Tuesday, September 25, 2012

S'mores Banana Bread

I know that I promised you guys two new banana bread recipes, but we got lazy and just made one.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  Alex shot down my second idea.  I wanted to make one loaf of s'mores banana bread and one loaf of pb&j banana bread.  Alex made stink face at the pb&j idea.  And since this was the second time I tried to talk him into a pb&j banana bread I just let it go.  I figure I will make it sometime when he's not home to shoot down my pb&j idea.  In the end I wasn't all that disappointed - who doesn't love s'mores?!  I came up with this idea because I really wanted to make s'mores brownies, but we had those bananas to use.  So I decided to make s'mores banana bread instead.  It turns out I am not the first person to have this idea, but then again I never am.  I'm just not that cool/creative.

Anyway, this banana bread is amazing.  And it's totally decadent - sweet (but not too sweet), rich and chocolately.  I gave a loaf to our neighbors who told me that it is delicious with coffee and I gave a nice thick slice to one of my coworkers, who promptly devoured it in front of me even though she kept trying to set it aside to save it for later.  It really is that hard to put down.  So it's not just me who thinks the banana bread is amazing.  All of the flavors just work together so wonderfully - although the marshmallows basically disolved into the banana bread, their sugary, creamy flavor is still well represented (and the charred ones on top are just heavenly), and then you have the mixture of the semi-sweet chocolate chips and the milk chocolate Hershey's bars, the mellow banana flavor...  It is just fantastic.  And very moist.  I think that the melted marshmallows really upped the moistness factor, but there was also some sour cream in the batter to ensure that everything stayed moist.  It is just so good and reminds me of being a kid again (not that my mom ever baked anything like this banana bread).  I know that two loaves of s'mores banana bread sounds a little excessive, but trust me when I say that you really do need to make both loaves (although you could split the recipe in half pretty easily if necessary).  Your kids/friends/neighbors/coworkers/spouses will love you for it.

Recipe after the jump!

S'mores Banana Bread

4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
6 very ripe bananas, lightly mashed with a fork
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus additional for topping
1 cup mini-marshmallows, plus additional for topping
1 cup coarsely crumbled graham crackers, plus additional for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and lightly flour 2 9x5x3 inch loaf pans  Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices) in a large bowl. Cream together butter and sugar with a stand mixer or electric mixer.  Add eggs, one at a time, while beating slowly.  Add bananas, vanilla extract and sour cream and blend.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until well-blended.  Fold in chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers.  Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and let it settle.  Tap the pans on the counter a few times to even out the batter and to let air bubbles rise to the surface.  Top each loaf with a sprinkle of chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs.  Bake cakes about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean.

Let bread rest 10-15 minutes before removing from the pans.  Serve warm, or cool completely.

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