Banana/Reese’s/Nutella Swirl bread

I saw this recipe on another wonderful food blog and immediately knew I just had to try it. I love a good banana bread–moist (sorry, Nikki, had to say it), with a hint of cinnamon, made even better if there are tiny chunks of mashed bananas in it just so you know it’s homemade.

But I had never come across a version quite like this. Separately, bananas, Reese’s, and Nutella are amazing on their own–but just imagine the possibilities when the three harmonize in a 350 degree oven for the longest fifty minutes of your life, anticipation building as the smell of peanut butter and banana permeate your entire apartment. Bananas and peanut butter are a classic combination. I probably had that for lunch every other day in lower and middle school. I can’t think of a better, more creative, or more delicious way of bringing back this medley of flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Reese’s mini cups (NOT the bite-sized Reese’s, the smaller MINI ones. Or use 3/4 cup chopped regular sized Reese’s Cups)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Nutella

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or spray loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg and sugars.IMG_8330
  • Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be very thick. Don’t overmix. Fold in Reese’s Mini cups and chocolate chips.IMG_8334
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Drop 3 tablespoons of Nutella on top of bread.IMG_8336
  • Swirl with a knife.IMG_8338
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in loaf pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges of the pan with a knife and remove from loaf pan, transferring bread to a cooling rack.IMG_8341
  • Makes one loafIMG_8342

I’ve taken my fair share of science classes at this point and have a lot of lab reports under my belt. In a lab report’s conclusion section, it is typical to mention things you would’ve done differently or factors that may have gone wrong and could be improved upon in future experiments. So I’m going to do that here because, as I’m always told on Food Network, baking is, after all, a science:

  • I doubled the recipe, so there’s some chance of error with ratios shifting a bit
  • I’m using a teeny-tiny BU apartment oven and was too lazy to check the thermometer so I’m not quite sure if the temperature was exactly at 350 degrees
  • I first checked on the bread after 40 minutes because the top had already significantly started to brown. However, the inside was clearly still raw. I covered the pans in aluminum foil before putting them back in the oven, in hopes that the tops wouldn’t brown too much more before the inside was fully cooked.
  • When I swirled in the dollops of Nutella, it didn’t get it swirled too deep into the thick loaf and the Nutella was all still relatively close to the surface (which is probably why it browned so quickly). Next time, I would try to make sure the Nutella got swirled throughout the entire loaf so it was distributed evenly.
  • I was too excited to make this recipe and didn’t wait for the bananas to brown enough. Next time, I would either buy slightly overripe bananas or wait until they had browned more, just to ensure the maximum sweetness possible.

IMG_8345

I am aware that I deemed this to be a food blog with a healthy focus and yet my first posted recipe is clearly not. I promise to not make a habit of this, but I do admit that baked goods are my weakness. Here are some ways to potentially make a healthier version of this recipe (note, I haven’t actually tried the below suggestions with this recipe…just brainstorming…):

  • Try using Splenda or half Splenda/half sugar
  • Only use half the peanut butter
  • Replace half the Reese’s with walnuts instead
  • Avoid putting the Nutella in the bread itself; instead, measure out a teaspoon or so once you’ve cut a slice of bread
  • Use half the amount of chocolate chips
  • Pour the batter in a small muffin pan instead of a loaf pan for better portion control
The best part about baking with Nutella? Getting to eat what's left stuck to the spoon.

The best part about baking with Nutella? Getting to eat what’s left stuck to the spoon.

 

HAPPY COOKING!!

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