Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let's Bake!

Going to share two family recipes with you. Firstly, my mother-in-law's Banana Bread. This is hands down, the best banana bread recipe I've ever tried. I do sometimes tweak it a bit, a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, different nuts, but that's all. Delicious!! Easy!
The second recipe is for Pecan Triangle Icebox Cookies. This is a recipe from my Aunt Dee's  mother-in-law. More tweaking...we make them with black walnuts because, YUM!  If you're not familiar with black walnuts, they have a much stronger flavor than English walnuts. Anything baked with black walnuts just gets tastier over time, so you're going to want to make sure you save a roll for a snowy day in January. These cookies are fantastic dunkers, tea, cocoa, eggnog, whatever...
Hopefully, you know someone with a black walnut tree who doesn't want to be bothered with them. They are the devil to de-hull! Here's what they look like in the wild...
When I was growing up, we would gather them in a burlap sack and leave them in the driveway for a few days until the car tires had worked the hulls off. At the very least, wear gloves. The hulls will leave you looking like you polished shoes with your bare hands. This lonely little walnut  was found on my neighbor's trail. We've been stepping around them on horseback since August, but when "the Nige" and I walked back there to take a pic a couple of days ago, we could only find two. Anyway, you can usually find them in the supermarket at Christmastime, but fair warning, they are PRICEY!
Here's the finished cookie...
...and now for the recipes!

Emily's Banana Bread
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp .baking  soda
Add to dry ingredients:
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
2 eggs
!/2 cup walnuts or pecans, if desired
Grease loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (I find it takes a little longer, so test it. You can lay foil on the top to keep it from getting too brown and keep baking).
Also note that this recipe is for 1 loaf. I doubled it to get the 2 loaves pictured above.

Mom Kundt's Pecan Triangle Icebox Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans (or black walnuts)
Mix well . Shape in square rolls (3x3 inches), wrap in waxed paper and chill in freezer. Slice thin and cut each slice in half, diagonally. Bake in 375 degree oven for f10-12 minutes.

Put on some Christmas music (or Love Actually, if you're obsessed with it like someone in this household) and start baking!!

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