Saturday, October 15, 2011

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ah, fall. It's finally cool enough to bake again, and comfy sweaters allow for a few pounds to be gained in the interest of recreational cookery. Here's the recipe for chocolate chip banana bread I've been using for years—really easy to make, maybe 15 minutes of prep and less than an hour of baking. Makes two loaves, for about twenty generous slices.

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1 rounded cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
Super-ripe bananas, 4 small or 3 large
2 eggs (cage-free organic if you want to go to heaven)
½ cup whole milk (or if you're like me and never have milk in the house, mix 2:1 half-and-half plus water)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or lemon extract, and swap the chocolate chips for slivered almonds—nom)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. package chocolate chips (optional, really, but delicious—also try cranberries, blueberries, raisins, nuts, etc.)

1. Move the rack to the low position and preheat your oven to 350°. Grease the bottoms of 2 loaf pans.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and butter until smooth. I do it with a fork, but you could use an electric beater, too. If you're a wuss.

3. Add the peeled bananas, eggs, milk, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly.

4. Stir in the flour, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips (not too thoroughly).

5. Split the batter between the 2 loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or kebab skewer (or the tip of a sharp steak knife, if you, like me, don't own toothpicks or kebab skewers) stuck in the center comes out clean.

6. Let cool 5 minutes. Run a butter knife along the sides of the pans, to loosen the loaves. Gently turn out the loaves and let them cool under a clean cloth for 30 minutes, then store any extra bread you don't gorge yourself on in an air-tight container or plastic bag.

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