Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Banana Bread & Baked Good Giveaway!

The smell of banana bread baking in the oven is one of life's simple pleasures. I buy bananas specifically for them to turn brown and be baked into bread...or pancakes...or muffins. Otherwise, they are definitely not my go-to fruit of choice (more of an apple girl--that's what Washington's known for, after all). I've included some photos to help you follow the recipe. Be warned, however. The third-to-last picture is a bit graphic and not for the faint of heart. I cut myself on a metal edge of a defective disposable loaf pan. But don't worry. The other two pans used to make the bread were in the oven when the kitchen mishap occurred.

I have been coming up with a lot of ideas for this blog. I'd love to somehow include my friends and readers into my entries. I've found much of my inspiration in a lovely book I received for Christmas--Food, Fashion, Friends. The author, Fleur Wood (an Australian fashion designer), throws these lavish, beautiful parties for her friends.  The book highlights her fresh styling and food ideas through gorgeous and artistic photography. I'd love to have a weekly (or as often as I can actually make it happen) "Food with Friends" post.  If you're interested in being featured, let me know and we can collaborate & cook something special together. 

I would also like to hear what kinds of recipes you're interested in seeing here.  For example, quick-fix ideas for us busy law students?  More desserts?  Healthier options?  To incentivize you to give me suggestions and ideas, I will take the names of all those who contribute by Friday at 5 pm and randomly choose one winner.  Your award?  A certificate good for one batch of cookies or a batch of brownies. So, comment away!

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

 How it most always begins in the baking world: butter and sugar.


 Mix the two until creamy and fluffy.


 Add the eggs and vanilla.


 Perfect for banana bread. The riper, the better (well...to an extent).


 See? With the Ziploc trick, there's no mess and one less bowl to clean!


 Squeeze-play.


 Dry, meet Wet.


 Chocolate makes everything better: broken hearts, bad days, headaches, PMS...even banana bread.


 Ready for the oven.


 Oops.


 Ready to be eaten.


Soooo good. Especially with butter. NOM NOM!


Ingredients
1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed super-ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (omit if you don't like nuts)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 1 large loaf pan, or 2 smaller loaf pans.

2.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars with an electric mixture until fluffy.

3.  To the butter-sugar mixture, add eggs and vanilla, sour cream and mashed banana. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. Tip: An easy and less-messy way of mashing your bananas is to place them (peeled of course) into a plastic Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and then mash away with your hands until you have the consistency of baby food. Then, snip off one of the bag’s corners and squeeze the mashed banana into your mixing bowl. Easy as that!

4.  In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Fold in nuts (if desired) and chocolate chips. Note: Do not overmix. You’ll overwork the glutens in the flour and end up with a less delicate crumb and a tougher, chewier final product (we don’t want that here).

5.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s). Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes to an hour (it will depend on your oven and whether you’re making one or two loaves). The bread is done when a toothpick inserted to the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

6.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes before trying to remove the bread from the pans. Serve with butter.

15 comments:

  1. I say, let's figure out how we can rent a smoker, and do a 24-hr brisket.

    This is going to happen eventually. Mark my word

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  2. Great pics and instructions Dev. Looks delish.

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  3. Dev I think the picture sequence is great in this one. I'd def like to see more of this in subsequent entries.

    Also how about a law student lunch post since our dining options are sub par? Something quick, easy, (healthy), and delicious?

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  4. I suggest bread pudding, but no raisins! And I concur with Radha, we need better lunch options than LuValle or my own cooking!

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  5. Okay I really want to win some goodies so I would like to see a Cheesecake recipe. I tried one recently and it didn't turn out fantastic. It was a cinnabon one but I'd love one of your suggestions!

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  6. Your amazing red velvet cupcakes!!! o.m.g. I die.

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  7. Please tell me how to make good pie crust. They make me tooo nervous. So I never make pies. And that's no good.

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  8. Do you have any Fudge recipes dear cousin? Love your Blog by the way!!

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  9. Stephanie LittleMarch 4, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I am always on the lookout for quick and healthy recipes... especially ones with a lot of flavor! Even just tips on spices would be excellent.

    Also: bacon maple pancakes.

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  10. Something with coconut, lemongrass, or a general thai theme. Or a coconut dessert. Dreaming of tropical locations for spring break?

    This is Lauren by the way. I can't figure out how to change my name.

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  11. I want a good blueberry pie recipe. My pies always turn out soupy. yuck.

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  12. AND (I hope this counts as two entries...) 30 min meals! I would love that. or 30 min anything.

    Or easy clean up! For girls on the go...

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  13. Can I still enter the cookie give-a-way?

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  14. I found out too late...but I am drooling over those death by oreo cupcakes. I must make them! Everything you make looks amazing Devon!

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