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Tag Archives: cinnamon

Spiced Butterscotch & Black Walnut Banana Bread


This month I was assigned to Manu’s Menu for the Secret Recipe Club. Manuela is an Italian married to an Indian, living in Australia with her family, so her blog is a smorgasbord of delicious international recipes, with the majority being delicious, authentic Italian food. She has recipes for many things on my 40 by 40 list, like Lamingtons, croissants, biscotti/Cantucci, & risotto. And what did I do? I’m so predictable. I went for the banana bread because as you know, I have an obsession and I seem to always have overripe bananas on hand. I may have not checked anything off my bucket list of recipes to make, but we’re enjoying some really delicious banana bread in the mean time, so that makes up for it. :)

I took Manu’s recipe for the bread and kicked it up a notch, just on a whim that started because of the butterscotch chips sitting on my desk when I was reading her recipe. We really loved the combination of oozing butterscotch, black walnuts, and subtle spices in a loaf rich in banana flavor.  I went ahead and used the butter called for but next time will try oil as I just really prefer the soft & silky texture that oil gives to quick breads. If only oil had all the delicious flavor as butter!

This was a wonderful loaf and I thank you, Manuela for helping me create it. Buon appetito!

Spiced Butterscotch & Black Walnut Banana Bread

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 cups (8 ½ oz / 245 g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (5 ½ oz / 150 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 eggs
½ cup (4 oz / 113 g) butter, melted
3 large (or 4 small) overripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (2 ½ oz / 60 g) toasted black walnuts, chopped
½ cup (3 ½ oz / 94 g) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, bananas, and vanilla. Stir together until just moistened, then add the walnuts and butterscotch chips. Stir together until just combined and spread into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

Recipe source: adapted from Manu’s Menu

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Snickerdoodle Blondies

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Whether you’re a fan of snickerdoodles or not, I think you will love these bars!  I personally don’t love snickerdoodles.  I’ll eat them.  Come on, cookies are my favorite food group so of course I’ll take one when offered.  But these, I love.  They are so soft and buttery sweet and just…wonderful.  I think it must be the cinnamon in them, but I think the flavor is perfect for fall!

I know from experience that they have a good shelf life–I shipped a package of them in the hot summer and they weren’t delivered for five days because of a Post Office error, but they were still fresh when the birthday girl picked them up.  So don’t be afraid to make these up in advance for holiday gatherings/gifts–they freeze great too!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cookies:
2 2/3 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (15 oz) brown sugar, packed
1 cup (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Topping:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray, line pan with parchment and let it hang over the sides, then  spray the parchment with nonstick spray too. (The parchment is optional but creates nice handles to lift the bars out for easier cutting.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream of tartar and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer (3 to 5 minutes). Mix in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, beating until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. The batter will be thick. Spread it evenly into the prepared pan. Spray your hands with cooking spray and use them to pat the mixture down evenly. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on top of batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Let pan cool completely. When ready to cut, use ends of parchment paper to lift out baked bars. Place on a cutting board. Use a large, sharp knife to cut into bars.

Makes 20 to 24 bars

Recipe source: Recipe Girl (her optional additions left out)

Cinnabon Caramel Corn


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I suppose I could get in trouble for putting a trademarked name into the title of this popcorn, but the truth is I’m just way too unimportant for Cinnabon to care what I do with their name.  And if they tasted this popcorn, they’d probably consider it a compliment that their name had been ascribed to this tasty treat.

Does it taste like a Cinnabon?  I have no idea.  I think it does, but I’ve only had 1/4 of a single Cinnabon in my entire life, and that was four years ago and as far as I recall, it did not have pecans in it.  I do know, however, that it reminds me of a cinnamon roll and it is crazy delicious and I just really like calling it Cinnabon Caramel Corn (versus the official name: “Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans and White Chocolate”–way too many syllables to pronounce when I could be stuffing my face with popcorn exactly eight syllables earlier.).

This would make a great food gift this holiday season and stays fresh in an airtight container for at least a week (based on reports from recievers of portions that were mailed).  Ours did not survive more than an hour after it had cooled.

OK, fine.  We ate half of it warm.

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Cinnabon Caramel Corn
Recipe by Our Best Bites
(My notes are in parentheses. (I like parentheses.))

12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)*
1 C roughly chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C Karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
3 squares almond bark

*You can use air popped or microwave popcorn. If using microwave, anything works, but I prefer a “natural” flavor that’s low in butter and salt.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside. (I personally divided the popcorn & nuts between two ginormous bowls, which I would recommend so you have room for lots of stirring.)

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. (I had to use a jelly roll pan & a 9×13 pan–I think 2 jelly roll pans would be best.) Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. (I thought the popcorn wasn’t quite crisp enough after it cooled and will try baking it 10-20 minutes longer next time. I usually bake caramel corn for an hour and found it odd this one only called for half the time.)

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. (I dipped a fork in it and swirled it all over.) When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

Secret Recipe Club

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