After a BAD summer cold, yesterday, I had my first (short-lived) burst of energy which was inspired by a HUGE bunch of over-ripe bananas sitting on the kitchen table. Note: Never send husband to buy bananas.
Normally, I like to add poppy seeds to my banana bread, but, in my weakened condition, I wanted to health-up the bread just a teense. I had some dried Mission Figlets in the pantry, so decided to add a cup of diced figs to the batter. Delicious! Think banana bread with the crunchy, seedy goodness of a Fig Newton.
For the last two mini loaves, I also threw in a handful of dark chocolate chips because I felt I deserved it.
What could possibly add to all of this banana bread goodness? Homemade butter! I had bought a quart of heavy cream at Sam's last week to make whipping cream for ice cream sundaes when we had guests for dinner and I ended up barely using a third of it. I had read about making butter from cream recently so did a quick search for instructions and found this wonderful and humorous tutorial.
Since I had my stand mixer out anyway to make the banana bread - I was able to make 8 ounces of butter in no time at all. I was amazed at how easy it was and how good it tastes. I will never throw out unused cream again!
Inspired by Noteworthy
Banana Bread with Walnuts, Figs and Chocolate
Yields 1-2 standard-sized loaves or 4-6 mini loaves
¼ pound (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups sifted flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups mashed bananas (6-7 small bananas)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried Mission Figlets, stem removed and diced
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter loaf pans or spray with nonstick cooking spray (I like Bakers Joy spray).
In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with bananas to egg mixture. Fold in nuts, figs and chocolate chips, if using. Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake in 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes, depending on the size of the pans you are using. My mini loaf pans only take about 40-45 minutes. If a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, they are done. Cool in pans 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.