Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Saying 'thank you' with coconut-chocolate banana bread

We have the best neighbors -- when our area was buried under a foot a snow on Sunday, the man across the street hauled out his snow-blower and cleared everyone's driveways, walkways and sidewalks.

I decided to say "thank you" with baked goods. I took inventory of my pantry, paged through my cookbooks, and came up with this sweet, coconut- and chocolate-flecked banana bread. This recipe can be doubled easily; if you make two loaves, use three whole eggs rather than two eggs and two yolks.

Yield: 1 loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, vegetable oil or melted and cooled unsalted butter
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

If using coconut oil, melt in the microwave on low power, checking every 10 seconds. The oil should liquefy, but do not let it get hot.

In a medium bowl, stir together banana, oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until combined. Fold in flaked coconut and chocolate. Scrape into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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