My Favorite Banana Bread

I love banana nut bread.  It’s so easy to make, and it makes a perfect breakfast, snack, dessert. Sweet and tender inside, with the bite of the walnuts, and a crunchy, sugary top. I went through quite a few recipes before I stumbled upon this recipe.  The use of brown sugar really gives this a deeper flavor – sweet but not overly so.

Brown Sugar Banana Nut Bread

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2-1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan – you can use butter, but I find that regular cooking spray works just as well.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.
4. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and banana, mixing well.
5. Add flour, baking powder, and salt (the recipe calls for you to sift all these ingredients together; I usually skip this step with fine results).
6. Add flour mixture to wet mixture; stir just to combine.
7. Fold in walnuts (1/2 to 1 cup depending on preference).
8. Pour batter into lightly greased loaf pan.
9. Sprinkle brown or white sugar and a few walnuts on top (optional but definitely tasty)
10. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

A few notes: Sometimes, if I’m using bananas that I’ve frozen then thawed, or if they’re really ripe, I’ll just throw the bananas in with the mixer.  I have made this using a gas oven, and I have found I have to decrease the temp a little bit to about 325 degrees, and cook the bread for a bit longer – 1 hr. 15 minutes usually works.

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