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Archive for the ‘Breads – Quick & Muffins’ Category

When it comes to comfort food I’m typically an ice cream girl.  That pretty much cures whatever the current ailment seems to be. Why can’t carrot sticks or mixed greens be my go-to for comfort?

Last week I had a friend in definite need of some comfort food and her request was banana nut muffins.  Wow, she picked a good food for comfort.

I love a delicious recipe that can be put together with basic pantry items.  Sometimes you just need to bake up a little something, like I did last week, but don’t want to head off to the grocery store one more time.

Those ripening bananas are begging you to use them in this recipe!  Whether you need a little comfort or just a little something sweet, these are worth a try.
Oh, and I’m curious, what’s your go-to food for comfort?

Banana Nut Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Allrecipes

printer friendly recipe

For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional but you would be crazy to leave them out!)

For the topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted (again, optional)

Heat oven to 375.  Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, cinnamon and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in the pecans.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add in chopped pecans.  Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

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I haven’t seen my Uncle Dennis (but we call him Denny) in years, but he’s got a winning pancake recipe that makes me think of him often.  Years ago he cooked up some of these wonders when we all gathered in remote Ely, Nevada for my grandmother’s funeral.  They were a hit with all of us, and my family has been making this recipe ever since.

My mom likes to add in bananas, Dad likes blueberries, and  my dear friend Heather always threw in chocolate chips when we made them in college.  I prefer to pour batter on the hot griddle and then add something in, rather than mixing it into the batter in the bowl.  But that’s just me.


We even made Uncle Denny’s pancakes while camping in Tahoe by mixing all of the dry ingredients together at home and then packing the butter, eggs and buttermilk in the cooler.

Just recently I substituted one cup of whole wheat flour for the all-purpose, white flour, and I dare say that the pancakes turned out even better.  Uncle Denny’s recipe doesn’t call for vanilla extract, but isn’t just about everything more tasty with a little vanilla?

The rise time for pancakes is what really makes them light.  Try to give the batter at least ten minutes, and if you’ve got twenty, well, that’s even better!

One more thing: if you’ve got left over pancakes, listen up!  Instead of tossing them into the trash like frisbees, put a little butter and syrup on them, let that soak in and then place the pancakes into a Ziploc bag.  They can hang out in your freezer until ready to eat.  At that point, they’ll need maybe 20 seconds in the microwave and then finish off in the toaster.  WAY better (and healthier and cheaper) than anything Eggo or anybody else makes, that’s for sure!

Uncle Denny’s Pancakes
printer friendly recipe

2 cups of all-purpose flour (or substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs lightly and whisk in buttermilk, butter and vanilla.  Combine with dry ingredients.  Mix only until moist.  Let rise 10-15 minutes.

Cook on griddle or frying pan.

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These were good — and I’m not even much of a butterscotch fan.  But I can always be won over with a little maple syrup, which is delciously drizzled on the top.

If you don’t have the dried apples to finish off this muffin, don’t pass on baking some up.  They’re the perfect way to start the morning, or really, snack on any time of the day!

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Muffins
adapted from Sugar Plum

printer-friendly version

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
8 tbsp. butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
¾ cup butterscotch chips
¾ cup chopped apples
⅓  cup pecans, chopped (and preferably toasted)

For topping (optional):
Dried apple slices
Maple syrup
Granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Line the wells of two muffin pans with paper liners (about 18 liners total).  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir in the oats.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating just until incorporated.  Fold in the butterscotch chips, apples, and toasted pecans with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.  If desired, press a dried apple slice into the top of the batter in each cup.  Drizzle lightly with maple syrup and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe will make about 18 muffins.

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If you’re anything like me, periodically you end up with a few over ripe bananas that just didn’t get eaten in time. In my kitchen it happens a little more often than I’d like, that’s for sure.

That usually motivates me to bake those soft, brown, inedible-as-they-are bananas into SOMEthing. I’ve tried cakes, bars, breads. I’ve mixed in spices, nuts, coconut, and chocolate — not all in one recipe, of course.

Some tasty banana treats have been created, but I always go back to basic banana bread as my favorite.

This recipe is my mom’s. She’s been baking it for years, probably before I was born. It never disappoints and is a basic, but sure success.  You’ll love it warm, just out of the oven, but if you can exercise a little self control, it will be even better the next day!

Banana Nut Bread
printer friendly recipe

4 eggs
5 ripe bananas
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped (and optional, of course)

In a large bowl beat the eggs until thick. Add the bananas one at a time and beat until smooth and liquid.

In a second bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg-banana mixture. Sift the flour with baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts.

Bake in two well greased loaf pans for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (I actually like to underbake these loaves just a tiny bit so the center is just a little soft. Do what you like!)

Cool for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out onto racks to cool.

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No, I have not disappeared completely from blogging.

Yes, I have been baking…without posting the results.

Part of that is pregnancy laziness, busyness and the other part is because I’ve been going back to some of my old favorites and making what I already know I LOVE — um, and crave.  There are plenty of delicious fall sweet treats to indulge in, that’s for sure!

So, to save you from searching through the blog for something seasonally appropriate, here are a few of my fall favorites:

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD…Make it in big loaves or lots of little ones to share with your friends!

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS…almost like the bread, but different enough to try as well.  I’ve already made three double batches of this in the past month and wherever it goes, it GOES fast!  Another double batch is going to the Halloween party at church on Saturday.  These are a MUST bake.
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APPLE PIE BARS…I took these to a friend’s baby shower not long ago and they were a hit.  Think apple pie without all the work.  Definitely treat it as apple pie though and serve warm with plenty of vanilla ice cream!

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CARAMEL APPLE BARS…Definitely different than the other apple bars, but if you love that heavenly combination of apple and caramel as much as I do, this recipe is definitely for you.

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PUMPKIN SPICE BUNDT CAKE WITH BUTTERMILK ICING…Yum.  Make it a day in advance and it will taste even better the next day.

 

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Do your family or anybody else who gets to eat your treats a favor: warm up your oven, soften your butter and at least pick one.  You’ll love whatever you choose!

My list of recipes to try is growing faster than I can keep up with!  Hopefully I’ll get to at least one or two before fall turns into winter.   Maternity leave can’t come soon enough!

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If you’re looking for a quick bread, something that doesn’t take a lot of time and is so reminiscent of coffee cake, and a little bit of cinnamon roll too, give this a try. I love to make it in little loaves. They make such great gifts for friends!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

printer friendly recipe

Ingredients:
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg
* 1 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/3 cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 loaf pan (or little loaf pans — my favorite!) Combine 1/3 cup of sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat egg. Then, stir in milk, vanilla and oil. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Stir just until mixed. Do not over mix.

Pour half of the batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Repeat. With a wide rubber scraper or spatula, swirl mixtures together with a down and up circular motion.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until done, less time if you have little loaves. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Then, cool completely on a wire rack.

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About once a year Kristen over at Dine and Dish coordinates this awesome project, called Adopt-a-Blogger, where a new food blogger is partnered up with a veteran. What a perfect opportunity to talk with and get some advice on how to improve and enhance what I do here on Double Batch!

Well, I submitted my name and got me a mentor! Kris over at What’s Cooking? is awesome. We’re both busy, but in the time we’ve had to talk and email I’ve really gained some insightful and helpful information from her.

Check this out: we’re both in Northern California, she’s got an adorable daughter in third grade and I teach third grade AND, Kris has spent her fair share of time at one of my favorite S.F. restaurants, Houston’s. It was meant to be!

DEFINITELY go check out Kris’s blog. I like it because it’s a perfect blend of recommendations for food and recipes combined with events and highlights of her every day life. Oh, and I love that she’s all about sharing her baking disasters right along with the successes!

Speaking of baking success, thanks to Kris I have found the all time best muffin recipe ever. After the first bite, Nate declared that this was not a ‘make it once’ recipe. I have to agree. I’d venture to say that even my sweet sister who hates bananas might just have a change of heart after a bite or two. Well, maybe…

Get some bananas ripening on your counter because this is one recipe you definitely want to make…and should freeze the extras for later.  And, hurry up and visit What’s Cooking?. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Banana Crunch Muffins
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, and recommended by What’s Cooking?

printer-friendly version

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced pecans (toast them for extra flavor!)
1 cup granola (I used a vanilla almond variety)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Line about 20 regular sized muffin cups with paper liners. Definitely use liners. Just greasing the muffin cups won’t be enough for this recipes.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don’t overmix.

Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.

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