Recently in my community, a man was battling cancer and a wonderful lady decided to do a fundraiser to help his family with the mounting medical costs. She asked several of us to bake some treats and I chose to bake some TYLER FLORENCE banana nut muffins, and some fresh strawberry bread with dipped strawberries.
I believe that presentation is everything, even in a bake sale, because we first eat with our eyes...then our mouths. So rather than place the brown, not-so-beautiful but very tasty muffins on a regular tray, I decided to brighten them up a bit by displaying them on a 3-tiered tray and placing them over bright red paper napkins. I clearly marked the name of the treats, which is helpful for shoppers.
I served the strawberry bread sliced and placed in a spiral on a simple white paper plate and placed a disposable plastic, but very pretty bowl of hand-dipped fresh strawberries that were dipped in almond bark (which I actually prefer over chocolate on a strawberry.) You can find that recipe here.
The bake sale was a HUGE success, but sadly, the gentleman passed away. But everyone involved in the bake sale (the planners, those who stayed to set and take down the tables, those who sold the treats, and those who purchased them , ALL had a hand in lightening the load for this family, who already had too much to deal with. That is why we do things like this, and my small community is the BEST at helping one another!
Give the recipes at a try-- and no, you don't have to wait until you have a bake sale. Sweet breads are a perfect summertime treat-- for breakfast, dessert,snack time anytime you need a little pick-me-up.
Ingredients for 12 muffins by TYLER FLORENCE
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter 2 muffin tins.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together like you mean it, for a good 3 minutes. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill them about halfway. Give them a rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake until a toothpick stuck in the muffins comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before turning the muffins out. Serve warm or at room temperature.