Monday, May 21, 2012

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And, when life gives you bananas...

Make banana bread, of course!

I dearly love banana bread.  It is one of my all time favorite go-to quick bread recipes.  Every time I buy bananas I hold out a secret hope that they will get overripe before we can eat them all.  Unfortunately, I also just really love bananas.  I eat one pretty much every day.  We almost never have brown bananas sitting around waiting to be mashed up with flour, sugar, and eggs and baked into delicious bread.

I realize that I could just keep a few now and then for the sole purpose of making banana bread, but I like to think of banana bread as a special treat.  It really isn't very good for you; you shouldn't have it too often.  So, every once in a while it's nice to see those extra brown bananas sitting on the kitchen counter.  They hold the promise of happy breakfasts and sweet snacks.

I also love to experiment with different banana bread recipes. 
Add a few chocolate chips in the mix?  Don't mind if I do. 
Strawberries and bananas make a good combination, don't they?  Let's try it.
How about getting a little crazy and putting peanut butter and oatmeal in?  Why not?

Here are two of my favorite fun banana bread recipes for you to try sometime.
Strawberry Banana Bread by Averie Cooks
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins by The Well Fed Newlyweds

But wait!  There's more!

This week was a good week.  This week I had three bananas that never got eaten.  Three bananas that sat on the counter getting browner, sweeter, and more beautiful.  This week I got to gather my baking supplies and make a loaf of banana bread.  But, did I just make any old loaf?  I should say not!  This week I made Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread.
Yep, you read that correctly.  This recipe from Cookies and Cups contains three of my favorite indulgences, chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas, all in one delicious loaf of bread!

I whipped out my supplies and had this bread baking in no time.  I know my husband will be glad I did.  He loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and there are quite a few mixed into this batter.
Of course, I had to do some quality control testing once it was out.  No worries, friends.  This bread is good!  The peanut butter makes for a more dense bread, not quite as moist as traditional banana bread.  But, the gooey peanut butter cups scattered throughout more than make up for that, in my opinion.  Make sure you eat it warm.  So, either gobble it up all by yourself as soon as it comes out of the oven, or warm up slices in the microwave the next morning for a quick breakfast as your family runs out the door.  They'll love you for it.  (And, probably beg you to buy more bananas ;)

Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread
adapted from Cookies and Cups
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter*
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz bag of Reese’s Mini cups*

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease loaf pan.*
    In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
    In a large bowl whisk together your mashed bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg and sugars.
    Combine wet and dry ingredients; stir until just combined.  Don't overmix!
    Fold in your peanut butter cups and spread batter into prepared pan.
    Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
    Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

    * I used natural peanut butter, so my bread probably is not as sweet as breads using peanut butter with more sugars in them.
    * I couldn't find the Mini cups, so I just used Reese's Miniatures and chopped them up a bit.
    * If using a dark pan, keep an eye on your bread.  With 20 minutes left to go, I turned the temp down to 325 and covered the pan with foil to prevent overbrowning.

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