Easy to Make Moist Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Graham Cracker Nut Crust
Banana bread is a simple and tasty snack to make. It's also cheap and appeals to most finicky kids. The best part? When executed correctly, this simple bread makes you look like a seasoned pro!
Of course, basic banana bread is a great place to start, but if you want to push the flavor horizon, try this recipe for Moist Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Graham Cracker Nut Crust.
This moist bread is borderline cake/bread pudding, and with the addition of butterscotch chips or any of the other suggestions below, it will keep them coming back for more!
Here is what you will need:
-2 ripe bananas. This is a tough one to work around. If the bananas are not ripe enough, the flavor suffers a bit. However, NO all brown, leaking bananas.
-1 1/3 cups all purpose flour. You can also use whole wheat or whole grain flour, but I suggest they be used in conjunction with all purpose flour. For example, half all purpose and half whole wheat.
-2 eggs, preferably at room temperature, but it's not vital.
-1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature (I take it from the 'fridge and microwave it for 30 seconds when I don't have time to wait.)
-1 1/3 cups refined sugar.
-1/4-1/2 cup plain yogurt. 1/4 is perfect for a moist bread; 1/2 pushes it towards a bread pudding consistency.
-1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup butterscotch chips, Heath bar chunks, white chocolate chips and/or chopped macadamia nuts. (I've even used mini marshmallows in this and the kids loved it!)
For the topping/crust:
-3-4 graham cracker squares
-handful of preferred nuts (my favorites: cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds. Use at least two)
- ~2-3 tablespoons brown sugar.
Ideally, have three mixing bowls available, a spatula, and a wire whisk.
-Preheat the oven to 355 degrees
-Grease a bread loaf pan or use parchment paper. This recipe will fill three mini loaf pans or rounds as shown. Parchment paper is recommended for these.
-Mix the butter and sugar. Start by whipping the butter until creamy, then add the sugar in parts. Mix and whip until lightened and somewhat fluffy.
-Add the vanilla extract to this same bowl and mix in.
-Add the eggs one at a time, beating into the mixture as you go.
In a separate bowl:
-Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
In another bowl:
Puree bananas. They should be ripe enough to smash and mix with a fork.
-Add flour mixture to sugar, eggs, etc. mixture in three parts. Mix with a spatula as you go. Incorporate the dry ingredients thoroughly.
-Add pureed bananas and mix in thoroughly.
-Add yogurt and mix thoroughly.
-Add butterscotch chips or preferred alternative and mix.
Pour batter into loaf pan. The mixture should fill to below the top level of the pan. The ideal height would be 3/4 full.
Muddle your graham crackers, brown sugar and nuts in a mortar and pestle (or food processor if you have to) until mixed together and to desired consistency. I prefer a fine crust with some random 'gravel.'
Bake the bread on the top rack of the oven for 50-55 minutes. After 50, check with a toothpick or skewer for doneness. If it comes out clean, the bread is finished. For a crunchier crust, take the finished bread out, let the oven heat up to 'broil' and bake the bread for about 2-3 minutes longer. Keep a close eye on it!
Let the bread cool for about thirty minutes, or spoon up slices while warm with ice cream or milk. Cover with plastic wrap and enjoy for days!
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