Thursday, June 3, 2010

Monkeyin' Around in the Kitchen

What better way to use over-ripe bananas than to whip up a batch of banana bread?! This is one of my favorite recipes, adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook (Ed. Ruth Reichl, 2004). The original recipe calls for macadamia nuts, but you can easily substitute whatever nuts you prefer. I made mine with chopped walnuts today, since that's all I had on hand. It makes two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaves. The addition of the coconut, nuts, and lemon zest make it a truly unique recipe. Enjoy!

Tropical Banana Nut Bread
(adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, 2004)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbs) salted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of one lemon
3 mashed ripe large bananas
3 tbs light sour cream
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Spray/butter/flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Beat together butter and sugars in a stand mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, zest, bananas, and sour cream, beating until just combined. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until ust combined. Stir in nuts and coconut. Divide batter between to pans; smooth tops. Bake on a middle rack in oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, approximately 45-50 minutes. Remove bread from pans and cool completely, right side up, on cooling rack.

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