Monday, In Seven Words.

Keith gets a new TV, I bake.

Banana Muffins, Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars + Blueberry Nectarine Buckle

Clockwise, from muffins:

Banana Muffins, from Catherine Robertson at Cat Can Cook
Makes twelve muffins

3 or 4 large bananas, mashed (I had three; I used three.)
½ cup white sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted margarine or butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups flour

Mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together, being careful not to over-stir! Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350° oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Note: I added something like ¾ cup flour-dusted chopped walnuts, mainly because I had them.

Chocolate-Chip Brownie Double-Deckers, from The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge
Makes two dozen two-inch double-deckers

for the chocolate chip layer:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for the brownie layer:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into equal pieces
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour

  1. Position oven rack on the middle rung.  Heat oven to 325°.  Lightly grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.
  2. Begin making the chocolate chip layer by melting 12 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until butter is melted.  Remove from heat and add brown sugar; whisk until no lumps remain.  Set aside to cool.
  3. While chocolate chip layer is cooling, make brownie layer by melting remaining 12 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from heat and add cocoa powder; whisk until smooth.  Add sugar and salt; whisk until blended.  Add eggs one at a time, whisking in between eggs until just blended.  Whisk in vanilla with the second egg.  Sprinkle flour over chocolate mixture; stir with a spatula until just blended.  Scrape batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.  Set aside to finish chocolate chip layer.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; whisk until well-blended.  Once butter mixture has cooled, add to it the egg and vanilla; whisk until combined.  Pour in flour mixture and stir with a spatula until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop cookie dough over brownie batter in large clumps; spread evenly and carefully with a spatula.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small, gooey clumps of brownie sticking to it, about 40 minutes.  Do not overbake, or brownies will not be fudgy.  Transfer baking pan to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, cut into small squares measuring about 2 inches each.  The cooler the double-deckers are, the cleaner the cutting will be.  Regardless, the cutting knife will get covered with sticky crumbs.

Note: Even though I spent a good portion of the day baking, I’m still a little lazy — which is why I poured the melted butter combo from step 2 into a separate heat-proof bowl before whisking in the brown sugar and reused the saucepan without washing for step 3.

Blueberry and Nectarine Buckle, from Gourmet’s Sweets: Desserts for Every Occasion
Makes eight portions

for the topping:
½ stick cold unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar, plus one tablespoon (the original recipe calls for ½ cup, but I find that amount a bit too sweet)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon fleshly grated nutmeg

for the batter:
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 cups picked-over blueberries
2 nectarines, pitted and cut into 1-inch wedges

for an accompaniment:
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

  1. Make topping.  Cut butter into bits.  In a small bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender blend together butter, sugar, flour and spices until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Chill topping while making batter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter a ten-inch round cake pan or a two-quart baking pan.
  3. Make batter.  Pit nectarines and cut into one-inch wedges.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar, then beat in vanilla.  In a second bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking powder.  Beat flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after each addition, and then fold in blueberries and nectarines.
  4. Spread batter in the pan and distribute topping evenly over the top.  Bake buckle in the middle of the oven for forty-five to fifty minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and topping is crisp and golden.  Serve with ice cream.

NoteOf course, you can eat this without ice cream.  But why would you want to?