For the love of old bananas

My children get very excited when they see old brown bananas on the counter.

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They immediately make me aware of the fact that the bananas are old and brown and I need to make banana bread right away. They LOVE it!

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I swear they purposely let the bananas get old just so I will make the bread. I am happy to brighten my kids day with a piece of banana bread as an after school snack or a treat in their lunch. I love to make it just before they come home from school. They walk in the house and say, “What is that delicious smell? Is that banana bread?” I always get lots of thanks and extra kisses and hugs!  Our favorite recipe has a cinnamon swirl in the middle of the bread. The cinnamon sugar mixture is also sprinkled on the top to give it a nice crisp cinnamon topping.  I love the way cinnamon tastes with bananas.

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This banana bread is also one of my father-in-law’s favorite baked items that I make. He likes it so much, I have made it for him on his birthday in place of a cake! I came across this recipe on Pinterest a few years ago. It came from a blog called Lovin From The Oven. It comes together very quickly, and is easy to make. I like to use old over-ripe bananas. They offer a more intense flavor and are simpler to smash. So grab those old brown bananas off of your counter and try this delicious bread. Who can you bless with a piece of this moist, cinnamon speckled banana bread? Whether it is a friend, neighbor, your kids, or just for you, give it a try!

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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
Ingredients
3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
For the swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour.  (*See my tips on measuring flour below.) Be careful not to over-mix! I always tell my kids to mix just until all of the white flour is gone.
In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon.
Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool on a cooling rack.

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My bread is always done after 50 minutes, but every oven is different.

Recipe source: Lovin From the Oven

Baking Tips:

I always recommend weighing ingredients, especially flour.  However, when you come across a recipe that does not give ingredients in volume, here is the best way to measure flour. Be very careful when measuring your flour with a dry measuring cup.  DO NOT use your measuring cup to scoop your flour.

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You will most likely pack the flour and end up with too much flour in your batter. This can lead to bread that is more dense and not as moist. To measure the flour, use a second measuring cup to scoop the floor into the appropriate measuring cup.

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You will end up with a lot of extra flour in your cup.

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You need to level the flour without packing it down into the cup. I use the handle of my spatula ( how cute is this personalized handle? It was a housewarming from two of my very good childhood friends. I absolutely love it!) to gently sweep across the measuring cup. I always do this over my flour container. The extra floor will fall into the container.

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You now have a perfect cup of flour!

 

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