Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Peanut Butter-Banana Bread (with a slight twist)

Morning y'all!

Hope you're having a good week. Yesterday was my 25th birthday! Even though I had class and other grown-up things to do (drug tests/background checks for rotations), I enjoyed myself this past weekend and the festivities will continue throughout this week/weekend - can't wait!

So what did I do last weekend? Saturday involved this - thick snowflakes falling, coffee mugs, blankets, couches, and Chicago Fire. My Nannie, Mom and I sat on the couch all day and watched the whole season and it was fabulous. I had seen them all but they hadn't, so I had to stick around to make sure they didn't doze off during all the good parts. Seriously though - it's an awesome show . . . get on it!

All of a sudden it was mid afternoon and I had gotten the itch to make something. Didn't want things to be too involved, so I grabbed my Aida Mollenkamp book and began to browse. I've made some things from her book before (Meatballs), so I knew she wouldn't let me down. I stumbled upon her Peanut Butter-Banana Bread Recipe and was certain that I had all the ingredients that I needed. Well I didn't. I had everything but the unsalted butter. I have read her book cover to cover, so I should have known that deviating too far from the recipe may result in some changes. The bread was still a success!

Peanut Butter-Banana Bread (adapted from Aida Mollenkamp's Keys To The Kitchen)

What You'll Need

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (plus more for greasing your pan)
  • 1 & 2/3 C unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 C mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2/3 C natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

How To Make It
  • Heat your oven to 350F and arrange rack in the middle.
  • Grease AND flour your loaf pan (9x5in) - Aida didn't say to do this, but my crust was just a tad tough and my mom seemed to think that this would have rectified that issue.
  • Whisk together your dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and baking soda - set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle, beat your sugar, bananas, peanut butter, and melted butter on medium speed until combined.
  • Add your eggs and vanilla until just blended.
  • On low speed, add your flour mixture to your banana mixture just until incorporated.
  • Pour your batter into your greased/floured loaf pan and bake until knife/wooden pick comes out clean with a few crumbs, 55-70 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for five minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool on rack.

How was my bread different? I chose to use a half and half mixture of natural creamy peanut butter and sunflower butter. You can sub the peanut butter for any nut butter of your choosing. Definitely make sure your bananas are ripe, and definitely use unsalted butter - don't try to cut corners by omitting the salt in your flour mixture and using salted butter. You can also add nuts to your batter or on top of your bread before baking. I added walnuts to the top of mine, but may I suggest this? Watch your bread for the first 10-20 minutes - allow it to rise and then cover with foil so your nuts/top of your bread don't get too done. 

Overall, this bread was delicious and something I'll definitely make again. I served mine warm with a touch of butter and it was yum! It lasted maybe a day or two around the house, so I must have done something right!



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