Double Chocolate Banana Bread

double chocolate banana bread poster

Bananas don’t last long at my house. Either they are eaten…(we love a banana, peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch). Or either they start turning brown and I rush to use them in something ASAP.

I was fascinated to learn that the more brown spots on a banana, the more nutritional value they have. There is no doubt, they get sweeter the more brown spots they have. I’ve finally convinced my grandchildren of this. (Still working on my grown children…;) )

I do draw the line. When they get soft and mushy, they’re only good for cooking….and Double Chocolate Banana Bread is the perfect use of an over ripe banana. Or two. Or three.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread loaf

I made this today. A variation on my favorite Banana Nut Bread recipe.  If you have bananas sitting on your counter, turning browner by the minute….don’t wait another minute….make this! Especially if  you are a chocolate lover!

It’s richly chocolate with cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I prefer the bittersweet chocolate chips. The older I get, the less I like sweeeeeeet things that curl my teeth. Bittersweet is perfect to me. But you may prefer the semi sweet or milk chocolate chips for your family. Either one works.

double chocolate banana bread slice poster

Warm from the oven, with butter and a glass of milk….(or a cup of coffee)……delicious! If you’ve been craving something chocolate….and have bananas….this is your recipe!

I made muffins last week,  from this recipe.  Grease muffin tin or line with cupcake liners, fill 2/3 full with batter and bake 350* for 20-25 minutes.

double chocolate banana muffins

Perfect for lunch boxes. And nutritional, too!

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup ripened mashed bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips...I prefer bittersweet

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350* Grease loaf pan. (Or muffin tins.)
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream, vanilla and mix well. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in bananas and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into loaf pan and bake 70 minutes or until toothpick some out clean.
  4. (Bake muffins 20-25 minutes. )
  5. Remove from pan to cool.
  6. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/double-chocolate-banana-bread/

Whipping Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

whipping cream pound cake with lemon glaze

I’ve been trying to bake this cake for over a week…I’ve just  been too busy. Finally, today, I made it. Whipping Cream Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze. It’s my daughter’s recipe and she makes the best pound cake ever…..I mean ever. Hers would be twice this tall! Usually we don’t glaze or frost it,  but I wanted a little something extra. And next week will be all about spicy pumpkins and apples so,  this weekend, we’re having lemon with our cake. [Read more…]

Brown Sugar Chews

Brown Sugar Chews1

Positively the best bar cookie known to mankind. Buttery, brown sugary, chewy, buttery…oh, I said that already, …still..…..BUTTERY!  Is it any wonder they are such a favorite? The simplicity of ingredients make this a staple in many a Southern home. My mother  always had Brown Sugar Chews in her famous Tupperware container. All the grandchildren knew where to find them!

When I’m out of dessert, this is a perfect sweet to whip up.  And the great thing is that you can switch it up by adding a variety of  extras. These had macadamia nuts, and white chocolate bar, coarsely chopped. I prefer pecans…but my husband likes macadamia. So this week, it was macadamia. Coconut is also a great addition. It’s all according to how you feel and what you’re in the mood for and what you have available. But honestly, pecans are all you need.

I brown sugar chews ingredients

Ingredients are simple. Brown Sugar, Self Rising Flour, 2 eggs, vanilla, BUTTER, 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans. That’s it.

How hard can this be? Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil. Butter it or Pam it….Preheat oven 350* Bake 20-30 minutes.

brown sugar chewspan

And then you can fall in love with the most satisfying sweetness you can imagine.

Brown Sugar Chews3

What are you waiting for?  In about 45 minutes you can have a house full of happy campers.

Brown Sugar Chews stacked

Enjoy! 

Brown Sugar Chews

Ingredients

  • 1 box of light Brown Sugar minus 1/2 cup of sugar or 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter or 12 TBLS or 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or macadamia....may add white chocolate chips, too. Total amount of nuts and or chips should equal about 1 1/2 cups total. If I only have one cup of nuts, I use that. 🙂

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350*
  2. Melt butter. Remove pan from heat and stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Add eggs, flour vanilla and nuts. Mix until blended.
  3. Spread in a 9x13 buttered pan. I like to line my pan with foil or parchment and then butter or Pam it.
  4. Bake 20-30 minutes until a nice brown crust has formed on top and a tooth pick comes out with only a few crumbs and not wet.
  5. ALlow to cool a few minutes in pan. Remove by lifting the foil out and placing on a cutting board. Cut into squares. These are perfect for a party to cut into tiny squares or larger squares for the cookie jar. Store in an airtight container, or cookie jar. Freezes nicely between wax paper. Seal tightly.
  6. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/brown-sugar-chews/

Apple Walnut Squares with Caramel Glaze

apple walnut squares1

I did say apples are my favorite Fall fruit, didn’t I? Already?  They are! Last week after I made my Home-made Apple Tarts I realized I had bought more apples than I needed.  I saved the apples to use this week in my Apple Walnut Squares with Caramel Glaze. [Read more…]

Home-Made Apple Tarts

homemade apple tart

Fall is officially here.  I know it’s technically been here a few weeks, but in Georgia the season kinda drags its feet. Then slowly but surely the weather gives in, until the nights and the mornings are finally cool. You know it’s here because the leaves turn loose and begin tumbling to the ground…..And it’s apple season. Time for any and all things apple, my favorite Fall fruit. Today I made Home-Made Apple Tarts. After supper, we had Apple Tarts and coffee. And in the morning,  we will do it all over again…..

I have to admit, the first time I made these I was a little nervous. You see,  apple tarts are my mother in law’s specialty. And I make a point to never enter a competition with my mother in law. There’s no way to win. Not for me nor for you with yours. She was his first love and nothing will ever compete with that.  So, with this fact always in mind, I tread very carefully across this most hallowed ground. 😉

I remember when we were dating and I had made my perfect roast beef for dinner. We stopped by later to see his mother and he must have been smokin’ something, I never knew what got into him. To this day.  I caught my breath when I heard him say to her  “It was the best roast beef I have ever put in my mouth.” I looked at him and thought “What have you done? Have you lost your mind???” He told me later, that he was trying to put the words back into his mouth as they stumbled out, but they wouldn’t stop coming… It was something we will never forget. She stopped what she was doing and looked at him, then she looked at me, then back at him. I knew he had stepped in it. There was no cleaning up that mess. We didn’t stay long.

She has made apple tarts for him since he was a little boy.  It’s a comfort food for him and he loves them.  I dreaded having him try mine.  I worried about the crust. I was concerned it might be tough. I worried about the filling, I knew she only used dried apples….I didn’t have her recipe, but I did have one from a dear lady I knew years ago.  When I finished with my first batch and tasted the first one…..oh me, oh my.  They were out of this world. I wasn’t worried any more. And further more, not only would my husband approve, she would, too!

I love my mother in law. We’ve always been kindred spirits. We love the same things: cooking, gardening, shopping and her son.

homemade apple tarts closeup

The tart has perfect layers of tender and delicate crust.

homemade apple tart apples

Although some recipes call for dried apples, fresh apples are perfect. You simply cook them until the juice evaporates. The filling is a simple stewed apple, sugar and cinnamon combination. I used Granny Smith Apples.

homemade apple tart filling2

Roll out crust into 5 inch rounds. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle and fold over, crimp with a fork.

homemade apple tarts filling

Fry in 1 inch oil, on medium heat. You don’t want the oil to be smoking….

homemade apple tarts frying

Drain well on paper towels. Sprinkle with granulated sugar while still warm.

homemade apple tarts sliced

This recipe makes about 15 apple tarts.

Homemade Apple Tarts wide

Whew!…..It’s always nice to pass the mother in law test, don’t you think?   I’m not even going to tell you what he said about my Home-Made Apple Tarts!……no way….  I will say this…they won’t last long!

Enjoy!

Home-Made Apple Tarts

Ingredients

  • 4 large baking apples .....I used two Granny Smith and two Fuji. The Granny Smith tend to cook down faster and the Fuji will not fall apart so easily. You may use either or some of both.
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBLS butter
  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • hot salad oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice apples. Place in large boiler...(just apples) and turn heat on medium. Cover them with a lid. Watch the apples and stir them as they cook a little, but not too much. After about 3-4 minutes remove lid and add sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cook uncovered until done. If you stir too much they will all cook apart. Don't cook them that long..maybe 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring and butter. Stir and set aside to cool.
  2. For Crust:
  3. Mix all ingredients and add additional flour so that you can handle the dough. Once dough is smooth, place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until you are ready to assemble tarts.
  4. To assemble:
  5. Roll out half of the dough about 1/8 inch thick, on a well floured surface.
  6. Once it is rolled out, dust it with a little flour and fold into a square.
  7. Roll it out again. This makes the wonderful flakey layers. ..but this can be our little secret....
  8. Cut into 5 inch circles. (I used a large wide-mouth peanut butter jar)
  9. Wet the edges with water.
  10. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough round.
  11. Fold over and press together with fingers
  12. With a fork, crimp edges.
  13. Fry in hot oil until both sides are lightly browned.
  14. Drain on paper towels.
  15. Sprinkle with granulated sugar
  16. This recipe will make about a 12-15 tarts
  17. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/home-made-apple-tarts/

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

chocolate buttermilk pound cake3

For years I made Miss Marie’s Chocolate Pound Cake and loved it. I still do. In fact, even when I make this Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake, she is always on my mind. She passed away 12 years go and I miss her.

I remember, many years ago, going into my daughter’s room to have “The Talk’ with her. She was in the 5th grade. I decided it was about time….boy, I dreaded it. This is important. I mustard up as much courage as I could and climbed the stairs to her room. [Read more…]

Chocolate Pecan Meringue Cookies

chocolate meringue cookies

Chocolate Pecan Meringue Cookies are a quick and easy way to used leftover egg whites. I made my Lemon Cheesecake -Strawberry Trifle last weekend and had 3 egg whites left. So, I made these delicious little morsels. [Read more…]

Churned Peach Ice Cream

churned peach icecream2

We’ve been partying at my house this weekend. My husband’s birthday was Friday and so the kids, grandchildren and I started the weekend off with an old fashioned cookout.  Well, we had to. I bought him a new grill. Nothing too fancy, just big enough for the two of us and maybe a few more. Of course,  he had to try it out. I bought steak and fresh corn on the cob to grill, made a tossed salad and celebrated with birthday candles on a Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake and then we churned Peach Ice Cream. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful party for Papa. [Read more…]

Gourmet Cupcake Brownies

gourmet cupcake brownies1

Gourmet Cupcake Brownies came into being because one day, like Paul, I put away childish things. I had been making Cupcake Brownies ever since Miss Mildred first brought them to Brick Church for a Sunday Social back in 1979. On that day we were introduced to this delightful brownie and it became a church family favorite and has been ever since. I think every one of us young mamas added it to our recipe box that very day. And since then our daughters have all grown up and added it to theirs. [Read more…]

Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake

sinfully delicious devils food cake2

This week we had two birthdays in our family and we’ll have another one on Monday! Hands down, this cake is everyone’s favorite birthday cake. Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake is hard to beat. Chocolate on Chocolate. A chocolate lovers dream!  I came across a recipe several years ago from David Lebovitz for Devil’s Food Cake and  not only was it delicious,  it was also, very easy to make. I made one and before the week was out I had made two.  That’s when I found out it was the perfect birthday cake. Everyone wanted one. Same thing the next year and now, this year, too.  So, let me share with you the most Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake,  ever!

melissas cake

My latest, above,  baked for my daughter in love’s birthday this week….and her little helper, Emma.

Before we get started…go ahead and buy ingredients for two or more….you’ll be wanting another, after  you taste this one…

devils food cake sliced

This cake is so tender and moist and delectable. Even tho it is recommended to eat it the same day it is baked, I promise, it still tasted magnificent,  3 days later. If it lasts that long!

devils food cake sliceclose

One thing I highly recommend is that you use a good chocolate. I used Ghirardelli’s unsweetened powdered cocoa for the cake.

But for the ganache I used their 60% bittersweet chips. The advantage of using the chips over the bars is that it calls for 10 oz of chopped chocolate and the chips come in a 10 oz bag…or,  you need 2 and a half bars to add up to the 10 ozs.

This week I made one with the bars and one with the chips…both were perfect. You can even use half of one and half of another. Once I didn’t have enough of the good chocolate and added a Hershey unsweetened ounce square and it was still fine. Remember it calls for a semi or bittersweet chocolate NOT unsweetened. Lindt’s is very good, too. I’m limited in my area for finer chocolates,  but if you can get better where you live,  then by all means, do.

I goes without saying..Butter is better than Margarine….and real cream when you can.devils food cake jennifer

This is one I made several years ago….for my daughter’s birthday…. You’ll be so glad you made this…and so will everyone else…Enjoy!

sinfully delicious devils food cake4

Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake

CAKE:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 stick softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup strong coffee

Ganache:
10 ounces chopped bittersweet/semisweet chocolate bar or chips
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven 350* Grease 2 9″ cake pans and line with parchment.

CAKE: Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cocoa, and sift together into a bowl. In another bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Combine coffee and milk. Add milk mixture to sugar mixture alternately with flour mixture 1/3 at a time.
Bake in middle of oven 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Ganache:
Heat cream in medium sauce pan over med/low heat add chocolate to cream.Stir until melted. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until butter is melted. Set aside and allow to cool about an hour or so.

Place first cake layer on cake plate and frost top. Add second cake layer on top of first and frost top. Frost sides. Serve with a generous amount of vanilla bean ice-cream.
Garnish with strawberries and mint leaves (optional). Enjoy!