We always get a ton of bananas in our co-op basket and they often go bad before I can eat them. This week, I decided to make a tasty holiday bread to give away as Christmas gifts.
I modified this recipe from one on Epicurious. I brought the bread to work and it was a huge hit!
The end result is slightly sweet, dense, flaky, and tastes great with a little margarine and honey. I iced the top of the bread with clove-almond frosting. Although there are 3 different kinds of “holiday” spices in this bread, they really just add depth to the flavors without making the bread taste like a spice bread. Don’t be afraid to make this throughout the year– it’s not just for Christmas.
Walnut-Raisin Banana Bread 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
1 cup raw sugar
2 large farm fresh eggs (NEVER store bought!)
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (usually one banana)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Black Walnut flavor
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs nutmeg
Yield: Makes one 9-inch loaf
To Toast Walnuts: Preheat oven to 375°F. Lay walnuts on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up). Roast walnuts until they start to brown and smell toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.
To Convert to Whole Wheat: 3/4 cup + 2 tbs whole wheat = 1 cup all-purpose.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Combine chocolate chips and walnuts in small bowl; add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and toss to coat.
Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter over. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Run knife through batter in zigzag pattern.
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