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Monday, June 25, 2012

Banana Walnut Bread (w/ Chocolate Chips)

There are two extremes in our house when it comes to bananas. Either they are gone before they really are ripe, or they sit until they are too speckled with brown for anyone to want them. Today, there were three bananas that needed to be used, so I made muffins. The recipe I adapted is from the Batty Crocker cookbook my mom gave me when I moved into my first apartment. I got 23 muffins out of the recipe. Because it is a loose batter and doesn't have a lot of fat, it is probably better as bread, but that would have meant having the oven on for an hour instead of about half that time. I baked the muffins for 17 minutes.

Banana Walnut Bread (w/ Chocolate Chips)

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast in oven for 5-10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool while you prepare the batter. Grease the bottoms only of two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inch loaf pans. (Or use a vegetable oil spray. If you coat the sides too, the bread won’t rise as much, but it tastes the same.) In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the sugars, oil, milk, banana, and egg. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. (By adding about a quarter at a time, you get fewer lumps.) When the flour is almost completely mixed in fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Divide evenly between the prepared pans. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before loosening sides of loaves and turning out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

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