4 Treats to Bake During Quarantine

A few of my Grandma’s best recipes

4+Treats+to+Bake+During+Quarantine

 

My grandmother was an amazing woman. She was born and raised in Louisiana, joined the Navy, where she met my grandfather, moved to a tiny town in northern Minnesota, raised six kids, including my dad, survived cancer, and passed away 2 years ago after living with Alzheimer’s for over 20 years. Besides being a great wife, mother, and grandmother, she was a legendary chef in the kitchen. I’ve been honoring her memory a lot this quarantine by baking some of her old recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Banana Bread

These are great for breakfast or a snack. You can eat them with butter or jam or just plain. They’re like a sophisticated muffin, and they smell heavenly.

The ingredients for banana bread *Please note that these are not all of the exact ingredients because I do not have enough measuring cups.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

¼ cup butter, room temperature

1 ⅔ cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)

¼ cup milk

¼ cup sour cream

2 large egg whites (or 1 egg)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉

I like to use an ice cream scoop to put the batter into muffin tins, it makes it a little easier.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (this is kind of a confusing direction but basically just make sure there are no huge bits of butter)

3. Add the bananas, milk, sour cream, and egg whites (you can also use one whole egg instead of just whites, but your banana bread will be a little bit heavier). Combine well.

4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt (you can use a whisk or spoon for this.)

5. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, beating until completely blended (I like to add the flour mixture in three rounds, mixing between each so the flour doesn’t go everywhere and you can better incorporate it.)

The muffins need to cool once they come out of the oven.

FOR MUFFINS:

Fill muffin tins about ⅔ of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop for this, it makes it easier) and bake for 20-25 minutes (makes 15-20 muffins)

FOR LOAVES:

Pour batter into a 9 x 5 pan, coated with cooking spray, and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes (makes about 20 slices)

 

2. Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are great because they have 3 very distinct layers: the base crust, the lemony filling, and the sweet powdered sugar. They’re tart meets sweet and really wake up your taste buds.

Ingredients:

The ingredients for lemon bars. *Please note that these are not all of the exact ingredients because I do not have enough measuring cups.

FOR CRUST:

1 cup butter, room temperature

½ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

 

FOR FILLING:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup flour

¼ cup lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

 

Directions:

Make sure you pour the lemon mixture over the base fairly soon after it comes out of the oven.

1. Preheat oven to 350℉

 

2. To make the crust, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add salt and flour and mix well.

 

3. Pat into a 9 x 13 greased baking pan (you can do this with a spatula or just your hands). Bake for 15-20 minutes

 

4. To make the filling, slightly beat the eggs, then add the sugar, baking powder, flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly.

 

Powdered sugar is a great topping for this dessert.

5. Once the crust is done baking, pour the filling over it while it’s still hot and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

 

6. Once the bars are done, give them time to cool and set before sprinkling them with powdered sugar and cutting.

 

3. Peanut Butter Bars

If you want something chocolatey yet not too sweet and so much more than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, these are the dessert for you. The bars have a great contrast between the firm peanut butter base and the sweet chocolate glaze on top.

 

Ingredients:

The ingredients for peanut butter bars. *Please note that these are not all of the exact ingredients because I do not have enough measuring cups.

FOR BARS: 

½ cup butter, room temperature

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 ¼ cup flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

The dough should basically look like cookie dough.

FOR GLAZE:

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons hot water

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375℉

Make sure you pour the glaze on as soon as you make it, that way it doesn‘t set in the bowl.

 

2. Thoroughly mix the butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, and egg.

 

3. Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips (the recipe says 1 cup, but you can really use as many as you want. The best kind to use, I think, is the bittersweet chocolate chips, but you can use any kind you want.)

 

4. Pour into a 9 x 13 greased pan, make sure the batter is spread evenly, and bake for 20 minutes.

 

*Note: you do not have to put extra chocolate chips on the bars, I just did because it looked cool for the picture.

 

5. To make glaze, mix cocoa powder, melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together. Stir in 2 tablespoons of hot water, one at a time.

 

6. Spread the glaze on the bars while they’re still warm. Once the glaze has set and the bars have cooled, cut and serve.

 

4. Snickerdoodles

These little dome cookies are covered in cinnamon. They are light and not super overpowering, making them the perfect can’t-stop-at-one treat.

Ingredients:

The ingredients for snickerdoodles. *Please note that these are not all of the exact ingredients because I do not have enough measuring cups.

¾ cup sugar

½ cup butter

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

 

Directions:

Make sure you coat all the dough in cinnamon sugar.

1. Preheat oven to 375℉

 

2. Cream ¾ cup sugar and butter together, and beat in egg and vanilla.

 

3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar together.

 

4. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture with a wooden spoon until well mixed.

 

5. In another bowl, mix 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon together.

 

They‘re small cookies, making them perfect for a snack.

6. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls, and roll each in the cinnamon-sugar mix.

 

7. Place balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

 

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and cool on a rack. (makes about 36 cookies)