Best Ever Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesI found this recipe for Banana Bread and Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze at Averie Cooks.  I knew I’d have to try it.  I mean, really, when someone claims to have found the perfect banana bread recipe, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of their long search!  And oh, after tasting this banana bread, you will give yourself a big pat on the back.  It truly is THE BEST banana bread I have ever put my hands on; super moist and flavorful.  And the glaze?  It took everything in me not to eat it by the spoonful (okay fine…not to eat more than one spoonful…).

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesBanana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesBanana Bread  (makes 1 9×5 loaf, 2 8×4 loaves)Best Ever Banana Bread via elisebakes

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5.3 oz container of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (1 1/2 cups)
  • one 3.4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350F; grease (or spray) and flour the pan.
  2. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute.
  3. To the melted butter, add the sugars, eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and stir or whisk to combine. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add the dry pudding mix and stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bread will be tougher.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 to 58 minutes, or until top is golden and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Allow bread to cool in the loaf pan for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakesBanana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze via elisebakes

Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
  • 1-1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I used just over a cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp cream or milk (I used 1 1/2 tbsp milk)
  1. Brown the butter.  You can do this on the stovetop by heating the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or in the microwave by microwaving on high for 5 to 7 minutes. It is done when it turns a nice brown color and there is no more sputtering or foaming, and has a nutty aroma.  Just be sure to watch it closely and start checking it every 15-to-30 seconds starting at about the 5-minute mark.  Transfer hot butter to medium-sized mixing bowl and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Based on desired glaze consistency and taste preference, add the cream one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached, playing with sugar and cream ratios as necessary.
  4. Spoon or drizzle glaze over the top of the bread before slicing and serving.

Nervous about browning butter?  Check out this tutorial at Ambitious Kitchen – its awesome!

Gingersnaps with Orange-Ginger Cream Filling

Cream-Filled GingersnapsThere is something wonderful about Christmas.  Do you know what it is?  COOKIES!  Okay okay…there are lots of wonderful things about Christmas, way too many to count actually!  It is my absolute favorite time of year!!  I’m not one bit embarrassed to start rocking out to Christmas tunes the day after Halloween,  I just can’t help it!   Cream-Filled GingersnapsCream-Filled Gingersnaps

I got this recipe from Recipe Girl; I doubled it and made a couple adjustments, but nothing major, then I dipped them in white chocolate. Yum!  The cookie itself is light and crisp around the outside and gets slightly more dense and almost chewy in the middle of the larger ones.  It has a wonderful flavor that is not too strong/overpowering. Cream-Filled GingersnapsCream-Filled Gingersnaps

The cookies were a little crispy at first, but after they were filled, they became much more soft (for that reason, I wouldn’t make the cookie alone without underbaking it a bit).  The orange-ginger cream had a very mild flavor that paired really well with the cookie and the white chocolate took it to the next level!  These are definitely something I will make again!Cream-Filled Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps:

Yield: 4-5 dozen depending on size

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla, and beat at medium-high until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Place remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
  6. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball (I did this for the first batch but I wanted them smaller so I did even tablespoons for the rest); roll in sugar to coat. Arrange about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Using the bottom of a glass that has been lightly greased, then dipped in sugar, flatten dough into 1/4-inch-thick disks.
  8. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until firm. Remove from oven and immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Orange-Ginger Cream Filling:

  • 1/4 cup (4 ozs) cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp heavy cream
  • 1/2  ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar , plus more as needed
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix until smooth, adding more powdered sugar as needed (filling should have consistency of very thick frosting).
  2. With a small spatula, frost bottoms of half the cookies (1-2 tsp depending on size of cookie); top with remaining cookie to make sandwich.

White Chocolate Dip

  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1-3 tsp vegetable oil
  1. Melt white chocolate chips and 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a microwave safe dish for a minute at 70% power.
  2. Stir well, then continue to melt in increments of 15-20 seconds until completely melted.  If your chocolate seems to thick, you can add more vegetable oil to thin it out.
  3. Dip cookies in chocolate and let set.

Christmas Spritz Cookies

Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakesI came across this recipe on Never Skip Dessert and thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to use the cookie press I’ve had stashed in my closet for over a year.  They turned out wonderfully!  They were light and airy with a sweet and mild flavor.  My Betty Crocker Cookie Press soo easy to use – I’ll definitely be adding this to my list of Christmas cookie keepers!
Spritz Cookies (makes 7-8 dozen)Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakes
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: sprinkles, food coloring
  1. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until well combined.
  2. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, making a smooth dough.  Do not chill.
  4. Place dough into cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
  5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges [baked 8-10 for me].  Remove cookies from sheet; cool on rack.Christmas Spritz Cookies via elisebakes

Spiced Sugar Cookies

Spiced Sugar Cookie via elisebakes

Christmas is closing in on us; time to start getting cookie recipes organized and stock up on butter and sugar!  These spiced sugar cookies are a great twist on the traditional rolled sugar cookie.  The spice was mild but added something interesting to the cookie.  Before they were iced, these cookies were a little dry – but once they were iced they softened up a little and were much better!

Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

Spiced Sugar CookiesSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes (adapted from Bake at 350)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and spices together.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter until incorporated.   Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended together
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.  If the dough becomes too thick, you can use your hands to knead in bits of flour from the sides or bottom of the bowl.
  5. Roll the dough out and cut with a cookie cutter.
  6. Place cut dough on a greased baking pan and bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

IcingSpiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakes

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup (or honey)
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a bowl, whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup,  vanilla and 1 Tbsp of milk together.
  2. Add food coloring until you reach your desired color.
  3. Add milk until you have a consistency that is thick enough for outlining your cookie (see picture below).  Then transfer to a piping bag or sandwich bag and pipe around outline of the cookie shape.
  4. When all cookies are outlined, add a Tbsp or so of milk to the icing to thin it out enough to flood cookie.
  5. Spread with a toothpick to flood the icing outward toward the outline.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles right away if you plan on doing so and then let them harden.Spiced Sugar Cookies via elisebakesLinking up to Show me What Ya Got!