Friday, September 25, 2009

A Sweet Treat!

It's Friday, Friday, FRIDAY!  In my house, Friday is a good day.  Chuck is home from his weekly travels, and the kids are happy to get a little break from school.  For me, Friday means a little baking time.  Now, that may not sound like much fun to you, but for me it's relaxing.  The end result is always rewarding!  Yum.

This week is a little different, only because we will be sharing our end of week sweets with a few new neighbors.  I thought it would be nice to extend a little welcome with some Banana Pecan bread.  I found this recipe in a Southern Living magazine and we love it!!  It acually tastes more like cake than bread.  Mmmm. 

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread 
( makes 2 loaves, one for my neighbor and one for me- he, he)

1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar ( I add a little extra, well, it is our end of week treat)
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas ( about 4)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350*.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6-8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. 
2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. 
3. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at a low speed just until blended.  Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla.  Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4in loaf pans.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick comes out clean and sides pull away from pan.  Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans  to wire racks and continue to cool  for 30 minutes before slicing. 

They also suggest  a orange glaze, but I don't usually go there.

Orange Glaze:
Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. orange zest,
and 3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice.  Drizzle over warm bread.  

Ahhh, happiness. 

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