Banana Nut Bread

This recipe has become a tradition around here for whenever the weather turns cool. I LOVE the smell that permeates the house, and this bread is so moist, filling, and just downright delicious!

2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, slighty beaten
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs milk
1 cup (about 2-3) mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend butter and sugar; add eggs, vanilla, milk, and bananas. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until smooth and moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour mixture into greased loaf pan, and bake about 1 hour or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. This is even more delicious served warm with butter on it. Enjoy!

There are a few things worth mentioning about this recipe. First, The more ripe the bananas, the sweeter and darker the bread. I often bake it just to use up my over-ripened bananas. Secondly, I have made this bread in 3 different ovens, and baking time has varied significantly--anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour and a half. If the center jiggles AT ALL, it is not done. When done, the crust will be a very dark golden and somewhat crisp around the edges. Only insert a toothpick or knife when you are pretty confident, otherwise your center will collapse. It will still bake, it just won't be as pretty. Thirdly, this bread is a fairly heavy, quite moist bread. As a result, if it is not COMPLETELY cooled AND in a VERY well oiled pan, it will fall apart when you try to remove it. This is what usually happens to me, as I am never very patient for the cooling step! LOL After smelling it for an hour, I just can't wait to taste! I just think of what my Grandmother used to tell me, "The more it falls apart, the better it tastes!" I don't think this is exactly what she meant, but it makes me feel better anyway. Nonetheless, despite these quirks, this is the best banana bread I have ever had! Try it and let me know what you think!

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