It was good to get a breather . Don’t remember the last time I had a weekend where I could actually have a cup of tea and sneak in a few moments that did not involve schedules and lists – of any kind . DH and yours truly are Yin and yang when it comes to tea – a dash of sugar in one and absolutely none in the other one . Ginger shining through in one and no thanks on the other. Cardamom with a heavy hand on one and not so fast on the other hand. But for the 30 minutes, it was middle ground for tea and absolute serenity. Accompanied by absolutely ” melt in the mouth vanilla button wafer cookies”. Oh these were so good . Had to try this out because I wanted to make something for a dear old soul who would not eat anything with eggs in it.
These were buttery, crispy , absolutely melt in your mouth with vanilla not overpowering and keeping the flavor subtle but classy. I like those kind . And I suppose now that these were such a hit , I would be experimenting a bit more – on the flavors .
- Unsalted Butter: 1/2 cup
- Fine All Purpose flour : 1 and 1/4 cups
- Powdered / Confectioner’s sugar : 1/2 cup
- Fine Granulated Sugar: 1/4 cup
- Salt: 1/4 tsp.
- Milk : 1/4 cup
- Pure Vanilla Extract : 1 Tbsp.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter and sugar till you get a light fluffy mix. It should take about 4-5 minutes. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl so all is incorporated and you do not have butter stuck high on the paddle.
- Add the quarter cup of milk and vanilla extra extract and make sure it is whipped in well.
- In a separate mixing bowl sift the flour and salt together.
- Add the flour to the creamed mix and fold gently. Only till incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Fit a pastry or piping bag with a large round piping tip. The dough is very very soft and pliable . Almost like very sturdy buttercream. So you should be able to pipe it out easily.
- Pipe about an inch diameter circles onto the baking sheets. These do not spread very much so an inch space between then should do.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes. You are looking for golden brown on the bottoms and around the edges. It is very easy to over bake, so keep an eye.
- Let it cool on the pan for about a couple of minutes (the cookies set further on the baking sheet ) and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely and store it in air tight container.
- This makes about 60-65 one inch button cookies. Lasted about a couple of
days hours at my place.
- Creaming is absolutely essential otherwise you will not get the desired consistency. If you think your white granulated sugar is a little big on the crystal size, pulverize it once before creaming. I would not use brown sugar here, because the molasses content in the brown sugar will make these soft.
- Over mixing will produce tough cookies. The texture is crispy, absolutely melt in the mouth because of the high butter content. There is a fraction of caramelization as well and you can feel it in the taste.
- Are these sweet? Yes. Overpowering? No. Could you reduce the sugar content? Possibly. I would probably experiment the next time by increasing the flour content and adding a couple of tablespoons of milk to ease out for the texture, keeping the butter and sugar content the same.
- I honestly felt the vanilla extract was just perfect. You need the taste subtle not overpowering and this will make it a wonderful addition to a pudding or in ice cream. Would this work with wheat flour? Possibly but you will need fine milled whole wheat pastry flour for this. And definitely work on the ratios to get the texture.
A.. La.. One more Banana bread for the files. The bout of flu was pretty bad which meant I spent nearly a week and half playing nurse maid for the kiddos. The got sick in a cascade fashion.The weather here in NC was the most undecided – switching between “spring weather welcoming new life” to “hibernating winter chilly weather”. And Flu viruses had a field day and found new victims at my place, I suppose. Which naturally resulted in a lot of fruits getting underutilized. No smoothies as well as soups ruled the day. So, there I had 6 forlorn bananas looking at me. Like, asking when they would be put to good use. And I had a whole box of mismatched chocolate chips – ranging from big old chocolate chunks to mini chocolate chips. All the way from Super dark with 85 % cacao to semi sweet 65% cacao. Nearly 2 cups worth. But then again what’s a little bit more to cheer up my kids. And since I had some lovely neighbors who helped me out during the mad rush of the last 10 days, they got some nice chunky slices too. All in all , 6 bananas , 2 loaves and quarter of one left .
Some would say I was procrastinating or rather procrastibaking. A million jobs, but I had to bake ! Whoever came up with the word, was a sheer genius who understood the therapeutic aspect of baking. And online ordering of groceries. And the magical power of 10 min power naps. But if someone could still let my nutty lab know that flying leaves in the wind, trash trucks, delivery trucks, people working in the yard, AT and T servicemen yada, yada, yada are not threatening and there is absolutely no need to warn or bark her head off to keep me out of harm’s way. Or you cannot play with everyone coming your way. That works as well. It would be wonderful if she doesn’t go bonkers, but then again it would not be Maya.
The recipe itself is pretty simple. I just about emptied the contents of the fridge to make this and you can never really go wrong with Banana Bread. It is quite simple. You can dress it up or keep it earthy. Indulge with cream cheese or simply warm it and have it with a cup of tea. Or coffee. Or Milk. Have it for breakfast or as dessert. You get the point, it is absolutely versatile.I doubled this recipe and made 2 loaves. I had a few thankful friends who rewarded me with a thumbs up for this .The vegan and other options are listed as well in the notes and through the recipe.
- Bananas : 3 , mashed to yield roughly 1 cup or a bit more. It does not have to be perfect!
- Sugar : ½ – ¾ cup ( I used Turbinado sugar. Use the ¾ option if you like your bread a bit sweeter )
- Eggs : Large,2.(Use flax substitute for vegan option . See notes)
- Greek Yogurt : ½ cup ( Vegan option : Use silken tofu. See notes)
- Vegetable or Olive oil : ¼ cup ( You can use melted butter for richer taste)
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour : 1 and ¾ cup .( See notes for options )
- Baking powder : ½ tsp.
- Baking Soda : ½ tsp.
- Salt : ½ tsp.
- Cinnamon : a pinch ( optional )
- Nutmeg : a pinch ( optional )
- Chocolate chips : ½ cup
- Toasted ,broken Walnuts : ½ cup ( optional )
- Pure Vanilla Extract : 2 Tsp.
- Pre heat oven to 350 F .
- Grease and keep aside the pan of choice.I used an 9 by 5 inch loaf pan as this works well as a loaf bread.
- Mash the bananas with a fork and keep aside. A few chunks of the bananas is what makes this bread a bit rustic. Do not pulverize the bananas. Or alternately using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer mash the bananas.
- Add the eggs or flax egg substitute, vanilla extract and whisk well. Add the Greek yogurt or its substitute, sugar, melted butter if using or oil , cinnamon and nutmeg if using .
- In another mixing bowl measure out the flour and add the salt, baking soda and baking powder and whisk it well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet one and mix only until incorporated. Do NOT OVERMIX.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and reserve some to garnish on top and stir in the nuts if using reserving some likewise to garnish the surface.
- Bake at 350 F for about 45 min- 60 min or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.Keep checking after 38 min.
- Let it cool in the pan for about 10 min and slide out gently to finish cooling on the rack.
- Slice thick chunky slices . Eat plain, with cream cheese , or anyway you want .
- Egg substitute: 1 Tbsp. flax seed + 3 Tbsps. of water – pulverized well will yield a homogenous mass equivalent to 1 large egg.
- Greek Yogurt substitute: 1: 1 switch of blended silken tofu + a dash of lemon juice to give the tartness.
- Butter substitute: Canola oil / olive oil. 1 :1 substitution works perfect.
- Granulated sugar switch : Raw Turbinado sugar or jiggery
- Flour : whole wheat pastry flour is the best substitute for All purpose flour. If you do not have it and have only normal whole wheat flour, I would use 1 and ½ cups instead. It is quite dense. Or you can alternate 1 cup of whole wheat flour and ¾ cup of all-purpose flour.
- If you think your bread is browning too quickly and the middle is still squiggly and squishy, cover it with aluminum foil and return to baking.
- Can I make muffins out of this ? Certainly. Should yield 12-14 muffins, baked for about 16 min or so.
Have I baked using these substitutes ?
The short answer would be an unequivalent “Yes”. My observations though :
- Using jaggery has given me a more denser and squishy loaf because of its wet nature. Also I had better results with using store bought jaggery powder as 1 : 1 switch then pulverizing my own. I would assume that the commercially powdered jaggery was a bit more dry and hence worked better.
- Olive oil worked just fine as a substitute.
- Silken tofu also worked fine. Add in a Tbsp. or so of lemon juice to add in the tartness of yogurt. But I personally would look and choose the non GMO version of it. Make sure you blend it well before adding. You will not be able to blend it after adding it. Though unconventional, applesauce has work in a cinch too. The texture would be different a bit though.