Banana Almond Bread with Amaretto Glaze

With every grocery store trip, I always buy a slightly unripe bunch of bananas. While they’re sitting in my cart, I dream of slicing them thinly over a bowl of healthy cereal, drizzled in honey and gently doused in cold whole milk. Or layered on a piece of whole wheat toast, atop a thick smearing of crunchy peanut butter. Or as the hangry hail Mary at 2:30 PM on a weekday at work.

Then I glance at the corner of the kitchen counter on the following Sunday and inevitably find a blackened, mushy, fragrant remnant of what was filled with dreams in my grocery cart. But the beautiful thing about bananas is that twinge of disappointment doesn’t last long at all. Because banana bread.

The possibilities and potential for cakey-banana treats are endless. To that end, I’m not sure if I’ve ever made one recipe the same way twice. Some banana bread endeavors are more rewarding than others, but this rendition with a zealous focus on almond takes the cake. Or bread.

Truth be told, this recipe came about because my giant bottle of Costco vanilla extract ran out, and only almond flavoring was left in my cabinet. But what a happy accident I had on my hands! I decided to embrace the direction the pantry gods had given me and added some slivered almonds into the batter for an extra crunchy texture and subtle almond flavor. Once baked, I whipped together the simplest, most decadent glaze ever: amaretto and powdered sugar. Let’s all let the mere thoughts of those flavors sink in and overwhelm your taste buds…

When drizzled atop slightly warm muffins and sprinkled with crunchy almond bits, you’re left with the sweetest, most aromatic baked breakfast you could ask for. Make these kid-friendly by replacing the amaretto with almond extract, or enjoy the adult version with a homemade weekend brunch. Booze or no booze, these are still a flavorful, almond-y spin on the humdrum banana bread of yore.

For the muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 large, ripened bananas
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For the Glaze

2 tablespoons Amaretto

1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and the slivered almonds.

2. In a separate bowl, mash together the bananas, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and almond flavoring. Combine the two bowls together and fold until combined.

3. Pour into regular-sized muffin tins until about 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown and completely baked.

4. To make the glaze, whisk together the Amaretto and powdered sugar until smooth and shiny. Drizzle over the cooled muffins, and sprinkle with slivered almonds, if desired.

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