>Variations on Banana Bread

>I’m heading into a stress-loaded week. Parent-teacher conferences, daughter leaves for a spring break half-way across the country, son is caught up in March Madness at his high school, and Chuck hopes to survive the combination of stressors and the presence of two extra bunnies in our home while La Petite travels.

Of course, I head for comfort food.

While the chicken stock simmered (nothing precise, just water with chicken bones and skin, stray onion pieces, and the end of the celery stalks), I browsed the cookie recipes on my laptop. Then I realized I had many boxes of Girl Scout cookies in the house, and I did not need any more cookies.

But beside the cookies in the snack basket sat were two rapidly ripening bananas.

Banana Bread! Today’s variation: a hint of chocolate.

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium to large bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon wheat germ
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (the good kind for baking, not hot cocoa mix)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. spray an 8- or 9- inch loaf pan with vegetable oil cooking spray or use your favorite alternative.
Beat the sugar and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Beat on low speed until well blended.
Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and wheat germ. Add the cocoa and chocolate chips. Mix well.
Stir dry ingredients into banana mixture just until moistened. Pour and scrape into the loaf pan.
Bake at 350: 8 inch pan for 60 minutes, 9-inch pan for 45-50 minutes. Muffin tins? You’re on your own. I don’t know how long that will take.

Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cool; it’s delicious either way.

And maybe I won’t eat so many Girl Scout cookies if I have this banana bread around the house!

Share and Enjoy !

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