Coffee Banana Bread

 Kristen Mercure

Cold weather calls for warm ovens! With temperatures well-below freezing this month, I’ve turned to baked goods to help heat the house. Thankfully, the frigid temperatures have also left me with a slew of old bananas so banana bread it is! The warmth in the kitchen plus the warmth of a full belly stuffed with moist, flavorful banana bread is not a bad deal. Add some caffeinated goodness to the combination and we have a very happy afternoon indeed.

Coffee Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • Butter or oil to grease the pan(s)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanila extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups pureed ripe bananas soaked in 8-oz of strong black coffee like Green Mountain Coffee® Colombian Fair Trade Select,
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1 cup chocolate chip morsels

DIRECTIONS

1) Preheat oven to 35O degrees.  Generously grease 2 standard-sized loaf pans or 1 oblong pan (9 x 13, or 10 x 14).  Sprinkle in the sesame seeds; tilt and shake the pan(s) to distribute the seeds.  They will stick nicely.

2) Beat together butter or margarine and sugar in a large bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  When the mixture is fluffy, stir in the vanilla, almond extract and orange rind.

3) Sift together the dry ingredients.  Add this to the butter mixture alternately with the banana puree mixture, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.  Mix just enough after each addition to combine – don’t over-mix.  Stir in the optional item (chocolate chips) with the last flour addition.

4) Spread the batter evenly in the pan(s), bake 40 to 50 minutes (loaf pans) or 35 minutes (oblong pan) – or until a probe inserted into the center comes out clean.  For loaf pans: cool 10 minutes in the pan, then rap the sharply, and dislodge and remove the bread.  Transfer to a rack, and let it cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

Happy baking!

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