Banana Bread

My little boy seriously loves fruit. I have to keep the fruit hidden at mealtimes until he is done eating other things otherwise he will only ask for fruit. Honestly, that is probably all he would eat if I let him. His favorites fruits to eat are strawberries and blueberries, or any other type of berry he can get his hands on. He never met a berry he didn’t like. I try to throw in other fruit, such as bananas, to mix things up, but he isn’t quite as enthusiastic about eating them. As a result, some of the bananas were looking a little sad and brown in the fruit bowl the other day. Since he was napping, I decided to make some banana bread.

I had never made banana bread before, so when I started making this recipe I was a little surprised with how many steps were involved. Looking at some other recipes after the fact, I realized this recipe is a little more complicated than other recipes. But it is definitely worth the effort because this banana bread turned out fantastic.

To get started, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Banana Bread from Cooks My Books

Place peeled bananas in a microwave safe bowl, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Use a paring knife to cut a few vent holes in the plastic. Microwave the bananas for about 5 minutes, so they will get soft and release some liquid. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and place it in a similar sized bowl. Pour the soft bananas into the strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let the bananas sit for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion, until ½ to ¾ cup of liquid has drained.

Pour banana liquid into a small pan. Boil over medium heat, stirring consistently, for about 5 minutes or until it has reduced by about half. Make sure to watch it because it can bubble over easily.

Stir reduced banana liquid back into the bananas, mashing the bananas until there are no large chunks.

Banana Bread from Cooks My Books

Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the banana mixture with the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.

Banana Bread from Cooks My Books

Add the flour mixture, and stir with a spatula until only some streaks of flour remain.

Add walnuts, if using. Mix until combined. I don’t like nuts in my baked goods, so I skipped this step.

Pour the banana bread batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the uncooked batter.

Banana Bread from Cooks My Books

Bake for 55 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.

Banana Bread from Cooks My Books

Remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

Banana Bread from Cooks My Books

Banana Bread

Category: Bread

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place peeled bananas in a microwave safe bowl, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Use a paring knife to cut a few vent holes in the plastic. Microwave the bananas for about 5 minutes, so they will get soft and release some liquid. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and place it in a similar sized bowl. Pour the soft bananas into the strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let the bananas sit for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion, until ½ to ¾ cup of liquid has drained.
  4. Pour banana liquid into a small pan. Boil over medium heat, stirring consistently, for about 5 minutes or until it has reduced by about half. Make sure to watch it because it can bubble over easily.
  5. Stir reduced banana liquid back into the bananas, mashing the bananas until there are no large chunks.
  6. Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the banana mixture with the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
  7. Add the flour mixture, and stir with a spatula until only some streaks of flour remain.
  8. Add walnuts, if using.
  9. Pour the banana bread batter into a greased loaf pan.
  10. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the uncooked batter.
  11. Bake for 55 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

Recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker

https://cooksmybooks.com/2018/03/05/banana-bread/

Sugar Cookies

Last year in early spring, we went to visit one of my sisters in Arizona. We had so much fun while we were there. We saw a road runner and butterflies while visiting the Botanical Gardens,  and soaked up some much needed sun at the pool. It was almost Easter, so as a fun treat my sister made some sugar cookies from a recipe that she had gotten from a family member on her husband’s side. They were so good that I asked for the recipe. With Valentine’s Day coming up in a few days, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share the recipe with the world.

First, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

Cream together the butter and sugar using a stand or hand mixer.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

Add eggs and extracts and beat until just combined.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix well.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

Scrap dough onto well-floured surface. Roll out thick.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

Cut desired shaped and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

Bake for 8 minutes, and then let cool on a wire rack.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

For the frosting: Cream the butter using a stand or hand mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

Reduce speed of mixer to low, and add the powdered sugar slowly. Mix until incorporated.

Add the vanilla and mix until combined, then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high for around 2 minutes, or until frosting becomes light and fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.

Frosting from Cooks My Books

Frost cookies and serve.

Sugar Cookies from Cooks My Books

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
    For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar using a stand or hand mixer.
  4. Add eggs and extracts and beat until just combined.
  5. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Scrap dough onto well-floured surface. Roll out thick.
  7. Cut desired shaped and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes, and then let cool on a wire rack.
  9. For the frosting: Cream the butter using a stand or hand mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  10. Reduce speed of mixer to low, and add the powdered sugar slowly. Mix until incorporated.
  11. Add the vanilla and mix until combined, then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high for around 2 minutes, or until frosting becomes light and fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.
  12. Frost cookies and serve.
https://cooksmybooks.com/2018/02/11/sugar-cookies/