There’s something cozy about banana bread. Maybe it’s the fall weather (my favorite season!).
Making banana bread is super easy, especially since we seem to accumulate a number of ripe bananas over time (which we then conveniently throw into the freezer for later). Just make sure you freeze them well, and not put anything over or underneath the bananas (like something that has a sharp edge that would cut into the soft banana, making them leak- not pretty!). I learned the hard way.
This banana bread is similar to this one I made before, but adding walnuts in – extra crunch and yum!
I have always wanted to make madeleines. These pretty little things fall somewhere between a small cake and a soft cookie. My husband, while in Denmark a couple of months ago, purchased a silicone madeleine mold. Today was my first time using the mold and making madeleines! You can leave them simple and elegant with just a fine dusting of icing sugar, or finish them off in a variety of ways! I hope your year is as sweet as these Madeleines!
My madeleine silicone mold
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted (and cooled); plus extra for buttering the madeleine mold/pan
- icing sugar (optional)
- orange zest (optional)
- semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- unsweetened coconut (optional)
- Beat sugar and eggs together in an electric mixer on high speed.
- When it is pale and foamy (about 45 seconds to 1 minute), beat in the milk and vanilla.
- On low speed, add in flour and baking powder
- Add butter; mix until smooth (about 1 minute)
- Cover bowl and let stand about 2 hours (or put in fridge overnight)
- Preheat oven 400F; position rack in the centre
- Lightly butter 2 madeleine pans (I just had 1, so I did one batch after another)
- Using a spoon (or a 2 tablespoon/1 oz food portion scoop), transfer batter to the pan. Spoon the batter in the middle (this will create the signature madeleine “hump”)
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until madeleine springs back when you press with fingertip
Freshly baked madeleines, ready for chocolate dipping, or just a fine dusting of icing sugar
- In the meantime, if you are using coconut, toast the coconut in the oven, for about 1 minute (watch carefully, as it burns easily); or if you are using orange zest, zest the orange with a microplaner
- Immediately remove from pan, when madeleines are done
- If you are dipping the madeleine in chocolate: melt chocolate in a double boiler (do not heat chocolate over heat directly). Dip the madeleine in the chocolate, and have fun with the orange and/or coconut!
- Alternatively, if you want just a fine dusting of sugar, sift the sugar over the cooled madeleines before serving.
Makes about 18 madeleines
For those looking to make a great and healthy (and edible) (and last-minute) Christmas gift, here is a granola recipe I’ve always used. Granola is really good with some fruit and milk/yogurt – or just alone as a snack!
To gift it, you can put the granola in a mason jar, and put a decorative ribbon/twine around it. Or use a cookie/goodie bag, with a window to reveal the granola!
Bag from Michael’s
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups chopped nuts (almonds/pecans/cashews)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup pepitas
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries)
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper
- Combine oats, nuts, pepitas, coconut in a large bowl.
- Combine oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan
- Heat the syrup mixture until just boiled. Take off heat
- Pour the oil mixture all over the oat mixture. Mix until well coated.
- Spread granola in the baking sheets.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking and stirring often to prevent burning (every 10-15 mins).
- In the meantime, scrub oranges and grate the orange for zest (use a microplaner, and don’t grate any of the white pith)
- Stir in zest and dried fruits. Store granola in a cool place.
- When kept in an airtight container (at room temperature), this can last for 2 weeks.
So here it is! I combined the previously made coconut banana bread and chocolate pudding to make this super trifle! We had a Christmas party, and I brought this along. This trifle scores more points as a fun dessert than an elegant one.
Since there wasn’t any baking involved in this trifle (other than the banana bread), this is 0.5 of a bake, which means I’m on my 10th bake! Woohoo.
- Banana bread
- 2 barely ripe bananas, sliced
- Chocolate pudding (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans/walnuts
- Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings/cocoa powder/raspberries for garnish
- Cut banana bread into bite-sized chunks; spread half of them over the bottom of a trifle bowl (or any deep glass serving bowl)
2. Cover with sliced bananas (pressing some against the glass), half of the chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, and pecans.
3. Top with remaining banana bread cubes and pudding.
4. Shake the bowl a little, so pudding spreads and oozes down between the layers.
5. Cover with plastic wrap, chill in fridge overnight.
6. Before serving, spoon/pipe whipped cream around the edge of bowl. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and raspberries. Or instead of the shaved chocolate, dust a very small amount of cocoa powder on top.
(adapted from The Girl Can’t Cook)
Today, I made a special banana bread. This may seem to you quite the ordinary banana bread. It’s special because no one is allowed to eat it right now. This banana bread is reserved to be used for something special later this week. Stay tuned!
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil
- 3 very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups/375 mL mashed)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup buttermilk/plain yogurt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan, and preheat oven to 350 F
- Combine sugar, butter/oil, bananas, eggs, and buttermilk/yogurt. You can do this in a food processor if you’d like. Process until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients. Combine well. Pour batter into buttered pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes (test with toothpick – the banana bread is done if toothpick comes out clean)
(adapted from the Girl Can’t Cook)
After a month of this challenge and baking up a buttery storm, I’ve decided to make something a little healthier this week. In this coconut carrot cupcake, there’s a ton of carrots! Maybe I’m not still over the orange-themed October month yet…
These cupcakes were super easy to make.
Recipe (modified from Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast):
- 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus some to coat pan if needed
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (I used the shredding disk of a food processor)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Spread 1 cup of the coconut on a baking sheet, toast in the oven until golden brown, for 5 minutes (watch this carefully; coconut browns really quickly!) Set aside to cool .
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, 1/3 cup oil, orange juice, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in baking powder and soda, allspice, salt. Add flour and mix. Finally, stir in the carrots, walnuts, and the remaining 1/4 cup coconut.
- Oil a standard muffin tin or line with paper liners; spoon and distribute battter evenly.
- Bake until toothpick/cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool, before frosting with the below cream cheese icing.
- Garnish with the reserved toasted coconut.
Cream Cheese Icing
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- In a mixing bowl, whisk (I used my hand-mixer) the cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
- Use immediately, or store in fridge in a container up to 5 days.
I had some leftover brown butter glaze from last week, which I froze. So I halved the above cream cheese icing recipe and used both the cream cheese icing and brown butter glaze for these cupcakes. Both are topped with the shredded coconut! Alternatively, you can leave them unfrosted/unglazed for a quick on-the-run breakfast item. There you go – coconut carrot cupcakes, 3 ways!
Coconut carrot cupcakes – 3 ways
PS: After sharing some of our goodies with a neighbor, we got some amazing blueberry pancakes in return. Yum!