Monday, December 17, 2012

White Chocolate Cranberry Banana Streusel Bread.

This is what happens when... 

You want to bake something wintry and festive. 

Something that doesn't require a cookie scoop. 

Something cranberry and white chocolate... but in loaf form. 

It's what happens when you say, "What should I bake today?" and your boyfriend always, always answers with, "... remember that banana bread?" 

I do. I do and I love you.

It's what happens when you know you're about to go into the world to Christmas shop and the only way to get through it requires cake for breakfast.

Basically... this is what happens when you put Christmas in your banana bread.

Strip this banana bread down and it still ranks right up there with just-sugared buttons & bowknots and raspberry almond thumbprints. You know: things that come out of my oven that I absolutely cannot resist... because it's basically banana cake! Thick, dense, and... with a good crumb? Perfectly soft and cakey? Come on. Please don't make me say moist.

Quick! Whisk in some Christmas. 

It's kind of like baking pie... only not.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. A handful of white chocolate. Fat, juicy cranberries bursting with a tangy-tart-sweetness.

Tangy-tart-sweetness is totally a thing.

And, at the last minute, a buttery cinnamon-brown sugar streusel. Because Merry Christmas to me!

And to you! Because this is the type of quick bread you make for someone you love. I was hesitant at first about skipping cookies to bake banana bread baking cranberries into banana bread. Would it be too much? Too tangy? Too sweet, with the crunchy brown sugar topping and melted chunks of white chocolate?

Bake it and believe! One slice and it was over. This just became a new Christmas/everyday/right now tradition.

... and I don't know what you're doing Christmas Eve, but I am officially that girl leaving Santa slices of banana bread and milk. If there was ever a way to do Christmas right... this would be that.

White Chocolate Cranberry Banana Streusel Bread 

Printable Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup fresh cranberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

To make streusel, combine all ingredients in a bowl and cut together using a fork or pastry blender.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon), beat the sugar and softened butter until well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla extract and beat until well-combined. 

Stir in the flour mixture until just moist. Do not over-mix! Gently fold in the white chocolate chips and the cranberries tossed in flour.

Pour evenly into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with streusel, then bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.* Cool 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

*If the edges start to brown before the center is fully baked, carefully place folded strips of foil around the edges of the pan to keep from burning. Occasionally I'll have to place a sheet of foil over the top as well during the last 15 minutes of baking to keep the top from over-browning/burning.

Source: Adapted from my dark chocolate raspberry banana bread, originally from Recipe Boy.