Monday, March 21, 2011

Mom Bakes Mondays: Banana Oat Cake

I'm noticing a trend...
Last week my mom shared banana chocolate cupcakes; this week she brings us banana oat cake.  Our favourite flavour combinations are becoming quite apparent.

This cake was a staple growing up. It's one of those that's really difficult to mess up-- you can use nuts, chocolate, whole wheat flour, and it still stands up and turns out great. And I'm not sure about you, but the inclusion of oats, whole wheat flour, and banana makes this count as somewhat healthy in my books, and definitely makes it welcome as breakfast.
(To end on a somber note, the past few days my heart has shattered for a fellow food blogger, Monet, at Anecdotes and Apple Cores, whose sister, brother-in-law, and nephews have been in a tragic accident. Please find the time to visit her blog, pray for her family or keep them in your thoughts, and donate if you can. Thank you.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Double Ginger Snaps

I've really dropped the ball for holiday posts lately. Nothing for Valentine's Day, and now nothing for St. Patrick's Day. But these Double Ginger Snaps are so amazing, they're worth going against the blogging grain.
I've been home with the boy for the last few days. He has a lung infection, and spent most of yesterday sleeping and eerily quiet.

Today he demands food and dances manically in between bouts of lethargy and coughing.

Kids are strange.

I've been taking advantage of my time at home by baking (of course) and finally uploading pictures off my camera. There are a few gems that had slipped my mind, including these Double Ginger Snaps by Williams Sonoma.

I made these after impulse-buying some candied ginger. I love ginger-- it's the perfect sweetness mixed with a sharp spice, and can calm an angry stomach almost instantly. And that's exactly why ginger belongs in cookies-- they're simultaneously causing and curing stomach aches at the same time.
These were even a huge hit with those who didn't love ginger as much as I do, with a few people claiming they're the only ginger cookies they've ever really liked.  They might not be green, but they're absolutely worthy to make on St. Patrick's Day (or any other day).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mom Bakes Mondays: Banana Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Frosting

My mom, Jeanette, is one of the biggest the reasons why I bake so well. Growing up, my brother and I were constantly awaking to fresh treats.  We'd go to bed after eating -- or in my case, kind of eating -- a fantastic dinner, and in the morning wake to the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns and bacon.  (The fact that she never thought to combine the two is a bit upsetting, but I digress). There were always healthyish home-baked treats if we wanted them.  I think it's because of this that although I love baking, and eating dessert, both my brother and I don't binge on sweets.

A lot of my most favourite and staple recipes come from my mom, like Healthy Cinnamon Rolls, Wacky Cake, and Perry Bars.  These are the same treats my son wakes up to, as well. 

It is probably in large part because of her that I love to bake today. However, she really dropped the ball when it came to instilling a love of cooking, tidiness, cleaning, and organizing-- all things she is equally, albeit fanatically, good at.

It's because of her incredible talent (Mom, this brief moment of weakness sentimentality is your Christmas present), that I've decided to feature her baking on Mondays. She's excited to share, and will have some amazing things to show off. Trust.

The recipe for these banana chocolate cupcakes comes from both of our beloved RLB's Heavenly Cakes. The icing comes from my mom's head. Our conversation when I tried to extract the recipe went something like this:
"Mom, what's the recipe for the icing?"
"Oh, I don't know. I just sort of winged it."
"Okay, but I can't tell the internet to just wing it with some sugar and peanut butter, so what did you do?"
She hummed and hawed for a minute. "I used about a third a cup of butter, and a third a cup of peanut butter, I guess. And then I added some icing sugar. And cream! I used real cream".  Thanks, Mom.

So there you have it. To make the frosting, use 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup peanut butter. Add icing sugar (I'm assuming 2-3 cups), and then some cream to get the right texture.

In future, she promised to pay much better attention to what she's doing.  But we have to be alike in some ways.


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