Thursday, January 13, 2011

Banana Bread/Cake Care Package

Instead of vegging in front of the TV last night, I baked. I don't know why, but my baking urges always seem to strike at night. I've been known to bake apple pies from scratch at 2 AM. Weird, I know.

Anyway … my younger son came home from a friend's house one day last month and just RAVED about her mom's banana bread. Hmm. I always thought *mine* was pretty good. LOL! He ended up getting the recipe from her to bring back to me. I figured he must be impressed if he did that, so I said I'd make it for him.

The first time I made it was right before Christmas and we brought it on our trip to visit the Marine. Unfortunately, said Marine was too sick to really want any and we ended up bringing a lot of it home (where it then disappeared quickly).

Younger son was asking for it again so I decided to make some for him, and for the Marine so he could actually eat it this time. I also baked and sent a bunch of the big chocolate chunk cookies you see in the photo. The care package of goodies makes me feel still useful as a mom. lol

Now, with that build-up, you'd think I would be raving about this recipe too. I'm not. It's OK and tastes fine; it's just a bit too sweet for me. But that explains why DS#2 loves it. He's a sugar fiend. ;-) The Marine will eat any baked sweets so it's good for him too.

I did add chopped walnuts this time, a must for banana bread IMO but which is not in the original recipe, and that improved it to my taste — a very little bite since I'm still trying to consciously eat healthier these days and this bread/cake is decidedly NOT low-calorie. However, I do like how all that sugar gives the bread/cake a slightly crispy crust. You can see how much DS#2 likes this, by how much is already gone from the cut loaf.

If you have a very sweet tooth or know someone who does, here's the recipe:

Grandma Harris' Sour Cream Banana Bread

1/2 Cup butter, room temp
2-1/2 Cups sugar (I know, right)
4 eggs
1 Cup smooshed ripe banana
1 Cup sour cream (I did use low-fat sour cream this 2nd time cuz that's what we had)
2-1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. (The recipe calls for 325, but I really used 350 since 325 seems too low to me.)

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add banana. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix well. Add vanilla and sour cream (and the nuts, if you're using them).

Pour into a greased and floured 10" bundt pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

I made this the first time using the bundt pan but because I wanted two separate loaves so I could send the Marine one, I used two large loaf pans last night. The cooking time was about the same. I just set the timer for 40 minutes and tested. The loaves needed an extra 10 minutes, for a total of 50.

* * * * *

It was fun baking and texting with the Marine at the same time last night. I sent him pics of the goodies in progress and he's ready and waiting for them. They'll arrive tomorrow. The chow hall has good food, he says, but he's missing the homemade stuff from me. Awwwww.


  1. Ummm, I'd like a little more info on the cookies. And now I'm going to have to seek some out over my lunch break. Curses Debbie! Curses!

  2. Haha! Just think about me with them RIGHT IN THE HOUSE and not eating any.

    No special recipe here. Just the back of the bag of Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chunks. I just make them a lot bigger.

  3. I'm with you on the less sweet baked goods! I cut back the sugar in most recipes by about 1/4.

    BTW - the back-of-bag cookies freeze really well in a big zip lock bag. Freezing helps me not eat them all in one sitting or because they are around. Then, whenever I want a cookie, I just thaw one or two on the counter for 15 min or so (if it is a real "chocolate emergency" you can always use the microwave).

  4. I won't lie: when I read "Care Package" I immediately envisioned something addressed to NY, NY.

    Does that make me a bad person?

  5. We have a friend who is career Army and send him home baked goodies whenever he's deployed. I know it's not the same as Mom's but it's all good. Your son is very lucky! g

  6. Well, Peter. *something* should be delivered to you and Michael today, but it's mostly inedible.

  7. It does look good but I like them less sweet too ~ Did you ever post "your" recipe :)))))

    I must say those cookies do real yummy!

  8. Walnuts are full of omega-3 fats and fiber and vitamins, they're *very* good for you--so feel no guilt!

    I like a smidge of nutmeg in my banana bread. I like the recipes in my Beard on Bread book I've had for twenty years.

  9. looks delicious!! I can't make many baked treats b/c then I'll eat them all! I have NO self-control! Unless they're leaving immediately, it doesn't happen. I'm partial to my own banana bread recipe, too. Thanks for sharing!
    LOL@ Peter!!

  10. It always makes me feel good to feed my loved ones - I'm sure your son will love his care package! I have a favorite banana bread recipe too, and those cookies look wonderful.

  11. Oh, those look fantastic! They are going to be a huge hit with his buddies. :)


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