The first real snow of the season fell today. There is just something about the freshly fallen snow that I love. I love the serenity it brings (that is before the plows come). I love its purity (before the dirt gets mixed in). And I love the blanket that it leaves behind (before we all stomp and play in it). I just really adore the winter (that is as long as the temperatures make it at least into the double digits!).
Cold weather and snowy days bring out the baker in me. This morning as the house stood quiet, I whipped up some banana bread. As my husband and boys woke, they were greeted with the smell of yummy baking goodness. What a way to start your day! Everyone arrived downstairs and joyously praised my early morning efforts. And when I removed the bread from the oven, a line formed in the kitchen (seriously, it did), as each anticipated a warm slice of banana bread for breakfast.
Then…WHAM! I pulled the rug out from under everyone by telling them that they would have to wait until the afternoon to enjoy their slice. I’m not sure it gets much meaner than that! I explained that I needed to allow the bread time to cool so that I could make clean slices and take a few photos. I also reminded them that the best natural light for food photos would occur after lunch. There was simply no way possible that I could cut into the bread now. I believe I heard grumbles and some words under the breath, you know the ones you’re not supposed to hear but you’re also supposed to hear? Such is the life of the blogger’s family: lots of yummy treats to enjoy after the perfect lighting has come!
Well, you don’t have to wait to try this yummy bread! It really is a delicious, gluten free treat that goes perfectly with your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Quick Bread
makes one loaf
6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped, pods discarded
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 & 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (I use Bob’s 1-to-1 blend)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 small to medium ripe bananas, broken apart into small chunks
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Generously spray a glass, rectangular loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.
Place the vanilla beans onto a cutting board. Carefully slice each pod down the center lengthwise (using the tip of small, sharp knife works best). Next, run a butter knife down the pod to collect the seeds inside. Place the scraped vanilla bean seeds into the bowl. Discard the pods.
Place the eggs and cream into a bowl. Whisk together and pour into the butter mixture. Mix together until combined.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. For this step, I prefer to fold the flour into the wet ingredients by hand with a silicone spatula. You only want to combine the ingredients until they just come together. Over mixing can produce a gummy texture in your final product – NOT good!
Remove the bananas from the skins. Break apart the bananas into small, 1/4″ chunks. Hint: bananas break apart very nicely right along their natural seams. Place the bananas and chocolate chips into the batter. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, mix at the lowest speed just to fold the ingredients together. Ten seconds or so with the mixer should be sufficient.
Please note that you DO NOT want to completely mash and mix the bananas into the batter. The beauty of this bread is the chunks of bananas in every bite.
Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 55-60 minutes. Place a cake tester in the center of the loaf to test for doneness.
Once you have removed the bread from the oven, run a butter knife around the edges to loosen. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for 30 minutes prior to removal.
When selecting bananas opt for small to medium sized bananas. If using larger bananas, you will only need two. Banana skins should be completely yellow with brown spots or streaks. There should be no green on the skins.
Instead of discarding the used vanilla bean pods, you can opt to place them into a jar or bag of granulated sugar. With time the essence of vanilla will scent the sugar.