I’m one of those people who has a Pavlovian need for dessert after a meal. I am not one of those people that can wait an hour and then have one small morsel of dark chocolate and be “satisfied.” I need something to feast on. This year for Lent I gave up ALL SWEETS. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, and alas I quickly went back to my old ways starting with a five pound bag of pretzel M&Ms courtesy of the Easter Bunny.
Because of this addiction, I try to make desserts that have some nutritional value, or at least contain healthy ingredients so that I can tell myself it’s good for me. That’s why I bake everything with whole wheat flour. Or oatmeal. Or peanut butter (protein, duh.) So tonight I decided to put those three rotten bananas on the counter to good use and make banana bread.
I don’t make banana bread like a normal person in loaves, because a few years back I discovered that if you make it in a cake pan it cooks in half the time, which makes me twice as happy. I also add chocolate chips to appease Kevin (my 9 year old brother) and also so that I can eat half the bag while baking.
So this starts out like most recipes: softened butter, sugar, egg, vanilla.
Then you mash the bananas, which depending on their level of rotten-ness (I make up words) can easily be done with a fork, but I like to put them in a zip lock bag and squeeze the daylights out of them. This would be a good job for kids if you’re cooking with them. In my case, I taunt Kevin and do it myself while he watches and also begs to crack the eggs. I’m bossy.
My stellar photography is making this look oh so appetizing. Next we add our dry ingredients. I always measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix them separately with a fork. I used to think this was a dumb step until I got several mouthfuls of straight baking soda in various baked goods and decided to man up and use an extra bowl. The next step is what I believe makes this banana bread so fantastic- the sour milk. Mixing milk and vinegar and letting it sit for a few seconds before adding it to the batter must create some magical chemical reaction that I can’t understand or explain, but it makes damn good bread.
I usually throw a bunch of chocolate chips into the batter before pouring it into a greased pan; my mom just sprinkles them on top, but I say go big or go home. Add those chips until the ratio of chocolate to batter looks to be about 50:50. (Just kidding). Then add some more on the top.
Okay it doesn’t look that appetizing here, but Kevin still wanted to lick the spoon. Gross. On a side note, I’m going to miss all this Pampered Chef gear when I move out of my house. These pans that are made out of pizza stone material (yes, that’s what I call it) are fantastic. I’d like to invent a fake wedding and register for lots of high tech kitchen gear. Sheila, let’s put this plan into motion- we can split the goods.
And only a half hour later, in which time I was able to do the dishes and take a shower (I’m clean sometimes) we had ourselves a little masterpiece.
I’m a firm believer that things should be eaten straight from the oven and that you should combat burning your mouth with a big glass of milk. Or in my case, a senior mug of milk. I’m sure this is the beverage Craig’s had in mind when these were distributed.
Yeah, that’s right. I couldn’t even wait to take a picture of it first before I took a bite. Judge me, I don’t care. You’re better off judging me for the three additional pieces I ate after this, though.
1 stick margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbs milk mixed with 1 tsp white vinegar
Chocolate chips (who measures these? throw the whole bag in. or leave them out- but don’t tell me about it.)
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
For a loaf- bake at 325 for 1 hour.