Sunday, October 30, 2011

chunky monkey bread

Yesterday the weather in the North East took a serious winter dive and it snowed in October. SNOWED IN OCTOBER!!!!! We've been living in NY for over 10 years and this is the EARLIEST that I/we have ever experienced snow before Halloween. C'mon??? Are you kidding me??? 

For most cold, rainy & snowy days go hand in hand with baking.....For me??? I could bake in the middle of summer and 100 degrees outside. I bake when I want to and that's usually ALL THE TIME!!! Yesterday's weather called for bread baking and I was in a hurry so I mixed up my version of "chunky monkey bread". This quick bread's flavor profile is similar to Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey Ice Cream - banana, chocolate, walnuts.....Need I say more???

Chunky Monkey Bread
adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups banana, mashed (about 3 bananas)
2 large eggs @ room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain/banana/vanilla flavored yogurt or sour cream or buttermilk
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate - chips or finely chopped 
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray or butter a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan or comparable size. Spread walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast until fragrant or approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool and roughly chop.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in 20-30 second increments until completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl and with a hand held mixer or with a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar (this will appear grainy and not completely creamed). Add eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined. Add yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk, mashed banana and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add in flour mixture and fold with wooden spoon or mix on low until moist. Do not over mix. Gently combine 1 cup of banana batter with the melted chocolate. Fold in the toasted walnuts with the banana batter.

Alternate spooning batter into prepared pan. With a paring knife or skewer swirl together. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake tester/skewer comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Cool bread completely on wire rack.

***Don't be afraid to toast this up in the morning and smear it with a little peanut butter, butter, cream cheese or my new favorite yogurt butter by Brummel & Brown. The bread baking doesn't end here.....more to come!!!***

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