I am a terrible blogger! I looked at my calendar and was in denial that almost 2 weeks have gone by and I haven’t posted anything new. I also haven’t been baking as much (once a day is “not as much” for me, but it feels like I’ve been baking once a week because I’m being very lazy with taking pictures of what I make). I blame the weather. Our (loud) AC is finally in, and I love the coolness that it brings but I don’t love what it means. Soon, the weather won’t be playing around. It’s gonna get hot. I’m more of a “it can stay 65 degrees all year long, thank you” kind of girl…but that won’t happen. It feels like the warmer weather always reminds you of things you need to do. I still haven’t gotten outside to play tennis mainly because I’ve been waking up too late to function as a normal human being (at least on the East Coast…I should move to Hong Kong and I might feel somewhat normal being that I’m on the night shift/vampire sleep schedule here).
The past 2 weeks have been hardly filled with any accomplishments, except for a few that I am ashamed to admit that I’m even considering these “accomplishments”. I found a set of cute baby blue (hate that name, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the color is called) dishes in my parent’s basement that I bought years ago for the day when we finally got an apartment, and I am finally using them. I have also finally started sending my Netflix DVD’s back the next day or at most a couple of days later, rather than 2 months later. Yes, that does make me feel accomplished. Um…I’ve accidentally turned The Beatles ‘Blackbird‘ (the first song I ever heard in my life; my dad played it to me when I got home from the hospital when I was born) into a honky tonk song by getting frustrated and speeding it up one morning while practicing it on our acoustic guitar. It wasn’t intentional, but I actually started laughing out loud both surprised that I could finger pick that fast and that I turned a beautiful song into something ridiculous sounding. That actually should be filed under “Fail”…. Oh! And a couple of discoveries. A. I love Mike’s Hard Lemonade (I used to be anti-Mike’s Hard Lemonade…why?!) and B. I love EcoSmart Organic Insecticide–truly AMAZING–the ants have been gone for a week now thanks to that stuff. Smells like minty rosemary and cinnamon. Ok, all of this has nothing to do with baking, because that’s kind of how my life has been since I last posted. I have been baking, but it’s been mostly repeats of things I’ve made before or things that I have failed to take pictures of. BUT, I have come with a recipe that I think you’re going to really like! Unfortunately, it is not vegan–and unfortunately, I only have one picture…but what the heck, try it if you can!
This one is my recipe and it’s probably my favorite banana bread that I’ve ever had to this day. You can’t go wrong–there’s roasted bananas, browned butter, walnuts, and toffee bits all over the top. If I haven’t been so obsessed with vegan baking lately, I would be making this all the time. Discovering or creating a delicious vegan banana bread is the next thing on my to-bake list. Banana bread will always have a special place in my heart. I love it’s simplicity (this one really is more simple than it sounds too) and there’s nothing like taking a nicely browned banana bread loaf out of the oven and slicing it for the first time. It just makes the entire house smell cozy, if cozy was a smell. This banana bread is so moist and flavorful on the inside from the browned butter and roasted bananas, there’s really no point in ever making banana bread without roasting the bananas, regardless of whether it’s vegan or not–and if you’re going to use butter, there’s no point in not browning it. Makes a huge difference.
Roasted Banana Nut Bread with Browned Butter & Toffee Topping
Makes one 9×5 loaf
- 4 medium bananas–3 roasted (see instructions below)
- 4 tablespoons browned unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Handful of toffee pieces (to sprinkle across the top)
- 2-3 teaspoons granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)
1. Place 3 whole medium bananas (in their skin) on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and allow to roast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. They will be very dark in color (mine were black because my bananas already had spots and were fully ripe). Take them out and allow to cool. I like to carefully peel some of the peels back and allow the heat to escape faster, but be careful doing this.
2. On medium heat, brown 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, swirling the pan several times for about 5 minutes until the butter has started to brown (the butter will look amber and you will see what looks like a red colored powder forming underneath the butter on the bottom of the pan). Take off of the heat and add the light brown sugar and salt (this will cool it down some).
3. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl, and set aside.
4. With browned butter off the heat and cooling down, add the bananas and mash into mixture. It’s ok if there are lumps.
5. Add vanilla extract and the yogurt to the butter, sugar and bananas. Then add 2 lightly beaten room temperature eggs.
6. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix to incorporate fully, but don’t mix past the point where it’s just combined.
7. Pour into a greased and floured 9×5 loaf pan, and cut up your fourth banana into very thin slices to spread on the sides of the top of the loaf. Doing this, you will want to slightly layer each banana on top of the other. This will make it look prettier once it’s done baking! Sprinkle a good handful of toffee bits on top, and then sprinkled the entire top with about a couple of teaspoons of granulated sugar.
8. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack for about 40-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and top is browned.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in loaf pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing the loaf. If you try to remove it while it’s still very hot and just out of the oven, the bread might just fall apart. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.