June 23, 2014

Brown Butter, Bourbon, And Butterscotch Banana Bread

I was honestly not going for the alliteration when I composed this recipe.  The truth is I was sitting on some very ripe bananas (not literally), leftover browned butter, and a mountain of butterscotch chips.  I googled brown butter banana bread and this recipe came up.  So I replaced the coconut with the butterscotch chips. 

Then I realized we had no rum! 

Let me give you a baking tip that I, unfortunately, don’t follow often enough myself.  Always check your ingredients before you start baking!  Or else your husband has to go out at all hours and find some more brown sugar, or butter, or eggs for you to continue.  In this case though, it was too late for the liquor store, so bourbon it was.  Nobody ever complained about adding bourbon to something.  Or perhaps I surround myself with people that don’t complain about it. 

Either way, the alliteration was born out of convenience and necessity. 

I feel like banana bread is an all-season breakfast, dessert, or anytime snack.  It can be enjoyed while curled up under a blanket on a cold winter afternoon, or on a sun drenched balcony on an early summer morning. 

The brown butter, bourbon, and butterscotch lend this bread a deep, caramel taste.  I made it more summery by adding a tangy nectarine butter (recipe coming soon!), but it’s just as good on its own. 

Enjoy anytime!

Brown Butter, Bourbon, And Butterscotch Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

6 oz unsalted butter (or 4.5 oz of already browned butter.  I talk more about the conversion here.)
2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 1/4 cup mashed ripe banana (from about 3 medium bananas or 2 large bananas)
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so it hangs over the sides.
To brown the butter, melt in a saucepan over medium heat.  The butter will foam once with very small, rapid bubbles.  Wait until the foam subsides.  Soon after, the butter will begin to foam again with larger, sparser bubbles.  Swirl the pan and watch carefully, as this is when it will turn brown.  As soon as the butter is a light brown colour and smells nutty, pour into a small bowl.  Don’t leave in the hot saucepan as it will continue to cook and soon blacken.  Brown butter is awesome, black butter is not.  Set aside to cool. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, bourbon, and yogurt or buttermilk.  Whisk in the mashed bananas.  When the butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Using a rubber spatula, fold together.   When there are still some streaks of flour left, fold in the butterscotch chips. Continue to fold gently, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all the flour in. Fold just until the flour is not visible anymore.  Don’t over stir as the bread will get tough!

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes.  Pull out of the pan using the parchment overhangs, unwrap, and let cool completely on a wire rack.  

To store, wrap the loaf well in aluminum foil and leave at room temperature.

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