to use honey as suggested in the original recipe, but sugar could be substituted.  The honey caused some bubbling during baking and the crisp edges, but the natural sweetness is very nice.  A crumbly streusel topping or even more chopped nuts on top certainly wouldn't hurt this recipe, but the original version is great by itself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Blondies

Holy deliciousness.  Make these right now.  Seriously, right now.  They are that good.  If you were a kid that grew up with peanut butter and banana sandwiches (and I wasn't) you will adore these blondies.  And if you just like yummy desserts, then you'll love them too.  But if you're weird like my mom and don't like peanut butter, then we might not be able to stay friends.  Honestly, these are amazing.

Stumbling through the internet looking for recipes to turn my freezerful of ripe bananas into delicious goodness, I came across The Only Tania who posted this recipe.  She's a no-nonsense kind of gal who color codes her ingredients and uses only a bowl and a blender to whip these up, so the directions below are a little more detailed, but it's the same theory.  I did add a thin layer of leftover chocolate ganache to the cooled pan though.  Dave thought they were great, but wants chocolate chips in the batter next time.  I think they'd be just as good with a thicker layer of ganache.  We'll see who wins.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Bread

There are oodles of banana bread recipes out there and rather than try a bunch that are just slight variations on each other, I wanted to test some with substantial differences  Hence, this version with oatmeal and macadamia nuts.  Macadamia nuts are one of those things that I've had in the cupboard for a while and can never quite figure out what to do with them, so this was perfect.  They aren't a powerful nut, so the extra flavors in this bread help bring them out.  The bread is hearty, but has great flavor from the nuttiness of the oats and nuts, is moist and sweet from the bananas, and the light cinnamon undertone brings it all together.

Another MixingBowl find, this one is an original recipe from thesweetestpea.  I followed the ingredients as she stated (although I dropped from 6 to 4 bananas because my bananas were big), but her suggestion was to just dump everything in a bowl and mix which kind of freaked me out.  So I split up the wet and the dry ingredients and incorporated everything the way I know best.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel

I'm going to apologize in advance because I have like 16 bananas in my freezer and I really need to use them.  So, yeah, prepare for a bunch of banana recipes.  Like 4 or 5.  Sorry.

This coffee cake is so good.  It's relatively simple to put together and according to the internet (which never lies) the flavors and ratios make this very similar to something served at Starbucks.  I can't substantiate that claim because I don't go to Starbucks, but either way this is very tasty.  I really like the distinction of flavors between the banana cake and the chocolate/cinnamon streusel.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

White Chocolate Lime Cookies

A delightfully fresh combination.  The freshness of the lime paired with the subtle white chocolate was really nice.  The cookie itself is relatively light and soft, so the flavors are clean but not overpowering.  Dave really liked them and was impressed with the flavor combo.  I liked them because they are a light cookie for summer when you don't want anything too heavy.

These are another fun find from the Bloggers Baker for Hope bake sale.  I bid and was promptly outbid, so I decided to try my hand at LemonGrove Avenue's recipe.  Having learned the stubbornness of citrus from my many failed lemon attempts, I made a minor adjustment and used the juice of two limes instead of one.  I'm glad I did because the flavor was still faint so I don't know that one lime would have provided enough.  Next time I may zest both limes as well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strawberry Bread

Possibly the quickest quick bread I've got.  Besides being delicious, this came together very quickly and as long as you've got strawberries, you probably have all the other ingredients on hand as well. It would be a great loaf to bake up for a Sunday brunch or even to take to a friend in need.  At first I was skeptical of the cinnamon and strawberry flavors together but it was wonderful.  Very flavorful, moist and makes the whole house smell good.

This recipe comes from the Penzey's Spice catalog, but since I only have the page and not the whole catalog, I don't know who it's from or when I found it.  The only alteration I made was using less sugar on my strawberries.  Since I'd picked them straight from a local farm and they were super red and sweet, I didn't feel the need to add all the sugar to the berries, but I listed the original recipe below.  Use your judgement.  You could probably make this bread with frozen berries, but I'd use whole berries, thawed and sliced, rather than sliced berries in syrup.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

They're like personal, portable little strawberry shortcakes!  Perfect for a picnic or party.  And super easy to make.  I love the biscuit-textured dough--gently sweet and flakey--paired with some deliciously sweet strawberries.  They come together quickly and make sure to eat them right away--they only store well for about a day or two in an airtight container.  I didn't try freezing these, but I'll make them again to test a few.  I imagine these would be a great with blueberries as well.  You could even put a dollop of whipped cream on the bottom of one, sandwich it with another one and freeze for 15 minutes for a more accurate shortcake taste.

This recipe comes from the Beantown Baker who has plenty of delicious treats and was one of the bloggers behind the organization of the Bloggers Bake for Hope bake sale.  The only slight change I made was to use a smaller scoop and thus baked the cookies for a slightly shorter time.  Oh, and I used light cream instead of heavy cream.