Friday, March 25, 2011

My New Baking Corner and the World's Best Banana Bread

I have a new corner of counter top in my kitchen. 
(have you seen the new kitchen?  go here)
I love it.
It's the perfect spot for my pink mixer--a Christmas gift from Aaron quite a few years ago.
I use it a lot.
I decided this is my new baking corner.  
A place to rest my cookbook, close to my spices and other baking ingredients and right next to the oven.
It's perfect.

 I filled the drawer with my wooden spoons and spatulas, my measuring cups and spoons.
It doesn't take much to make me happy.
A square of new counter space, an organized drawer, and a quiet morning to do some baking.
I'm easy to please.
Yeah, my husband knows he's lucky. 
Cause guess who got warm banana muffins for breakfast this morning?

I used the recipe from this cookbook.
Aaron bought me this the first Christmas we were married.
(and, just so you know, one of the reasons I chose the turquoise boomerang for my counters was because I knew it would be awesome for photos.  how's that for crazy?)
To be honest, there are not a whole lot of recipes that I make from it.
But I love it just the same.

 I do make the banana bread recipe a lot.
So much so that the page is marked with one of our extra wedding invitations.
It makes me happy every time I open this cookbook.
I've been making this banana bread for 12 years.
It's the best.

I've changed some things to make it my own.
No offense to Martha, but now it's even better than hers.
Other people like it too, so I'm not just saying that.

I often make it into muffins rather than as a loaf of bread.
Muffins cook a lot faster.
And when you have 3 hungry kids and a husband who's leaving for work, speed is important.
Yes, I could have just made toast, but we were out of bread.
And the night before, I thought, "I really don't want to go to the store right now.  I'll just make muffins for breakfast.  That's easier."
Is that insane?
Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to use my new baking corner.

Whatever the reason, here's the recipe.
It is, hands down, my favorite recipe for banana bread.
You should try it--it's almost the weekend and muffins are a wonderful way to start a Saturday morning.
I'm just sayin.

Love from,

The World's Best Banana Bread (adapted from the Martha Stewart Cookbook)

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature (or softened in the microwave)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (omit if you used salted butter, which I always do)
1 cup mashed, very ripe banana
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350
Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan or 12 standard muffin tins
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs, beating well
Sift the dry ingredients together (I never do and it still tastes fabulous)
Combine dry ingredients with butter mixture
Blend well
Add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla
Stir well
Pour into prepared pans
Bake about 1 hour for loaf pan, about 20 minutes for muffins.

My changes
I use whole wheat flour instead of white.  It tastes way better.  Seriously.
I use unsweetened apple sauce instead of sour cream.
BUT, today I was out of applesauce and had to use plain, lowfat yogurt instead.
I liked it even better than the applesauce.  The muffins were not quite so sweet.
You decide.
I add a couple tablespoons of ground flax seed meal. No one notices.
I always make a double batch.

Now go bake.


Nancy said...

I just love your new baking station. How cheery and fun. And, a muffin to go with it? Dreamy. :)

Lisa said...

love, love your pink mixer and the blue and pink are adorable together.

Anonymous said...

So cute! I have a similar baking corner and it brings so much order to my world. I'm working on the clean look for my house though;)
You're always giving me so many great ideas. I can get my kids to do anything with those Popsicle you posted about a time ago. Thanks!!

Love the counter color!

hannah singer said...

banana muffins! my favorite kind of bananas;)
i am gonna try this recipe this weekend-different than what i always make(which i love mine), i like change. i always add flax meal! even to pancakes, cookies etc. nobody ever notices;)