Banana Bread and The Best Cookies Ever

baking

This afternoon I found myself, briefly, with just my oldest son.  My in-laws had taken #2 and #3 for the day and #4 and Miss C. were napping.  Wow.  We decided to do some baking together.  I haven’t had a chance to bake in ages.  Of course, Miss C. woke shortly after we started baking.

First, we had several bunches of bananas which needed to be used.  There were 15 bananas, so we made a quintuple batch of banana bread.  We used a very simple Bisquick banana bread recipe, available here.

But, we made a few very important modifications.

First, we used three medium bananas per batch (one bowl held a double batch.)

Second, we replaced half of the white sugar with dark brown sugar.

Third, we added plenty of cinnamon (my son was in charge of that step!)

Fourth, we made two of the batches with chocolate chips instead of nuts.

Fifth, we made ten mini loaves instead of five full size loaves.  Baking still took 45-50 minutes.

The result is delicious.  And we really will eat all of it.

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While making the banana bread we had come across my cookie press.  I got it almost four years ago, on a whim, and had somewhat accidentally made an amazing batch of cookies.  I decided to try to recreate them.  It’s really simple.  I couldn’t recall what base recipe I had used, so I used the one on the box.

Again, we made some important changes.

First, before starting, we put a cup of pecans and 2 1/2 cups of flour into a food processor and ran it until the pecans were really finely ground and mixed with the flour.  We used this mixture instead of the 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.

Second, we used bread flour because we were out of the regular stuff (oops) so I didn’t add the baking powder.

Third, we skipped the almond extract because, well, we had put in a bunch of pecans.

Fourth, we skipped the salt.

The result is amazing.  I’m not really sure they are the best cookies ever (I can think of a few strong contenders) but they are delicious, buttery, nutty, melt-in-your mouth pecan shortbread.   They remind me of the story “Cookies”  in Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (one of my kids’ favorites.)

cookies (6)

 

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