Sunday, February 24, 2008

banana bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (i don't really believe in nuts in bread, so i excluded these)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional, i never really do this part)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that's no mistake, it's typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve. (toasted banana bread is one of the most brilliant things i've ever heard of. so good!)

also, the top of my bread was getting too brown, so i'd place a piece of foil on top after about 45-50 minutes. this bread is so good cause of the crispy edges and soft and moist center (yes, i said moist, even though i loathe that word.) these pictures are from a time when i made this before and substituted toasted slivered almonds (finely chopped) for the pecans. i think i prefer my bread sans nuts. but that's just me.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

toll house pan cookies

whenever i make these, they are always a super-hit. i've been making these since high school and they are still my favorite basic chocolate chip recipe.

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375° Grease a 9x13" pan.
2. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
6. Stir in chocolate chips.
7. Spread into prepared pan.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

dutch apple pancake

so this doesn't fall in with any of your requests, which i will get to. for sure. but in the meantime, i wanted breakfast for dinner and this is what came out.

4 T. butter
2 medium apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
powdered sugar for dusting

preheat oven to 400° and butter a deep pie dish. in a frypan over medium heat, melt 2 T. butter. Add apple slices, cinnamon and sugar and sauté, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften and brown, 5-6 minutes; set aside. in a bowl, beat eggs with a whisk, add milk and beat mixture until blended. sift flour and salt into egg mixture and beat just until blended. melt remaining 2 T. butter, add to flour-egg mixture, adn beat until smooth. pour batter into prepared pan and arrange apples evenly over batter. bake until pancake is browned adn puffed up, 25-30 minutes. dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. serves 4.