a.k.a. Chocolate Chip and Yummy Topping Banana Bread

Speckled Banana Bread Slice

Banana bread recipes are a dime a dozen, with so many variations, but all using common ingredients. Nothing wrong with your basic banana bread – it’s comforting, simple, and delicious, but here’s one to try. Speckled with bananas AND chocolate, it’s a winner. I’m sure many banana breads are baked simply because there are a few overripe bananas laying around kitchens, which is why I baked this loaf today. I can’t tell you how many times I told myself, “I need to make banana bread with those bananas”, only to throw the bananas away a few days later, black and shriveled. I always feel a little sad, knowing I could have (and should have) gotten my act together and baked something that is essentially one of the easiest baked goods on the planet, but sometimes the days are simply too chaotic for even the simplest of recipes.

Today, a day as chaotic as any, I stopped and transformed three lovely, spotted beauties into this fragrant loaf, knowing full well that I didn’t really have the time. I just did it any way. I was in the mood and so I baked a recipe from long ago that I used to bake when my kids were small, adding a little this and that to it, for kicks. Just before I placed it in the oven to bake, I sprinkled the loaf with a little mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg, and then, for good measure, I stirred a little quick-cooking oats and almonds into a tiny bit of melted butter and pressed that into the top of the batter.

I may not get all of the stuff done that I need to, but that’s really nothing new. I will, however, be able to offer my husband a yummy slice of banana bread with his evening coffee, and I’ve already had a sample.

That’s a good thing, right?

Mmmm, so good.

Ingredients:

Banana Bread

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (2-3 medium) bananas, mashed

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

2 eggs

1 tbsp. pure vanilla

2 cups unbleached flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped small (milk or dark, your choice)

Topping:

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1 tbsp. melted butter

2 tbsp. quick-cooking oats

2 tbsp. sliced almonds

Pre-heat oven to 350○ (375○ high altitude). Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and flour the bottom. Set aside.

Chop the chocolate chips small, leaving some pieces finely chopped and some pieces a bit bigger (chopping the chips helps to keep the fine texture of the bread). I use a mezzaluna for this task. Miniature chips will work well too.

Mezzy Chocolate

In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Blend well.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to blend.

Add flour mixture, a little at a time, until mixed well with wet ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Smooth top. Combine the sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle on top of batter. Melt butter. Stir in almonds and oats. Spoon on the top and center of batter and press lightly with a spoon.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.

Note: Take a peek at the end of the 50 minutes. If the topping is getting too browned, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top during the last few minutes. Remove foil just before the bread is done to ensure top of loaf browns evenly. Remove from oven. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let bread finish cooling on a wire rack.

Speckled Banana Bread

Speckled Banana Bread Topping

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