Wednesday, May 07, 2008

comfort me with banana bread

Today I took the Boo for our weekly run with the strollermoms. As is our post-run habit, we stopped at the local Starbucks for a coffee. My craving for baking kicked in and I added a piece of banana chocolate chip bread to my order. Usually it hits the spot, but today it tasted stale and dry.

Not satisfied, I decided that tonight was the night I would finally use the super-ripe bananas in my freezer and make my own version of banana chocolate chip bread.

Imagine, with me, if you will, the warm cinnamon-y odors of an almost-cooked loaf seductively wafting out of the oven. I can still taste the first bite I took after it was done. Warmed sweet banana, a zing of lemon zest and cinnamon and the comforting smoothness of sightly melted chocolate. I think it was the best loaf I have ever made. It lasted a little over 24 hours, and now I have to figure out how to hide some bananas in the house so I can make it again.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I started with a basic recipe for walnut cranberry bread that I've had in my collection for almost 20 years [Can it really be 20 years? I don't feel that old!]. It's been one of those recipes that has worked perfectly every time I make it, and always tastes great. Thanks to my friend Liz, who gave me the original recipe when I complained about all my bananas going bad (never happens anymore - I think my boys are part monkey)


1 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs slightly beaten
3 very very ripe bananas
2 tbsps. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon rind, grated
3/4 cup chocolate chips (can also be cranberries or blueberries)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

butter to grease pan
powdered cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients together until blended, then add the rest.
Do not overmix.
Lightly grease a loaf pan and then coat with a thin layer of cinnamon.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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