Back in September, I took on a crazy project – called it my Cookie Project. I wanted to take as many recipes for cakes, cookies, breads and so forth for a test drive. The end goal was to have perfected as many recipes as possible to donate to next year’s Church Festival.
Yeah, good intentions and all that. Lord knows my heart was in the right place – still is. But it’s just not good for your waistline to be baking so many treats. A more realistic (and heathier goal) is to bake something special maybe once a month rather than once a week. I suppose I could have taken on a different project – how to bake low-cal goodies. But the whole point of goodies is just that – a treat, not a way of life. I think it’s great for those who have food issues to develop treats that are safe for their children – awesome! While I am a diabetic, I don’t shy away from sugar completely. A slice of banana bread isn’t going to kill me. A steady diet of chocolate cake just might. Moderation. That’s the real key to life and living. It can’t be a party all the time, nor can you keep your nose to the grindstone and never look up. Right?
Two years ago Hubby and I went to a craft fair in the next town over. It was held in the parking lot of a mega church. There were all sorts of things home-made, including baked goods, jellies, jams and candies. Hubby bought a loaf of Banana Bread. It was a bit pricy, but hey, all to a good cause. Last year, we went to the same fair. That same loaf of bread was twice the price as the year before. Twice! Yeah, we bought another loaf, knowing it would be our last.
This year, I’m sure we’ll be attending that fair once more. While we’ll stop by the bread booth to say hello, we won’t be taking any of their baked goods home with us. Their banana bread is amazingly delicious, yet freshly baked breads made at home cannot be beat. It’s warm, and the whole of the house smells so inviting when we’re baking. Enjoy – but in moderation.
Warm Banana Bread
1/2 cup Walnuts
2 medium Bananas
3/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
8 tablespoons Butter, softened
2 whole Eggs
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Butter, for serving
Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease bottom only of 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with shortening. Set aside.
Chop walnuts, set aside. Peel and mash bananas, set aside. (I mashed one banana using a potato masher, the other using a fork to see which was best. The results were the same, but the fork was much easier.)
In large bowl, beat sugar, cinnamon and butter with spoon until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in bananas, milk and vanilla until well blended.
In small bowl, mix flour, nuts, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake in the heated oven for approximately 50 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool bread for 5 minutes; then remove from the pan. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes longer, until bread is warm but not hot. Slice as desired for serving, brush warm bread with butter. (Half-inch slices are great for a breakfast bread, thicker slices are great for a simple dessert).
Wrap any remaining bread tightly and store in refrigerator.