32. C’s Banana Bread

When we were kids, my mom would make banana nut bread that she gave to the neighbors for Christmas. She also made some for us, thankfully, but I remember that while she wouldn’t necessarily stand at the fence and chat for hours with our neighbors, that one time each year she ventured over with foil-wrapped loaves and shared with them. My mother taught me how to have neighbors, which I’m now learning in my own house, in a new city, where that can sometimes be a challenge.

I really don’t know how to make friends with people just because they live next door to me, it turns out. What I do know, however, is that the outside of banana nut bread, when done right, is chewy, not really crunchy or soft but instead almost caramelized. It’s the best part of the bread, though obviously the moist interior is as good or better than any fancy-store muffin or sweet bread you can find.

From my kitchen, I can see my neighbor’s dog tearing around the square of lawn like a banshee. From my kitchen, I can see my other neighbor working on his truck, or another neighbor grilling some dinner. From here, I can take the overly ripe bananas that have somehow survived Husband’s fruit obsession and mash them with other foods, creating the pasty mixture that browns up into that enviable chewy crust. 

This particular recipe isn’t my mother’s; I found one online, substituted pecans for walnuts, and made a brown butter glaze to make sure the top was extra rich. It turned out thick and sturdy, able to hold up in a toaster, and because I had only one banana ready, I added applesauce and so it’s a two-fruit treat.

C’s Banana Bread

2 Bananas, very ripe (or one banana and one little single-serving tub of applesauce)

2 Eggs, large

1 1/3 cups All-purpose flour

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

3/4 tsp Salt, fine grain

2/3 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Pecans

5 1/3 tbsp Butter, unsalted

Combine sugar and butter; cream together. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix the baking powder, baking soda, and flour in a separate bowl. Add slowly while stirring to the butter mixture. Mash bananas and add with the pecans to the mixture; put into a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

 

If you want to brown butter, here’s a technique to use; I added sugar to mine once it was done, to make a glaze, but I just eyeballed it and would suggest you do the same. http://www.thekitchn.com/basic-techniques-how-to-brown-77018

Banana Blueberry Walnut Bread!

I make a lot of fruity quick breads; still, I was trying to find something breakfasty on Pinterest and came across this beauty, and was inspired to get to baking. Husband and I just tested out the bike I got at a local flea market, and I was the good kind of tired that makes you want to eat something with great gusto but eat, you know, something sorta good for you.

When I surveyed my ingredients, I had two bananas thawing from being frozen (it’s my last ditch effort to save them if they are about to go bad and I don’t want to just eat them), 1 fresh banana and a bag of dried blueberries. I first put a bit of butter on the walnuts and put them into the oven to roast up – I just like fruit-and-nut bread better when the nuts are roasted. Then I prepared the bread, realizing in the middle that I did not have the egg I needed – so in went a small tub of applesauce. In my opinion, applesauce works for consistency of the bread once it’s cool but it binds less well than egg overall and thus results in an intensely crumbly bread when it first comes out. If you have more patience then me, applesauce is a great addition, but I want a slice of the deliciousness as soon as it is cool enough to touch, so I was eating it with a fork.

Husband and I both agreed that its hard to beat bread with so many fruits and nuts in it, and the quantities of flour and sugar were really quite modest; much of the sweetness and substance of the loaf comes from the fruit itself. The blueberries were what really made it, though – I only really associate blueberries with muffins and bagels, but in this loaf form, they provided a good counterbalancing tang to the sweet bread and the savory walnuts. 10/10, would eat whole loaf if I could, but instead eat one piece each morning with my coffee. 🙂

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Glaze on Zucchini Banana Bread

We now get some produce via a local community garden that delivers… for free! The downside is that I got a little order-happy and have way more zucchini currently in my possession than I have any idea what to do with. So… I made zucchini banana bread. No one claims that it isn’t a heaven of butter and sugar and flour, but it also contains two full bananas and a huge pile of grated zucchini. Win win win win.

I used the lovely recipe from Averie Cooks – she has such a professional look to her site but she also includes stories about cooking, which are obviously my favorite. I was going to forego a glaze this time, but reading about hers just made me itch to brown some butter… and this turned out WONDERFUL. My sweet-toothed, veggie-averse father in law came back for seconds of this recipe, so I fully recommend making it. I was low on cream cheese, so i skimped on it a little, and I added cinnamon to it, but otherwise, all the glory of this is in the browned butter and the confectioner’s sugar…

Honestly, I have been wanting to love on my coworkers a little this week, so with the remaining overripe bananas and another zucchini, I’m probably gonna make another batch and bring it in for them. While I’m sure their husbands may get the lions share (both of my closest coworkers are very health-conscious), I bet the fact that it’s plump with veggies and fruit will convince them to sample it. Just the act of writing about it makes me want to make more of it, that’s how much this combines all my loves: comfort food, good stories, and sharing things with others! What is your favorite food to give as a gift?

 

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32. C’s Banana Bread

When we were kids, my mom would make banana nut bread that she gave to the neighbors for Christmas. She also made some for us, thankfully, but I remember that while she wouldn’t necessarily stand at the fence and chat for hours with our neighbors, that one time each year she ventured over with foil-wrapped loaves and shared with them. My mother taught me how to have neighbors, which I’m now learning in my own house, in a new city, where that can sometimes be a challenge.

I really don’t know how to make friends with people just because they live next door to me, it turns out. What I do know, however, is that the outside of banana nut bread, when done right, is chewy, not really crunchy or soft but instead almost caramelized. It’s the best part of the bread, though obviously the moist interior is as good or better than any fancy-store muffin or sweet bread you can find.

From my kitchen, I can see my neighbor’s dog tearing around the square of lawn like a banshee. From my kitchen, I can see my other neighbor working on his truck, or another neighbor grilling some dinner. From here, I can take the overly ripe bananas that have somehow survived Husband’s fruit obsession and mash them with other foods, creating the pasty mixture that browns up into that enviable chewy crust. 

This particular recipe isn’t my mother’s; I found one online, substituted pecans for walnuts, and made a brown butter glaze to make sure the top was extra rich. It turned out thick and sturdy, able to hold up in a toaster, and because I had only one banana ready, I added applesauce and so it’s a two-fruit treat.

C’s Banana Bread

2 Bananas, very ripe (or one banana and one little single-serving tub of applesauce)

2 Eggs, large

1 1/3 cups All-purpose flour

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

3/4 tsp Salt, fine grain

2/3 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Pecans

5 1/3 tbsp Butter, unsalted

Combine sugar and butter; cream together. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix the baking powder, baking soda, and flour in a separate bowl. Add slowly while stirring to the butter mixture. Mash bananas and add with the pecans to the mixture; put into a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

 

If you want to brown butter, here’s a technique to use; I added sugar to mine once it was done, to make a glaze, but I just eyeballed it and would suggest you do the same. http://www.thekitchn.com/basic-techniques-how-to-brown-77018