I wrote about this Banana Bread once before, but that was over 2 years ago. Since I just made another batch, I decided it was time to update my previous post. This really is the best banana bread ever. I got the recipe from my Mother and she got it from Southern Living Magazine.
Toasting the pecans brings out so much of their nutty flavor. The cream cheese creates a luscious taste and substantial texture which is almost like a pound cake. The recipe makes 2 loaves so there is plenty to enjoy and to share.
And a word about bananas. It is commonly believed that banana bread must be made with overly ripe bananas. When faced with a blackened banana that is all soft and gooey inside, that's a common thing to do with it. And it is a fact that those overly ripe bananas have developed more sugar and provide a stronger banana flavor to the bread. But I don't like that strong taste they acquire and I think they make the bread a grayish and unappealing color. I prefer the mild flavor of a freshly ripened banana. I mention this just to say, you don't have to wait for your bananas to get super ripened to make a delicious and beautiful banana bread.
Cream Cheese & Toasted Pecan Banana Bread
(Southern Living Magazine)
3/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas - 1 1/4 pounds unpeeled
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8x4 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, 1 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 prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing with a serrated knife.
If desired, make a simple glaze with confectioners sugar and milk to drizzle over the loaves.
Shared with Sweets for a Saturday #10 at the blog, Sweet as Sugar Cookies