Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story


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Sometimes Perfection Just Needs to be Messed With:Chocolate Squared Banana Bread

One heaping cup of excellent quality unsweetened cocoa powder, three-fourths of a cup of bittersweet (70%) chocolate chips and two very ripe bananas.  Are you with me yet?  I should say so.

Truthfully, I am such a fan of my plain and simple chocolate chip banana bread recipe that I really never have seen the need to take it a step further and make it a double chocolate loaf.  I had the, “Why mess with perfection?,” mentality.

Silly, silly girl that I am.  Sometimes perfection just demands to be messed with. I am a professed chocoholic so why on EARTH I haven’t tried this recipe from Dorie Greenspan before is totally beyond comprehension.

Yet, here we are, with an insanely decadent (oh crap I used the most overused word on the food blogosphere tied only with delicious—I think this post might self-destruct.), chocolate squared, banana bread, and all I can ask myself is why I have waited so, so long to meet up with this bread; to make it, pinch off a bite as I walk by, slather it with peanut butter, or justifiably eat a slice for breakfast.  After all, it is banana bread…a perfectly legit breakfast, no?

Are you starting to get the idea that I am a bit obsessed with this bread? If so, then right on sister (or mister…sorry guys) because I have truly lost my mind for this bread, and I am sadly in the middle of trying to diet, eat more healthfully and generally shed a few inches before that damned bathing suit season is upon me.  But alas, I think I have thrown in the towel, waved the white flag, and have sheepishly walked away with my tail between my legs.

I have been beaten by this bread because I just can’t be separated from it.  Try using a crow bar—my daughter did and yet I am still stuck to it as we speak.   Maybe I should instruct you not to make it.  Maybe this post should have started with a warning, a huge highlighted disclaimer that shouts MOVE ALONG TO THE NEXT BLOG…OR READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!  Maybe…

Chocolate Squared Banana Bread
From, Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (good quality makes a huge difference)
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c. buttermilk (I did not have this and used 1/2 c. milk and 1/4 c. lowfat plain Greek yogurt…worked out GREAT!)
3/4 c. chocolate chips (Dorie recommends 1/2 c. but I went whole hog)

For the bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray coat a glass 9×5 inch loaf pan.  To prevent the bottom from over baking, place the loaf pan onto two cookie sheets stacked together.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk (Like I did) the flour through the baking soda.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until creamy.  Then, add the eggs and the mashed bananas and combine.

Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine on low speed until ingredients are mixed together.  Add 1/2 the buttermilk or milk and yogurt combination and combine on low.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and the buttermilk or milk and yogurt combination and mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.

Put the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes and then turn your oven down to 325 and finish baking for another 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is firm to the touch.

* Dorie recommends placing a “tent” of foil over the top for the first 30 minutes and then bake another 45 minutes…all at 350 degrees.  I did the above mentioned and it came out perfectly but to each his or her own. I like simplicity and keeping things fast and easy for me.


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A Parade of Easter Sweets

Whether you have big plans, little plans or no plans, you can whip up one of these spring-y sweets to help celebrate the day. I have rated these recipes based on difficulty and time needed so you can choose the one that fits into your life.

Braided Bread Stuffed with Lemon Curd. This soft, delicate, flaky filled bread is so tangy and sweet. It is really a perfectly beautiful bread to BRING to a brunch, one that you are not hosting and you are only responsible for ONE THING. Because this one is a solid 9/10  in difficulty level (maybe a 10…let’s not mince words) and is totally worth it if you have the time and energy.

Braided Sweet Bread

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A Tale of Two Irish Soda Breads (GF and AP Flour versions)

“Challenge Accepted!”, in true Barney style, was my answer when my mom asked me to bring a GF version of my semi-famous Irish Soda Bread to her St. Patrick’s Day Themed Sunday Dinner last year.

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A Parade of Christmas Cookies to Share and Enjoy

Ho, ho, ho…the holiday spirit has taken over my house as I prepare for my BIG DAY! Sunday is Cookie Delivery Day over here and I have been making TRIPLE BATCHES of most of these cookies you see here. I’ve been making double batches of my All Purpose Flour versions and one batch of my Gluten-Free flour versions so I am certainly a busy little elf.

I have provided you with a photo line-up of my cookies, and here is my Cookie Game Plan if you need that as well. Hope you are feeling rather festive yourself, and if not, just make a batch of one of these cookies, and that may just put you in the mood.

Make these…

Perfectly cheerful and spicy Gingerbread Cut Out Cookies

Gingerbread

 

Or melt-in-your-mouth Greek Crescent Cookies which are buttery, rich and the best pairing to a good cup of coffee EVER!

greek crescents

 

For the chocolate lover in your group, here are my Death By Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. If you are a chocoholic and they don’t rock your holiday world, feel free to file a complaint, get your money back and sue for damages because I am 100% certain they are ALL THAT.

Peppermint

 

 

These Orange and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rosemary may seem odd to you but they are honestly my most requested cookie (by adults!) at the holidays. They are tender, a bit chewy, citrus-y, and a hint of rosemary makes them special (in a good way).

Orange Rosemary

 

AND I add these two favorites from around the blogosphere…

Flourless Peanut Butter Blossoms from Recipe Girl. You would never, ever believe these cookies don’t have flour so they are naturally Gluten-Free and are so ridiculously simple to make. They are a hit every year!

Gluten-Free-Kiss-Cookies

A Recipe Girl Original Photo

 

And the new one that is making it to our Holiday Cookie Baskets are these crazy, crazy delicious Gluten-Free Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. We could not keep our hands of these…nor our mouths for that matter.

Let me know if you give any of these a go and please feel free to add a link to your favorite holiday cookie in the comments! Happy Holidays!

 


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A Christmas Cookie Gifts Game Plan and Ginger Crinkles (GF and AP Versions)

If you are on my Christmas Cookie box delivery list then lucky you, and if you aren’t, you may want to start sending some bribes my way. I always accept bribes, usually in the form of compliments; I am a total compliment whore. Yeah, that’s right, I said it and my previous PG rating for Sweet and Crumby (S&C for those cool kids in the know) just went down the tubes. Sigh.

ginger cookies

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Leftover Cranberry Sauce-d Bread Pudding {With Dark Chocolate and Brandy}

Raise your hand if you still have a few extra dinner rolls and some bright and tart cranberry sauce from the Big Day? Then you have most certainly come to the right place. I love homemade cranberry sauce, and eat it with gusto on Turkey day, BUT, somehow I always end up with a hefty Tupperware container of extra sauce and there are so many delicious ways you can use it. One doozy of a way to elevate this already bangin’ sauce and to finally use up those going stale dinner rolls is to make a dark chocolate and cranberry sauced bread pudding. There is nothing left-over feeling about this boozy and blinged out dessert and nothing will be going to waste in your kitchen.

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A Line-Up of Soups for those Blustery Days

Brrrr, are you all freezing out there? So sorry…I really have no clue what that is like since I am a bit chilly in sunny So. Cal. and I think the low is about 63 degrees Fahrenheit today. I know. I am a big baby. I’m spoiled…a California Girl through and through…although I don’t surf…but there’s still time yet.

If you need a little something cozy, comforting and warm to thaw you out, then dig into one of these hearty bowls of soup.

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup with a “How to” on creating your own soup recipes.

sausage and kale

Creamy, dreamy Spinach Soup gives you the strength to take on the week of cooking and shopping ahead.

new-spinach

Or how about my famous Sweet Potato Soup which has been given the honorary Kristy seal of approval.

Sweet Potato

Finally, don’t to be afraid to make my scary vampire red Heirloom Tomato Soup. It’s herby and begs to be dipped in by a crispy and gooey grilled cheese sandwich.

tomato soup

If you make one of these soups, you are sure to be warmer and toastier very soon. Happy almost Thanksgiving to all of those celebrating.

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