Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Minnie Mouse Buttercream Ruffle Cake

For my girl, who turned 5 last week. The spunky, crazy and sassy LuLu loves Minnie Mouse. I wanted to try these buttercream ruffles and what better time to experiment than on a cake for our family? There's a tutorial here, but it's really easy. The cake was chocolate, filled with chocolate ganache. The buttercream was just vanilla.
Happy birthday to my sweet pea!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

I'd like to say that I'd been planning on making these bars for a while, but honestly, we had a bunch of bananas that went super-ripe in about a day's time (what's up with Costco bananas? They're green one day and brown the next?!). So, I have made banana bars before, but this whole roasted banana idea intrigued me. 
Start out by roasting the bananas with brown sugar and butter. I did mine under the broiler in about 5-7 minutes.
After the bananas are roasted, it's pretty straight forward. Butter, sugar and eggs, add in the dry and wet ingredients alternately.
Ok, and now listen carefully. Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT use any other frosting with these. This frosting is so yummy and wonderful it's a crime not to use it. Now get to it and make these. And share with friends. A lot of friends.
Roasted Banana Bars
adapted from Cooking Light
3 cups sliced ripe banana (about 5 medium)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Baking spray

1. Preheat broiler.
2. To prepare bars, combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 13"x9" baking dish. Put under broiler for 5-7 minutes, until the bananas are golden. Cool slightly.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
4. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and vanilla in another medium bowl. Place butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs to granulated sugar mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5. Pour batter into a 13"x18" baking pan (cookie sheet) coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Browned Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars.