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Baked Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

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My sister-in-law gave me a doughnut pan for Christmas two years ago…maybe three.  It’s what I asked for, had wanted for years, and yet I only used it to bake the doughnut mix she gave me with it until now!  What is UP with that?

I was Pinteresting (yes, I’m allowed to turn nouns into verbs haha) and came across Shelby’s baked banana doughnuts with a browned butter rum glaze and I HAD TO HAVE IT RIGHT THEN…or at least my own version of it.  :) I had my nearly forgotten doughnut pan, a single overripe banana, and the baby was taking a nap – it was like the stars aligned and God smiled down on me in that instant. I got to work and boy oh boy. These were quick to make and so delicious!  Brown butter and banana are a match made in heaven.  Actually, browned butter makes everything better, don’t you think?

Baked Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

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1 cup (4 ¼ oz / 120 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large (about 5 ½ oz / 156 g without peel) overripe banana
1 large egg
¼ cup (2 ¼ oz / 64 g) buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup (2 oz / 58 g) light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup (4 oz / 113 g) powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, as needed to thin the icing

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 6-well doughnut pan with oil and set aside (I wipe off the top with a paper towel to reduce the amount of baked-on oil build-up on there but that is your call). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, mash the banana, then whisk in the egg, buttermilk, oil, and sugar. Add to the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined (a few small flour lumps are OK). You can either use a spoon to fill the doughnut pan or put the batter in a ziploc bag and snip a corner to squeeze the batter into the pan. Fill each well 3/4 full. If you have extra, you can make it into mini muffins or wait until the first batch is done baking to make a couple more doughnuts. Bake doughnuts for 12-15 minutes, or until golden and doughnuts bounce back when lightly pressed. Turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

While doughnuts are cooling, brown the butter. Place in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the solids separate and turn a chocolate brown color. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar and enough milk to get a glaze consistency (it doesn’t take much. Dip the tops of each doughnut in the warm glaze with the cooling rack over the sink so the glaze can drip off as you finish dipping each one. If you have extra, you can put it in a ziploc bag or disposable piping bag and snip a corner to drizzle over the doughnuts because extra glaze makes them extra good! :)

Recipe source: adapted from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honey Bunch


Caramel Banana Amish Friendship Bread

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Have you ever heard of Amish Friendship Bread?  This is how it works.  A friend gives you a bag of starter and instructions with a recipe, and over the next ten days you knead the bag and add more flour, sugar and milk to it.  On the tenth day, you take out three cups of the starter and put one cup each into three bags to give to friends along with instructions and recipes.  Then you add stuff to your leftover starter to bake two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.  It’s the bread that never dies!

Back in 2000, I got burnt out on Amish Friendship Bread because it spread like the plague among my friends.  We couldn’t seem to get rid of it.  I finally had to stop accepting bags of the starter because I couldn’t bear to eat one more piece of the bread.  Eleven years later, I was finally ready to make another go of it, although the thought of it made me feel a little ill.  When I eat something until it makes me sick, I can hardly ever enjoy it again.

Thankfully, Amish Friendship Bread is proving to be an exception.  Perhaps because I flaunted the usual recipe instructions that comes with the starter, which always includes a pudding mix, or perhaps because I gave myself enough time to recover from the AFB overload, but my love for the bread has been fully restored.

This variation was inspired by the circumstances that inspire me most frequently in the kitchen: what I had on hand.  In this case, homemade caramel sauce and overripe bananas.  The bread is very moist, almost like a pound cake, with plenty of banana and caramel flavor.  OK, so mine was heavier on the banana flavor because I happened to add some banana extract to it, believing that 1 1/2 cups of caramel sauce in the recipe would surely overpower the flavor of banana, but the extract was completely unnecessary, so I omitted it from the recipe below.

I chose to dust my pans and the tops of the loaves with cinnamon sugar, which I thought was nice, but you could simply grease and flour your pan and maybe swirl some dulce de leche on top before baking.  Mmmmm.  Or serve with extra caramel sauce.  Double mmmm.  No wonder I kept a starter for myself from the batch I made!  I can’t wait to make this again.

Caramel-Banana Amish Friendship Bread

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¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Remaining Friendship Bread starter
1 ½ cups caramel sauce, room temperature
1 1/3 cups mashed banana (3 medium)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Butter two loaf pans and dust with cinnamon sugar. Shake excess out onto a sheet of wax paper, or a large dish, and reserve extra for topping.

Put the friendship bread starter in a large bowl and beat in the caramel sauce, banana, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir until blended. Pour into prepared loaf pans and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over the top. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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My Dad used to make what I thought was one of the most delicious meals ever out of torn Ezekiel bread pieces, a sliced banana, and natural peanut butter all mixed up in a bowl together and drizzled with honey.  Sweets were a rarity in our home so when he let me try this, I was thrilled because I felt like I was eating dessert.  This was how I was introduced to the trifecta of banana, peanut butter and honey and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I first made these muffins in miniature form almost a year ago when I had a single overripe banana and wanted to use it in something before it started growing white stuff.  (I’ll include that recipe too for those interested.)  It was only natural for me to reach for the peanut butter and honey, and I was really pleased with the result.  I’ve made many subsequent batches, adapting it on a larger scale to make the standard dozen since the small batch doesn’t last long enough to suit us.

This is a straightforward recipe, no fancy ingredients, naturally sweetened, and it’s all mashed and mixed together in one bowl using a single fork.  The result is a moist and flavorful muffin with the perfect balance of banana, peanut butter and honey.

By the way, these healthy, low-sugar muffins are dog tested and approved!  My Jessie is such a treat snob that when she approves something I’ve made, you can bet your pup will most likely dig it too.  For doggies, you can bake them up in mini-muffin tins, depending on the dog’s size.  Or just share yours, which is what I like to do.  That way I feel justified when I reach for a second one, since I didn’t eat all of the first.  :)

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

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3 medium overripe bananas
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup honey
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or spray with oil.

Peel bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork (you should have about 1 ¼ cups of mashed banana), then mix in the peanut butter with your fork until well blended. Next mix in the honey and once the mixture is uniform in color, stir in the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Measure in the flour and baking soda, and stir with your fork just until mixed. The batter will be thick but try not to overwork it to get it mixed. It’s OK if a few lumps remain. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle nuts in the middle of each muffin (nuts will spread out as the muffins bake). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Per muffin: 196 calories; 9 g fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g fiber; 6 g protein; 5 Points Plus

Secret Recipe Club

Honey Banana Peanut Butter Bites

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1 medium overripe banana
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 mini muffin cups.

Mash the banana in a medium bowl an stir in the peanut butter, honey, and buttermilk. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened. Divide between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes (or until done) and remove to cooling rack. Leave in tin for five minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Makes 12 mini muffins.

Nutrition Info (per muffin): 66 calories; 3 g fat; 84 mg sodium; 77 mg potassium; 9 carb; 1 g fiber; 2 g protein; 2 Points Plus

Recipes by Veronica Miller

**Veronica’s note: to make these into vegan muffins, replace the honey with agave nectar, the buttermilk with non-dairy milk, and the baking soda with baking powder.  I have done this and they are equally delicious, though I do prefer the honey flavor with banana and peanut butter.**

Banana Oatmeal Bake

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It has been months since I made this and I can still remember how creamy and delicious it was! I just bought some more agave nectar after using the last bottle up on Double Chocolate Banana Muffins, so I’m ready for another round of this hearty and warming breakfast.  I think you will like this one.  It’s both  nutritious and delicious!

Banana Oatmeal Bake

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2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal (or Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal, another 1/4 cup oats, flax meal, wheat germ or bran)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup agave nectar (or brown sugar, sugar or honey)
1-1/2 cups fat free milk (or any milk)
2 small bananas, mashed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine oats, 10 Grain cereal, baking powder and salt.  Set aside. In another bowl, combine agave nectar, milk, egg, vanilla extract and bananas.  Combine the wet with the dry ingredients. Lightly spray an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray and pour in banana-oats mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  Add walnuts to the top and bake for another 5 minutes to toast them. Serve warm.

Recipe source: The Noble Pig

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

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I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! I’m very proud of this creation because, like with the Banana Peanut Butter Bites (shared on my weight-loss blog), it’s all my own–I didn’t even do an internet search for recipe inspiration before throwing it together. This is very unlike me because baking is an exact science and if you don’t get the liquid to dry ratio right, you can end up with a dense, dry, or mushy result. I think I’ve finally been baking long enough that making my own recipes is becoming intuitive. This makes me happy.

I made this recipe with two goals in mind. I wanted it to be as healthy as possible while still being as tasty as possible. I’ve found with baking, the healthier you make a recipe, the more unpalatable the taste. Muffins, however, seem to be a lot easier to healthify without getting too healthy-tasting.

These muffins are low-fat, cholesterol-free, naturally sweetened, and are still moist and delicious.  The only concession I made for taste/texture over health was using more all-purpose flour than whole wheat because it yields a nicer, less dense & dry, crumb. The ripe mashed banana keeps the muffins moist without a lot of added fat and I chose to use agave nectar to sweeten them, since it’s natural and the flavor is so mild that it wouldn’t compete with the chocolate & banana flavor like honey or maple syrup might.  I also left out the egg since I had success with it before, and actually liked the texture better than when I had tried it with the egg, giving an added bonus of making the recipe cholesterol-free.

You could certainly turn this recipe fat-free and use more whole wheat flour, and I have done both (I have made three batches of these so far, each with a different amount of fat and liked the one here best). It results in a more rustic, dense muffin but we had no problem eating them up in less than a week. They are great in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee and I find that one muffin, especially with coffee or milk, keeps me satisfied for hours.

Let me know if you try these and what changes you made. I’d love your feedback!

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
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Dutch process cocoa gives these muffins their deep dark color & chocolate flavor. You can find it online and in specialty stores, or you can get Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder at most supermarkets.

Dry ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon banana extract

And just for fun:
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips + 2 tablespoons for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl and stir to mix. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir dry into wet just until moistened, then fold in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips. Divide batter between prepared muffin cups and sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate chips in the very center of each muffin (chips will spread out as the muffins bake and rise). Bake about 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of one. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container (I use a large Ziploc bag). These freeze very well–I like to take one out of the freezer before my shower in the morning and by the time I’m done getting ready for work & am ready to eat, it has thawed. If you are in a hurry, about 15-30 seconds in the microwave will thaw and warm your muffin for you.

Makes 12 muffins.

Nutritional Information (per muffin): 171 calories; 5 g fat; 33 carb; 3 g fiber; 3 g protein

Recipe by Veronica Miller

These are from the fat-free batch with 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup white. They were more dry and dense, but still yummy.

Secret Recipe Club

Easy Banana Cupcakes

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Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
The black walnuts are optional, but I really think they add a wonderful depth of flavor to the cakes.

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1 T sour cream
1/3 c oil
3 eggs
¾ c water
1 c black walnuts (optional)

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs powdered sugar
Pinch salt
1 t vanilla
Milk, as necessary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 muffin cups with liners.

Put all the cake ingredients, except for the black walnuts, in a mixing bowl and beat on low until moistened, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in the black walnuts and fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack in the pans for 10 minutes, then take out of the pans and cool completely on rack.

For frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.  Beat in everything but the milk until well blended and fluffy.  If it is too thick, you can add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you get your desired consistency.  Frost the cooled cupcakes.
Banana Cupcakes, with and without nuts.

Caramel Banana Cake with Black Walnuts

I made this cake as an experiment to see what a caramel frosting that didn’t require cooking would taste like.  The only way I’d ever prepared it before was to heat a brown sugar/butter/cream mixture and then let it cool, which produced a very rich, albeit delicious, frosting.  This one doesn’t require heating and produces a much lighter & fluffier frosting and I prefer it to the other.

I got the original recipe from my friend Cheryl, but I changed the yellow cake to a banana and used black walnuts b/c I absolutely love the combination of the two and thought they would pair well with a caramel frosting.  My neighbor, who I gave a piece to, is still raving about it two months later.  I think she just wants more cake. :)

Caramel Banana Cake with Black Walnuts
Adapted from Cheryl’s Caramel Yellow Cake recipe

Banana Cake
1 (18.25 oz) Pillsbury yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
¾ cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)

1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used evaporated)

Caramel Frosting
1 stick of butter (room temp)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup milk (I used evaporated)
16 oz. box of confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Black Walnuts
Caramel ice cream syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch round pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all cake ingredients and beat on low until moistened, then two minutes on medium speed (or two minutes by hand), occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula.  Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 34-38 minutes, or until a tester comes out either clean or with a few moist crumbs.  Top will be golden brown, especially around edges.  Turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely, about an hour.

Meanwhile, put the filling ingredients (except for the vanilla) into a saucepan and heat over medium until melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour into a metal or glass bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Prepare the frosting.  Cream the butter with the brown sugar, then add the remaining ingredients & beat a few minutes, scraping bowl with a spatula, until creamy and well combined.  If not using immediately , place plastic wrap directly on top of frosting and smooth flat with your hand all the way to the sides of the bowl, completely sealing it off from the air (otherwise it will develop a crust).

Once cake & filling are completely cool, level the cakes if they are domed on top.  Put the first layer on a cake plate and spread the top with the filling.  Put the second layer on top and frost the entire cake with the caramel frosting.

Press black walnuts into the sides and drizzle caramel syrup over the top.

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