Bananas Foster Monkey Bread

Hello my dear Sweet Precision friends! It feels as though it’s been a lifetime since I’ve written a blog post. You can rest assured that I’ve still been baking (this Key Lime Pie recipe has been a favorite of mine this summer). I’ve simply been remiss when it comes to taking pictures and writing up my recipes.

It’s hard to believe that summer is in full force and (dare I say) even beginning to wind down a little bit. I’ve begun to see some of the students return to campus which is a sure sign that autumn is just around the corner. Matthew and I have had a fun albeit busy summer. I’m looking forward to a couple upcoming weekends when I have nothing (insert gasp) on the calendar. It’ll be nice to relax and enjoy a little rejuvenation time.

I had a good friend from college come to visit Ann Arbor this past weekend. We had a lovely weekend filled with girl talk, pedicures, a barre class, and way more food than we needed to eat! I wanted to make some dessert for our dinner on Sunday and together we landed on this recipe. If you’re looking for a recipe with minimal preparation, this monkey bread fits the bill perfectly. The bananas have a strong smell when the loaf is in the oven but the flavor isn’t overpowering. I think this would be a perfect dish to bring to a breakfast or brunch!

Bananas Foster Monkey Bread
Recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 (7.5 ounce) packages buttermilk biscuit dough, cut into quarters
2 ripe bananas, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Place a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a loaf pan. Shake the sugar and cinnamon together in a large plastic bag; add the biscuit dough, bananas, and pecans to the bag and shake to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the brown sugar into the melted butter until completely dissolved. Add the vanilla and stir well. Pour the mixture over the biscuit dough.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
I found baking this loaf in a bundt pan was perfect for the recipe. It cooked evenly in about 35 minutes. Although I placed a cookie sheet underneath to catch any drips, the pan didn’t overflow while cooking.

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Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

There’s no doubt about it, pumpkin is a quintessential flavor of fall. Although I appreciate pumpkin in all its forms, I especially love it in desserts. Pumpkin desserts are no stranger to the Sweet Precision kitchen. In past years I’ve made pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin tiramisu. I’ve even written a post about how to make your own pumpkin pie spice! This year, I’m adding to the lineup with some tasty pumpkin bread that is sure to leave your kitchen smelling divine.

This week marked the four year anniversary for Sweet Precision. I made my first Sweet Precision post on October 4th, 2012. Looking back, Matthew and I were just beginning what would be a one year long distance relationship with him moving to Ann Arbor to start his PhD program. I was continuing to enjoy life in Washington DC, but found myself feeling alone in a city that we had once explored together. I needed something to funnel my newfound spare time into—and a new baking blog was the perfect project.

Since then, it seems as though time has flown. I’ve moved to Ann Arbor, Matthew and I have gotten married, he has completed four years of his PhD program, and we’ve even welcomed a new puppy into our family! In the midst of all this, I’ve continued baking and blogging.

What an amazing 4 years it’s been. Posts come and go (perhaps not as often as they once did), but what makes this whole blogging experience so amazing is your contribution as readers and followers. Thanks for reading my posts, trying out the recipes, and leaving your thoughtful comments. Here’s to another year of baking mishaps and masterpieces in the Sweet Precision kitchen!

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from All Recipes 

Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Directions
Adjust oven rack to middle and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
Avoid getting rims around the edges of quick bread loaves by greasing the baking pans on the bottom and only 1/2 inch up the sides.

Greek Islands Bread Pudding

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I’m delighted to report that today’s post features my first guest blogger! This guest post couldn’t have come at a better time with Matt and I fully engrossed with our new puppy. Aside from making dog treats for Maya, I have been neglecting my baking duties this month!

Elizabeth’s post features Egg Beaters, which is an egg substitute made of 100% egg whites. I often like to use substitutes as total or partial replacements for eggs in my baking. The bonus is a lower calorie finished product with no additional fat or cholesterol from the eggs. I even like to scramble them up on the weekend to give myself a break from my typical breakfast of oatmeal and a banana. Well enough of my two cents, I now turn it over to Elizabeth!

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Amish Friendship Bread Pumpkin Scones

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The Sweet Precision Kitchen is up and running at my new location in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Matt and I spent the past two weekends getting settled into our new space. This included combining our pots and pans and deciding what things need to go… or stay in many cases. Although this might sound like a simple process, it definitely involved some compromises.

This post marks the continuation of my Amish Friendship Bread baking challenge. For those of you that are new to this, Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread made from a sourdough starter that is shared in a manner similar to a chain letter. The starter is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads and shared with friends. My goal with this baking challenge is to keep my starter going for an entire year. If you need a recipe for the starter, you can find one here.

This recipe for pumpkin scones is a delicious treat. In reality, the scones turn out more like a cross between a muffin and a cookie. Since fall is around the corner I thought I’d get a head start on a fun pumpkin recipe. Don’t worry there will be many more to come!

Amish Friendship Bread Pumpkin Scone Recipe

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Ingredients
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chilled butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of dry mixture; set aside. In another bowl combine starter, pumpkin and egg. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. Knead in butterscotch chips.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Shape into 4” x 12” rectangle. Cut rectangle into quarters (4” x 3”) and cut each piece on the diagonal to form 8 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If you find that the dough is sticking to your fingers, try adding additional flour to the mixture one tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, you can also try coating your fingers with some vegetable shortening.

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Ice Cream Bread

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What do you get when you combine two pints of ice cream with three cups of flour? Bread! That’s right, you read correctly. I have stumbled upon something that will blow your mind. A recipe for bread, that only contains two ingredients. I found this recipe when I was perusing Pinterest for baking inspiration.

I was visiting Matt when I stumbled upon this recipe. Since he doesn’t have quite the stockpile of baking ingredients as I do in his kitchen, I’m always looking for an easy recipe that I can make at his house. Enter the idea of two-ingredient bread which gives a totally new meaning to the concept “quick bread”.

Now, before I go any further, it’s time for some real talk. Although this recipe blew my mind with the awesome idea of only two ingredients, I found it a little bit lacking. The texture seemed a little off, almost like it wasn’t quite moist enough. However, considering the fact that you only need two ingredients, I would recommend this for anyone that was looking for a creative project in the kitchen. I would suggest adding a chocolate ganache topping to the bread to give it some additional flavor and moisture.

Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Bread Recipe

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Ingredients
2 pints Chunky Monkey ice cream, softened
3 cups self-rising flour

Optional Add-Ins
1 very ripe banana
1 chocolate bar, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour bread pan. Mix melted ice cream and flour until well combined. Add optional mix-ins. Pour into prepared bread pan. Bake for approximately 75 minutes, check for doneness after 60 minutes. If the top starts to brown too much, cover it with aluminum foil and continue to bake. Bread is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
For once I can say this recipe is pretty fool proof. With only two ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong with this one! Enjoy experimenting with your favorite ice cream!

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