Thursday, November 1, 2012

Banana Brownies

Do you know what makes people feel better when they're stuck inside due to inclement weather? Junk food. My house, unfortunately, is void of junk food. I was eating a mint Klondike bar last night, and I set it down on my nightstand so I could finish my zombie make up. Well, more than half of my uneaten Klondike slipped off the tilted cover of an open book and landed straight inside my little garbage pail, which was full of snotty, phlegmy tissues. Gross.

Well, what I do have on hand is eggs (lots of them), chocolate (I always have that on hand). flour, and over-ripe bananas. The bananas were bought on some crazy sale and my mom stocked up thinking I was still doing my smoothie diet. I can't do a smoothie diet while ill because the natural sugars in the fruit only makes a phlegmy throat a lot worse.

I decided to make banana brownies with Nutella. Weird? Yeah. Certainly. But, I love chocolate brownies, I love banana, and dammit, who doesn't love Nutella?

I was a little skeptical because I read that some people substitute bananas in place of eggs in baking recipes. I, myself, don't have any experience doing this, but I did worry it would effect my overall finished product. Eggs serve different purposes depending on the recipe. For cookies or quick breads like pancakes, waffles, muffins or brownies- the eggs are more of a binder -adding thick moisture, but won't make your baked good light and fluffy. If you're going to use a banana or 1/4 applesauce in place of an egg, be sure to to add a little baking powder or soda to give you the rise you're looking for.

But, I'm not looking for rise. I wanted flavor. I like bananas. I like bananas and chocolate. My diet smoothie is made up a frozen banana, chocolate diet shake powder, ice, and a couple of swishes of a low-fat yogurt drink. I think chocolate and bananas are one of those classic flavors that should forever remain together forever!

So, I made a double recipe of brownies and added two large, overripe bananas and a 1/4 cup of Nutella, as well as a couple of handful of butterscotch chips. I'm stuck inside of a cold house with limited access to the outter world. Why not add more sugar in the form of butterscotch chips? Just to see what would happen, I also added half a cup of Bailey's buttercream I had left over from my cake order last weekend. The buttercream is made up of a cooked meringue (egg whites and sugar), melted chocolate, vanilla, and at least a 1/3 cup of Bailey's caramel flavored liquor, and of course a LOT of butter.

What I got was a very fluffy brownie, instead of a dense ooey-gooey one. Which is fine. (Still phlegmy, you know?) The banana flavor is strong and cuts right through the chocolate. I can't taste the Nutella which makes me feel like I wasted a quarter cup of Nutella that could have been used for something else. I can't taste the buttercream at all, but I cut back on the regular butter called for in my recipe in substitute of the buttercream. Do you think I saved any calories doing this?

The butterscotch chips sank to the bottom of the brownies and really doesn't add to the overall flavor or texture. I know people usually put nuts, but I'm not a walnut fan at all and I didn't have any other nuts on hand.

I got a thick, quarter sheet tray sized portion out of my recipe. Each brownies is about 2 1/2 inches think and it is quite thick and fluffy. It's just what I needed!

I've been working at home since Sandy hit. While I'm lucky enough to say that my neighborhood made out fairly unscathed, lots of bordering neighborhoods are still without power. That means the grocery stores we rely on for our food is still closed and the traffic lights are still out, which makes driving dangerous. I live in a neighborhood of douchebag drivers. Just to give you an idea, I think about 75% of NYC cab drivers live in MY neighborhood. Take that as you will!

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of sweetness to get your mind off some really shitty circumstances.

While NY is not exactly an impoverished area, there are still many neighborhoods that need a lot of help. I'm not in a position to write a huge check but I have several bags of practically new clothing that my friend picked up earlier today on her way to a Red Cross drop off location. My cousin is coming in from Boston and we're doing our blood donation if we can find an open blood center. They did put out a call for blood, and we're more than happy to answer it.

I'm seeing so many ugly things on television this past week, but sometimes it's that one little sliver of human kindness that can set it all right. Someone I haven't spoken to in YEARS because we had a tremendous fight called me from California to make sure me and my family were okay. He heard parts of Queens was devastated and he thought about me. Of course, I've had the same number for the last 15 years or so, and he lucked out and reached me. I've had friends and family calling all week to see if I'm fine and it really does warm the heart. I never thought I would ever exchange a kind word with this person ever again, but like he said, "I heard Queens and I was terrified something happened to you. I know we left off hating each other. I guess I didn't realize how much I still care about you until the prospect of you being gone for good hit me."

And we didn't even have a romantic relationship!!! Needless to say, we buried the hatched and I'm happier for it.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted: Be excellent to each other.


  1. This person sounds like a tremendous pussy. He saw you were ok so he didn't need to lay it on so thick with the drama.

    Is Josh B ok?

    My family got all the stuff you send with my cousin. Theyre really grateful to you, Kat. Youre such a good person you make everyone around you look like assholes. Besides the pillows and bedsheets and the clothes which my little cousins really needed...the food you sent made my aunts cry. You were too generous. Seriously I'll cut you a check for the cost of everything. I wish I was closer to them and you stepped up as one of my best friends doing all you did. You baked cupcakes in the middle of everything else. the proverbial icing on top of the cake...I mean t from the bottom of my heart- thank you thank you thank you-----youll always have my love and my respect and my gratitude.

  2. He's a tremendous drama queen. We're of the same ilk when it comes to that. I was just surprised when he called out of the blue to say he was really worried I died. (Drama queen, you know?) We had a very nasty fight...the kind where you shout things at each other that you can never take back. It was a nice gesture coming from someone like him. I don't think I would have done the same if it the other way around.

    Josh is well and so is his family, but they are still without power. He's been working like a fiend due to the nature of his job. I just spoke to him last night. He's safe, so that's what's important.

    No worries, man. You would do it for me and my family if I was the one who needed the help, so don't even worry about it. I'm just glad I could do something to help someone I actually know. I already sent off my give-away clothes to the Red Cross before I spoke to you, so all the stuff I sent to your family are my actual clothes (the newer stuff) and presents that I unwrapped from previous years. (I bought them for people I don't associate with anymore, so I had them laying in the wrapping paper and stacked up in my closet.) The pillow and bedding are all brand new. I have a weird obsession buying stuff like that "just in case" and here we are with a "just in case" scenario. The food was all stuff I had in my pantry and freezer. I didn't know if they had a way to heat up the food so I sent along the sternos from my catering stuff. It's easy enough for me to replace any of that so don't even THINK about sending me a dime. I'm really just satisfied knowing I could help. You're one of my oldest friends. I know for a fact you'd be there for me, so this is all just automatic. No thanks is necessary. Just let me know if I can do more for you. If your cousin can pick it up from my house, I can cook more.

  3. They were very banana-y. I liked them! But the people who ate them thinking hey were going to get a regular brownie scrunched up their faces like they just bit into an onion. I think the jury's still out.