March 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I have this weird thing (I know, you're shocked!) with food textures. Certain things just gross me out and I just can't eat them. And, because I'm a special brand of crazy, I'm grossed out not only by things normal people think are gross, like slimy oysters or stretchy/chewy calamari or that disgusting layer of skin that pudding gets while it's chilling in the fridge...BLECH!...but I'm also grossed out by the texture of seemingly normal things like oranges and bananas. I also hate, HATE fake banana flavoring, but that's a whole other story.

Here's the thing. I can only handle bananas if they're about 40% green on the outside. This means the banana inside hasn't turned to complete mush, and isn't too sweet. It also means I have a very small window of proper banana ripeness levels, which usually leaves me with half a bunch of uneatable bananas. What's a girl to do? Three words: Banana Bread, baby!

Wait, make that five words:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, baby!
Can you believe I took this picture with my phone?!

What You Need
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/3 cups)
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 cups flour (no need for fancy here...all-purpose is fine)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chunks)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts - If you don't like nuts, or are allergic, you can leave 'em out, no biggie.

TIP: For a quick, no-mess way to mash up the bananas, leave them in their skin and just roll them back & forth on the counter, then just peel them open and scoop out the mush.

What You Do
1. Preheat your hopefully-not-as-crappy-as-mine oven to 350. Grease & flour two 9x5 loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter into submission until light & fluffy on medium speed. (I used a hand mixer, but if you've got  big ol' Kitchen Aid stand mixer, 1. that's fine, and 2. I'm jealous.)

One day, Precious, you will be mine.
TIP: If you forgot to soften the butter at room temperature, pop it in the microwave in a glass container (I use a Pyrex measuring cup) for 15 seconds on 20% power. Keep an eye on it, do NOT want it to melt.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. The batter will be about the consistency of vanilla pudding at this point.

4. Dump in the bananas and buttermilk, and mix on low speed for about a minute.
5. In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda & salt.
It's just flour, Scarface. Don't get excited.

6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, and mix on low speed just until blended.
7. Fold in the chocolate chips & the chopped walnuts.
8. Pour the batter into the loaf pans (evenly split, of course!).

9. Chuck that gooey goodness into the oven, and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (By the way, whoever discovered that little trick is a damn genius.)
10. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to wait at least 10 minutes before you remove the loaves.
Don't you wish you had smell-o-web? Yeah, you do!

TIP: Keep an eye on your banana bread-lovin' man, too...otherwise, he won't be able to wait, and you'll end up with this:
Pretty? No. Delicious. Ohhhh, yeah.

11. Cool the loaves on a wire rack for 1 hour before slicing. Banana bread really needs this loooong hour to firm up enough to be sliceable. Be warned, though, the waiting is TORTURE. But, if you (or your husband) screw up one loaf, go ahead and eat it while it's is short.
Hello, gorgeous.
Much like Mr. K, worth the wait.


I'd love to hear in the comments if you're trying any of these recipes & whether they're as big a hit at your house as they are at mine.

-Mrs. K

p.s. Don't even talk to me about black bananas...those things are the work of the devil.

Sharing with my girls over at Serenity Now, Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Six Sisters' Stuff, and A Bowl Full of Lemons, and Savvy Southern Style! Go visit their blogs...but please come back.

Funky Junk InteriorsWeekend Bloggy Reading

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm your banana bread looks delicious! Banana bread is my absolute favorite, it's such a sweet, comforting bread! I'll have to make some soon, too!