Banana Nut Bread

The past few days I have been walking by our fruit bowl on the kitchen table and have noticed the banana were almost past the point of being edible.  One of my biggest pet peeves is having to throw away fresh fruit that does not get eaten.  Have you seen the price of fresh fruit lately? It is not cheap!  Yesterday afternoon I had some spare time on my hands (shocking, I know) and I decided I was not going to let those bananas go to waste.

There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked breads, cakes, cookies, etc!  I absolutely love how baking makes our entire house smell!  In order to use up those bananas I knew that some banana nut bread would be perfect, plus it would make the house smell like a bakery for a few hours!!

There are millions of recipes for banana nut bread, so how can you pick a new one to try?  I knew I wanted a recipe which made 2 loaves, since I wanted to give one loaf away as a “thank you gift” today.  (If you don’t want to give away the second loaf, you can always wrap it nice-n-tight and freeze it for later!)  After sorting through a few different recipes, I settled on this one — and this is honestly some of the best banana nut bread I have ever made.  The cream cheese and bananas add so much moisture to the bread, without causing it to be too moist.  And to top it off, it’s an other extremely easy to make which is always a bonus!

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread
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Ingredients:
3/4 cup Butter, at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 Medium Bananas, mashed
1 cup Pecans, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. A 1/4 cup at a time, add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs one at a time and beat just until blended after each egg.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, while the mixture is on low speed, just until blended. With a large spoon, stir in the bananas, pecans and vanilla extract.

Spoon the batter evenly into 2 greased and floured 8″x4″ loaf pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean and the sides are pulling away from the pan. If need be, you can cover the bread with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent the top from burning or browning, if necessary. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the bread and allowing it to cool for an additional 30 minutes.

*Serving Size: 2 loaves.

Source: Sugar & Spice by Celeste, originally from Southern Living Magazine.

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Who doesn’t love a great cinnamon bread, roll or scone for breakfast? The biggest problem with making rolls and scones for breakfast is the amount of time and effort they take to prepare and bake. Who wants to wake up and spend and hour or two prepping and baking breakfast? Not me! When I first came across this recipe I knew instantly it was one I was going to have to try because of its ease. Two bowls, a bread pan, and all of the ingredients are ones I always have laying around.

At first I was pretty taken back by the amount of baking powder this recipe called for. Four teaspoons is normally enough to make a small army of bread loaves! I was hesitant to follow the directions, but I jumped in head first and tossed in all four teaspoons of baking powder. The results were amazing! This is one the lightest, fluffiest and tallest breads I have ever made. It is amazing! You should make sure you are using a taller bread pan as it will really rise while baking and using a shallow bread pan will cause an overflow to occur.

The two loaves of this bread I made lasted less than 24 hours and that is what I call a winning recipe for sure!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
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Ingredients:
For the Bread:
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 cup Buttermilk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

For the Topping:
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9″x5″ bread loaf pan.

To prepare the batter for the bread, add all of the ingredients for the bread into a large mixing bowl and using a hand held mixer, mix for 3 minutes on medium speed.

To prepare the streusel topping, in a small mixing bowl mix together the brown sugar, ground cinnamon and butter.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan, sprinkle half of the streusel topping over the batter, cover with the remaining batter and then top the batter with the remaining streusel topping.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Source: from Chicks & Dips.

Lemon Bread

Lately, I have been all about lemons!  It is such a perfect flavor to enjoy anytime of the year; however, the bright flavor and sunny color is extra special to enjoy during these long winter months to remind us of spring and summer.

This bread is simply amazing.  The flavor is so bright and tangy, and having a slice with breakfast is the perfect way to start the day!  I must say, this recipe is also incredibly easy to make.  So, for all of you out there who have never tried baking before, this would be the perfect recipe to try and impress your family or friends with!  

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Lemon Bread
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Ingredients:
For the Bread:
1 cup Sugar
5 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cup Flour
Finely Grated Lemon Zest from 3 Lemons
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

For the Glaze:
Lemon Juice from 1 1/2 Lemons
1/2 cup Sugar

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the sugar and the butter, and cream together until well mixed, approximately 2 minutes. Add in the eggs and milk and mix on medium speed until well combined. Add in all of dry ingredients, and on medium speed beat until smooth. Add in the lemon zest and mix on slow speed just until the lemon zest is evenly distributed.

Grease the bottom and sides of a bread pan. Pour the batter into the greased bread pan, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees.

To make the glaze, stir the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the bread is completely baked and you have removed it from the oven, spoon the glaze over the baked bread immediately. Leave the bread in the bread pan, on a wire rack, until it is completely cooled.

Source: slightly adapted from Things That Make You Say: “Mmmmm”.