banana bread with peanut butter chips

by ALLISSA on June 21, 2011

Slices of Banana Bread

I’m kind of picky about my bananas. I like them on the green side, starchy but not crunchy, with a thick peel and a semi-sweet taste. Brown spots? Nope. So soft it’s almost oozing? Never.

So you can imagine the difficulty I sometimes encounter at the grocery store when someone wants to (god forbid) buy bananas that are actually yellow. He claims he can’t properly digest green-ish bananas. (It’s true. Something about a belly ache.) But it’s not like he wants to buy three or four of these yellow-turning-black-in-a-matter-of-hours bananas to get him through the week. No, he wants to buy a humongous bunch that he’ll never finish before they do, in fact, rot. This is why I have so many spotted bananas on my counter.

There were three sitting next to the stove last weekend and I knew I had to do something with them before an invasion of the fruit flies attacked my kitchen. The only edible option: banana bread. I’ve been replicating one banana bread recipe for years, tweaking it a bit by using whole wheat flour instead of white flour and applesauce instead of oil. It’s my old quick-bread standby, though I’m pleased to announce my new obsession involving pumpkin bread with hazelnuts and golden raisins. We’ll get to that recipe another day.

Whole Wheat Flour Cinnamon Bananas

In my world, one can never get enough peanut butter. Or chocolate. Or summer ale. Or summer vacation. Or vacation of any type, really, as long as it means I can sleep in and watch soap operas or hike up a giant mountain or stick my toes in the ocean or drink too many margaritas, even in torrential downpours that last for too many days.

I digress. I usually don’t add anything extra to banana bread, not even walnuts. The same someone who prefers very yellow bananas also strongly prefers to leave out the walnuts and the hazelnuts and the almonds and anything else that’ll make his bread crunchy. But this time, I wanted something new, so I tossed in husband-approved peanut butter chips. You know, nothing goes better with bananas than a little PB. The result: sweet but salty, a bit dense, more like peanut butter bread as the banana flavor took a back seat.

Mashed Bananas and Egg

Banana Bread Batter Peanut Butter Chips

I should probably mention that I usually use three old, brown, spotty bananas for this bread. But I wound up using two old, icky bananas and one perfectly unripe banana because someone took one of the oldies to work and ate it, mush and all.

Banana Bread from the Oven

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Chips

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ New Cook Book)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of mashed bananas = three medium-sized yellow, spotty bananas
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of applesauce (Note: you can use 1/4 cup of cooking oil, if you want.)
  • 5 ounces (or half a bag) of peanut butter morsels
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions:

  1. Grease the sides and bottom of a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and combine with egg, sugar and applesauce.
  4. Fold the dry mixture into the mashed-banana mixture and stir for a few seconds. Add peanut butter chips. Don’t worry about stirring until “smooth.” It’s better if it’s a little chunky.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.
  6. Cool on the loaf on a baking rack. (Note: I’ve heard the taste of banana bread is enhanced if you remove the bread from the pan and cool it on the rack, then wrap it and store it overnight. I’ve never tried this – imagine me leaving baked goods alone on the counter for 24 hours – but I might next time, just to check it out.)

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