Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Banana Caramel Coffee Bread with Caramel Glaze

I don't know how it happened since we tend to be Banana addicts in this family, but for the second week in a row I found several overripe bananas sitting on top of my counter. Last weeks bunch got chopped and frozen for smoothies, and this week's bunch seemed to be begging for some baking. I don't know how or why, but the thought of something caramel also popped into my head. As I started gathering my ingredients for the basic recipe I always use for banana bread I decided to substitute a shot of espresso for the apple juice in my recipe and voila...this sophisticated bread was created. I love the balance of flavors...it's not too much of any one thing, just a delicious rich morning (or maybe afternoon and evening) treat that will pair well with a nice cup of coffee.

Banana Caramel Coffee Bread with Caramel Glaze

2 c.  flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c.  sugar
1/4 c. of butter or margarine softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/4 c.  sour cream
1 shot of espresso or 3 tbsp. of really strong coffee
1 tsp. of caramel extract (vanilla could also be substituted)
1/8 tsp of finely ground espresso

Caramel Glaze:
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 tsp. heavy cream
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat to combine. Add banana, sour cream, espresso, ground espresso,  and caramel extract. Mix well.

Slowly add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined. 

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean.

For the Glaze:
Combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Let cool for 5 minutes and then whisk in cream and powdered sugar. If glaze is too thick add extra cream a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Let bread cool to warm and spread or pour glaze over top. I like to do this while bread is warm so that it melts down the side.

Now invite all your friends over for coffee and enjoy!

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