If it’s been a little quiet around here, it’s because I’ve been hanging out at this spot the last couple of days. My husband and I weren’t sure if we’d make this trip this year because of his cycling accident so we’re very happy to be here now. We’ve taken it very, very easy since arriving here, not doing much of anything; a slower pace than usual but neither of us is complaining.
How could we anyway? It’s been gloriously sunny, the water warm and the rosé overflowing. This is our third time visiting Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in southern France and it’s beginning to feel quite familiar. We’ve spent our mornings walking around the cape, lounging on the beach during the day and exploring in the afternoon. Vive les vacances!
For your enjoyment while I’m away: a new take on banana bread. It’s my classic recipe revamped to include a very popular item these days–cookie butter. The end result is more subtle than using Nutella (recipe here) but the effect is just as pleasant. The swirls aren’t visible here but the cookie leaves very moist patches throughout the loaf. Sliced almonds add a delicate texture without making the bread too nutty. A classic banana bread is always a winner but this cookie butter version might win you over, too.
Banana Bread with Cookie Butter
- 2 cups 10 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
- 2/3 - 3/4 cup slivered almonds they add great texture
- 10 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup + ⅛ cup cookie butter from Trader Joe's crunchy or creamy or Biscoff spread (heated for about 30 seconds in the microwave to make it more spreadable)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe soft, darkly-speckled bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs beaten lightly
- 6 tablespoons 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease (with cooking spray or butter) a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs and butter with a wooden spoon in another bowl. Lightly fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Stir in the almonds.
Measure out the cookie butter in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-35 seconds, just until it’s softened and stir until it’s the texture of frosting. Stir the cookie butter into the batter being careful not to completely incorporate the two together.
Transfer batter into the greased and dusted loaf pan.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack. This is great at room temperature or even straight out of the refrigerator.