Sunday, January 1, 2012

the great banana oatmeal snack cake experiment


Last week of a full house for a while.  Luckily for me I started my New Year with two days off.  The very dry Christmas tree is down.  The decorations are on their way into their respective storage boxes.  When the nest is empty again in a week all the cleaning out and organizing that sooooo need to happen will begin.  For now I'm happy to have the time just to getm the laundry all done and the bathrooms clean.  Besides, all my great plans got de-railed when I simultaneously caught a hideous cold and pulled my lower back (at yoga, of all places).  Maybe someone was just trying to get my attention and make me slow down a bit.  I love my job, but my first big-time retail holiday was ridiculously exhausting.  Probably how I got the cold.  Not how I pulled the back.  That tragedy was purely the result of slacking on my core workouts (now that I think about it, work was a bit responsible for that too).  

So now I'm on a muscle relaxer and prednisone on top of my cold medicine.  If this isn't my finest writing,  it could be the sleepy and fuzzy feeling from all the medications.  Seriously, I'm about to slip out of my barstool while I type.  Geez.  

Back to the baking.  When you have four bananas all overripe and squishy you either need to freeze them for smoothies or put them in a baked good.  In the quest for something other than a banana bread, I found a recipe for a snack cake that just begged to be made in the lovely half sheet jelly roll pan I got for Christmas from Kelly or Sara (it's the fuzzy brain, can't remember which girl gave me which pan).  The recipe included all kinds of mix-ins I left out in favor of just the deliciousness of bananas.  But by all means, feel free to add them to your cake:  walnuts, coconut and chocolate chips.  I used half sll-purpose and half white whole wheat flour.  I used brown sugar instead of white (just because I like it).  I traded half the butter for Greek yogurt and added 1/4 C of King Arthur Flour's Cake Enhancer to keep it moist.  Sara assisted on this one and played the part of royal taster masterfully.  We both agreed that we loved the oatmeal in the batter and didn't need the mix-ins in the finished cake.  You can bake this in a 9 x 13 baking dish too, just add at least 5 minutes baking time and use a toothpick to test for doneness .  

Yep, the overwhelming drugged tiredness is sinking in.  Better just get to the recipe before Greg has to carry me from the basement all the way to the second floor.  

Banana Oatmeal Snack Cake

1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 C mashed bananas (3 or 4 bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C white whole wheat flour
1 C oats (big fan of the Bob's Mill brand in the bag)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt (keeps the salt flavor forward which I find delightful 
with the sweet bananas and nutty oats)
1/4 C King Arthur Flour Cake Enhancer (entirely optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a half sheet jelly roll pan or 13 x 9 baking dish.  
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, oats, soda and salt.  In the bowl of your stand mixture cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after  each egg.  Mix in yogurt, bananas, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and beat until well-blended.  Pour batter into prepared pan/dish and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  If using a 9 x 13 pan you may need to bake for 30-35 minutes.  Go ahead, have some for breakfast too.  I made some healthy adjustments just for that reason!



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