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.

Miniature Banana Bread Muffins

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I have a very special helper in the kitchen. Whenever I’m mixing and whisking away, this special helper is always ready to lend a helping hand… or paw. Let me introduce you to Rudi, our cat that loves baked goods almost as much as I do. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will remember that almost 2 years ago Rudi ran away and had a one month stint in the Ann Arbor wilderness. Upon his return back to captivity, I made him some delicious chewy cat treats. However Rudi doesn’t discriminate between cat and human food, he loves it all.

This past weekend Matt was away at a conference and I was home alone with Rudi. Although we both missed Matt it was nice to have a lazy weekend to relax around the house. I even engaged in one of my favorite guilty pleasures—a Law and Order SVU marathon. No weekend at home would be complete without a little baking, and I decided to experiment by trying out some miniature banana bread muffins.

I love this recipe because it’s so quick and simple! You know those times when you need to make a dessert but don’t have much time for preparation? Well these little morsels are the perfect solution for those moments. It only takes about 5 minutes to mix the ingredients together and then you can put them in the oven and forget about them for 20 minutes. It couldn’t be any simpler than that!

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Banana Bread Miniature Muffins
Makes approximately 24 miniature muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.

Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If you’d like to jazz up your muffins, try adding a brown sugar crumble to the top. Simply mix together 2 tablespoons four, 3 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle over the top and voila—you have some added flavor!

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Spiced Skillet Bananas with Greek Yogurt

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If you could be someone else for a day, who would you choose to be?

I puzzled over this question for awhile before the obvious answer dawned upon me. As a dancer, I decided I would want to be a young Judith Jamison. If you’re scratching your head wondering who this is, let me explain. Judith Jamison was a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater who later went on to be the artistic director for 20 plus years. She was an absolutely mesmerizing dancer. You can watch clips of her performances and choreography on YouTube and you’ll see exactly what I mean. If I could have one day to be someone, I’d want to have her skills and talent—if only for 24 hours. Speaking of dancing, it’s been much too long since I’ve been to a dance class. Somehow life has been busy and kept me away from the studio (or maybe I’ve been a little lazy too). This week I’ve decided to rectify this problem and I’m going to take a jazz and hip hop class after work one night. I might not be Judith Jamison, but it will feel good to stretch and move like a dancer again.

For my baking adventure this weekend I decided to keep things light. I didn’t feel like baking cookies or cake, and instead opted for a healthy option that you can pull together in seconds. It’s sort of a take on Bananas Foster—except without the rum and banana liqueur. I promise you’ll still enjoy it. I wanted something that I could use to showcase the new dishes I scavenged for at a fun shop called Miss Pixie’s in my neighborhood. Enjoy!

Spiced Skillet Bananas with Greek Yogurt

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Ingredients
1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 cups sliced bananas
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the margarine over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, stirring until the mixture is bubbly and the sugar is dissolved.

Add the bananas, gently stirring to coat. Cook for 3 minutes, or until just softened and beginning to glaze and turn golden. Don’t overcook, or the bananas will break down. Remove the skillet from the heat. Gently stir in the flavoring.

Spoon the banana mixture over the Greek yogurt. Garnish will walnuts if desired. Serve immediately.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
For another variation on this recipe replace the bananas with thinly sliced peeled apples. Add some apple pie spice and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the apples are just tender.

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