Banana Bread

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Whenever the bananas I buy start to get little brown spots on them, I'm no longer interested in eating them. It didn't use to be that way. There was a time when I'd eat a banana at any stage after they were no longer green. Now I prefer them barely ripe. The riper they get, the sweeter they taste. I've noticed my taste for sweets has declined some as I've gotten older. So, it's inevitable that I never finish a bunch before they start to spot. Not wanting to be wasteful, I throw them into a gallon sized freezer bag and put that in the freezer (if I don't already have a bag going). When the bag is full, I know it's time for banana bread. Well before yesterday, I had 4 full bags in our downstairs freezer. Since it was well past time to make banana bread, and it's not like I can go out and do something else right now, I decided to make a few loaves.

I'm a big fan of walnuts in mine, but a plain loaf is always good too. Since I had about 10 bananas between the two bags, I knew I could get thee loaves out of them. I wanted to try something new with that third loaf, but did't know what to make. I don't normally like chocolate in my banana bread, but I made one a few months ago that was pretty good. I could have done something similar to that, but I wanted something more than just chocolate. Enter Reese's peanut butter cups. 

I tripled my normal recipe, not always the smartest move when baking but I know it's worked with this recipe in the past. For the two loaves with mix-ins, I folded in the nuts and Reese's, respectively, and then topped them with some more before they went into the oven. I did make one gaffe, that I tried to correct, but it was a tad too late when I realized my error. I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top to caramelize, but didn't do it until nearly halfway through the baking time. The tops had set just a little too much, so that's why you can see some loose granulated sugar on the loaves.

They all taste great and will make for great breakfasts or snacks over the coming week. I had a few requests on social media for the recipe, so here it is:

Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish time: 1 hour 15 minutes

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 bananas, very ripe
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 whole milk plain yogurt
***1 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Grease and flour a 9"x 5"x 3" loaf pan. Lining with greased parchment also works.
  3. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Then add the remaining ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until JUST combined. There should be no streaks of dry ingredients. Over mixing will result in a tough loaf.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  7. ***Evenly sprinkle granulated sugar on top before putting into the oven. This is optional, but yields a better color and texture on top.
  8. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap remained in plastic wrap to keep fresh.
To add walnuts: gently fold in 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts after combining the other ingredients. Top the uncooked loaf with another 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

To add Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: gently fold in 6 chopped individual Reese's cups after combining the other ingredients. Top the uncooked loaf with another 3 chopped individual Reese's cups.

If you're reading this during the Covid-19 quarantine, why not take the time to try it? If you do end up making it, please share a picture with me. Thanks and happy baking!

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