Chocolate Banana Bread

20140326-205709.jpg

Let’s get this clear, right up front: these are, essentially, brownies. My 3yo called them brownies, the mom of her 4yo friend said “Those look like brownies!” when she arrived to pick up her daughter. They’re brownies. But they do use up some overripe bananas (which have become a problem now that the 11m old has discovered that there are other foods).

Mine aren’t even as chocolate-y as Smitten Kitchen’s, because I ran out of cocoa powder. I only used 1/4c, and I didn’t actually add any chocolate chips. I did bake them in a 9×9 pan, because the 3yo asked if we could shape them with cookie cutters after. They were a little thick for that—only the biggest cutters worked . (I like the metal kind with plastic tops:)

20140326-210159.jpg

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes: Dutch Apple

20140304-203543.jpg

I love pancakes, and I love breakfast for dinner.  This is convenient, since many kinds of pancakes take too long to make for weekday-morning breakfasts. It’s National Pancake Day, and Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday—what better excuse to make fancy pancakes and bacon for dinner?

I found a recipe online that looked pretty good, and more-or-less followed it. I have a 12″ pan and (usually) four hungry pancake eaters, so I doubled the recipe, but shorted it 1/3c of sugar.  I also misread one instruction, and put the apples in the butter before the sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg, so I put it all on top and then stirred up the apples and re-settled them into the pan. I also used 3 Pink Lady apples, which were perfectly sweet and tart. I’d bought four, but then I’m *sure* it would have overflowed—it was *almost* too much batter for my 12″ Lodge skillet.

I did a lot of whisking, to which I credit the relatively fluffy, custardy texture:

20140304-203709.jpg
My vanilla measurements are approximate, because I’m lazy, and have lots to spare:

20140304-203757.jpg

I have a really well-tempered cast iron skillet, so I probably could have used only half a stick of butter for the pan, but today was not for restraint:

20140304-203958.jpg

And it looked delicious even before baking:

20140304-204032.jpg

Served with oven-cooked bacon, everyone was happy (except J, who was overtired and sick and whose tooth hurts. He wanted to go to bed)