Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BANANA BREAD - Best you've ever had and Resolutions part 2

I wasn't sure which photo was better, the shot of my Christmas tree with the twinkle lights showing, but slightly blurry because I am old and my hands shake, or the shot using the flash that is in focus, but does not have the same Christmas spirit...

But, I am digressing before I even start...

To paraphrase Captain Kirk, Karma protects fools, little children and ships named Enterprise... and Karma provides recipes to help me keep my resolution (you all remember yesterday's post, New Year's Resolutions Started Yesterday - RETORTE's Onion Bread Pudding... right???) Well, you may recall that yesterday I announced one of my New Year's resolutions. I resolved to be a better steward of the Earth's resources (OK, I made a commitment to stop wasting food, but saying I am a steward of the Earth sounds so... old hippy). Yesterday's post was about bread. Almost a week did not go by last year when I did not toss a bit of bread. Yesterday I drew a line, and resolved to stop throwing away bread. Almost immediately, Karma rewarded my decision with a terrific recipe for a savory bread pudding that was AMAZING! But I don't want to give you the impression that bread was the only thing I waste... I also buy bananas every week, and sure enough, for a year, I have had to toss bunches and bunches of bananas... Well, I am including bananas in my resolution. Within moments of posting my resolution, Karma directed me to Catherine's (who I just can not resist calling Mrs. C.) site, LIVING THE GOURMET! And her recipe for BEST EVER BANANA BREAD. I made it, and it for sure was the best I have ever tasted...

Here's what she said to do...

Adapted from Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour


1 ¼ cup sugar
½ cup sweet butter
2 eggs
1 ½ cups mashed very ripe bananas – (3-4 medium)
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees:
  • Butter bottoms of 2 (8x8 inch) pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix sugar and butter. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla: beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and nuts just until moistened. Pour batter into pans.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick test inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool before icing.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from McCormick – Pure Vanilla Extract


1 package (8 oz.) softened cream cheese
4 tablespoons softened sweet butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 box Confectioners’ Sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in 1 box confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth.

Everything worked great. For a change, I followed the recipe to the letter... Except, I believe Mrs. C. had the pan sizes wrong. These fit into two standard meatloaf dishes, as opposed to 8X8 pans. It would have worked well in a single 8X8 pan. But I had a use for the second loaf!

And oh my baking gods, did it ever turn out beautiful!

It was important for the bread to be right, I was planning to give a loaf away. You see, I have commented that we are knee deep in snow right now. In order to get my wife to her inconvenient day job, I was going to have to shovel the driveway. Just as I started tossing a few shovel fulls to the side, my neighbor came over and used his snow blower. It was the absolute best of both worlds, I gave my wife the impression that I would have, of course, shoveled ever inch of the drive to make her life convenient, and yet I didn't have to do it!!! My neighbor Brad deserves a loaf of this dessert bread!

My icing came out different from the look of the icing that Mrs. C. had in her photo. Mine came out looking like cake frosting, while hers came out looking like a thick glaze. But, as Julia Child says... "Who's to know".

It tasted exceptional. A little sweet, but hey, it is to be a gift, sweet is just fine!

I did use the quantities in Mrs. C's recipe, I iced both cakes generously, and I only used about half of the icing. Of course, I was not going to toss the extra (no wasting). I just put it in a zip lock bag, ready to be used at a later date... Hmmm... any one with a great cinnamon roll recipe??? Wouldn't it be spooky good Karma if someone out there was posting a cinnamon roll recipe as I type?

As Mrs. C. advertised, this indeed was... THE BEST BANANA BREAD I HAVE EVER EATEN!

Follow up to yesterday's post, I received a couple suggestions to, make achieving my resolution's more likely to succeed. Among them were a couple of suggestions to make bread cubes, freeze them and have them ready for a quick bread pudding or to make croutons, or even bread crumbs for meatloaf. So, this morning, i cut up a few slices of bread that were over a week old and plopped em in the freezer.

I also got a comment that implied "just" tossing bread to the birds was an option. I thought that was a terrific use for bread that we would not eat. It is nasty cold out, and there are birds and maybe a few animals that would appreciate a few easy to find bits. Good stewards of the Earth would indeed look out for God's gentlest of creatures..

So, the crust and heals went outside... Let's see what the plate loos like tomorrow!


  1. I put stuff in banana bread like dried cranberries, dried cherries, or nuts- but I never thought to frost it- looked good!

  2. This looks great. I've never frosted banana bread before, will have to try it next time. I feed the birds and will sometimes throw out a few stale pieces to them. Have to be careful tho, because we also have fox and coyote that like to jump the fence and frequent the back yard. Not good when you have two dogs that weigh 6 pounds. yikes! Another great post Dave.

  3. I love banana bread and bookmarked this post on Catherine's blog. I am very picky about bananas and only like them SUPER unripe. So as soon as they get brown enough, I unpeel them and throw them in the freezer. When I have enough, I then bake banana bread or banana muffins or banana cake... The possibilities are endless! This looks awesome. Also, to make it less sweet, I usually use less confectioner's sugar than the frosting calls for. Also, you can freeze cream cheese frosting and it comes out awesome when you thaw it!

  4. This is my first visit to your blog and I am a HUGE star trek fan! Am loving your tree. I love banana bread and have tried freezing bananas but they always turn out yukky. When we lived in Chicago I would feed the birds and started feeding them in Georgia also. Until I opened the door one night and a giant creature (not a bird) was chowing down! No more.

  5. I've made banana bread a lot, but why haven't I ever put frosting on top? I've been missing out for sure!

    Your recipe looks amazing!

  6. I love banana bread - but unfortunately have yet to find a recipe I really like. This one is going to the top of the pile to try.

  7. Banana bread is awesome, it's great for french toast. I've never frosted it though, I'll have to try that.

    Heh, my mom always tossed bread out for the critters in the winter. She just couldn't take the thought of someone (even a squirrel or bird) being cold and hungry.

  8. In all my years, I've never seen frosting on banana bread before - looks devine!

    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog yesterday - it made me smile! :D

  9. My gosh! This looks amazing1 Love it! I buy the older bananas at my grocer that are marked so low- getting ready to be tossed. Can't wait to try this one.

  10. Okay that does sound good, but LOL mine is still the best you ever had! Next time you want banana bread - do a taste comparison? http://www.3sidesofcrazy.com/2008/07/one-more-revival-of-sunday-family.html BTW I'm posting the best you ever had banana blueberry muffins soon.

  11. I've never tried iced banana bread. What isn't better with cream cheese icing!!!

  12. Yum. . . banana bread with frosting. Cream Cheese icing is my favorite and this recipe is definitely going in my collection. :-)

    After you go on a few cruises, people look at you funny if you don't know the difference between the aft and bow of the ship. :-)

    I think Malibu must have the best coconut cream in the world because we asked the tour guide how she made the pina colada and she said coconut cream, pineapple juice and Malibu. Whatever magic she worked, it was amazing!

  13. Dear Friend,

    Thank you for all of your insightful and thoughtful comments. I do appreciate them all.
    I never really make a recipe the same way twice but, when I make shrimp and spaghetti I will try using more sausage.
    I am so glad that you tried and liked the Banana Bread.
    Well, I will keep cooking and you keep grilling and I hope the world will be a happier place for it.
    A Happy and Blessed New Year to you and your family.

  14. Cream cheese frosting makes everything delicious! but I am not sure that you can frost bread and not call it cake. There may be something in the official rules of baking that says that somewhere..... I may be wrong.

  15. First, the Toasted Marshmallow link is updated, plus an idea or two in the comments...and now, I thought I made the Best Banana Bread...looks like we need a bake-off! Although I'm a purist I guess, if I add anything to mine it's a smear of butter. No frosting, thanks!

    ALSO, if you have bad bananas but no time, try my tip.

  16. The inside of that banana bread looks absolutely to die for delicious. I love baking with bananas..ehehemm

  17. I love the frosting on top! I think we could finish off the whole loaf in one sitting - yum!

  18. Yum, banana bread with cream cheese frosting is so addictive! You did a great job, Dave and I wish I had a huge chunk of it to go with my tea.
    Unused bread is great for making bread crumbs too. Just put them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. I use bread crumbs in meatballs, meatloaf, and to top casseroles.

  19. I made bread pudding this week for the same reason. I had some apple walnut cranberry bread leftover that I intentionally let go stale. The pudding with whiskey sauce was sooooooooooooooooo good that I may have to make the bread intentionally for this from now on:) I'll give the banana bread a try. Do you freeze your overripe bananas? I do and they work perfectly in breads, muffins, etc. Happy New Year.

  20. I've never had frosted banana bread either; I tend to pick frosting off and just eat the cake part so would have to forgo the frosting on this. I'm on a quest for the perfect banana bread so will have to give this one a try. So far, my favorite is a whole wheat one that I make, but it would be nice to find a white flour one that's equally as good.

  21. I'm digging the idea of using buttermilk! I've gotta try that one of these times I come into a few 'nanners ripe enough to make bread!

  22. I never thought of frosting banana bread before...looks great.

    I LOVE your Star Trek decorations!!! Remember when Hallmark put out the ship decorations years ago? The enterprise, a Klingon war bird, etc...we have those. Love Star Trek.

  23. Your banana but bread look fantastic! I haven't made that in a while since my grandkids live with me right now and I hardly ever have bananas that are too ripe! But now I am going to crave that... I'll perhaps stash some bananas where they can't find them and let them get too ripe! Yeah... I have not seen banana bread frosted before! Wow... I think I'll stick to just a little butter on a slice... Yum!
    Your neighbor Brad sure is lucky!
    Take care there and stay warm!

  24. Oh I forgot to say... I really loved your Star Trek Decorations. And that newer Star Trek movie! I'm sure you saw it... I really loved it, the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.

    Oh the trouble with Tribbles!