Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

Homemade Banana Nut Bread

MMmmmmm...I hadn't realized it, but I wrote about this recipe before. It's definitely a keeper! The one thing I did differently in this batch, which totally gilded the lily, was to add Spiced Candied Walnuts into the mix instead of plain, roasted walnuts or pecans. You should hear the moaning here at the office!

Home made banana nut bread with candied walnuts

I used a different recipe to make the spiced candied walnuts, but this recipe from Simply Recipes will work just fine. To spice them up, add a teaspon of cinnamon to the sugar mixture while you're melting the sugar, or just simply dust the walnuts with cinnamon powder before the candy hardens.

Candied Walnuts
Recipe Source: Simply Recipes

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Use middle rack in oven. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Test for doneness. If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.

Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom. Have walnuts nearby, ready to quickly add to the pan at the right time. Cook sugar on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber. As soon as sugar is melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.

As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined either with a Silpat non-stick mat, or parchment paper. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt. Let cool completely.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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