The Quest for the Best Banana Bread

ChefMom hiking with her little sister and dad circa 1984-ish

While Mr. N eagerly awaits his prize drawing this afternoon, we thought we’d share our latest adventure. One of my earliest memories of cooking is with my dad. We used to make Big Bird’s Banana Bread from one of my old Sesame Street books. After Mr. N was born this memory kept resurfacing and I knew I had to find the same series of books (my old set was ruined in a flood years ago). I was fortunate enough to find them on eBay and acquired the whole set once again. I knew this was a recipe I wanted to share with Mr. N as he got older.

I made the recipe a few years ago and it didn’t quite live up to the hype in my mind. The memory is far sweeter than this particular version of the tasty snack. Then while we were living in Minnesota my friend Doree brought over her banana bread. Now this stuff tasted much more like my memory of banana bread! In fact, this was and so far still is the best banana bread I’ve ever had in my life. So since banana bread holds a special place in my heart we’re going to test out some new recipes as well as some old recipes until we find our favorite. Don’t worry dad, I’ll make sure to bring you a piece of each of them!

This week Miss A and I whipped up a recipe inspired by Cooking Light magazine, Peanut Butter Banana Bread. I say inspired by, because it’s totally a different recipe – we made it un-light. Miss A was a big helper and jumped right in by helping me to mash-up the bananas. (And if anyone has any ideas on how to handle naturally curly hair on a two-year old that doesn’t sit still and hates having her hair combed except by her cool teenage cousin, please share!)

Next we added the yogurt, vegetable oil (obviously not a part of the magazine’s recipe), peanut butter, eggs and vanilla to the bananas and mixed them together.

Miss A has really taken to the hand mixer. Not only does she feel like a big shot in the kitchen (which she of course is!), but she knows there’s a beater to lick in her future! Once the wet ingredients were combined we added the white and brown sugar and mixed once again.

In a separate bowl we then sifted the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. It too was then mixed into the bananas. Finally it was time for the magazine’s “Twist” of stirring in some crushed, dry roasted peanuts. Miss A laid the wood to these little nuts!

Time to get her in t-ball! Once the nuts were stirred into the batter we poured it into a greased loaf pan and baked it for an hour and 10 minutes at 350.

The kitchen smelled wonderful and the result was quite tasty. It was a three spooner all around, but still doesn’t live up to Doree’s recipe.

That said, I have no doubt that this one will be gone in a few days! We’ve got a few more recipes to try on our quest and if anyone has version they’d like us to try, feel free to send it our way. Our plan is to freeze on piece of each loaf so that we can taste each recipe side-by-side before making our final “Best Banana Bread” selection. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to enter Mr. N’s Raffle Prize – it ends today at 5 p.m. CST.

Print this recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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14 comments on “The Quest for the Best Banana Bread

  1. [...] is it! Our very last banana bread recipe for our quest, and it’s a special one. There were two things that prompted our search for the best banana [...]

  2. [...] Quest for the best banana nut bread, she literally has over 5 recipes so check them all out! [...]

  3. [...] This post is dedicated to Kristy over at Eat, Play, Love and her endless pursuit of the perfect banana bread. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", [...]

  4. Alison says:

    Miss A is gorgeous. My neice had curlier hair, about the same length. My sister just had to put up with the fights until she decided she liked having her hair brushed. Sorry…

    The bread looks great, and I love the photo diary of it being made. Thanks for sharing.

    • ChefMom says:

      Thanks again Alison! Miss A cracks me up. Anytime I try to brush her hair, she tells me “No, I’ll just push it away from my face.” I did find a little conditioner that goes on dry hair and seems to help ease the brushing process though. More banana bread to come…

  5. I love the way a good bread makes the kitchen smell so wonderful!

  6. Laura says:

    The bread looks really good! I’ve never had it with peanut butter, but I love peanut butter and banana together so I bet it would be great. I have a really good banana bread recipe that everyone loves. It has sour cream in it, which makes it moist. I’ve also used Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream and it works fine. You can find it on allrecipes.com, Janet’s Rich Banana Bread.

  7. what a beautiful story about your childhood memories with your dad baking banana nut bread. I’ll have to try this recipe anything with peanut butter and I’m there! I’ll have to google that Sesame Street cookbook, sounds like something my kids would like. Have a great weekend. Oh, today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day!

  8. pattyabr says:

    I tried that recipe when it came out in Cooking Light several months ago. The best part about it was the glaze.

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