Banana Bread Donuts + Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Banana Bread Donuts + Chocolate & Peanut Butter

When I think of food and my father, a few very select items come to mind. Peanut butter and chocolate may be at the top of that list.

Growing up, and even now, my dad keeps a secret treat hidden in the pantry. He takes a jar of peanut butter and some chocolate chips and stirs the chips into the jar. When he wants a sweet treat he digs out a spoonful at a time to eat. My love for chocolate was definitely passed down from my dad.

When my father-in-law comes to mind, I immediately see donuts. Not only does he love sweets more than your average bear but because he lives close to a donut shop, he grabs a dozen anytime the hot sign is on. I know how easy it is to gobble down freshly glazed, warm donuts. They practically dissolve in your mouth.

So when I was contemplating a good bake for Father’s Day, it was easy to find inspiration.

These donuts take classic banana bread, remove the nuts, and are baked into donuts. For the glaze, a dark chocolate ganache and peanut butter drizzle paired perfectly with the banana. On top, I added crushed salted peanuts to cut through the decedent chocolate topping.

This recipe is extremely moldable. You can easily change it around to suit your father. Put chocolate inside the donuts, and the same goes for nuts of your choice. You can do just a peanut butter glaze, and so much more — the options are limitless.

Banana Bread Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 Stick of Butter, softened
  • 4 Extremely Ripe Bananas
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter and flour your donut cake pan. Set aside.
  • In your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in eggs and the remaining ingredients. Mixture should be fully mixed but still have a few lumps due to the banana.
  • Spoon into donut pan. Each donut should be about 2/3 full. This recipe makes 13 donuts total. Bake each pan full in batches for 15 minutes each.
  • Let donuts cool before dunki ng the tops of each donut into your ganache and drizzling with peanut butter. You can top the donuts with crushed peanuts as well.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium.
  2. Once at a simmer, remove cream from heat and pour directly over chocolate.
  3. Let sit for several minutes, then stir vigorously until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth.

Peanut Butter Drizzle

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, stir together cream and peanut butter.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. When peanut-butter mixture is warm enough to drizzle it is ready.
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Part 2: Revamping Leftover Caramel Popcorn

Part 2: Revamping Leftover Caramel Popcorn

For those who know me, know I am an ATL-ien at heart. I moved to the low country a few short years ago, but still take pride in my first home that was burned by Sherman. So, for part two of my last post, revamping your leftover Christmas popcorn, I am taking inspiration from my first home.

Those of you that know me also know that my favorite restaurant in the “A” is JCT Kitchen, a Ford Fry creation. JCT has everything that is right with the south: soul food that is fresh and modern. Although it is hard to order something besides JCT’s signature fried chicken, there are a ton of worthy adversaries on the menu. One worthy dish is the Cracker Jack Salad. Yes Cracker Jack, as in the childhood treat with a surprise at the bottom the box. By no means is this a healthy salad, but what truly southern cuisine is. Unfortunately JCT no longer carries the salad on their menu, but now with the recipe below you can recreate it at home.

This salad has everything you can imagine, and each element contributes to a balanced bite. The arugula base adds the right amount of bite to combat the sweet hit of caramel popcorn. Sharp red onions work with the tangy yet sweet apple vinegarette. Salt comes from the thinly shaved prosciutto. And to ensure you are actually reminded of a box of Cracker Jacks, the salad features spiced peanuts.

Although it is a salad, this is not one that will work for your resolute diet but the taste is worth the splurge!

Apple Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 apple (of any variety), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar

Directions:

Purée the apple in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add all of the remaining ingredients listed above into the food processor. Blend until fully incorporated, 10-20 seconds. Place in sealed container and in fridge until ready to use. Note: this dressing will stay fresh for about one day.

Spiced Peanuts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of raw shelled peanuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all of the above ingredients into a tupperware bowl. Place lid on the bowl and shake vigorously until the peanuts are evenly coated. Spread onto a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake 5-10 minutes until the peanuts become fragrant.

Cracker Jack Salad

Ingredients for large salad that feeds at least four:

  • 5 ounces (by weight) of Arugula
  • 1 cup of leftover caramel popcorn
  • 1/2 cup of Spiced Peanuts (recipe above)
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles
  • 7 ounces (by weight) of Prosciutto
  • 1/4 of a cup Apple Vinaigrette to start

Directions:

Cut an onion in half down the middle and remove skin from one half, store the other half for later. Cut tip of the onion bulb off before slicing the remaining onion in half to create two half circles. Thinly slice your halves of red onion.

In a large bowl for serving, place your arugula in the bowl. Top with your onion, prosciutto, spiced peanuts, and blue cheese.

Pour over dressing to taste or enough to fully coat the salad. I started with 1/4 of a cup, and added more until the salad was as covered as desired. Toss to coat. Add more dressing if needed, and toss again. Finish by topping the salad with the popcorn. Serve immediately.