Banana Bread

Waitrose gave my husband free bananas yesterday, quite by chance but as I had been craving banana bread for a while and hadn’t thought to add any to the shopping list, it seemed like a good time to get baking!

Ingredients:
100g (4oz) softened butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk

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To make, you basically just put everything in the mixer (we put everything in apart from the bananas first, and then added the bananas afterwards) and then when its all well mixed, pour it into a lined loaf tin.

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It takes an hour at 180c/160C fan/Gas 4, and is ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean and it’s well risen and golden brown.

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Elliot loved helping and was very patient while it cooked. The cooling down stage was the hardest for all of us as it just looked so yummy!

Needless to say I don’t think it’s going to last very long.

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Peanut butter cookies…don’t mind if I do!

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A colleague of mine has a birthday this week so I thought that was a good excuse to get some baking done this weekend. I do think I’m reaching the point where I’m enjoying the baking bit more than the eating, as while the dough was chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours, I had time to make some fudge cupcakes too!

Anyway, back to the cookies!

I remember making these with my Mum when I was little, pushing the little fork cross-crosses on the top and waiting for them to cook.

If you want to have a go you’ll need:
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
225g peanut butter (I used crunchy but I think smooth would also work)
115g butter
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
115g brown sugar (I used some brown and some demerara)
100g caster sugar
2 eggs

Firstly, take two bowls. In one, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. You can sieve it if you feel the need.

In the other bowl, beat (or get your husband to do it as I did) together the peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract. Then add the sugars and eggs to this bowl. Beat together until smooth.

Next, add the flour to the wet mix. You may need to do this in stages. Then once everything is mixed, split the mixture in half and form into balls, wrap them in clingfilm and chill in the fridge (while you have a cup of tea, relaxing bath, or if you’re like me, make some cupcakes!)

After at least 2 hours, take the wrapped mixture out of the fridge and form into smaller balls – I got 22 out of this mixture.

Place these on a baking tray (I didn’t grease or line mine and they didn’t stick at all) and use a fork, dipped in flour, to make criss-cross marks on the top of each ball to flatten them down.

Then pop them in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.

They should be lovely and golden when they’re done. Leave them to harden up a bit on the trays before moving them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies should keep well in an airtight container.

Enjoy!