The saga of my overly ambitious Amazon mishap concludes with this final banana based treat.
When I accidentally ordered 4 bushels of bananas instead of 4 singular bananas I knew I would have to get creative and savvy in my kitchen. I’ve made classic banana bread a thousand times.
Having already made Banana Nice Cream and Banana Pancakes, I scoured my cabinets to see what I had on hand to step up my game. In the back of the pantry sat a lonely can of sweetened condensed milk, no doubt left over from the pie making day of Thanksgiving.
“Why not?” I thought to myself.
I began to mash the last few overly ripe and browning bananas in a bowl. After a few moments I whipped out the can opened and after just a few simple twists of my hand, I watched as the silky milk substance danced and flowed over the banana puree. With a few swoops of my arm I brought the two together in a sweet smelling, gooey mix.
The dry ingredients came together and were sifted into the bowl of banana-milk and I continued to stir for a few beats. Before I could get too wrapped up in the methodical sweeping motion of my mixing, the oven behind me dinged. It was finally preheated to 350*.
On a whim a few months ago I had ordered two silicone donut trays off of Amazon. This would be my first attempt using them. I quickly spritzed each mold with coconut oil and began to spoon in the banana mixture.
In under a minute the molds were filled to ¾ capacity, a trick I learned from making muffins and cupcakes, and resting in the middle of my oven. I set the timer for 20 minutes, assuming they’d need to be checked on shortly.
As I turned away from the oven I heard my mom’s voice from many years ago, “Clean as you go so you can enjoy it sooner!”
The memory took my breath away.
It’s funny how after you lose someone those moments in your past, the seemingly mundane and innocuous ones, suddenly carry weight. I remembered baking brownies with her for a decadent brownie-peanut butter- whipped cream trifle she served at parties and holidays. I thought back to the long hours of making dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies. In the middle of our baking she would always clean up the kitchen as she went.
After she added an ingredient or two they would be placed back in the spots in the cupboard so as not to be added twice and once the baked good was in the oven she was left with a clear counter top that simply needed to be wiped down.
I nodded to myself with this memory and began to clear away the remaining items for this treat. The skins of the 3 ripe bananas were tossed in the garbage. The tin of the Nestle sweetened condensed milk was rinsed and placed with recycling. I had already placed the butter back in the fridge after taking the tablespoon I needed, as well as returning the eleven eggs after removing the one I needed for this recipe. Everything else, the teaspoon of vanilla, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 cups of flour, and teaspoon of baking soda went back into my baking cabinet without much fuss or mess.
I dropped the measuring spoons, mixing bowl, and mixing spoon (after letting my boyfriend, Chris have a lick) into the dishwasher. And with one sweep of a towel over the countertop my kitchen was clean.
Almost as if choreographed, the timer went off at that moment.
Beep beep! Beep beep!
I slipped on my oven mitts, opened the oven door, and was greeted with the warm kiss of sweet banana scent. I poked the center of a muffin with a chopstick– I didn’t have any toothpicks, okay? And found the treat was nearly done.
I decided to leave the donuts resting in the oven for another 2 minutes as I pulled out some sprinkles and made a quick glaze of powdered sugar and milk.
The oven beeped at me once again and I gently pulled the banana donuts out of the oven and let them cool on the countertop, filling my apartment with the warm, sweet banana scent.
When the treats were cool to the touch I delicately dipped the tops of each into the icing mixture I had made and sprinkled the tops with colorful sprinkles.
In 45 minutes my apartment had transformed into a time machine, taking me back to old memories of baking alongside my mom. Those memories were sweeter than the scent of the banana donuts and equally as filling.
This is why I love baking.
Healthy or not-so-healthy, sweet or savory, food had the power to transport us through time; baking is able to bring up memories and allow you to spend time with your favorite person or in your favorite place.
I hope you’ll have a similarly sweet experience as you enjoy this recipe.