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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hi lovelies!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with this banana bread (and a fair number of you have probably made it with me). My family has been using this recipe for as long as I can remember–we used to leave out heart-shaped mini loaves of our banana bread for Santa every year when I was little instead of cookies. Santa definitely appreciated it. We always have tons of bananas in my house (don’t ask me why, I have no idea) so there are inevitably some that get overripe. I personally only really like to eat bananas when they are slightly underripe with just a teeeensy bit of green on them. So what better way to use the ones that I don’t want to eat than to bake them into a bread? Especially a bread that involves CHOCOLATE? Mkay yeah. Thought so.

Anyways, the story behind these little banana muffins today goes as follows: my wonderful friend Lexi had a bite of precious banana she had been saving (made by another friend Alex)–the most chocolate-chip-filled bite of course–sitting in her hand in its little foil wrapper. It looked so delicious. I could not resist. I launched myself at her and ate it right out of her hand. Those of you who know Lexi know that, like me, she is serious about her food, and was extremely unamused by my antics to say the least. As a peace offering, I baked her these! Recipe as follows (I used a half-recipe, but here’s the whole one):

1 stick of butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

3 mashed bananas

3/4 c. chocolate chips (or, quite honestly, however many you want. I never actually measure, shh)

First and foremost, preheat the oven to 350. Cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs until the mixture is smooth. This is SO MUCH EASIER when the butter is actually softened. I am usually never patient enough to wait, but I happened to have a stick of butter sitting out already today (again, don’t ask) and it was BEAUTIFUL how easy it was to combine those ingredients without having to mash the cold butter to oblivion. My arm didn’t nearly fall off like it usually does! Anyways. After that mixture is nice and smooth, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Set this bowl aside.

Now for the fun part. Mash the bananas! I always do this by hand, always have (just make sure you wash them first, obviously). If you’re baking with a friend, make them do it! It’s fun to watch people get grossed out by the texture and the squelchy noises. I usually just break the bananas into pieces and mash them between my fingers into a separate. Fun stuff. Or maybe I’m just weird. If you’re squeamish (ahem, lame), you can put them in a gallon ziplock and do it that way. Regardless of how you go about it, make sure they’re pretty thoroughly mashed, otherwise you’ll have some pretty big banana chunks in your bread.

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Looks delightfully repulsive, huh? 🙂 Once properly smooshed, add the banana mush and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased loaf pan or muffin tin. (Obviously, I made muffins this time, but I prefer making a loaf. These are just easier to share.) If you’re making muffins, bake for about 25 minutes, for a loaf, bake for about 50. Keep an eye on it of course, all ovens are different. Enjoy, guys! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

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Yum.

Love, Emily

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1 Comment

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Hi there beautiful people,

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I have something pretty wonderful for you. These beautiful, chewy little morsels are made from a recipe I adapted from Smitten Kitchen (probably my favorite food blog ever; the photography is perfection). Instead of nutty/raisiny, I was feeling chocolatey–surprise, surprise–so I substituted the fruit and nut combo for semisweet chocolate chips. I’m a sucker for a good oatmeal cookie, and although I’m usually more partial to the thinner, crispier-edged variety, these are definitely a must-bake. Here’s what I did for these:

1/2 c. softened butter

2/3 c. packed brown sugar (recipe calls for light brown, I used dark)

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla (although I used more like 3/4 tsp…I like vanilla)

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. rolled oats

3/4 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream together the brown sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) and combine the two mixtures. When combined, stir in the oats and the chocolate chips. At this point, I chilled the dough for about an hour while I showered (as recommended in the recipe; it makes the cookies thicker and chewier) and placed balls 2″ apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown and let them cool on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack (if you can wait long enough, that is).

Ta-daaaa! Thick, round little balls of deliciousness.

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Love, Emily