Posts Tagged banana

My Style: Banana Whoopie Pies With Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Whoopie Pie 1

I think these pies are my style.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about style. One of the questions I always ask the pastry chefs I interview is “what’s your approach to pastry,” which is another way of asking “what’s your style?” Well, these banana whoopie pies with lemon cream cheese frosting? They’re my style.

Whoopie pies aren’t fancy – unlike cupcakes, they can’t be topped with fondant hearts or elaborate swirls of frosting. They’re unassuming, simple – even a little homely. And yet you can’t deny the power of a great whoopie pie. This one, with two sweet, fragrant banana cake rounds that sandwich a sweet, tart filling, speaks to the great satisfaction one can take in simple things. The flavor of the bananas really sings through the cake, and is tempered by the fresh bite of the homemade lemon curd in the filling.

I was even more pleased with this recipe, because I actually adapted it from a recipe in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes for a banana cake. Rather than using someone else’s recipe, I wanted to see if i could make my own modifications and have it actually work. And I’m happy to say that it did. Slightly decreasing the oil and upping the flour amount to mimic that of another whoopie pie recipe meant that the batter held together well enough when scooped out on the baking sheet, and baked into light and fluffy rounds.

Simple, unassuming, great tasting – I think that’s my pastry style. So what’s your pastry style? Do you go for the fancy French pastries? The down-home desserts from the south? Or do you prefer your baked goods to be cute and whimsical?

Banana Whoopie Pies 2

These were a hit at my book club's two year anniversary party. Two years ladies!

Recipe: Banana whoopie pies with lemon cream cheese filling

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Alex’s Chocolate Chunk Banana “Brownies”

Banana Brownies 2

Yes, I realize they look like muffins - but they're actually intended to be brownies.

My brother has always had a thing for bananas. I don’t know what it was about them. I mean, I liked them as a kid, but Alex loved them. One of his favorite snacks to make was a “banana milk shake,” a term that I think my mother came up with to re-brand banana smoothies as something much more indulgent. He was a fan of the banana ice cream they served down the street at Prince Puckler’s, still my favorite ice cream shop in the country. And now that he’s a post-college grad trying to make it as a playwright in Chicago, one of his more bizarre frugal dinners it to make banana omelets. Yes. Bananas. In an omelet.

Okay, so I’m not sold on the banana omelets, although Alex will defend them to the death. But I started thinking about bananas when I was wondering what to get Alex for his birthday. Usually, I’m a pretty boring present giver – I go for the amazon gift certificate, or, once in a while, a book. But I decided to do something different this year – I decided to make him his very own banana baked good recipe.

Now, you’ll notice that the title of this post is for banana “brownies” and yet the photo clearly looks like muffins. But consider this discrepancy merely a deficiency of my kitchen – I actually don’t own a square baking pan, and it just didn’t seem right to bake them in a round pan. Plus, for shipping purposes, the individually packaged muffins are pretty sweet. But, rest assured, while you can bake these in muffin tins, they are intended to be baked in a 9×9 inch square cake pan.

I adapted this recipe from my own banana bread recipe, as well as a butterscotch brownie recipe from The Joy Of Cooking – one of the few sources I could find that had recipes for “brownies” that didn’t actually contain chocolate. Since Alex is such a banana fiend, these are heavy on the fruit – they’re best made with really old bananas that are beginning to blacken on the outside. They’re chewy and moist, sweet with the banana flavor, and punctuated with chunks of chocolate. I used bittersweet chocolate but I’ll actually use milk chocolate when I make these again – the sweetness of the milk chocolate would be a more harmonious compliment to the banana flavor.

So, happy birthday Alex. And yes, I realize that I’m writing this a week after your actual birthday. But, um, can having your very own handmade recipe make up for that?

Banana Brownies 1

Oh, and I also ate two.

Recipe: Alex’s Chocolate Chunk Banana

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Orange You Glad We Didn’t Say Banana?

With ModernDomestic ailing, it has fallen to WonkthePlank to titillate the ‘sphere with a guest blog recipe so delicious, so outrageously flavorful that the masses will drive her beloved Blog Stats up to heretofore unseen highs. That, we think, is truly the best medicine.

With that in mind, we proudly present:

And lo, a Child is born!

A meal full of healing energy for ModernDomestic!

Orange Mac and Cheese with Ants on a Log
A WonkthePlank mainstay from our bachelor days

Ingredients

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
7.25 oz. elbow macaroni
1 bag orange powdered cheese
2 sticks celery
peanut butter
raisins

Directions

First, boil some water in a pot and cook the macaroni for 7-10 minutes or until tender.

While the macaroni is cooking, wash the celery (ideally, it should be aged 2-3 weeks), spread some peanut butter on and stick your ants (raisins) on top.

Once the macaroni is done, add the powdered Plank sauce, the butter and the milk. Stir vigorously until the macaroni turns a bold, shocking orange.

And lo, a Child is Born!

And lo, a Child is Born!

Now, some cooks may not have the virtuosity required to prepare the pièce de résistance that is Orange Macaroni and Cheese with Ants on a Log. But for these yeoman chefs, fear not! We have lower hanging fruit – in the form of a banana.

Even an inexperienced chef can handle this recipe with ease

Even an inexperienced chef can handle this recipe with ease

Sliced Banana With Toothpick
Another WonkthePlank original

Ingredients

1 banana
1 toothpick

Directions

Peel, then slice the banana into bite-sized chunks. Insert toothpick. Serve chilled.

A tasty treat that anyone can prepare

Mmmmm...

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