Crazytown Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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Let me clarify a point: when I say ‘crazytown’ I mean ‘holy cow, there is so much good stuff in this bread and my impatience doesn’t allow me to list it all.’ I DO NOT mean Crazytown the band that sang that maddeningly catchy song ‘Butterfly’ way back in the day.

But I won’t lie, I liked them. I thought Shifty was cute (for like a week HA!) I know every word to the entire song.

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I used to have problems. Don’t verify that with my hubby, he’ll tell you I still have problems. He calls it issues, I call it awesome!!

There is a whole lot of awesome going on in this bread: peanut butter banana bread studded with mini peanut butter cups, snickers, chocolate chips AND caramel. I added some whole wheat pastry flour, you know… to make it “healthy.” I told you, crazytown!!

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And I just couldn’t help myself, I never can leave well enough alone, I drizzled the top with melted bittersweet chocolate. Crazytown.

Come my lady, come come my lady. You’re my butterfly, sugar baby. Oh gosh…

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Crazytown Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Yields one 8×4″ loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more AP flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can also use canola)
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz mini peanut butter cups (I used these)
8 mini snickers, chopped
2 oz milk chocolate chips
8 caramels, chopped

Note: I used an 8×4″ pan but you can use a standard 9×5″ you loaf will be slightly thinner and will bake faster, so keep an eye on it! Also, go nuts with the mix-ins: add toffee bits, different candy bars, nuts, toasted coconut, etc.

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Generously grease your loaf pan  with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined, set aside.

In a large bowl stir together your bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg, sugars and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about 30 seconds to ensure that everything is thoroughly combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy because of the bananas, that’s ok!

Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and, with a rubber spatula, fold everything together until just combined (the flour JUST disappears.)

Fold in your mini peanut butter cups, snickers and chocolate chips. Spread half of the batter into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the chopped caramels over the batter and give them a light press with your hand. Top with the rest of your batter and smooth the top with your spatula.

Bake for approx 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached (always check your baked goods early, every oven is different and there’s nothing worse than a rock-solid loaf).

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges of the pan with a plastic knife and remove from loaf pan, transferring bread to a cooling rack. Cool completely, or don’t, just don’t burn your tongue. Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups

Pizza Swirl Bread

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What do you get someone who has absolutely everything they need and the means to get themselves anything they could ever want?

I mean, how HARD does that short, simple sentence make gift giving? Hella hard.

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I don’t have the problem of giving a gift that isn’t heartfelt. That’s not my style, any gift given by me always have a loving thought behind them. Always, non-negotiable.

And as (my) luck would have it, those that I want to show an immense love and appreciation for through my savvy gift giving ways, always end up being the ones who stump me due to said reason above.

And it sucks, people.

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I know, I know… it’s the thought that counts but dangit I want the item itself to count too. I don’t want it shoved in the darkest corner of your least used closet to gather dust. I want it to be loved.

It’s stressful. I’m stressed. Did I stress you out? Here, have some bread.

Not just any bread. This is the love child of swirled bread and pizza. All the ooey, gooey saucy toppings of a pizza surrounded by soft, pillowy bread. This really can’t get any better. Bake it and serve it up warm with extra pizza sauce for dipping/slathering. Eat and de-stress.

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Pizza Swirl Bread
adapted from How Sweet Eats
makes one loaf

Ingredients:

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub AP flour for the WW)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
28 slices pepperoni
1/3 cup tomato sauce, or more if desired
1 tablespoon italian seasoning

Instructions:

In a measuring cup, combine milk and 2 tablespoons butter and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the butter melts; set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flours, yeast, and salt.

In your measuring cup with the milk/butter, add 1/4 cup of warm water and the egg and whisk to combine.

With the mixer on low speed (using a dough hook), add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until dough comes together, about 5-6 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and lightly flour your workspace, then knead by hand for a minute or two until the dough becomes smooth. Add a few more teaspoons of flour if dough is sticky.

Coat the stand mixer bowl with non-stick cooking spray, then place dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place to double in size for about one hour.

Optional: while your dough is rising, stick the pepperoni in the microwave on a paper towel lined plate for 30 seconds to remove a bit of grease. I then dabbed the tops of the pepperoni’s with a paper towel to get the excess grease off the tops as well.

Lightly spray an 8 1/2 x 4″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

After dough has risen, gently press you hand down into the dough to deflate it. Flour your workspace and roll into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread tomato sauce on first, then minced garlic, then pepperoni, then your cheeses (reserving a small handful) then italian seasoning. Starting at one of the short ends, tightly roll dough into a loaf. Place in loaf pan and brush with a little butter, and sprinkle with reserved cheese and more italian seasoning.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown (the top of my bread exploded so it began to leak some cheese and sauce so I slipped some foil in under the loaf to catch the drippings). Let cool for 30 minutes, or not. Reminder: HOT cheese, proceed with caution :)

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This post was inspired by Di’s Homemade Loaf roundup. A bunch of swell bloggers got together and all made some yummy bread. Head on over to check them all out. A round-up will be posted soon.

TWD – Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

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This bread is deceptive in every way. The name isn’t particularly appealing (unless you’re an oatmeal FREAK) or eye catching (I would have skipped right over it). The ingredients aren’t anything special, just your run-of-the-mill staple ingredients plus the addition of applesauce and oil instead of butter. It tricks you into thinking that this bread is nothing short of plain jane.

Wrong-o!

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This bread is PHENOM! It is wonderfully aeromatic: spices that waft together to remind you of that snowy day during Christmas season. It is moist and keeps well. And the flavor OH THE FLAVOR! So simple yet divine. But the star, was the simple addition of pecans and brown sugar pressed atop the loaf prior to baking. It makes ALL the difference.

I subbed apple butter for the applesauce (which gave it a little extra kick in the spice department) and I added rum soaked raisins, just cus I could.

You should try this bread. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

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A big thanks goes out to Natalie of Oven Love for choosing this delightful recipe. Get the recipe here. I will be making this again and again.

Up next week: Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart — I’ll be scaling way down as peach desserts pretty much hate me, but I am excited about this one!

Seriously Simple Beer Bread

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6 ingredients most likely already in your possession + 1 bowl + No yeast, waiting time, or kneading = a delicious bread sent down from Heaven for all of us under-achievers.

Seriously, you might even feel a little guilty at how easily this comes together. But once you pour some honey on top and take that first warm bite, you won’t care. I promise.

This is the perfect bread to enjoy with a steamy bowl of your favorite chili or as dessert topped with honey or your favorite jam. Or honey. I love honey.

I have problems… moving on.

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Beer Bread
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 bottle (12 oz) beer
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (can reduce to 1/4 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3″ loaf pan, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer into the dry ingredients until just mixed. Try to pour the beer slowly to minimize foam.
4. Pour half of the melted butter into the loaf pan. Trust me. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter.
5. Bake for 50-60 mins, or until a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately.

With honey. ;)

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TWD – Cocoa Nana Bread

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Some people think that the combination of chocolate and banana is anything but a harmonious marriage of flavors. Me, on the other hand, I completely disagree.

Chocolate and banana can be just as much a match made in heaven as peanut butter and jelly, given the right recipe. And this one was a good one! The chocolate flavor was really pronounced and the banana flavor was a welcomed afterthought. The texture and tight crumb was more reminiscent of a moist cake than a bread, but you won’t hear any complaints from me.

Unlike Dorie, I don’t need to have chocolate be socially accepted as a breakfast food. I accept it, as do all of my taste-testers ;)

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I followed the recipe only changing one thing: I subbed 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder for King Arthur Flour’s Black Cocoa. The black cocoa adds an entirely different depth of flavor to your chocolate goods and gives it a deep, dark, delicious chocolate color. OH and I baked it in a bundt pan instead of a loaf pan.

If you are finicky about banana in your chocolate, I bet that you could swap unsweetened applesauce or any mashed fruit, shredded zucchini, greek yogurt or sour cream for the bananas.

The only things I would do differently next time is to REMEBER TO DUST IT WITH POWDERED SUGAR (I always seem to forget, dangit.) And… mash the bananas right before they have to go into the batter. Have you ever looked at mashed bananas that have been sitting out on the counter for 15 minutes? Ick.

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A big thank you to Steph, my fellow Twi-Hard, of Obsessed With Baking for choosing this recipe! Head on over to her beautiful and rather helpful blog for the recipe and be sure to check out the other bakers’ reviews of this recipe.