Banana Bread with Pecan and Brown Sugar Crust

My mom didn’t bake much when I was growing up. She wasn’t the type who got the urge to bake chocolate chip cookies one afternoon, then whip up a pie the next.

But when she did bake, it was only the good stuff. Like this banana bread. This remains, in all my 26 years of life, my favorite banana bread recipe. And trust me, I’ve tasted my fair share.

I’m not sure what her secret is. It could be that the recipe comes from a book that’s older than I am. That would explain the equally amazing Christmas cookies she’s also known for.

But whatever her trick, it taught me from a young age, that quality is always better than quantity.So when I came back from a weekend away, and discovered I had two perfectly icky bananas just begging to be made into bread, and cool breezes sweeping across Minnesota, I knew what had to be done.

I mean, who am I to deny the baking deities their wishes? Blackened bananas and 60 degree weather? Don’t bother with the lightning bolts, I’ll take the hint!

So I whipped up a batch of this amazing bread and put my own twist on it. Instead of mixing pecans into the batter, I tossed them in some brown sugar and used them to create a sweet and crunchy crust.

Because if we’re going to eat our crusts, they might as well taste like sweet, crunchy goodness, amiright?

Ingredients for the bread:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (2 to 3 medium)
  • 2 Tbsp. apple sauce

For the Pecan and Brown Sugar Crust:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. This helps evenly distribute the salt, baking powder, etc.

2. Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and apple sauce, and use an electric mixer to combine. Then add the milk and the oil, and mix it again.

3. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the banana goo (technical term) in small batches, mixing after each addition.

4. Grease a 9 inch bread pan, and pour the batter into the pan.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the chopped pecans and brown sugar. Sprinkle the mix on top of the batter in the pan, pressing gently to make sure it sticks.

6. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Then cool on a wire rack until it’s time to eat!

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