Chocolate Banana Bread #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.

New, inventive recipes are always fun – but sometimes you just want a classic.  We love banana bread around here. Add in lots of chocolate, and you’ve got a treat that barely lasts 24 hours.

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It was also a great opportunity to showcase another favorite of ours – Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil. Whether or not you’re a coconut oil fan, you should give this a try. It’s what converted me! It really does have a fabulous butter flavor – you won’t miss the real thing.

Lots of other chocolate goodness this way, too! —>

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Chocolate Banana Bread
(from Chelsea’s Messy Apron)
Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil, measured melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed bananas, approx. 2-3 bananas
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain white
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips dark chocolate chips for healthier
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Run the oats through a blender or food processor until the consistency of flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk. Whisk in the yogurt and coconut oil. Whisk in the vanilla and sugar. Stir in the mashed banana.

To the same bowl, add the oat flour, salt, baking soda, flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the pan.

Fresh Corn Salsa (5)

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Cracker Toffee

What’s everyone up to today? Any crazy holiday prep going on?

Things here are actually pretty mellow. The cookies are all baked. The gifts are all bought and wrapped. It’s almost lunchtime and we’re all still our pajamas. All we have planned really is a liquor store run and a nap. Not bad for the day before Christmas Eve!

If you’re looking for one more treat to make or need a last-minute dessert, this cracker toffee is the way to go. It takes about 20 minutes to make, then you cool it and break it up. It, by design, doesn’t have to look perfect so you don’t need to stress details today and there’s a good chance you already have the ingredients on hand!

I hope you’re all settling in for a lovely holiday with people you love. Merry Christmas from me and the crw!

Cracker Toffee

Cracker Toffee
(from Little Dairy on the Prairie)
Makes 1 sheet pan full

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
Saltine crackers or Matzo
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sprinkles, for decorating

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Line the pan with saltines or matzo so they cover the whole bottom without overlapping. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until it reaches a boil, then remove the spoon and let boil for 3 minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the saltines as evenly as possible and transfer the pan to the oven to bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let sit for a few minutes then spread the chocolate evenly over the crackers. Top with sprinkles, if desired, and put the pan in a cool place to set.

Once completely cooled and the chocolate has set, break into pieces and serve.

Cracker toffee

 

Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies #ChristmasCookies

If gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies had a baby, these would be the result. They are the ultimate Christmas cookie. I love everything gingerbread-spiced this time of year, but I’m also a chocolate fanatic. Marrying them is a match made in heaven.

These unassuming cookies are going to be the star of your holiday cookie trays or the hit of your cookie exchange this year – trust me!

GingerChocolateChipCookies

Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Marsha’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 3 dozen

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the butter and sugars until well combined. Mix in the egg and molasses.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in increments, stirring until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into 1-1 1/2 balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!

 

Opa’s Chocolate Chip Cookies #ChristmasCookies

I’ve mentioned it here before, but my Opa used to work in a bakery. Even after he retired, he continued baking for us at home – especially for the holidays. Now that he’s gone, I’ve taken over his baking. I absolutely love his recipes.

These are crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle – so good. This is one of my favorites for cookie exchanges – since it’s  recipe from the bakery it makes a lot.

I recommend using a food scale to measure the ingredients for the best results.

OpaChocolateChipCookies

Opa’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
(a family recipe)
Makes 9 dozen

12 oz. brown sugar
12 oz. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. shortening
1/4 lb. butter
5 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 lbs. flour
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the sugars, salt, shortening, and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

I have been in total use-it-up or throw-it-out mode. I think it’s part of nesting. I’ve cleaned out both freezers, the refrigerator, the pantry and our overflow canned good stock in the basement the last few days. I’m not sure the kitchen has ever looked better!

We had a few bananas that were just past prime. I probably could have given them a day or two and someone would have eaten them or tossed them in a smoothie – but my must-clean-off-the-counters brain couldn’t handle that, so I decided to try a new muffin recipe.

I’ve yet to meet a banana muffin I didn’t enjoy, but these were really good. Using mini chocolate chips keeps the banana flavor from being overwhelmed and the oatmeal added a nice chewiness.

BananaChocolateChipOatmealMuffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
(from The Taste of Home Baking Book)
Makes 12

1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 medium, ripe bananas, well mashed
2 cups flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg, oil and sugar until smooth. Stir in the bananas until evenly combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the wet ingredients until just moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for five minutes before removing from the pan.

What’s Baking: Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars

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I’m officially less than 2 months from my due and I’m starting to feel the crunch. I’m pretty sure by this point with Jake everything was mostly set up, the freezer was filling up with meals and I was (not so) patiently waiting for his arrival. This go, all the baby stuff is still in the basement, there’s list of stuff we still need to buy and any meals that make it to the freezer are retrieved within the week for nights I can’t keep up. I’m pretty much just praying I make it to my due date again because those last two weeks I may finally have some time to get things done.

ChocolateChipPecanCookieBars

One of the things that has been hitting me hard is that my days of me-and-Jake time are coming to an end. He’s at such a fun age right now and I really love spending the day with my little buddy. He’s been super into helping me in the kitchen lately so I’ve been trying to pick recipes that he can be really hands-on with.

The latest theme for What’s Baking was “bars” – and these are perfect for a toddler assistant because there’s no risk of over-mixing and if the quantities aren’t measured out perfectly, that’s just fine. And they only take about five minutes to throw together, which is pretty much how long his attention lasts these days.

TasteTesterJake

Besides being easy, they’re delicious. My little taste tester couldn’t wait to get his hands on one and then all I heard was, “Yum! YUM!” as I packaged them up. I’m sure they’ll be making repeat appearances at our summer barbecues.

TasteTestJake

Want more bar ideas for your summer baking? Check out our host for the month, Cookaholic Wife, for a roundup of all of the goodies the other bloggers made!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars
(adapted from South Your Mouth)
Makes 1 8×8″ pan

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan with non-stick spray and line with baking parchment. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until set. Let cool completely, then cut into squares. Roll each square in powdered sugar.