It just happened to come up in conversation.
As casual as discussing the weather or a clichéd complaint about work, this bread was passively mentioned by a fellow expat over an afternoon coffee and responsibility avoidance. Well not this exact bread, but the general idea of peanut butter banana bread. Let's call it the junior to this bread's varsity.
Seems like a no brainer of the highest caliber, and I'm ashamed to say it had never crossed my path before. Certainly the flavors had graced my breakfast table on more than 100 occasions, and I've made so many variations of this banana bread that it's practically become a deity.
And yet there was a void in my life where peanut butter banana bread should be.
On those lazy mornings when I can't be bothered to make eggs or have the patience to clean a blender post-smoothie, peanut butter and banana toast is my go-to. Although, I normally drizzle it with honey. For me, that made replacing some of the sugar in this already luxurious batter with a bit of honey a non-negotiable and completely mandatory step. How else could I sleep at night?
And when I go peanut butter, I always go crunchy. Surely, I don't seem like a smooth peanut butter kind of gal, do I? I come with chunks, which some would argue are the best part. To get my fix, bits of peanuts swim throughout the bread along with a healthy layer sprinkled atop for maximum crunch.
Could I have added bits of dark chocolate? Sure. Would subbing in some nutty brown butter be a good decision? Naturally.
But let's take it slow, baby. No need to rush things. Bananas do grow on trees, you know.
Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Bread Recipe
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp (113g) unsalted butter
3/4 c (200g) unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 c (170g) honey
1/2 c (113g) sugar
1 1/2 c (200g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 medium ripe bananas (450g), mashed
1 1/2 c (200g) peanuts, unsalted
For step by step photos of this recipe, visit the Facebook Page.
Notes for your perusal
I used salted peanuts, as my search for unsalted peanuts in my seaside town was as productive as finding a water treatment plant in the Sahara. For this reason, I only used 1/2 tsp of salt for the batter.
This recipe assumes the use of unsweetened, natural peanut butter. If using a sweetened peanut butter, the overall bread will naturally be sweeter.
For the banana bread
Preheat oven to 325F (163C). Line the bottom of a loaf or 9″ round spring form pan with parchment paper (optional), and grease with butter or nonstick spray (not optional).
In a small sauce pot, combine peanut butter, honey and unsalted butter. On low heat, stir until butter is melted and is completely combined with the peanut butter. Do not let it boil or simmer. We are only gently heating to make a beautifully smooth honey/peanut butter/butter soup. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Then whisk in the honey/peanut butter/butter mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the liquids. Whisk until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the mashed bananas and 1/2 of the peanuts.
Spread batter evenly in loaf or spring form pan. Cover batter with the remaining peanuts.
Bake peanut butter banana crunch bread for 40 to 45m, until bread springs back to touch or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.