Tenaciously Delicious

Sometimes it feels a little weird to be posting about food when the world is turning upside down on a daily basis, but hey. Maybe you need some comforting in the way of my inanity. So I’m just going to compartmentalize for a quick sec– and hope you will, too– and tell you all about what a shitty baker I am.

I love to cook. I love it. It de-stresses me and makes me whole, and basically calms me down. And I’ve been cooking for years, mostly successfully. But baking? That’s a different story. Maybe it’s because of the fact that I carefully prevented myself from ever learning just so I could avoid having copious amounts of baked goods in the house (self-control ain’t my strong suit/indulgence is my jam). Or maybe it has something to do with my complete and utter lack of math skills as well as any sort of patience, which usually results in some messed-up, whackadoodle muffins because hey! it turns out you actually have to MEASURE when you bake. Like, with proper measuring spoons and not just your eyes. God.

But it’s January, and it’s cold outside. We’re also abstaining from alcohol this month, so my precious nightly glass (lol) of wine is no longer around, and I gotta fill that void with something. So, I’ve decided to start baking.

Charlie’s never been a sweets fan because he is a psychopath, so my taste tester is my five year old, Wilder. The great thing about five year olds is they don’t mince words when they’re criticizing, well, anything. Case in point when I asked him what he thought of my blue nail polish and he said, “It looks like you’re dead”. So, if he says something’s good, then you know you’re on the money.

I’m not going to go into too much detail of my failed attempts here, like the dry as bones Earl Grey coconut bars I made fresh out of the gate that went straight into the trash, or the oily as hell blueberry muffins that made my son exhibit actual sympathy by saying gently, “I like them, Mama. Just.. not right now.” Learning curves can be steep sometimes.

But today, we finally had a eureka! moment, brought to you by following some directions, substituting things that made sense, and good old fashioned luck. This recipe is a take on one from the lovely Giada de Laurentiis, except my grocery store out in the sticks was missing half of what was needed, so I had to improvise. And while improvising has never been high on my list of special skills (ask David Hewlett to tell you the “I do NOT do improv” story sometime), today it all worked out!

Giada calls these Banana Bread Brownies, but my bread to brownie ratio didn’t exactly pan out that way, so I’m going with Chocolate Chip Banana Bites. I realize I’m not doing a great job of selling these, but trust me when I say that these are cakey, chocolatey, delicious little morsels of comfort that were not only ravely reviewed by my blunt as F child, but also devoured completely, and, because they’re not totally loaded with sugar, caused zero meltdowns. What a WIN!

Let me know what you think! Eat your feelings!

xoJ

Chocolate Chip Banana Bites

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

3 tbsp canola oil

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then add the peanut butter, oil, milk, sugar, and salt. Mix it up until the lumps are pretty much gone, but mine was pretty lumpy and life went on, so don’t worry too much about it. Add the flour, oats, and baking powder and stir till combined. Pour half the batter into the pan and smooth it out so it’s even. Add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips to the remaining dough mix in the bowl and stir to combine. Pour all that over top of the plain batter and smooth it out as best you can. Bake for 40 minutes and try not to open the oven door a million times to check on them because I’m pretty sure that’s how things flatten and turn into hockey pucks. Let them cool for 20 minutes, then cut into squares and serve. Delish!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Rob Gerrets says:

    Shiny!

  2. John says:

    I like these, just right now… Hilarious! Can’t wait to try this one out 😄

  3. James Finch says:

    That’s great! Glad that vacuum found a fill 😊. Definitely going to try this recipe.

  4. Ray Hatley says:

    If you haven’t already got one, treat yourself to a Remoska. It has completely changed the way I burn food and myself. Seriously, I think you’d really enjoy one. I wouldn’t part with mine, ever. But what do I know, I’m just a leatherworking foodie. Try Amazon and see what you think. Enjoy and thanks for the humour (yes I’m a Brit but please don’t blame me for the idiot running our country – nobody voted for him, he just arrived one day and won’t go away).

  5. Michael says:

    Baking has kept me sane through all this. These look yummy!

  6. kat. says:

    Yum, yum, yum! Had to make some right away. Added some peanut butter chips, because….peanut butter. Thank you for a great dessert!

  7. Terry says:

    I bought all the ingredients, just waiting for the bananas to ripen. I will rename them ‘Jewel Staite Brownies’, when I give some to my neighbor. If she ‘gets it’ I commend her. If she doesn’t , I pity her. Lol.

  8. Phillip Matthew Parker says:

    I totally am the same with the cooking vs baking thing… I am a SAVORY Chef… not a baker…but I’m trying to get better… since working here at the new BRCC store, I’ve been making it a thing to bake something for anyone who has a birthday… they think its all sweet of me, and my ulterior motive is it gives me an excuse to practice my baking skills without me having to eat all the calories that goes with baking…

    looking fwd to trying these seeing how they are Little Man approved!! high praise indeed…

    Stay Shiney and Luv ya bunches!!

  9. Dan Bell says:

    Made these and they’re delicious 😋… don’t have quick oats so I used regular old fashioned oats and just soaked them in the wet ingredients for a while, came out all dente in the end, which was great

  10. Finally got round to making these with my 5-year-old-on-Tuesday (two months younger than Wilder). They were a great success – Owen kept helping himself all afternoon, thank goodness for the low sugar! I was a bit worried about the amount of batter for an 8×8 tin, so I baked it for 30 mins at 180C and it came out perfect. Thanks so much for the recipe for this quick and delicious treat!!

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