Starbucks Style Banana Bread

Summer is almost over. I am hoping its truly over in hot California, this Seattle girl can’t take any more 100 degree days. And with the onset of fall, its time to crank up oven to try out so many exciting recipes that I’ve bookmarked in the past few months. I am not a huge fan of coffee but i catch myself ogling the pastry case in coffee shops all the time. My love for banana bread needs no introduction, I’ve tried it every form possible from good old plain bread to adding chocolate chips to even adding chai spice for an extra kick. So when i came across this recipe for Starbucks style banana bread, i had to give it a go. This definitely ranks high among all the different types of banana breads i’ve baked so far. Its moist with the right amount of sweetness and the crunch from the walnuts makes it a perfect pairing with your afternoon cup of tea or coffee. The original recipe uses eggs but i substituted it with yogurt and the result was an amazingly moist bread. Yumjay gave double thumbs up and said it matched very close in terms of taste and texture to the banana bread from Starbucks, that’s definitely a sign that this recipe is a keeper.

SB

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt or 1 egg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas, mashed without any lumps

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Blend the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

3. Mix yogurt, sugar, vanilla and oil until combined.

4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, add mashed bananas and mix well.

5. Fold 1/2 cup walnuts and transfer batter to the loaf pan.

6. Top batter with remaining walnuts.

7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Berry Tartlets

Summer is officially here and i hope you have some fun things planned for the long weekend. If you are looking for a fun, healthy and simple recipe for your July 4th celebrations, here’s the perfect red, white and blue recipe for you. Few weeks ago I was asked if I’d be interested in coming up with a recipe using coconut flour.  I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity because I’ve been intrigued by this new flour flooding the market for the past year or so. Coconut flour is a gluten free healthy substitute for regular flour. It is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. This flour is rich in protein and fiber. Read up more on the health benefits of using coconut flour here.

gluten free breakfast tartlets

I love tarts especially the mini ones simply because I can eat two of them and still not feel guilty. This is a super simple mini tart that you can whip up in 20 minutes. These mini beauties have almond, coconut, honey, berries and yogurt, so they totally qualify to be eaten for breakfast. If you feel fancy, replace the yogurt with whipped cream or even coconut cream for a nutty flavor. Enjoy your July 4th celebrations and stay safe and cool!

final3

Ingredients for the tart

1 cup almond meal

1 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling

1 cup non fat vanilla yogurt

handful of strawberries, sliced

handful of blueberries

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners, coat with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place all tart ingredients in a bowl and mix well until they all come together. The mixture will be a little crumbly.

3. Place a tablespoon of the above mixture into each muffin cup and press them well so the mixture sits well on the bottom and sides of the liner.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Let the shells cool completely before filling them. You can even make this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to be filled.

6. Fill each tart shell with cold yogurt and top with berries when ready to serve.

Cardamom Carrot Bread

I always like baking with a fresh fruit or vegetable and quick breads are so versatile that you can add pretty much anything in sight but the kitchen sink and it would still taste so good. I wanted to use up a bunch of carrots and coconut flakes lying in my pantry and thus came about this wonderful bread studded with good stuff. If you are not a coconut fan, add any nuts or bits of dried fruit  to this bread, it is super versatile and would taste divine.  This bread is almost like carrot cake but just much easier to put together and best of all it has cardamom, an all-time favorite spice of mine. It is not ridiculously sweet, making it a perfect accompaniment with a cup of tea or coffee. If you are in the mood, add a cream cheese glaze and voila you have an almost fancy carrot cake on your table minus all the fuss. The bread freezes beautifully, so handy for a quick breakfast or snack.

cardamom carrot bread

Ingredients

1.5 cups whole wheat flour

1 Egg

1 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely grated carrot

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup raisins

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line and grease a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place egg, oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until thick and slightly foamy.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently stir by hand.

5. Gently fold in the carrots, raisins, coconut flakes and other mix-ins that you may choose to add.

6. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

8. Warm each slice of bread for 20 seconds in the microwave when ready to serve.

Eggless Yo-Yo Cookies

Yo-Yo cookies are an Australian favorite made with custard powder and filled with  butter cream. Also known as “melting moments”, these cookies are delicious, buttery and make a fun dessert. Two delicious melt- in- your- mouth cookies are sandwiched with butter cream and these are way less sweet than the American sandwich cookies which makes them a delightful accompaniment to tea or coffee. If you are not in a mood for butter cream filling, nutella or any chocolate based nut butter spread would work just fine. This is a fun way to engage kids in baking and filling their own sandwich cookies, makes for a great rainy day activity too.yo-yo cookies

Ingredients for cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup+1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup vanilla flavored custard powder or corn starch

Ingredients for filling

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon custard powder or corn starch

 Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Stir in the flour and custard powder, mix until it forms a smooth dough.

4. Roll into logs and cut it up into equal sized pieces.

5. Form into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press tops with a fork.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden color and cool the cookies completely.

7. Mix ingredients listed under filling until light and creamy.

8. When the cookies are completely cooked, spread the filling on one cookie and place another on top to make a sandwich.

9. These cookies store well in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

It is kind of late for a zucchini recipe but i’m hoping you still have some of your summer loot left for this amazingly moist and delicious bread. I love zucchini in all forms, be it  pastabread or just grilled with a dash of olive oil and sea salt. So imagine my delight when i was given a giant home grown organic zucchini. I sprung into action and baked 4 beautiful loaves of chocolate bread with this giant squash. Thank you Ali for sharing your summer’s bounty.

zuc

This bread is not overly sweet and makes for a great snack or would look beautiful on your brunch table.It freezes well, so make a big batch before the season ends. If you aren’t a chocolate or sweet bread fan, try these savory squash muffins, bet you won’t be disappointed.

chocolate zucchini bread

Ingredients

1.5 cups shredded raw zucchini/courgette

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you can use chocolate chips too)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Fold in the chopped chocolate and set aside.

3. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add oil, sugars, vanilla extract and mix till well blended.

4. Fold in the grated zucchini and flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

5. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Cool bread for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.

7. Cool completely before slicing. This bread stores well at room temperature for 3 days.

 

Eggless Blueberry Coffee Cake

If you are looking for a simple to make, yet delicious coffee cake recipe, you are in luck my friends. Coffee cakes in America have nothing do with coffee except that it tastes great when had with coffee or tea. I’ve probably eaten my weight in blueberries this summer, the plump, juicy, fresh blueberries are truly irresistible. Surrounded by berry farms in the Pacific Northwest, its hard to stop myself from picking or buying these beauties. If you are looking for a great weekend activity with kids, check out this post from last year on blueberry picking.

blueberry coffee cake

This blueberry coffee cake is a huge crowd pleaser, i took this to a friend’s party and it was an instant hit among adults and kids. I love that this moist, flavorful cake be had even for breakfast or brunch. If you don’t want to use butter, substitute with oil and you have a great vegan version of this cake. Whip up this simple cake on a weekend morning and be assured that you are starting your morning right.

blueberry cake

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries

Ingredients for topping

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon cold butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9inch baking dish with some oil or butter and set aside.

2. Prepare the topping mixing together the butter, sugar and cinnamon with 2 forks until crumbly and chill until ready to use.

3. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, sugar, yogurt and vanilla.

5. Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix in the blueberries. Do not over mix the batter.

6. Bake  at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

Saffron Vanilla Cookies

The more i resolve to blog regularly, the more irregular i become. For those who sent emails to check on me, thank you. I am still here, enjoying the hot Seattle summer, just busy with this and that.  My preschooler has gotten into the habit of wanting to bake something every weekend with me. These saffron vanilla cookies caught my attention on Instagram few weeks ago and I knew this would be great for our weekend baking project.

vanilla saffron cookies

I have never baked with saffron and I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before. The color, smell, the delicate flavor, what’s not to love about this spice! Saffron infused milk is mixed with other cookie ingredients to bake this delicious goodness. Slightly crispy around the edges, with soft cakey centers, this is totally my kind of cookie. The cookies store well at room temperature for 3 days and then for a week in the refrigerator. I got about 24 cookies for the measurements given below, quite frankly I wish I had made a bigger batch, they were gone in minutes.

vanilla cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground saffron

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 vanilla bean

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the caviar into a small saucepan.

2. Add vanilla pod, saffron and milk, cook on very low flame until bubbles begin to form at the edges.

3. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Remove vanilla pod from milk after 10 minutes and set aside.

4. Sift the flour and baking soda into a large bowl.

5. Cream butter  and sugars along with salt with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and fluffy.

6. Combine egg, vanilla-saffron milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl until well blended.

7. Add the egg mixture slowly to to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed for a minute.

8. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

9. Transfer the dough to a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. At this stage, you can leave it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

10. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

11. Roll up 1 tablespoon portions of the dough into balls and place on the baking sheet.

12. Bake for 15-16 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.