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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Goodies For The New Neighbors

There is some excitement in our "bare" neighborhood....a new family is moving in!  We are lucky enough to be the ones that they are moving in next to.  Well actually they are two lots over, but since we are one of the only houses built in our subdivision they are the closest thing we are getting to next door neighbors.  My family is so excited that we decided to bake them some welcome to the neighborhood goodies!  We are really hoping that they will enjoy what we baked for them: Banana Poundcake & Double Chocolate Jumble Cookies. 



BANANA POUND CAKE 

This was the simplest pound cake to make!  You can make one big pound cake loaf or four small individual pound cakes like I chose to do.  The cake is moist and extremely flavorful with fresh mashed bananas and a dash of fresh grated orange peel.  Finish the cake off with a dusting of powdered sugar or serve it topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  Since I made 4 small pound cakes I gave two to our new neighbors and I saved two for us.  My husband and I ate it for a late night snack with a cup of tea...perfect way to end our day!
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter ( 1 cup) - softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs - room temp.
  • 1 1/2 medium size very ripe bananas - mashed with fork
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour (plus 3 TB. for preparing loaf pans)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 TB. freshly grated orange peel
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour a 9 x5 inch loaf pan or 4 small loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electic mixer for about 30 seconds and until smooth.
  3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar.  Increase the mixer speed to high and  beat until pale and fluffy.
  4. With the mixer still on high speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the mixture is smooth and very pale and has increased in volume.
  5. Beat in the bananas, vanilla,baking powder, and salt. ( The mixture will look curdled)
  6. On low speed, alternately beat in the flour and milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the orange peel.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake until the cake(s)  pull away slightly from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - about one hour or so. (if the cake starts to brown too much you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil)
  8. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Carefully run a thin bladed knife around the edges of the cake to loosen.  Turn the cake out into the rack, invert, and cool completely.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
The cake can be well wrapped and kept at cool room temp. or int he fridge for up to one week or frozen up to 3 months.

*Recipe Courtesy of "Woman's Day Desserts"- Cookbook




DOUBLE CHOCOLATE JUMBLES 

This cookie looks like a small chocolate cookie, but tastes like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie.  They are moist and cake like but have an outercrispness like a cookie!  They are great wit a big glass of milk!  You can substitute mint chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips for a different taste.

* Makes about 18 cookies
  • 1 stick unsalted butter - softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg - room temp.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup combo of milk chocolate chips and white/vanilla chips
  1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the cocoa, then the flour, just until blended.  Stir in the chips.
  3. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake until the tops look dry, 11 to 13 minutes. ( The cookies will feel soft).  Cool the cookies on the sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove to the rack to cool completely.
The cookies can be kept in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temp. up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.

*Recipe Courtesy of "Woman's Day Desserts"- Cookbook

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