Monday, May 16, 2011

Banana Bread

                                                 Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 12th Ed.
I know that everyone has a banana bread recipe that they are loyal to, but the thing that makes this recipe special is the Streusel-Nut Topping. So, if you want, keep your own tried and true recipe, or try this one, but if you want to really up your banana bread game, add this topping before baking... it is delicious!

2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas (about 5 medium)
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

*Note: The original recipe calls for 1 c sugar, but I think it tastes fine reduced to 3/4 c. Plus, the topping adds a little extra sugar.  But, if you are a purist, add the whole cup.

*Note:  The walnuts are optional at my house and we "opt" not to use them, but my husband begs me to put chocolate chips in my quick breads.  If you decide to add chocolate chips, give them a rough chop or use mini chips and toss them in a little bit of flour before stirring them into your batter.  This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf while baking.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one loaf pan and set aside.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).  Fold in nuts or chocolate chips if desired.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle **Streusel-Nut topping over batter (**see recipe below)

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning).  Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (if you can stop yourself from eating a slice right away after your house is filled with the delicious smell!)

**Streusel-Nut Topping:
1/4 c brown sugar (packed)
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter (chilled)
1/3 c chopped walnuts (again, optional)

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and flour.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Note:  If you don't add the walnuts, your topping will not be quite so crumbly, but it still adds a fun texture and taste to top off your banana bread.

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