In my mind, chocolate chip banana bread is the perfect gift to bring to someone’s home. Whether they’re a new neighbor, or they’ve invited you to a dinner party, or just as a way to express thanks, for say, letting you bootleg their cable or wifi, banana bread fits the bill. It’s all about what I’ve heard referred to as ‘gracious living’. And this is something I’ve struggled with, even writing this post – because I’ve never fancied myself as someone who strives for gracious living.
Makes me wonder what exactly is gracious living?
I can tell you what gracious living is probably not (this post just got a LOT easier to write):
- Licking the batter off the spoon. Or just eating the whole bowl. All. Of. It.
- Going through your frenemy’s medicine cabinet. Or their fridge. And judging them.
- Forgetting to RSVP.
- Eating something off the floor (5-second rule!)
- Getting a speeding ticket.
- Hijacking someone’s Facebook status from their misplaced phone.
- Leaving someone stranded.
- Making sure you’re first in line for the free samples at Costco.
- Keeping found money.
- Helping yourself to that last little bit of wine at a party and pretending not to realize it.
- Signing your ‘frenemies’ up for subscriptions to questionable magazines and/or ‘lifestyle’ catalogs. I know you know what I’m talking about here.
Image from SFGate.com via a Google search
I may be guilty of one (or more) of the above and I’m sure there are thousands of other examples of ‘not’ living graciously. One way to start living more graciously is by giving your neighbor a small loaf of chocolate chip banana bread. I’ve actually been making this recipe for years and have adapted it in different ways by adding shredded zucchini instead of bananas, or by withholding the chocolate chips for regular banana bread. But I think making it as chocolate chip banana bread really is the best use of this recipe. Something about the chocolate chips with the cinnamon adds a whole other dimension that is lacking with other variations.
To start, you’ll want to mix some granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil and a couple of eggs. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and a little salt. When the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, combine that with the sugar and oil mixture. Next add in the cinnamon. This will make for a pretty dry batter.
After this is combined, mash your bananas separately. You’ll want to use very ripe, almost too-ripe, bananas. The ones I used here weren’t quite as ripe as I preferred, but they were close. I just had to mash them up a little more. Mash them up until they’re a liquidy pulp and fold that into the batter. This will loosen the batter up quite a bit.
The last step is to add in the chocolate chips. A good trick I learned (and I might have mentioned this before) is to coat the chocolate chips with a pinch of flour. This will help them stay suspended throughout the batter and not sink to the bottom. Or, omit the chocolate chips, altogether and just go for good old, traditional banana bread.
This recipe will also make 2 loafs – the smaller, 8 inch loafs. So you can make one to give to your neighbors (and judge their crappy furniture) and keep one for your secret-piggy self. Gracious living, ya’ll!
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp ( or more) cinnamon
- 2-3 well ripened bananas
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease 2 standard loaf pans.
- Peel and mash bananas well until pureed.
- In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips with a pinch of flour, until well coated. This will keep them suspended in the batter and not sink to the bottom.
- Combine sugars, oil and eggs – mix well.
- In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Add to sugar and egg mixture and combine well.
- Fold in mashed bananas and then chocolate chips.
- Divide batter between the 2 greased loaf pans.
- Bake for 55-ish minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean