|Banana Cream Cheese Bread|
Last week marked the end of my very short summer with having to return to graduate school. Because I took a summer class, I had only three weeks between classes. :-( Not only did I feel like I didn't have a break, my summer class was a 16-week graduate level class condensed into 8-weeks... 4 papers and a midterm and all of the insane amounts of reading! Talk about burnout. So, what did I do in order to skip having to take a summer class next year? I decided to take 3(!!!) graduate level classes this semester instead of my usual two classes, all while working full-time. And one of the classes is on Saturday mornings. Now, I don't know if this is the greatest idea but if I get through this semester, I won't have to take a summer class and still be on track to graduate Spring 2015. After this semester, I will be halfway through my Masters. :-)
While I'm going to try and keep up with the blog, postings may be just as sporadic or more so depending on my semester. I do have some great recipes that I want to document and share with you, so please keep checking for new posts! You can also follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram-- I post to those frequently with some fun pictures of new things I am making or things I try at various restaurants or places.
Today I am sharing with you a different version of your usual banana bread recipe. Banana bread is one thing I absolutely adore, and I love trying (eating and baking!) new types of banana breads. When I came across this Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it. I also liked that it uses pecans instead of walnuts. Do others think that walnuts sometimes taste like dirt???
I wasn't too sure what to entirely expect with this bread-- would it taste like cream cheese, would it not be as sweet, etc. This banana bread came out absolutely wonderful! The texture of the bread was a little different than other banana bread we may be used to; it was a little denser and had a little bit of some heft to it. The bread, however, was incredibly moist and had wonderful flavor that you expect from banana bread. And no cream cheese taste if that's what you were expecting. (You can probably add in some small cubes of cream cheese to the batter if that's the flavor that you're going for.)
The density and texture of the bread will change depending on how many bananas you use. If you use less banana, the bread will come out a little more dense but still good. It may not have as much of the banana flavor, but it will still be very good! Also, this bread freezes very well-- wrap one of the loaves in aluminum foil, then place is a plastic freezer bag, and remove all the air-- it will last for several months.
So if you're looking to try a little bit of a different banana bread without getting too crazy, this is a great one to try.
Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
From Sugar and Spice by Celeste, originally from Southern Living Magazine
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 c. roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar gradually, and beat mixture until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Combine flour with baking powder, baking 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 inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees 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 for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.
Makes 2 loaves