Tag Archives: Banana

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Bakewell Junction

Banana bread is one of my favorite uses for overripe bananas and I combined my classic recipe with homemade butter pecan ice cream to bring you a decadent treat. The banana bread and ice cream are both delicious on their own but together, well, it’s a heavenly match!

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

It’s time once again for the Improv Cooking Challenge. This month’s two “secret” ingredients were bread and butter. In contrast to the cheese and crackers challenge last month, which I found a bit tough since I’m not a huge cheese eater, this one was a challenge because I LOVE bread and I had a difficult time deciding whether to make a traditional bread with a fancy butter or do something a little more out there. I ended up with “out there” with banana BREAD and BUTTER pecan ice cream which was definitely worth it.

I started off making my favorite banana bread recipe. This is my mom’s recipe and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it but it always comes out perfect. I often use chocolate chips instead of nuts but this time I went with chopped pecans to play into the flavors of the ice cream. Definitely use overripe bananas, the browner the better. They tend to be sweeter and help to create a moist flavorful loaf of bread.

Banana Bread

Then I moved onto the butter pecan ice cream. I made a nutty brown butter by melting unsalted butter until golden and fragrant. I added in dark brown sugar and cooked over low heat until it liquified, then I poured in half-and-half. I cannot overemphasize the importance of constantly stirring during this entire process because it is very easy for this mixture to burn and when the cold half-and-half is poured in, the melted sugar can solidify quickly, resulting in hard caramel pieces which is not what you’re looking for in this recipe.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Once it was all combined, I poured the mixture slowly into two beaten eggs in a mixing bowl, still stirring constantly to avoid scrambled eggs. I returned the mixture to the saucepan, then stirred until it began to thicken. I strained the mixture (it’s hard to totally avoid scrambled eggs and this process takes them out from your final product) then stirred in light cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. I poured the mixture into my ice cream maker and froze it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, adding in pecan halves toward the end of the freezing process. This butter pecan ice cream has deep caramel undertones and a creamy texture with a delightful crunch from the pecan pieces.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I then put together the ice cream sandwiches, carefully slicing the cooled banana bread and sandwiching slightly softened butter pecan ice cream between each piece. The sweetness of the bananas combined with the deep caramel flavor of the ice cream and the texture of the pecans was perfect. The dessert is reminiscent of bananas foster, just colder! Both the banana bread and the butter pecan ice cream are each perfect all on their own and I’ve certainly made them separately in the past, but for the ‘bread and butter” challenge, they were the ideal combination and such a tasty treat!

Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches (ice cream recipe adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, and More)

Yield: 1 loaf of banana bread and approximately 1 quart of ice cream

For banana bread:

nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 average sized bananas)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup chocolate chips or finely chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the bananas and sugar. Add in the egg and butter and stir to blend. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Add in the chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes until the bread starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

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For the butter pecan ice cream:

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 cups light cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Directions:

1. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat until it becomes golden brown and smells mildly nutty. Add in the brown sugar and continue stirring constantly over low heat until it melts, taking care not to let it burn. Then add in the half-and-half and bring to a simmer.

3. Slowly beat the half-and-half mixture into the beaten eggs, stirring constantly to avoid scrambling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over heat, still stirring constantly, until it thickens into a custard. Be careful to avoid boiling.

4. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl. Let custard cool slightly, then stir in the cream, vanilla, and almond extract.

5. Depending on your ice cream maker, you may need to refrigerate the mixture until cold/overnight at this point. Then pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add in the nuts toward the end of the freezing process.

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For the ice cream sandwiches:

Let the banana bread fully cool. Spread slightly softened butter pecan ice cream between two slices. Revel in deliciousness!

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Check out more bread and butter recipes here:

Banana Nut Muffins

My son really loves bananas, so we always have bunches of them around the house and I’m frequently on the lookout for new ways to use bananas. Last week we enjoyed savory banana corn cakes as a side with dinner which were so delicious and this weekend we had these Banana Nut Muffins for Sunday brunch. I posted another banana muffin recipe a while back but seeing as how I had just gotten the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book (on sale, yay!) and hadn’t even had a chance to look through it yet, I wanted to try out something from that book for breakfast and the muffins sounded delicious. This is not a book review by any means, since honestly I haven’t looked at more than the first few pages and this recipe so far, but what I love about Cook’s Illustrated is that they do all kinds of testing in their kitchens and explain their thought process and the science behind their recipes. Because of that, their recipes are generally very good without much modification on my part and I feel like I’m learning something about how to become a better cook/baker and create my own recipes by reading their books and magazines.

Banana Nut Muffins

These muffins were different from the other banana muffins I made previously in a few ways. For one, they are huge! These are the size muffins you get from a bakery, like the Costco-sized muffins. So they nearly flowed over the sides of muffin tin and for that reason, weren’t quite as pretty as I was hoping. I actually have a “Texas-sized” muffin tin and I’m wondering if I used that and made 6 muffins instead of a dozen, if they’d look nicer.

Banana Nut Muffins

These muffins contained chopped up ripe bananas rather than using overripe mashed bananas like I usually do when baking with bananas. As a result, they were much paler in color than the typically dark brown banana bread. The muffins were very moist despite not using overripe bananas thanks to yogurt and a generous portion of butter in the batter. Finally, unlike the other muffins which included peanut butter and chocolate chips (awesome flavors in combination with banana), these treats had chopped walnuts instead. Still great flavor and a little less sweet than chocolate chips, just different.

Banana Nut Muffins

Overall, I really enjoyed these muffins (so did my son, by the way). The basic recipe lends itself well to modifications like apple or blueberry muffins and the muffins are so big that we had plenty of leftovers so I’ve been able to enjoy tasty banana nut muffins for breakfast at work every day this week too.

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Banana Nut Muffins (adapted with minimal modification from the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book)

Yield: 1 dozen large muffins

nonstick cooking spray

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (low-fat or whole milk)

1 1/2 cups chopped bananas (2-3 medium sized bananas)

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Place the oven rack in the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric stand mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 steps, alternating with the yogurt in 2 steps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Fold in the chopped bananas and walnuts.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins. Bake until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes.

6. Let the muffins cool in the tin for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Per muffin (made with low-fat yogurt): 407 calories, 21 grams of fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)

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Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Today my husband and I ran our third annual Turkey Trot 5K (and our son slept through his second annual race). Afterwards I wanted something warm and (relatively) healthy for brunch and with some overripe bananas on the counter (plus an extra banana from the race), what better than to make some banana bread?! My son was a huge fan of the pumpkin muffins I made last weekend so I decided to go with muffins again, instead of traditional banana bread, plus muffins are faster to bake and get onto the table.

After preheating the oven to 375F and prepping my muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray, I combined the dry ingredients, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and a pinch of nutmeg in a large bowl. I made a well in the center and added the wet ingredients, melted butter, honey, milk, an egg, and peanut butter. To that I added a cup of mashed banana (it was about 2 and a half bananas but would depend on the banana size). After it was all combined until just moistened (still a bit lumpy), I stirred in half a cup of chocolate chips.

I divided the batter among the dozen muffin cups and baked for 20 minutes, until a knife stuck into the center came out clean. It was such a tasty combination of flavors for our post-race brunch. And my son woke up from his nap just in time to enjoy the muffins with us. Happy weekend everyone!

banana peanut butter chocolate chips muffins

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Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from How to Cook Everything)

Yield: 12 muffins

nonstick cooking spray (or paper liners for the muffin tin)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

pinch of ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup honey

1 large egg

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup mashed overripe bananas (2-3 bananas)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

The Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and to that, add the melted butter, honey, egg, and milk. Next add the bananas. Stir together with a fork or wooden spoon until fully combined and just moistened. It will be somewhat lumpy. Mix in the chocolate chips.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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