I’ve never been to a real family reunion, with the matching t-shirts and everything, but I kind of feel like I’m part of an ongoing one through Facebook these days. Cousins, aunts and uncles I haven’t seen in 10, 20 years or more are popping up on my “friends” list almost every day. I actually think this is pretty cool! I have a pretty large extended family on the East Coast – growing up in California, I didn’t have the chance to see them too often. It’s been nice to reconnect online.
My cousin Celeste, who I haven’t seen since I was probably in junior high, recently mentioned to me on Facebook that her mother (my aunt) likes to add chocolate to her banana bread. It’s a small detail, but I appreciated knowing it. Celeste also happens to run her own catering business (if you’re in the Boston area, check out her menus!) – maybe this penchant for cooking is a family trait!
Inspired by my Aunt Pearl, I’m sharing a terrific recipe for Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread. This one is definitely on the dessert-cakey end of the banana bread spectrum (my preferred end), but I had no problem slicing off pieces at breakfast time as well. It comes out incredibly moist and – from the sprinkling of sugar on top – with a sweet, crinkly crust I wanted to scrape off and eat on its own.
Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
Adapted from the Best Banana Bread recipe on the back of the Safeway Instant Nonfat Dry Milk box
Makes 1 loaf
3 very ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
2 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mash bananas, measure 1 1/2 cups and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, stir together flour, dry milk, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and bananas. Stir until blended.
Pour into a greased 8×4-inch or 9×3-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle sugar over top, if desired. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.