I love Southern Living magazine and if I find a good recipe in it, I have a hard time giving the magazine away. This is a January 2005 issue with the best banana nut bread recipe ever in it. I have made it to give to friends and family and for a comforting bread to have with coffee. It is rich and creamy and has 4 different topping ideas to go with the batter. Give this a try, you will never make plain banana bread again!
One batter, four toppings:
Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
3/4 cup butter, softened...................2 cups sugar
1 8oz. cream cheese softened...........2 large eggs
3 cups flour....................................1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda........................1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, about 4 medium
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted..........1/2 tsp. vanilla
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt. 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 8x4 loaf pans. 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. Cool bread in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool 30 minutes before slicing.
Orange Pecan Topped:
Prepare bread batter as directed,and spoon into desired pans. Sprinkle 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans evenly over batter in pans. Bake as directed. Cool bread in pans 10 minutes: remove from pans to wire racks. Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, and 1 teaspoon grated orange rind until blended. Drizzle evenly over warm bread and cool 30 minutes on wire racks.
Toasted Coconut topped:
Prepare bread as directed. While bread s baking, stir together 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped toasted pecans, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Remove baked bread from oven and immediately spread tops with coconut mixture. Broil 5 1/2 minutes from heat 2 to 3 minutes or just until topping starts to brown. Cool in pans on wire racks, remove from pans and cool another 30 minutes.
Cinnamon Crisp topped:
Prepare bread batter as directed and spoon into pans. Stir together 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Bake and cool as directed.
Peanut Butter Streusel topped:
Prepare bread batter as directed and spoon into pans. Stir together 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in 1/4 cup butter and 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter and bake and cool as directed. Enjoy!!