It’s a known fact that holiday season = baking season. While your oven works overtime baking all types of cookies, bars and sweet treats, don’t forget about some trusty standbys. This banana bread is one of them. Of course it is a little dolled up with the brown butter, so it can totally be invited to the party with the gingerbread.
You can leave out the walnuts if you want, but I like having the crunch in the soft, moist bread. You can also add chocolate chips. I did both walnuts and chocolate chips in my second batch and oh man, it was crazy good. Definitely more on the sweet/dessert side, but I totally had some for breakfast too. Chocolate for breakfast is totally a thing in my book.
Above is after the batter is just mixed (don’t over-mix!) and the walnuts are mixed with the remaining flour. This is a little trick to help additions like nuts or chocolate chips not sink to the bottom of the bread while baking, but stay speckled throughout.
This bread is easy to throw together and makes your kitchen and house smell AMAZING as it bakes. Even if you aren’t a big banana bread fan, bake it anyway and give it as a gift so you can a) get the smell all up in your house, and b) the person you gift this to will love you forever.
This recipe only makes one loaf, but you can easily double the recipe to make two loafs.
Brown Butter Banana Bread
adapted from Simply Recipes
1/3 cup melted brown butter (I melted a whole stick (1/2 cup) and then measured out 1/3 cup)
2-3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350, butter 4×8 inch loaf pan.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. It will start to crackle and bubble. Swirl it around a few times. It will start to turn a light brown. Continue to heat it until it turns a nice medium/chestnut brown. Once it turns this color, take it off the heat immediately to avoid having burned butter instead of browned. Pour it into a heat proof measuring cup to let cool a bit.
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Whisk in sugar and brown butter until well incorporated. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add almost all of the flour (leave about 1/8 cup in a small bowl for later), baking soda, and salt. Be careful not to over-mix here.
Put the chopped walnuts in the little bowl with the remaining flour and stir around until walnuts are completely covered with the flour. This will help prevent the walnuts from sinking to the bottom while baking.
Stir walnuts into batter and pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Check after 45 minutes (mine was done) but depending on your oven, you may need more time. To check if the loaf is done, insert toothpick or skewer into loaf and if it comes out clean, your loaf is done! Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then move to cooling rack. Enjoy warm or at room temp!
And if you did brown the whole stick of butter and have some left over, put it in a little bowl in the fridge to let harden a bit. Then spread some on a warm slice for a little extra decadence. Totally. Worth. It.