12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 12: Double Chocolate Crunchies {Recipe Redux}

Today I’m sharing an old post that fits perfectly with the Christmas theme. No-bake chocolate candy that can be customized to your liking. It’s a Dorie Greenspan recipe, and I first made it over two years ago, with my own twist: more chocolate!

I doubled the chocolate by adding it once with the dry ingredients, and coating the candy mounds in more melted chocolate. After all, for Christmas, more is more :D

My version of Dorie's chocolate crunchies!

My version of Dorie’s chocolate crunchies!

The original post, along with the recipe, can be found here, dated November 2011.

12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 11: Spiced Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Banana bread is a favourite with me. Since I don’t have access to raspberries and blueberries and nice berries in general, banana bread is my standard fruit cake. The Joy Of Baking recipe was my go-to for a long time, until I was initiated into the world of brown butter via Melissa Clark’s blondie recipe.

This one comes from Joy The Baker, and it’s called brown butter banana bread. I like it because it doesn’t require creaming butter, just folding the wet and dry ingredients together. And the brown butter adds a lovely colour and a nutty taste.

I wanted to Christmas it up a little, so I added every possible spice I could- cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and a hint of cloves. I decided to pack it all in, with a healthy dose of walnuts. And I drizzled some caramel sauce over it too, because aren’t bananas and caramel a gorgeous match?

SPICED BANANA BREAD (Adapted from Joy The Baker.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk ( I used some yogurt thinned with water)
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to to 175 C.
  • Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will start foaming and bubbling.
  • When the foaming and crackling subsides, the butter will begin to go brown.
  • When the butter browns and start to give off a nutty aroma, pull the pan off the heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder and clove powder and walnuts.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the mashed bananas and whisk. Then whisk in the cooled brown butter.
  • Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients all at once.
  • Fold everything together till evenly combined and no streaks of flour remain in the batter.
  • Pour batter into greased loaf tin.
  • Bake at 175 C for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack and unmould.

12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 11: Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel 2I’ve shared this recipe before, but I have to share it again because it’s so, so good. And salted caramel sauce makes a wonderful edible gift for the holidays. This is super versatile too- goes great on ice cream, cake, brownies, cookies, popcorn, you name it. And it tastes amazing all by itself. A word of caution- you will probably be downing it by the spoonful once it’s made.

The recipe comes from Purple Foodie who calls it the best caramel sauce ever, and I have to agree. Way nicer than the stuff they drizzle over your Frappuccinos. The butter and cream make it silky smooth, and a lot richer than the stuff you get in a bottle. It’s a great recipe to have in your arsenal because when you don’t have time to make a big dessert, all you need is some of this sauce and some ice cream. Or if you are alone, just some caramel sauce and a spoon.

I made zero changes to the recipe. The original can be found here.