Prep: 15 min., Bake: 1 hr., Cool: 40 min.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans (opt.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8X4 inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes prevents over browning.) Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing bread from pans. Cool 30 minutes before slicing.
Toasted Coconut-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
Prepare and bake bread. While bread is baking, stir together 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped pecans and 2 tsp. vanilla. Remove baked bread and immediately spread tops with coconut mixture. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or just until topping starts to brown. Cool in pans for 20 minutes. Remove and cool 30 minutes before slicing.
Orange-Pecan-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
Prepare bread batter as directed and spoon into pans. Sprinkle 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans evenly over batter in pans. Press slightly so they stay. Bake as directed. Cool bread in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tbsp. fresh orange juice, and 1 tsp. grated orange rind until blended. Drizzle evenly over warm bread and cool 30 minutes.
Cinnamon Crisp-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana Nut Bread
Prepare batter as directed and spoon into pans. Stir together 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. melted butter and 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Bake and cool as directed.
Peanut Butter Streusel-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
Prepare batter as directed and spoon into pans. Combine 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour and 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar in small bowl. Cut in 1/4 cup putter with 3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter until mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter in pans. Bake and cool as directed.
Toffee-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread
Prepare batter as directed and spoon into pans. Stir together 3 tbsp. melted butter, 1/3 cup pus 3 tbsp. flour 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 2 (1.4-ounce) chocolate-covered toffee candy bars, finely chopped. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pans. Bake and cool as directed.
Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Muffins
Spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake ate 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire racks. Makes 24 muffins.
Note: This recipe calls for all the pecans to be toasted. I didn't add that because it tastes fine regular too.