Friday, December 31, 2010

Banana Bread

Very cold today (just checked--it's 7.6 F here at midafternoon!), so seemed like a good day to stay in, clean house, and do a little baking.  This banana bread recipe is from Southern Living magazine (January 2005).  With all the cream cheese and butter, it has a great texture and wonderful sweetness.  It's delicious without anything on it, though butter or cream cheese spread are good ('cause really--can you have ever have too much butter or cream cheese?).  We bought some Lemon Curd at Trader Joe's yesterday and will try that, too.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (about 4 medium--I puree them in the food processor)
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until just blended.

Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla.  Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8 x 4 inch loaf pans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary.  Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

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