Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Banana Bread at Master Gardener Class

Always wanting to learn about growing plants in the desert, I started the U of A Master Gardener class at ASU's extension office yesterday. Very interesting and informative and fun. The instructors are so good at presenting the material, it makes you want to go out and dig in the garden. The best part was finding out that fellow Historical League member, Bonnie Newhoff, is my mentor for the class. So right away I knew someone. The mentors brought a "snack" to serve buffet style at the 10:45 am break and Bonnie prepared Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from the cookbook. She knows the cookbook very well as she was instrumental in organizing and testing the recipes prior to printing. The snack turned out to be a feast of fresh fruits, deviled eggs, pastries, cheeses and breads. Didn't need any lunch yesterday.
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 or 3 bananas)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the bananas, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix just until moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Spoon the batter evenly into two greased 5 x 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.