Hello and welcome to my second part is this series of Baking with Confidence. Baking my way through Claire Saffitz’s “Dessert Person”. I will be cooking every recipe in order, slowly making my way through in one year. The second recipe in the book is Almond Butter Banana Bread. Claire made this easy for me with the classic bread but with a new twist. Let’s get into it!
Reviewing the recipe all the ingredients look like a classic banana bread recipe with an almond butter swirl on top. Maybe this is just me, but reading over her ingredients I needed to make a trip to the store! I needed to grab a jar of almond butter, I myself am not a huge peanut/almond butter person. Outside of the random craving for a timeless pb&j and a treat for my pup I don’t gravitate towards it. NOT EVEN a Reese’s cup. In addition to almond butter, I need to dig through my whole spice cabinet for cardamom. I think this spice has been in my cabinet longer than I can remember, I might have even moved with it. The last and final item is greek yogurt, I don’t know about you, but we don’t keep yogurt in the house all the times.
In Claire’s note to us at the top of her recipe, she talks about how such a simple and timeless recipe as a banana bread can go so far awry. Which, I don’t know, if after one recipe I am becoming more of a “Dessert Person” but this bread was easier. For me what hit home while making this, is to all my nut allergy friends, this bread is for you. A moist, savory, and sweet bread that you can indulge in. Maybe next time add chocolate chunks? You tell me.
With all my items measured out, oven ready, pan lined, I am ready to make this happen! In the beginning of the book Claire has laid out in her Recipe Matrix how long everything will take. The Almond Butter Banana Bread should only take a little over a hour and half, did it take me that long? Exactly, an hour and a half! I remembered to keep track of the bake this time. I am learning, I promise.
Hands down guys, prep your items in advance, because it is so easy! The whole baking process is so much nicer and just flows if you do this bit of work in advance. Before, I dive into the bulk of the recipe Claire instructs us to make the almond butter swirl topping before the batter. My almond butter is all nature and very loose, too the point I am concerned for my recipe, but we shall see. I am hoping that the sugar and salt will thicken it up?
As I finished the final preps: measuring out the coconut oil, chopping the unsalted roasted almonds, and mashing the bananas. (Yes, yes I am singing Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl) I grab the COLD eggs and mix into the remaining “wet” ingredients quickly using my mixer. I then added the wet mixture into the dry slowly combining it until the coconut oil and bananas were fully incorporated.
Once the wet and dry has become one batter I needed to fold in the coarsely chopped almonds. Can someone do me a favor and find a picture of what this illusive “coarsely chopped” looks like because I never feel like I quite nail that. I am pretty sure I went back 2 times after the first chop through. When I do this recipe again I think I might add slivered almonds to the top of the bread for added texture. The almonds are fully folded in, it is time to add the almond butter swirl on top! Just as I feared the almond swirl is still very wet and I don’t achieve the beautiful swirls Claire does in the pictures. C’est la vie! I pour the batter into my pre lined pan and pop it into the oven at 350.
After one hour and a margarita later the the bread is ready to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before moving to the cooling rack. I started bouncing ideas off my husband on who we should give this too, since I don’t like almond butter, coconut oil, or bananas. (The point of this challenge is not to just making things I like, but to learn to be a better baker and accomplish a large challenge.) I swear, he looked at me so fast I think his neck about snapped!
Husband: You know I love banana bread right?
Husband: And you know how many times you’ve asked me to save bananas for you to make banana bread and you NEVER made it?
Wife (laughing): Yeah?
Husband: So you think the first time in 9 years, our entire relationship, I am going to let you give this to someone else? No.
Well, here you go guys. My attempt at Claire’s Almond Butter Banana Bread. This recipe is super straightforward, a breeze to get through, and going on the list of make again for sure! Check out my video below to watch me bake through the recipe.
Next recipe for Baking with Confidence is Poppy Seed Almond Cake.
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