Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Banana Bread

 (revised January 12th, 2012)
There is something about fresh Banana Bread coming out of the oven, the aroma fills the whole house.  I wait until I have about 6 medium bananas that are brown and so over ripe they almost fall apart.  They are sweet and make the best banana bread.  I make two nice loaves - one for us and one for a friend or neighbour.  This is one of those things that when the kids come to visit they ask for it!  You can make present them in our Brown Tulip Cups or our Red Tulip Cups to make a nice muffin and a great presentation or to really make a statement check out our Muffin Top Liners - these look so beautiful and you can easily share one with another person!

So the recipe is one that my Mom wrote down many years ago and and I baked it the original way which I will post on the bottom just for reference. ( I don't know where it came from)  Times have changed and I just can't bake Banana Bread with a cup of shortening!  Pie crust - but nothing else- I just gag thinking of it.  The original recipe also used 2 cups of sugar - for two loaves.  I can't do that either!  So I substitute 1 cup of applesauce and add a little more flour for the right consistency.  I also probably use 3/4 cups of sugar since if I am making the Cinnamon strudel topping there is sugar in that and the bananas are really very sweet!  So feel free to use the original or play around with it like I have. 

Today is the first time I have tried adding candied ginger and a little ginger lemon syrup to one of the loaves!  My friend Lesley over at 2GFKitchens suggested this (ginger syrup and candied ginger) and I just had to try it!  I wish I had some of my really good ginger or homemade stuff - but the store bought was worked out ok.  I cut them in to tiny pieces so you don't bite into it and get a huge hit of ginger and I also tossed the cut pieces in flour so they didn't clump together.  I used not quite 1/2 cup of cut up ginger.

Banana Bread (my version)

2 1/2 cups flour ( if using apple sauce I use a little more flour)The batter should be loose but not too  liquidy
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup non salted butter
1  cup sugar (sometimes less)
1 cup apple sauce
2 cups mashed ripe banana about 6 medium bananas ( or 5 smaller ones if using applesauce)
4 eggs, slightly beaten

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350F
Line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper
Stir and toss together the flours, salt and baking soda.   In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, mashed banana, eggs and applesauce. Add the ginger here if you are adding it. Or divide into 2 and make one of each kind if you like!
Add the combined dry ingredients and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

(on the left hand side of the picture)
Sometimes I add a Cinnamon Strudel topping to one of the loaves before baking combine
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon (or a little more if you love cinnamon!)
1 Tablespoon cold butter
Mix all together and sprinkle all over the top of the batter before baking.

(On the right hand side of the picture)
For the Ginger Topping
I just cut some candied ginger about 1/2 cup( maybe a little less) into very small piece and tossed in flour to prevent clumping
I happen to have a little ginger and lemon honey syrup so I added 1 Tablespoon for that into the batter.  I don't know if it made a real difference but it did punch up the loaf having ginger in it!

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 65 to 70 minutes or until a skewer come out clean.
Remove from oven, and let cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack.

Banana Bread (original recipe)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups of sugar
2 cups mashed ripe banana about 6 medium bananas
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350F Grease and flour the loaf pans (makes 2 loaves)
Stir and toss together the flours, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, mix the shortening, sugar, mashed banana, eggs and walnuts.
Add the combined dry ingredients and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

Pour into the prepared pans and baker for about 65 to 70 minutes or until a skewer come out clean.
Remove from oven, and let cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


I can't believe Easter is here again.  We have such beautiful Cupcake Cuddlers that will make your Easter event special, use them to dress up your cupcakes or as a little dish for your Easter candies/chocolates on your table.  Fill them with little candies for the kids to find or add in their Easter Basket. On a personal note Easter means our family is together for a wonder dinner and probably a few games of darts.  This year I have decided that the adult "kids" have to start learning how to make a big turkey dinner - start to finish.  This includes planning and figuring out how much food and what to have, but the bigger and most important thing to learn is how to prepare and cook my famous (well as famous as my friends and family say it is) BBQ turkey.  I have barbequed my turkey for 30 years - long before it became a popular thing to do.  I have changed, and perfected it every year!  A couple of years ago we were in New Brunswick where I prepared my turkey for my husband's family.  I learned I don't perform well under pressure!  I was so nervous that something would go wrong!  The concept was so new to them they made a ham in case the turkey didn't turn out or people didn't like it.  My confidence was wavering, but I pulled it off with flying colours!  They couldn't stop raving about it and still talk about it anytime it is turkey dinner time.  I was proud of myself and realized that taking the time to prepare a great meal and feeding my friends and family just warms my heart.  I might not be famous or do great and wonderful things that the world will know that I was here, but I know I mean something to those that I love and care about.
I hope your life is filled with challenges, change, laughter and most of all love.  Remember to tell those that are important in your life how much they mean to you.  RIP Dad - we miss you.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Overnight Cinnamon Buns

After posting the picture of these I had so many requests for the recipe.  I hope you enjoy them!
this recipe was originally from Company's Coming and makes 3 DOZEN - so if you need to you can divide the dough into 3rds each one makes one dozen and use one for a dozen buns by omitting the step of adding the cinnamon sugar and butter part.

Granulated Sugar     1 tsp
Warm Water             1/4 cup
Active Yeast             2-1/4 tsp (one package or 8g - I use SAF yeast available on the website

Boiling water            2 -3/4 cups
Granulated Sugar      1 cup
Butter/Margarine      1/2 cup
Salt                            1 Tbls

All purpose flour      8 Cups approximately

At about 5pm stir the first amount of sugar into the warm water in bowl - I used my kitchen aid.  Sprinkle yeast over top and stir to dissolve the yeast -  let stand 10 minutes

In the mean time pour boiling water into a large bowl.  Stir in second amount of sugar, butter and salt until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.  Cool to lukewarm and then add to yeast mixture.
Beat in about 1/4 of the flour -- that's about 2 cups, then work in enough of the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover with only a tea towel and let stand on the counter until 7:00pm
Punch dough down. Cover again and let stand again until 10:00pm.  Punch down and divide into 3 sections.  At this point you can make one of the 3rds into egg size pieces and shape into buns and arrange onto a greased baking sheets.  Cover with a tea towel and let stand on the kitchen counter until the morning.  BAKE AT 375 FOR 15-20 MINUTES.

For the CINNAMON BUNS: roll each section into a 14inch square.  Spread each square with softened butter ( I used less than 1/2 cup butter for all three sections to make 36 buns) Sprinkle with brown sugar (less than 1 cup for all three) and about 1 Tbsp per roll since we like lots of cinnamon.  The original calls for 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp per section! - which I am sure is decadent but way too much for me.  Roll up from long side and cut each section into 12.    I placed my buns on parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.  Cover with a tea towel and let stand on kitchen counter until morning.  BAKE AT 375 FOR 15-20 MINUTES.

Serve warm with butter or make a cream cheese icing.