Brown Sugar Banana Bread

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I love the library! I have borrowed many cookbooks lately, Back in the Day Bakery is one that I would buy. There are so many recipes in it that look and sound amazing. The first recipe I tried was chocolate chip cookies which baked up really thin and flat, but the flavor was one of the best I have tried. I will have to make those again, and hopefully work out the kinks so I can bake a batch worthy of photographing…

Anyway, onto the bread – it bakes up with a dense crumb, but it’s not at all tough or chewy. I didn’t have any mace on hand (who does?), but I replaced it for freshly grated nutmeg instead. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread – from The Back in the Day Bakery

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground mace (I used nutmeg instead)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped (I omitted)
  • 1 1/2 cups well mashed, very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP dark brown sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions -

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, mace, cinnamon and pecans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, butter and vanilla with a sturdy wooden spoon. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. If using, sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrapped in parchment, the bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Hungry for More?

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Coco-Nana Bread

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His All-Time Favorite

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Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

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Chicken pot pie is comfort food at its finest: rich, creamy and hearty filling topped with a golden, flaky, buttery crust….yes, please! But if you’re too busy, or you’d rather not mix, chill, roll and hope it was all worth the effort; do yourself a favor and make this biscuit topping instead. These biscuits are so simple to make and you can even stir them up ahead of time and they bake up light, fluffy, and flavorful.

Verdict: So.Freaking.Good. I can’t wait to make this again; and I know I’ll have a good excuse to make it with leftover turkey next time. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie – adapted from Food.com

*6-8 generous servings*

  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1  cup half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups roasted chicken breast or turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions -

Preheat oven to 375°FSaute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for about 10 minutes. Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well. Cook one minute stirring constantly.Combine broth and half and half.Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and peas – stir to combine.Pour into one 13 x 9 casserole dish.

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For the biscuit crust – adapted from Just a Taste

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk

Directions -

*You can prepare the dough up to two days ahead of time*

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the cheeses and toss to coat. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Add the buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Drop the biscuit dough onto the pot pie filling in small mounds, leaving spaces between biscuits.

Bake at 375 degrees until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Quick Post - My daughter’s exact words: “It’s amazing!” I thought that was sweet of her, but why would a 7-year-old not like chocolate for breakfast? ;) I took a taste and it’s very banana-y, so if you appreciate straight banana bread with out spices and fancy ingredients, this is a winner. I modified this slightly, but provided a link so you can see the original recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – adapted from Cannella Vita

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (219 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (* I used grapeseed oil*)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Directions – 
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Who doesn’t look forward to this time of year? It’s one of my favorite because of all the season-specific flavors. Who eats pumpkin bread in the spring? That’s just wrong! ;) If my husband loved pumpkin flavored anything, there would be far more recipes to prove my love for it – however, he loathes it…so, I know that he wouldn’t even try these. How I wish I could justify making a pumpkin cheesecake! ;) Oh, well! More for me and the kids I guess.

Verdict: These muffins baked up fragrant, beautifully light, sweet and they’re spiced just right. Thanks for reading, enjoy! :)

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Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins -  adapted from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

  • 1 ½ cups AP flour (187 grams)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed*)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Oil for greasing or paper liners

Directions -

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, all-spice, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, beat the pumpkin with the oil and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

Stir dry ingredients and then chocolate chips.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, or lightly grease. Scoop in batter.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm, or cool and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

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Quick Post: These are a perfect accompaniment to your hearty chili, or for the base for some yummy sausage gravy! Thanks for reading, enjoy :)

Cheddar Biscuits – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions -

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack on lower shelf. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some pea-size lumps. Mix in buttermilk and cheese until combined. With a floured hand, knead dough against side of bowl until it holds together. If it is sticky, knead in up to 1/4 cup more flour.

After kneading biscuit dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough to 1 inch thick. With a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds as close together as possible. Place on a baking sheet. Gather scraps; pat again, and cut out more rounds.

Brush the tops with 1/2 tablespoon melted unsalted butter. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Re-Post: Pumpkin Bread

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It’s my favorite cooking and baking time of year again! I love the weather change, (which wont be happening here anytime soon), and all the comforting and hearty dishes that I wait all year to make. As soon as it cools down here, I want to make this chili,  arroz con leche, this pot roast, and of course – Thanksgiving dinner!

Anyone who loves pumpkin anything, really enjoys this bread. I have been making it for years, and in this re-post I have added all my modifications. Even my husband who isn’t at all a fan of pumpkin anything said that it tastes “okay” ;) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread – adapted from Allrecipes

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil or butter – I used 1/2 grapeseed, 1/2 unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (437 grams)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg – fresh is best
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Directions -

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare two 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 60-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

This didn’t last long at our house!

Lemon Yogurt Cake – adapted from Ina Garten

  •  1 1/2 cups King Arthur Self-Rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions -

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Zucchini Bread

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This one has been pinned for a while, and my friend inspired me to bake some of these off to give as teacher gifts for Valentine’s Day. I went out and bought mini loaf pans to make these the perfect size for gifting, plus small is cute! ;) I will have to bake more teeny loaves of my favorite quick bread recipes now to justify the purchase of the pans, but that just means I can spread more of these carbs around! Next time I will use half whole wheat pastry flour and unsweetened applesauce for these, but I figured for the first try, I should make these as the recipe.

Verdict: I know my kids love this, but have yet to hear back from them about what their teachers thought. It’s always the thought that counts, but I love rave reviews as much as anyone ;) The crust has a nice little crispness to it (probably because all of that sugar), but they’re not too sweet; and the loaves are very moist. My loaves needed to bake for 50 minutes in the mini loaf pans – just check yours every five minutes or so toward the end of baking time. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Zucchini Bread – adapted Lion House via TSG Cookin’

  • 3 cups flour (375 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans (toasting is optional, but adds extra flavor)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
Directions -
  1. Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
  2. Grease well a large 8×4 inch loaf pan or 2 small 7×3 inch loaf pans. Set aside. (Please note: There was too much batter for an 8×4-inch loaf pan. I used one 8×4-inch loaf pan and one 7×3-inch loaf pan.)
  3. In large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and toasted nuts. Set aside. (I toasted the pecans in a baking pan for 8-10 minutes in the preheated 325-degree F oven.)
  4. In separate mixing bowl, beat eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, sugar, vanilla and mix well. Stir in the zucchini.
  5. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients. and mix just until moist. (Over-mixing causes tunnels and a coarse texture.)
  6. Pour into prepared pan or pans. (Pans should be about two-thirds full.) Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes for large loaf or 35 minutes for small loaves, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over-bake. (My ovens required 60-65 minutes baking time for the large loaf and 45-50 minutes baking time for the small loaf.)
  7. Remove from oven and allow bread to sit in pans for about 5 minutes. Loosen gently from sides of pan, if necessary, and turn out onto a wire rack to cool. To store, place in a closed plastic bag or wrap well in foil.

Sky-High Buttermilk Biscuits

Thanks to the time change this morning, I was able to get these on the table at a real “breakfast hour” ;) I knew I wanted to make a batch of biscuits that was large enough to guarantee leftovers for freezing. I was able to make 15 large biscuits because I patted the dough out to about an inch in thickness for most of these. The new biscuit recipe did not disappoint! They are flaky, buttery and have a slight tang from the buttermilk – perfect in my opinion :) Speaking of buttermilk, I haven’t bought it in over a month cause I’m a cheap-skate! I have been making it successfully by following this fool-proof recipe here. You can use any fat content of milk you like, which I appreciate. The fattier the milk, the thicker and creamier the buttermilk will be. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Buttermilk Biscuits – adapted from Simply So Good

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (500 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter for brushing biscuits (optional)
Directions -
Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C).  Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  cut in the chilled butter until the texture of coarse crumbs.  Stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface.  Knead briefly and roll or pat to about 1 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 3-inch rounds and arrange on a baking sheet that has been lightly greased or lined with parchment paper.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.  Makes about 9 skyscraper tall biscuits.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffin

I added all the brown sugar into the batter…woops! I have a bad habit of not reading through an entire recipe – don’t be like me ;)  I figured the extra sugar couldn’t hurt these, and I was right. I didn’t add more to the tops, but next time I will be sure to remember that “divided” step. The kids and I love these and they are really flavorful, fluffy and moist. One of the ways I safeguard against dense baked goods that require whole wheat flour, is to make the simple substitution of whole wheat pastry flour. Another easy modification is to add the buttermilk and flour in three additions to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. The resulting batter is light and fluffy and baked into 16 Fall inspired muffins. And about the temperature called for in these – I cut it back to 350 degrees on convection for 20 minutes and they came out perfectly. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins – adapted from Smitten Kitchen via King Arthur Flour

Yield: They said 12, I got 16

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Directions -

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.