Gluten Free Banana Bread

gf banana bread

Banana bread is great. Gluten free baked goods, however, can be hit or miss. So with every banana bread recipe I’ve found, I’ve had to tweak the proportions of gluten free baking mix and whatnot to fix it. Finally I cobbled together a decent recipe:

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas (Not overly brown and mushy. Just that spotty yellow that they’re squishy but not falling apart.)

1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted, preferably, but if you’re using salted just omit the salt later)

3/4 cup sugar (this can be adjusted to 1 cup or 1/2 cup depending on how sweet you like things)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt (omit this if you’re using salted butter)

1 3/4 cup gluten free baking mix (this varies based on the brand, I use Bob’s Red Mill)

Your oven should be at 350F, which is about 176C.

  1. Mush the bananas until smooth. Slowly add in the melted butter, and when it’s all the way combined, add the egg. If you ad the egg too soon after you add butter, the hot butter will cook the egg and that’s gross.
  2. Add the sugar, salt (if you’re using it), and baking soda. Mix it all up thoroughly.
  3. Slowly add the flour until it’s smooth, thick, and creamy consistency. It should be thicker than cake batter, but not dough. It should be like molten lava when you let it fall of the spoon.
  4. Put it in a greased loaf pan, and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour and ten minutes. After 50 minutes you should check for doneness, just stick a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean you’re all set.

Let it cool, and cut with a serrated knife to prevent crumbling.

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

The last time I made peanut butter cookies was probably in the eighth grade, for a bake sale for some activity I did. The reason this stands out so much was because in the process of baking the cookies, one of the five teenage boys I was baking the cookies with forgot to add an entire cup of sugar into the cookie dough, and the cookies tasted like vegetable oil and sadness.

I found this recipe somewhere on the internet, but after looking at like three different recipes I realized that the 1:1 ratio of peanut butter to sugar just was not going to happen, so this is a combination of a few different recipes.

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This is a painfully simple recipe. It took me all of ten minutes to get it all done and into the oven.

All you need is:

1 cup natural peanut butter (all the recipes I consulted were adamant about it being natural, don’t know why.)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

All you have to do is lightly beat the egg and then combine the ingredients into a dough. Form it into balls and place them on parchment papered baking sheets, and squash them into a cookie shape. I used the flat end of a spoon. Most people do that cute little crosshatch pattern with forks.

That’s basically it. They need to go into a 350 degree oven (according to google that’s 176C) for eight minutes, then rotate them in the oven for another five-ish minutes. Use your judgement. They’ll be kind of gooey when they come out, so let them sit for a bit on the baking sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.

I was surprised with how good they tasted, not gonna lie. I was super skeptical about the whole deal but figured I might as well try.

Masala Chai Macarons

So as you know, I’ve been trying to ages to make macarons. Something always goes wrong. But Friday I managed to make a decent batch of red velvet macarons. I was so excited. Then I got distracted with making tea masala, and then had a fantastic idea.

What about masala chai flavored macarons?! I mean, it’s not too far off from the red velvet. Instead of adding cocoa powder and red food color, I just need to add tea masala and tint the batter brown-ish. Easy enough.

I started with a basic macaron recipe, found here, and then added a tablespoon of tea masala to the dry ingredients, plus a teaspoon of loose tea leaves that had been ground into a super fine powder. To the meringue, I added a tablespoon of very strong tea, mostly for color (Very strong is subjective. My mom thinks I make tea and coffee too strong, I believe that if you’re not twitching after half a cup it doesn’t count.)

And guess what.

It actually worked.

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I was so excited. And they taste amazing. The frosting I used was the same cream cheese frosting for the red velvet ones, and that recipe is here.

You can buy tea masala in any Indian store, but since I only needed a little and had the ingredients on hand, I made it myself. For this recipe it was about five cloves, two cardamom pods, a teaspoon of ground ginger, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a pinch of black pepper, all ground up and sifted to a very fine powder.

Macarons are the Devil in Cookie Form.

Guys, I have nothing against cookies. I really enjoy baking. I really enjoy macarons. So I wanted to bake macarons. It doesn’t look like it would be too difficult. Egg whites, powdered sugar, almond flour, done. But wait. The egg whites need to be aged. And if you try grinding almonds into almond flour, you’re just as likely to end up with almond butter, which, although just as delicious, is no good when you’re baking cookies. And once the very finicky batter is made, the cookies need to be piped out exactly, and they need to rest. The cookies need to rest. The goddamn batter circles need to take an hour long nap before they can go into the oven and become cookies.

So I looked up a million different recipes, and watched a million different YouTube tutorials on how to make these mystical cookies, and thought I had it down. I made a meringue. I sifted the flour mixture. I let the cookies rest. I propped the oven open with a spoon so they would be dry enough.

All for naught, because my first batch came out flat and lumpy.

My second batch came out tasting like chalk.

The third didn’t make it past the rest, because the batter spread and everything got gunky.

Then I bought a macaron mat off Amazon, thinking that that was my problem.

The fourth batch, I don’t think I filled the moulds on the mat properly or let it bake for long enough because the shells came out hollow.

The fifth batch is resting now, and I am praying to every god that it comes out nicely because I really want pretty macarons!!!

I feel like these damned cookies are going to age me prematurely. My first grey hair will be because of a damn cookie.

But I am stubborn. So maybe by batch 49 we’ll have a decent cookie.

UPDATE: As of late last night I made not one, but two successful batches of macarons out of the oven. I am so pleased with myself.