100 Days Project, Baking, Breads, Cakes, Desert, Recipes, Uncategorized

Day 39 – Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Day39

There is a Facebook group called Baking Our Blues Away, that has declared Monday July 15th , 2013 as an international day of baking goodwill.

The idea is simple . . .  “everyone is encouraged to take a moment and give someone they know or don’t know, be it a loved one, a work colleague or perhaps a stranger on the street, a bit of baked or handmade love.”  I have browning bananas in my fruit bowl just asking to be made into banana bread, and so in honor of this, today I am baking this Peanut Butter Banana Bread recipe, which I found on the Sweet Pea’s Kitchen blog but originally comes from Cooking Light magazine.

PicsI can not imagine a better combination than peanut butter and banana. Being an American, I grew up on peanut butter, but I know most Kiwis are brought up on and are more partial to Vegemite or Marmite (for the uninitiated they are very different things and you must have a preference for one or the other).  Sadly, When I moved to New Zealand could not find anything on the grocery store shelves that tasted remotely like I expected peanut butter to taste like. They were all too sweet and sugary with chemical artificial sweeteners, and you could not taste any real peanut in them. Thank goodness for Pics Peanut Butter!!! I only discovered this peanut butter, made in the Nelson region, after being here for over 2 years. It used to only be sold at the Nelson weekend markets, and I was visiting a friend who had moved down the line. Honestly for the last 4 years, Pics has been the only peanut butter I will buy, and until someone can convince me there is another acceptable alternative, I will continue to be forever grateful to Mr. Pic.

So even though it is no longer July 15th, try baking something to share with others. In my experience from this 100 Days Project, where I have been sharing most of what I have been making, it makes you feel good and brings a smile to someone else’s face.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

adapted from: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen and Cooking Light

INGREDIENTS

For the Bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy depending on your preference
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed or ground almonds
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts

For the Peanut Butter Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F.
Grease bottom and sides of a loaf pan and dust with flour.

In a large bowl , beat together the bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, butter and eggs at medium speed until combined. Add sugars and beat until blended.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed/ground almond, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add the dry ingredients to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts, and then scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula.

Bake until top is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

To make the peanut butter glaze: In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk and peanut butter until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread. Make sure it is completely cool when you do this, or you will wind up with a runny mess, like I did on my first attempt.

ENJOY!!

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Food

It turns out there is an Australian Face Book group of foodies called Baking Our Blues Away dedicated to helping beat the winter blues by creating an annual day of goodwill.

On Monday 15th July 2013, everyone anywhere in the world is encouraged to take a moment and give someone they know or don’t know, be it a loved one, a work colleague or perhaps a stranger on the street, a bit of baked or handmade love.

Personally I think this is a fantastic idea!!

Come on Herbivores . . . Who wants to bake with me on Monday!?!

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100 Days Project, Baking, Breads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 20 – Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

Day20

Now I like my gluten as much as the next person, but more and more people are finding they are fully Coeliac, have some sort of intolerance to gluten, or that eating less gluten makes them feel better on a day to day basis.

Personally, I fall into that last category. I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease same as Coeliac disease. Studies have shown the same allergic reaction that causes the stomach to react to gluten causes antigens to form in the blood stream that may case swelling in joints, especially areas already weakened by arthritis. The simple version of this is that i have less swelling and pain in my joints when I eat less gluten. I also tend to feel more clear headed and have more energy.

I am going to a dinner party tomorrow night, where I know there will be other people who do not eat gluten, so I decided to make these Gluten Free Dinner Rolls, which is a recipe from my favorite gluten free resource: Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess. Her recipes for gluten free goodies always come out tasty, and although I have not tried this recipe, I am confident that it will make something yummy for me to bring along to the dinner party.

From Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess I have learned the key to gluten free baking is Xantham Gum. Produced by a bacteria grown through fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactoseis, Xantham gum is commonly used as a food additive or thickening agent. In gluten free baking it works as a binding agent replacing that natural property found in gluten.

this recipe provides for Vegan substitutions making these dinner rolls a perfect accompaniment to the Vegan/Gluten Free Split Pea Soup recipe in my Day 19 post.

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

by: Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess

MAKES: 12 Bread Rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sorghum flour- aka jowar flour
  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1/2 cup millet flour or brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup GF buckwheat flour or GF millet flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour or almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm liquid (3/4 cup dairy  or non-dairy milk plus 3/4 cup hot water)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 free-range local organic eggs, beaten or Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or rice vinegar

Turn your oven on and off briefly to warm it. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and sprinkle the cups with GF flour; set it aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients.  Then add in the wet ingredients and beat until a thick batter forms. This bread dough is not puffy and stretchy like wheat-based dough, it is more akin to a sturdy muffin batter. Beat until smooth.

Spoon the bread dough into the twelve greased and floured cups. Even out the tops using wet fingers or the back of a wet tablespoon. Place the pan in the center of the warmed oven to let the dough rise.

Set your timer for 50 minutes. At 50 minutes, turn your oven to 350ºF. (It should come to temperature within a few minutes.)

Bake until the rolls are golden and firm- about 22 minutes. Thump them with a fingertip- they should sound hollow. Note: If your oven is slow to heat, you may have to bake the rolls longer to cook all the way through.

When the rolls are done baking, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool a bit. Using a thin knife, loosen the edges of the rolls from the pan and ease the rolls out. They are tender when warm.

Serve immediately with butter or vegan substitute.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Baking, Cookies, Desert, Recipes

Day 12 – Snickerdoodle Cookies

Day12

Who wants a late night snack?

I actually really love baking at night. It is a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening. Plus, when finished, you have a sweet treat to go with a bedtime cup of tea, and something yummy to look forward to eating and sharing the next day (or even take over to a friend’s house for a late night cookie delivery).

Snickerdoodles are a cinnamon and sugar shortbread American classic.  If I remember correctly, they are one of the first things I ever learned for to bake myself. Although I probably have not made them is close to 20 years,  I was recently reminded of how much I enjoy Snickerdoodles when Moustache (the cookie bar in Auckland CBD) opened last year, and they had them on offer. So . . . I decided to look up a recipe for Snickerdoodles and added it to my must make soon recipe folder on my computer that I am trying to work my way through during this 100 Days Project challenge.

For the sake of this posting and pure curiosity, I tried looking up where the name Snickerdoodle came from. The best answer of course came from Wikipedia: ” The Joy of Cooking claims that Snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln (snail noodles), a kind of pastry.  It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.”  Personally, I prefer the second explanation.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

by: Baking Makes Things Better

INGREDIENTS

Cookies:

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Coating:

  • ⅓ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 190°C and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with
parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with a hand mixer, or with a good ‘ol fashioned wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar until smooth

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add in the vanilla extract.

Add the butter/sugar mixture and the flour mixture together and beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is soft, cover and
refrigerate until firm.

Shape the dough into 2.5 cm or 1.5 inch round balls.

To coat:

In a large shallow bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place on the prepared pan, spacing about 5 cm
apart. Then, using the bottom of a glass, gently flatten each cookie to about 1.5 cm thick.

Bake the cookies for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until they are light golden brown and firm around the edges. The centres of the cookies will still be a little soft. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Baking, Muffins, Recipes

Day 8 – Wholewheat & Millet Muffins

Day8

Today I realized with shock that I had not done any baking for you yet . . . so to celebrate making it through Week 1 of the 100 Days Project, I made these lovely Wholewheat and Millet Muffins.

The recipe comes from Heidi Swanson’s amazing cookbook Super Natural Everyday, that specializes in teaching people how to use veggies, grains, and pulses in ways that will get the most out of the ingredient’s nutritional value. Plus, all the recipes tend to be quite yummy.

Wholewheat flour is a robust, full-flavored flour containing vitamins, minerals and protein. Whole-grain whole wheat flour is more nutritious than refined white flour, and it is a good source of calcium, iron, fiber, and other minerals like selenium.

Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses, which are a major food source in arid and semiarid regions of the world and feature in the traditional cuisine of many others.  This grain is starchy, high in fiber, has a protein content comparable to wheat or maize (corn), is relatively rich in iron and phosphorus, and the bran layers of millets are a good source of B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Millets contain no gluten, so they can be eaten by those people who have celiac disease, and make an excellent substitute for oats in porridge.

These muffins came out full of rich hearty wholewheat flavor and make a great breakfast treat slathered in butter, or with the Mediterranean Carrot Relish from my Day 7 post.

Wholewheat & Millet Muffins

by: Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Everyday

MAKES: 12 Muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup raw, hulled millet
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grained sea salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek style yogurt)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup bare melted, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Grate zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F /205 C, with a rack int he top third of the oven. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk together the yogurt, eggs, butter, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until flour is just incorporated.  Divide the batter into the muffin cups filling each cup until just below the rim.

Bake for about 15 min, until muffin tops are brown and just beginning to crack. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the muffins out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

ENJOY!!

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