Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bananas Foster Scones with Rum Icing!

It was Saturday morning and I didn't know what to bake today....hmmm. I've got bananas, but still have some of the pumpkin bread from a few days ago, so I don't want to make banana bread today. I'd love to make scones, but banana scones? With cinnamon icing? Sounds pretty good, but want something else.....I know! Having grown up living not far from New Orleans, I LOVE me some Bananas Foster! How about Bananas Foster Scones? With a rum icing? Yes! Need to run to the store to get rum!

I absolutely love to make scones. My base recipe for scones is, of course, Ina Garten's recipe--just lightened up a bit. From this base recipe, I make any flavor I want, really......last month before I started this blog, I made a batch of scone dough, split it in half and made some cranberry-orange scones (stirred in orange zest, and dried cranberries) and some pumpkin scones (stirred in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg). I'll have to make those again and post here. Anyway, back to the Bananas!

First thing to do is to make Bananas Foster!

2 peeled bananas, cut in half long ways, then cut each half in half, across
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 cups (good splash) dark rum or brandy, or Grand Marnier. I used Meyer's Dark Rum
(You may eliminate the alcohol if you wish--use 2-3 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice)

Melt butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in skillet or saucepan with the bananas over medium heat. Once melted and bubbling, remove the pan from the source of heat, add the rum, then place pan back on the heat and burn off the alcohol, about 2 minutes. Remove the bananas from the pan, cut them into a medium "dice" and set aside. Also reserve about 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce.

Basic Scone Dough
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus some for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
4 extra large eggs, beaten
1 cup cold 1/2 and 1/2

egg wash
1 egg combined with 2 tablespoons milk or water

Rum Icing
1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4-5 tablespoons Dark Rum, brandy, or Grand Marnier (whatever you used in the Bananas Foster)
(You may use water if you don't want to use alcohol)

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the butter is the size of peas. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and the 1/2 and 1/2. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour and butter mixture and mix until just blended. The dough will be sticky and lumpy. Stir in the bananas and the reserved bananas foster sauce and place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough into a ball. You may need to add a bit more flour to keep it from sticking. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness then cut with a biscuit cutter, scone cutter, or even a can! (I saved a 15oz can, removed the ends and the label, cleaned it, (of course!) and now use it to cut biscuits, scones, sugar great!) Place the scones on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Drizzle icing over the scones once they have cooled.

These are Yummy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Cranberry Spice Bread

I've been researching pumpkin bread recipes and was looking for a recipe with a good amount of spice, pumpkin, and something a bit unexpected. Sooo, I found and liked the Libby's Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe and gave it a twist: my own blend of spices rather than pumpkin pie spice, added orange zest, and sprinkled pumpkin seeds on top for a crunch without nuts.

This recipe makes 2 really nicely sized and moist loaves, mine needed to cook for the full 75 minutes to be cooked through.

I think next time I may cut back on the sugar and just try using 2 cups not that the bread was too sweet. The orange juice and cranberry add a nice sweetness, and 3 cups is just alot of sugar!

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoons ground cloves or allspice
3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg

3 cups granulated sugar
1 (15oz) can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
zest of one orange
juice of 2 oranges
1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cups coarsely chopped shelled pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl with a whisk. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, zest, and orange juice in mixer bowl. Beat until blended. Fold pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Fold in the 1 cup cranberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle the top of each loaf with chopped pumpkin seeds before the loaves go into the oven.

Bake 65-75 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My first post! The BEST Homemade Granola

I really like to eat this granola layered with vanilla yogurt and a sliced banana or blueberries as a parfait for breakfast.

Being allergic to tree nuts, I am uncomfortable buying any store-made granola or granola bars, and I LOVE GRANOLA! Soooo, I decided to try to make it myself...this recipe is an adaptation of Ina Garten's Homemade Granola Bars recipe from her Back to Basics cookbook. I've substituted shelled sunflower and pumpkin seeds for the almonds in her recipe, and I've substituted raisins and cranberries for the apricots and dates in her recipe. You can use any combination of dried fruits that you like. Dried currants go really well in this recipe, too. Enjoy!

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x12 baking dish and line with parchment paper.

Toss oats, seeds, and coconut on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in wheat germ.

Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

Place butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oats mixture. Add the dried fruits and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.