There's nothing better to see on my dinner table during this time of year than a yummy, holiday bread. Some people like it for dessert, others keep it out before dinner is served. For me, I don’t care how or when we eat it, as long as it’s a part of my holiday. I like it because a lot of the recipes are similar, and all you have to do is switch out the main ingredient. This year I tried a classic banana bread recipe. It’s a simple recipe, and always a winner in my house. And it doesn’t hurt that Brooksie always loves to eat it as a snack!
#MollyTips: The riper the banana the better. It’s so, so, so important that the bananas you use for banana bread are starting to brown. If not, the bread won’t be nearly sweet enough.
- 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
Some other breads that I’m OB-sessed with are zucchini bread and blueberry-lemon pound cake. Zuchini bread is great to put in a basket at the center of the table with some appetizers. And I love, love, love blueberry-lemon pound cake for dessert with some ice cream. SO, so, so yum!
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
- 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.
Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir it in. Add the flour, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg over the batter and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.
Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 6 eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the lemon extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, and lemon zest; stir into the batter alternating with the milk. I like to use a spatula and stir by hand, mixing just until blended so the batter is not over mixed. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl often. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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