Monday, September 19, 2011

My Husband's Favorite Banana Bread

This is something I make weekly. I either top it with a sweet banana glaze or a cream cheese frosting. Or just as is. Good either way. Serves 12.

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Cream your shortening and add sugar (or Splenda!). Mix well. Add the eggs and mix for about a minute. Just a tip: things mix better if they are at room temperature. Remember that.

Sift your flour and baking soda and add to your eggs and shortening mixture. I use a handheld electric mixer on medium and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is mixed well. I then add the ripe bananas and vanilla extract and proceed to mix for about 2 minutes. And when I say ripe bananas, I mean RIPE! I wait around a few days for it to turn all spotty and blotchy. That's what I'm talking about! You can do this by hand with a wooden spoon or a sturdy whisk, but an electric mixer is easier.

Add in your almonds and mix into the batter well.

Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and pour batter into it. Bake in a 350F oven for about 50 minutes-1 hour. You can tell it's done if you stick a fork in it and it comes out clean. Run a butter knife along the sides of the pan to loosen it and invert onto a cooling rack. Just so.

Cool it for a couple hours. The one on the left is paler because I substituted Applesauce for the shortening, used 3 bananas, Splenda for sugar, omitted the almonds and I only used 1 egg. That would make it only 3 points a slice.

Otherwise, about 6 points as is with no glaze or frosting.

Here is the glaze:

In a small saucepan, add

3 tbsp butter
3 tsp white sugar
3 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
half a banana, mashed

Simmer in saucepan til all syrupy. Pour over the banana loaf. Of course this adds 2 points per serving, which brings it to 8.

For the cream cheese frosting, mix in a bowl

4 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

To soften cream cheese, just leave it out for about 30 minutes to an hour till it reaches room temperature. Don't try it with cold cream cheese because it will come out all grainy and you don't want that. Just put all that in a mixing bowl, use your hand mixer to whip it nice and creamy and spread on top of the banana loaf. You can use low fat or fat free cream cheese and Splenda for a lower calorie alternative. This will bring your banana bread up to 6 points a slice.

Now tell me you can live without this.

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