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As the weather outside is getting slightly chillier, my need to start baking cinnamon-y, spicy or pumpkin-filled baked goods kicks into gear. I mean, just look at the fervor surrounding pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks; those flavors are what we all look forward to this time of year.
One of my favorite standbys is banana bread. And this version perfectly bridges the gap between late summer and early fall. It’s just rich enough to make you feel like it’s the holidays, but light enough to eat for breakfast or for a mid-afternoon snack with tea.
This version uses all brown sugar for a hint of caramel-like flavor, and cream for richness, although you can certainly use milk, half-and-half, or even almond milk if that’s all you have in the fridge.
And the batter couldn’t be simpler; a couple whisks of ingredients in the mixing bowl and you’re done and the bread is in the oven. I love this bread, sliced into thick wedges, and warmed the next day with a knob of cold butter.
The best thing about this banana bread is that it gets better with age. Just wrap it in plastic and have a wedge for an afternoon snack, take one on a picnic outing or serve one as a light dessert after a warming fall meal.
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Caramel Banana Bread
Serves 12 to 16
1-1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 large bananas, mashed smooth
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9-inch cake, pie, or deep tart pan with nonstick baking spray and set on a baking sheet. Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a large bowl, and then whisk in the oil, cream, bananas and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and whisk until smooth; stir in the pecans.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool completely before serving.
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