Saturday, October 15, 2016

Banana-Coconut Cream Cheese Nut Bread

Banana bread is my go-to quick bread to make when I'm pressed in time but I really, really want to bake.  In this case, I want to finish an opened cream cheese package and there's some ripe bananas on the counter.  I've always had bananas in the house; they're eaten frequently and my family doesn't say no to banana bread.

I'm pretty sure I've made this banana bread before but I don't remember where I got the recipe.  Luckily, Pinterest came to my rescue.  Judging from the way the recipe is I can tell that this one is a keeper.  I traced it back to Southern Living magazine website and it was one of their most popular recipes to be made over and over again.  The original recipe had some cinnamon crisp topping but the recipe that I found from Pinterest eliminated that topping.  So I made my own modification which was to add shredded coconut on the top of the loaves.  It gives a nice texture to the bread and goes together with the flavor profile.  And I love that this recipe yields two loaves, one for me, none for you :D!

Banana-Coconut Cream Cheese Nut Bread

Yields 2 loaves

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Greased and floured two 8-x4-inch loaf pans.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

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 the loaf pans.  Sprinkle coconut equally on top of loaves, pad lightly so the coconut will adhere.

Bake for about an hour or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan; shielding with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary.  Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

Source:  adapted from Southern Living

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