Sometimes you just need to bake up a storm…

This has been a magical evening of baking and catching up with friends!  We had some extra bananas that needed to be put into banana bread and some french bread that was significantly past day old.  It was a day to use up stuff before it could not be used!

My Favorite Bananananana Bread Recipe
(The more “nana-nanas”, the more delicious it must be!)

I always use the 1980 edition of The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, their banana cake recipe (minus the frosting)

2 1/4 cups cake flour (or pastry)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2-3 well mashed bananas
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (never imitation!)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the over to 375*, butter and flour baking pans; I used 3 mini-loaf pans, about 2 cups of batter in each.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, banana and vanilla, mix until just combined.  Slowly add all of the dry ingredients  (so you don’t get clouds of floury doom),  mix on medium-high after it is incorporated.  Pour the batter into the pans, about 2/3rds full.  Bake for about 25-30 min until a toothpick comes out clean, or less if you don’t mind warm gooey batter in the middle… I sure don’t!  Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan, and then cool on a rack or plate.  CONSUME!!

Bread Pudding

This is shamelessly swiped from Simply Recipes, and is supposed to be an imitation of the Bread Pudding from The Bon Ton Cafe.  Which I went to once when I was much younger, but I don’t think I had the bread pudding.  It was an apology for my mom taking us to Bourbon Street, at night.  She thought it was only really bad on Mardi Gras, yeah, not so much, no.  I changed the ratios and ingredients a bit, for what I had on hand.

The Bready Bits

3/4 loaf French Bread (I had a left over loaf that needed to be used, or I would have used a whole one), cubed (about 1 in squared)
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup cream
3 eggs
2/3 cup light brown sugar
4/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

Grease a baking pan (I used my lovely ceramic one, I’m not sure of its volume), preheat the oven for 350* (or let it cool down from when you just made banana bread…)

Beat together the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Toss the bread cubes in it, and let it all soak in.  Gently mix in the brown and white sugar.  Keep letting it soak, stirring the cubes so everything gets a chance to soak up the milk.  Pour into your prepared pan, and cook for about 35-45 min until it looks done.  Kinda golden brown and done looking.

Whiskey Sauce!
OK, so this is supposed to be a bourbon sauce, but I didn’t have any of that, I had Jameson Whiskey.

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3-1/2 cup Jameson Whiskey

Melt the butter on low in a saucepan.  Whisk in the sugar and egg, blend well.  Stir constantly over low heat.  The original recipe said “until mixture thickens” but I wasn’t quite sure how thick that was supposed to be, so I kept it going until there weren’t noticeable granules of sugar any more.   I also added about 2 tsp of vanilla, but that seems possibly unnecessary.  Add the whiskey, to taste, and stir together.  Remove from the heat, drizzle some of it over your bread pudding, keep the rest in a bowl to spoon over each serving or anything else!

If any one reads this and decides to check my sources, it will become abundantly clear very quickly that I tend to putz around with ingredients and directions.  It is partially because I don’t always have what I need on hand, and I am a poor college student without a car – so last minute grocery runs are out of the question – and partially because I am lazy, and just throw things in as they make sense to me!

Then serve it to your roommate and friends!  Because I sure know I can’t eat all that I bake…

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