Melting Pot # 11: Totally Going Bananas


Banana Bread for People Don’t Like Banana Bread…

I’ve had banana bread a few times and it has been horrible. I think people believe that if it tastes bad it might be good for you. Well, I came up with a recipe that may not be ‘good’ for you, but it tastes great and isn’t really ‘bad’ for you. I use less sugar than most and add a few flavor options that can make it your own.


I usually don’t put nuts in my B-bread, just because people can be allergic. If you know your audience and everyone is good then feel free to nut it up to your hearts content. I personally will use crushed walnut but you are welcome to enjoy the nuts of your choosing.

The Recipe…

  • Three medium sized, overripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup salt free butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60% cocoa)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lube up a 4 by 8 loaf pan (butter or spray oil or coconut oil).
  • In a large bowl mash up bananas with fork until pretty smooth, stir in melted butter.
  • Add in baking soda and salt.
  • Mix in sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extract.
  • Add cocoa powder, mix in thoroughly
  • Mix in flour
  • Add ice water to loosen mixture
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Add nuts if desired (1/2 cup is usually good)

Pour batter into loaf pan, place in oven on cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes, rotate 180 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand about 15 minutes before taking loaf out of pan and placing on a cooling rack.

To Serve…

A 1/2″ thick slice cut in half down the middle to make two servings. Great with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or some fresh berries. A small sprig of mint adds a nice touch.

This is an easy recipe that will give you a great result and with some nice plating can make it seem like you are a master baker.




Melting Pot #10

Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

mmmmm Cookies!Why get those dried out bags of mass produced cookies at the store? Or pay $3.00 forĀ  a cookie at the mall? Here is my recipe for some really great chocolate chip cookies that will make you the most popular person on the planet (guaranteed)!

This is the basic ‘Toll House’ recipe, but I have made a couple of additions and improvements that create a better cookie. Try it, you may like it…


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Ghirardelli cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 eggs (room temperature, beaten)
  • 1 package Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In your mixer, add the sugar, butter, vanilla and orange. Mix on low for 3 or 4 minutes. Add 1/2 your beaten egg, let it incorporate then add the balance.

Combine your dry ingredients and slowly add to your creamed sugar mix. After the dry ingredients are mixed in, add a tablespoon of water to loosen the batter. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chips.

Spoon onto cookie sheets, about 1 tablespoon per cookie. I have a small ice cream style scoop that makes the cookies a consistent size. I also have silicone baking sheets but if you don’t you can use parchment paper to line your pans.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 9 to 11 minutes. My oven does best at about 9 1/2 minutes, yours make take more or less time. The cookies should be golden brown but still slightly soft in the center.

Remove pan from oven, let stand for a couple of minutes then place cookies on cooling rack. Repeat until all cookies are baked. This recipe makes about 36 cookies. The orange extract will add a nice surprise for your friends, it will be just hidden enough by the dark chocolate that they won’t be able to identify that ‘unique flavor’.