Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

How can you make banana bread better? Add chocolate, of course! This version uses chunks of it for an even more intense flavor in every bite.

1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup cold strong black coffee
1 (12-oz.) pkg. chocolate chunks

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 2 (8x4- or 9x5-inch) loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, combine brown sugar and butter; beat until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat until fluffy. Stir in orange peel, vanilla and almond extract.

3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and baking soda; mix well. In another medium bowl, stir together bananas and coffee. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened; do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spread batter evenly in pans.

4. Bake 8x4-inch pans for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours; bake 9x5-inch pans for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans; place on wire racks. Cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

2 (16-slice) loaves

PER SLICE: 260 calories, 13 g total fat (7.5 g saturated fat), 50 mg cholesterol, 215 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

(Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook, Revised Edition)