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~ Gobble, Gobble -- Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread ~

IMG_6194It happens every November, and, I'm reasonably certain I do not stand alone.  Us ooks can't wait to heat our ovens and bake some goodies.  In my kitchen, quick breads and pies are perfect for November -- cookies and confections can wait their turn until December.  A loaf or three of banana bread or pumpkin bread, followed up by a short-list-selection of pies appropriate for the Turkey Day holiday (apple, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, etc.) keeps me happily occupied.

Luscious anytime of year, but, perfect for November:

IMG_6153For the dry ingredients:

1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon baking powder

1  teaspoon baking soda

3/4  teaspoon sea salt

For the wet ingredients:

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, from 3-4 very-large, very over-ripe bananas

1/2  cup salted butter, melted (1 stick)

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

2  teaspoons pure banana extract

2  teaspoons pure cranberry extract

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2  teaspoons pure black walnut extract

1/2  cup granulated sugar, stirred together with:

1/2  cup dark brown sugar

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing loaf pan

For the add-ins:

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (Craisins)

1 1/2 cups coarse-chopped, lightly-toasted walnuts

6a0120a8551282970b02788060f1f2200d~ Step 1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Coarsely-chop the walnuts, placing them on a small baking pan as you work.  When oven is preheated roast the nuts on center rack of oven until lightly-toasted and fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Watch carefully because they can go from fragrant and toasted to burned quickly  Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

6a0120a8551282970b026bdefe9a00200c 6a0120a8551282970b0282e12ef6c5200b 6a0120a8551282970b026bdefe9a06200c 6a0120a8551282970b0282e12ef6cc200b~Step 2.  Spray an 8" x 4" loaf pan with no-stick -- I use a glass loaf pan, so I can keep an eye on what's going on.  In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside. Place one banana in a 2-cup measuring container and use a fork to mash it -- keep adding bananas (one-at-a-time) to container and mash until you total 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas.  Place the butter in a 1-cup measuring container to gently melt it in the microwave.

6a0120a8551282970b0282e12ef763200b 6a0120a8551282970b0278805678b5200d 6a0120a8551282970b026bdefe9af0200c 6a0120a8551282970b0282e12ef770200b IMG_6159 IMG_6159~Step 3.  Place mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs and extracts in a large bowl.  Using a hand-held rotary beater, beat to combine.  Add sugars and beat again.  Using a large spatula, add and fold in the dry ingredients.  Using the spatula, fold in the dried cranberries and lightly-toasted walnuts.  Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan.

IMG_6165 IMG_6165~ Step 4.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350° oven 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the highest part of the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool, in pan, for 5-6 minutes.  Invert pan to remove bread from loaf pan to cool completely, on rack, 1-2 hours, prior to slicing and serving.

Try a slice toasted for breakfast or brunch:

IMG_6185Try my ~ Cranberry, Walnut & White Chocolate Cookies ~ too:

6a0120a8551282970b02788060f6b6200dGobble, Gobble -- Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread:  Recipe yields 1 standard-sized loaf/10-12 slices or servings.

Special Equipment List: 8" x 4" loaf pan, preferably glass; fork; 2-cup measuring container; 1-cup measuring container; hand-held rotary beater or hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; cake tester; wire cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b026bdefe9b91200cCook's Note: Quick bread is an American term that refers to bread that is quick to make because it doesn't require kneading or rising time.  It originated during the American civil war, when the demand for food and bread was high.  Cooks began rapidly producing bread and baked goods that were leavened with baking soda rather than yeast.  Nowadays, the leavening agent is predominately double-acting baking powder, or, a combination of baking powder and baking soda.  For more detail, read ~ What is Quick Bread and What Defines Quick Bread ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022


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