Cinnamon Toffee Banana Bread

Seriously – this is the BEST banana bread I have EVER had! My Grandma Barbra LOVED it – as did some of my local taste testers. I wanted to develop a recipe that takes your typical old-fashioned banana bread and have it be transformed into something almost magical! The cinnamon really balances well with the bananas and the toffee is just enough to take it over the top! The special mixing combination of the butter and bananas is one of the secrets to this recipe. Magical – flavorful – fabulous!

Cinnamon Toffee Banana Bread

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, soft
2 large bananas, peeled
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 bag toffee bits
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a regular size loaf / bread pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the bananas. Mash the bananas with the butter and mix well.

Add in the white granulated sugar and light brown sugar and cream well before beating in the 2 large eggs. 

Stir in the sour cream. 

Next stir in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. Fold in 3/4 of the bag of toffee bits. 

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle evenly on top the remaining 1/4 bag of toffee bits. Sprinkle on the Turbinado sugar evenly. 

Place in preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Once baked remove and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the loaf / bread pan. Cut with sharp knife and serve. 

Enjoy!

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My favorite toffee bits –

Banana Walnut Bread with a Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Swirl

I made this a few days ago for a friend and she flipped out over it! She said she had never had banana bread that was so tender, moist, flavorful and “hit the spot” like this one did!

I love banana bread too and usually fold in semi-sweet chocolate chunks, but this time I really decided to give it everything I had and add cream cheese, walnuts, cinnamon and Turbinado sugar.

It is everything you might have hoped for!

blaise-the-baker-banana-bread

Banana Walnut Bread with a Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Swirl

For the bread…
1 large egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas, about 4 bananas
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped, plus 1/2 cup aside

For the filling (swirl)…
1 large egg
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9×5-inch bread pan with non-stick spray with flour.

In a large bowl combine the large egg, light brown sugar, white granulated sugar, vegetable oil, sour cream, pure vanilla extract and mashed bananas. Stir until well combined.

Stir in the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chopped walnuts.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Make the filling by combining the large egg, cream cheese, white granulated sugar, white all-purpose flour, pure vanilla extract and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Spread this mixture evenly over the banana bread batter. Swirl gently with a knife.

Place the other half of the banana bread batter over the top and spread evenly.

Sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and sprinkle with a layer of Turbinado Sugar.

Place in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil about 40 minutes through the baking time if you are worried the edges may burn.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing and slicing.

Enjoy!

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Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

A friend of mine offered me the challenge of using a cake mix to make something other than a cake or cookies – and something that was savory and not sweet. Guess what!? I did it! With research and development I have discovered a recipe for “Cake Mix Yeast Rolls”. Yep! You heard that right… And they taste nothing like cake. They taste everything like yeast rolls!!!

No kneading, and simple as can be!

Cake Mix Yeast Rolls Blaise the Baker

Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

1 envelope dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 package of white cake mix
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Start by combining the dry active yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Swish around slightly to make sure yeast is dissolved.

Next, add in the white all-purpose flour, white cake mix, salt and melted butter. Stir well until everything is incorporated.

Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with vegetable oil. Turn to coat the whole dough ball with the oil. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick cooling spray and divide dough evenly between cups – filling each muffin cup about 1/2 full.

Cover again with kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake yeast rolls for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool in pans.

Enjoy!

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Panzanella

I have always been a secret fan of panzanella, but never really make it. Why? I do not know… Maybe it is because this is best made with fresh farm stand ingredients – tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc. Or maybe it is just because this is a salad…and I do not make many salads – other than mayonnaise based ones – which I love. Anyways, moving on, if you do not know what panzanella is, Google it. Or click here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzanella

Panzanella can actually be made with anything – to an extent. Mine is made with some of the things I like – onions, croutons, tomatoes… And a light vinaigrette dressing. It is delicious!

You can use fresh bread, cut and drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven, or use croutons (like me). I like them fairly large, and use this brand – http://www.newyorkbrand.com/croutons?id=115

Panzanella Blaise The Baker Blaise Doubman

Panzanella

For the salad…
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups black olives
5 cups “Texas-style croutons”

For the vinaigrette dressing…
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by preparing the vegetables. Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper to where they are all pretty close to the same size. After completing this and thinly slicing the onion, place all vegetables in a large bowl with the black olives and croutons.

Next, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, white vinegar, minced garlic, spicy mustard, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.

Pour the finished vinaigrette over the vegetables and croutons, and toss to coat. Serve immediately or allow to sit for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend together.

Enjoy!

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Sprite Biscuits

When my Grandma Barbra and I first made these, we both fell in love with them! So tender, delicious and quick – you will not believe there are only 4 ingredients – and perfect for breakfast (with butter and jam) or dinner (with butter and honey). No rolling pin? No problem – for this recipe, one is not required.

Try these today…

Blaise the Baker Sprite Biscuits

Sprite Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose baking mix, plus more for sprinkling (I use “Jiffy” brand)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Sprite
5 tablespoons salted butter

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F.

Put the five tablespoons of salted butter in a 9-inch square pan and place in oven to melt gently, while you prepare the biscuits. Be sure to keep an eye on it. You want the butter melted – not burnt. If the butter burns, throw it out and start again – with a better eye on it the second time.

In a large bowl, “cut together” the all-purpose baking mix and sour cream with a fork or two knives. Be careful with this part, and have a light hand about it. Do not over-mix the dough – very important.

Next, gently stir in the 1/2 cup of Sprite. Stir until a soft dough forms together.

Take about 1/2 cup of additional all-purpose baking mix, and spread it on a clean work surface, in preparation for rolling out your dough.

Knead and roll the dough in the all-purpose baking mix, until well coated. Use your fingers and hands to pat the dough out. Using a biscuit cutter (or the bottom of a drinking glass – which is what I use), to cut out the biscuits. (This recipe makes nine biscuits total.)

Take the 9-inch square pan from the oven, place the cut biscuits right in the pan, on top of the melted butter and return to the oven, until brown, which will take about 13 minutes total.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

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Lightning Fast Desserts

There is nothing I love more than making desserts from scratch…expect maybe aside from eating them! 😉

I love taking the time to ensure that everything is done correctly and I love seeing (and tasting) the final outcome! In making desserts from scratch YOU control the quality of the ingredients – which I love.

BUT – I know that everyone does not have the time to make homemade desserts from scratch, so I am going to share FIVE of my favorite “lightning fast desserts”! TWO of these desserts have already been featured on my blog and they are the recipes for my “Any Flavor Chip Fudge” (which has just been updated) and my “Turbinado Peanut Butter Cookies”. You can find them here…

Fast blog

Lightning Fast Fudge recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/fudge-favorite-chocolate-fudge-and-favorite-peanut-butter-fudge/

Lightning Fast Cookie recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/peanut-butter-cookies-with-turbinado-sugar/

The other three recipes I am going to share are super simple and super delicious! I have made them a LOT over the years, and I hope that you will to. They are…

Lightning Fast Biscuits and Jam

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly for about a minute.

Roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is approximately 2 inches.

Bake at 425 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 14 minutes exactly.

Top with your favorite jam and serve!

Makes about 6 large biscuits.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Banana Bread Cookies

2 overripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the 2 bananas in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.

Add the oats and walnuts and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Cupcakes

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 can room temperature soda

Any flavor of cake mix and any flavor of soda will work! Experiment! Try them all! My favorite though is chocolate cake mix and “Coca-Cola” – so delicious!)

Combine cake mix and soda and whisk together until smooth.

Pour the batter into a cupcake paper lined tin and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes exactly.

Let them cool completely and then frost as desired! I really like “frosting” them with whipped cream!

This makes 12 regular size cupcakes.

Enjoy!

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