Just about everybody is kicking back and taking it a little bit easy this week. Well except for B. Apparently sick people don’t take time off for winter holidays so doctors and other medical personnel have to work just as much. Since that is the case I’m baking up a storm and making candy like a crazy person so B and her colleagues will have lots of good snacks this week.

One of the things I’m making (and have been making loaves after loaves of since Thanksgiving) is Bourbon Banana Cranberry Bread. I’m going to share the recipe with you because it features two local products: bourbon and bourbon vanilla sugar. Make it for your friends and family and they will swoon over you.
I originally snagged this recipe from Joy the Baker but its origins trace back to Smitten Kitchen and to Simply Recipes.

Bourbon Banana Cranberry Bread
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter*
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Maker’s Mark
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour
1 cup fresh cranberries
Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Vanilla Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a wooden spoon mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices.
Add baking soda, salt & flour.
Add the cranberries, and stir until just incorporated.
Divide mixture evenly into two mini loaf pans. Sprinkle bourbon vanilla sugar on top of each loaf. Roughly a tablespoon should do for just a touch of a sugar crust on the top of your bread.
Bake for 25-35 minutes (oven temperatures and rates of cooking vary wildly. When a knife comes out clean they’re done. I let them cool, in the pans, on a wire rack for 20 minutes or so then take them out of the pans to cool the rest of the way.

*I want to try this recipe soon with melted vegetable shortening substituted for the butter thus making it parve and friendly to lactose intolerant folks. If you try that route let me know how it turns out.