The Foodie Blogroll

Cranberry and Banana Loaf with Ginger and Walnuts (Eggless) + Ooey-Gooey-Banana Cinnamon Rolls + Samoas

Cranberry and Banana Loaf with Ginger and Walnuts (Eggless)

Recipe adapted from here

Up until this point in my life I don't think I could ever come across a loaf that tastes' as heavenly as this. I mean, I have posted numerous loaves on this blog and I can say they have all been extremely delicious but this blows all of those out of the water. I just loved EVERYTHING about this. Banana, cranberry, CRYSTALLIZED ginger and then walnuts (I may not be the biggest fan of walnuts, but when added with the other ingredients it just packs such a punch). Even though this recipe is eggless, it is still just as fluffy as it would be if it were made with eggs. All the pureed fruit plus the oil adds such an amazing moistness to the bread. The bread is seriously so moist you really have to be careful or it may crumble in your hands. I didn't eat this with butter because I seriously think it would have ruined it (but again I'm not the biggest fan of butter, I don't even put butter on my corn...). This was so divine and it was such a perfect wrap-up of the summer and a welcoming fall loaf. This will be made many more times I can tell you that right now. Also the colours! I know I'm going to post quite a few pictures of pretty much the same thing but I was so hypnotized by the colours and the way the bread looked I just couldn't help myself. DIIIIVINE!

Ingredients:
  • 1 small banana, pureed
  • 1 C of fresh cranberries, pureed
  • 5 tbsp of grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup of fortified soy milk
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tbsp of chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3 tbsp of chopped walnuts
Directions:

Pre heat the oven at 360 degrees F. Line a 7 and 1/2 inch by 3 and 1/2 inch loaf pan with foil.

In a bowl, add the banana and cranberry purees, brown sugar, oil and milk. Stir well and keep aside.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, ginger and walnuts and mix well.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Stir the fruit mixture well. Fold in until everything is just moistened. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

Place the pan in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted through the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool the loaf in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Store in air tight containers.

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Ooey-Gooey-Banana Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe adapted from here

I have never made homemade cinnamon buns, excluding the Pillsbury's but those don't count. I had been looking for quite a while for a cinnamon roll recipe, and when I had lots of bananas left I wanted to somehow incorporate them into my cinnamon buns. After doing a little bit of perusing it seemed that others had the same idea as me. I found one recipe that really stuck out to me so I knew I was going to try it. When I woke up the next morning that is exactly what I did and boy was I grateful. These were exceptional. The banana added so much va-va-va-voom to the roll, and I also decided to mash some into the filling and that packed in even more va-va-va-voom. These were soo good, I probably would have eaten them all myself if I didn't give some away. I was so happy that my first attempt at cinnamon rolls were a success (not that I was afraid it wasn't going to be since they really are so simple to make, but I was excited nonetheless). If you like sweet cinnamon rolls and you also love the flavour of banana this is the recipe for you!

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup vanilla fortified soy milk, heated
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups bread or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 mashed banana
Directions:

In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of the sugar into the warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let rest for 10 minutes.

While the yeast is coming to life, in a separate bowl, stir together the flours, cinnamon, remaining tablespoon of sugar and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the mashed bananas, melted margarine and the yeast/milk mixture after it has bloomed. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients on medium low until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour and mix.

Switch the attachment to the dough hook. At this point, your dough may still feel quite wet and soft. Add some flour, a tablespoon at a time, while the machine is running on medium low until the dough starts to come away from the bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough will be ready when it has formed a nice ball, but is still very soft and slightly tacky to the touch, but comes away cleanly from the bowl. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, melt the butter. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture, spreading it around the whole surface of the dough with your hand. Drizzle the surface with the remaining melted butter. Roll up the rectangle tightly, from the long side, and pinch the seam to seal. Cut the roll into 12 even slices. (This will be a messy process, as the banana/sugar/butter mixture will start oozing out. Don’t be afraid of it. Just go at it.) Place the slices, cut sides down, in a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Give them a little bit of space in between as they will rise. Cover with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge to rise overnight.

In the morning, pull the cinnamon buns from the fridge a half hour before baking and place them on top of the stove while the oven preheats to 375°F (if using a glass or dark-coloured pan like I was, reduce the temperature by 25°F). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Remove the cinnamon buns from the oven and set on top of the stove to let cool a bit. (I didn't put any glaze as I found they were rich enough).


Samoas

Recipe taken from here

First may I rant a little bit here for a second? Where are all the Girl Guide cookies in Canada? I see American's posting about all these wonderful looking cookies and I never get to experience the legit thing. I have to resort to making my own and I'll never know, no matter how good mine are if they compare to the legit Girl Guide cookies. ... really, I want to do a foodie-exchange with an American so I can get a chance to try all kinds of American goodies INCLUDING pumpkin pie poptarts and the candy corn kisses :( /sigh...

Over the summer I saw numerous post's about Samoas which are APPARENTLY (I wouldn't know) also known as Caramel de-Lites. Girl Guides describe Samoas as vanilla cookies, dipped in caramel, topped with coconut and drizzled with chocolate. In my books these are all good flavours, yes even the chocolate... chocolate, caramel and coconut are a match made in heaven. I think this cookie might even convince those "coconut-haters" out there that these are divine. Heck it convinced my caramel-hating (I know I didn't even know that was possible!) friend to love these cookies.

These cookies were soooo good. It had a shortbread/sugar cookie type base. Then rich toppings just made this one exquisite cookie. I still really want to try a REAL Girl Guide Samoa, but if that opportunity never arises for me I can gladly say that I have tried a Samoa i.e. Samoa a la Sam!

Note: these took a little bit of time to make but were very very fun. I found it to be relaxing and quite an enjoyable process but the results are definitely worth it!


Cookies:
  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Up to 2 tbsp milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.

Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.

Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Topping:

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 8 oz dark or semisweet chocolate
Directions:

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.

While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.

Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

ENJOY!

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