Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lovin' From the Oven!

     Today is a baking post, not a crafty post! I thought I'd change it up a little bit. I was on a baking kick last week! My oven got a good workout. I love having the freezer stocked with goodies to grab for the kids' lunches. Plus, if it is in the freezer, then I don't eat it. :) I thought I'd share with you, the three recipes that I baked!

     The first item I baked was a recipe that I got online called "Strawberry Banana Bread".
I was unsure how strawberries would bake up in bread. I was worried that they'd get a bit mushy. I think the key to success with this one is to not leave the them in too big of chunks. I sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar on the top before baking it and as you can see, I got a nice crispy top! The kids loved this one. It doesn't taste very banana-y though. Even my oldest who detests bananas was able to eat this one!
 Strawberry Banana Bread
1/2 c. shortening (or part butter)
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or whole strawberries, sliced
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Cream shortening and butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time beating until fluffy. Add vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and slowly add to creamed mixture. Fold strawberries and bananas into batter and add nuts.Pour into loaf pans that have been greased and floured and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (large loaf) or 40 to 50 minutes for 3 small loaf pans. Loaves should be nicely browned. Enjoy!!
     The next thing I baked was Brown Sugar Banana Bread. Again, I found this one online and I even went out and bought very ripe bananas just to make it. It was worth it!

I was interesting in seeing how the brown sugar added to the recipe made a difference. Particularly since I love brown sugar! It gave it a great flavor and again, made it have a nice top crust on it as well. 
Brown Sugar Banana Bread 
4 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. 
 Place the bananas into a large plastic zipper bag, seal the bag, and smoosh the bananas with your fingers until very well mashed. (Note: I have never thought of doing this and I think it is a genius idea!!) Set the bananas aside. Place the brown sugar and butter into a mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut a corner from the plastic bag, and squeeze the mashed bananas into the bowl of brown sugar mixture. With the electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the bananas, egg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk until the mixture is well combined. Switch the mixer to low speed, and gradually beat in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt just until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. 
Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the bread is set and lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean.
     And lastly, I made my favorite blueberry muffin recipe after a friend asked for a good recipe. I had kind of forgotten about it after making it the last time so I was happy to pull it out again and bake a dozen! This one is from an old cookbook that I got 10+ years ago titled Goodness Gracious.
This one is also an award winner at my local county fair. I can't remember if it got a first or second place ribbon. I do remember however, that it is delicious! The batter is very thick for these muffins so if you bake them, be careful to not squish the berries! Or, just hand place each berry in like I do for the fair!
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces yogurt (I use lemon or vanilla)
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 400º. Grease twelve muffin cups, or use liners. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, stir together the yogurt, butter, egg, lemon zest and vanilla until blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yogurt mixture. Stir just to combine. Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter into cups and sprinkle lightly with a little sugar. Bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the tin before removing to rack. Makes 12.
     If you decide to bake any of these recipes, please let me know how they turn out! And, if you have any recipes that you'd like to share, please feel free to link it up in the comments below. I LOVE to bake new things. Now, if only I liked to cook as much as I liked to bake...
Until next time!

Scrap (and Bake!) Happy~

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