Banana Bread, with a tangy twist {Recipe}

I love a good classic banana bread, the way it makes your house smell while it’s baking, the moistness, the aaaah feeling of that comfort bread.  I love it when someone twists up the classic creation too – making you feel all creative. So why not try Banana Bread with a Citrus Cream Cheese?

This baby comes to you from “A Reader’s Cookbook” by Judith Choate, a three-time James Beard award winner.  I love the thought of mixing the classic recipe up with a zesty cream cheese.  Adding this one to the file of must makes now.

Banana Bread with Citrus Cream Cheese
Makes one 9-inch loaf

This is a great way to use over-ripe bananas, which give a rich, deep banana flavor to the bread. To serve, the bread can be sliced with the cream cheese on the side or the combination can be made into delicate little tea sandwiches. Either way, the flavors absolutely sing South of the Border.

1¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
½ cup toasted coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Lightly coat the interior of a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well-incorporated. Add the bananas and vanilla and beat to combine.
Add the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for
about 1 hour or until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire rack. Turn the bread right side up and let cool.
When cool, slice and serve with Citrus Cream Cheese.


Citrus Cream Cheese

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon lime zest

Combine the cream cheese, orange and lime juice, and sugar in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat on medium for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the orange and lime zest. Serve immediately or store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Like what you see?  Show them some sugar…

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