Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Festive Banana Bread

Since I was little my grandma always made zucchini and banana bread.  Some happy accidents made her recipe better and inspired me to try different ways to get a bread to be the way I wanted it to be depending on my mood...sweet, moist and plain....or with chocolate and coconut....or this time with nuts.  I have never been a big fan of nuts in my sweet breads, but with a little roasting, the flavor comes out and compliments the banana much better than not roasted ones.  Plus, I have a thing for crunch.  Sometimes I just want to eat chips or carrots because they have crunch.

I have experimented with different recipes for banana bread since my grandma's recipe.  This recipe that I use now is based on Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.  I have never toasted the coconut, but that is something that I might in the future.  Plus, because of my experimentation, everyone benefits...guess what is going to accompany as I visit people for the holidays?  Yes, indeed, different versions of my banana bread.

Festive Banana Bread
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed until smooth
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Cream butter until light.  Then add the bananas and eggs to the butter.  Beat well.  Add the dry ingredients until just combined.  Add in the nuts, chocolate and coconut (or any variation of the the three that you choose).  Stir together gently.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake for about an hour, but check with a tooth pick to be sure it is baked throughout the loaf.  The top should be golden brown.  Do not overcook  Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Let cool completely before wrapping for storage.  This loaf will be moist for up to three days, but it is also very good toasted (or toasted with peanut butter).

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