espresso banana bread w maple glaze

happy monday everyone!

after a whirlwind of a week, i had a pretty awesome weekend! on saturday, i woke up super early to head to the train station. and in true form, i pulled into a parking spot at 7:49am– the time that the train was scheduled to come in at. i ran up to the platform and asked the first person i saw (too loudly and breathy) if the train had come yet. dumb luck goes a long way because the next train wouldn’t have come in for another 1.5 hours!

i started reading (and got hooked on) Salinger’s Franny and Zooey on the train and cannot wait to get snuggled in bed to devour the rest of it! so the rest of saturday began with brunch with my faves around princeton. it felt like it was the most appropriate setting to be in on a beautiful mid october day. what followed was endless laughs, coffee, apple picking, british accents, more coffee, more laughs, cider donuts and pumpkins, and much, much more food. please stay forever, fall.

so i definitely couldn’t go down this blogging path any longer without putting out a recipe for banana bread!

i think everyone needs to have a banana bread recipe in their repertoire and i finally have mine! it’s got all the things i love in a bread– a perfectly set glaze sits on top of a thin caramelized crust that surrounds an extremely moist, tender, and yummy loaf that’s well balanced with flavors of espresso and spices.

don’t skimp on the spices here, though! banana bread is beautiful and moist but won’t taste like much if you decide to leave some of the spice out! just look at that crumb!

one of my favorite things about banana bread is how EASY it is! it can take less than 10 minutes to whip up and then you just shove it into the oven for about an hour. walk away, get ready for the day, do that load of laundry, or just sip your coffee while watching all of modern family for the hundredth time! let’s do this!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
4 medium very ripe bananas
1/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts optional 
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips optional

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.

in a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. mix well. set aside.

in a separate bowl, combine oil and brown sugar. whisk together. add eggs and whisk vigorously until well combined.

in another bowl, mash bananas very well. add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. add banana mixture into sugar mixture and mix well.

add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. add in nuts and chocolate chips and fold until there’s no dry flour and mixture is well combined. don’t over mix.

pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for about 65-75 minutes. tester inserted should come out clean with almost no tiny bits of cake stuck to it. let cool on wire rack.

to prepare maple glaze, combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, and milk in a bowl and mix well until you get a pourable consistency that’s not too thick. pour evenly over the cooled loaf and let glaze set before cutting and serving.

ENJOY!! 🙂

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