Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

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Yesterday, I shared some sriracha-maple pecans on my Instagram feed. The pecans are coated in a mixture of maple syrup and sriracha, making for a sweet-savory combination that is seriously addictive.

Seriously. I cannot stop eating them.

The pecans are delicious enough on their own, as a snack, but I had to put ‘em in some banana bread. This spicy situation began this weekend when we went to Salt & Straw for a waffle cone with Sean’s brother and girlfriend, who are visiting this week. This month at Salt and Straw they have a spicy banana walnut ice cream…gah! it’s so good! It’s so good that Sean and I both got a scoop. Which is major since we almost never order the same things–so we can share, obvs. As we were enjoying our treats, I immediately told Sean I wanted to make a bread version using pecans.  Thus, this banana bread.

Plenty of chopped pecans get folded into the banana batter–that also contains a bit of sriracha for a little background hint of savory-spice. The sriracha isn’t super pronounced here, it just brings a bit of salty-heat that plays so nicely with the sweetness of the bananas in the bread and the maple syrup on the pecans. Then, more of those spiced pecans stud the top of the bread so you get a bit of sweet-crunchy-spice in every bite.

Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

Adapted from this recipe.

For the pecans:

2 cups whole, raw pecans

1 tablespoon sriracha

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the bread:

4 very ripe bananas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil spray or other cooking spray. Line the sprayed loaf pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides, secure the overhang with binder clips. Set both pans aside.

In a bowl toss the pecans with the sriracha, maple, and cinnamon until evenly coated. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and toss with the 2 teaspoons of sugar to coat, cool slighty. Chop 1 cup of the pecans coarsely and set aside while you make the batter.

In a bowl mash the bananas well and mix with the cooled butter, sugar, beaten egg, vanilla, sriracha, and milk until well combined. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and arrange as many whole pecans (from the remaining 1 cup of pecans) on top of the batter as you’d like. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If the pecans begin to get too dark part of the way through, tent the bread with foil and continue to bake until done. Cool on a rack before slicing and serving.

Soft Pumpkin Sandwich Buns

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So, originally this post was supposed to be a pie…but it turned into a swamp of sour cherries and melted crumble topping, despite the perfect, flaky crust. I mean, we still ate it…but, I couldn’t bring myself to share that fugly mess.

So, I made these tender buns (haha, tender buns…I’m 5). Soft, little buns perfect for post-Thanksgiving sandwicher-y and flavored with Autumn’s ever-present flavor, pumpkin. I made these buns in advance for next Thursday’s turkey burger-ing. I think I may have mentioned before that we are not doing it up Thanksgiving-style this year, but instead making an abbreviated turkey-full dinner and then going to see Catching Fire because I REALLY want to (even though I suspect Sean is lukewarm about it, he’s also nice).

Anyway, I’m going to build these burgers, that taste like thanksgiving in a few bites, on these here buns. I’m excited about it.

Back-to-back bread posts must mean it’s a CARB-PARTY.

Soft Pumpkin Sandwich Buns

Makes about 12, 2.5 ounce buns

These bun can be made in advance (weeks!) and popped into the freezer. It takes an hour or two for them to defrost at room temperature and they are still delicious. I like to split them, spread with a little butter, and toast ‘em up before building burgers or sandwiches. 

3/4 cup warm milk (about 100˚F)

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons yeast

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon salt

egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cream

black sesame seeds for sprinkling

Stir together the warm milk, honey, and yeast. Set aside until foamy.

Whisk the egg with the pumpkin and cooled, melted butter in a small bowl.

In a mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour with the yeast + milk mixture, and the pumkin mixture. Turn the mixture on medium and mix for 8 minutes. The dough will be very sticky, we want it this way.

On a well-floured surface turn out the dough and knead it about 5-10 times, adding flour as needed to handle. The less flour you add the more tender and soft the buns will be. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic. Allow to rise until doubled in size, at least 1 hour.

Prep two baking sheets by lining with parchment.

Punch down the dough and divide it into equal pieces—I use a scale for this and go for 2.5 ounce buns. Roll each dough piece into a ball and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the buns with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Preheat the oven to 400˚F and bake 1 pan at a time for about 15 minutes, or until the buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving or freezing.

 

 

 

Eggnog Streusel Muffins

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Hello, December!

The holidays are in full swing over here, as this is my ever-fave time of the year. One of my favorite holiday flavors is Eggnog. The thing is…I’m not so much into drinking it. In a latte? Totally. In ice cream, hell-to-the-yes. Cookie, cakes, etc…yup.

Even though eggnog is basically melted ice cream–drinking it is just too much for me. The viscosity gets to me every time. I love to add eggnog to a baked good–like these super soft cookies or this pretty cake. It replaces the dairy in many recipes like a dream. The richness and subtle nutmeg spice is perfect for holiday baking. I threw these muffins together, using my favorite recipe as the starting point, over the weekend. The muffin is tender and fragrant with eggnog flavor. The streusel has hints of nutmeg and the sugary crunch is perfection in top of the tender muffin. They come together quickly and are perfect with a cup of coffee on grey-sky mornings.

Eggnog Streusel Muffins

adapted from this recipe. 

Makes 8 standard or 24 mini muffins.

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons eggnog

3 Tablespoons browned butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel:

2 Tablespoons browned butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350*f and line your desired muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Brown the butter for the muffins and streusel. Melt 5 Tablespoons of butter in a small pan. Heat over medium until the butter becomes foamy, continue heating–swirling or stirring the butter–until the milk solids become dark golden brown and fragrantly nutty. Remove from heat and divide accordingly into two bowls. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl mix the streusel together by combining the 2 Tablespoons of browned butter with the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Set in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg.

In a large measuring cup whisk together the egg, eggnog, 3 Tablespoons of the cooled browned butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups, divide streusel evenly over the tops of each muffin and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean–about 13-15 minutes for minis and 16-20 for standard muffins. I would check them both after the earliest suggested time and go from there. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.