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Spiced Banana Nut Bread

Weekend mornings are a time for slowing down and enjoying a special treat for breakfast. Most Saturday mornings, I make muffins or breakfast sandwiches. While both are great, this morning, I needed to use up some bananas that did not get eaten this week. Immediately, I thought of the heavenly smell of warm banana nut bread filling the house, waking my husband from his long night's sleep. I will admit that I adore traditional banana nut bread, but I always feel as though there is something missing. In this recipe, I added cinnamon and nutmeg to provide a warmth and depth of flavor that cannot be achieved any other way. For those of you who say, "I do not like bananas," you should still give this recipe a try. My husband said that it reminded him of carrot cake!

10 Tablespoons Softened Butter or Margarine
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 Whole Eggs
4 Egg Whites
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 Very Ripe Bananas, Slightly Mashed
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
1 teaspoon All Purpose Flour

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
Baking Time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 9-inch Loaves

1. Whip the butter/margarine in a large mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
2. Add the sugars and mix until creamed.
3. Add the eggs. Stir to combine. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well between each addition.
4. Add the bananas in two batches, beating well between each addition. Allow to cream together for 2 minutes.
5. While the bananas are creaming, sift together 3 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sifting here is VERY important. This will allow the bread to be lighter.
6. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix to combine. Repeat with another addition of the flour and then the remaining milk. Add the last 1/3 of the flour last. Mix until just combined.
7. Place the walnuts in a small bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour. Stir to coat. This will ensure the nuts are throughout the bread and not just on the bottom.
8. Using a mixing spatula, stir the nuts into the bread mixture.
9. Spray the bottom of 2 9x5-inch loaf pans. Evenly divide the bread between the two pans.
10. Bake for 1 hour.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out.
12. Carefully slice and enjoy!


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