Sunday, November 02, 2008

Southern Living: Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread


There's a special banana bread recipe that I absolutely love, and when it starts getting cold outside, I start wanting to make it. Unfortunately, I found a small, but crucial, mistake in the recipe.  It states that you should use two 8x4-inch loaf pans, but if you do that, your bread tries to overflow the edges.  I love finding that messy surprise in the bottom of my oven.  In addition, by the time the center is cooked, the outside is practically burnt. Not exactly appetizing. So of course you have to use THREE 8x4-inch loaf pans, and then it turns out perfectly. I also added a half of a cup of sour cream to ensure the bread is nice and moist.

Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups mashed bananas (1¼ pounds unpeeled bananas, about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
½ 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. Add sour cream and mix in.

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 3 greased and floured 8x4-inch loafpans.

Bake at 350°F 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.

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