The other day, at the end of the work day, I was sitting in my cubicle and heard people laughing and talking about banana bread. So of course, I assumed there was some banana bread to be had and made a B-line for the office where the laughing and talking was coming from. I was a little disappointed to see only a big box of past-their-prime bananas that were definitely ready to be made into banana bread. I actually had been thinking about Smitten Kitchen’s “jacked up banana bread” and the following day we were having one of our monthly potlucks, so I grabbed a couple of bunches. I didn’t catch the story of why or where the bananas came from, but when someone else asked the banana bearing coworker why she had so many bananas, naturally, I broke into my best Harry Belafonte “come Mr. Tally Man…tally me banana!” Lol. Hey. It was the end of the day.
So I get home with all of these bananas and Tony asks what I’m planning on doing with them. I told him I’m going to make banana bread for the potluck. He says, “you know how much I love banana bread, why don’t you ever make it for me? You always bake the good stuff for work.” (Right. Same man who rolls his eyes and says things like, “what are we supposed to do with so many cookies/brownies/a whole cake?”) Well…lucky for Tony I just happened to have a package of little aluminum foil mini-loaf pans. I made three mini loaves, took two to work and left one just for him. He was a happy camper. (And, I still have a bunch of bananas in the freezer…Acai bowl????)
SK’s recipe is just about the best banana bread I’ve ever had. And its really easy. One bowl and a wooden spoon. The only thing I change is that I add walnuts. And name given this recipe by Deb of SK is “Elise’s Friend Heidi’s Friend Mrs. Hockmeyer’s Banana Bread, As Jacked Up by Deb (adapted from Simply Recipes)”. That’s a little long. Let’s just call it Tally Me Banana Bread.
Tally Me Banana Bread
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup salted butter, melted
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar (depending on the level of sweetness you prefer)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (divided use)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. If using walnuts, stir in 1/2 cup now. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup walnuts on top. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.