Category Archives: banana

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana BreadNobody really needs more than one recipe for banana bread, but here I am anyway, posting a fourth.Chocolate Banana BreadYes, now you can go into my archives and make banana bread four ways: whole wheat with walnuts, topped with oat crumble, vegan and made with just one banana, and today’s chocolate version! Because who needs cinnamon and nuts when you can have dutch process cocoa powder and chocolate chips?!Chocolate Banana BreadThis loaf is everything you want in a banana bread—easy, no-mixer, moist, rich, intensely flavored—with a fudgy stickiness usually reserved for chocolate cake. But since it’s a quick bread, this is socially acceptable for consumption before noon. You’re welcome.Chocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana BreadThe rules for Chocolate Banana Bread are the same as with all my banana breads: use only the saddest of bananas and don’t stir the batter together more than 25 strokes. I’m serious—count your stirs aloud and stop at 25. The reason is simple: the more flour is stirred into liquid ingredients, the more its gluten forms. More gluten means tougher results. Rubbery banana bread? No, thank you! So, keep the stirring to 25 strokes and don’t be alarmed if there are a few floury streaks leftover; they’ll be long gone by the time your Chocolate Banana Bread comes out of the oven.Chocolate Banana BreadAnother quality this loaf shares with its cinnamon-spiked sisters? It’s good on day one, but unreal on day two. The chocolate and banana flavors combine and deepen overnight to create a near-brownie-like taste and texture that will have you going back for more! And since Chocolate Banana Bread has less sugar, oil, and flour than my other recipes, you can do that without thinking too hard.Chocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana BreadLove that ❤ Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread
makes one 9×5” loaf

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I like dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso granules (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhang on the long sides. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso granules, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs and oil until combined. Whisk in mashed bananas. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir the batter 10 strokes, making sure to scrape the side of the bowl. At ten strokes, pause and add the chocolate chips. Stir an additional 10-15 strokes.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before running a knife around the edge and using the parchment overhang to remove the bread to a rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Leftovers will keep tightly-wrapped at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.Chocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana Bread

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Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream PieOutdoor entertaining season is so close, I can taste it…and it tastes like Banana Cream Pie.Banana Cream PieCold and creamy, with a soft banana-scented filling and a crumbly, buttery Nilla Wafer crust—it’s basically everything that’s good about banana pudding, made from scratch and layered into a pie plate.Banana Cream PieThis pie is a little kitschy and very retro—the sort of dessert that everyone forgets they love until they are presented with it…and then they fall in love all over again.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieI defy you to find a warm weather occasion that can’t be improved by Banana Cream Pie.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieRooftop cookout? Banana Cream Pie for dessert. (Pro Tip: this is especially good on nights that involve fireworks.)

Birthday? Banana Cream Pie > cake. Well, most cake.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieBeach weekend? Don’t forget a box of Nilla Wafers.

Picnic in the park? If you can find a way to keep it cold, absolutely.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieNetflix and chill…and Banana Cream Pie.Banana Cream PieTrust me. This is a pie capable of winning you new friends.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieI mean, I don’t know about you, but if I come to a gathering and someone has made Banana Cream Pie, I want to find that person and make them my friend.

It’s always good to have friends that make pie.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream Pie
makes one 9-inch standard pie

Crust:
60 Nilla Wafers*
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced, divided
2 teaspoons lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), divided
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Nilla Wafers (optional)
banana slices (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make the crust. Place Nilla Wafers in the bowl of a food processor and process until no large pieces remain. Add light brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch standard pie plate and use clean hands to press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool it on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Thinly slice 1 banana and toss it in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Line the cooled crust with banana slices. Set aside.

In a medium-large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Whisking constantly, pour the milk into the dry ingredients. Continue to whisk until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low.

Whisk egg yolks with a fork. Remove 1/3 of the warm milk mixture from the pot. Whisking constantly, slowly pour milk mixture into the egg yolks until completely combined. Add egg yolk mixture to the pot and turn heat back up to medium-high. Continue to whisk until mixture boils for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla extract and butter. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Slice remaining banana and toss in remaining teaspoon of lemon juice. Arrange slices over the top of the filling. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, pressing so it adheres to the surface, and chill for at least four hours or overnight. Bananas will brown a bit.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Remove pie from refrigerator and top with whipped cream. Slice and serve pie, topping individual slices with Nilla Wafers and banana slices immediately before serving, if desired.

Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Note:

I use boxed Nilla Wafers for this recipe and recommend that you do, too. I have not tested this recipe with my homemade Vanilla Wafers. If you do, please let me know how it works out.

Banana Snickerdoodles

Banana SnickerdoodlesIn the last few weeks, I’ve been posting recipes I developed in my pre-blog days. It’s been way fun to revisit all the things I was making back then! And by “back then,” I mean four years ago 😛
Banana SnickerdoodlesI inadvertently started this little project when I posted some Oreo-Stuffed Peanut Butter Blondies last month. Then it was the Vanilla Malt Cookies from two weeks ago. I came home from a weekend trip to Boston (more on that soon!) to find a bunch of overripe bananas, so today is all about Banana Snickerdoodles 🙂
Banana SnickerdoodlesY’all, these cookies are as easy as they are delicious…and they’re really delicious. If you are into banana and cinnamon, you’ll love these rumpled beauties ❤
Banana SnickerdoodlesBanana SnickerdoodlesWe’re having a blizzard here in NYC, so it’s a great day to stay home and bake. You likely already have all the ingredients for this simple dough, with the exception of the overripe bananas. If you have any bananas at all though, you can give them a quick bake and they’ll be recipe-ready!
Banana SnickerdoodlesThe dough comes together in just a few minutes. You’ll notice there are no eggs in this recipe—adding them would make the cookies cakey, and I don’t go for cakey cookies. Let the dough chill for an hour; this will allow the butter to firm up and the cinnamon and banana flavors to meld.
Banana SnickerdoodlesBanana SnickerdoodlesWhen you’re ready to bake, roll the dough into balls and coat them in cinnamon-sugar. There’s already cinnamon in the dough, but they’re not snickerdoodles without the sweet, crispy coating!Banana Snickerdoodles
Banana SnickerdoodlesBanana Snickerdoodles bake up thick and chewy with big banana flavor and just enough cinnamon. You’ll dig the contrast of the soft centers and crispy edges, too. Trust me–you’re going to love these ❤ Banana Snickerdoodles

Banana Snickerdoodles
makes about 2.5 dozen cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 1/2 large bananas)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Coating
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars, followed by mashed banana and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing until completely combined.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Roll each dough ball in the coating mixture. Place dough balls at least 2.5 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 9-10 minutes, until puffy and no longer raw-looking. Let cool on pans for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat scooping, rolling, and baking with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Banana Snickerdoodles

Banana Pecan Sticky Buns

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re looking for holiday-appropriate treats, see here, here, here, and here. ❤

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsMy only issue with today’s recipe is that I wish it were easier to photograph. I don’t hate these photos, but they just don’t do these Banana Pecan Sticky Buns any sort of justice.

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsBut really, what prop or angle could? Banana Pecan Sticky Buns are everything that’s wonderful about banana bread rolled into cinnamon rolls, baked into a gooey pecan-studded butterscotch and, quite literally, flipped on their heads.

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsI can wax on and on about the soft pastry (my favorite sweet roll dough!), the buttery cinnamon-sugar filling, the toasted pecans, and the slivers of overripe banana.Banana Pecan Sticky Buns

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsBanana Pecan Sticky BunsI could really talk your ear off about the easiest butterscotch ever, flavored with dark brown sugar, honey, and vanilla, and topped with 1 1/2 cups of chopped toasted pecans.

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsAnd I can show you all sorts of prep photos, from slicing the rolls…

Banana Pecan Sticky Bunsto arranging them over the sticky butterscotch and pecans…

Banana Pecan Sticky Bunsto an hour later, when they’re soft and puffy…

Banana Pecan Sticky Bunsto when they’re golden and bubbly, fresh from the oven.

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsBut none of that can do justice to the moment the pan is inverted to reveal a dozen warm Banana Pecan Sticky Buns dripping with butterscotch and clustered pecans.

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsOr that moment when you take a bite and the combination of pastry, cinnamon, banana, pecan, and butterscotch is almost enough to make you cry. But not really. Banana Pecan Sticky BunsBanana Pecan Sticky Buns

(Although I’m not ruling out sticky bun-related spiritual experiences.)

Banana Pecan Sticky BunsBanana Pecan Sticky BunsI guess you’ll just have to make them for yourself. Then you’ll understand.Banana Pecan Sticky Buns

Banana Pecan Sticky Buns
makes 12 rolls

Topping:
2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup honey
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Dough:
1 3/4-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast)
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, beaten, room temperature

Filling:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (reserved from the topping)
2 medium bananas, very ripe, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 300F. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter. Set aside.

Make the topping. Place pecans on a dry baking sheet. Toast for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside 1/2 cup pecans for the filling.

Combine butter, dark brown sugar, whole milk, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir constantly while mixture boils for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared pan—it will seem thin. Tilt pan slightly to coat evenly. Scatter 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans evenly over the topping. Refrigerate full pan while you prepare the rolls.

Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat whole milk and butter until they reach 115F and are hot to the touch. Stir milk mixture into dry ingredients, followed by beaten egg and yolk. Stir in remaining flour in 2 tablespoon installments, just until a smooth, soft dough forms. Dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Knead dough on a floured surface for 5-6 minutes. Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Make the filling. In a small bowl, mash together softened butter, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon.

On a floured surface, roll dough into an 8×14-inch rectangle. Leaving a 1/2-inch perimeter around the rectangle, spread cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough. Scatter reserved 1/2 cup pecans and sliced bananas evenly over the top. Starting at the long edge furthest from you, roll the dough into a tight roll. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice 12 even rolls.

Remove pan with topping from the refrigerator. Place rolls close together over the top of the pecans. Cover pan loosely with foil and allow rolls to rise for 60-90 minutes in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375F. Uncover rolls and bake for 25-30 minutes, tenting with foil if anything begins to brown too quickly.

Let cooked rolls rest in the pan on a rack for 3 minutes. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan. Place a large serving plate upside down on top of the pan. Wearing oven mitts, tightly grab the plate and the pan and flip them over, inverting the rolls onto the plate. Remove pan. Nudge any leftover topping onto the rolls and smooth to distribute evenly. Serve warm.

Banana Pecan Sticky Buns are best the day they are made. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Banana Pecan Sticky Buns

Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsI planned to post this recipe a year ago. I can’t tell you why it didn’t happen–I had written the recipe and a whole post. All I had to do was take some photos and hit “publish,” but instead I just let the file get buried in the digital depths of my iPad, never to be seen again…

Whole Grain Banana Muffins…until two weeks ago. I was searching for these Whole Grain Banana-Chocolate Chip Bars, but this recipe caught my eye instead. Long story short, I’ve made these Whole Grain Banana Muffins twice since rediscovering them, and let me tell you: they are freaking delicious. I mean, most banana baked goods are–mashed banana just has a way of making things wonderful–but these muffins have a little something extra.

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsIt’s not some new product or anything. No, that’s not my style. There are no unusual ingredients in this recipe. Instead, its one little almost-no-effort step that makes these muffins truly spectacular:

Before you do anything else, spread the oats and walnuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in a 350F oven for 5-7 minutes.

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsYep, that’s it. That one little step is the difference between good muffins and great ones.

Whole Grain Banana MuffinsOther than that, this recipe is exactly what you’d expect. Mix together some dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and leaveners) and some wet ingredients (oil, eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and just 2/3 cup light brown sugar). Whisk it all together with exactly ten strokes of the bowl. Add the toasty oats and walnuts and use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold everything together for another 10 strokes. Throw in some chocolate chips if you like, and fold for another five strokes.Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Why do we need to count strokes of the batter? This keeps the gluten from over-developing and making the muffins tough. When the gluten in the flour meets the liquid ingredients, it’s activated, meaning it starts forming the bonds that give baked goods structure and texture. If we stir/fold too much, we’ll end up with tough, chewy muffins, and nobody wants that. For tender muffins, keep your mixing to a maximum of 25 strokes.

Divide the batter amongst about 16 prepared muffin cups and bake for 16-18 minutes. Then let them cool in the pans for about ten minutes before turning them out and digging in.

These Whole Grain Banana Muffins are much more than the sum of their parts, y’all. They’re soft, tender, not too sweet, and full of nutty whole grain goodness from the whole wheat flour and toasted oats. Oh, and of course there’s all sorts of good flavor from the mashed ripe bananas, toasted walnuts, and chocolate chips! That’s my kind of breakfast treat 💗Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Whole Grain Banana Muffins
makes about 16 standard muffins

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I like canola)
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a standard muffin tin or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Toast the oats and walnuts. Place oats and walnuts (if using) on a rimmed baking sheet and spread to cover the surface. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Do not burn. Place pan on a rack to cool a bit.

Make the muffin batter. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy (about 30-60 seconds). Whisk in light brown sugar, followed by oil, mashed bananas, and buttermilk. Add flour mixture and whisk 10 strokes. Add oats and nuts (which may still be warm) and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir an additional 10 strokes. Add optional chocolate chips and fold an additional 5 strokes. Batter may have a few small lumps.

Place about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin cup; they should be about 2/3 full. Place full pan in the oven and bake 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan for ten minutes until removing to a rack to cool completely.

Bake any remaining batter, filling any unused muffin cups halfway with water to keep the pan from warping.

Muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Note:

If you do not have buttermilk, you may make your own. Place 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice) in a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk up to the 1/2 cup mark. Let mixture sit for five minutes, until curdled. Proceed with recipe as written.

Whole Grain Banana Muffins