Are there certain treats you remember fondly from your childhood? To be fair, the list is rather lengthy for me, but today I am thinking about banana bread in particular.
Every once in a while, a few bananas my mom bought would start getting over-ripe. And that meant the solution would be banana bread! I would always get excited when I started to smell the bread baking in the oven. My mom would make one basic banana bread batter, but create different varieties of mini loaves to suit everyone’s tastes. My mom and dad liked their banana bread with chopped walnuts. My preference (and my brother’s) was for either plain or chocolate chip banana bread.
It had actually been a very long time since I made banana bread in my kitchen. Justin usually doesn’t let bananas sit on the counter for long enough! But this week was a different story when I spotted a couple of bananas getting a bit brown, so I decided to take advantage. And instead of making a plain version, I decided to kick it up a notch with a slightly more dessert-style bread. But you could still eat it for breakfast. I have been doing that, at least. Banana, caramel, chocolate, and walnuts. It’s a sweet, nutty, and wonderful combination, if I do say so myself!
And make sure you stay tuned, because on Sunday I have fun plans for this bread…
How do you like your banana bread? Plain? With chocolate? Nuts?
Note: I used Cooking Light’s Classic Banana Bread as a base for this recipe, but decided to make some additions to make it more dessert worthy.
Chocolate Chip, Walnut, and Caramel Banana Bread
***Makes 4 mini loaves***
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cup mashed bananas (about 3)
- ⅓ cup plain lowfat yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 16 soft caramel squares, chopped into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together to mix. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until softened butter and sugar are incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, then mix well. Then, add the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fully combined.
- Turn your mixer to low speed, then begin adding the flour mixture by heaping spoonful to the wet mixture. Continue adding scoops of the flour gradually until all is used and the batter is thick.
- Turn off the mixer and gently fold in chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and caramel pieces. ***
- Pour batter into four mini loaf pans coated with cooking spray, then bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove loaves from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!