July 12, 2013

Coffee Toffee Banana Bread

Coffee Toffee Banana Bread

Has anyone else been thinking that it’s already July 12th, which means it’s almost halfway through July, which means summer is halfway over already?! I swear summer JUST started (which is practically true considering the weather we had in June), so I'm freaking out that it’s going by way too fast! I think I’ve only managed to make it to the farmer’s market once so far, I’ve hardly made any summer recipes (especially with berries – and I completely missed strawberry season somehow), I’ve only gone to the beach once, and stores are already starting to clear out their summer clothes before I’ve had the chance to look at them! I think I say this every year, but slow down, summer!

With that being said, I’ll try to make the rest of this post short so I can finish my work then make an effort to get outside for a bit this afternoon to enjoy the sunshine :) Our city has a classic car show today where all the classic cars gather in the park for display, then drive down the streets of downtown and park on the sides of the road, so when you walk downtown it feels like you’ve been transported to the 50’s.  Not the most exciting event for someone who doesn’t appreciate cars (like me), but I’m still looking forward to doing something summery!

Coffee Toffee Banana Bread

This banana bread has a subtle coffee taste along with a subtle toffee taste that not only give it a rhyming name, but make it a little more special than regular banana bread. The original recipe included 1/2 cup of melted butter and all white flour, so to lighten it up a bit I increased the amount of banana and used 1/4 cup of olive oil instead of the butter, and replaced half the flour with whole wheat. I also used dark brown sugar instead of regular sugar, and added cinnamon and instant espresso to boost the flavour. The result is a moist banana bread with a fun flavour twist that goes perfectly with your morning coffee!

Hope you all have a great weekend and do something to enjoy summer!

Coffee Toffee Banana Bread

Coffee Toffee Banana Bread


Makes one 9x5-inch loaf

Ingredients:

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/4 cup)
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon instant espresso
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons toffee bits (such as Skor or Heath bits, found in stores with the chocolate chips), divided
1/4 cup chopped banana chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Mix banana and coffee in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and instant espresso.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and brown sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and the banana-coffee mixture and stir until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon or a spatula until just incorporated.  Fold in 1/2 cup toffee bits. 

Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle the top of the loaf with the remaining toffee bits and banana chips, then return to oven for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  *Don't worry about getting all the banana chips on top of the loaf if they don't all fit; you don't want to weigh down the top of the loaf too much to make sure it bakes evenly inside.*  Let stand in pan 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, then slice.

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