Wednesday, October 19, 2011

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

I've had this cookbook for a few years and love it!  Many of the recipes have become family favorites and the tips are so helpful.

The cookbook is divided into sections ranging from appetizers to main dishes to desserts and even beverages.  I will be featuring a new recipe from my cookbook stash each week starting today!

The goal is to make recipes I have never tried before.

My motivation is three-fold.

First, I am a firm believer in trying new things (even if it's a recipe).

Second, I hope to inspire you into trying something new, whether it's cooking or something crazy like sky diving.  Let's just see where this takes us...

Third, trying new recipes makes one a better cook.  Working with new or unusual ingredients can expand your recipe repertoire and your palette. The next time you decide to "wing it" in the kitchen, you may just come up with something fantastic based on a new ingredient/recipe you have recently tried.

Today's recipe came out of necessity.  I had some overly ripe bananas that were calling to me.

My go to recipe would be banana bread.  But in the spirit of trying something new, I found this recipe for banana chip snack cake.

Banana Chip Snack Cake
      2   cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2   teaspoons baking powder
   1/4   teaspoon salt
1 1/4   cups sugar
      8   tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
      2   large eggs, at room temperature
      2   very ripe large bananas, peeled and mashed (1 cup)
   1/2   cup whole milk, at room temperature
      1   teaspoon vanilla extract
   3/4   cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 3/4   chopped walnuts (optional)
* 1/4   cup raw sugar (optional)

1.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat an 8-inch-square cake pan with vegetable oil spray.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2.  Beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.  Beat in the bananas, milk, and vanilla.

3.  Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture until no streaks of flour remain.  Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

4.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle with the raw sugar if desired.  Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached, 55 to 65 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

5.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack about 2 hours before serving.


Notes and tips from the cook...

*The last step says to cool the cake for 2 hours before serving.  That would never happen at my house and I'm guessing the same for most of you!  Our cake had a chance to cool for about 15 minutes tops.  It was fantastic, nice and warm!

*I love to tweak a recipe.  My additions to this were the walnuts and the raw sugar.  Using half whole wheat flour and half white flour would also be good in this recipe.

*Also, I never even read the part about rotating the cake half way through until I started typing the recipe for this post.  It turned out just fine without the rotation.

Happy cooking,


Chelsea said...

I love America's Test Kitchen :) This looks super tasty! Why didn't you ever make it when I was a kid? :) Also, I can't imagine Dad waiting two hours to eat this...

My Shabby Passion said...

I am looking forward to your recipe's Laurie! I seem to be stuck in a rut these days.