The Best Banana Bread Ever

I am a HUGE fan of banana bread.

Huge.

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So is my husband, so much that we can barely wait until it cools enough to cut it when it comes out of the oven (often it ends up a bit crumpled as a result, but I don’t even care).  Its all steamy and warm, with the butter getting all melty.

Yum.

Last night I decided to whip up a quick loaf so I busted out my trusty recipe.  Weird thing though, I use a family members recipe and theirs turns out so different from mine and I really don’t change anything (other than adding a teaspoon of vanilla).  Theirs has a soft outside and super tender inside, while mine has a lovely crusty outside and a super tender inside.  Have you noticed that your recipe turns out different from the original even when following it exactly?

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Anyways, I digress.

Please enjoy this amazing recipe and I hope it turns out wonderfully for you.

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 Banana Bread

1/4 Cup Butter, 1 Cup Sugar, 1 Egg, 2-3 Mashed Bananas

1 1/2 Cups Flour, 1 Tsp Baking Soda, 1/4 Tsp Salt, 1 Tsp Vanilla

Cream butter and sugar, then add mashed bananas.  Add beaten egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add dry ingredients (I usually whisk them together in a separate bowl and then add to the liquids).  Add any nuts or chocolate if you are into that.  Pour into a greased loaf pan (I spray mine with Pam Coconut Oil and it always comes out easy) and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle (usually for me about 50 minutes, but check on it periodically – the original recipe called for 30 minutes – which is super strange because my oven usually runs warm!).  Remove from oven and let cool (if you can) then enjoy!

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Seriously, so easy and so tasty!

April

Birthday Cake Popcorn

In the field of Tastiest Treat Ever Found on Pinterest… The Oscar goes to… This treat – Birthday Cake Popcorn!

And how!

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Recipe (originally found here):

1.5 bags natural flavour popcorn

1/2 pound white chocolate to melt (I used Callebaut – Hello!)

4 Tbls yellow cake mix

Treats that you want inside (I used sprinkles and mini eggs)

Pop your popcorn and carefully remove any burnt, half-popped or non-popped kernels. Over a double boiler, melt the white chocolate, continuously stirring until fully melted.  Add yellow cake mix to melted chocolate and stir until mixed in.  Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and combine so that every piece of popcorn is coated (I used two soup spoons, but you can use your hands once its cooled enough).  Once combined, pour popcorn onto parchment paper in a thin layer, and let it cool.  Once its cooled enough not to melt your candies, sprinkle your treats on top.  Once cooled completely, break pieces and serve!

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This could possibly be the ultimate Oscar party treat.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

I found a recipe.  A good one. As per usual, I was on Pinterest looking for some treats to make last weekend when I stumbled across this recipe from A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll – and MAN its a good one.

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Cinnamon Roll Cookies:

1 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 4 Tbls. unsalted soft butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 egg white, 1 tsp. vanilla

Filling:

2 Tbls. maple syrup, 2 Tbls packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Glaze:

1 cup icing sugar, 1-2 Tbls milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Add the egg white and the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined.  roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to create about a 12″ square.  Chill for about 30 minutes.  Once chilled, peel dough (very carefully) off the parchment paper.  Then top with maple syrup, spreading a thin layer all over.  Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar.  Carefully roll the dough like a cinnamon bun roll and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Freeze until firm (I did overnight).  Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on parchment paper.  Bake at 350º for about 8 minutes – but watch them (time depends on oven and cookie sheet) they should still be fairly white with a little golden.  Once baked and cooled make the glaze and drizzle.

Then enjoy!

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They are so good.

Who likes Birthday Cake?

So every year I make a birthday cake for my trophy husband.  The challenging part is doing a different one every year.  The first one was a deer (he’s a crazy hunter man).  The second one was an ice fishing cake – obviously because ice fishing is awesome.  The third was a fish and last years was a bear.  This past May I had to come up with a new one.  I decided to make one like our cat Koobs.  Hes all black so I figured it would be only medium challenging.

The first part was that I had to start with the lady bug cake pan from Wiltons and bake myself a lovely cake.  See below:

Look at that cute little lady bug.  But not for long!  You will soon be a handsome black cat!

The next step was to make the icing.  I like to use buttercream instead of fondant (waaaaayyyy better tasting) but I waaaaayyyy prefer the look of a cake frosted in fondant.  So I started investigating how to smooth buttercream out.  Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the required tools but it was actually kind of a neat process.

After I made the buttercream, I actually used a foam paint roller and some paper towel to smooth out the frosted cake.  I bought the smoothest non textured paper towel I could find and a never used (obviously) foam roller.

I used fondant for the tail and also for the legs and just placed the legs on top of the cake.  Then I frosted everything with the buttercream.  Once I had a nice coat, I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes so that it gets a little crusty on top.   Then I placed the paper towel on top and very gently rolled the foam roller and HOLY SHIT! That buttercream smoothed right out.

I just piped out some details and made the cheeks, eyes, whiskers and mouth out of fondant and arranged them on his face and he came out pretty freaking cute!

Can you see the resemblance?