Tag Archives: baking

One-Banana Muffins

IMG_3841

Every time Josh and I buy bananas, they always start to over-ripen before we can eat them all. It doesn’t matter if we buy 10 or three, it always happens.

And I guess it doesn’t help that I’ll only eat a banana if it’s at least a little green. I probably get that from my dad. He and I both say a ripe banana is only good for making banana bread.

IMG_3844But, that darn one-banana dilemma hinders making a whole loaf of banana bread. I’m telling you, this happens… Every. Single. Time.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, Josh bought some bananas for us, and by the end of last week, we were left with one over-ripe banana. So, instead of throwing it away, I waited for it to turn black (black bananas make the best banana bread) and I came up with a solution…

One-banana muffins. The recipe only makes a handful of these muffins, but I think that’s kind of perfect. I never like having too many muffins (or any other kind of baked good) at home because if I can’t give away at least half,  I almost always end up throwing some away.

Oh, and maybe don’t be a goof like me — I forgot to add pecans to my muffins. Good grief.

IMG_3836 squareOne-Banana Muffins

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 6 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • 1/8 cup chopped pecans (optional)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line half of a 12-muffin tin with baking cups.

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

The next few steps can be done using a standalone mixer or a handheld mixer. In a medium- to large-bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and banana, and mix until well-combined. Mix in half of the flour mixture and combine, then add in the other half of the flour mixture and combine. The result should be a doughy mixture.

IMG_3838Add pecans, if desired, and mix one more time until the pecans are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Place the dough into the six baking cups, dividing the dough evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until muffins are golden-brown and cooked through. (Test this by sticking a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked through.)

Allow muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Note: This recipe was inspired by Banana Banana Bread from Allrecipes.com.

In The Kitchen: Blueberry Beer Bread

I’m kind of obsessed with beer bread. Not so much the eating it as the baking it, but I’m addicted nonetheless.

It’s not like this is a new thing. This love affair started more than two years ago, when I found this recipe. I still use it today.

Since then I have probably made a few dozen loaves, including the three I’ve baked in the past week.

We’ll work backwards.

This weekend, I made two loaves of beer bread: one for my mom and one for my granny. This is what I used for each loaf (see directions below or click through the link above to see what I did):

  • 3 cups All-Purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Yuengling Traditional Lager
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

When I bought the beer, I had intended to buy the same beer I used for the loaf I made earlier in the week (we’ll discuss that in a moment), but I had kind of been wanting to try it with a traditional lager since I usually use a light beer. The lager idea won (obviously).

It was a good choice, by the way. The bread has a different, yeastier taste with the lager. It’s a good thing. Try it.

Now, back to the other loaf.

Thursday night, I got in the mood to make beer bread. I had a bottle of blueberry beer in my fridge that I knew I wouldn’t drink (my best friend gave it to me and told me it was weird). It was very purple.The dough looked more like putty than something to eat. It was odd. But it smelled good. When it was baking, it smelled like a cross between very yeasty bread and a batch of blueberry muffins.

When I took the bread out of the oven, it didn’t look any different than a regular loaf of beer bread. And when I cut it, the only difference was a hint of purple (which is so light, it’s hardly noticeable in photos).

The recipe really isn’t much different from the lager beer bread, since it’s based on the same original recipe.

What I used:

  • one loaf pan
  • aluminum foil (enough to cover inside of pan)
  • cooking oil (to grease pan)
  • 3 cups Self-Rising flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Wild Blue blueberry lager
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

What I did:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees while you prepare the dough. To make the dough, mix dry ingredients (flour and sugar) until well-blended. Pour the beer over the dry mix, then stir until it’s doughy and most of the lumps are gone (there will still be a few lumps, so don’t stress over making it perfect).

Also, keep in mind the color will look a bit strange; that’s normal! So don’t freak out about your weird-looking dough.

Now, when it comes to coating the pan, the original recipe simply calls for greasing the loaf pan. However, I prefer to line the pan with aluminum foil to make my life a little easier when it’s cleanup time (this also allows me to lift the loaf out of the pan instead of scraping and tearing the bottom crust). Once I’ve lined the pan, I coat the foil with cooking oil (I used vegetable) to ensure the loaf won’t stick.

Simply pour your dough into the pan then pour the melted butter over the top. This will create a crisp, crunchy crust and a soft middle. The original recipe says to add the butter to the mixture for a softer crust, though I’ve never tried it.

Now put your bread in the oven and wait one hour for it to bake. When the bread is done, let it cool for at least 15 minutes before enjoying it. (You don’t want to burn your tongue!)

I like to store my leftover bread in the fridge, but I’ve stored it in a bag on the counter before (of course, my roommates and I ate it all before it had a chance to spoil). To warm leftovers, just pop a slice in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.


A few ideas on the blueberry beer bread:
Next time, I plan to try adding a handful (maybe 1/4 cup?) of fresh or frozen blueberries to the dough. It only had a hint of a blueberry taste, and I’m thinking the real blueberries might give it a fruitier taste. If you noticed the difference in amount of butter between this loaf and the plain loaves, that’s because 1/2 cup of butter was way too much. I won’t do that again (in my defense, it’s been awhile since I made this and I couldn’t remember how much I used to use). Finally, my guess is blueberry butter or blueberry cream cheese would be fantastic on this bread! I don’t have any to try it with. If you do, let me know how it tastes!

Enjoy!