Banana bread is pretty basic and normal, but I usually make mine more exciting by sprinkling a layer of sugar on top before baking. When it bakes the sugar creates a crackly crust that takes this from a regular quick bread to a special dessert. I also like to serve it with Nutella - bananas and chocolate are so nice together, and this is an easy way to enjoy them. (I guess it's easier to put Nutella on a banana...or eat a banana split...whatever, it's easier than making a cake!) Megs also had some leftover eggnog syrup that'd she'd made (it's actually buttermilk syrup, but she kept calling it eggnog so that's what I call it in my head). I'll add the recipe when I get it from her.
Happy Birthday, Megs!
from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook
1 1/4 cups sugar, plus a few tablespoons to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1.) Move oven rack to love position so the tops of pans will be in the center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
2.) Mix 1 1/4 cups sugar and margarine in a large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened. Stir in the nuts. Pour into pans. Sprinkle enough sugar on top of each loaf to cover the top of the batter completely.
3.) Bake loaves about 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely before slicing. Serve with Nutella or eggnog syrup.