"Because life is good, home cooking is best, and there is always something to be grateful for." - Christy Jordan

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Best Banana Nut Bread EVER.

I swear, nothing makes the house smell better than banana nut bread baking in the oven. Yes, you have your chocolate chip cookies and other baked goods, but there's something about that warm banana smell. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Well, lucky you... I happen to have the BEST banana nut bread recipe EVER. Seriously, this is the best I've ever had. It is so moist and has the perfect amount of spices, bananas and nuts. The first time I made this banana bread it vanished by the end of the day. Only the little end of it was left. I only had one piece! It's so good and addicting. Now I've learned my lesson and I always double the recipe to make two loaves. I've sent some to work with Mom before and one of her coworkers paid me to make her four loaves of it... that's how good it is. I'm not messin' around here, people!

I'm sure everyone has had banana nut bread before (if you haven't, you are totally missing out), but promise me you'll try this recipe. I've had my share of banana bread and I had when it's so dry that you're looking around for a bottle of water to help you get it down. This recipe has never dried out on me.  Have I persuaded you to try this yet?

 As you can see, my recipe is all wrinkly and has spill stains on it. That's how much I've made it.

This recipe is from The Neely's and it's called "Momma Callie's Banana Nut Bread". Let me give you a little tip on how to spot a good recipe. If the recipe ever starts with someone's name, like "Momma Callie's" or "Aunt Sue's" or "Grandma's" you KNOW it's going to be GOOD. This means the recipe got so many rave reviews that this person became famous for making it. I know that in my family, my Grandma's mashed potatoes are the first thing everyone heads for at Thanksgiving.

Break out those brown bananas and mash'em on up! It's time to make some banana bread!

Momma Callie's Banana Nut Bread

1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 large, very ripe bananas (We're talkin' brown spots all over)
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2. sour cream (Light works just as well as regular. In fact, I've always used light.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
dash of ground clove  (I add more spices to mine because that's how I like it, but only add cinnamon if you want, in the amounts that you want!)
3/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

This will make one loaf, but I always double it to make two!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan. (I use 9"x 5".) Okay, DO NOT SKIP THIS. Take the time to butter and flour it. You don't want to just spray it with non-stick spray and risk your loaf falling apart or parts getting stuck in the pan when you try and take it out, because when this happens you will cry. You really will. Trust me, I know from experience. So just butter and flour it, it's not hard :) Wipe your pan down with butter (I use a paper towel swabbed with some margarine) and then sprinkle some flour around. Then shake the pan until the flour has coated everything and then shake the excess flour out. I always set my loaf pans on a baking sheet lined with foil too, just in case there are any spills. Cleaning your oven is never fun.

It should look like this! Lightly dusted.
Then, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together in a large bowl. It's important to combine this well so your whole loaf rises and is seasoned evenly. Then mash your bananas. (I had some in the freezer that I had put in there when they were almost too far gone. If you use frozen bananas, just set them on a plate and let them defrost for a little bit.)
 Use a fork to mash! It's kinda fun :)

Next, cream together your butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until its well combined. Then add your eggs one at time, combining well after each. Add your vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

 All the wet ingredients... 

Now add your bananas (low speed) and once those are combined slowly add your dry ingredients that you set aside. I usually turn the mixer speed to low and use a small measuring cup to slowly scoop some dry ingredients in.

 Like this!

Once all your dry ingredients are in, add the pecans mix a little more. The batter should be pretty thick, but still wet.
Like this :)
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.


I hope you try this recipe next time you have some brown bananas hangin' around your house!

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