Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread

I was originally going to make a basic Banana Walnut Bread that I love, but then my cravings kicked in and chocolate chips started sounding like THE best idea ever. Having no control over my hunger these days, I had to give in and make a slight tweak to this recipe to satisfy my pregnancy needs. The good news is, the banana bread is so much better because of it!  The semi-sweet chocolate chips are a great addition, not too sweet, and they remain gooey even after the bread has cooled out of the oven. The walnuts provide that beautiful crunchy texture and nutty flavor, and of course, the bananas…mmmm the bananas!  I’m a sucker for banana bread and this one has just made the top of my list.

In case you’re wondering where this recipe comes from, I take the carrot bread recipe from the Joy of Cooking and replace the carrots with bananas. For this rendition of it, I incorporated the chocolate chips (my ‘baby-in-tow’ addition) and voilà – out came Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread!

Ingredients

(adaptation from Joy of Cooking)

~ 1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
~ 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
~ 3/4 cup sugar
~ 1 tsp. baking powder
~ 1/4 tsp. baking soda
~ 1/4 tsp. salt
~ 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used 1/2 tsp. and it was perfect as I find a full tsp. a little too much for my taste)
~ 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
~ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
~ 3 ripe large bananas, mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

~ Preheat oven to 350
~ Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan
~ On baking sheet, bake nuts for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted; let cool
~ In mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, chocolate chips and nuts; set aside
~ In another mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla
~ With rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until JUST combined and the batter is thick and chunky; DO NOT over mix
~ Scrape batter into loaf pan
~ Bake until bread is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes
~ Cool on wire rack


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