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Posts tagged ‘quick bread’

White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

This was a mid-morning snack last week. The boys have grown five inches (between the three of them) in the last six months, so a dozen muffins is about right for “second breakfast” and with a tall glass of milk, “elevensies” is taken care of as well.

My basic muffin recipe goes like this:
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup of: oats, whole wheat flour, another cup of all purpose flour or any other combination of dry flour-like stuff that I am in the mood to throw in
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
Add goodies according to taste or what you have in the cabinet.

Muffins are the reverse of cookies. You start with the dry ingredients then add the liquid. (For this particular batch that second cup of dry stuff was quick oats.)

Stir it all together gently. You’re not supposed to over-stir muffin batter. Honestly, I can’t remember why, but when Alton Brown explained it in a book it made sense and I have done my best to obey this rule ever since. And, the muffin quality in my house has improved.

Once the dry and wet have been delicately combined, you can add goodies. For this batch, I used about ¾ cup each of chopped white chocolate chips, chopped dried cranberries, and finely chopped walnuts.

Scoop the batter into a muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray. You can use papers, but I never seem to have them in the cabinet – possibly because my boys often chew them like little goats when they’re done with each muffin and it grosses me out.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.

Spread the tops with butter or margarine. (Yes, I can allow for margarine in non-cookie situations!)

Then sprinkle with sugar.

Enjoy one before they’re gone. In my house, that’s about 10 minutes.

The Great Spring Pumpkin Fest

It is April.

I absolutely should not have been baking pumpkin bread.

But, it was raining and/or snowing for most of the day yesterday and I had a can of pumpkin in the cabinet that I didn’t want to unpack in New York. So, I figured, if life was going to give me pumpkin weather, I might as well make pumpkin bread.

Conveniently, we had a few extra kids in our homeschool for the morning to help eat this novel spring snack.

They were excited when I turned the loaves onto the breadboard.

It took them about five minutes to reduce both loaves to this:

Within fifteen minutes, the evidence of October food in April was virtually obliterated.

I got one slice.

It was delicious and I would share more but I cannot post a pumpkin recipe at this time of year. Some things just should not be done.

(originally posted 4/12/2011)

Bananas + Beach Trip = Banana Bread

My father-in-law tells a story about driving to Florida for a fishing trip when he was a kid. (Picture a big old car, bench seats, steel dash, no seat belts and no air conditioning on a South Georgia highway.) After a few hours, he and his brothers were grumbling about hunger, so his dad pulled off at a roadside market, bought a big stalk of bananas, tossed the whole bunch in the back and drove on… Now, picture banana peels flying out the windows.

Interestingly, when his grandsons complain of hunger on beach trips he feeds them shrimp.

Anyway…back to this decade and the other side of the continent… We’re still talking about bananas and beach trips though.

We went to the beach in Oregon last week and the bananas stayed home, which is too bad because I’ve always wanted to re-enact that legendary banana toss over the driver’s seat. Thankfully however, bananas make great bread when they’ve been neglected for a while.

Here’s my favorite recipe for banana bread:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter (softened)
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
3-4 very ripe bananas
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder 
½ tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start by mixing the wet ingredients and bananas

Then dump in the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into a large loaf pan or two small loaf pans.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Let the loaves cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pans and for at least 10 more minutes before slicing.

Go bananas with the butter and enjoy!
(originally posted 4/9/2011)