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Monday, March 31, 2008

This Post Is Bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!


So, I spend a lot of time reading other people's blogs and dreaming of their food. I'm glad to say, that since it is always awe inspiring that I think this is a good pass-time for me. Especially, when I need to decompress.

I have found so many amazing blogs, but it just so happened that yesterday I had the opportunity to make recipes from two of my favorites - I'm sure you've found both of these by now, and I was so glad when I came across The Domestic Goddess about a year ago. It has only been in the past few months that I've really started reading more blogs and found Joy the Baker. I love, love, love both of these blogs.


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I really had to laugh when I started to read this post on Serious Eats from Dorie about "languishing bananas". I had five of 'em in the kitchen doing just that. Languishing. Waiting til I had time to do something about it. My DH wanted to throw them away because they were getting so black. NO!!!


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Yesterday was finally the day. I really didn't want to make a bajillion banana muffins or loaves of bread though (suffice it to say that my last pregnancy has turned me away from being able to stomach actual banana bread for a while).

So, while I was looking for other ideas it was when I was going through Jennifer's archives that I was reminded of bookmarking her recipe for Banana Sticky Buns a while back. I had recently seen Joy's Banana Cupcakes, and well, since I had enough bananas at their leisure in the kitchen for both recipes, I went for it.


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Actually, I made a half-size recipe of Joy's cupcakes because it is just us and the half recipe still made 12 cupcakes a 6-inch cake.


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So, here is Joy's recipe and lovely pictures (much better than mine!). This was THE BEST Banana Cake recipe I have ever had. Plus, she gives you her recipe for THE BEST Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting too. The cupcakes and frosting were both light, lovely and delicious. We left the chocolate out (I know - me, leave chocolate out of anything?! Not my choice.) because my husband prefers it without and I was trying to pass my latest sugar-holic creation off as "muffins." (Which, incidently, I did eat two of the cupcakes warm from the oven last night, and they were perfectly delicious without any embellishment at all).


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Here is where you will find Jennifer's original Banana Sticky Bun recipe. My version is detailed below. Any changes made were pretty much only made because of availability of ingredients at our house right now (no cranberries). I tweaked the recipe only a bit to make the sticky part a bit gooier since I was using sliced almonds on top. These had a light banana flavor and were delicious and different. A great way to use up those ripe bananas.


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And while you're here, don't forget to check out the
"Little Wonders" Event I'm hosting. I hope you can join in the fun and help a good cause!



Banana Sticky Buns
(Adapted from Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess)

Dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F) + 1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – room temperature
2 large eggs
¼ cup buttermilk powder
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Filling:
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Sticky Bottom:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon for pan
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds

(Note: Jennifer uses a vanilla sugar glaze (follow the link above) on the sticky buns as well, but since I had extra Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting from making Joy's cupcakes, I just used some of that - SOOOO good!)


Directions:

1. In a large bowl mash the bananas with the butter to form a very soft, ever-so-slightly liquid paste. Combine the yeast with the warm water and sugar. Let sit til foamy, 5 minutes. Add the eggs, buttermilk powder, brown sugar, salt and flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough mass forms.

2. Scrape it all together with a bench scraper and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until it is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary, about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky.

3. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot (on top of the fridge works really well) until it doubles in size – about 1 ½ hours. (I got started on this in the evening, so I ended up putting the dough in the refrigerator overnight at this point).

4. Make the filling: in a small bowl, combine the sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.

5. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a 14- by 9-inch rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar combination and press it into the dough lightly. Beginning at the long side, roll jellyroll style. Pinch to seal seam and set aside, covered in a warm spot while you make the sticky bottom.

6. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and honey, cook, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cream and keep stirring until smooth and incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pan. Sprinkle with the almonds. Cut the buns into 12 pieces, about 1 ½ inches wide and arrange, cut side up in the pan with the sugar-butter-almond mixture. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 to 45 minutes (or over night in the fridge) or until doubled in volume.

7. Bake in a preheated, 350 F oven for 25 – 35 minutes, or until caramel is bubbling and tops are slightly browned. Meanwhile, make glaze or frosting (go check out Jennifer's and Joy's blogs for your choice - the sticky buns are really good without any glaze too). When the rolls come out of the oven, allow them to cool slightly and then drizzle with the glaze while they are still warm. Pull apart and serve warm.

6 comments:

Deborah said...

I spend way too much time looking at food blogs. I have about a bazillion recipes saved already.

And now I've just added 2 more...

michelle @ TNS said...

yeah, i don't think i'll be able to make all the recipes i've bookmarked in my lifetime; i add new ones much more quickly than i cross old ones of the list.

also, i am a total sucker for a good banana cake recipe. and those cupcakes are adorable.

Brilynn said...

I've got a big banana post coming up too but now I want to add those banana sticky buns, they look awesome!

Joy the Baker said...

I'm so glad you liked the cupcakes! I absolutely love the recipe! Your cake is so cute! Yay! I'm so glad it worked out for you!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I always have bananas. I'll be back!

Kevin said...

Those look really good. Banana sticky buns are a great idea! I am always looking for ways to use up extra bananas.

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