We’ve all been there, you had high hopes of eating those bananas the minute they are perfectly ripe. But, you blinked and they went from perfection to perfect for baking.
This bread has a lot of bananas in it, so you almost have to plan for it. It also has an ingredient you will almost never find in our recipes, vegetable shortening. Butter just doesn’t give the right texture so shortening it is.
The Best Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
7 ripe, peeled, mashed bananas
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Cream the sugar and shortening together. Add eggs one at a time until mixed then add the bananas all at once and the vanilla.
Add the baking soda, powder and salt. Then add the flour.
Remove from mixer and fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (i generally use glass. This bread is really more cake like. You could do it in bread molds but I am lazy).
Pour mixture into pan and spread it out so it is even. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
Let cool completely and enjoy!
Posted in Baking, Bread, Dessert, Quick and Easy
Tagged baking, bananas, breakfast, chocolate chips, nuts, Quick bread, snack cake, walnuts
I am a novice candy maker, I have attempted three caramels in my lifetime and unlike a lot of fellow novice bakers I have had success every time. That being said, the perfect Salted Caramel still alluded me. So this year, for my boss’ birthday, she requested home made salted caramels and I accepted the challenge.
The resulting recipe is soft enough to bite into but firm enough to cut and wrap – they literally melt in your mouth.
Acme Baking Company Heavenly Salted Caramels
Prepare an 8×8 pan – I chose to line the pan with parchment and then lightly sprayed the parchment with non-stick spray.
In a medium sauce pan heat the following over low heat while cooking the sugar mixture:
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt (I used table salt)
2 tsp vanilla
In a 3.5-4qt sauce pan cook the following to 310 degrees:
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
When the sugar mixture reaches 310 degree, slowly add your heated cream mixture. This will bubble, spit and erupt furiously – don’t be afraid it will all calm down but be sure you add the cream slowly to avoid a boil over or any kind of accidental burns.
Once the mixture calms down a bit, stir it just a little (with a fresh utensil) and allow to come to “FIRM BALL” temp which should be around 250 degrees.
At 250 degrees, remove the mixture from the heat and add an addition 2 tbsp butter. Stir the mixture until the butter is completely melted and the entire thing looks smooth and shiny.
Pour the hot mixture into your prepared dish and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cool almost completely and cut long strips with a pizza cutter and then the actual pieces from each strip with a sharp knife. Wrap each piece individually.
Posted in Candy, Caramel, Gluten Free, Uncategorized
Tagged acme baking company, baki, baking, candy, caramel, gift giving, home made, sugar, sweet
At Acme Baking Company we don’t claim to be candy makers, before this year our attempts were limited to fudge and this amazing pecan roca that can be made using a microwave. Sure a candy thermometer graces our kitchen gadget drawer but it had never seen the inside of a pot of boiling sugar until now! It can be intimidating but if you follow our instructions you should have success.
We should note, that we typically use a 6qt hard anodized non-stick pot but we think we will graduate to a heavy stainless steel pot soon. The other thing worth mentioning is that candy making is really easy to clean up. It sounds like it would present a sticky mess but remember sugar dissolves in hot water so with a little patience your mess will be cleaned up.
Fleur De Sel Caramels
Before you start it is important that you have your pan prepared. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick spray. (I generally spray and then gently wipe it mostly off with a paper towel)
1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (this can be purchased at Williams Sonoma or online – you can also use a whole, split vanilla bean. Just remove it before adding the hot milk to the boiling sugar)
1 1/4 tsp sea salt – finely ground
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
In a small sauce pan, heat the cream, butter, vanilla, paste and salt over medium low heat. Do not boil this mixture but make sure you get it really hot and stir it frequently.
In a large, 6qt, sauce pan heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved continue to heat the mixture, occasionally swirling the pan until the mixture becomes a light amber color. This will take some time so be patient and don’t try to rush it by increasing the heat of the burner.
Once the mixture is a nice golden color, stir in the cream mixture. Pour slowly and stir constantly – the sugar mixture will boil up so don’t go too slowly. Once the cream is all added you will not be stirring anymore. At this point you should insert a candy themometer without letting the bulb touch the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches “firm ball” stage or about 248 degrees.
Immediately remove from the heat and pour into your prepared pan – avoid the temptation to scrape the pan. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or so and then sprinkle the top with a coarsely crushed sea salt. Cool completely and then cut. I typically use a lightly oiled pizza cutter. Wrap the pieces in wax paper, cellophane or foil 4” squares – you can buy these or make your own.
Posted in Candy, Caramel, Christmas, Gluten Free
Tagged acme, acme baking company, baking, candy, caramel, easy, fleur de sel, holiday, sea salt
>Oscar Sunday was last week and I opted to bake my contribution to the party. I knew I wanted to do cupcakes but what to do what to do!
Enter the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook that has been on my shelves for years and never used. The decision. Lemon Cupcakes and Chocolate cupcakes. I thought I was going to do cream cheese frosting on both but it just didn’t taste right on the lemon so I whooped up the lemon with a lemon curd filling (from the book) and a lemon buttercream frosting.
The lemon curd was to die for so that is the recipe I am going to post. To fill cupcakes I used some weird tool in my kitchen that was for juicing lemons. I think there is a tool made specifically for this task so I might have to buy one because the idea of filled cupcakes is a winner in my book.
6 egg yolks at room temp
1 1/2 Tbsp grate lemon zest
1/2 c. lemon juice (freshly squeezed of course)
1/4 tsp lemon extract (this really added a nice balance)
3/4 c. sugar
cook all of that for about 20 minutes (stirring constantly) over medium heat. It will get thick and bubbly (you’ll think it is thick enough earlier but just keep going for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and add 1 c. of cold butter cut in small pieces one piece at a time and stir until each piece is incorporated.
Place in a heat proof container and chill until firm (the recipe calls for overnight, but I only had a couple of hours)
I made about a dozen cupcakes and I only needed about half of the mixture to fill them. The rest was consumed on toast, biscuits, pancakes..you name it!
Posted in Cake, Cupcakes, Dessert, Frosting
Tagged bake, baking, Cake, cupcake, curd, Dessert, Frosting, lemon, magnolia bakery