Two brown spotted bananas stared at me from the counter at the end of last week. I wanted to broaden my repertoire of things-to-do-with-ripe-bananas recipes. My standby banana bread is so good but sometimes, I just want to mix it up. I considered adding them to some buttermilk pancakes and figured the syrup would make a nice flavor combination with the banana cakes. That idea then led me to just add the syrup right into the bread! A few recipe searches, minor adjustments and handful of pecans later…. we had this lovely loaf.

I have a lot of ideas and little time to execute them. Wouldn’t it be great to have a book called 52 Things to Do with Brown Bananas? One recipe for each week of the year. Perhaps it is a new 2009 weekly blog idea. We could all contribute our favorite rotting banana masterpiece! Let’s brainstorm… any ideas?

Maple Pecan Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 Tablespoons buttermilk (or milk)
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 cups chopped pecans plus a few for topping


Mix melted butter, maple syrup and vanilla together. Add egg. Mix in bananas and milk, leaving some chunks. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to combine all dry ingredients evenly. Add them to wet mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in pecans. Fill two greased loaf pans or muffin tins. Top with a few pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. About 20 minutes or so for muffins. Top should be very light brown and toothpick inserted should come out clean.