Banana, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Squares (in a round pan)

Recently I’ve been on a health kick because BASICALLY I cut off all my hair and I’m terrified of having short hair and being unfit so… I eat salads ALL. THE. TIME. NOW.

Except when I’m eating baklava at Overdoughs.

Or when I’m baking these squares because I was so inspired by Top With Cinnamon.

Sigh. The world is clearly against me.

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6 Tbsps / 80 gm unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (I didn’t have exactly 1/4 cup so I added 1 Tbsp of brown sugar and it worked fine, adjust for baking time)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chipsPreheat oven to 180 C/350 F.Place the butter into a round 8-inch tin put in the oven just till the butter melts.

Swirl the melted butter around in the tin to grease it and then pour the butter into a bowl.

To the bowl of melted butter, add the sugar, syrup, salt, egg, vanilla and banana.

Whisk the ingredients together.

Add the baking soda, flour, and coconut and whisk.

Stir in the chocolate chips. Full disclosure – I added more than 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the greased tin and spread out in an even layer.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

*The original recipe says they are blondies but to me the texture was really like a hearty breakfast bar – hence my renaming!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Cake

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This cake has gotten a lot of love in my house. The whole thing basically disappeared over the course of a few days.

That doesn’t always happen.

I think it’s obviously because I am now a baking genius.

Or it could be the peanut butter and chocolate.

Nah. It’s probably me.

*Recipe from Averie Cooks. You want to check her version out. Her photos are stunning.

Orange Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Merry Christmas Eve!

People give people gifts for Christmas. BUT since I don’t celebrate I figured I didn’t have to think about it so much. OR DID I? As the pile of gifts from colleagues grew so did my level of panic.

The internal battle raged. I don’t want to give gifts. What the hell??? But it looks bad. But it doesn’t make sense if it’s not meaningful. OMG just go buy them some kueh tutu shaped erasers – AH!!! HYPERVENTILATION!!!! 

In the end I made these last night to give my colleagues for Christmas.

Forced or not, meaningful or not, these are the best cookies I’ve made ever.

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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsps cornstarch (original recipe calls for 2 tsps…hmm…)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp orange zest
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp orange essence (original recipe calls for orange extract but I couldn’t find it anywhere)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries (original recipe calls for chopped, I just couldn’t make myself do it)

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl rub the brown and white sugars together with the orange zest until completely combined. This is to bring out the orange flavor. Joy explains it here.

Stir (vigorously by hand)/whip (with a stand mixer if you have one) the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and orange zest until pale and fluffy. Or until your hand feels like you can’t take it no more.

Mix in the egg and egg yolk.

Stir in orange extract and vanilla extract.

Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until its combined. Do not overmix.

Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop a heaping tablespoon of cookie at a time onto greased or lined cookie sheets spacing them 2 inches apart.

Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on cookie sheet two minutes before transferring to another plate (wire rack if you have one) to cool.

Store in an airtight container/ in the fridge if you’re in a place with extreme humidity.

*Adapted from Cooking Classy.
** I actually doubled the recipe which is why it took 4 hours. It also makes a freakish amount of cookies, like one batch makes like 40 to 50 not 30 like the original recipe says.

Cranberry Orange and Pecan Coffee Cake

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This Christmas one of my biggest issues (aside from going broke from buying presents) is not buying the cranberry pound cake at Starbucks. That thing calls my name every time I pass by. It’s all “Dini – I look so good. You know you want me. You know I’m worth a ridiculous $4 per slice.” The thing is. It’s not.

But two weekends ago, when the temptation was just proving to be too much I decided that I had to make a GODDAMN cranberry cake.

I followed Joy the Baker‘s recipe and can I just say WOW. It was actually amazing, even if my version (see below) looks a little burnt. Because it kinda was…

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into medium chunks
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (It’s a little less than 3 oranges worth)
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries (Joy said to chop this – but I overlooked this and it was fine)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the Topping:
2 Tbsps unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsps granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 175 C/350 F.

Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper with butter and dust with flour on all sides. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add chunks of butter and work the butter into the flour with your fingers. Blend the butter into each bit of the dry ingredients. The mixture will resemble a coarse meal.

In another bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir together to incorporate. Add the cranberries and pecans and fold into the batter.

To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.

Pour the cake better into the loaf pan and sprinkle with the topping. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. Insert a skewer into the center of the cake to ensure that it’s cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf from the pan and allow to cool further on a wire rack.

Make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and milk together. Drizzle over the cake.

whole cake

SERVE! EAT! ENJOY!

*Adapted from Joy the Baker.

Banana Bread

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I haven’t done a post in while not because I haven’t been cooking. Au contraire I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen!

That also means when I’m done cooking I can’t be assed to take pictures or share recipes.

This is banana bread I made a week ago. I ate half the loaf and froze the other half for breakfasts on the go. Here is frozen slice defrosting on top of my hot tea. I am A GENIUS.

2 (big) or 3 (small) very ripe bananas
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

In a bowl mash bananas. Stir in eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, sugar, honey and vanilla.

In a another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture. Stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into a greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.  Bake for 55 mins to 1 hour.

*Adapted from Barbells and Bellinis.