Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Bananas are one of those things we always like to have around, but don’t always eat.

Consequently, we usually have a lot of overripe bananas lying around.

I hate to waste food, especially bananas. After all, the darker and more overripe they are, the stronger the banana flavor. They may not  be fit for eating by themselves, but they are just perfect for banana bread.

I’m pretty sure I wrote about banana bread before … Oh, yes, here it is.

I’ve made banana bread hundreds of times in all kinds of variations: Mini banana bread loaves, banana muffins, chocolate banana bread. But this time I wanted to try something different.

That’s whenI had an epiphany. What about … wait for it …

Peanut Butter Banana Bread!

I love Reese’s peanut butter cups. What if I made peanut butter cups but in the form of bread instead? And with bananas? Brilliant!

Having never made this before, I was uncertain how it would turn out. I was worried that it might be too dense.

I needn’t have worried because it was delicious. Banana bread, zucchini bread and other flavored breads usually are pretty dense, given that they usually have a lot of oil in them and are leavened with baking sodea or powder rather than yeast.

This also requires them to be baked far longer than traditional bread. These loaves took just over an hour, which meant the oven was on much of the hot summer afternoon, turning the kitchen into a steambath.

Yet, it was totally worth it. While the crumb was dense, the crust was dark brown and sugary, just the way I like it. Slices of this peanut butter banana bread served double duty: perfect for breakfast and also for dessert.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

1-1/4 cups Granulated Sugar

4 TBS Whole Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

2 Eggs

3 or 4 overripe Bananas, mashed

1/2 cup Buttermilk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2-1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Chunky Peanut Butter

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a Kitchen Aid mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth, then add eggs one at a time, then the bananas, then the buttermilk, vanilla and the peanut butter and mix until smooth. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.

2. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the batter and mix just until smoothly blended. Don’t overmix or gluten strands will start to form and the bread will be too tough. At the very last moment, add the chocolate chips and mix just until they are evenly distributed in the batter, about 10 seconds.

3. Generously spray two 8″x4″x4″ bread pans with pay spray. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Pick up each bread pan about 2″ off the work surface and drop them down to release any trapped bubbles, then put the pans on the bottom rack of the oven. Cook about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Remove from oven and let rest in the pans for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a kitchen towel and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled, about 45 minutes. To store, wrap either in foil or place in a resealable plastic freezer bag.

I love this recipe because it makes two decent-sized loaves: One for eating and one for giving away or brining to work. This peanut butter banana cake wins the gold medal for flavor!

Speaking of gold medals, is anybody else excited about the Olympics, which begin

Remember this from the Beijing opening ceremonies? Wow!

Friday (see what I did there?)? The Olympics are something I rarely think about when they are not on TV, but once they begin I get absolutely captivated by them.

Beijing’s opening ceremonies were jaw-droppingly amazing four years ago. I can’t wait to see how London plans to top that. I’m already planning on making some traditional British cuisine in honor of the games, so stay tuned!