Two Hands Copycat Recipe: Banana Bread with Vegan Espresso Marscapone (gf)

One of my all-time favorite brunch spots in New York City, Two Hands, is home to a legendary house banana bread that they top with espresso marscapone, honey, and puffed buckwheat. I’ve never been able to try it because of my dairy allergy, but after years of pining, I decided to recreate it on my own at home.

My version is gluten- and dairy-free, the marscapone is entirely vegan, and the banana bread can easily be made vegan as well if you substitute a flax egg for a real one. Two slices makes a weekend breakfast that will keep you full for hours, thanks to all the fiber and healthy fats in my version, and you’ll love knowing it’s free of refined sugars.

Instead of straight puffed buckwheat, I topped my toast with Trader Joes’ Super Seed & Ancient Grain Blend, which has chia, flax, hemp, red quinoa, amaranth, and sprouted buckwheat and millet.

Olive Oil-Honey Banana Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (My favorite is this one, because it uses chickpea flour as a base and is higher in fiber)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla extract).
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  6. Fold in walnuts, if using.
  7. Transfer mixture to the loaf pan, and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool before slicing.

Vegan Espresso Marscapone

  • 1 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup melted and cooled extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup oat or coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. espresso (or strong coffee), chilled
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until a thick, fluffy marscapone-like consistency has been reached.

Who-Needs-a-Man Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes (gf, df)

These are break-up-with-your-boyfriend, who-needs-a-man kind of ultimate pleasure pancakes. I don’t mean to over-hype, but these might be the best pancakes I’ve ever made. (And my pancakes are something I really pride myself on!) Make these on a Sunday morning to get in the holiday spirit, and feel good knowing they’re packed with ingredients that will make you feel good, will keep you full all day long, and won’t give you a nasty sugar crash later.

Ryan and I overzealously doubled this batch (we were very hungry), and despite stuffing ourselves still couldn’t finish each of our shares. I would recommend one batch for two people for a more *comfortable* fullness. You’ll be daydreaming these pancakes for the rest of the day, and bonus: they’ll make your house smell amazing.

Ingredients

Comfortably serves 2 people.

  • 1 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill, which has a chickpea flour base… more fiber + protein!)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, extracts, oil, and milk until frothy.
  • Slowly start stirring in the flour, baking powder, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Stir until there are no lumps left, but be careful not to over-mix. Your batter should be thick and almost pudding-like.
  • Finally, add in the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  • Grease and heat a large griddle. Once hot, spoon your pancake batter on in size of your choice. You’ll know your pancakes are ready to flip when the edges start bubbling — about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Serve with real maple syrup, and a dusting more of cocoa powder (optional).

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

Espresso Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (gf, df)

It took me two rounds to perfect this recipe. I am picky with my baked goods, and having to bake gluten-free makes me even pickier. My goal is always to create a baked good that I could put down in front of someone, without telling them what’s in it, and not have them say it’s “pretty good for being gluten-free”, but that’s it “REALLY good”, period. I think I achieved that with this muffin.

Basically, this muffin is the perfect solution to your 3 PM energy crash. It gives you complex carbs and healthy fats to prevent the “hangry” from coming on, and the staying power to get you through till dinner. It gives you a little dose of caffeine with the ground espresso, and it has chocolate in it. Chocolate just makes everything better.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp. espresso beans, ground in a food processor, or 3 tbsp. instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chunks, plus more for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, or oil with a little olive or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients (eggs through apple cider vinegar, above). Whisk until well combined — your batter should be smooth and creamy.
  3. Next, add in all dry ingredients (except for the chocolate chunks). Stir to mix, then fold in the ½ cup of dark chocolate chunks.
  4. Spoon your batter into 9 muffin cups, and top with a few additional chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then enjoy!