Saturday, October 15, 2011

Yet another bake sale...

My dear friend, Ken, called me with another hospital bake sale request--and how could I say no after everything that kind little man does for us? I didn't go all out this time (because I was still a little worn out from our long Columbus Day weekend trip down to spooky Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow=FUN!), but Ken told me that the gluten-free treats were a real hit last time, so I thought I'd experiment with some GF banana nut muffins. I reasoned that the bananas are bold enough in flavor, and with the generous amount of butter, there should enough moisture to hold the the muffins together. And even if the GF baking mix is a little gritty (from the bean flours?), it should just read as "nutty" in this recipe that is loaded with chopped pecans or walnuts.

Actually, all I really did to my favorite banana bread recipe is to swap out the Bob's Red Mill baking mix for equal amounts of regular all-purpose flour, and I added an extra teaspoon of baking powder to help the muffins not be too dense. I filled the muffin cups almost all the way up (because they won't rise much or crown), and I baked them for about 30 minutes (give or take), until a tester came out with just crumbs and no wet batter. Oh, and the yield was 21 muffins. I had to do a taste test on that one odd muffin, of course, and the flavor was terrific! The texture was alright--denser than regular banana bread and just a week bit gritty--but I don't think anyone would even know that they were gluten-free unless you told them. I am sure that your gluten-free friends would love them. I know mine did, as Ken bought HALF of what I sent to the hospital for himself! LOL! Why didn't he just ask me to bake him special treats if he wanted some? Sheesh!

After baking, cooling, wrapping, and boxing all of those muffins for the bake sale, I wanted to make something sweet for us to have at home, but I had little energy or motivation left to create anything too involved. All I knew was that I wanted something chocolately....and FAST! If you find yourself in the same predicament and need a tasty treat/quickie dessert and that right soon, try this: Start with six cups of Cocoa Krispies or better yet, Cocoa Pebbles. Use a whole stick of salted butter and brown it before adding a package of marshmallows (or try the chocolate marshmallows if you can find them!). When the butter and marshmallows have melted together, add the cereal and mix. Press into a sprayed 13x9 pan, then top with about a cup (or more!) of mini chocolate chips. Let them soften on top of the treats (pop it in the oven for five minutes if necessary), then spread the chocolate evenly over the top with a spatula. Let cool a bit, cut, and DEVOUR! You're welcome.

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