I believe that bread is meant to be shared. It's a nice gesture and it keeps me from sitting at home and eating it all myself!
I brightened the mornings of a few preschool moms and teachers last Friday by handing out little slices of this yummy banana bread and it got rave reviews. I got the recipe from one of my cookbooks titled, "1001 Ways to Cook Southern," a Southern Living specialty.
The cream cheese makes this bread extra moist and the cinnamon compliments the banana so well. I skipped the pecans so that my son would eat it but if I had my way, they would be in there. This recipe makes two loaves and I like making them in the disposable aluminum baking pans so that they can be given as gifts or frozen. It's easy, trust me. And I promise, after this recipe, you'll never look at a black spotted banana the same way again.
Cream Cheese Banana Bread
Prep: 15 min., Bake: 1 hr., Cool: 40 min. To get perfect slices, allow full 30 minutes to cool and use a serrated bread knife. Also, the riper the banana, the better! You want to see those things covered in brown spots!
Yield: Makes 2 loaves
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (1 1/4 pounds unpeeled bananas, about 4 medium)
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon 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 vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loafpans.
Bake at 350° 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. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.
Cinnamon Streusel Topping
Prepare bread batter as directed, and spoon into desired pans. Stir together 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar; 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; 1 tablespoon melted butter; and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Bake and cool as directed.