Date Bran Muffins

These bring back memories of the Bran Muffins we used to get at Smitty’s Pancake house back in the 70s. My brother Bill and I worked together at Smitty’s and the favourite coffee break snack was a Bran Muffin fresh out of the oven with a portion of whippped butter and a dollop of honey. Yummers!

Wonderfully moist!

1 1/2 cups Raw Bran
1 cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 large Egg
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla

1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1teaspoon Cinnamon
pinch of ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Salt

3/4 cup Chopped Dates

Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
Line muffin tin with paper liners.

In small mixing bowl combine bran and buttermilk and let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt and chopped dates; make a well in the center.

In small mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg, add vanilla and vegetable oil.
Stir brown sugar into buttermilk soaked bran then add egg mixture and continue stirring.

Pour the combined wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until all the flour is moistened. The batter will be lumpy.

Using a 5 ounce Pampered Chef scoop, or a heaping tablespoon,  portion batter into prepared muffin tin.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, rotate and continue baking for another 7 – 10 minutes.
Remove from oven when pick inserted comes out clean and let rest, in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Turn out of muffin tin to cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins

Onion and Garlic Naan

This is absolutely the best Naan! I started out with a basic Naan recipe and this is what it has morphed into! Luke and I regularly visited India Gate on Robson St when we lived in Vancouver and fell in love with their Garlic Naan; I was challenged to come up with something to match the competition! I think it is safe to say, this one wins!

There is nothing like the taste of home made Naan!
The best Naan!

4 cups Flour, divided (2 cups plus 2 -/+ cups in the second stage)
2 teaspoons Rapid Rise Yeast (because I like to add my yeast to the dry ingredients rather than proofing it first)
2 teaspoons Sugar

*1 2/3 cups (100 to 115F) Warm Water
1/4 cup melted Butter
1/4 cup Plain Yogurt
2 teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
4 Green Onions, chopped

1/4 cup melted butter, for brushing cooked naan

In large bowl combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons Rapid Rise yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar; set aside.
In small mixing bowl combine warm water, melted butter, yogurt and salt.
Stir liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and continue stirring for 2 – 3 minutes.
Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough, stirring well after each addition, about 2 cups.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a 5 – 6  minutes, forming a smooth, elastic ball; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Uncover dough and knead in garlic and green onions.
Portion into 8 – 10 rounds.
Cover and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes.
On lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin roll each portion out to 1/4inch thickness.

While rolling dough out, place cast iron frying pan over medium to high heat, the pan is ready when a drop of water dances across the surface.
Place a naan in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes.
Flip and continue cooking for a few minutes; you are looking for random brown spots, not all over golden brown or anything like that.
While second side is cooking, brush top side of naan.
Remove from heat and brush second side with melted butter, if desired.
Place on baking tray fitted with a wire rack and keep warm in the oven while cooking remaining naan.

*110 to 115F degrees…kinda like a lovely warm shower; if the water is too hot you will kill the yeast, too cold  same, same

Note- I now cook this on my counter top griddle as per the advice of an Indian girl I had a discussion with; I used to cook it under a broiler, have cooked it on a BBQ – my fave is to cook this on a gas stove in a cast iron frying pan.

Banana Bread

Everyone has a banana bread recipe in their repertoire. I have been making this one for the past 28 years and have always gotten rave reviews.

2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt

3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/3 cup Milk (Soy Milk)
1 1/4 cup Bananas, mashed (2 – 4 bananas)
1 large Egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla

1 cup chopped Walnuts
1 cup Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly spray bottom only of 9X5X3 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In small mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, vegetable oil, milk, egg and vanilla.
Pour liquid ingredients all at once into dry ingredients and stir just until all the flour is moistened.
Fold in chopped nuts and chocolate chips.

Spoon into prepared loaf tin and bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 – 60 minutes.
Cool in baking pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Wrap and refrigerate for no longer than one week or store in Tupperware Bread Keeper.


Ponderosa Cake

My sister in law, Lydia, gave me this recipe years ago; guess she was tired of my Banana Bread and Banana Choc Chip Muffins? It soon became a family favourite.

Ponderosa Cake
A wonderful blend of Banana, Chocolate and Cinnamon

1 cup Butter, softened
2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
4 mashed Bananas <–not four cups of mashed bananas like I did once!!! O.O

3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
pinch of Salt

1 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350F
Lightly spray a 9X13 with Vegetable Oil Spray

In small mixing bowl, combine Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Chocolate Chips; set aside.

In another small mixing bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and salt; set aside.

Cream Butter with Sugar and add 1 Egg at a time.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Stir in Vanilla and Mashed Bananas.

Add Flour, BS, BP and salt to creamed mixture alternately with the Sour Cream, ending with the Flour mixture.

Spoon and spread 1/2 the batter into greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle with half the Brown Sugar/Cinnamon/Choc Chip mixture.

Spoon remaining batter into pan, spread evenly and top with remaining Brown Sugar/Cinnamon/Choc Chip mixture.

Bake in 350F  oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool, in pan, on wire rack until completely cool.

Cut into Squares and transfer to airtight container.

Can be served warm with Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.

PBJ Muffins

When you have just too many over ripe bananas and you are tired of making Banana Bread these are a wonderful treat for snacking.

Super Moist Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins with a Jam surprise in the middle!

1 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
pinch of Salt
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup smooth Peanut Butter
1 cup ripe Bananas, mashed (2 -4 depending on size)
2 Eggs (Egg Replacer)
3/4 cup Milk (Soy Milk)
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 cup Strawberry Jam
1/4 cup Streusel Topping

Streusel Topping
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter, slightly softened

Prepare Streusel Topping:

Combine brown sugar and flour together in small mixing bowl.
Cut butter into cubes and toss into the flour mixture.
Rub together until crumbly.

Preheat oven to 375F.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
In large (Tupperware Measure and Mix works well for this) measuring cup mash bananas to measure 1 cup. Stir in 3/4 cup milk.
Whisk in eggs.
Stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter, stirring until well combined and no clumps of peanut butter remain.
Pour the liquid ingredients, all at once, into the dry ingredients and stir just until combines. Batter will be lumpy.

Fill the bottoms of prepared muffin cups using a 3 ounce Pampered Chef scoop.
Use a small teaspoon to add a scant amount of jam to each muffin cup.
Scoop an almost full 3 ounce scoop over the jam.
Top with a scant teaspoon of Streusel Topping.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, rotate pan and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Store an airtight container.

Yield: 12 muffins