Sunday, October 10, 2010
Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread - Southern Living
***There seriously aren't very many things that smell better than Banana Nut Bread baking in the oven. Don't you agree? This recipe for Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread from Southern Living magazine was one of the very first recipes that I added to this blog...back in November 2007! In fact, I came across it when I worked for the magazine as a Marketing Intern. Back then, I didn't have a photo for every recipe, and the blog post was simply the recipe and nothing else. Because this is my go-to recipe for Banana Nut Bread (and because it is so amazing!), I thought that it deserved a little more attention.
This is quite honestly some of the best Banana Nut Bread that I've ever had. An entire 8oz. package of cream cheese is added right to the batter, along with 4 mashed bananas. The cream cheese adds so much to this recipe, with an incredibly moist texture being the main component. Plus, the roasted pecans are the perfect addition. Roasting the nuts brings out their natural oils and adds SO much flavor...Don't skip this step! To roast them, simply place the pecans on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes until fragrant and lightly toasted. I usually add a sprinkling of pecans over the top of the batter before baking. Another trick is to leave a few small chunks of banana...I don't mash them up completely.
Another great thing about this recipe? It makes TWO loaves, so you can put one in the freezer for later or give it away to someone very lucky!
Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
***Makes 2 loaves***
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
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.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanillla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 inch loafpans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary. (I found that after one hour, my banana bread wasn't completely cooked through. I ended up baking it for an extra 10-15 minutes.) Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.
Source: Southern Living magazine