Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cranberry banana bread

A few years ago, I wrote my mother for a brownie recipe. What I got was not only a brownie recipe (to which I've added cranberries, of course), but several others. One on the list is for banana bread. To search my gmail for the recipe, I originally searched "brownies" but now am just as likely to search "banana" since this bread is so good. Whenever I have two or three too-mushy-to-eat bananas, I'll throw together this bread (or, I'll throw them in the freezer for future use in this bread).

Now, the original recipe is for chocolate chip banana bread with a chocolate-coffee drizzle. There is nothing wrong with this! But if you have cranberries about, you can sub them in for the chocolate, and it's even healthier (despite the fruit, this bread is by no means for strict dieters—the secret ingredient is sour cream, and if you use anything but real, full-fat sour cream, you're a ninny).

20 minutes prep, 1 hour in the oven.

2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t vanilla (or more, to taste)
1 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 c butter (the recipe says margarine, but, uhm, no—I think it was from the '60s ro '70s)
1/3-1/2 c sour cream (or yogurt)
1 c banana, mashed to chunky consistency (or chopped, if frozen); 2-3 bananas
8-16 oz cranberries (i.e. however many you have)

Preheat an oven to 375˚.

Sift the flour, salt and soda. Cream the butter, sugar and add eggs and vanilla, then the flour and then the bananas and cranberries. Butter a loaf pan and then coat the butter inside with sugar (seriously, so good), then add the batter. The recipe says 55-60 minutes but I've had it take longer; test it with a knife or toothpick.

It's extremely rich, and can be enjoyed on its own or with butter or cream cheese if you want a proper heart attack.