My skinny friend said, "This banana bread is throw away good." By that she means it is SO good she can only eat one little slice and then she has to throw it away because if she doesn't she will eat every last crumbly crumb. My skinny friends watches what she eats, wanting to keep her perfect shape...me too! Round is a shape!! So I did NOT throw any of this bread away...I ate slice after slice, trying to stay perfectly round is not as easy as you might think...One has to be constantly chewing! Besides, as another good friend reminded me, no kid wants a skinny grandma! So for my grandkids - I ate this banana bread.
Speaking of my grandkids...isn't my Elsa a beautiful child?!? She and Rosie loved each other - well, maybe Elsa loved Rosie a bit more than Rosie loved Elsa - which is why there's a gnarly hand holding Rosie in place!
Elsa loved helping me in the kitchen and when I asked her if she wanted to make some banana bread, she said, "Only daddy makes banana bread." And she refused to help! She is a daddy's girl for sure! So we didn't make banana bread but we did make a lot of other things. Banana bread has been on my mind ever since the kids left, so when my skinny friend sent me a text telling me about the crumbly topping she put on banana bread and how insanely good it was, I'd finally reached my banana bread tipping point and headed into the kitchen.
Did you know you can make your bananas ripen by putting them in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes? The skins will turn dark on the outside and on the inside you will have perfectly ripe and softened bananas! You can also freeze bananas to keep them longer, and use them in your morning mocktails like I do...just like with baking, the skins will turn dark but the insides will be perfectly soft and ripe - perfect for making banana bread or a breakfast smoothie.
This banana bread recipe is from Epicurious, so I knew it would be great because they do all of the testing and this one was deemed the best. I think it's because of the sour cream - it makes this bread extra moist and not too sweet...so you really taste the bananas. The only change I made to the original recipe was to add toasted pecans...not a huge fan of walnuts but you could use them if you like. And then, of course, I added the crumbly topping which makes this a game changer.
Toasting the pecans first really brings out their nuttiness...something you'll love when you bite into a slice of this bread, so don't skip this step, it will be worth it! You will dirty three bowls, one for the banana mixture, one for the flour mixture and then your mixing bowl...but the bread bakes for an hour so you'll have plenty of time to wash everything up! Again, it will be worth it!
I might have gone overboard on the topping...it was pretty thick and I almost took some of it off. Luckily I came to my senses and left it all on there...I wonder what a loaf of just crumbly topping would taste like - probably Heaven - but then I'd be in a coma so there's that.
We had a pretty quiet 4th of July - mostly because it was rainy and cold and because I'm still nursing my knee and shoulder. It's been almost two weeks since I had my knee fixed and I'm good until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon before it starts to swell and the ice packs come out. We watched the fireworks on TV - totally depressing. And then we listened to them going off in our neighborhood, even though there is a $1,000 fine for setting off fireworks! And then we listened to the big dog in the neighborhood who barks all night long. And then we tossed and turned and got no sleep because Rosie whined and cried every time the big dog barked. And then I got up, hobbled downstairs and sliced off another piece of banana bread...aaah...the world righted itself once again!
Banana Bread with Crumbly Topping - Adapted From Epicurious and Megan Gee
Makes one loaf of banana bread. You will need a 9x5-inch bread loaf pan.
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups flour, plus more for pan
4 medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature (bring to room temp by putting in a bowl of hot water for about 3 minutes)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5-inch bread load pan with butter and dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Toast walnuts or pecans by putting into a skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat, stirring gently for about 4 to 5 minutes until nuts begin to brown and smell fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a medium bowl combine bananas, sour cream and vanilla, mix well. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk together. In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until fully combined, about 1 minutes each. Add banana mixture and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients in 2 batches, beating on low after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl if necessary, until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds per batch. Fold in walnuts or pecans. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.
Make Topping: In a small bowl combine topping ingredients and spread over top of banana bread mixture. Bake, rotating halfway through, until batter is set, top is dark golden brown and starting to crack and sides are starting to pull away from pan and a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, approximately 60 to 65 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack at least 15 minutes. Run butter knife around perimeter of pan to loosen loaf, then tap pan gently on its side until loaf releases. Transfer to a cutting board or plate and let cool completely before slicing.