Gluten-Free Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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One thing I like to do as I am utilizing what is in my pantry is use up items I do not particularly care for, or I can’t quite remember why I bought it. I found a box of live Gfree gluten-free baking mix. Live Gfree is Aldi’s line of gluten-free grocery products. While I joke that enjoy a gluten-FULL diet, I particularly enjoy gluten-free pretzels – they have a nicer, lighter crunch than regular pretzels.

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Main Ingredients – all things on hand – previously frozen, thawed bananas, gluten-free baking mix, and a mix of chocolate and butterscotch chips

For the baking mix, I wasn’t sure what to do. Reading the recipes on the back, it was like Bisquick. With the pandemic looming I’m either by myself or with my boyfriend, so I didn’t want to make something like pancakes or waffles, it felt wasteful.

Rummaging through my supplies, I opted for a banana bread. Banana bread is one of those foods that is really the kitchen sink of breakfast or coffee pastries. You can throw in just about anything and it will still be good.

In my cabinet I had some loose chocolate chips and butterscotch chips mixed in zipper baggie together – a combination I often use in blondies. In my freezer I had about 3 frozen bananas – something I usually save for smoothies, but they looked like they were on their way out. Using up these ingredients, even if this didn’t work, I would not have felt bad trashing the banana bread.

GLUTEN-FREE BUTTERSCOTCH CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD

  • 1 package live Gfree gluten-free baking mix (1 pound)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan, set aside. Mix mashed bananas with the baking mix, add remaining wet ingredients one-by one, forming a thick, but smooth batter. Stir in chips and salt. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Remove from oven, allow to cool about 2 hours before serving.

Tips:

  • “Mix-ins” – can be flavored chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc., instead of the chocolate and butterscotch
  • I used a glass pan only because of what I had on hand. Any loaf pan will do, just double check baking times
  • For storage, the first night I wrapped in tea towels to keep loaf from drying out, but also to retain some crispiness on the edges. After the first night I wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge
  • When serving, warm a slice of the bread in oven or toaster oven – heat at 200 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. This tastes best when the chocolate is melty and gooey

The verdict? This banana bread was amazing! Gluten-free baking flours and mixes have come such a long way the last few years. I was also impressed with the ingredients in the package – all things I could pronounce and all natural – rice flour, sugar, baking powder, potato starch, salt, and xanthan gum. Also, if I followed a true gluten-free lifestyle, I could probably replicate this baking mix and make it in bulk. However, for its price point (less than $6), I think it’s fine getting the box mix.

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Gobs of melty chocolate had me drooling!

Other than a subtle grittiness from the rice flour, I could not detect a big difference in taste or texture from traditional banana bread. My boyfriend also said he only knew it was gluten free because I told him.

So, my apologies for referring to the mix as “this garbage” on my Instagram story before I actually used it. I was VERY wrong.

Five Ingredient Iced Chocolate Loaf Cake

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My fascination with canned pumpkin and baking continues. And my love affair with butterscotch chips and their versatility is unwavering. The shitty winter weather we have been experiencing in the Northeast is making me churn out recipes like a workhorse. There’s not much else to do with my spare time that won’t cost me much money. Luckily I have plenty of friends ready to come over and be taste testers!

Today I wanted to up the ante from the simple Pinterest-esque pumpkin and cake mix recipes. The goal was tasty and elegant, but still simple and streamlined. Thus a nice pound cake-like loaf cake with a butterscotch icing fit the bill.

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What you’ll need:

  • Standard sized Chocolate Cake Mix (I used Arrowhead Mills)
  • Can of Pure Pumpkin (14-16 ounces)
  • Butterscotch Chips (1 cup for cake, 1/4 cup for icing)
  • Salt
  • Coconut Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a standard loaf pan with a bit of cooking spray. Using a wooden spoon, mix together cake mix and pumpkin until well incorporated. If mixture is too thick for your liking, mix in up to 1/3 cup water.

Stir in butterscotch chips. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until the cake passes the toothpick test and pick comes out clean. Set allow to cool completely before icing. To make icing, use a small saucepan to melt the remaining chips with about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set the burner on low – chips melt super fast – faster than chocolate – and the icing only takes a minute. Drizzle or frost the top of the cake. Allow time for icing to set, and slice and serve.

Cake is cooling

Cake is cooling

Icing takes no time to make, about a minute!

Icing takes no time to make, about a minute!

Butterscotch Brownie Bites

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No secret here – I love butterscotch chips. I also had an unopened box of No Pudge! Brownie Mix that was burning a hole in my chocolate craving, so I wanted to make brownies with the mix and use up some of my three bags of chips. Since making the Curry Aioli I was out of yogurt that the box’s recipe calls for. Surprisingly, I have no applesauce in the pantry, either, but I did have pumpkin and butternut squash. I decided to improvise and make little bites. So cute! (In my opinion…)

BUTTERSCOTCH BROWNIE BITES
Makes 20 bites

1 box No Pudge! Brownie Mix
1 cup canned Pumpkin
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butterscotch Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease mini muffin tin, set aside
  3. In a medium sized bowl, pour out brownie mix and add pumpkin. Mix with a large spoon until well incorporated
  4. Mix in vanilla extract and salt
  5. Stir in butterscotch chips
  6. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out batter into 20 of the muffin tin cups
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, do not over bake
  8. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Tip: Better to under bake a little than over bake, makes for an ooey-gooey treat! 🙂IMG_3872IMG_3873

In Case of PMS, Break Glass – Edible Cookie Dough

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Actually, in case of PMS, break open glass. Now sometimes we women have cravings. Tonight I was in the mood for cookie dough. Luckily, thanks to my Accidental Pantry Project, I knew I had all the ingredients, and this snack took little more effort than me running to the store for ready made dough. Plus, even though it’s not a low-cal snack, by making it myself I know exactly what is in it. And anything in a mason jar is just fun. (Thanks, Pinterest.)

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Thanks to my microwave, that I used to soften the butter and the rock hard brown sugar, this was put together in about 10 minutes. And thanks to no egg, no salmonella!

I used milk chocolate and butterscotch chips, both because I have them on hand, and because I love butterscotch chips/flavoring in many desserts. Definitely feel free to experiment with your mix-ins.

SNACKING COOKIE DOUGH
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips

  1. Using either a hand mixer or stand mixer set to low, cream together butter and sugars until smooth.
  2. Add milk, oil, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. Slowly mix in flour, keep beating with the mixer until smooth. Taste and adjust any flavoring (e.g., more vanilla or salt).
  4. Fold in chips.
  5. Dough is now ready to eat. If you have the willpower, store in the container of your choice in the fridge for up to two weeks (though it is doubtful it will last that long).