Whole Wheat Banana Bread

>> Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm not terribly fond of bananas, but I thoroughly enjoy a good banana bread or cake. My "go to" recipe book for wonderful quick breads is a title that is out of print, but apparently available used (if you search hard enough). "Easiest & Best! Coffee Cakes and Quick Breads" by Renny Darling was published in the mid '80s, but has never gone out of "style" in my opinion. This recipe is a variation on a favorite from her book.

OVEN: 350 degrees

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur White Wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Beat together first 6 ingredients until blended. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Over-stirring will produce a tough loaf of bread.

Place batter in a greased, large loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until loaf tests done. Allow to cool 15 minutes in the pan, and then remove to a cooling rack.

This bread is best served the second day, or at least 4-5 hours after cooling. Add the chocolate chips to make more of a "sweet" or dessert bread. Drizzle icing glaze over top for an extra touch of sweetness.


Apple Danish Braid

I first tasted this delicious apple bread/dessert at a Pampered Chef party. I immediately tried it at home (with a few alterations) and it has been my "go to" when I need a somewhat fancy dessert or brunch item.

OVEN: 375 degrees

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered
1 egg
1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional - I usually leave out)
2 packages (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon maple syrup

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. Add egg, mixing until smooth.

Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest side of the dough across the width of a 12x15" baking pan/sheet. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Press along the perforations to seal together. On the long sides of the pan, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, approximately 3 inches deep, using a pizza cutter. You will have 6 inches uncut in the center for the filling.

Spread half of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the center of the dough. Evenly arrange apple slices over the cream cheese mixture. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the apples. Scoop the remaining cream cheese mixture over the apples. Sprinkle with chopped pecans (if desired).

To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in the center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid.

Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Remove from oven and brush with syrup.

Makes 10 servings.



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