I remember sitting on the counter at my grandmother's house, right next to the KitchenAid mixer that has seen more cakes, cookies and sweets than I could ever imagine. In this spot, I learned how to add fractions and measure ingredients. I learned how to crack an egg without the shell getting in the batter and to use room temperature ingredients while baking. I was always in charge of operating the mixer, making sure that minimal flour got on the floor. Plus, I was an expert at licking the beaters.
Some of my favorite childhood memories came from baking in the kitchen with my grandmother. From peanut butter balls to decadent chocolate-chip-oatmeal cookies to one of my favorites: banana bread. Now, I have never been able to make banana bread the way my grandmother did, but I think all grandmothers have a way to make things sweeter and tastier than we can.
This recipe has been passed down from my great-grandmother and whenever I make it, my house fills with memories of my childhood and the sweet smell of banana bread. The last time I made it, I didn't add any nuts, but they add a crunch and great flavor, especially if you toast them before you put them in the batter!
Here are a few things I've learned along the way:
- Use a dark or stoneware pan, not a glass one. The bread seems to dry out quicker when you use a glass pan.
- When you check to see if it's done, you want the toothpick to come out with just a little batter on it.
The bread will continue cooking in the pan before you flip it out.
- A simple cream cheese frosting is always a good idea! (Recipe below)
Grandmother's Banana Bread
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3-4 bananas, mashed
1 cup of ground or chopped walnuts (optional)
Mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla until mixed thoroughly.
Add in mashed bananas and slowly mix in flour mixture. Fold in nuts.
Pour into loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.
Sweet and Simple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8 ounces) of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy.
Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve desired consistency.
Spread on warm banana bread for the ultimate sweet treat!