Spiced Banana-Nut Bread

I have not blogged since March! Hello blogging world!

I have been very busy these last few months, as many of you who know me personally already know. I studied for and took the GMAT, I applied to business school, and I started a part time business school program all while working full time. To say I have been busy is an understatement. In order to keep my sanity, I have had to give up a few things–one of them being updating this blog on a regular basis.

I am still cooking like crazy (can’t go without that!), but I don’t have the time to post meaningful thoughts about the recipes I would like to share and I think just posting a recipe is a little bit boring.

Next week I have finals so naturally, here I am, procrastinating. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to update my blog. Even though I should be studying…shh don’t tell.

Tonight I made banana bread. Wow, this sounds boring already. “Andi, people make banana bread all of the time and it is like the easiest thing in the world to make so why are you sharing this when last weekend you made chocolate souffles and that is so cool and you should be sharing that?” (this is the inner dialogue I imagine you to be having with me right now)

Well, it just so happens that this banana bread is the BEST I have ever made or eaten, and I have made and eaten a whole lot of different types of banana bread. I have two main issues with banana bread:

1) It tends to be lacking in flavor
2) It tends to be dry

So, I decided to get creative. I thought about all of the banana breads I have made in the past and what I liked or didn’t like about them. And OH MY GOODNESS the results! To add more flavor and texture, I added nuts and cinnamon. To make the bread more moist, I added a little greek yogurt.

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You have got to make this bread. If nothing else, it’s a great way to procrastinate from life responsibilities.

Spiced Banana-Nut Bread
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened (pop it  in the microwave for a few seconds if you don’t have time to wait)

2 large eggs

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping bread before baking

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

brown sugar, for sprinkling on top of bread

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into large bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in bowl of a stand mixer, and beat at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each time to blend. Add the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Beat until blended. Add flour mixture and then beat on low until just combined. Stir in walnuts.

Pour into loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle top of loaf evenly with brown sugar and chopped walnuts (this makes the crust nice and crispy but the inside remains moist and delicious).

Bake until knife comes clean out of center, 40-70 minutes. Be sure to monitor the loaf and check its readiness often within this 40-70 minute time frame. You do not want to overcook the bread!

Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely. If you’re really nice, give someone who you love very much the center-most piece while it is still warm and butter it too. Oh yes. This is heaven. And, by the way, after doing this you can put the  two ends back together to keep the inside moist! Brilliant!

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