Thursday, September 19, 2013

Peanut Butter & Cocoa Banana Bread

At some point last week, in an attempt to rid my home of the multitude of fruit flies (why soooo many this year?!), I stuck my bananas in a plastic bag, and hid them in a pantry.  If you don't know the trick, this is also how you would ripen bananas, they emit ethylene gas as they ripen, and trapped inside a bag, the gas will accelerate the ripening!  Aaaaaand outta sight = outta mind. ugh.  I already have a freezer full of over-ripe bananas that I have yet to use, and now 6 newly purchased really ripe bananas demanding to be used stat!
There are so many possibilities for use of ripe bananas, I always feel the need to experiment and try something new.  I had it narrowed down to two recipes: Cocoa banana bread, and Peanut butter Banana bread, but still couldn't decide which one (maybe I should've had coffee first?!).  Put your hands together!

It makes perfect sense, really.  Peanut butter and chocolate are the best of friends, why not bake them both?!  I used two different recipes both by culinary guru Dori Greenspan. And, although it was a little more work, I had a tonne of batter to play with!  I made a ginormous swirled loaf, and still had enough for 2 pans of mini muffins, and 2 mini loafs! After the swirled loaf, I added chocolate chips to the peanut butter batter, and made marbled mini-muffins -perfect lunchbox additions!  And in another mini muffin tin, I did the cocoa batter to the bottom of the muffin, and topped with the peanut butter chocolate chip batter; and another muffin tin visa versa: half peanut butter on the bottom, and cocoa on top! Sooooo many marvelous muffins! I went Banana's!  Yup.   

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Adapted from Classic Banana Bundt Cake by Dorie Greenspan via lottie and doof

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
4 very ripe bananas, mashed 
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease a 9 inch loaf pan, and or Muffin tins

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, and set aside
In a large bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for after each egg goes in. Finally add in the bananas.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until incorporated, do not over mix.  

Cocoa Banana Bread
also Adapted from Dori Greenspan Baking: From My Home to Yours

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In a large bowl, using a mixer or just a wooden spoon, beat the butter and the sugars until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, and then the bananas and buttermilk as well.  If baking a loaf, bake for 65-75 minutes, and for muffins about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the loaf and muffin to cool before serving.