With New Jersey (and a good portion of the rest of the country and world) on lockdown, I’m using my Corona-cation the best way I know how: baking.
Without anywhere to go and no daily commute into New York City, I’ve had lots of extra hours to spend in the kitchen, which is has been a welcome change since baking is pretty therapeutic for me. More time at home also means I have time to write up recipes–something I haven’t had the chance to do in like two years. Yikes.
So, here it goes.
Banana chocolate chip bread has been a family staple for as long as I can remember. My mom and my grandma have been using the same recipe for years, and this recipe (with a couple of my own tweaks) has become a constant in my kitchen. Whenever I need a quick dessert (or breakfast) for guests, a thank you gift for a neighbor, or I just feel like baking without doing anything too complicated (Meringue, I’m looking at you), this recipe has become my go-to. So during this stressful time when I’m trying to soothe my worries about health and finances, it’s no surprise this was the first thing on my list to bake.
The batter comes together in 15 minutes and uses ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry, which means at any time you’re only 1 hour and 15 minutes away from freshly baked banana bread with melty chocolate chips. And that’s not a bad place to be, my friends.
As they say on The Great British Baking Show (another way I’ve been spending my quarantine), “Ready, set, bake!”
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 teaspoon of banana extract
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 cups of flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of wheat germ or flax meal (this is optional, but make sure you add 3 tablespoons of flour if you’re planning to omit)
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325°F, and grease and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, mashed bananas, and extracts.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips (reserve a few for the top of the loaf).
- Pour the batter evenly into the pan, smoothing the top with spatula. Sprinkle the leftover chips on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the bread cool in the pan before serving. (Pro tip: if you’re not eating this right away, pop a slice in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt the chocolate a bit. This step is NOT optional.)
If you’re sitting around trying to find ways to fill your time while you’re stuck at home, I hope you give this recipe a try. And I hope it brings you a little peace and a lot of joy like it always does for me.
Please stay home, stay safe, and get baking!