Ode to Betty

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This page of my Betty Crocker cookbook, which my mother gave to me when I was in college, is ridiculous! It is covered in crusty splotches and is unreadable in spots due to dried cake batter and greasy spots from butter spills.

Although I‘ve had this book for more than 20 years it is only within the last 10 or so that I have grown to truly appreciate the beauty and simplicity of “Betty”.

As a budding gourmand in college this book was a guide to cooking basics and old standbys. Basic cakes and bread recipes taught me techniques that would serve me well into the future. I learned how to truss chickens and beef roasts. I learned how to blanch stuff.

The biggest bang was this Banana-nut Bread. Everyone loves it. Some like it cold, some like it hot. I often make this for gifts at holiday time.

I have adapted this recipe over the years and experimented with healthful whole grain ingredients, and turbinado sugar. I’ve tried vegan versions and lo-cal substitutions. The best recipe is the one which I will present here and it seems to be everyone’s favorite. It is basically Betty Crocker’s recipe with a few minor tweaks which have made this perfect for my 2 loaf pan preparation. I have created a highly portable Banana Bread type treat which can be toasted and carried on the way to school or eaten cold with a cup of coffee or a glass of ice cold milk.

Banana-Nut Cake

(Adapted from Betty Crocker)

2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar ( I sometime use turbinado which can add moisture so I then add 2 tbs flour)
5-6 medium sized mushy bananas
2/3 cup finely chopped nuts
½ cup butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips ( or your desire)
Method
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 8 ½” x 4 ½” x 2 ¾” loaf pans.

Mix eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and butter until creamy. Sift together dry ingredients, add chocolate chips and slowly add to the wet mixture. (Hand held mixer produces the best result) Beat on high speed for 3 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl. Pour into pans.

Bake until wooden pick comes out dry, about 40-45 minutes.

Remove from pans immediately and allow to cool on cooling rack.
I like to wrap mine in aluminum foil at once and place in the fridge. This ensures that the loaves are moist and delicious!

  

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