Tagged: banana

Tahini Banana Bread

Tahini Banana Bread
My husband and son are regulars at the coffee shop. It’s part of their weekend routine to stop by for a cappuccino and a banana nut muffin. Our little one will pick the walnuts out of the muffin and devour the rest himself. Even sharing a bite can be a challenge, but I can’t blame him for being so possessive. They are really good muffins, and it’s hard not to like banana baked goods.

Since the habit began, I’ve tried to bake banana bread at home, but my three-year-old hasn’t been interested. I still haven’t figured out why, but I finally had success when I baked a loaf of tahini banana bread. Maybe it was the bittersweet chocolate flecks dotting each slice that did it for him. With white whole-wheat flour and yogurt, this was a somewhat lightened version of the usual banana loaf.
Tahini Banana Bread
Tahini Banana Bread

Adapted from Cooking Light May 2017

Makes 1 loaf

Non-stick cooking spray
6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1-1/2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat together the bananas, yogurt, tahini, butter, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat in both sugars until combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Gluten-Free Banana Bread
I have a new kitchen helper in the form of my 2-year-old son. After months of attempting to hold him while cooking one-handed, we invested in a learning tower, so he can be up at counter height. Based on the big smile on his face whenever he takes his post at the end of the island, saying he loves it would be an understatement. Now he is giving me orders. I may have been demoted to sous chef status, but we are both having fun.

My little guy loves dumping everything into a bowl and mixing. Together we baked a loaf of gluten-free banana bread. This lighter version used buckwheat flour and coconut sugar. Anytime I can get my son to consume whole grains I feel like I deserve a pat on the back. After we spread the batter into the pan, he helped me carefully lay the banana halves on top. He was very proud when he took a bite of his slice and told me, “Mommy, I made it!”
Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Adapted from Donna Hay

Non-stick cooking spray
1-1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
1 large egg
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 banana, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and walnuts. In a medium bowl, whisk together the bananas, egg, yogurt, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Lay the banana halves on top.

Bake the loaf until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Sweet Cornbread

Sweet Cornbread
The last week or so of December is a time to use up those remaining vacation days and spend what’s left of the year at home. Nothing beats lazy, schedule-free mornings when you aren’t required to rush off somewhere. I try to use this break in the action to tackle cooking projects like making restaurant-worthy breakfasts to be enjoyed at the comfort of our dining table.

Brunch is one of my favorite meals out because it’s quite a feat to prepare all those different components and get them plated at once. I decided to do a full-on homemade breakfast, but I did a little work ahead by baking sweet cornbread. Two ripe bananas had this loaf bordering savory and sweet. It was the perfect accompaniment to  everything being served.
Sweet Cornbread
Sweet Cornbread
Adapted from Williams Sonoma New Healthy Kitchen: Desserts

Makes 1 loaf

Butter for greasing pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup instant polenta
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl whisk together the buttermilk, maple syrup, eggs and oil. Stir in the mashed banana before folding in the dry ingredients until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Cookies
There are infinite variations of chocolate chip cookies even though all of them start with the same basic ingredients—butter, flour, eggs and sugar. I went through an obsessive phase baking batch after batch tweaking and adjusting in an effort to make what I thought was the perfect cookie. Now I realize this was an impossible goal considering I can never decidethick and chewy or thin and crispy.

Chocolate chip cookies are very adaptable taking on all sorts of additions from nuts to bananas. This recipe first caught my eye years ago, and finally I gave it a try. These chocolate chip banana walnut cookies had a soft, almost cake-like texture punctuated by toasted nuts and chocolate chunks. Eaten warm from the oven, they were best described as banana bread in cookie form.

Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Cookies
Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living September 2006

Makes about 18 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt and baking soda.

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the mashed banana and oats. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment.

Drop the dough by the scant 1/4-cup spacing 3 inches apart on the sheet pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

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