Thursday, November 11, 2010

Naner Bread

I have used the same banana bread recipe for years and haven't had any complaints with it. Since I got home from work a little early yesterday I tried a new one that I had found online. This recipe had so many great reviews that I had to give it a whirl....soon....while the bananas on my counter were still recognizable as bananas. The recipe seemed pretty standard except for the addition of cream cheese but as I was making it I realized that there were no spices in the bread batter. No cinnamon, no nutmeg, none of the standards. There was cinnamon in the topping but that was it. So, I couldn't help but to add a little cinnamon to the batter, not much but some. All that aside, I have to say this bread was fantastic. The cream cheese definitely added something to the texture of the bread and the streusel topping gave it a nice crunch and almost candied taste. No surprise there though, that's what streusel is supposed to do. My only complaint is that the topping had a tendency to crack and crumble and fall off when slicing the bread. When I make this in the future, and I will make it again, I think I will make it either as mini-loaves or muffins. The texture was certainly soft enough to pass for a muffin. The recipe definitely deserved the accolades it received.

Crispy Cinnamon Streusel Banana Nut Cream Cheese Bread


3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas ( about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
Beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add sugar, gradually, and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until blended.
Gradually add flour and next three ingredients to butter mixture, beating at low until just blended.
Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla.
Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 loaf pans.
Batter will be thick.
For streusel: Stir together 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.
Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter in pans.
Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Bread may be shielded with aluminum foil that last 15 minutes to prevent excessive browning of streusel.
Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool 30 more minutes before slicing.
For perfect slices, cut with a serrated or electric knife after cooling.

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