The Smell of Cinnamon Banana Bread & Autumn Air

I don't know about you, but I have a serious problem when I buy bananas. I seem to always end up with too many. I walk by my fruit bowl every morning and see them sadly waiting to be eaten. Then I decide I've waited too long and they get tossed in the freezer with that one I forgot to eat last week and the five I forgot to eat last month. As they say, "everything happens for a reason". My subconscious is obviously trying to force me to hoard bananas so I can make a delicious loaf of banana bread on some future lazy Sunday! 

Honestly, the only way I will make banana bread now is with my weird overripe frozen bananas. If I've planned in advance, I'll take the bananas out of the freezer and let them come to room temperature. If I haven't planned in advance, I'll throw the bananas in the oven (let's say, 300-350 degrees) for a couple of minutes until they're soft (or in the microwave for just a few seconds). Tip: if all you have are bright yellow bananas, simply separate them and place them (whole) on a lined sheet pan in a 300 degree oven for about 30-45 min., until they are completely blackened and soft. Let them cool before using them.

This recipe is super easy and only contains ingredients that I absolutely always have in my kitchen. Even better, it's seriously delicious - a dark, crisp top and moist on the inside - and fills the house with that fantastic cinnamon-baked goodness. 

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Cinnamon Banana Bread

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup thick vanilla yogurt (I use Siggi's 0% Vanilla or Greek yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup (approx.) overripe bananas, mashed

Cinnamon Sugar:
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until well-combined. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, and salt together until well mixed. Add to the bowl with butter and egg mixture. Stir until just combined. Add all remaining ingredients and stir just until combined. Take care not to over-mix. 

For the cinnamon sugar, simply combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. 

Pour about half of the batter into a buttered 9-inch loaf pan. Add all of the cinnamon sugar on top, taking care to leave a small border of batter around the edges (otherwise the sugar may leak out and burn), and then pour the remaining batter on top.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 50 min. or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.