Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pecan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

There are very few things better than the combination of chocolate and bananas (well... chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate and coconut, cranberries and oranges, lemons and poppyseeds, apple and cinnamon those are also great combinations, but I digress).

This was one of the first recipes from the baking bites website to catch my eye -- some of my favorite flavors, all wrapped up in one of my favorite things to bake -- a quick bread. I had some sorry looking bananas last week, but I never really got around to making this bread (or the cocoa nana bread from the Dorie Greenspan book that I'm looking forward to, or the banana bran muffins from the Pastry Queen...) so I took the advice of several cookbook authors and threw the brown nanners into the freezer. Apparently they can keep there in their skins (although some people recommend throwing them in a plastic bag for added protection) for a couple of months. When I was ready to bake with them tonight I just nuked them for about 30 seconds and mashed them up in a bowl. I remember reading somewhere that it was best just to include the liquid that is produced in the microwave into whatever recipe you're making, so that's what I did. I will say that they looked kind of gross, but they tasted great and it allowed me to use them when I was ready. :)

I think the title of this bread is a bit misleading though... Pecan is the first word in the title but it's actually the least noticable flavor. Bananas come through as the first, most striking flavor, followed quickly by chocolate, and finishing with just a hint of cinnamon. In fact, from the taste I had tonight, the pecan flavor didn't come through at all and is really more of a textural difference than an additional flavor. It will be interesting to taste again tomorrow (most quick breads are better the second day) to see if the pecan flavor becomes more evident.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 medium-sized bananas, mashed (about 3/4 to 1 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. When light and fluffy, beat in egg, followed by mashed banana and vanilla extract. Blend in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool on a rack in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn loaf out of pan and let cool completely before slicing.

Serve toasted, with butter and/or cream cheese. Store well in an airtight container (or plastic wrap.)

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