It All Started With a Science Experiment

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I don’t know about you, but this is what goes on in my house at 1:00 in the morning.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I couldn’t sleep. It’s a long story.  Anyway, one day last week Thing 2 comes home with a brown paper bag with her name on it that contains a plastic baggie with a flour mixture and 2 bananas.  She rips the bag open, pulls out its contents and says, “Guess what?  We made banana bread at school!  Well, we didn’t, like, make it really. We mixed the flour and stuff.  You have to add some eggs and bake it!”  I correctly assumed that this was part of a science unit and asked if there were instructions. “No,” she said.  “You just put that flour mixture with some eggs and milk and the bananas and mix it up.  Then bake it.” I later found out from another mom that there were, in fact, instructions however, Thing 2 thought they were unnecessary. Anyway, I’m sure that you can appreciate the fact that I was a bit skeptical.  So, I decided to discard of the flour mixture (please don’t tell her) and do my own thing and since I was still wide awake at midnight with nothing to do, I figured that it was a good time to bake. The next morning, or shall I say, later that morning when the girls woke up, the house still smelled like fresh-baked banana bread. They were pleased.

This is the recipe that I use to make banana bread.  It was originally a Southern Living recipe however, I have tweaked it over the years to make it my own.  It’s very moist and flavorful and I know you’re going to freak out a bit when you see the cinnamon in it, but it works.  Somehow, that small amount boosts the banana flavor and you really don’t taste the cinnamon.

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

3/4 cup butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large bananas, mashed

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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. Add Vegetable oil.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low-speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pans.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

My advice is to not actually eat it in the wee hours of the morning.  Do something else like read, or peruse the internet or sort Barbie clothes.  Whatever works.

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