Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is a winner right here, ladies and gentlemen.



Is there any greater blessing to a baker than that of overripe bananas? I don’t happen to think so. I rescued these bananas from a dire situation in which my father was about to toss them in the compost heap. It took a fair bit of convincing on my part for my dad to believe that these bananas were of actual value and that no, they would not make him sick.


The chocolate pecan topping on his bread is what makes it oh-so-delightful, staring at it just makes my mouth water! The bananas help make this bread incredibly moist whilst using maple syrup as a sweetener enhances the flavour as it pairs so well with the pecans. For extra flavour points, roast the pecans on the stove or in a hot oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant. That’s a one way ticket to bliss!

Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk of your choice (I used soy)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1+½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 50g chopped pecans

Method 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a standard loaf and pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Add the ripe bananas, egg, milk, maple syrup and vegetable oil to a blender. Blend until combined, about 2 minutes. Separately, add the cake flour, baking powder and cinnamon and salt to a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
  3. Throw in the chocolate and pecans, making sure to reserve some for the top of the cake. Stir with a rubber spatula to distribute the nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the nuts and chocolate over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Allow to cool before serving, enjoy!

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Ooey Gooey Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 

To be honest with you, this was totally not planned. It just happened, you know?


It was a glorious Thursday afternoon and I had just come home from a 5k run. After taking a quick dip in the pool, I decided to dig through the fridge to find something to replenish my energy. A bowl of quinoa and lentils later, I felt like a goddess. To be completely and utterly honest with you all, this is not me everyday. The girl who exercises diligently and eats nutritiously? That’s me, occasionally. Sometimes I get out of bed at 10 and subsist on potato crisps. Other days I thrive on green smoothies and noodle bowls. It’s called balance.


To balance out the extremely healthy lunch I had, I decided to go for a snack. That snack in particular was cookie dough. You see, I visited England a couple of years ago, and no trip is complete without a trip to Pizza Hut. A gazillion bottomless sodas later, it came time to order dessert. The warm chocolate chip cookie dough looked irresistible and I promise you, it was everything I could have ever wanted and more. It’s absolutely genius, underbaking your cookies such that the top is a hard cookie shell, and the bottom is warm, gooey, decadent cookie dough. I think it’s simply marvellous and it is for this reason that I have decided to share this with you today.

Ooey Gooey Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cookie dough, homemade or storebought
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (omit if you have chocolate chip cookie dough on hand)
  • ¼ cup Smarties or any other chocolate candy
  • Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce for serving

Method

Grease 4 ramekins and preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Prepare your cookie dough and add to a medium bowl. Add the chocolate chips and the Smarties and use a rubber spatula to fold into the dough, making sure the candies are evenly distributed. Add ½ cup of cookie dough to each ramekin and bake 8 minutes, or until the dough has risen and is just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes before topping with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Indulge immediately!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

You guysssss. Remember when I posted these Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies? Long story short, I felt like I could do so much more with this dough that didn’t involve eating half of it before it got to the oven. Then again, I also needed to be able to eat a ton of cookie dough without feeling guilty that only half the cookie dough actually made it to the oven. At the same time, I was feeling major FOMO for summer. Here in Zimbabwe, we’re putting the winter blankets away and dusting off the barbecue grills, getting ready for summer.

Making ice cream has never been easier. No ice cream maker needed! For the base, all you need is fresh cream and condensed milk and from there you can customise it any way you like. I decided to mix ¾ of a batch of (eggless) chocolate chip cookie dough into the base, and drop in pieces of the other quarter of the dough to get little nuggets of cookie dough goodness. Pure gold. This will only take you 30 minutes at the most, and for all the wonderful ice cream goodness you get out, it is so worth it. I repeat: NO ICE CREAM MAKER REQUIRED.


Shooting this was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. This is someone who’s also an A Level Maths student. I felt a stab in my heart every single time the ice cream began to slowly drip down the cup to form a puddle on the board. It took every bone in my body to resist the urge to stuff every last piece of cookie dough into my mouth. I have never been so relieved to finish a shoot before. And for anyone out there who’s wondering, it tastes even better than it looks.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Ingredients

Eggless chocolate chip cookie dough:

½ cup melted butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ cups flour

2 tbsp milk

1 cup chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

Ice cream: 

2 cups fresh cream

14 oz can condensed milk

2 tbsp hot fudge sauce (optional)

Method 

Make the chocolate chip cookie dough: 

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add the vanilla essence and mix again. Sieve the flour into the butter mixture and stir until combined. At this point the dough will be quite dry and tough, add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until loosened. Once you’re happy with the consistency of the dough, add the chocolate chips and use a rubber spatula to incorporate them evenly through the batter. It’s okay if some of the dough disappears right about now, I won’t tell.
  2. Take ¼ of the cookie dough, roll it into a bowl and wrap it tightly with cling wrap. Store in the freezer. To be used later in this recipe.

Make the ice cream: 

  1. In a large bowl, whip the fresh cream using an electric whisk until medium peaks form. This takes about 5 minutes. Pour in the condensed milk and stir together gently until incorporated. Take the ¾ portion of the cookie dough that you didn’t put in the freezer and gently break it up over the cream mixture. Gently fold it into the cream mixture, try to really blend it into the cream mixture, but it’s still totally okay if you’re left with bits of cookie dough.
  2. Pour the ice cream mixture into a loaf pan. Remove the other portion of cookie dough from the freezer, and chop it into bite sized pieces. Drop the cookie pieces into the ice cream and use a spoon to distribute them through the ice cream. If you like, you can drizzle the hot fudge sauce over the surface to create a pattern. Freeze for 5 hours, or overnight. Serve with crushed chocolate chip cookies and more hot fudge sauce.

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Gutentag to all you lovelies out there reading this! Today I bring you these chewy chocolate chunk cookies, and I dare you to try saying that 3 times fast.

Everybody has a different idea of what their ideal chocolate chip cookie looks like. If you’re my dad, then you want thin, crunchy cookies. If you’re my brother, then you’re going to want them thick and gooey. And if you’re my mother, then you have a headache. Just when you thought all hope was lost, this banger of a recipe shows up to reunite your cookie conflicted household. These cookies have a rich butterscotch flavour, chewy texture and banging taste. A glass of milk on the side makes these even more delectable.


Allow me a brief moment to discuss what exactly makes these chewy chocolate chunk cookies just so incredibly fantastic. This recipe does not call for you to mix two different types of sugar; it’s all brown sugar for double the butterscotch flavour. Refrigerating the dough overnight makes for an even more intense flavour, but I know that ain’t nobody got time for that. These can be baked straight away, or if you aren’t in a rush then I seriously recommend that you leave this in the fridge overnight. The best part about these is the dark chocolate pieces that will take your taste buds to paradise.


There is a serious shortage of chocolate chips in Zimbabwe right now. I’ve been to about 5 stores in the past 2 weeks and I’ve been told the same thing over and over again, “We haven’t had them in about a month”. The restrictions on various imported goods has meant that certain items such as coconut milk and the beloved chocolate chips haven’t found themselves in stores recently. But fear not fellow Zimbos! For in times of crisis, we make a plan. Case in point: we chop a bar of dark chocolate into little pieces and call them chocolate chunk cookies. Problem solved. The fact that all the chocolate pieces are different sizes ups the wow factor of these cookies by 387629. It’s a mathematical fact, I totally calculated it.


Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies                                                 makes 9 cookies

Ingredients

½ cup butter at room temperature

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

Method

  1. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and line it with baking paper. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Crack eggs into the bowl, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
  2. Measure out the flour and add it to the wet ingredients, followed by the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a paddle brush to incorporate, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get every little bit of goodness in there. Stir in ¾ cup of the chocolate pieces and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  3. Using a cookie scoop/ice cream scoop/tablespoon, shape the dough into cookies and spoon them into the baking sheet. I used about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie*Leave about 2 cm of space between each cookie.  After you’ve scooped all the dough and formed cookies, sprinkle the last ¼ cup of chocolate pieces over the cookies. **Refrigerate for 24 hours. This step is optional but vital in order to obtain that intense butterscotch flavour.
  4. About 10 minutes before you plan on baking, remove the cookies from the fridge and let sit at room temperature whilst you preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes at room temp before moving to a wire rack to let cool further. Serve with a tall glass of milk.

Notes:

*These cookies spread quite a bit and end up being quite large as a result, so if you would like smaller cookies then I suggest using 1 tablespoon. You would also have to reduce the baking time to 9 minutes.

**Refrigerating is completely optional but keep in mind that the cookies will spread even more, and you’ll lose a bit of the butterscotch flavour. You can keep these in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking, or you could even freeze them for 24 hours before baking.