I had a very sad bunch of bananas hanging on my counter that were neither of us were going to eat since we had already walked by them for the last three days. For some reason, the last bunch I picked up seemed to turn brown overnight. So tonight I decided to make banana bread. I didn't want anything fancy or complicated, just something I could put together in 15 minutes with what I had on hand. So I turned to the classic red plaid Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and found a great easy recipe.
I subbed unsweetened applesauce for the vegetable oil to make it a little healthier but decided to go for the extra streusel topping. I added pecans to the topping instead of the suggested walnuts and left the walnuts out of the bread because I generally like my bread better without the nuts. The topping was listed as optional but my advice -- don't skip the streusel - it really takes this banana bread up an extra notch from ordinary.
I also increased the cinnamon and nutmeg and added some ginger. I baked mine in one large 9" bread pan and it took about 70 minutes but you could also use two smaller pans and bake it for about 40-45 minutes.
Pecan Streusel-topped Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from BHG New Cookbook
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (it took 3 large bananas for me)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease one or two loaf pans, as desired. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir to combine and make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, mash bananas. Add applesauce, beaten eggs, and sugar and stir until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients all at once and stir just until combined. Batter will still be lumpy. Transfer batter to pans and top with streusel topping, below. Bake 60-70 minutes, cover loosely with foil if the top browns too much before the inside is done. To check, insert a knife or skewer, when it comes out clean, the bread is done. Cool in the pan about ten minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Pecan Streusel Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 T butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Combine brown sugar and flour in a small bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces and cut into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in pecans and sprinkle over batter.