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

2014: A Year in Review

The year is coming to a close and I wanted to do a quick recap of some of  the recipes Angie and I have shared with you throughout the year. These are some of out most viewed posts of the year, so for our returning readers, we’re showcasing your favorites! Although the second half of 2014 wasn’t the most consistent year content-wise, we still managed to put out a couple really good ones, and we hope that you enjoyed them as much as we did!

1. Quinoa Fried Rice

One of our first posts, this is my go-to quinoa fried rice recipe. Guaranteed to spice up your plain old quinoa, it’s a clean and healthy alternative that stands out from the rest of our usually decadent blog posts. Filled with chicken and veggies, it can just as easily be altered to fit your vegetarian/vegan/picky-eater preferences.

This actually sold really well to my brother, who usually hates quinoa. Yay!

 

2. Rocky Road Brownies

We took your go-to brownie recipe and took it to the next level with walnuts and a browned marshmallow topping, turning it into a ice-cream flavor inspired variation. Best served warm and gooey, this recipe has gotten tons of love on foodgawker and tastespotting because it’s honestly that good.

browning the marshmallows with the broiler after baking was the perfect finishing touch

3. Blueberry Scones

Crumbly and flaky in all the right ways, this classic blueberry scone recipe was a favorite among you guys this year. Perfect on crisp winter mornings with a cup of hot tea, it’s definitely a keeper.

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4. XXL Cowboy Compost Cookies

A variation on the classic cowboy cookie inspired by the idea behind Momofuku’s compost cookie. Made XXL so its big enough to share, but small enough to keep all for yourself.

IMG_39505. Naan Flatbread Pizza

Y’all really have quite the savory palette. These naan flatbread pizzas were one of our very first posts, and is still something that I make to date. It’s such an easy and versatile dish, there’s no wonder why you guys keep coming back to it.

naan pizza

– This year, I traveled to  San Francisco and  the East Coast and was fortunate enough to be able to share all the great food that I had while I was there.

– We also put out our monthly favorites (for most of the year) in hopes of getting better connected with you guys. I  included everything from the music I liked, to the snacks I obsessed over, and the clothing trends I fell in love with each month.

And that’s a wrap for 2014! It’s been such a busy year for us, and we’d like to thank you from the very bottom of our otherwise cold souls. We genuinely thank all of you for staying with us through our extended absences and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading our content as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing it with you. Cheers to 2015!

Rocky Road Brownies

This one’s for you Leo.

For those of you who watched the Oscars last night, you all witnessed yet another episode of ‘Leonardo DiCaprio and

the Elusive Gold Man’. Poor Leo. For someone who has been in the industry for as long as he has and has been in so many iconic movies and roles, you would think he would have at least one of those little men under his wing. But sadly, that is not the case.

But don’t you fret Leo, I’ve got the perfect little pick-me-up to help you get through this difficult time. Rocky Road Brownies.

A classic ice cream flavor turned baked good that will serve as a perfect complement to your disappointed tears and piles of crumpled tissues. Whip up one of these babies, and eat it right out of the oven, piping hot. By slice, or by spoonful, the method doesn’t matter. As long as you get that warm brownie with crunchy pecans, topped with gooey marshmallow in your system, you’ll get through this. Personal experience. (just kidding….maybe….possibly.)IMG_1311

Okay, so maybe not all of us have to cope with losing yet another coveted award that we’ve been waiting for all our lives, but I’m there’s been some ups and downs. Maybe you got yet another bad grade on a chemistry test (how relevant!), or maybe it just one of ‘those’ days. Nevertheless, when you’re in a rut, a little sugar and butter never fails.

ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as cashews, pecans, or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.

2. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, 3 to 5 minute

3. Remove mixture from heat; stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, then flour, and finally the nuts, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Then remove from oven and top with marshmallows. Bake until marshmallows are puffed and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. Using paper overhang, remove from pan and cut into pieces.

Adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/337331/rocky-road-brownies

NOTE:

– Feel free to add more nuts and marshmallows depending on personal preference

And that’s it! Hope you enjoy it and leave any comments, concerns, and questions below!

Pineapple Layer Cake

I’m not really a dense cake person. I’ve never liked the leftover cakey-ness leftover in your mouth after swallowing a bite, or the fact that one slice absolutely needs to be paired with a glass of milk. Unless you wanted to choke and die, of course. Which is why on my birthday, a cake from an Asian bakery would always be served. From places such as Paris Baguette and 85 Degrees Bakery, the cake is not as dense and the cream was light and fluffy, not thick at all, and it is usually topped with an assortment of sliced fruits, with more fruit in between the layers. The flavors ranged from something reminiscent of yellow cake to taro and mocha, my personal favorite. For those of you who have not been enlightened with a slice, I highly suggest trying it out when you can! The cakes can be a bit on the pricier side, but the taste may just convert you anyways.

My aunt recently found a copycat recipe for this style of cake on some Korean mommy blog, and forwarded it to my mom, who relayed it me. For those of you who believe in doing everything of scratch, you’ll want to stop reading right here because the ingredient list may just give you a heart attack. Or you can always just find from-scratch recipes for the store-bought ingredients. But for those of you who don’t mind, or looking for something to whip up on last minute notice, this is for you!

PINEAPPLE LAYER CAKE

1 box of yellow cake mix (Did you just cringe at this? I did the first time as well. But I know of many recipes that do yellow cake from scratch, so don’t fret food purists!)

9 inch round cake pan

3.5oz vanilla pudding (or one box)

3 ounces of cream cheese, softened

2 8oz tubs of cool whip

1 can of smashed pineapple, drained

Assorted sliced fruit to top (i.e kiwi, strawberry, blackberry)

1. Make the yellow cake according to the package. With one package, you should be able to make two cakes in the pan, which you will use for the layers. Allow these cakes to cool.

2. Make the vanilla pudding according to package. Then blend softened cream cheese and pudding together on low until well incorporated.

3. Cut the rounded top off of one the cakes. This layer will be used as the bottom layer.

4. Spread pudding mixture over the top of the bottom layer of cake. Then spread crushed pineapple over the pudding. Then spread cool whip over the pineapple. Try to keep the top as flat as possible so the top layer of cake  can easily be placed on top.

5. Lay second layer of cake on top of the first. Spread pudding mixture over top layer of cake as well.

6. Frost the whole cake with the remaining cool whip.

7. Chill cake for about one hour. Top with sliced fruit and then serve.

NOTE: You will most likely have leftover pineapple and pudding.

Thanks for all your support and feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

Momofuku Milk Bar Cornflake Cookies

For those of you who are not already aware of this fact, I am a huge foodie. Most girls my age like boys, but I like food. I’m the type that gets excited over blood oranges and starfruit at the farmer’s market, and shed a joyful tear over a perfectly fluffy soufflé. My passion for all things edible is best exemplified by my “Restaurant Hit List”, a list I keep of all the restaurants I want to visit and foods I want to try. The items on my list range from places like hyped cafes like Uurth Café in Los Angeles to dessert shops like Joe’s Italian Ice in Anaheim to hole-in-the-wall splurge restaurants like The Hobbit in Orange. I got inspiration for this from a good friend of mine about a year ago, and the list now has over thirty items and is expanding everyday.

shout out to my amateur styling skill

However, some of the places on my hit list are just too darn far away. For instance, Momofuku Milk Bar in New York (cereal milk and crack pie?! Why wouldn’t I want to go to this place??) So, I was more than ecstatic when my mom forwarded me their Cornflake Cookie recipe, it’ll appease me for the time being until I get to try the real deal. It’s cereal and smore’s and chocolate chip cookie all put together, there’s nothing to dislike about this cookie. So I’ll save you all the seven hundred dollar plane ticket to New York and share this recipe with you!

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR CORNFLAKE COOKIES

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3 cups Cornflake Crunch (NOTE: I used plain cornflakes because the cornflake crunch was just too sweet for me, but the link to this recipe is below)
    • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
    • 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows

1. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (See page 27 for notes on this process.)

2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk over mixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

3. Still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and mini chocolate chips just until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Paddle in the mini marshmallows just until incorporated.

4. Using a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not hold their shape.

5. Heat the oven to 375°F.

6. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. At the 18-minute mark, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Leave them in the oven for an additional minute or so if they aren’t and they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

7. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Original recipe and Cornflake Crunch recipe can be found here

NOTES:

– I chilled the dough, as a whole then shaped the cookies. They still turned out fine.

– I made my cookies about a heaping tablespoon each because I wanted a larger yield, baked them for about 15 minutes.

– The dough gets really dense. I broke the whisk for my handheld mixer. Mix cautiously.

– Try to keep your marshmallows in the center of your cookies because if on the sides or bottom, they will caramelize and make your cookie look burnt. Tastes good, but makes you look like a cruddy baker.

Once again, thank you for visiting and feel free to leave me comments, concerns, questions, life stories, and feedback below!

Cookie Butter (Speculoos) White Chocolate Chip Blondies

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Cookie. butter. Two simple words. Two amazingly delicious delectable words. If you’ve never had cookie butter (aka Trader Joes’s Speculoos), you are missing out! It’s basically a spreadable cookie that you put on sandwiches, cookies, brownies, cakes, or eat by the spoonful. It’s amazing. As I was pondering the different uses of cookie butter, I stumbled across this amazing recipe for Cookie Butter Blondies. If you didn’t know, a blondie is a vanilla brownie. These are AMAZING. Many of my friends, and my mom, had seconds or thirds of these heavenly squares. If you’ve never tried cookie butter, a blondie, or either THIS IS A RECIPE FOR YOU. Do your stomach a favor and whip up some of these!

Ingredients:

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons (1/3 cup or 75g) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (or Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter)
1 and 1/4 cups (225g) white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk, then add the vanilla. Stir in the Biscoff spread. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix, which will result in crumbly, hard blondies. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-26 minutes. The blondies may appear very soft, but they will set up as they cool. Allow the blondies to cool completely- about 3 hours – before cutting into squares.

*Recipe taken from (sallysbakingaddiction.com)

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

As this year is coming to a close, I just wanted it say it’s been a great start for this little blog of ours, and to celebrate it I wanted to find a perfect recipe to celebrate the incoming year. I scrounged the Internet for something that would be appropriate, when I ran across this recipe on Sweet and Crumby. It was perfect.

You might be confused at this point. What do Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies have anything to do with the new year? Quite a lot actually. The chocolate chip cookie is a timeless recipe, one that has stayed basically the same generation after generation, just as a new year is the same thing as all the new years before it. Another 365 days ofopportunity that I will probably fail to fully grasp (again). My days will be spent in the same places with the same people, and I’ll celebrate the same holidays and go out to dinner with my family every weekend just like every year before this one.

However, this chocolate chip cookie isn’t all the same.

these cookies are thick, dense, and delectableJust like the banana adds a new spin onto the classic chocolate chip cookie, there will be new things this year that I am just not aware of yet. Maybe this year, I’ll find a new go-to get together spot other than Old Town, or my family will finally decide totry someplace else other than the same old repertoire for family dinner night. Maybe I’ll finally try Bikram yoga, get back into scrapbooking, dye my hair, and get a decent score on my SAT. Then again, maybe I won’t. I guess I’ll just have to see and find out. (I think my English teacher would have approved of my use of symbolism here.)

Now to the actual point of this post. The cookies. They’re not so much like cookies to be honest, they were more like muffin tops. But still good nonetheless because muffin tops are the best part of the muffin anyways. The nuts added a nice crunch, but the banana flavor was hard to find. I was expecting a really banana-y cookie, but there was only hints of it. But maybe that’s how it was supposed to be, the recipe didn’t specify. But overall, they were really good! I recommend them to be eaten warm and alongside a glass of cold milk. Trust me, it was a match made in heaven.

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter (just barely softened…not mushy)
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. Vanilla extract
1/2 c. thoroughly mashed bananas
1 c. good quality chocolate chips
Optional: 3/4 c. chopped walnuts

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure one of the oven racks is in the middle of your oven and either place sheets of parchment paper or Silpats (nonstick rubber mats) on two baking sheets.

2. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl with a wire whisk.  In a bowl of a stand mixe

r, cream together butter and sugars.  Add one egg at a time, beating in between each one.  Scrape down the bowl.

3. Add the vanilla and cream together on medium until everything is incorporated.

4. Add the dry ingredients and cream together again on medium.  Mix in your chocolate chips and walnuts (optional). (NOTE: I used pecan bits instead, and it turned out fine.)

5. Drop small ice cream scoop fulls of dough onto the cookie sheets.  I usually do three across and four down.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden and soft, but not mushy to the touch. Let cool and store in an airtight container.  (NOTE: These cookies are going to be on the larger side.)

Find the original recipe here

Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read this post! Angie and I appreciate you guys so much, please feel free to leave any feedback or questions below. We’d love to hear from you! Hopefully your New Year’s Eve is filled with celebration, party, and ends with a midnight kiss.

Happy New Year’s!