I have this thing about bananas...
I love bananas - as long as they are IN SOMETHING. Like a smoothie, or peanut butter and banana sandwich, or my very favorite, banana bread.
Over the years, I've experimented with different recipes for banana bread and finally came to create a recipe that I love! What I really love about this recipe is that it makes a fantastic banana bread on its own, but it really knocks your socks off if you add in the optional elements...my personal favorite is the coconut version, with chocolate chip following up in a close second!
4 large, very ripe bananas
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups self-rising, all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
Option 1 - highly recommended: 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
Option 2: 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Now, I like to get a little creative when I bake muffins or cupcakes. I picked up these Wilton silicone bake pans last year in the clearance section of Target after Valentines day for 50 cents each! Of course you can use muffin tins or bread loaf pans for this recipe.
Preheat oven to 375
Grease two loaf pans or muffin tins with butter or non-stick cooking spray like Pam
In large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter - mix well
Add eggs, vanilla and bananas - mix well
Add flour and baking powder - mix until well blended but DO NOT over mix!
Next, add your shredded coconut - mix well
IF you are adding semi-sweet chocolate chips, now would be the time to add them!
TIP: after adding the coconut, you might want to divide the batter into two bowls. Use one as-is for coconut banana muffins. Then you have half a batch to experiment with: add chocolate chips, walnuts, etc!
Pour into greased muffin pan/loaf pan. Do not fill all the way to the top because the bread will raise slightly.
If baking in loaf pans, bake at 375 for one hour. Insert a tooth pick into the center of the bread (I use bamboo skewers too) and if it comes out clean, your bread is done.
If baking in muffin tins, check your muffins at 40 minutes, adjusting cook time accordingly. It usually takes me 50 minutes when using my muffin tins.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then devour!