In my mind, the Monday after Thanksgiving officially marks the start of the Christmas holidays. Unlike most Americans, I don’t do Black Friday. Blessedly because of my family’s Secret Santa tradition, I only have one present to buy…but that is for another post. On Black Friday, I’m still usually working on Thanksgiving leftovers. This year, my kitchen was still recuperating for hosting dinner. It takes me a while, anyway, to switch gears. So, Monday it is. Start of the week and start of a new season.
I also equate the transition from November to December as autumn into winter (ahem, even if it is still sunny and 75 in Phoenix much of the time). This means all things pumpkin, or otherwise fall-related, are over. No more pumpkin bread for me. I’ve mentally moved on to banana bread (the making of which was a holiday tradition in our family when I was younger.)
All of this meandering brings me around to my “go big or go home” philosophy. Seriously, if you’re going to turn on the oven, break out all the ingredients and lug the big huge mixer from the pantry, why make one loaf when you can make three?? Last year I invested in three 9 x 5 non-stick loaf pans from WalMart. I think they were $5.00 each. OMG, I have truly gotten my money’s worth on that purchase.
If you’re looking for an easy gift this holiday season, look no further than baked goods. If you’re looking for hostess gifts for parties, again look no further. A bonus is that the loaves freeze well. In the unlikely event you have leftovers (or you like to plan ahead), you can wrap the loaves in foil and stow them away. I tweaked the measurements from a recipe from the Joy of Baking. Again, I’m pleased with the results and I hope you will enjoy them too.
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 9 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 5 cups flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Spray three 9 x 5 loaf pans with non-stick spray. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- Cream butter, sugar, eggs, bananas and vanilla together in a large bowl. I use my KitchenAid stand up mixer until step 4.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; mix well.
- Add the flour and loosely blend in to the wet ingredients.
- Optional: fold nuts into mixture reserving some to sprinkle on top.
- Pour the mixture evenly between the 3 loaf pans.
- Place side by side on a center rack in the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 3 large loaves or 36 slices.
Kat’s tip: Per the Joy of Baking, “Don’t over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.” Um, yeah. What they said.
Calories 223.6 Total Fat 8.8 g Cholesterol 51.2 mg Sodium 236.5 mg Potassium 150.3 mg Total Carbohydrate 34.2 g Protein 3.2 g