breakfast, snacks

Honeycomb Granola

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GraphicSpoonCMYK-01Do you ever have a grand idea that in your mind makes you so proud of yourself? Where you pat yourself on the back before you even see if your idea would even work? And then when you test the idea, and it fails miserably, you realize how absolutely, embarrassingly ridiculous it was to even think for a second that the idea would work? No? Oh… Well I do, and that’s me today. I was making granola last night and as I poured the honey out of my local honey jar that still held a big chunk of honeycomb in it, and I thought “Hmmm! I wonder if little chunks of honeycomb would taste good in the granola?!” The honey inside the hexes of the comb is the most condensed, most raw form of honey. Once taken from the comb, it tends to attract water from the air, diluting itself. So I chopped about half of it up into bits and mixed it in. When the granola came out of the oven, I couldn’t see a speck of honeycomb anywhere! I thought that I must’ve just chopped them too small. So I went and bought another jar of (not cheap!) honey with honeycomb this morning and brought it home to perfect this genius idea I had of oat covered, toasty-crunchy-chewy honeycomb chunks to snack on and top my yogurt with! I heated my knife up and painstakingly sliced the honeycomb into perfect little cubes and ever-so-gently mixed them into the granola mixture like tiny newborn babies were inside. When I took the pan out of the oven after 10 minutes to stir the granola around, the honeycomb had disappeared again! And when I saw the puddles of thick, shiny, gooey sticky-sweet mixture surrounding where they were, my expression changed immediately, as the delayed light bulb finally went off. Honeycomb is beeswax… Wax… Wax melts. Okay. I knew that. I was fully aware of these facts, yet in my head I just knew I’d just invented the best thing ever- toasted honeycomb. Please don’t give up all hope on me. I have these moments sometimes, and we should all just shake our heads and move on. Deal? It’s Friday, apparently my brain is done for the week.

But wait! After what I thought was the stupidest thing I’d ever done, I tasted the granola, and it is freaking fantastic. It’s almost “praline-ish.” Like a mix of granola and honey brittle. Because I used honey and the comb, it ended up being a lot of honey in that pan! Let’s get one thing straight though- this isn’t the kind of granola you can sprinkle with abandon on your yogurt and claim you’re watching your waistline. It’s all but dessert. It clumps beautifully and is shiny and delicious, and the honey flavor knocks your socks off! It’s really worth it to use the honeycomb, you just don’t need to be as delicate with it as I was. Glad no one was watching! What a goof I am, but hey, it was a happy ending. Click on the link under these photos to view and print the recipe!

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CLICK HERE TO STEAL (PRINT) THIS RECIPE!

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breads

Honey Maple Banana Bread

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GraphicSpoonCMYK-01One of my all time favorite movies (as is common for someone born in the early 80’s) is Fried Green Tomatoes. One of my favorite scenes is when Idgy gets the honeycomb out of the tree with no bee gear on. I remember being memorized by how wonderfully raw and beautiful honey is: I don’t think I ever knew where it came from before watching that scene. If honey is the sweetest gift, honeycomb is the prettiest! Bananas and honey are a heavenly combination, and when you include equally pure and golden maple syrup, well, you’ve got the perfect Sunday treat!

My ideal banana bread is sturdy, moist and sweet. I want to be able to spread my butter or cream cheese on without it falling apart, but I want it sweet enough to eat alone, and I absolutely want it to be as far from dry as possible!

My son can eat his weight in bananas, but I buy more than we need on purpose sometimes to be able to make banana bread at the end of the week. This week was one of those weeks.

This bread calls for whole wheat flour and uses a mix of honey + maple syrup in place of some of the sugar, and I use brown sugar rather than white. It’s not because I want to try to pass this bread off as “healthy,” but because I think bananas lend themselves to these raw, hearty flavors. This loaf turned out how I imagined the best loaf would. It was a success!

While not much can beat a warm slice of sweet banana bread with salted butter slathered on, and I’m usually a fan of “the simpler the better,” I have to admit my favorite way to enjoy banana bread is with cream cheese, a spoon of strawberry jam, and slices of ripe kiwifruit. A drizzle of honey on top of all of that is just for indulgent’s sake. It makes it worthy of a fork dessert for guests rather than a simple sweet snack to use up old bananas. Although both situations are worthy of making this bread!

Click on the link below the photos to view and steal the full recipe!

The darker the spots, the better.

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Break the bananas into bite size pieces in a large bowl.

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Melt butter halfway in a mug, then add the brown sugar, syrup and honey, and melt altogether (about 30 seconds).
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Pour hot honey maple caramel over bananas, and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth (there will be lumps; Let there be lumps). _MG_0241-1 _MG_0246-1

Add the rest of the ingredients (wet, then dry), and pour into greased loaf pan. I drizzled about 2 teaspoons of maple syrup over the top of the batter in the pan before going into the oven, because it was left in the measuring cup and who lets pure maple syrup go to waste?!

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When it comes out of the oven, take a few deep breathes in and enjoy the way your entire kitchen smells. Then very carefully remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a rack.

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Slice and serve however you want. You can’t go wrong. Although warm is always better.
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My favorite way to eat banana bread:_MG_0030-2 ig blog photo 2 IG blog shot banana breadCLICK HERE TO VIEW AND PRINT RECIPE!

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