Mama’s Banana Bread

 

I swear everytime I think I’ve had just about enough and one more minute of school will cause me to implode, the public school system announces a holiday. It’s only a three-day weekend, and I’m spending it all catching up on work, but the fact that I don’t have to wake up at five and spend six hours in uncomfortable plastic desks is more than enough to make me one happy little camper.

Lazy days stuck at home call for warm scents and comfort food, so that’s just what I’m bringing to you all today with Mama’s Banana Bread. Sweet to a fault and reminiscent of childhood, this bread will leave you more than satisfied (plus, it’ll make good use of those ugly bananas sitting on your counter). The secret to this rustic recipe is the use of the sugared pan and the sour milk. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s worth it, trust me.

So get ready to brush up on your banana-mashing skills and salivate over that perfectly cracked loaf top, and I hope you all enjoy your extra day off! IMG_6856IMG_6863IMG_6857IMG_6867

BAKERS NOTES:

– I used mini pans instead of regular sized because the portion sizes work better for me. I just made sure to check on the bread a little more often during baking to make sure it didn’t burn.

MAMA’S BANANA BREAD

1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for the pan)

1/2 cup salted butter, softened (plus more for the pan)

2 medium tired bananas (brown spotted)

2 large eggs

7 tablespoons sour milk (or 1 teaspoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 7 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), optional

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two mini loaf pans with butter and coat it with sugar. ( Do this like you would grease a pan. Grease it first, then add about 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan and move the pan side to side until the bottom and sides are coated with sugar. Do NOT substitute cooking spray for the butter.)

2. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.

3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, and baking soda to bowl and blend until smooth.

4. Pour half the banana mixture into the butter mixture with 1 cup of flour. Mix with hand mixer until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in nuts if using them. Pour into prepared pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges will be a dark brown and there will be a nice crack down the center.

6. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.

Slightly adapted from Crazy For Crust

Recipe introduction from Sharon Lee

Cranberry Orange Zest Scones

Okay, I have a confession to make.

As sad as this is to say, it has been 2 1/2 months of summer, and I have not baked a single dessert.

Not even one.

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It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, or don’t want to. I actually really really do. I just haven’t had time.

“But Christine, you’re on summer break, shouldn’t you have more time?”

Logically, yes. Realistically, no

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Truth be told, this summer has basically been the busiest I’ve ever been. I visited the East Coast, spent three weeks at Stanford, and I’m going back to the bay area this weekend. Atop of all that, I have SAT prep (yay!), volunteer, and summer assignments for yearbook that are still going on as we speak. My to-do list is literally never ending, and with everything that’s been going on, I just haven’t had time to spend in the kitchen. If you really want to know how packed my summer has been, I’m sad to say that I purchased a Disneyland annual pass in June thinking I’d go at least once a week and I haven’t gone since I bought it… I know, right? It’s bad.

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Fortunately, with my cousin’s birthday coming up as well as a possible housewarming party, there may be a couple chances for baking in the near future! Until then, I’ve pulled out a recipe from the queue to put up, so I hope you enjoy! These scones are a perfect pairing with tea, and make for a slightly sweet morning treat or afternoon snack.

CRANBERRY ORANGE ZEST SCONES

2 cups all-purpose flour

10 teaspoons sugar (divided)

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup cold butter

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup half and half cream

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 7 teaspoons of sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Incorporate butter into the mixture until the it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Pour into the bowl with the flour mixture and combine until a soft dough forms.

3. On a well-floured surface, gently knead the dough 6-8 times, and then pat the dough into a eight inch circle. Cut the circle into wedges and place onto a greased baking sheet. Brush the wedges with milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

4. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Serve warm with butter or jam of your choice!

NOTES:

– The original recipe also includes an orange glaze and orange butter, click the link below to check it out!

– I paired the scones with orange marmalade and apricot preserves. Both were really good!

Click here for Original Recipe

Blueberry Banana Nut Buttermilk Bread

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What time is it?! SUMMERTIME!
After surviving (barely) sophomore year, my goal is to sleep all day and play all night. Beach days, disney dates, and the baking craze are on the way! Unfortunately, the only dates I had this past week was with my SAT II Chemistry Prep book. But, even with dreaded studying, I can always muster together time for baking!
So, blueberry banana nut buttermilk bread. Isn’t that a mouthful? Well you’ll have your mouths full for sure after a nibble of this delectable bread. This was my first time making banana bread AND using a bread pan, and it was an absolute success! I’ve made it 3 times in the past week. Twice for my family and once for my chemistry tutor! (This lady deserves major kudos for helping my poor soul get an A in Honors Chemistry). She liked it so much, she told me she ate half of it fresh out of the oven with coffee on the way to her next student! As for my parents, my dad loves it with margarine and my mom devours it plain. So whether you sip coffee with it, slather it with margarine, or find your own personal pairing, I hope you enjoy this beautiful loaf!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar(I actually used 3/4 since my parents don’t like things too sweet)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3(1cup) ripe bananas, mashed(overripe is best)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup(or amount desired of nuts of your choice; I used pecans)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Beat in bananas until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.
Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf pan. Place into oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.

Recipe used from http://damndelicious.net/2012/06/23/buttermilk-banana-blueberry-bread/

Nutella Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Everyone loves nutella! That perfect of chocolate and hazelnut all in a creamy jar. Mmmmm. I remember when nutella first became a big thing. The perfect childhood sandwhich was a little bit of nutella, peanut butter, and some sweet honey all on plain white bread. This love for nutella, after baking numerous treats, drove me to search for something more substantial, yet satisfyingly sweet to mix up. In luck, I chanced upon this nutella and chocolate chip muffin recipe from motherthyme.com! It was an instant hit at school because it was both filling and sweet! I ran out before lunch! I even sprinkled some powdered sugar on top, giving it a sweet topping and a cute finish 🙂 These are perfect for those late night sweet tooths or early morning breakfast munchies! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips(I used normal ones and they turned out fine!)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In another large bowl, stir butter and sugar until combined. Stir in eggs one at a time. Stir in milk followed by Nutella until mixture is smooth.
Gradually stir in flour mixture into wet ingredients until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter about 3/4 full in prepared muffin pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes until cake tester comes out out clean.
Cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top(not shown in picture) and it tasted amazing!
HAPPY BAKING!

Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

I’m sure everyone has their own variation of the ‘this person wouldn’t share their recipe because it was a secret’ story, but I’m going to go ahead and share mine anyways because I feel like it.

So every year my mom and her college friends meet together around Christmas time to just catch up with each other and spend some quality time together. Most of them live in Colorado now, so we don’t meet up very often and it’s really fun to see how much everyone changes from year to year. We meet at someone’s house, exchange presents, and of course have dinner together. And every single year, one of my mom’s friends brings this absolutely mouth-watering, scrumptious pumpkin bread. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. It was amazing, and the best part was that the loaf would always be ROUND. Like a cylinder. And every single year, my mom would beg for this magical pumpkin bread recipe. This simple plead from my mother would set her friend off on the same old story about how he had to bribe his neighbor for years to get the recipe off of her, and that something earned so difficultly could never be given up so easily. The only hint he gave was that the round shape of the loaf was achieved through the use of a coffee can instead of a loaf pan.

Then, just a couple months ago, my mom thought to herself, ‘ Wait, in this day and age, with the fact that practically everything can be found on the internet now, why wouldn’t there be a recipe for that darn pumpkin bread?’ So she whipped out her handy dandy iPad and searched ‘coffee can pumpkin bread’ on Google. And what do ya know? There it was. A recipe for a pumpkin bread just like the one we would have every year at the get-together! Although it isn’t the original (I doubt we’ll ever get him to spill it), it tastes quite the same to my tastebuds. So here it is! By the way, recipe credits to the Dutch Baker’s Daughter, make sure to go check out her blog as well, I will link it below.

COFFEE CAN PUMPKIN BREAD

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I only had the muffin variations left to photograph… the bread is really popular in my household.

• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
• 1 cup oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cloves
• 4 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 2 teaspoons nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon mace
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2/3 cup water
• 3 1/2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease and flour 4 (1 lb) coffee cans (you may substitute 3 foil loaf pans or 6 mini-loaf pans)

3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.

4. Divide the batter between the 4 coffee cans.

5. Bake for 1 hour or until the tops of the bread spring back when touched.

6. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing from cans.

Link to the original recipe source:

http://www.thedutchbakersdaughter.com/2009/11/coffee-can-pumpkin-bread.html

Variation: Use a mini muffin pan instead of coffee cans to make pumpkin muffins! I personally love mini foods, so I prefer this variation. It makes smaller portions and works perfectly as a grab-and-go snack.

These loaves make great holiday gifts, just wrap with cellophane and tie with some ribbon and you’re ready to go!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe! Feel free to comment below on whatever you want, even if its just to criticize my horrible writing skills. Thanks for reading!