Brown Butter-Walnut Banana Bread

This is THE BEST banana bread I have ever eaten! A combination of browned butter, buttermilk, and greek yogurt keeps this bread ultra-moist, while walnuts add a nuttiness and crunch. You’ll never need another banana bread recipe again!

Hi readers! I have a question: what do you do when you’re sad/anxious/hyperventilating like when Aaron Carter sang “I Want Candy” to Hilary Duff on Lizzie McGuire that one time?

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Like, seriously curious. Do you run? Walk? Cry? Wrap yourself in a blanket like a burrito? Light pictures of your ex on fire?* Something else?

*This may be a habit exclusive to one girl I used to live with. We always had a good time.

I, for one, turn to baking! (The blanket burrito also makes my list, for obvious reasons). And banana bread ranks way up there on my list of foods to stress-bake in these instances.

burrito

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you have been in an emotionally draining relationship. And one dreary, snowy morning, when you realize that you’ve had quite enough of this bullshit, you will leave this boy’s apartment, knowing that you will never return. It is possible that you will then find yourself on a Metro car with a girl named ‘Katie.’ You never liked Katie. Katie was always a bit of a beeyotch. Katie might take great pleasure in telling you that you look like shit and “she can recommend a great concealer to cover those bags under your eyes” and that “great skin runs in her family” and YEAH OK KATIE. You know what doesn’t run in your family? Minding your own damn business.

You may then find yourself sitting in your kitchen, watching as small, pure flakes of snow drift past your apartment window and into the streets below. You ruminate on the choices that led to those bags under your eyes. What did you even get out of this relationship? A reason to shave your legs? Lots of time to think about your life choices while riding the metro to and from fucking NoMa? An unfortunate tolerance for someone who think 48 hours is an appropriate amount of time to wait before responding to a text? Bye, Felicia.

So, you bake. You bake for warmth and for comfort. You bake to have something to share with the ones you love, the ones who love you back. And you bake to mark an end of an era and the start of something new.

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This photo was taken on the morning in question. The banana bread for this post was made under much happier circumstances.

Brown Butter-Walnut Banana Bread

To make this bread, you will need the following:
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
– 3 VERY ripe bananas, in all their speckled glory
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 (5.3 oz) container fat free banana cream greek yogurt (you could probably use vanilla for similar results)
– 1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
– 1 t vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 t baking soda
– 1/4 t cinnamon
– pinch salt
– 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped, plus more for the top

Let’s get started! You’ll begin by browning the butter. If you’ve never browned butter before, then I am SO EXCITED FOR YOU because your olfactory senses are about. to. get. rocked.

First, preheat your oven to 325F. Then, you’ll start by heating your butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. As your butter melts, stir. It will bubble. Keep stirring. You want to keep going until the bubbling dies down and the butter is a beautiful golden amber, with darker brown flecks that have floated to the bottom of the pan. It will smell buttery and nutty and wonderful. Pour your browned butter into a separate bowl to cool, and set that aside while you focus your attention on the other wet ingredients.

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Add your (super ripe!) bananas to a large bowl, and mash them until very few lumps remain. To this, add your sugar, greek yogurt, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk slightly to break up the eggs, and then whisk in the (cooled, but still liquid) butter. Combine well, until the texture is uniform.

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To the wet mixture, you will now add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir these ingredients in gently, just until combined, when no streaks of flour remain in the batter.

Finally, fold in your walnut pieces. Spread this mixture into a greased 9×5 loaf pan, and adorn the top with walnuts. Maybe you make a walnut walrus! Or a nutty professor! So many possibilities!

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I made… nothing. #unartisticproblems

Bake this little guy for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the top is nice and golden brown, like so.

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AHH COME TO MAMA

Ok, fair warning: you’re gonna have to wait about 30 minutes for the bread to cool before you can pop it out of the pan. STAY STRONG. WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER. My solution was to pour a glass of wine and write my self-assessment for work. Once that was over, I was MORE THAN READY for a slice of this guy.

Flip it out onto a plate…

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Cut a slice…

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…and dig in! All problems immediately melt away. Now, do you think Lizzie McGuire is on Netflix??

XOXO,
Jesse

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