[PSA: Wordless Wednesdays has moved to currently unnamed Friday in honor of this recipe.]
Hi, my name is Cakey, and I’m perpetually five years old.
I like to make messes. I like to play with the bubbles in the sink when I wash dishes. This weekend, I bought two coloring books. Last week, I ordered chicken strips for dinner with friends. When I was at a boy’s house, he asked what I wanted to drink – of course, I asked for a juice box. Part of me still wants to scream when I sit down in the dentist’s chair. A very large part of me.
Eventually, adult mode kicks in – flour is swept up, Anna Karenina is opened & read, and yes, please, I would like a side salad.
Oh, and packing for school happens.
It’s that time of year again, when all my friends leave for college, leaving a week between me having friends and me heading back to campus. Thus, separation anxiety sets in, sadness ensues, and my oven mysteriously turns on.
I went back to the start to revisit one of my very first recipes. Kathryn & I baked it with the idea of sending some of it to a boy. Strangely enough, I baked it again this time with the same intention, for the same boy who is once again going to be six hours away from me for a few months. C’est la vie.
At least this time he’s fully aware of the intention behind the banana bread. I’m twice as alluring when I’m holding a freshly baked loaf of one of his favorite foods.
Feminine wiles, indeed.
Enough of the romance mush. Allow me to turn your attention to banana mush instead.
I made a few more tweaks from the recipe I originally adapted from the great Joy the Baker, although very few. There seem to be varying opinions on the addition of vanilla extract to banana bread – this time, I added it to deepen the sweetness of the bananas. Self-control is null and void when it comes to vanilla.
Happy accident! My four pound Nestle chocolate chip bag (finally) ran out, leaving me with no choice but to chop up some dark chocolate sitting in my fridge. Chopped chocolate is, to me, more aesthetically pleasing than
This has become an all-butter/no oil recipe. A lot of bakers like using oil in breads and muffins to keep them moist (hold up, I hate that word with a passion. Unfortunately, it’s the only one that conveys what I’m trying to say), but then you miss out on the flavor the butter gives.
Finally, I added a crumble. Banana bread covered in sugar, oatmeal, and walnuts makes it a little more special.
It’s as spectacular as it was before, only better. Do I contradict myself? (Very well, then I contradict myself.) This is probably the best banana bread you’ll ever eat – the perfect balance of sweet banana, smooth peanut butter, and just enough chocolate to round it out.
I’m still five years old when I make this bread, considering I had to taste-test it. Several times. This might’ve fueled my recent child-like spontaneity.
Embrace your inner child.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups (about 4 medium) mashed oh-so-very ripe* bananas
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/2 cup walnuts
Optional oat-nut topping
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combing flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, and melted butter.
- Beat in eggs, then sugars, until mixture is smooth.
- Barely fold the wet ingredients into the dry, until the mixture is mostly combined but a few flour streaks still remain. Fold in chocolate and nuts.
- If desired, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, walnuts, and oats for oat-nut topping. Set aside.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan; sprinkle with oat-nut topping or brown sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Invert loaf onto a wire rack to cool completely. Devour.
*NOTE: If your bananas aren’t yet ripe but you’re craving banana bread anyways, place them (skins still ON) on a baking sheet and stick them in a 350 degree F oven for about 35 minutes. The peels will turn black, but the inside will be ripe and sweet (and very easy to mash). Proceed with recipe.
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Hey, you! Yes, you! What do you think of my tweaks – unnecessary or delicious? Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe or add-in of your own?