After last week’s entry about National Banana Bread Day, one reader made this scrumptious recipe and said it turned out killer good.
I just had to have the recipe and thought you all would appreciate it, too. It came from Southern Living.
It’s after the jump. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese- Banana Nut Bread
Makes 2 loaves
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (1 1/4 lb. unpeeled bananas, about 4 medium)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place 3/4 cup pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 6 minutes.
2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
3. Combine whole wheat flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in bananas, 3/4 cup toasted pecans, and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.
4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides of bread pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Let cool 30 minutes.
Note: To make ahead, proceed with recipe as directed through Step 4. Cool loaves completely, and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Wrap again with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 1 month.
Toasted Coconut-Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Reduce pecans to 1 cup. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 1, toasting all pecans. Remove and reserve 1/4 cup toasted pecans. Proceed as directed through Step 3, omitting pecans sprinkled over batter. Bake as directed. Meanwhile, cook 1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, reserved toasted pecans, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Remove bread from oven; immediately spread tops lightly with coconut mixture. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until topping starts to lightly brown. Cool in pans on wire racks 20 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks placed over cookie sheets. Prepare glaze and pour over loaves while still warm. Cool 30 minutes before slicing.
Cinnamon-Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3, omitting pecans sprinkled over batter. Stir together 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped pecans (not toasted), 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp. melted butter, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. Lightly sprinkle mixture over batter in pans. Bake and cool as directed.
Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3, omitting pecans sprinkled over batter. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in 2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter and 1 1/2 tsp. butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Lightly sprinkle mixture over batter in pans. Bake and cool as directed.
Source: Southern Living