Whole Wheat Banana Bread

banana-bread-1

I have made this recipe many, many times. Not so much lately because we don’t often have bananas in the house. I don’t like bananas. I don’t like the smell of them sitting on the counter. I don’t like the texture. My husband loves bananas but he hides them at work. Oddly enough, I love banana bread! Banana cake too. (I need to post my mom’s recipe for that. It’s a classic. But I digress.) I guess I need to buy a bunch of bananas and set some aside for this.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
(makes 1 8″x 4″ loaf, serves 12)

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 mashed ripe bananas (2 cups)
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons at Boulder altitude, 5400 ft.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or dried pineapple
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or whatever nuts you prefer)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8″ x  4″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, vanilla, bananas, egg, and lemon juice.

In a medium bowl stir together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing to just combine. Stir in the dried fruit and nuts. Pour into the prepared pan. Gently thump the pan on the counter to settle any bubbles. Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, remove from the pan, and finish cooling on a rack. Don’t try to slice it while warm; it will fall apart.

Store at room temperature for 2 days. After that, refrigerate or freeze. Because of the high moisture in quick breads, they grow mold within a few days.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

pecan shortbread - 1

My daughter loves shortbread. My daughter currently lives in Ithaca, NY (a lovely place; you should visit), toiling away as a grad student. Sunday is her birthday. As the dutiful mom/chef that I am, I had to send her some cookies for her birthday. Shortbread coming up!

You can find the recipe on Epicurious.com. It’s originally from Bon Appetit Magazine.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pecan-shortbread-cookies-106027

Only ingredient adjustment was to reduce the baking soda slightly for my 5400 ft. altitude. There’s only 1/8 teaspoon in the original, so it probably doesn’t matter much.

I did find I had to bake them longer than the recipe said to get them lightly browned and set. Original says 20 minutes. I’d say 25.

They are delicious! Buttery and light. If you live in a humid climate, eat them quickly because they will get flabby. Still taste great but lose that crisp snap.

They did look a little worse for wear after shipping however. She still ate them. 😉

broken cookies - 1