Gluten-Free (Coconut Flour) Banana-Walnut Bread!

Last month I was contacted and asked to create a recipe using coconut flour. Seeing as how I’ve been meaning to give coconut flour a shot, for my gluten-free flour choice, I decided to give it a try! You can find more info on coconut flour on their site here.

For this recipe, after some thought I decided to use a banana bread as the foundation.  I’ve heard that coconut flour is a little more dry than normal flour but still very good.  But then, most gluten-free flour seems to have that problem too.  I wonder if it’ll turn out the same way.

Banana-Walnut Bread

Banana-Walnut Bread

As I’ve been saying in previous baking posts, moving has been really hard.  I can’t seem to find everything I need between leaving some pans for my mom, coincidentally the loaf pan so I was stuck with this square one.  Still, bread is bread and with a little lower baking time, it worked out pretty well. Before I say anything else, here’s the recipe I used, adapted from the Pumpkin Bread recipe in the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook. It’s not Christmas but its my go-to bread recipe.

Banana- Walnut Bread

Makes 24 slices (in a loaf pan)

3 mashed bananas
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups coconut flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350F.  Grease bottoms only of pan with shortening or cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, stir banana, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts.  Stir in nuts.

3. Bake 8 inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9 inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.

4.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely about 2 hours, before slicing.

Banana Walnut Bread

For once, the recipe up there, ingredients is exactly the portion I used.  I had to guesstimate a bit of the portions as I couldn’t find my measuring cups but it worked out okay.  It definitely was a little dry and crumbly but the taste was very good.  I’d have to agree that with a little practice in finding the right level of moistness to the recipes and some research, coconut flour could be a really good alternative for a gluten-free diet/baked good.

This banana bread was pretty good.  I think it was a good idea to decrease the sugar since bananas already have quite a bit of it.  The walnut pieces gives it some chewy texture and it smelled delectable.  Think banana and coconut filling the house.  I’m serious, its a pretty good choice.  I’ve been searching a long time for a good gluten-free flour.  Cloud Nine with a rice and buckwheat base was a good mix but unfortunately thats not available at Costco anymore (or anywhere I frequent).  The Robin Hood GF flour has a beet base and it tastes really bad.  Blame that one for why I haven’t been baking a lot.  Now, coconut flour smells really good without being in the recipe and if it holds all those nutritious values like on the site, I’m down for giving it a shot.

Do you eat gluten-free foods? Have you tried out coconut flour as a substitute for all-purpose/wheat flour? 

Banana”berry” Bomb Muffins!

Two weeks in a row! I’m getting a bit impressed by myself! I’ve been craving muffins for weeks but  I just never have the right ingredients.  This time, I was going to get bananas and strawberries for making a smoothie but instead I figured it’d be a good match for this one.

Last night having a crazy week. I figured I’d use my ultimate stress relief trick and do some baking while watching Dirty Dancing.  I reviewed that HERE if you’re interested in checking that out 🙂 Now lets see how it turned out!

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Fresh out of the oven!

This was inspired from a recipe in the Looneyspoons Collections cookbook. The name is Bananaberry Bomb Muffins which actually applies to this one also even though the berry used is different.


Makes 12 muffins

1 cup quick- cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup each all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large or 4 small)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside (or line it with muffin cups like I did).

2) Combine oats, both flours, sugar, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

3) In a  medium bowl, whisk together bananas, butter and egg.  Add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently fold in blueberries.

4) Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

Strawberry Banana Muffins

I made a few changes to the actual recipe. I completely removed ground flaxseed/wheat germ because I don’t have any or more like I remember buying it and have no idea where it vanished to. As for bananas, I used 3 and they were not ripe.  I had just bought them the other day (but I was on its way to being ripe).  And I did end up replacing the blueberries with strawberries. Just remember to cut them in a bit smaller pieces so that it keeps the texture of what blueberries would have.  That was my logic behind it at least.

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Doesn’t it look awesome? I really like seeing the whole red treasure inside the muffin effect.  Its totally unintentional but thats exactly why this muffin is very moist and I love them that way.  Its had a good balance and the oat really helps soften the taste.  Its not too sweet but not bland because it has a fruit explosion with the banana and strawberry.  Feel free to try it with blueberries if you’d like.  I know I will one day.  I’m just more of a strawberry girl than a blueberry one.

What type of muffins do you like? How do you like banana or strawberries in baked goods?

Week 39: Reward with Nutrition!

Dietbet started on Monday and it was the first day to get into the groove of healthy eating and getting my workout routine back to par.  As much as I love challenges, even with two paired up, it didn’t really mean a very active lifestyle and was only suitable for busy periods when I couldn’t afford more than 10 minutes for workouts per day.

WEEK 1: DECEMBER 2-9, 2013


I didn’t change my eating habits too much but I watched my calories intake more.

BREAKFAST: White bread with peanut butter (I have to finish up the last few slices before getting a loaf of whole wheat)

LUNCH: Homemade rice with tofu and chicken

DINNER: Steamed rice with okra and chicken breasts with a fried egg

SNACK: Granola bar, apple, banana, crackers

As for workouts, I decided since Nicole at Pumps and Iron initiated this Dietbet I’d start with one of her kickass workouts and chose the 500-rep Kettlebell Workout!

It was pretty awesome! Very exhausting for some but a full body workout that did its job.  My legs were shaking at the end of it and my arms also.  I do need to probably invest in a 10 lb kettle bell eventually. It seems I didn’t feel like I got stronger but I did.  Last time I did this workout, I could only do part of it in 7lbs and then I had to give up bu this time, aside from 100 Russian Twists in 5 lbs, I did everything else in 7. Felt great! 🙂


BREAKFAST: same as Monday

LUNCH: same as Monday but with okra added in

DINNER:  Steamed rice with Chicken, Shitake mushrooms, Black wood ear with a little bit of steamed tilapia

SNACK: Granola Bar, Apple, Asian Pear, Banana

Workout consisted of 2 minute plank and 35 minutes of DDR/cardio 🙂


BREAKFAST: Quaker Real Medley Peach Almond Oatmeal

LUNCH: Fried Rice with chicken and veggies

DINNER: Same as Tuesday without tilapia but with a bit of fried egg and tomato

SNACK: Rice Cake, Asian Pear, Banana

Lighter workout to compensate  with a mix of yoga and strength training

The second workout is a short 10 minute strength training that you can find the vid and description HERE!

I’ve posted about the yoga routine before.  Its relaxing and gives a great stretch and even works a bit of body weights in.  I followed it up with a quick and efficient strength training without weights to give my muscles a little break from the past two days.


BREAKFAST: Instant Oatmeal Apples and Cinnamon

LUNCH: Fried Rice

DINNER: Steamed Rice, Salmon, Green beans with pork

SNACK: Rice Cake, Banana, Apples

Rest day


BREAKFAST: Instant Oatmeal Cinnamon and Spice

LUNCH: Fried Rice

DINNER: Steamed Rice, Salmon with tofu, Green beans with chicken

SNACK: Rice Cake, Granola Bar, Banana

1 hour indoor Dragonboat practice consisting of approx. 42 minutes of paddling and 15 minutes of calisthenics and medicine ball exercises


BREAKFAST: Whole Wheat Bread with peanut butter

LUNCH: Granola Bar

DINNER: Steamed Rice, Chicken Thighs made with THIS RECIPE,  Chinese Ribs with Taro with dessert of my mom’s Banana Walnut Cake

SNACK: Granola Bar, Cereal (without milk), Banana, Preserved Plums

Rest day but did do 3.5 hours of gift show walking around lugging gifts I had bought and did a morning walk of about 45 minutes.

Sunday (slight cheat day)

BREAKFAST: Homemade Banana-Walnut Cake with Banana

LUNCH: Hot Dogs with a bit of Fries

DINNER: Dinner out –> Mussels with Tomato, Garlic and White Wine Sauce and a side of fries (shared that with my boyfriend)

SNACK: Rice Cake, Banana

I finally managed to get in a workout at 9pm after a very exhausting weekend.  Still, with my cheat days, I never have one without a workout.  It makes me feel like I wasted all my previous efforts. So I chose this since I had bought myself a set of Resistance bands on Saturday.

However, because of all the muscle pain from Friday’s workouts, I went a bit gentle on myself.  I still went all out during the workout but I only did it two times although I probably should’ve done 3 but with work the next day, I needed to make sure I didn’t injure myself or anything.  I’ll just work harder the next day! 🙂

That wraps up my first week of Dietbet.  I’m currently weighed in on Sunday morning at 134.6 pounds –> 1.3 pounds lighter.  Just need to keep it up for another 3 weeks!

Seriously, right? I have to keep it up! Its worth it if it means staying healthy, feeling awesome and looking better than now 🙂


Banana-Nut Bread!

I’m slowly getting back into the baking thing.  It takes time which I don’t seem to have as much recently.

On Saturday, I realized that we had some extra ripe bananas and I wanted to bake something before we headed over to my boyfriend’s place. We came to the conclusion to make banana nut bread.

banana nut bread

Banana nut bread

I found the recipe in Looneyspoons recipe book called Sweet Home Alabama. Its supposed to make two small loaves but I just made one bigger one.

Makes 2 small loaves/ 8 slices each


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup oat bran

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium or 3 large)

3/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogourt

2 eggs

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray two 8×4 inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix well and set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended.

4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.  Do not overmix batter.

5) Divide batter evenly among loaf pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool loaves in pans over a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans and (1) slice and eat warm, or (2) cool completely on rack, then store in plastic wrap.

banana nut bread sweet home alabame

Banana nut bread

I made a few modifications to the ingredients.

– Substituted buttermilk due to lactose intolerance to vanilla flavored almond milk

– Omitted vanilla (none left)

– Substituted brown sugar with white sugar (none left)

– Substituted chocolate chips with slivered almonds

Banana nut bread

Banana nut bread

Despite all the replacements, the banana nut bread turned out pretty good.  The nuts gave it a nice chew and the bananas kept the bread soft and moist.  There wasn’t too much sugar (and you can always put less) if you’d like to.  Plus, the recipe is rather straight forward and easy and then 30 minutes later, its ready to eat.

I’d call that one a winner for sure! 🙂

Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Frosting

Friday FINALLY came around after this crazy week.  This week, the star of this week’s recipe has to my overripe bananas sitting (or that were sitting) on my counter top.  Mom’s orders, can’t really ignore them even if I’m 26.  HAHA! I haven’t done cupcakes since October. Man, that’s a long time, no? If you missed those, you can check out my Glow in the Dark Cupcakes right HERE.  (<–These were a huge hit and super cute.)  Honestly, I got scared of doing the frosting, but its okay the frosting for the ones I did last night was easier.  And I need to empty my mind after a long week, so lets go!

The recipe is from Martha Stewart‘s site.  Here’s the link:

Just remember that the Honey Cinnamon Frosting is a separate recipe that is linked to that page.  If you want to know just how to make that, you can get it right here at this link:


This is the whole deal with frosting and all. They give you the option of garnishing the banana right before serving but that would mean I would have to devour the rest of the banana also.

As usual, I do some modifications to the recipes. One, I halved the recipe for the frosting because I only frosted half the batch.  The normal batch looks like this right out of the oven.


Another thing is that this looked like it would be very sweet.  At least I tend to have that feeling from some of the other recipes I’ve done from Martha Stewart’s site.  So I went 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 3/4 cup.  My mom still has to try them so she’s the final judge on that one.  That’s about all the changes I did do.


With all that said, I thought these cupcakes were fantastic.  Even with the frosting, it was JUST right.  The frosting is super nice and fluffy.  Its like banana wrapped with honey-cinnamon explosion in my mouth. I’m not a huge fan of eating too much of banana-flavored baked goods but these ones were just super good.  The cupcake texture wasn’t fluffy also, not too wet or not too dry.

I would recommend this recipe.  Its easy to make and tastes delicious.

Who likes banana flavored desserts? Whats your favorite kind? Share them with me, it’ll inspire me to try it out, if I haven’t already 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

Banana Cupcakes!!

I told you that I had a lot of bananas! Last Monday, I had a day off for Labour Day (sorry for being so late) and decided to kick it into gear and bake some more.  After thinking a long time, I decided on making Banana Cupcakes.  I’m really not good with cupcakes and this time, I think I was just really tired and half asleep doing this because I mixed up the recipe and misunderstood it all over the place.

I can tell you which recipe inspired me but in reality, it turned more into my little experiment than actually following the actual recipe.  Part of me still believes that the recipe wasn’t clear anyways, but did teach me to read through ALL the recipe before actually starting it.

So, I found these recipes here:

My confusion was based on using two recipes to make it.  So This was modified in the way that I was making the cupcake for the 2nd recipe and realized when I reached the point of adding the wet ingredients that I was sure something was definitely wrong with the recipe and I had already made some modifications that ended up being similar to the actual recipe that was to be done.  I just didn’t understand why it wasn’t just written out instead of referring to another recipe.  Anyways, I’m not here to tell you how unhappy I am with the confusing setup of the site.

So here’s what I did instead:


4 1/2 cups flour (I don’t own cake flour, if you do, then use 3 cups of cake flour and 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour)

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

9 ounces margarine or unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cup sugar + another 1/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

4 very large ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and 2 1/4 cup sugar together in a large bowl.

3. Cream butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one.

4. Using another bowl, mix bananas, water and vanilla extract together.

5. Add dry mixture to butter mixture, in 3 batches alternating with wet mixture.

6. Scrap the sides of the bowl.  Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each to full.

7. Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes.  After, let cool on wire rack.

Here you go! This was the morphed version a la Tranquil Dreams.  I also didn’t decorate it with anything as you can see.  Decorations will be coming shortly for future recipes though because I finally bought a pastry bag set.  Despite all the changes and confusions, it turned out pretty decent.  My boyfriend actually made a weird comment which he said was a compliment about how it didn’t taste too much like bananas and had a good texture type of thing.  I found that it had a bit of a flour-y taste and I think its because of the omitting of cake flour  (but its probably also because of the misinterpretation on my part).  I found instructions to make homemade cake flour in a way.  So I’ll probably experiment with that next time in hopes of improving the taste.

You’ll be seeing more cupcakes probably as it seems like I’m having a little cupcakes and pastries type of phase.  We’ll see how things go.  Not a bad recipe though but my suggestion is maybe not to use mine but use the ingredient portions of the first but follow the instructions of the second.  Dry ingredients mixture DOES NOT include sugar..that was a mistake I made also.  Although I don’t think it made a whole lot of difference except making it a bit sweeter maybe.  I have no comparison so who knows.  Over sweetness was not an issue with how I made it.

Trial and error, right? I’m learning day by day.  Hits and misses help me improve and I definitely have, I can tell you that!

Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Bananas! I looked around a few days ago and realized that we had A LOT of very riped bananas.  I mean, to the point that no one would actually want to eat them just like that.  It was a coincidence that I had planned to make a batch of Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with a switched up (unhealthier) version of my Healthy Oatmeal Cookies! My friend from NYC had come to visit me a few weeks ago and had brought me some Baker’s Chocolate Chunks and I was ever so excited to get cracking on using them.

Instead, I went on Martha Stewart‘s site and searched up some new recipes and found this one to incorporate the abundant ripe bananas to my original plan.  This was the end result:

It was for a Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies but all I needed to do was not put walnuts and I’d be right on.



Just to set things straight, I DID NOT end up with 3 dozen.  I made crazy huge cookies so I got about 12 cookies and I had around 4 miniature ones since I was lazy to start another batch on another baking sheet.  I also had to make a few modifications.  For one, my flour supply is at all-purpose flour.  Thats all I own so I just replaced whole wheat flour with all-purpose.  Also, I ran out of butter, I realized I had maybe an ounce of butter max.  So I had to use margarine instead.

These cookies looked good (and huge), tasted amazing and smelled like heaven.  You know its one of the few recipes that the description actually matches the actual outcome.  The smell of bananas as an ingredient and chocolate has always been great because it just fills the kitchen with the best aromas ever in the process that its just only baking in the oven.  So this was fantastic! It said that its a mix of banana bread and chocolate chunk cookies and I think its right on at least! The cookie had the texture of banana bread for the most part and smelled like it too.  The chocolate chunks and the oatmeal gave it that extra boost to the next level of being a cookie.

If you have time and love chocolate and bananas, you HAVE TO give this a shot!  You won’t be disappointed.

Banana Gingerbread Slices

This weekend, my friend had a monthly girls’ lunch at her new place.  I decided to make her a little something.  After some thought, I had decided to make my Traditional Sugar Cookies.  Unfortunately, they decided to not work according to plan and the dough needed to be in the fridge to harden a while longer.  In a hurry, I flipped through my cookbook quickly and looked for something else and I landed on Banana Gingerbread Slices.  I’ve never made slices and had no idea what texture they are supposed to be but if its anything I always have sitting around at my place (thanks to doing intense sports aka dragonboat), its bananas.  Being really into baked goods with ginger, I had a lot of that sitting in my tin of spices, this was the perfect recipe.

They were incredibly easy to make and the ingredient portions were right on (unlike the various times with making cookies).  It didn’t particularly take long to make and while it was in the oven, the only reason it felt eternities was about 10-15 minutes later, it started smelling so delicious.

Banana Gingerbread Slices (Recipe from Cookies, Biscuits and Bakes 500 by Catherine Atkinson)

Makes 20


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

4 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp mixed spice (apple pie spice)

2/3 cup soft light brown sugar

4 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp molasses

2 tbsp malt extract

2 eggs

4 tbsp orange juice

3 ripe bananas

2/3 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly grease and line a 28x18cm/11x7in. shallow baking tin (pan).

2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and spices into mixing bowl.  Place the sugar in the sieve (strainer) over the bowl, add some of the flour mixture and rub through with a spoon

3. Make a well in the centre in the dry ingredients.  Add the oil, molasses, malt extract, eggs and juice.  Mix thoroughly.

4. Mash the bananas on a plate.  Add the raisins to the gingerbread mixture, then mix in the mashed bananas.

5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking tin.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the centre of the gingerbread springs back when lightly pressed.

6. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cut into 20 slices to serve.

As usual, I made some changes to this recipe.  I replaced mixed spice to cinnamon; sunflower oil to vegetable oil; malt extract to vanilla extract; orange juice to water and raisins to dried cranberries.  That didn’t make much of a difference as it still tasted really delicious.  It wasn’t too dry and the fruits was very apparent in the taste in each slice.  Definitely pleased with the results.  I usually worry about any with bananas because it could mean that the bananas cover up a lot of the other taste.  This one has a really nice balance between gingerbread and banana.  The dried cranberries gave it a little chewy sensation which made it a better texture.

Here’s what it looked like after cut into pieces to get an idea of the texture.

Pretty good looking, eh? Tempted? Go ahead and give it a shot!

Banana Muffin

I finally managed to find time to bake again! We had a few ripe bananas sitting on the counter so I decided to make something with them. My mom is a muffin person so I ended up doing that.  Note that I haven’t made muffins before, at least not from scratch, and even that was 10 years ago or something.  Anyways, this was a fun experience although the muffins turned out a bit pale.  Being the experimenter I am, I decided to add some jam on the top.  So the muffins looked weird because the jam melted a tad bit and it made it look a bit flooded on some of the muffins.


Right out of the oven, appearance-wise was not too great but still, I gave it a bit time to cool down before I went to try one.  It tasted really good.  The texture was moist.  I added some dried cranberries instead of raisins (since I don’t have those at home) and it added a bit of more chewy taste and gave the banana taste something more. As much as the jam doesn’t look appealing, it also did its job in giving it just a little more fruity taste.  It was pretty much like a fruit explosion muffin.  I have a few ideas as to how to put the jam and not make it look so “messy”.

While eating I snapped a few pictures to show you what it looked like on the inside of the muffin, the consistency, etc.  Not too bad, eh?

I actually found this recipe in one of my books.  Apparently when making cookies, I had to change some of the ingredient quantities but with muffins, they were right on.  I’ll probably give muffins another shot when I skim through more recipes.

Here is the recipe extracted from “Cookies Biscuits & Bakes 500” by Catherine Atkinson for BANANA MUFFINS:



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3 large ripe bananas

1 egg

1/4 cup soft dark brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup raisins (if you want banana chocolate muffins, then replace with chocolate chips)


1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F.  Arrange 12 paper cases in a muffin tin (pan).

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. Using a fork, mash the peeled bananas to a smooth consistency in a large bowl.

4.  Beat the egg, sugar and oil into the mashed bananas until fully combined.

5. Add the dry ingredients and beat in gradually, using an electric whisk set at low speed.  Mix until just blended.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the raisins until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins, filling them two-thirds full.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops spring back when touched lightly with your finger.  Transfer the muffins to a wire race to cool completely before serving.


It took me less than an hour to do from prep work to pulling them out of the oven.  Easy and quick! Some of the changes I did do. One was mentioned before was dried cranberries instead of raisins.  I just realized as I was typing up the recipe that I had added a bit more nutmeg than it said, but it didn’t do anything to the taste.  I also don’t like using electric mixers or anything of that sort but for this recipe, it didn’t make a difference or cause any problems because everything was already pretty soft in consistency.  If it was to become something more like dough, then electric mixer would’ve been recommended as they said.  Even by hand, this one was easy to mix.

It may not have turned out as the pictures in the book showed.  Mine was more pale but it still tasted great.  Now for more work on appearance, could it be affected by the ingredients?  For example, soft dark brown sugar would’ve been better, or maybe adding more of it.  I just used normal brown sugar, and perhaps there is another type.  Any suggestions?