If you've been following along on Instagram, you've likely seen that Portland was covered in nearly a foot of snow for the last week. The Oregon governor declared a state of emergency, although less for Portland and more for the central Oregon region who received around 45 inches (114 cm) of snow. Crazy! It was incredibly picturesque, especially during the sunny days that followed the snowfall.
With the temperatures remaining below freezing, however, it was icy and quite dangerous on the roads. Many small businesses, including myself, felt the disruption acutely. It was rough to fall behind, but I can't pretend I didn't love the wintery landscape and the extra time with my family - nine days! Yes, we drove each other a bit crazy at times, but we also had fun playing in the powdery snow, sledding, drinking endless cups of hot chocolate, and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Marcus made bison jerky, dumplings, and cheesy marinara pasta. I made a chai spiced pear clafoutis, chocolate chip cookies, banana pancakes, and two loaves of honey bourbon banana bread.
I was inspired by Food 52's bourbon brown butter recipe, which is delicious, but opted to substitute honey for refined sugar and a different take on dairy. Honey seemed like the perfect complement to Bull Run Distillery's straight bourbon whiskey full of warmth and vanilla. Fluffy and moist, rich with banana flavor and a hint of honey-laced bourbon, this recipe is exactly what's needed on these cold winter days.
Bourbon Walnut Banana Bread
2 cups ivory wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine sea salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
⅓ cup honey
⅓ cup milk
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Bull Run Distillery straight bourbon whiskey
⅔ cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
Heat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and butter together, then slowly whisk in the honey, milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, bourbon, and mashed bananas. Slowly add the dry ingredients until well combined and fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This post was created in partnership with the lovely crew at Bull Run Distillery whose spirits are a taste of Oregon in all its wild complexity.