Category Archives: banana

Coffee Hour Banana Bread

My neighbor Julie and I have a semi-regular coffee hour, though it’s become increasingly less regular lately. I bring cookies or brownies if I have them on hand, and if there is nothing else there are almost always overripe bananas on one of our counters or in one of our freezers. (I’ve been known to buy extra bananas so that they will get overripe and I’ll have them to bake with. She’s been known to find free ones at the co-op. Either way, overripe bananas are good to have on hand.)

Despite the calendar saying summer, it’s been cool and rainy here for too many days. I find myself drinking more coffee than I should just for warmth and wanting sweet comfort foods. Yesterday I made banana bread with chocolate chips. I have three banana breads that I really like:

  • my friend Kate’s greatgrandmother-in-law’s recipe that toasts up nicely and is great with peanut butter
  • Molly Wizenberg’s banana bread with chocolate and crystallized ginger from her Homemade Life (though in looking on her blog for the recipe to link to I found this, which I think I’ll have to try)
  • Julie’s recipe, which is what I decided to make.

I like banana bread as a bread, but this makes great muffins too, which need only 20 minutes of bake time (a plus in summer heat if you happen to get any of that or when you need coffee hour to start now! not in an hour). If you’re too lazy to spoon out muffins, but don’t want to wait an hour, pour the batter into a cake pan. It’s pretty versatile.

Coffee Hour Banana Bread

  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1+ c. mashed ripe bananas (about 4 small–medium bananas)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. white flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease loaf pan (or muffin tins or cake pan).  

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add bananas and vanilla and mix well. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl (I admit, I’m lazy and often don’t do this.) Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix until just blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake loaf for about an hour, muffins for about 20 minutes, and cake for about 30 minutes. Top should be golden and a tooth pick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few crumbs but no goopiness. Cool as long as you can stand it before serving.

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Banana bread inspiration

The inspiration may have come from reading about tea sandwiches just before I went to the fridge. I really went to get strawberries to cut up for strawberry shortcake for dessert. When I moved them I saw the tiny container of leftover cream cheese. I pulled it out to throw away since I don’t have any bagels. Then I saw the banana bread.

Toast a slice of banana bread (in a toaster oven, not a regular toaster).

Spread with cream cheese.

Top with slices of fresh strawberries.

It works without the strawberries too, but since they are in season, why not have them.

If you were still just down the road, it’s a snack we would enjoyed afternoons with tea when I wandered over to see if you were home because K. and I just needed to get out of the house. It would also make a good, quick breakfast with coffee some morning when we’ve stayed up too late drinking wine after the kids go to bed.

I suspect I’ll be baking banana bread again soon.