Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mary Ann's Delicious Banana Bread

My first attempt at making Mary Ann's Banana Bread, August 2011.
I thought I'd follow up Friday's Sunday Dinner Questionnaire with Mary Ann Taylor with another post about her amazing cooking.  I still haven't gotten around to making her Granny Rosie's Lemon Poundcake, but I did make Mary Ann's banana bread and it was delicious.

I make a lot of banana bread around my house and I have a pretty good recipe that I adapted from a zucchini bread recipe.  (I'll post that some other day.)  The problem is that I once made the mistake of putting chocolate chips in it instead of the pecans I normally use.  I like chocolate *almost* as much as the next person, but I don't always want it in my banana bread and neither does my husband.  Whenever I tried to make it without the chocolate chip, the girls complained.  But when I told them I was trying a NEW recipe-- one that came from "Daddy's friend Mary Ann"... well, that was fine with them.  Mission Number One accomplished.

Another great thing about Mary Ann's banana bread is that it only makes one loaf, so it's easier to make if you have less ripe bananas (and less energy to deal with the larger quantity of batter).  Mary Ann suggested using previously frozen bananas in her recipe, which is something I regularly do myself.  Any time I see a banana getting "too ripe", I peel it, mash it up, and pop it into a designated "mashed banana" container in the freezer.  When the container gets full, I know it's time to make banana bread.

But perhaps the best part of Mary Ann's banana bread is that it uses a half cup of butter.  My recipe uses a combination of canola oil and butter... or canola oil and applesauce, depending on how healthy I want to be that day.  I have to say, nothing beats butter.

If I haven't already given you enough reasons to try Mary Ann's recipe for banana bread, try this.  My girls ate it up for dessert, even without the chocolate chips, and my husband declared it "fantastic".  I agree.

Mary Ann Taylor's Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour 
  • 3 large or 4 regular sized bananas (either fresh or previously frozen.)  See note below for freezing instructions.
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

  • With electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and eggs.
  • Add four and vanilla.
  • Stir in bananas, then add pecans.
  • Pour into greased loaf pan or muffin tins.
  • Bake at 350 degrees.  Loaf bread takes 45 to 50 minutes.  Muffins take about 25 to 30 minutes.

Notes:
I wait until bananas turn spotty and then I freeze them.  Frozen bananas will keep in the freezer for about 3 to 4 months.  I stick them in the microwave for about 30 seconds or just set them out to thaw.  Peel away the peelings and all brown spots.  The defrosted bananas will make the bread moist.

This recipe works just as well with all-purpose flour as it does with self-rising flour.  If baking with all-purpose flour instead of self-rising flour, add 1 teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, and baking powder.