Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

First toast the pecans:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray. Chop enough pecans to make 1 cup. Now spread them on baking sheet and toast them just until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully, as they are easily scorched. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (1 1/4 pounds unpeeled bananas, about 4 medium)

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed of mixer just until blended. Add mashed bananas to the mixture. Stir until blended. Stir in toasted pecans and vanilla flavoring. Divide the dough between the two prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning if necessary. Cool bread in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool for 30 minutes on wire rack before slicing.