Sunday Tea and Banana Macadamia Loaf

Every once in a while I have tea with a great friend. My challenge is to find something to make that is vegetarian (dairy but not egg free). This can be a bit of a challenge as I have not been posed this challenge in my beginning baking years.

I found this recipe on the net and deemed it worthy. It yielded 1 loaf plus 5 small silicon muffin mold size muffins.

For this recipe I used:
4 Large Ripe Bananas
1Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Applesauce
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
1 Cup of 100% Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup coarsely chopped Macadamia Nuts

It turned out well , I do prefer a dairy version that I make, and I would recommend this vegetarian option.

It was good!

Mash the bananas and let set for 15 minutes with sugar and vanilla.
Cooled, ready & cut.

Feiner Lebkuchen

I was fortunate to get to A bunch of German Christmas markets over the past couple of years. If you ever have the chance go! Worth the trip to Europe (jetlag and all) just to experience a few good Christmas Markets.

Along with Gluhwein, Brats, and Feuerzangenbowle you will undoubtable find Lebkuchen. I think I found the best at the Charlottenburg Christmas market.

With the help of my partner in crime I was able to translate an old German Recipe for Feiner Lebkuchen. This recipe dose not include any flour and has amazing flavour.

This year I made 4 batches and used:

1200 Grams of Blanched Almonds
2000 Grams of Hazelnuts
500 Grams of Candied Lemon Peel
500 Grams of Candied Orange Peel
8 teaspoons of Cinnamon
4 teaspoons of Cloves
1/2 teaspoon of Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
20 Eggs
2000 Grams of Sugar
200 70 mm round Oblates

Ready for the Oven

The ingredients
Hazelnuts – with the skins on ARGH
To remove skins heat in a pot of water with a tablespoon of baking soda
Boil for a couple of minutes
Drain and skin under cool water
The loot
Roast at 350 for 20 minutes or until dry
Toast the almonds
Grind the Almonds and Hazelnuts and Peels
Lay out the Oblates
Scooping the mix onto the Oblates

Cherry Chews

This is one of my favorites. Cherry chews are actually a square and not a cookie but I think the maraschino cherries make it kind of festive. Use both red and green if you want. These are great all year round too!

The recipe comes from a 1950’s cookbook. I think only a few pages remain which include this recipe and the previously published shortbread.

Cherry Chews

More after the jump…….
I made two batches using:
For the base:
2 Cup of Flour
2 Cup of Large Flake Rolled Oats
2 Cup of Brown Sugar
2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 Cup of Butter
1/2 teaspoon of Salt

For the filling:
8 Eggs – Lightly Beaten
4 Cups of Light Brown Sugar
2  teaspoons of Almond Extract
8 Tablespoons of Flour
2 teaspoons of Salt
2 Cups of Shredded Sweetened Coconut
6 Cups of haled Maraschino Cherries
4 Cups of Pecan Halves

Base: Mix ingredients together
Base: Press mixture into a 1/2 sheet pan and bake
Filling: Cut the Maraschino Cherries
Filling: Mix all of the ingredients together then add cherries and pecans
Spread filling over cooked base then bake!

Four Seasons Hualalai – Big Island

On my last day on The Big Island of Hawaii I decided to stop for Sunday brunch after checking out of the condo but before checking in for my flight to another island.

The Four Seasons Hualalai was chosen because it was close to the airport.

The Four Seasons always has amazing service and better than average food. Sunday on the Big Island was no exception!

There was a standard Sunday Buffet spread. Omelets, breads, fruit, Eggs Benedict.

There was one small nugget that stuck out…. Macadamia Sticky Buns. These were not your run of the mill giant sticky buns but small bundles of joy. What could be better than cinnamon spiced brioche with sticky macadamia nut topping? How about having them kept under a warming lamp? Not much.

Note to self……

Could you only eat 3?

The fruit table.
The view from the table

More Macadamia Here 

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies – Completed

One of those recipes I made earlier to bake off just before Christmas. These cookies are truly great all year round but none of my friends usually have the chance to try them so including them at Christmas time allows me to share! The sour cherries, chocolate, and toffee bits make these cookies the perfect coffee break addition!One change I will make is to use milk chocolate rather than bitter sweet. Just a preference.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

More pictures after the jump…..

Cutting the right size!
Prepared for their 12 minutes of glory.
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Shortbread – Completed

You may recall just prior to my trip down under I was able to get a head start om Christmas shortbread. Take a look here to refresh your memory. Mixing and freezing this dough is not a bad thing to do as this recipe will need some sitting time after baking to develop the flavour. A couple of weeks in the freezer can only help!

Short Bread Cookies

Short Bread Cookies –
The chilled dough and silver balls
Short Bread Cookies –
Cut and decorated
Short Bread Cookies –
Awaiting their 28 minutes in the oven
Short Bread Cookies –
Half way there.

I Can’t Bake Without…… Baking with Julia

When you are starting out with baking you kind of know what you will want to be making. Getting the essential skills down pat is essential. Finding books that explain the details thoroughly and that produce something that actually looks like the picture is pretty difficult. One of my favorites books that I refer to again and again is Baking with Julia Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers

This book covered just about everything you will ever need to know as far as basics go. With assistance from master bakers around the USA you will go far!

 My favorite recipe continues to be for Danish dough. Enjoy!

Baking With Julia

Inspiration….. Guava Cake, Big Island Hawaii

Wandering through a couple of grocery stores owned by the same company (Makaish) here on the Big Island of Hawaii i came across this bright creation a few times. I took this picture in the Mauna Lani resort area. A fellow baker from the area caught me taking the picture and asked me if I was a a baker too? After affirming his guess he told me this was a Guava cake. Very Bright…Very Exotic!

Guava Cake

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