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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4 Comments

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.

IMG_0017

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6 Comments

Bait and Switch Delectable Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I am honest to a fault. Seriously to a fault. I always bring baked goods and then instantly blurt out ANYTHING minuscule that went awry, as if someone slipped truth serum into my coffee. My most recent admission was,..”I got wrapped up in watching re-runs of Chuck and may have left these muffins in a stitch too long.”

The pictures you see here, unfortunately, are from my last year’s post of my AP Flour pumpkin pancakes. My problem was that I kept making my delicious, fabulously soft, not gritty and very fluffy GF pumpkin pancakes and running out of time to take pictures. Life’s a bit of a bumpy ride for the moment at best (more like an unpaved road in a construction zone. See? Honest to a fault).

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12 Comments

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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14 Comments

Stumble Out of Bed Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffins {GF and AP Versions}

Do you have one eye open most mornings, trip over the dog as you shuffle to the kitchen and barely pour your waiting pre-programmed cup of coffee into your mug? Or, if you are like one of my best friends, she can’t even get that far into her morning without a pinch hitter. Her hubby brings her a first cup of the day in bed before she can even attempt to face her day. Yeah, there are men like that, or at least men who are smart enough to know what’s good for them. ;)

IMG_9975

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18 Comments

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 night.

IMG_0017

Continue reading

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