Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

October is always an exciting time for The Cake Slice Bakers! October is when we bake the final cake of our current book. What's even better is we can choose any cake recipe we desire!

I chose to bake Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread! A little surprising to me since you already may know that I'm not a fan of Bundt Cakes. I don't like the over baked crusts you get with some of the bundt recipes. I know I'm weird like that. 

Well I'm happy to announce that this cake turned out delicious! I was pretty pleased. The bananas kept the cake moist, it had a nice dense texture, and the peanut butter flavor was just lovely.

Maida's recipe didn't call for a glaze. I decided to make a glaze using peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little dash of milk. 
It made the cake even better! 

It was a good year baking from "Maida Heatter's Cakes"! I had a few favorites like The Best Damn Lemon Cake, Miami Beach Sour Cream Cake, Aunt Leah's Raspberry Squares, and the Blueberry Surprise Cake.
I also had a few fails, even though I'm happy to have tried the recipes. Kugelhopf was a new cake to me, I'm glad I was brave to make the attempt at least, I found the cake too dry. Then there was the Apricot Strip, the cookie dough turned out delicious, but I failed with the filling, way too tart.
I look forward to a great season, baking with a great group of bakers! I hope our new book leads us to many great recipes. 

Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 to 3 large fully ripened bananas (to make one cup, mashed)
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) pecan halves or large pieces, toasted 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a large bundt pan or two small cake loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flours, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened, add peanut butter, beat until mixed. Add the sugar, and beat until mixed. Add eggs one at a time, beat until mixed.
  4. Peel the bananas and smash using a potato smasher or fork. 
  5. Add the bananas to the mixture and beat until mixed. 
  6. On low speed add the dry ingredients, beat only until mixed. 
  7. Remove the bowl from mixer and fold in the pecans by hand using a spatula. 
  8. Pour batter into bundt pan or divide between the two small loaf pans.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F. for only 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes. 
  10. Watch your cakes, oven temperatures vary. Cake will be done after cake tester is inserted and comes out clean. 
  11. Remove cake from oven and cool for 15 minutes, then turn out cake onto a cooling rack and finish cooling. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies: #CreativeCookieExchange

The theme this month for The Creative Cookie Exchange is Fall. I knew exactly what cookie I wanted to bake! I fell in love with this cookie a few years ago at a event I attend every Fall. 

For the past six years I have been attending the annual Taste of Home Cooking School show held in October.  I'm always super excited to attend the show. There are vendors and sponsors that make the show fun, tons of prizes are raffled off during the event! 

I have been extremely busy lately with work and life that I completely forgot about the upcoming show. I was also surprised that none of my friends or family that join me every year had remembered either.
I scrambled to log on to the event only to find that it had been cancelled! I should have seen this coming since last year the show lost two of the most important sponsors, and the show for the first time was a flop. All through the event complaints were heard, people wanting a refund, and many people walking out. 

Disappointed, I thought back to all the good memories the show had left. It brought me back to this cookie. One year one of the sponsors supplied the event with Pecan Pie Thumbprints from their bakery. They were delicious!

This town may not have the show anymore but at least I was left with fond memories, and the discovery of this delicious cookie!

PECAN PIE THUMBPRINTS adapted from Annie's Eats 


For the dough:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  1. In a bowl of a large mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat until blended.
  4. On low speed, add the salt and flour, and beat only until mixed throughly. 
  5. Remove the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
  6. While your dough chills, make the filling. In a medium bowl add all of the filling ingredients except pecans, and whisk until sugars are fully dissolved. Add the pecans and mix until fully blended.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  8. Using a cookie scoop to measure out the dough, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet two to three inches apart. Using the back of your thumb make a round indentation in the center of each ball of dough. Fill the centers of the cookie with a rounded teaspoon of filling.
  9. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

One of the best things about fall--in addition to sweaters and football--is all of the delightful seasonal themes that come to mind for baking. Pumpkin, apples, late summer and early fall harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving…. They are all fun and delicious to play around with, so check out what we have for you this month! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made: