Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bakers Delight

My first forays into cooking were always about baking, cookies, attempts at brownies and cakes (cupcakes even). They were always a need to feed my own sweet tooth and then slowly but surely I realized how much I enjoyed cooking as opposed to the precision of baking. Cooking requires far less precision, a dash of this and a pinch of that vs. the measured strictness of baking. Occasionally I still find myself baking, it's infrequent, mainly because I shouldn't be eating it as much as I wish I could, so when I can make my baking healthy I'm a happy girl. Two of my favorites taste bad for you but really aren't that bad with their whole wheat flour and oil alternatives.

Chocolate Banana Bread
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Applesauce
2 Eggs
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a loaf pan.
2. Cream sugar, applesauce and eggs. Add bananas and vanilla extract.
3. Sift/whisk together dry ingredients.
4. Gently fold dry and wet ingredients together. Add flax seeds, walnuts and chocolate chips.
5. Bake at 350F until the top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean (appx 45-50 minutes depending on how deep the loaf pan is).

Banana Caramel Muffins
2 Large Eggs
2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Mashed Bananas (2 Medium Bananas)
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Wheat Bran
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Diced Dulce De Leche (Goya makes a bar form of this but if you can't find it caramel chips would be fine)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Whisk eggs, banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and bran together
3. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add moist and dry ingredients together, mix well.
4. Stir in chocolate and caramel. Scoop into muffin wrappers in a muffin tin.
5. Bake 15-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

I have to apologize now, the photo isn't stellar, it was a cell phone camera pic.


Faith said...

banana caramel muffins sound HEAVENLY!

Kerstin said...

What great twists on traditional banana bread - I especially want to try the chocolate version!

Angie's Recipes said...

Both banana creations are fantastic! Besides using wholewheat, I love that you used flaxseed in banana bread too.

grace said...

how many banana bread recipes exist? more than one can count, that's for sure. this is the first time i've seen flax added--nice touch!

Mary said...

Both these recipes sound delicious. I'm relatively new to your blog and don't often comment but I wanted you to know I'm here and really enjoy the visits I make to your blog. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Chef Fresco said...

That banana bread looks amazing! I agree about baking vs. cooking. I've had lots of baking failures. =)