That’s what I’ve been waking up to. Gray cloudy skies, a cool breeze, and an instant desire for fuzzy socks, a warm blanket, and a large cup (or three) of gingerbread coffee.
Do you see the problem? It’s way too early in the year for me to be feeling this way. It should be sunny, slightly warm (but, not overly hot…I know, I’m picky), and I should have the desire to jump in the pool, drink iced coffee, and make my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ice cream (or some other cold treat like popsicles). In the weather’s defense, it does start to heat up around noon, but still, I spend my mornings thinking fall is a lot closer than it actually is.
It doesn’t help that the Hallmark Channel (yes, I watch Hallmark movies, but only after checking to see what’s playing on Lifetime), has been having Christmas movie marathons. And, I of course, sat through about three Christmas movies before turning off the TV. I was getting way too excited about tree decorating, cookie baking, and wearing scarves and boots.
Hello, it’s July. Still Summer. Not fall or December. And definitely not time for Christmas or ugly mornings. What’s a girl to do with all these mixed signals? I’ll give you a hint, it involves baking.
Yup, you guessed right. It is baking this Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum.
Banana bread, or really any baked bread, makes me think of fall. I think it has something to do with the smell of bread baking in the oven or the need to have a chunky slice with a steaming cup of coffee. Coconut, on the other hand, makes me think of tanning, palm trees, and summer. Can you see how this bread solves my problem? Did I mention that there is rum in the bread? Well, there is, and it pairs quite perfectly with the coconut if you were wondering.
This bread takes banana bread to a whole new (and extremely delicious) level. The bread itself is super moist (thanks to the coconut yogurt) and each bite is filled with a subtle banana flavor, a crunch from the roasted coconut, and an undertone of the cinnamon and rum. I also made the bread with wheat flour (feel free to use all-purpose if you want), which gives the bread a milder taste and combines nicely with the other ingredients. If you’re feeling like fall is invading your summer, or even down the road if summer needs to invade your fall, I’d make this bread. Or, even if you’re just feeling like banana bread, I’d give this recipe a try. It’s worth it. Believe me.
Banana Bread with Coconut and Rum
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Yields: One 9×5-inch loaf
¾ cup (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted, browned, and cooled
2 cups wheat flour
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons rum, and about 1 tablespoon for topping
¼ cup coconut yogurt (I used Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt from Trader Joe’s)
1 ¼ cup mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
½ cup roasted coconut, plus ¼ cup for topping (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips—recipe will use the whole bag).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. As it melts, the butter will foam and crackle. Stir (or swirl the pan) as the butter cooks. When the butter begins to brown (mine was a very light brown color) and you smell a nutty aroma, take the saucepan off the heat. Pour the butter in bowl, whisk for about 30 seconds, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk until lumps are gone.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, rum, and coconut yogurt until well combined. Mix in the mashed bananas.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in roasted coconut. Stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle roasted coconut on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. If the coconut on top starts to get too brown, cover loaf pan with foil.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pan. Brush top of bread with rum as it cools. Transfer bread to a cooling rack to cool completely.