I'm sort of on a brown butter kick right now. And I love it. I've been dreaming up all kinds of ways to use brown butter. I figured banana bread is as great a place as any to sneak some brown butter in. It's a great banana bread to begin with, but with the brown butter it just takes it up a notch. I also snuck in some Chinese Five Spice. You can thank me later...
Chinese Five Spice is a mixture of 5 spices that can be used in many things. It's primarily made up of cinnamon, cloves, anise, pepper, and fennel seeds. It's used in a lot of Chinese dishes like pork, duck, and fried foods, but it can also be put into your baked goods too! Sounds weird, I know! But it's not.. Adding it into the banana bread in place of cinnamon gave it a slight spice flavor. Very mild, but it's nice!
You can use melted butter instead of brown butter if you're not a fan of brown butter. Which I doubt is any of you because come on, who doesn't love brown butter? Also, you can use cinnamon if you don't have Chinese Five Spice. It will still give you a great banana bread!! Moist, soft, warm, cinnamon-ie, and most of all, bannana-ie.
You'll need to brown 1 1/2 sticks of butter for the bread and the glaze total. 1 stick for the bread and 1/2 stick for the glaze.
However, I suggest you brown them separately. After browning the butter, it is more concentrated and is less of an amount that you started with, so it's hard to divide it up after browning it all together. Also, you want the glaze to be warm when you drizzle it on, so save the browning of the glaze butter for after the bread is baked.
Here's How To Brown Butter
Banana Bread Recipe:
2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
3/4 cup sugar
2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. salt
2 tea. Chinese Five Spice (you can use 1 tea. cinnamon if you don't have this)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown butter
2 tea. vanilla
2 cups smashed ripe bananas (about 3 or 4 bananas)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a bread pan.
Brown 1/2 cup of butter and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chinese five spice in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then mix in the smashed bananas. Then mix in the vanilla, and then the cooled brown butter (warm is okay, as long as you pour it in slowly while stirring).
Add the wet ingredients into the dry in the large bowl and gently fold them together. Fold until just combined, and fold no more! Over-mixing can cause your bread to be tough.
Pour the batter into the bread pan and bake for 45-55 minutes.
Let cool for 30 minutes before putting the glaze on.
Brown Butter Glaze Recipe:
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tea. vanilla
1 pinch salt
1-2 tea. milk
In a medium bowl, pour in brown butter and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. It's better when the butter is still warm however. So don't let it get too cool. Whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add 1 Tb. milk, and stir till combined. Add more milk for a thinner glaze. Drizzle or spread over bread and serve.