Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Black Bottom Banana Bars! This is a new recipe I tried out last night since I had some extra bananas that were going bad to use. I can honestly say these will not stick around long, they are very easy to make and taste great. At first glance most of my friends thought they would be really heavy and were happily surprised to find out that they are actually pretty light. Don't worry your sweet tooth will be satisfied, they have a good amount of sweetness especially since I used a healthy amount over what the recipe calls for of semi-sweet chocolate chips :-)

The recipe is slightly adapted from one I found on tastespotting.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3-4) could use a little more depending on how much banana flavor like.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate bar broken up


1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and bananas, beating thoroughly.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.

3. Divide batter in half. Add the cocoa to one portion of the batter. Spread that portion in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I found this to be a bit difficult, helps if you place spoonfuls of the batter around the bottom of the pan and use a spatula to help spread them together. Spoon remaining batter on top, swirling gently with butter knife if desired, and sprinkle with chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until batter tests done with a toothpick or fork. Cool completely and cut into 24 squares. These are amazing warm.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe is super easy and a favorite among my family and friends. My mom is a true hostess and bakes this bread in advance to keep in her freezer for when company comes over. All she has to do is let a loaf thaw and make a fresh batch of the lemon glaze to drizzle over and she looks like she baked all day.

I forgot how easy it is until I went to make it the other day for my best friend Kelly and her mom who made my week by stopping in Dallas for the weekend on their 10 day road trip through Texas from Colorado Springs, CO. My moms trick worked on them and they totally thought I was an amazing hostess and I owe a good deal of that to this bread. This makes a great gift as well, just wrap a little ribbon around it and you are done. I recommend serving this at breakfast, it is great with coffee or just out on the counter to enjoy all day.

  • 1 package Duncan Hines Blueberry Streusel Muffin Mix
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cut water
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 8x4-inch loaf pan
2. Rinse bluberries with cold water and drain.
3. For loaf, empty muffin mix into medium bowl, whisk out the clumps. Add poppy seeds; stir to combine. Add egg and water; stir until moistened, about 50 strokes or so. Fold blueberries carefully and lemon peel. Pour the batter into your pan. Sprinkle the topping from packet over the batter. Bake at 350 for 57-62 minutes or until your toothpick comes our clean. Cool in the pan for 10 min. Loosen the loaf from the pan, LAY FOIL OVER TOP WHEN REMOVING FROM PAN TO KEEP TOPPING INTACT. Invert onto a cooling rack, turn right side up and cool completely.

4. For drizzle, combine confectioners sugar and lemon juice in small bowl. Stir until smooth, drizzle with a spoon over the loaf.

If you make this ahead of time wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil and put in the freezer, make the drizzle once you are ready to server the loaf.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My first bread pudding

I woke up to yet another snow covered morning in Dallas on Sunday with plans to bake. Originally lemon squares were on the menu but after seeing the snow I decided to embark on my first bread pudding adventure-not to mention I'm reading a novel based in Queen Elizabeth's 16th century court which also mentions bread pudding, so I was already craving it.

Since I am so partial to chocolate I decided to go with a recipe I found in Jill O'Connors "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" cookbook called Banana Bread Pudding with Hot Fudge and Toasted Walnuts. You can bake this really with any topping you like, I have a recipe for Whisky-Walnut Caramel Sauce that would be great on this but since it was Sunday I couldn't get the Whisky so chocolate is the next best thing I suppose.

Serves 8 to 10

Pudding Ingredients:
  • 1 loaf Brioche (13 oz) Cut crosswise into 12 slices about 1 inch thick
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Ganache Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Put the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a cold stick of butter until lightly coated.

Slice your Brioche and brush both sides with the melted butter. Mix together 1/2 cup of the sugar with the cinnamon. Sprinkle both sides of your buttered brioche with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Once coated cut your slices of bread in fours making rough one inch cubes. Place on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven until golden brown and crisp all over. Toss occasionally should take somewhere between 7-10 min. LET COOL COMPLETELY.

Once your bread is out of the oven start mixing the custard. In a large bowl (make sure it is big enough to hold the custard and the bread) whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, the last cup of sugar, and the vanilla. Slowly whisk in the cream and milk. Stir in the salt and mashed bananas. Once the brioche has cooled go ahead and add the cubes to the custard and stir carefully with a wooden spoon to make sure all the pieces are coated.

Pour the pudding mixture in the buttered dish. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours to make sure the bread absorbs a good bit of the custard.

Time to bake! Once the pudding has done its time in the fridge, top the cold butter cubes all over the top. Sprinkle the last 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon-sugar. Cover the pan with tin foil and poke a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake for 20 min. Remove the tin foil and continue baking until it is puffed and golden and when your knife comes out clean, 20-25 min. Let cool for about 5 min cut the pudding into squares and drizzle each serving with the ganache and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Combine the cream, butter,and corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the corn syrup is combined with the cream. Bring to a boil. Just as it starts bubbling pour the hot cream over the chocolate. let stand for 1 min then stir until smooth and creamy.

Brioche croutons covered in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Poke holes in the foil to let the steam escape.

Chocolate ganache mixture, amazing!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Here is where my love for design comes in. I came across this new font by a most talented illustrator/designer Jessica Hische called Buttermilk. I was instantly attracted to it for its sweet design not to mention its yummy name. It has just the right about of old school to win me over without getting overly whimsical. Check out her site, she consistently comes out with new designs and typefaces that are sure to please any design itch or even a sweet tooth.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I am having baking withdrawal! I have been traveling for work the past few weeks which unfortunately means no baking for me. The good thing is that I can explore new fun bakeries on my travels. While in California I was told about Susie Cakes, an "All-American Homestyle Bakery" the menu keeps it simple and sticks to treats that anyone who had a childhood can enjoy. Just thought I would share my sweet find... Enjoy!

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