The Best Laid Plans of Bananas and Blogs
Sometimes we make plans. Many times sometimes they don’t work out.
Sometimes we buy bananas to make smoothies. Most times sometimes they simply sit on the counter and turn brown. Sometimes we plan to write blog posts. Sometimes we make excuses life gets in the way, and awesome blogs sit lonely and postless for an entire month!
Sometimes old, brown bananas and not-quite-forgotten blogs can come together in a revival post of anticlimactic epic proportions.
Disclaimer! I do not pretend these recipes are healthy. Actually, they are full of refined flower, sugar, and deliciousness. What are these recipes doing on a blog supposedly about healthy living and eating? I was hoping the clever intro and title intertwining forgotten bananas and forgotten blogs would distract you from that question. Hey, even health masochists need to cut themselves a little slack in moderation or not. If you’re truly hooked on healthy banana bread, you freaks can check out Skinnytaste.
Second disclaimer! I’m a lazy cook. I do not bake. I had to buy this entire counter full of ingredients before I even started this post. That’s right, we’ve lived in our apartment for 9 months without sugar. Due to my less than stellar culinary skills, these recipes have been modified to fit my own haphazard cooking style.
CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD from JoyofBaking.com
Best. Idea. Ever.
1 ¾ cup flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi-sweet. If you’re going to indulge, do it right!)
2 large eggs
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 bananas, mashed well
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9”x5” loaf pan with non-stick spray.
2. Mix the flower, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Obsessively check that you are not mixing up the baking powder and baking soda.
3. In a different bowl, combine bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
4. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mix) into the dry ingredients. Look up what fold means. Find out it’s just fancy stirring. Stir ingredients together until combined, but still thick and chunky.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Dump batter into prepared pan and attempt to sprinkle brown sugar on the top. Get ticked when the brown sugar refuses to sprinkle and simply falls in clumps. Give up.
7. Bake on center rack until you cannot stand the chocolatey baking smell, and a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about one hour.
8. Place on wire rack and stare at the loaf until it cools enough to remove from pan.
9. Eat just one piece. Then just one more piece. Then your last piece. Then only one more.
10. Repeat step 9 until you realize half the loaf is gone.
BANANAS FOSTER BANANA BREAD by Brown Eyed Baker
I admit, this recipe is insane ambitious for a cook of my pathetic talents. But I figured if I was trying Suzy Homemaker, I might as well go the full Martha. Enter my attempt at a recipe as complicated as a contortionist yoga pose, but almost worth all the work.
For the Bread:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
For the Streusel Topping:
1½ cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
For the Rum Glaze:
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 small bottle of rum
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9”x5” loaf pan with non-stick spray
2. Realize you only bought 1/3 of the chopped walnuts required for the delightful streusel topping. Seriously consider making the recipe with 1/3 of the walnuts. Cuss. Drive to nearby Aldi to buy chopped walnuts. Cuss again when you realize Aldi only sells halved walnuts. Drive home and cuss continuously while chopping a cup of walnuts.
3. Take a shot of rum.
4. Dump ingredients for streusel topping into a bowl and combine with fingers until butter is evenly distributed. Take a shot of rum. Lick fingers clean.
5. In a different bowl, mix flour, baking soda and baking powder.
6. In yet another bowl, combine sugar and vegetable oil with electric mixer. Add eggs and beat. Add mashed bananas and vanilla extract and beat. Wonder why the recipe has to be complicated and require “alternatively add[ing] the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour.” Dump in half the flour and beat. Dump in milk and remaining flour. Beat.
7. Take a swig of rum.
8. Spread batter into loaf pan. Scatter streusel topping evenly over the top. Bake until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean, about one hour.
9. Take a shot of rum.
10. To make rum glaze, dump the butter, water and sugar in a pan over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup rum. Cover to keep warm.
11. After one hour, wonder why a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out gooey. Shrug and assume that since the recipe calls for one hour, the bread is probably done. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
12. Using the butter knife, poke holes all over the top of the loaf. Spoon half of the rum glaze over the bread. Let the loaf sit for five minutes and spoon the remaining glaze over it.
13. Take a shot of rum.
14. Wonder why the rum is gone. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.
15. Marvel at the sheer amazing, sugary eminence of eating this bread still warm.
16. Days later, when you finally cut into the center of the loaf, realize that the butter knife came out gooey because the center was not fully cooked.
If you’ve made it this far in this ridiculous run-on of a post, well, wow. You have more dedication than I thought possible.
Do you have any amazing banana bread or other bread or any baking recipes to share? Turns out I now have a lot of flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder to use up… What do you think of the hugely-long come-back post? Did you miss me? Even notice I had disappeared? I knew you hadn’t…