Banana Mandel Bread

So, I’m a college student – I study important things and allow myself to believe that my classmates and I will be the ones to change the world. But sometimes, when I get home from the grocery store, tie on my apron, and stare into my cabinet with four different kinds of flour, I feel a little bit like a housewife.

I usually embrace it. Putting on my apron and pretending that my only worry is how my cake will turn out is pretty fun. And I know my roommate doesn’t mind the slightly 1950s-esque image of me pulling fresh cookies out of the oven as she gets home from class. (I guess a good housewife would cook more wholesomely– I use a little too much butter and sugar.)

Today, though, I’m all done with classes, so I have been cooking and cleaning all day and it’s freaking me out a little. Plus I’ve been in the kitchen all afternoon making mandel bread – so…. yes, I’m becoming a Jewish housewife. I guess I just have to come to terms with that. I did stop myself from putting my apron on today because it just would have been too much.

These cookies were fun to make though. And I don’t think dancing around my kitchen to hip hop music while the cookies are in the oven is very Jewish housewife-y, so that felt a little redeeming.

So, what are mandel bread? They’re basically biscotti – cookies that you bake in a loaf shape, cut into strips, and bake again to make them crunchy.

I got this recipe from my Aunt Ellen Kay, so I knew it would be good. She’s an amazing cook, and she’s always trying interesting recipes.

wonderfully chunky dough

Banana Mandel Bread

½ cup (1 stick) melted butter

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

¾ cup pureed ripe banana

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup banana granola/cereal

½ cup smashed heath bar chocolate chips

¾ cup diced ripe banana

Extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, cereal, and toffee/chocolate) and set aside.

Cream butter with sugars and honey.

Mix in pureed banana. Then blend in eggs and vanilla.

My friends got me a wooden spoon for my birthday! They're the BEST!

Fold in dry ingredients. Lastly, add the diced bananas and mix gently.

Pour the dough onto greased baking sheet, and pat dough out in large log, 4-5 inches across and 10-12 inches long. Sprinkle some brown sugar over the top and press it lightly into the dough.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until set.

Reduce temp to 325.

Cut the log into ½ inch wide cookies on the diagonal. (I first cut the log in half lengthwise to make smaller cookies. You could also make two smaller logs.)

Lay the cookies flat and sprinkle with sugar. I used brown sugar and cinnamon on the first side.

Return to oven. Bake, turning once, about 10-20 minutes on each side to dry them out. I sprinkled on a little white sugar after flipping them over.

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3 thoughts on “Banana Mandel Bread

  1. Do not be ashamed of your domestic abilities: they are severely underrated in our culture. However, look how well Martha Stewart does for herself, and what about those pricey magazines like Real Simple? Both glamorize the job of “keeping House” and I’m sorry I missed out on capitalizing on my love for housework! Keep baking and experimenting with all those flours.

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