I’ve wanted to make this banana bread for years but I kept putting it off. Last night, I had the perfect excuse.
I was already feeling depressed because it was President’s Day and America doesn’t have a President, plus I had to work when most people got a day off. Then, I heard that anti-semites desecrated the burial grounds of a Jewish cemetery where my great grandparents are interned. After that, it was time to bring out the bourbon.
Sometimes, when you add alcohol to food, you get a subtle whiff or taste of it. That’s not the case with this banana bread. You can almost get drunk smelling the batter. This bread is not messing around.
I love the chocolate chips and walnuts in the loaf. I usually put chocolate chips in my banana bread but I’d never put walnuts in before. As it turns out, it’s the perfect complement. They add some texture to the crumb and balance out the sweetness from the bananas and chocolate.
I brought part of the loaf to work for breakfast this morning to bribe people into doing what I wanted them to do. It seemed to work. I didn’t tell anyone that there was bourbon in the bread, but I figured that everyone needed it whether they said so or not.
Bourbon Banana Bread (slightly adapted from Joy the Baker)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 bananas)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add bananas, lemon juice and bourbon. Beat until well incorporated.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and incorporate the last of the ingredients with a spatula.
Batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy! The loaf keeps for about five days as long as it’s tightly wrapped.