Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gma’s Banana Nut Bread and Cream Cheese Topping

Perhaps this should be titled “When life gives you over ripe bananas, make banana bread”!

We participate in a food program called Shares, and this month’s package included bananas. Now I should clarify how we eat bananas at our house. We buy bananas in a quantity that we can eat in one day, and we like them to still be green at the stem end, so when we get a batch that looks like these, there’s only one thing to do…..

Turn them into banana bread! The batch of bananas shown was enough for a double recipe, or two loaves.

My mom used to make this when I was a kid, and I’ve yet to find a recipe that I like any better. She used to serve it for desert with the cream cheese topping – yummy! I think this would even make a good breakfast.

As always, the “healthy” alternatives are in parenthesis in the ingredient list.

Banana Nut Bread

1 cup sugar (or ½ cup sugar and ½ cup Splenda)
2 tbls shortening (canola oil works well)
1 egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute)
¾ cup milk
1 cup mashed bananas (they are ready when you can cut off the stem and squeeze the banana out like toothpaste)
3 cups flour
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup nuts, chopped (we used walnuts, these are not required)

Mix sugar, shortening and egg thoroughly. Stir in the milk and bananas until smooth.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and add to batter a little at a time, stirring well each time.

Fold in nuts.

Pour into greased 9x5x3 (loaf) pan and let stand for 20 minutes before baking (it will rise).

Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes. Turn out of pan onto rack for cooling.

Serve with cream cheese topping (recipe follows).

Cream Cheese Topping (also called “Hard Sauce”)

6 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
5 tbls cream (or milk)
½ tsp almond extract

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy.

Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition.

Add milk and almond and beat until smooth.

Cover and chill thoroughly.

Serve over sliced banana bread (or any other sweet bread).

I’ve never really known why mom called the topping Hard Sauce, since it’s so easy to make. Maybe just hard to keep us kids out of!


Nancy G said...

I remember when I was out in CA visiting you in the summer of 1984, and we got a hankerin' for this. One long distance phone call to Mom later, we had the recipe and whipped up a couple of loaves. Though, as I recall, we used the big Cuisinart food processor to make the sauce. YUM!

Bev said...

I remember that too! I miss that food processor....I used it 'til it gave up.....{sigh!}