Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Jim"ed-up Banana Bread

Christmas is less than a week away and I am busy convincing myself that the gifts I have bought for my new family (ie, Robbie’s family) are sufficient. Sufficient enough for what, I don’t really know. I know I want to make a good impression since this is my first Christmas with Robbie’s clan but I also don’t want to set the bar too high so that I can’t meet it come next Christmas. See how I make myself crazy this time of year? If I come to the conclusion that the present bounty is not enough, time is running short so they may be getting Sheetz gift cards. Which may not be a bad idea actually . . .

Enter Holiday Baking. This is the perfect diversion to these mind games so bring on the chocolate, sugar, flour, and bourbon. That last ingredient was for the banana bread.

Robbie’s fruit bowl, bless-his-heart, is in a perpetual state of “runneth” over and rarely does he eat it all before it goes bad. Therefore, this banana bread from Smitten Kitchen (I promise, I will insert some diversity eventually into this blog – it will not be a two-year-delayed version of SK . . .) was the perfect first baking task on a snowy Saturday. My other expeditions for that bountiful day will follow but for now, enjoy what Deb calls Jacked-up Banana Bread but I will refer to it as "Jim"ed-up Banana Bread since I went with good ole Jim Beam.

"Jim"ed-up Banana Bread
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I love this recipe because I had everything it called for except for the bourbon which is optional anyway. (Have you ever been in an ABC store at 10 am on a Saturday the minute it opens? Good news – it was empty. So maybe AA is working out well for folks!)

3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 c melted butter
1 c brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs bourbon (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 c of flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered (I used Pam because I never have Baker’s Joy when I need it) 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Mine could have probably used 45 minutes and been fine. It was very done at 50 minutes. Cool on a rack in the pan.

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