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It’s always great to have a bunch of bananas on the counter for a healthy grab and go snack or light breakfast.  I often buy them in varying colors of green and yellow to assure I have plenty of time to eat them all.  But in the warmer months of the year, bananas tend to ripen quickly.  Sometimes a lot faster than I have time to eat them.  I get busy, there’s other stuff to eat, you know how it goes.  Life just doesn’t revolve around your bananas.

So one morning you approach your kitchen counter and there’s a bunch of brown and spotted bananas that you couldn’t bribe someone to eat.  What do you do? Why make banana bread of course! Yup, when life gives you a brown banana you make a banana bread.  Or two. Depending on the amount of bananas going bad.  Or going good.  It’s all perspective my friends.  Overripe Bananas = Banana Bread.

Let’s turn something bad into something great. This is no ordinary Banana Bread recipe. This one has a nutty caramelized brown sugar and cinnamon topping with a perfect quick bread density. Not too sweet, it makes for a satisfying banana filled bite with a bit of crunch.

candied_banana_bread

This recipe does call for buttermilk, so if you’re all out or looking for a dairy free option to buttermilk here’s the solution :

                   1 Cup Milk of Your Choice (regular milk, almond, soy, coconut, etc)
+
1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice

+

10 minutes

=  Homemade Buttermilk

Let this sit for about 10 minutes and then use as you would regular buttermilk.

For baking the banana bread I used a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. This makes a pretty large loaf of bread. You could easily scale down to two smaller loaf pans and reduce baking time. Enjoy one of the Banana Breads now and freeze another one for later. Mini loaf pans are great as well plus you can score some brownie points (Or banana points? Do those exist?) with your friends and neighbors by giving some away as gifts. Just be sure to keep some for yourself so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Recipe: Cinnamon Pecan Crunch Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

Banana Bread Batter

3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 ripe bananas, mashed (the riper the better,black is best)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (increase to 1 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

For The Topping

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon butter
1/2  cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted

pinch of salt if using unsalted butter, otherwise omit

DIRECTIONS

Making the Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan or 6 mini loaf pans. I used a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla extract, cinnamon and buttermilk.  Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add to the dry mixture to the wet banana mixture and stir gently to combine.
  5. Once combined add the nuts. Be careful to not overmix.
  6. Pour banana bread batter into your loaf pan or pans.
  7. Baking times will vary depending on the size of the pans used. If using a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Shorter times will be required for smaller pans.
  8. Once finished remove from oven.

Making the Topping:

  1. Heat your broiler with an oven rack at the top.
  2. With a toothpick poke holes  all along the top of your bread.  This is so the topping will seep into the bread.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter with the sugar and cinnamon. Allow to come to a simmer and cook until all the sugar dissolves and the mixture bubbles and thickens. About 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the nuts.
  4. Pour over the top of the banana bread and with a butter knife, spread evenly to coat.
  5. Place the bread under the broiler for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.

Slice, enjoy and share!

banana_bread_recipe