Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

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Yesterday, I shared some sriracha-maple pecans on my Instagram feed. The pecans are coated in a mixture of maple syrup and sriracha, making for a sweet-savory combination that is seriously addictive.

Seriously. I cannot stop eating them.

The pecans are delicious enough on their own, as a snack, but I had to put ‘em in some banana bread. This spicy situation began this weekend when we went to Salt & Straw for a waffle cone with Sean’s brother and girlfriend, who are visiting this week. This month at Salt and Straw they have a spicy banana walnut ice cream…gah! it’s so good! It’s so good that Sean and I both got a scoop. Which is major since we almost never order the same things–so we can share, obvs. As we were enjoying our treats, I immediately told Sean I wanted to make a bread version using pecans.  Thus, this banana bread.

Plenty of chopped pecans get folded into the banana batter–that also contains a bit of sriracha for a little background hint of savory-spice. The sriracha isn’t super pronounced here, it just brings a bit of salty-heat that plays so nicely with the sweetness of the bananas in the bread and the maple syrup on the pecans. Then, more of those spiced pecans stud the top of the bread so you get a bit of sweet-crunchy-spice in every bite.

Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

Adapted from this recipe.

For the pecans:

2 cups whole, raw pecans

1 tablespoon sriracha

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the bread:

4 very ripe bananas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil spray or other cooking spray. Line the sprayed loaf pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides, secure the overhang with binder clips. Set both pans aside.

In a bowl toss the pecans with the sriracha, maple, and cinnamon until evenly coated. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and toss with the 2 teaspoons of sugar to coat, cool slighty. Chop 1 cup of the pecans coarsely and set aside while you make the batter.

In a bowl mash the bananas well and mix with the cooled butter, sugar, beaten egg, vanilla, sriracha, and milk until well combined. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and arrange as many whole pecans (from the remaining 1 cup of pecans) on top of the batter as you’d like. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If the pecans begin to get too dark part of the way through, tent the bread with foil and continue to bake until done. Cool on a rack before slicing and serving.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins

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Let’s ease into fall-baking, okay? I mean, I’ve been ready since September 1st to bring on the pumpkin and spice…but I know not everyone is quite as enthusiastic as I am for the best-season-of-all-the-seasons, AUTUMN! Basically, this is my transition from fall to summer and as soon as that equinox arrives, you better believe I’ll be smashing open a can of pumpkin.

So, let’s ease into it with nutty brown butter, a little spice, wholesome bananas, and a little chocolate for good measure. These muffins are moist and tender, rich with brown butter and banana, and indulgent thanks to the chocolate. Banana is basically an all-season fruit to me, but paired with chocolate and browned butter, it speaks of early fall and the much-anticipated baking season. So, pull on a sweater, grab a cuppa something warm, and get to baking!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins

I used a bar of chocolate provided to me by Kallari, an Ecuadorian farmer-owned, organic chocolate company. Kallari was kind enough to send me a sample to try out and I used it in these muffins. Their chocolate is rich, smooth, and comes with an amazing mission. They grow and own the cacao and make it into chocolate, and pay a living wage while striving to conserve both their culture and land.* Feel free to use whatever chocolate you like. 

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

3 tablespoons milk

2 ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs

5 tablespoons butter, browned

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ounces chopped dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease well.

Brown your butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids in the butter turn deep golden brown and smell nutty and fragrant. Pour into a small dish, making sure to scrape out all of the browned bits, and set aside to cool.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk together the yogurt, milk, banana, eggs, the cooled brown butter, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Fold until just combined, don’t over mix! Some small lumps are okay. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups and bake in the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Can be stored, covered well in the refrigerator, for 4 days.

*Kallari provided me with chocolate to sample. I was not paid for this post, as usual all opinions are my own.

 

Blueberry Almond White Chocolate Banana Bread

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So, last week I was perusing the internets, looking at blogs and scrolling through my Pinterest feed…like ya do. I came upon this Plum-Blackberry Cream Cheese Bread with Oat Streusel…oh, my…by Stephanie from Girl Versus Dough…and I remembered, in that moment, that I needed a quick bread in my life ASAP.

Inspirational, man.

So, I made this banana bread and filled it with lots of crazy goodness like blueberries, almonds, almond extract, white chocolate chunks, AND topped it off with a sugared almond topping. I mean, I really don’t have to tell you that this bread was capital-G, Good…you guys know stuff.

At it’s core, this banana bread is familiar, but the almond extract hints at the fruitiness of the bananas and blueberries, while balancing out the rich little pockets of white chocolate chunks. But, the real star is that sugared almond topping. It’s crunchy, sweet, salty, and just the kind of topping that will have you sneaking bits and leaving bald patches all over the top of the bread…not that I would do something so rude (lies…yes I would).

Blueberry Almond White Chocolate Banana Bread with Sugared Almond Topping

Adapted from this recipe and this one, too.

Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

4 ripe, freckly bananas, mashed

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (granulated will work as well)

3/4 cup blueberries

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup white chocolate chunks

Topping:

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 tablespoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a loaf pan with parchment, leaving a 1 inch overhang on two sides, secure with binder clips and grease the pan and parchment well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together the topping ingredients until the almonds are evenly coated. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the mashed banana, melted and cooled butter, greek yogurt, egg, extracts, and sugar until combined well. Fold in the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the blueberries, white chocolate, and almonds. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the sugared almond topping mixture and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool on a rack before serving.