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Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

I’ve long been on the record as “meh” on banana bread.

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

As my two-year-old niece would say, it’s not…offensive. It’s just not something that calls to me on any level.

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts nuts

But let me tell you…bourbon sure does take this up a level! And candied walnuts don’t hurt either. What I’m saying is, this banana bread is AWESOME.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts ready to bake

This recipe is also super easy and fast. It’s taking one of the most basic recipes many of us remember from our childhood and just taking it up a few notches. Vanilla bean paste instead of just extract. A subtle deep, almost caramel flavor from the bourbon. Beautiful sugar-crusted nuts for texture. If that isn’t an impressive dessert (okay fine, breakfast), I don’t know what is!

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts nuts sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for the candied walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and hot water until the sugar is dissolved. Add the walnuts and turbinado sugar and toss to coat.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts nuts sugar bake

Spread the walnut mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts nuts done

Set aside to cool. Once cool, lift the edges of the parchment paper to gently break apart the pieces. Keep the oven on.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts jack daniels

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts batter

For the bread, spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the mashed banana, both sugars, coconut oil, buttermilk, egg, bourbon, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and fold in the wet ingredients until just combined.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts batter nuts

Coarsely chop half of the candied walnuts and gently fold into the batter.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts assembled

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts assembled closeup

Spoon the batter into the bread prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining candied walnuts over the top of the batter (if they’re whole walnuts, break them in half first).

 

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts done

Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and cover with foil to prevent over browning, and bake for another 30 minutes. Bread is done when golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts slice

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove bread from pan and cool completely. Once it’s cool, you can transfer to aluminum foil and lightly wrap up. Once you’ve cut into it, make sure to store in the fridge.

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

Candied Walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups of walnuts (or 1 cup of walnut pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar
Banana Bread
  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup of low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for the candied walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and hot water until the sugar is dissolved. Add the walnuts and turbinado sugar and toss to coat. Spread the walnut mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, lift the edges of the parchment paper to gently break apart the pieces. Keep the oven on.
  2. For the bread, spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the mashed banana, both sugars, coconut oil, buttermilk, egg, bourbon, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and fold in the wet ingredients until just combined.
  3. Coarsely chop half of the candied walnuts and gently fold into the batter. Spoon the batter into the bread prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining candied walnuts over the top of the batter (if they’re whole walnuts, break them in half first).
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and cover with foil to prevent over browning, and bake for another 30 minutes. Bread is done when golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
  5. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove bread from pan and cool completely.

Original recipe from Tutti Dolci

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