Showing posts with label Snack Cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snack Cake. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars and #CozyMystery #Audiobook #Giveaway from Cleo Coyle



In honor of National Banana Bread Day (no kidding), my husband and I  are sharing a fantastic banana bar recipe that we published in our 13th Coffeehouse Mystery.
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.

Two layers of flavor and texture make these bars an outstanding treat. A soft banana cake layer floats over a rich, brownie-like base laced with chocolate chips.

It sounds complicated, yet it's very easy to make, and a perfect snack for afternoon coffee breaks or late-night noshing. These beautiful bars make a great home-baked gift for friends and family, too.

Now let's start baking!

~ Cleo


Scroll to the end of this post to enter
today's giveaway (see the prize below).

This giveaway is now over.
Congrats to our winner,
Melissa Nunez!


And don't miss the fun, new contests
coming up in our next
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter.
To sign up,
click here.






Cleo Coyle's 
Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars

"Lovin' from the oven" is how coffee hunter Matt Allegro described these fresh-baked squares in one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries, Billionaire Blend. And Matt was right. 
You'll notice we put a bit of earthy espresso powder in our chocolate bottom layer. Yes, we’re coffee fiends, but here’s the truth. You won’t taste coffee, only a more powerful note of chocolate. As bakers know, espresso powder is a way to deepen the flavor of chocolate in recipes.

These bars pair beautifully with coffee, espresso, and strong black teas.

May you bake them with love and eat with joy!

~ Cleo


To download this recipe in a free
PDF document that you can print,
save or share, click here.



Yield: 16 squares (one 9‑inch-square pan)

Ingredients:

2 cups mashed ripe* bananas (about 4 to 6 depending on size)

*See my note at the end of this recipe to ripen bananas in the oven

1/4 cup sour cream 

3/4 cup canola oil (or cold-pressed coconut oil, melt before measuring) 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1½ teaspoons baking powder 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon table salt or finely ground sea salt 

1½ cups all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup baking cocoa 

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder 

1/2 cup chocolate chips 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Step 1—Prep oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9‑inch-square pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over the side like handles. You’ll use those handles to easily lift the baked banana bar slab out of the pan. Coat paper lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside. 

Step 2—Make batter: Combine your 2 cups of mashed bananas and sour cream with a fork. Add the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fork-whisk well (or use an electric mixer) to blend until smooth. Now add your flour and mix until a lumpy batter forms, but do not over-mix at this stage.

Step 3—Create chocolate bottom: Remove 1 cup batter and place it into a separate bowl. Add cocoa and espresso powder, fork-whisking until the batter is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, and (optional) chopped walnuts.

Step 4—Assemble and bake: Spread the chocolate batter across the entire bottom of the prepared pan. Take your time, using the back of a spoon to spread the batter all the way into the corners. Be sure the layer is even. Now pour your remaining banana batter on top and once again use the back of a spoon to even out the layer (otherwise your bars will bake up lopsided). Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


QUICK KITCHEN HACK



TO RIPEN BANANAS FAST: Place yellow bananas on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, turning once. Bananas will blacken. Peel right away (be careful, they’re hot!) and cool flesh in fridge before mashing.
Foodie
P h o t o s












Click here to download a free PDF
of this recipe that you can print,
save, or share.
Click here to download the PDF.


Stay Cozy!



~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Friend me on Facebook here. * Follow me on Twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now
a bestselling hardcover!





Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N




Dead to the Last Drop

A "Most Wanted" Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Lists


Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling works 
of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark 
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each 
of the 15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.



GET A FREE TITLE CHECKLIST
(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 




Or learn more about the books and meet 

Jack Shepard, our PI ghost by clicking here.







COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERY 

GIVEAWAY!

This Giveaway is Now Over!
Congrats to our winner,

Melissa Nunez!


My husband Marc and I are hard at work on our 16th Coffeehouse Mystery, scheduled for release this December. In the meantime, many of you have read our 15th title, Dead to the Last Drop, an exciting installment set in Washington, DC, now a bestseller in hardcover. 

Today we're giving away an autographed audio version of the book in a beautiful keeper CD format. 

TO ENTER, leave a comment on this blog post with your e-mail address (or another way to contact you, for example, you can let me know if  you are my friend on Facebook and I can get in touch that way, and feel free to Friend me if you aren't!)...





Now a bestseller in hardcover
and a "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection.


To learn more
about the book, click here.





(Deadline for comments
slightly extended...)


Drawing to take place
Wednesday, March 2nd
11:00 AM (Eastern Time)


To enter this giveaway of the audio
version, leave a comment below
with a way to contact you.


This giveaway is now over.
Congrats to our winner,
Melissa Nunez!


Thanks to Blackstone Audio and
Penguin Random House
for sending us extra copies.

Good luck and may you
read (and listen) with joy! 
~ Cleo



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Particular Happiness of Orange Cake by Cleo Coyle



When I was a little girl, my pop, who grew up during the Depression, told me the story of how he received an orange one Christmas. His two brothers and sister each received one, too. A single orange. They were thrilled.

After my father told me that story, I never looked at an orange the same way again.

Truly, an orange is a beautiful thing—round and bright and vibrant as the sun. As the holidays recede and winter settles in with its frozen snow and black ice, daylight feels scarce and sunshine precious. In January, in New York City, I think an orange just may be a miracle.

Certainly at this time of year in most grocery store produce aisles, citrus fruits are mounded high. Nothing that plentiful can be a miracle, can it? I know I've taken such bounty for granted, made it an afterthought.

Well, today the abundance of oranges is my primary thought. Like Krista and Terry with their citrus-inspired recipes on Sunday and Monday, I’d like to celebrate the season of citrus with a recipe, too. And so I bring you...


Cleo Coyle, who dearly
misses daylight, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

SUNSHINE IN WINTER

OR 


THE PARTICULAR
HAPPINESS
OF ORANGE CAKE


If you like Creamsicles, you’ll love this deliciously simple orange-vanilla coffee cake. It’s moist and rich like a pound cake, yet bakes up quickly in a single-layer pan. It requires no special skill to bake or glaze, and only dirties one bowl! Huzzah!

Serve it as is or with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or orange sherbet. For a sweeter and fancier finish, drizzle it liberally with my simple Orange-Vanilla Glaze.

Finally, should you make and eat this cake, I hope you’ll pause and smile with your first bite, remembering all those children of yesteryear whose eyes went wide with delight at the sight of a single orange.





Cleo's One-Bowl Orange-Vanilla
"Creamsicle" Coffee Cake


 
To get a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Makes one 9-inch cake
 



Ingredients:

½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup orange juice (with pulp or not, your call)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon orange zest (grated peel from 1 medium orange)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

 
For dusting pan:
1-2 Tablespoons butter
2-3 Tablespoons “sugar in the raw” (turbinado sugar)



(Optional to finish)
Cleo's Orange-Vanilla "Creamsicle" Glaze - see recipe below





Step 1 – Make batter with one bowl mixing method: First pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stop the mixer. Add in eggs, milk, orange juice, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Continue mixing until well blended. Now add the flour and baking powder. Continue mixing only enough to blend ingredients. The batter will be somewhat thick (although not as thick as cookie dough). Just be sure not to over mix or you will produce gluten in the flour and your cake will be tough instead of tender.



Step 2 – Prepare pan: Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Place 2 tablespoons of raw sugar into the pan and roll it around, dusting bottom and sides. Pour batter into pan and shake to even out. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the top a bit. When I’m not glazing this cake, I sprinkle an additional tablespoon of raw sugar on the uncooked batter.




Step 3 – Bake: In the pre-heated 350 degree F. oven, bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on your oven. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the cake’s center. When it comes out clean (with no batter on it), the cake is done. Cool the cake in the pan but on a rack so air can circulate under the bottom of the hot pan. Don’t try to remove until the top of your cake is cool to the touch.




Serving tips: You can certainly serve the cake slices directly from the pan. To remove the cake from the pan for a prettier presentation run a knife around the pan’s edge. Place a flat plate over the top of the pan and carefully flip it. The cake’s bottom may stick a bit to the pan. Gently tap to loosen. (If the cake is still sticking, simply run your knife around the pan’s edge one more time.) When you’ve removed the cake this way, it’s (obviously) upside down. Flip it once more so that it’s upright on your serving plate. Slice and serve.

For a sweeter and fancier finish, drizzle the entire cake with my simple Orange-Vanilla Glaze below.


Cleo’s
Orange-Vanilla
“Creamsicle” Glaze


Yields: 1 cup of glaze, enough to liberally cover one 9-inch cake

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons whole milk
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons orange juice (Be sure to add separately)

Step 1 – Warning: First of all, I must warn you not to dump everything into your saucepan at once. Follow these steps as written or your glaze will curdle when your milk and orange juice meet!

Step 2 – Create sugar paste: Place butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat. When butter has melted, stir in the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until dissolved. The mixture will be thick and pasty. 

Step 3 – Add vanilla and OJ: Remove the pan from heat. Add vanilla and orange juice. Stir well to blend. Return pan to low heat, tilt pan, and whisk until smooth. This may take a minute. (Note: This mixture should never boil or you’ll get a scorched taste in your glaze.) While glaze is still warm, drizzle over cooled cake. I pour the warm glaze into a glass measuring cup and pour a thin stream in a zigzag motion across the cake until it’s completely iced.


 
 

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:


 
Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.