Tag Archives: browned butter

Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping

I have come with a recipe that I think you’re going to really like! Unfortunately, it is not vegan–and unfortunately, I only have one picture…but what the heck, try it if you can! This one is my recipe, and it’s probably my favorite banana bread that I’ve ever had to this day. You can’t go wrong–there’s roasted bananas, browned butter, walnuts, and toffee bits all over the top. If I haven’t been so obsessed with vegan baking lately, I would be making this all the time. Discovering or creating a delicious vegan banana bread is the next thing on my to-bake list. Banana bread will always have a special place in my heart. I love it’s simplicity (this one really is more simple than it sounds too) and there’s nothing like taking a nicely browned banana bread loaf out of the oven and slicing it for the first time. It just makes the entire house smell cozy, if cozy was a smell. This banana bread is so moist and flavorful on the inside from the browned butter and roasted bananas, there’s really no point in ever making banana bread without roasting the bananas, regardless of whether it’s vegan or not–and if you’re going to use butter, there’s no point in not browning it. Makes a huge difference.

Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping

Makes one 9×5 loaf

  • 4 medium bananas–3 roasted (see instructions below)
  • 4 tablespoons browned unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Handful of toffee pieces (to sprinkle across the top)
  • 2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Instructions:

1. Place 3 whole medium bananas (in their skin) on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and allow to roast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. They will be very dark in color (mine were black because my bananas already had spots and were fully ripe). Take them out and allow to cool. I like to carefully peel some of the peels back and allow the heat to escape faster, but be careful doing this.

2. On medium heat, brown 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, swirling the pan several times for about 5 minutes until the butter has started to brown (the butter will look amber and you will see what looks like a red colored powder forming underneath the butter on the bottom of the pan). Take off of the heat and add the light brown sugar and salt (this will cool it down some).

3. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl, and set aside.

4. With browned butter off the heat and cooling down, add the bananas and mash into mixture. It’s ok if there are lumps.

5. Add vanilla extract and the yogurt to the butter, sugar and bananas. Then add 2 lightly beaten room temperature eggs.

6. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix to incorporate fully, but don’t mix past the point where it’s just combined.

7. Pour into a greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan, and cut up your fourth banana into very thin slices to spread on the sides of the top of the loaf. Doing this, you will want to slightly layer each banana on top of the other. This will make it look prettier once it’s done baking! Sprinkle a good handful of toffee bits on top, and then sprinkled the entire top with about a couple of teaspoons of granulated sugar.

8. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack for about 40-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and top is browned.

9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in loaf pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing the loaf. If you try to remove it while it’s still very hot and just out of the oven, the bread might just fall apart. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Favorites, Quick Bread

Apple Browned Butter Cheesecake Brunettes

Ok, one: these were not very photogenic. They taste much better than they look. Please believe me. Two: I’m very bad. I’m backed up on recipes and I have so many that I never got around to posting (from the previous 2 months when we had free hotel room stays at Foxwoods MGM Grand 2 days every week–yes, that was probably the most amazing 2 months ever). Which leads me to a confession I want to make: lately, with the weather getting nicer, I’ve been feeling less inspired to be creative with baking. I want simplicity, possibly because I feel like eating “lighter” when the warmer weather comes around, and possibly because it’s less work and I still haven’t done my spring cleaning yet.

These came about one cold night in March when my dad gave me a jar of Apple Butter and said,”Go home and bake something with this.” I love a challenge, especially when I’m hibernating in my kitchen and keeping myself warm near the stove. There’s also something about cheesecake when it’s cold outside that is so perfect to me. I have no idea why? Is there a scientific explanation behind that? Am I the only one?

I could just be tired. At this time yesterday, I wasn’t even asleep yet. Yes, my love for the morning and my love for late at night when this timezone is asleep don’t go well together. Determined to not have that happen again, I tried to go to sleep at around 2am. I don’t know what happened. I got a couple hours of sleep, and finally got out of bed around 6:30, surrendering to my urge to be up in the morning instead of pretending I was still able to sleep. So here I am; my body a bit confused at itself, going back in time to the end of March. When it was still very cold.

Originally, I expected this to be a “blondie”, but with the browned butter, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon, it ended up looking like a brunette. Only made sense. Hey, what do you get when an apple pie walks into a room, meets a cheesecake…..nevermind, I won’t even attempt to be funny right now.

Apple Browned Butter Cheesecake Brunettes

Makes 12 cheesecake “brunettes”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For Apple Butter Cheesecake Topping

  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple butter (I used Whole Earth All Natural Tap’nApple Apple Butter Spread)

1. Melt 9 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks) into a skillet (not non-stick) over medium heat. Whisk continuously and the butter will begin to bubble within a couple of minutes. When the bubbling slows down and it begins to foam, watch carefully as the butter begins to slowly brown. It will look as though a red powder has formed underneath the melted butter. At this point, you can take it off the heat, and transfer to a large heat safe bowl (or just do the next step directly in the pan and then transfer to a large bowl once it’s cooled a bit)

2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar directly to the butter and mix.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.

4. Add vanilla and room temperature egg to the butter and sugar mixture, combine thoroughly.

5. Cut softened cream cheese into cubes and place into a bowl with 1 egg yolk and sugar. Mix on medium speed with an electric or handheld mixer until fully combined and creamy. Add the apple butter and mix to fully incorporate.

6. Line a 9″ square pan with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick cooking spray. Allow foil to overhang the sides, so there will be easy removal once brownies are cooked and cooled.

7. In 3 batches, combine flour mixture to the wet mixture until
fully mixed together.

8. Pour batter into lined and greased pan, spread evenly. Top
with cheesecake mixture and also spread that evenly.

9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for about 25-30 minutes, or until cheesecake on top is fully set. (Mine needed more time, so I covered the pan with tin foil and placed it on the lower middle rack to finish baking, but check on it at 25 minutes first.)

9. Once done, cool pan on wire rack for 10-15 minutes until set enough to lift out of pan. Grabbing the tin foil overhang, lift out of the pan and allow to fully cool on wire rack. Then cut into squares, and enjoy!

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Filed under Bars, Cheese

Spiced Carrot Bread with Coconut and Browned Butter

When I started baking, my dad’s first request was carrot cake. I couldn’t fondly recall any carrot cakes that I really liked, so I assumed I didn’t like carrot cake at all. Long story short–I was wrong. Even if you aren’t crazy about carrots, does not mean you won’t like carrot cake. To say that carrot cake tastes like the name makes it sound, is like saying that chocolate cake tastes like cocoa powder. Obviously that’s not all there is to chocolate cake, and carrots is not all there is to carrot cake, or carrot bread for that matter. The difference between this carrot bread and a favorite carrot cake recipe I have made (and will eventually share with you) actually isn’t much if anything. So technically this could be a cake, but I made it in a loaf pan. What can I say? I was in the mood for a quick “bread”. To spice it up, I used a little bit of browned butter in combination with vegetable oil (ok I’m on a browned butter binge right now), dark brown sugar, a tiny bit of Irish Whiskey, plain yogurt, and shredded sweet coconut. I love the texture that shredded coconut gives to cakes and quick breads.

This ended up tasting better than I thought, and it is full of flavor. It goes perfectly with a cream cheese icing (I actually used leftover Neufchatel icing from some delicious Guava and Cream Cheese Puff Pastries I made *and am going to share the recipes with you very soon, of course*..but you can use cream cheese and it will taste even better).

Spiced Carrot Bread with Coconut and Browned Butter

Makes one 9×5 inch loaf

  • 1/4 cup (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jameson whiskey (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    2. On a baking sheet, spread 1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut and toast for 5-7 minutes until lightly toasted.

    3. In a skillet (not non-stick) lightly brown 1/4 cup (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter on medium heat. Whisk constantly, for a few minutes, until the bubbling has slowed down and it begins to foam and darken in color. Remove from heat.

    4. In a heat safe bowl, combine the browned butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and Jameson whiskey. Allow to cool a bit, and then add the yogurt and 2 eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.

    5. Allow toasted coconut to cool, while you mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the grated carrots and the coconut. Stir flour mixture with the wet mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix.

    6. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake on middle rack for about 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow pan to cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes, and then invert the carrot bread onto wire rack to cool completely before serving.

    *Note*: You could omit the browned butter and replace with equal amounts vegetable oil. The flavor and texture will come out differently than my recipe, however.

    For Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel) Icing (optional)

    • 2 ounces of cream cheese (1/4th of an 8 oz package), softened
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar (so that there are no lumps)
    • Mix ingredients together with an electric or handheld mixer until fully blended and creamy. You may want to double on this if you like a lot of cream cheese icing, but this was enough for me.

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Filed under Bread, Muffins, Quick Bread

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter

I have baked so many brownies in the past couple of months, so in my mind, I thought A. I should not bake brownies today and B. Nobody would be interested in reading about them. I forgot that I had never posted a recipe for brownies on this blog thus far, with the exception of one that still lingers in my ‘Drafts’ because it was the batch of brownies that made me sick of brownies for a good few weeks. Which is a tragedy altogether. These brownies exceed most brownies I have ever eaten. You are probably thinking,”And who are you exactly? I’ve never heard of you or your blog.” I won’t convince you as to why you should take my advice, because in the culinary world, I am nobody but someone who loves to eat. Since almost everybody loves to eat, I remain insignificant. My blog is new and has no readers (except you….if you’re actually there or I’m just talking to my imagination), so I really have no comeback for that one. Hmmm…yeah, I guess you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. Yeah, right. Like I’m the only one who knows about these brownies? Let’s say I am a tad over fashionably late on this one.

Plenty of people love these brownies and discovered them before me…including Craving Chronicles, Try Anything Once, Culinary Covers, In Good Taste, and even a Gluten Free version at Tasty Yummies..just to name a small handful that popped up on a Google search. I am just bringing this recipe to you, incase you miraculously (like me), missed it before.

My craving for brownies suddenly started coming back to me after I baked Cook’s Illustrated’s ‘Classic Brownies‘ for a party with a lot of family members who love to eat. I ate one before surrendering the rest to various family members, whom I will gladly share my brownies with any day. When I got back into the kitchen after a few days of being out of town, there was a voice inside saying,”Noo, don’t make snickerdoodles, make browniesss” and,”You don’t want to labor over cinnamon buns, make the damn brownies!” So I told myself if I was going to make brownies, they had to be different. I knew going back to the Classic Brownies would be the easiest thing to do, except that I had only 2 ounces left of my Baker’s unsweetened chocolate. Uh, I was actually out of almost every type of chocolate but cocoa powder. So not many choices for me.

I wanted something new and something unadulterated. No marshmallows, no cheesecake swirls, no peanut butter, no, no, and no. I just want chocolatey brownies. I did a search on Epicurious, and found this recipe for Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts. I left the walnuts out because I didn’t want anything in the brownies and I was also, sadly, out of walnuts too. (Can you say I need to go grocery shopping?) The recipe was super simple, and I loved that it had browned butter. Since I had tried it before for CI’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (yes, that’s how new I am to baking, I’ve only browned butter once before) I knew it would not only give it great flavor, but that it wasn’t as daunting a task as I originally thought. I keep the heat at medium (no higher), and continue to stir with a whisk. It starts bubbling and foaming, and then it develops what looks like chili powder underneath the melted butter. At the point where it has a nice light auburn/brown color, I take it off the heat.

I am convinced that browned butter in cookies and brownies is my new favorite flavor. Move over vanilla, move over creamed butter, move over expensive chocolate. THIS is the best part of the brownie, and somehow it made it so that one of my new favorite brownies only requires cocoa powder, which means since I plan to always have an adequate amount of that, there is no need to run to the grocery store for these. I would have never guessed.

The browned butter gave it a flavor that reminded me of chocolate covered toffee, and the fact that you can get that flavor by doing nothing but lightly browning butter, blew my mind. Why people don’t do this for every single brownie recipe is beyond my comprehension.

Since my sink not full of dishes seemed very appealing to me, and I wasn’t particularly eager to change that, this recipe was even better. I browned the butter in the pan (I almost said brownied the butter O.O), added the sugar, cocoa, salt, water, and vanilla. Let it cool almost completely, but left it warm, and then beat in the eggs and stirred in the flour. That simple. I transferred it to a glass bowl just so that I could take pictures in between, but this can technically be considered a “one pan” brownie recipe with exception of the pan you bake it in. Nonetheless, my sink is not overloaded, making sink and myself happy.

What you get from these brownies is a richer, deeper, more intense flavor than you get from most brownies. Not only on a chocolate level, but the flavor of the browned butter takes it onto a road similar to that which I believe people try to achieve with putting espresso powder in their chocolate cakes and brownies. I noticed the browned butter seemed to have a subtle caramel flavor with just the right amount of salt. The balance of sweet, salty, and chocolatey for me, makes a perfect dessert. Texture wise, they were decadent, moist (without being too oily) and had a nice chew to them.

All other brownies are going to have an extremely difficult time living up to these.

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter (and walnuts, optional)

Makes 16 brownies

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces – optional

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8 x 8 x 2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1⁄4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts (optional). Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 20 minutes (recipe says 25 mins but check earlier than that, around 20 mins, to see if they are done to avoid overcooking).

Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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Filed under Brownies, Chocolate, Favorites