This past holiday season when Canada, our 16 year old granddaughter, arrived from San Francisco one of the first things she wanted to know was how much more baking was I going to do and could she help. For most of her life, Canada has spent a good part of her summers with us so we have been cooking together since she was a tiny one. On her own, Canada makes delicious and beautifully-decorated cakes – far fancier than I do – but she still seems to enjoy my simpler approach. I absolutely love baking with her as it brings remembrances of me baking with my mom – it was the closest I ever felt to her. I hope that Canada, years from now, has the same warm feelings as she bakes with her children and grandchildren, hopefully recipes that we have done together.
Since I had a bunch of too ripe bananas one of the first things we made was my mom’s favorite banana bread which we then delivered, warm, to the great, hard-working kids who “barista” at our favorite coffee bar, Joe, on Columbus Avenue. And here’s the recipe …………..it makes either one 9-inch loaf or about 3 small loaves.
1¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Lightly coat the interior of your loaf pan(s) with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix on low to just soften. Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium, and beat until light and creamy. Beat in the bananas and vanilla.
Slowly add the flour mixture, beating to incorporate.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s). Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes (for a large pan) to 30 minutes (for small pans) or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and tip out of the pan(s) onto a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. May be stored, well-wrapped and frozen, for up to 3 months.