Thursday, September 13, 2007

Banana Bread Beauties

Whenever we buy a bunch of bananas, we always end up with one or two overripe ones. I guess the boys get tired of them after a while and they sit there, languishing in our fruit basket, attracting fruit flies (which I absolutely abhor). So I throw the overripe ones in the freezer until I have enough to make banana bread, most recipes of which call for at least 4 bananas. Just thaw the frozen bananas and they're ready to use.

Tonight, I reached my 4-banana minimum, so I decided to experiment and make different flavors of banana cupcakes, which is actually just banana bread baked in cupcake holders and baked for roughly half the time. So practically any cake recipe can be made into cupcakes. Just watch your oven closely so you don't overbake them


I made 4 kinds: butterscotch, chocolate chip, peanut butter and sugared. I haven't tried them all so the verdict is still pending as to which one is the best. But they all look so good, don't you think?

Banana Bread (inspired by Elise)

4 bananas, smashed (my preference is to use 3 super overripe ones and 1 just on the brink)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup flour

1. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Make sure everything is room temp or else the butter will solidify.
2. Sift in salt and baking soda. Mix well
3. Add flour and fold into wet mixture. Do not overmix so as not to develop the gluten.
4. Scoop into 12 cupcake container or a loaf pan.
5. Bake at 350 for 3o minutes (cupcakes) or 50 minutes (loaf).

You can add the "flavors" once you've mixed the batter. I like to add them after I've put the batter into the cupcake holders so that I can make different flavors in one batch. Gently mix in whatever your adding and sprinkle some on top. For the peanut butter, just swirl in a teaspoon or so.

Ok, I've tried them all (took a small piece from each, didn't eat 4 cupcakes in one sitting). The peanut butter is my favorite. The saltiness of the peanut butter balances the sweetness of the bread. I'm not surpised actually, since I routinely eat bananas with peanut butter anyway. Next flavor to try: Nutella!

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