Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Banana Muffins

I am of the opinion that if you bake on a regular basis (or even on a not-so-regular basis) one STAPLE recipe you MUST have is...BANANA MUFFINS! Why? So, you have over-ripe bananas? Make muffins! You see bananas marked for 50% off at the grocery store? PERFECT FOR MUFFINS! Banana muffins freeze easily, they are easy to make & (perhaps the most important thing!)...have you EVER met anyone that does not like banana muffins? 

Over the years, I have tried a few different recipes and I will suddenly decide that one is my favourite only to discover yet another banana muffin recipe that I (or my partner) like better than the one we previously had dubbed as "NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY TOP THIS" banana muffin recipe. I've finally settled on not a favourite recipe but a few "go to" recipes all depending on the ingredients I have around the house. Some are egg free, some are not egg free (in which case, I use egg-replacer powder), some have oil, some are fat-free, some are sugar free, some use maple syrup as a sweetener, etc. Some I add chocolate chips to, some I don't. You get the idea. 

My go-to recipe of the MOMENT (and I say moment because we know it will change next week) is from the amazingly awesome recipe book "Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook". The book itself deserves a blog post all its own because it is the best vegetarian/vegan book I've ever encountered and it has over 300 recipes in it. Oh, and if you haven't seen the movie "Forks Over Knives", you need to. Trust me. Okay...BACK TO THE MUFFINS!

This particular recipe is fat-free unless you add walnuts, which would make these oh-so-tasty muffins even tastier. It's also egg and dairy free. It's simple and super quick to make!

The recipe is called "Better-Than-Mom's Banana Bread". So yes, it's a for a bread but you can put it in muffin tins and call it muffins...SO THERE! 

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used Spelt flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (I did not add salt. I never do)
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about three ripe banana)
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup (I'll confess...I used the cheapo fake syrup because it was all I could grab at the grocery store!)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk (I used almond)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and, if you add it, salt. If you want, add a bit of cinnamon. I totally did. I'm a cinnamon fiend though. 
  • In a blender, blend the banana, maple syrup, applesauce, plant-based milk and vanilla. You don't actually have to use a blender. You can mash the banana with a fork and stir in the other ingredients but I was feeling lazy and wanted to say what happened if I blended it. Worked like a charm! When I need to relieve stress, that's when I tend to mash banana...
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix.
  • can put the mixture into muffin tins (makes 12) OR put it into a 8 X 4 inch loaf pan. I've only ever done the muffins tins. 
  • If in muffins tins, bake for about 20 minutes. If in loaf pan, bake for 55-60 minutes. 

Banana muffiny deliciousness :)

Do you have a staple banana muffin recipe? Any "secret" ingredients? Let me know if you give this recipe a try and what you think of it! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Importance of Fork Marks OR Kick-Ass Peanut Butter Cookies

Those that know me, know that I love to bake. I have since I was a kid. It was something I did constantly with my grandmother and I find it to be a great stress reliever. I don't think my partner in crime minds either ;)

I have a peanut butter cookie recipe that I have adapted from "The Cookie & Biscuit Bible" by Catherine Atkinson, a wonderful book for any baking fiend such as myself.

"The Cookie & Biscuit Bible" by Catherine Atkinson 

As I say, I have ADAPTED this recipe and made it my own. The recipe provided by Catherine is just as good but when I bake, I enjoy experimenting and that's exactly what I did one day with this recipe. The result? A peanut butter cookie that is described by my partner in crime as "melt in your mouth". I have to make these for family gatherings now or else. I have yet to find out what the "or else" is. Tortue with Michael Buble music, perhaps? Just thinking about that is enough for me to make sure I make these. Do I know what makes them melt in your mouth? No. Sorry. I don't. Perhaps it's the oat flour OR the combo of butter/olive oil OR the amount of peanut butter OR the molasses. Do people seem to care? Not really.'s the recipe...

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Egg replacer powder equivalent to 1 egg. I use Pane Riso brand 1 teaspoon powder + 2 tablespoons water. Mix. Add to recipe.
  • 1/2 cup dry sweetener
  • 1 1/2 (approx) black strap molasses
  • 1 tsp (okay, maybe a little bit extra) pure vanilla extract (I don't use the artificial crap)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (this is why this is an expensive recipe. Believe me, it's worth it. This is why I may be able to take over a country using these cookies)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Turn oven to 350
  2. Melt butter.
  3. Add olive oil, egg replacer, vanilla, molasses to butter. Mix well.
  4. Mix flour, dry sweetener, baking soda together.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix.
  6. Roll dough with hands into small round pieces. Probably about a teaspoonful but I don't know for sure. It's approximate.
  7. THIS IS THE MOST CRUCIAL STEP. DO NOT SCREW THIS UP OR YOU WILL DISRUPT THE SPACE TIME CONTINUUM OR AWAKE GAEA (See Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan). USE A FORK AND PUT FORK MARKS IN ALL THE COOKIES. I'm pretty sure someone didn't put fork marks on these cookies and this is why Eddard Strark gets beheaded or why Boromir dies. Oh, I think we know why Sean Bean dies is NEARLY EVERY SINGLE MOVIE HE IS IN. That's for another post though.  Just put the fork marks on them.
  8. Bake for about 9 minutes.
If you end up giving this recipe a try or make some adaptations of your own, be sure to let me know! I'm always curious about shit like that. 

~Miss Bellatrix~