Every Purim I try new hamantaschen from different bakeries. I've also made my own hamantaschen using a variety of recipes.
But so far, after years and years of buying this one and that one, my favorites are the (parve) ones I get at The Bakery, in Plainview, NY. For me, they are the enduring treats of childhood, never failing to please, never changing, even in a world where innovation is honored.
And so -- I will buy my hamantaschen this year. Old fashioned flavors: prune and apricot. At The Bakery.
Which means that for Purim, instead of creating a completely new hamantaschen recipe or even trying a new pastry recipe with old fashioned filling, I am going to bake banana bread as mishloach manot gifts.
This is my most recent banana bread recipe, one I came up with while revising my mother's date-nut bread recipe.
Banana Bread with Figs, Dates and Nuts
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup chopped dried figs
- 1/2 cup chopped dried dates
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda together in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the shortening and sugar until well blended. Add the bananas and beat them in thoroughly. Add the eggs and beat them in thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and beat for a minute or so until the batter is well blended. Fold in the figs, dates and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about one hour or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a cake rack to cool completely.
Makes one bread, serving 16-18