I am not a banana eater, never have been. I used to keep them in the house all the time when the kids were around. I would smash them up when they were babies, chunk them as they got older, and then whole bananas were the thing to have for son who played soccer. Whenever there were brown/black bananas I would make banana bread, always a favorite around my house. But lately we don't see too many bananas. Last time I baked banana bread for the butchers, my son asked if I could do it more often. I told him if he brought me home the rotten bananas from the store that I would be happy to do so. Well, he took me at my word and on Monday he brought home about 20 pounds of bananas. Really, no kidding. The kitchen reeked of bananas.
Since there were plenty of bananas, I decided to branch out and try something new first. So I chose a banana/oatmeal scone. The butchers really liked the pumpkin scones I made in October, so I figured I could get away with something similar. I whipped up a double batch but the scones looked a bit boring in color and texture, so I scoured the cupboards to see what I could add. I had dried cranberries, five kinds of nuts, little caramel balls, but ultimately decided half should be chocolate chip and half should be with crystallized ginger. Chocolate makes anything better, and chocolate-covered bananas are really tasty. I love the tang of ginger, and used chopped crystallized ginger in the pumpkin scones to great satisfaction. In both cases, biting into them would yield a little mouth surprise, either sweet or refreshingly tart.
The recipe took very little time and yielded quite a lot, given the fact that I cut each batch in half and made smaller scones. Better for my waistline and easier for the butchers to grab and eat.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used 1-minute oats)
1/2 cup margarine, melted (you could use butter)
1/3 cup soy milk, plain or vanilla (regular milk will also work)
1 ripe mashed banana (I added 1 ½ mashed banana)
Optional additions: chocolate chips, chopped crystallized ginger, walnuts, pecans….
Combine dry ingredients; set aside. Blend mashed banana, melted margarine, and soy milk until fairly smooth. Add in dry ingredients and optional item and mix just until moistened. Pour out onto floured board. Incorporate more flour if dough is too sticky. Cut dough in half and roll or pat each half into a circle, about 7-8 inches around. Cut into 8 wedges. Place on silpat or oiled baking sheet. Bake 425 for about 10 minutes, until light golden brown.
Two days later, I made three loaves of my favorite banana bread. I added walnuts to two of the loaves and chocolate chips to the third. Needless to say, the basket came back empty from the butcher boys.