Baking Recap, Week of June 2

It's been a busy baking week! On Monday night, for my regular baked goods day at the office, I found a way to kill two birds (a bunch of overripe bananas and an oversupply of sour cream due to a buy-one-get-two free promotion on sour cream at my local Harris Teeter not too long ago) with one stone and I made some chocolate banana bread. It baked up nicely in 80 minutes.

It's a recipe from the May 2002 issue of Chocolatier which makes a single loaf, but I just doubled it and made it in a standard bundt pan. The recipe calls for cocoa powder as well as very finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I always use Hershey's Special Dark--which seems to work just fine for baking and the price is right since I can go through several pounds of chocolate in a month). The cake bakes up very dense and moist.

On Tuesday night, and still faced with an oversupply of sour cream, I made a Classic Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake from Lisa Yockelson's cookbook, Chocolate Chocolate. It was the feature for a bonus baked goods day at the office. I love this recipe--it always comes out dense like a pound cake, and because it uses mini chocolate chips, they don't all sink to the bottom. For some reason, it always takes much longer to bake than specified in the recipe--this one was finished in 95 minutes. I was pleasantly relieved when it came cleanly out of the pan even though I forgot to flour it before I poured in the batter.

Then I made a last minute decision on Wednesday night to bake up a batch of Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies for a hastily scheduled happy hour at the office on Thursday afternoon. The recipe is from Mollie Katzen's Still Life With Menu cookbook. The recipe was given to me by my former boss at DOJ years ago and has become a staple in my regular rotation since it's always easy to make and pretty yummy.

I discovered by accident some time ago that chilling this dough for a bit before baking significantly improves the cookies' texture--they come out crisp on the outside, but soft on the inside, and they retain their shape better. For the first time ever, I made these with King Arthur unbleached white flour because I found myself out of White Lily (which is my usual baking flour). A double batch of these cookies yielded 35 cookies (with a #24 scoop), done in 13 minutes.


Elizabeth said…
Did you read that news story recently about the White Lily plant moving? No one is sure if the flour is actually going to be the same!