There was a bunch of bananas on my counter starting to speckle with brown, and I knew it was banana bread time. However, I wanted to kick my banana bread game up a notch with the help of a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (15th Edition). This cookbook is my go to for inspiration and basically guaranteed great recipes for classics like Banana Bread, Cinnamon buns etc. This recipe is perfect for adapting to whatever you have around, and whatever you and your family are hankering at that moment, hence the chocolate chips and pecans in this banana bread. This is an easy snack to pack in lunches, and is elegant enough to serve with Afternoon tea, or as an easy dessert with coffee after a dinner party. Or at midnight, in your pjs with a glass of cold milk and the fridge’s light as your only companion (I won’t judge). My hubby and I had fun making this recipe together. I gave him the funnest task of mashing the bananas, and he enjoyed himself. He also snuck a couple chocolate chips for a snack. Below is a list of some ideas I came up with for ways you can twist this recipe into your own.
- seasonal berries and streusel
- chocolate chips
- Nutella filling ?
- Peanut Butter
- Dried Fruit
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (I used 3)
- 1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (I used butter)
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, the recipe recommends walnuts)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla (I didn’t do this but I just thought that it would be a great add)
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. butter (slightly softened)
- 1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. The cookbook notes to only grease halfway up so that the loaf can rise properly, I did this and it worked great.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger. Make a well in the center and set aside. In another bowl combine eggs, mashed banana*, sugar, melted butter and vanilla if you wish. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined and all the parts of the dough are wet. At this point add your additives like the chopped pecans and chocolate chips and fold in. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the streusel measurements for brown sugar and flour (and cinnamon if you wish). Add the butter and cut in with a fork or a pastry blender. Once the mixture resembles crumbs stir in the pecans.
- Pour half of your batter into your prepared loaf pan and top with 1/3 of the streusel. Top with remaining batter and spread so it is even. Top with remaining streusel (and chocolate chips if you wish).
- Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. It took an additional 20 minutes for me. If you have to keep your loaf in for longer leave it in and check in 10 minute intervals. To prevent the top from getting too dark you can cover with foil if this is a problem for you.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove. The cookbook said to allow it to cool completely and then wrap and store overnight before slicing. This helps the bread to hold together, but I couldn’t wait that long and had some slices before I wrapped it up for the evening.
To mash bananas place in a dish like a pie plate with a flat surface but with short sides. Use a fork or a potato masher to mash the bananas.