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Cherry Banana Bread

Cherry Banana Bread
Maraschino cherries, bananas and macadamia nuts are a perfect trio in this quick bread.

1 cup maraschino cherries
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts

Drain maraschino cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Coarsely chop cherries; set aside.

Put butter, brown sugar, eggs and reserved cherry juice in a large mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with mashed bananas, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Stir in cherries and nuts. Lightly spray a 9x5x3 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 1 hour, or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from pan; let cool on wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap or store in tightly covered container.

Makes 1 loaf, about 16 slices

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