Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the road to hana is lined with banana bread

dying bananas 
(as i like to call them)
pile up in my freezer
i can't bring myself to throw away
bananas that are just too ripe to eat
i plop them in a freezer bag
where they lay in wait
for me to be inspired

on the island of maui
stretches the road to hana
a beautiful picturesque
and windy road
lined with roadside stands
 each selling
the "island's best"
 banana bread
each recipe unique
handed down for generations
and while 
all different
all were tasty
i know
we tried them 

sitting here in the warmth of sunny southern california
i can only dream
of our days on the island
and on which curve
our banana bread stand would sit

Island's Best Banana Bread
(printable recipe)
1/2 cup butter--room temp
1/2 cup cream cheese--room temp
1 cup light brown sugar--lightly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs--room temp
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 large over-ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts
cream the butter, cream cheese together, until they are melded together.  add the brown, granulated sugar and salt and beat until fully creamed, and light and fluffy. add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated, about 2 do not want it to be light and airy, as you are making a bit of a dense, moist bread. toss in the mashed bananas and again mix for about 2 minutes.   mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl.  with the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and sour cream, beginning and ending with flour, in 3 parts.  mix the walnuts in by hand.  pour into 2 loaf pans that have been buttered and floured.  bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
*note: the spices of cinnamon and nutmeg are not clearly noticeable in this recipe, they just give the cake a bit of depth. if you love the taste of either one, you can increase as you see fit.  i like the roundness a bit of spice gives without it overpowering the banana flavor.
that little whipped indulgence you see sitting along-side the bread
that is
equal parts crunchy peanut butter
softened cream cheese
topped with a bit of honey
just a little schmear
for those of us who
think Elvis knew what he was doing


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