Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh, What a Perfect Day! Featuring cornbread, peanut butter cups and banana "ice cream"

Today was the first day in a long time where I did not have any commitments, so I used it to try a bunch of recipes I've been interested in.

Maple Banana Cornbread

Cornbread was the first recipe of the day! Conditions were perfect...we were having ham for dinner (well, the rest of the family was), my dad loves cornbread (I've been trying to convince him to eat my baking) and I also had a ridiculous amount of extremely ripe bananas that I needed to use up. I had bookmarked this recipe a long time ago and decided today was the day!

I made a couple of changes to the recipe. First, I used spelt flour instead of white whole wheat flour because I really love to bake with spelt and haven't seen white whole wheat for sale anywhere. I used three bananas instead of two, just because mine were rather small, and a whole egg instead of just the white. I hate wasting things and had no other use for an egg yolk...also, I ASSUMED the original recipe cut it out to cut down on fat, and I didn't care about that. Finally, I added a splash to vanilla to the wet ingredients.

The batter was quite runny and it took a while to bake, so I was worried that the extra banana and egg yolk were mistakes. I left it in the oven for a total of about 10 extra minutes, I would say. I let it cool completely before cutting it because I was afraid I would cut it open and liquid banana would just burst out.

Thank the Lord, it was baked perfectly! I loved it. It was very moist, dense and banana-y. You don't really taste the cornmeal, it mostly adds texture. I got dad to have a taste (since it was for him...) and he didn't like it...he said banana and corn shouldn't mix, but I say nuts to that, I've eaten three slices already...

Maple Cornbread Muffins
(from February 2010 edition of Vegetarian Times magazine)

Upon failing to make a cornbread recipe that both my dad and I could eat and enjoy, I gave up and just made him a recipe I knew he liked, with a few changes to suit his tastes. I'll record the original recipe with my changes in brackets:

1 cup plain soy milk (skim milk)
1/4 cup non hydrogenated vegan margarine, melted (butter, melted)
2 Tbs. maple syrup (honey)
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt (fine sea salt)
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (I used left over canned stuff from my sister's lunch...)

To Prepare (I'll just use my ingredients, for simplicity's sake):
1. Preheat over to 375C. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners (I only had three liners, so I just sprayed the rest of the pan. The edges of the unlined ones browned quite a bit more).
2. Whisk together milk, butter, honey, and vinegar in bowl. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture. Fold in corn kernels.
3.Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then unmold, and serve warm.

Dad approved. Though I couldn't taste them because of the sugar, I have made them a couple of times before and thought they were very good.

Banana "Ice Cream"


I actually first came across this idea while stumbling, but re-found it on the blog I linked it to. Again, the bananas and my dad's love of ice cream convinced me to finally do it.

I followed the recipe, except I used chunky peanut butter and no cream (to make it friendly for a couple of lactose intolerant people I was serving it to). I found I didn't need the cream to help the bananas along, they were fine on their own. I re-froze it and waited to serve it after dinner with the apple crisp my mom made. While dishing out dessert, mom told me to be modest in the amount I gave dad because he would just be adding vanilla ice cream once he decided he didn't like mine. I did that, and returned to the kitchen to scoop some for myself when I heard a call for more ice cream!! Everyone loved it, including my dad--he never ended up eating any of his real ice cream! My mom is lactose intolerant and extremely excited about this recipe.

If you're going for the peanut butter taste, I think it could have used more than 1/4 cup, but that's just me. I am excited to make it again and experiment with more flavouring ideas!

Peanut Butter Cups

I have been wanting to make this recipe for SO LONG. I even asked for mini muffin tins for Christmas with it in mind. I kind of combined the first recipe with this one but also changed a few things on my own. The recipe ended being as follows:

The Filling:
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I used smooth, no sugar or salt)
2 Tbs coconut butter
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs honey
a pinch of fine sea salt

The Chocolate:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup honey
splash of vanilla

I made the filling first and set it aside because I was nervous about melting the chocolate and having it cool before I would finish with it. I cut up the chocolate and melted it on a double boiler. I took it off the heat to add the honey and vanilla.

This tray was full...two were eaten
before I thought to take a picture

Following the instructions from another recipe, I used a paint brush to paint candy cups with chocolate. I wanted to see if I could make them look like little chocolates you get from a box! This took too much time, I'd results weren't really worth the effort. If I had nice nut butter cup candy molds, I might feel differently, but those candy cups were a pain in the butt.

I also made some by just putting the filling straight into a muffin hole and topping it with chocolate.

My chocolate fears came true, and it began to harden by the time I got around to adding the top layer to the cups. I tried to re-melt it, but instead of returning to a nice, liquid-y state, it got kind of...paste like? I ended up just dumping some chocolate topping on the peanut butter and returned them to the freezer. I am not really sure why the chocolate did this, but I plan on researching it a bit. I THINK I read about chocolate seizing if it gets too much liquid in it while you're melting it, so maybe the honey and vanilla caused this? I am not sure.

There was a bit of both the filling and the chocolate left at the end, but not enough of either to make a complete cup, so I mixed them together and plopped them in a few of the spare muffin holes.

I tasted the candy cup ones and the two layered ones and thought they were delicious. The chocolate was not too sweet, but the top layer ended up being quite chewy. I actually really liked that, but I have no idea how or why it happened. I didn't try the mixed ones, but how can they be bad?*

*JAN 6th: I JUST ATE ONE...I might actually prefer them mixed.


  1. You get so much baking done! I am amazed by the banana ice cream—is it actually ice creamy? I am also very interested to try making the peanut butter cups one day!

  2. The peanut butter cups were so good! And I am also intrigued by the banana ice cream. I have always wanted to make ice cream and that looks delicious!

  3. Yes!! The banana ice cream is very ice creamy, I HIGHLY recommend.


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