Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

By • October 31, 2012 • 0 Comments



Author Notes: I really hate to see food go bad. At some point a ways back I noticed a stray container of ricotta in the fridge approaching its expiration. Rather than toss it I zipped out to the store to buy all things to make a lasagna bolognese so that I could incorporate the ricotta into a recipe. So rather than throw away a couple of dollars worth of food, I created an errand to go spend exponentially more than a couple of dollars on more food to make a recipe that took the better part of a day.
The lasagna turned out beautifully, though.
So the other day that bunch of too-ripe bananas had me bemused. I won’t even consider eating a fruit even a moment past ripe, and these guys were a little beyond that. But I really wanted to avoid tossing out a whole bunch of bananas. I couldn’t figure out a way to integrate them into a savory dish. Well, not one that I could even think about wanting. I bandied about the idea of peeling them, chopping them into chunks and freezing them for future smoothies, but I had done that a few times already and I felt like being more kitchen-y than that.
I was going to have to bake.
I decided on a bread. That seemed less daunting than any other fruit-related baking project as it can fall onto the more savory side of the fence.
I poked around the cupboards and unearthed bourbon-soaked vanilla beans and candied walnuts. Done deal.
The recipe was fairly simple to execute and turned out beautifully.
F for Food

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 3/4 cup sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 bourbon-vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely broken candied walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cream the shortening, add the sugar gradually and continue working until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture alternately with the bananas, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.
  4. Fold in vanilla bean scrapings and walnuts.
  5. Turn into a well-greased bread pan (8 ½ X 4 ½ X 3 inches) and bake about one hour and ten minutes.
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