Gone Bananas: 7 Ways to Transform Those Brown Ones on Your Counter


 

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In the life of a banana, the time between “perfectly ripe” and “overripe” can be but a fleeting moment. That’s why God invented banana bread. But that’s just the beginning! Transform your past-prime fruit into first-rate muffins, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, waffles, and more.

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Banana-Chocolate Bread

Chocolate chunks add a touch of luxury to the workaday loaf. We like the variety of sizes we get from chopping: Tiny bits of chocolate flavor the bread beautifully, while larger ones provide big hits of deliciousness.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (3 to 4)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Cook‘s Note

Store tightly wrapped in plastic, up to 3 days, or freeze, up to 3 months.

Chopped or Chips?
For this loaf, we like the variety of sizes we get from chopping. Tiny bits of chocolate flavor the bread beautifully, while larger ones provide big hits of deliciousness.

Kitchen Tip
If your bananas aren’t quite ripe enough, put them in a 300-degree oven, unpeeled, for 15 minutes to soften.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Beat in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture and chocolate on medium. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

4. Let bread cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

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Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 In one batch of hearty cookies, find the flavors of two bakery classics: chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. Chopped walnuts and rolled oats add texture and more layers of taste.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces), toasted

Cook’s Note

Use a ripe banana, which has more concentrated flavor than an unripe one.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.

 

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Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins

Shredded zucchini, ripe banana, and ground flaxseed dial up the nutrition factor in these moist muffins.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from 1 large zucchini)
1/3 cup mashed ripe banana (from 1 large banana)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cook‘s Note

Fresh zucchini and ripe banana add moisture to these muffins, ensuring they are soft and tender but low in fat.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add zucchini and banana and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined (do not overmix).

2. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let muffins cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

 

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Banana Whoopie Pies

 These golden-edged banana cookies stuffed with cream-cheese frosting unite two favorites — whoopie pie and moist banana cake — in an immensely satisfying revival.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed banana (from 1 large ripe banana)
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners‘ sugar, plus more for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Combine banana and sour cream in another bowl.

2. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed, until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until incorporated. Add banana mixture in 2 additions, alternating with flour mixture.

3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe batter into 1 1/4-inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing rounds 1 1/2 inches apart.

4. Bake until edges are golden, about 12 minutes. Slide parchment, with cookies, onto wire racks. Let cool. (Unfilled cookies can be stored for up to 1 day.)

5. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

6. Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto the flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.

 

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Healthy Morning Muffins

Banana shares the spotlight with carrots, raisins, and oats in these hearty, low-fat muffins.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed

Cook’s Note

To store, keep in an airtight container up to 3 days.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in oats and raisins. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots, and banana and stir until blended.

2. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.

 

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Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

 For a handheld treat that takes the cake, try these cute confections — they combine the flavor of classic banana bread with a creamy spiced frosting.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.

 

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Banana-Raisin Bread Pudding

Custardy, comforting bread pudding gets an added dose of sweetness from chunks of banana.

Butter, room temperature, for baking dish
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
12 ounces challah bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3 bananas, sliced 1 inch think on the diagonal
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack set in lower third. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar until combined; whisk in milk. Add bread, bananas, and raisins; toss gently to combine. Set aside to let bread absorb liquid, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of bread pudding comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Source

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies


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Ingredients
1 can seamless crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

How to Make
1.With your hand mixer, beat sugar, cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth in a medium sized bowl.
2.Unroll the crescent roll sheet. Stretch dough out slightly. It should be in the shape of a rectangle.
3.Spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the crescent sheet, leaving a gap at the edge about 1/2 inch.
4.Sprinkle your chocolate chips on top of cream cheese.
5.Roll the crescent sheet up tightly and wrap in cling wrap.
6.Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
7.When chilled preheat oven to 350°.
8.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
9.Slice the crescent roll into 1/4″ slices. Bake on prepared cookie sheet for 12 -14 minutes until crescent roll appears golden brown.
10.Transfer to wire rack.
11.Eat warm or room temperature.

For more Awesome Cookie recipes CLICK

 

Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole


Wow, am I behind in blogging! Sorry, but life has been really at me lately! Lots of issues to work through…ugh…
However, I thought I would share a recipe with you all today that we tried last night. I found it on…yep…you guessed it…Pinterest 🙂
It’s called Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole and Pinterest got it from over at Simmer for 10.
It was delish!

Casserole

1 pckg of steam n’ mash potatoes
1 lb ground beef
3/4 c onion, finely chopped
1/3 c Italian bread crumbs
1/4 c Sweet Baby Rays original bbq sauce
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 c evaporated milk
1 tbsp butter
1 c crumbled bacon (I used real bacon bits)
1/3 cup crispy fried onions, crumbled
2/3 c shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.  In a bowl, combine the beef, onion, breadcrumbs, bbq sauce, egg, chili powder and salt until mixed well.  Press into the bottom of the baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.  Pour of the excess fat.  Adjust the oven to broil and place oven rack 6-8″ from heat source.

Meanwhile, microwave the potatoes according to package instructions. In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, butter and evaporated milk with a mixer until smooth.  Stir in bacon and fried onions.  Spread evenly on top of beef mixtures and sprinkle with cheese.

Broil for about 5 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.

This serves about 6 people.  Delicious.

 

Pumpkin Pecan Dessert {in a jar}


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1 can (15oz) pumpkin

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 (or 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon allspice)

1 boxed cake mix (white or yellow cake)

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3/4 cup butter, melted

whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions ~

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F

2.  In a large bowl add the first 5 ingredients, and whisk together until fully combined.

If you’re making one 9″ x 13″ dish of dessert….

3.  Spray dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Pour pumpkin mixture into 9″ x 13″ dish.

5.  Sprinkle cake mix (dry) onto of pumpkin layer.

6.  Then sprinkle chopped pecans all over.

7.  Pour melted butter over top.

8.  Bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and dessert is a nice golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

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If you’re making this dessert in jars….

3.  Lightly spray 12, wide mouth 1/2 pint jars with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Use a measuring cup to put about 1/2 cup pumpkin mixture into each jar.

5.  Sprinkle two rounded tablespoon of dry cake mix on top of pumpkin layer, in each jar.

6.  Then sprinkle on one rounded tablespoon of chopped pecans in each jar.

7.  Pour one tablespoon of melted butter on top (of each jar).

8.  Bake jars on a large baking sheet (so they are easy to put in and out of the oven) for about 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of a jar comes out clean, and dessert is golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  When I baked mine using these measurements they filled the jars fully when baked, and as they cooled they shrunk down just a bit, a perfect amount of space to close the jar.

Before serving, top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This dessert is equally delicious the next day.

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker, Holiday Recipes booklet, 2000.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake


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Here’s a good recipe to save for the holidays. ( or any day)
It looks wonderful!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan).

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake).

Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggle. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not over beat).

Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting.

Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired. I recommend white chocolate shavings

Source

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