Wastin' away in Bananaville

The fruit flies are telling me that it’s time to either give up on those bananas on the kitchen counter or be frugal and bread-ify. But I’m in a tropical mood this morning. I don’t want your Mama’s banana bread. I found some coconut and walnuts in the freezer, and a can of pineapple and bottle of black rum in the pantry. This is the result:

Bananaville Bread

1 stick unsalted butter or unsalted margarine at room temperature (I use the dairy-free margarine for my dairy-allergic husband)

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed ripe banana

3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted in the oven

1/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts and coconut in separate pans and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Spray a 9 1/2-inch by 5 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, rum and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed butter and sugar on medium speed. When combined, add the banana, coconut and pineapple. On low speed, stir in the walnuts.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn the bread out onto a rack and cool completely before storing or freezing.

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