Banana Bread

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Given that it’s October and everyone is going pumpkin crazy, it may seem out of place to have this banana bread recipe on the blog.

Well, it’s confession time.  I’ve never really had a pumpkin dessert.

I am not even sure if I would like it.  For the first half of my life, I thought that I did not like pumpkin or sweet potato.  Blame mom for this one (Freud would of course agree on this).  She does not like any of those winter squashes, so for many years, I assumed the same.  How could I think otherwise when she would make her scrunched up nose face at the mere mention of sweet potato?

Well, I have since expanded past mom’s taste preferences and found that I like sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  I have just never gotten around to trying pumpkin yet, and I think my unconscious is still telling me to be wary of pumpkin treats.  Maybe this fall will be the time to break my pumpkin virginity (too weird?)

Putting it’s non-pumpkinness aside, you may have looked at this title and thought “Oh, just another recipe for banana bread”.  No, no.  This is the best banana bread I have eaten.  I also got several comments from people at how they loved this banana bread too, so it’s not just a fluke.  I made it back in August for mom and I to snack on during a plane ride, and we ate half a loaf within a 3 hour flight.  No shame.

This recipe comes from my friend Kelsey (who runs a fashion blog Brilliantly Styled that you should check out!) through her grandmother.  This is it- this is my go-to banana bread recipe.  Put in any add ins your heart desires.  In my batch I added walnuts and white chocolate chips, which was divine. I know you will love this banana bread as much as I did.

I am also open to anyone’s suggestions for my first pumpkin experience.  Any ideas?

BANANA BREAD
Adapted from Kelsey’ Grandmother

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 cups mix-ins (nuts, chocolate chips, etc)
4 eggs, room temperature and slightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and any mix ins you want to add.  Set aside

In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil and water.  Beat in eggs and bananas.  Add approximately 1/4 cup dry ingredients into the wet.  Mix until just combined.  Repeat with remaining dry ingredients.

Divide in 2 greased loaf pans, or 3 greased smaller loaf pans.  Bake for 55-70 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool completely.

Banana Split Pie: Improv Challenge

A little over a year ago, I went on a banana craze.  It all began innocently one night with a banana cream pie blizzard.  Normally I always stuck to my traditional choice of Reese’s blizzard when we visited DQ, but I was feeling adventurous and was enticed by the idea of soft serve ice cream mixed with pie crust and topped with whipped cream.  (Who else wants a blizzard now?)

With one bite, it was all over.  I wanted all food to have some kind of banana flavor: I ate banana tootsie pops, banana pancakes, banana cookies, banana bread, peanut butter on bananas, banana cream pie, banana pudding, and of course more banana cream blizzards.  Basically, I was banana crazy, a dark but delicious time.  Eventually, my dire need to eat bananas fizzled out, but my love for banana desserts has remained.

When I moved to Lubbock and began looking for apartments, I happened to stop by a little lunch place because I wanted a slice of pie before heading out of town.  I saw an amazing pie in the display: a banana split pie.  After almost passing it by, I ordered it in addition to my traditional favorite key lime pie after enlisting some help to eat both slices.  One of my top decisions.

This pie was a life changer: sweet, salty, and full of banana flavor.  The combination in this pie is better than the traditional form of banana splits.  I had to try making this myself, and after looking and not finding any recipes like the one I ate, I went to the drawing board to see what I could come up with myself.  This recipe is a little time intensive, but so worth it.  The flavors are dead on and perfect way for everyone, even those who don’t live in Lubbock, to have a little slice of Banana Split Pie.

I wonder if there is a record for the number of times having the word banana in a blog post.  I may be a contender for the title.

BANANA SPLIT PIE
From Cinnamon Freud
Banana Pastry Cream Slightly Adapted from Cooks Country
INGREDIENTS

For the Banana Pastry Cream:
2 bananas, 1/2 inch slices
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/2 cups half and half
6 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (about 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Crust:
1 cup crushed pretzels
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Pie Fillings:
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For Topping:
Chocolate shavings
Toasted walnuts, chopped
Maraschino cherries

DIRECTIONS

For the Banana Pastry Cream:

In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  Add bananas and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Add half and half and bring to a boil.  Boil for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let sit for 40 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt, and sugar together until smooth.  Whisk in cornstarch and nutmeg.  Pour banana liquid through a strainer into the bowl. Do not press on the bananas; discard bananas.

Whisk together and transfer to a clean medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until thickened like pudding, about 6-8 minutes, until mixture reaches 180°F while whisking constantly.  As the mixture thickens, clumps may form; whisk vigorously to prevent.  Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and 3 tablespoons butter.  Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill for at least one hour or overnight.

For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9 inch pie pan.

In a bowl mix together crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter.  Press into the bottom of the pie pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until fragrant.  Cool completely.

For the Pie Fillings:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat  Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter.  Add strawberries and pineapple, cooking for 4-5 minutes.  Add light brown sugar and cook for 4-5 minutes, until fruit has softened. Let cool.  Strain off any excess liquid.

In a large bowl beat heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until peaks stiffen slightly and mixture resembles whipped cream.  Set aside.

Whisk banana pastry cream slightly.  Spread onto pretzel crust.  Spoon fruit topping on top of pasty cream.  Pipe whipped cream on top.  Chill in fridge to set, at least 60 minutes. Garnish with chocolate shavings, toasted walnuts, and maraschino cherries.

Check out the other submissions for this month’s Improv Challenge for Bananas & Nutmeg at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker!

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Nutella Bananas Foster Nachos

Bananas foster is a rich, classic, and delicious dessert.  And it has the wow factor of all that fire when flambé it.  Knowing my tendency to burn myself even when not cooking with flames, I have never made anything a la flambé and was not about to on a random night when I was craving something sweet.  Instead, I decided to try to take Bananas Foster and put a new delicious (and safer) twist on them.  So how do you go about making bananas foster even better?  Is it even possible, you may ask?  One simple word: Nutella.

Nutella and bananas is a soul mate-level pairing- the two are just meant to be together.  And you and these nutella bananas foster nachos are meant to be together too.  Make yourself a nice big batch and settle in front of the TV for some trashy and wonderful reality television (I will take any kind of Housewives on Bravo) for maximum enjoyment.

 
NUTELLA BANANAS FOSTER NACHOS
INGREDIENTS

For the Cinnamon Pita Chips:
1-2 ounces pita chips
Olive oil, for brushing
1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Nachos:
1-2 bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon rum, optional
2-3 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped
2-3 tablespoons Nutella
Vanilla Ice Cream, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a baking sheet with pita chips in a single layer.  Lightly brush with olive oil.  Evenly season with sugar and cinnamon.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Keep warm.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add butter and brown sugar and cook until melted, about 1-2 minutes.  Add bananas and toss to coat.  Stir in rum if desired.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until bananas are warmed through but still firm.  Stir in toasted hazelnuts.

Warm nutella in microwave until you can drizzle over chips, about 30 seconds.  Drizzle nutella over pita chips.  Pour banana mixture on top.  Top with vanilla ice cream.  Devour.

Serves 1-2.

Banoffee Pie

Happy Pi(e) Day! (March 14 = 3.14)

I am not a huge fan of mathematics, but I do like pie so I had to celebrate this nerdy holiday.  I love pie so much that I couldn’t let such a tremendous holiday pass me by without making pie.  So a few weeks ago I began searching for the perfect pie recipe to celebrate this holiday.  Then, I promptly forgot about it.

Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment today and looked at the date.  Pi(e) day almost slipped past me completely!  So, I turned to a quick almost-no bake pie.  This entire dessert was thrown together in less than an hour and is a perfect way to use up some extra bananas.  A delicious dessert to squeeze in for one of my favorite holidays (let’s be honest any holiday that includes pie is going to be a favorite of mine).

BANOFFEE PIE
Slightly Adapted from Our Best Bites
INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
14 ounces dulce de leche
1 cup toffee pieces
2 bananas, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Press evenly into a 9 inch pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Spread dulce de leche into cool graham cracker crust.  Top with banana slices.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup toffee pieces.

In a large bowl, mix heavy cream and powdered sugar with a a hand mixer until soft peaks form.  In a separate large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add whipped cream to cream cheese mixture.  Mix until combined and fluffy.  Spread over pie.  Sprinkle with remaining toffee pieces.  Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.