RICH & DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
Have you ever baked something that sounds and looks delicious, but there seems to be something missing in the taste department? That is what kept happening every time I baked banana bread. Mine just didn't stack up to the memories of my mom's sweet, moist banana bread.* And if you are anything like me, I hate putting in the time and effort to bake something that doesn't measure up!
Instead of starting from scratch, I decided to perfect the recipe I already had - from my ancient Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. This cookbook was one of the first gifts my mom gave me after moving out on my own so it has sentimental value plus it's been my cooking and baking bible ever since.
The first step to alter the recipe was to analyze what I thought might be missing. The recipe was bland and lacked richness. To add richness, I switched the shortening to butter. Why use shortening when you can use butter, I always say! Then I upped the sugar content just a little. I had to be careful here, because too much sugar inhibits rise and I wanted a high, fluffy rise. Oh, and I also added chocolate chips because WHY NOT?
The result is a rich, sweet, fluffy treat that satisfies my sweet tooth and nostalgia.
*What is even more amazing about my mom's banana bread is that being Japanese, she learned how to make American dishes by reading "The American Woman's Cook Book" published in 1947. I can't imagine the effort that must have taken, given that even the English alphabet was foreign to her. But that's a story for another time.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup ripe banana, mashed (3 small or 2 large)
¾ cup Nestle Tollhouse mini chocolate chips**
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
4. Add eggs, one at a time and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
5. Add the milk and beat until smooth.
6. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients and ⅓ of the banana alternately, mixing just until incorporated. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix.
7. Gently fold in chocolate chips
8. Place batter into greased 8x4 – inch bread pan.
9. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
10. Cool in baking pan for 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.
**You can use regular chocolate chips, but a lot of them will sink to the bottom - and maybe get a little scorched.