Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Do you like Banana Bread?   I do.  I think most people do.  How about Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips in it?   Yes?  Me, too.  How about Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips in it and  –wait for it—- Peanut Butter?   WOW!   Do I have your attention now?   Well, this recipe certainly grabbed my attention,  and I only found it because I cleaned my bookcase.  There fallen down behind several bigger books was an old issue of Taste of Home magazine, March, 2009.

I knew when I found it that I must have kept it because of some recipe that appealed to me.  Sure enough, the turned down page indicated bread recipes that had won a contest. ( 12 of them!)  They all looked so good, it would have been a hard decision which to make first except that I had two ripe bananas, and all the other ingredients on hand,  so that was the decision maker.

The  smell of this bread baking is heavenly and anyone at home when you make it will come running to find out what smells so good and when they can have some.  It has a layer of crumb topping and melted chocolate chips in the middle, and more crumbs on top.  Every bite is scrumptious!  The recipe makes 2 loaves;  8 inch x 4 inch pans.

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

BATTER

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 pkg. ( 8 0z. ) cream cheese softened.  1/3 less fat is OK
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Add the peanut butter, and using a fork, mix in to form a crumbly mixture.  Set aside.

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon;  Stir into creamed mixture just till moistened.
  2. Divide half the batter between two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans; sprinkle with half of the topping.  Top with the chocolate chips.  Repeat layers of batter and topping.

   

  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to finish cooling.

    

From My Experience:  If you do not have the exact pan size,  go a little bigger rather than smaller  because this is a fairly large recipe and pans will be full.  Also use more than half the crumb topping in the center of the breads, and less for the crumb topping.  I split mine in half as directed and as the bread rose in the oven the crumbs fell off and burned on the oven floor.  More crumbs fell off as I tried to get the breads out of the pans.  Finally, I would suggest using mini chocolate chips so they melt during baking.  My chips were the large size and they remained whole instead of melting .  Everything tasted wonderful, but these were the problems I encountered.

SOURCE:   Taste of Home magazine,   March, 2009

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Banana-Chocolate-Hazelnut French Toast

I don’t know why, but when I’m on vacation, I really enjoy having breakfast out.  Eating something rather sumptuous  that I didn’t make is such a treat.   Even coffee made by someone else tastes extra special to me.  Well, one recent weekend, I found that I had some ripe bananas that needed to be eaten or used, and at the same time an almost empty jar of chocolate-hazelnut spread.  Normally, I would have had a teaspoon in that jar in a  split second, eating the last of it right off the spoon,  but just in the nick of time I remembered once on vacation when I ordered “Stuffed French Toast”.  The filling was sliced bananas and peanut butter.  It was delicious, and I ate every last crumb.  I thought to myself, if peanut butter was so good , well then, hazelnut spread with chocolate must be as good or better, wouldn’t you agree?

So I tried it out and  yep, I was right!  If you have kids at your house I feel pretty sure they will like this, in fact kids of all ages will like it.  Pair this dish with a bowl of mixed fresh fruits to round out the meal.

Let me also add that in spite of the fact that the recipe may at  first sound high calorie, it really isn’t because I use skim milk, no butter, only 2 eggs (and  you could use egg-beaters instead to further lower cholesterol and calories) and  I get in some fiber by using whole-grain bread.  The recipe serves 4, and the calorie total as I make it comes to somewhere between 360-380 calories.  That’s less than 1/3 of a 1200 calorie diet.  A serving consists of 3 triangles of the stuffed toast, dusted with powdered sugar.  It is quite filling; you feel like you’ve had a special treat.

INGREDIENT LIST:

  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices whole grain bread
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons chocolate-hazelnut spread ( such as Nutella)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced banana
  •  2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  1.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish.
  2. Spread each of 3 bread slices with 1 1/2 tablespoon chocolate hazelnut spread; arrange 1/3 of the banana slices on each slice of bread.  Top sandwiches with remaining 3 bread slices.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Working with one sandwich at a time, place into egg mixture, carefully turn over to coat other side and then place into pan. Cook sandwiches about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  4. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.  Place 3 triangles attractively on each plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Garnish with fruit or serve with a cup of mixed fruits.

SOURCE:  This is a riff on someone else’s recipe. I can’t take credit for this one, although I did modify it to be more diet friendly.