Monday, April 6, 2009

Maryland Banana Bread

Here in Maryland, if you buy unripe bananas, they will never turn yellow. They go straight from green to brown. I have no idea what the problem is. This phenomenon has naturally led me to make a whole lot of banana bread with all my green-to-brown bananas. I thought it would be appropriate to name this version Maryland Banana Bread.

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 45-50 min. Oven: 325° Makes: 1 (LARGE) loaf

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup mashed strawberries (optional)

Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add eggs and bananas; beat well. Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (Technically you’re supposed to blend dry ingredients together first separately and then add to the rest, but I’m lazy and just throw them all in at once.) Mix just until moistened (overmixing causes tunnels). Add orange juice and mashed strawberries, if desired. Pour into greased 9”x 5” loaf pan. Bake at 325° for 45-50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove loaf and cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creamy Caramel-Pecan Rolls

From my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, 12th ed.

Prep: 25 min. Rise: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. Oven: 375° Makes: 24 rolls

1 ¼ cups sifted powdered sugar

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 16-oz. loaves frozen white bread dough or sweet roll dough, thawed

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

¾ cup raisins (optional) – (I used chocolate chips instead!)

1. Grease two 9x1 ½-inch round baking pans; set pans aside. For topping, in a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and whipping cream; divide evenly between prepared baking pans. Sprinkle pecans evenly over sugar mixture.

2. In another small bowl stir together brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll each loaf of dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. If desired, sprinkle with raisins/chocolate chips.

3. Roll up each rectangle starting from a long side. Seal seams. Slice each roll into 12 pieces. Place pieces, cut sides down, on topping in pans.

4. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 30 min.). Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick.

5. Bake in a 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown (if necessary, cover rolls with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning). Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully invert rolls onto a serving platter. Serve warm.