In-Law Perfect Chocolate Banana Bread

by Pamela


Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

We had a busy weekend around our house this past weekend.  The in-laws invaded moved in for a couple of days.  I don’t know why I get myself in such a tizzy when we have people stay with us.  (No, it’s not a condition that’s related to the invasion visit of parental units.)  Craig is cool as a cucumber while I’m running around the house freaking out that I need a housekeeper to clean up our messes.  And when I’m not physically trying to get stuff cleaned up and “perfect” I’m thinking about what a disaster the house is…what is the schedule going to be when they’re here…will I be able to get all  my work done…what groceries do I need to pick up (specifically, my mother-in-law is allergic to a rather large list of items and has another list of things she doesn’t like to eat.)?

I think my problem is that I just don’t like to be out of my usual routine…unless I am the one who decides to change the routine.  I’m not a huge fan of change being put upon me by outside forces.  (Is that just a nicer way of saying I like things my way? – Yeah, I think it is.)

I know, I know, I should learn to be more flexible…I should learn to let things roll off my back…I shouldn’t let things bother me so much…I shouldn’t smoke cigars…I shouldn’t drink so much…I should lose 5 pounds…and I should ignore Craig when he suggests that we invite people stay with us for more than a night.

That being said, banana bread has been around seemingly forever and I have yet to hear anyone complain about how it tastes.  So it’s the perfect breakfast food for company.  Instead of leaving well enough alone, I look at some things as being ripe for updating.  (That right there is a nice way of saying I am changing banana bread, and no I don’t care if the banana bread doesn’t want to change or accommodate me.)  So yes, I can change other things, but I don’t like it when they try to change me.

Relationship Advice

When the going gets tough…get going.  I’m sure this isn’t the type of advice you thought you’d hear from me.  Well, I’m not saying to follow the phrase exactly.  Sometimes having a house full of people isn’t quite what the doctor ordered for your relationship or your own personal sanity.  A lot of times the company leans more towards one of you than the other.  If you happen to be the other, let me give you few ideas to help the time pass more positively for everyone.  I feel like a mommy blogger giving advice to traveling parents letting them know how to travel without having their kids kill each other in the back seat (the only reason my brother and I are still alive is because we couldn’t reach across the back seat of our parents station wagon).  But having people staying with you can be a similar situation as being crammed into the car for a 10 hour drive in the summer sans air conditioning and only an AM radio.

  • Find the motivation to finally take that 10 mile bike ride, 3 mile run or 1 hour swim.  (This one is a double positive…you get out of the house and you might finally start working out like you’ve been meaning to do.)
  • Have an unavoidable event scheduled during that time.  (Don’t lie about it and go to the movies…you will get caught.  But that’s not to say you can’t talk with one of your friends about having a little get together – don’t come home drunk out of your gourd either.)
  • Have a party and invite other people over that you’re friends with.
  • Remember when I talked about those ‘safe words?’  This time it has nothing to do with sex tapes.  Sit down with your partner and develop a safe word, or phrase, that when you use it in a sentence means that you just can’t take anymore and the two of you need to escape for a bit and regain some sanity. (I don’t recommend ‘get me the hell out of here’ either.)

Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking


Banana Bread Recipe

  • 1 1/3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 5 1/3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Bananas – Mashed (3 bananas)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
  • 1 – 4 1/4 Ounce Special Dark Candy Bar (roughly chopped)

Streusel Recipe

  • 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Dried Banana Chips (broken into pieces)

Banana Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Butter and flour 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan.  To further reduce sticking, you can also cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the pan.  Place the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and butter that as well.

In a medium bowl, blend together the first four ingredients.

In a large bowl, beat on high speed, the butter; sugar; vanilla; and honey.  Beat for 2 – 3 minutes or until light yellow in color and lighter in texture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients in thirds.  Blend until combined (the texture will be grainy, like sand).

Slowly add in the eggs and beat to combine.

Fold in the bananas, pecans and chocolate.

Once thoroughly combined, pour into the buttered and floured loaf pan.  Spread the batter evenly.

Streusel Recipe

In a small bowl, add all ingredients except for the dried banana chips.

Blend with the back of a fork until a coarse crumb forms.

Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the banana bread.

Then sprinkle the streusel with the banana chips.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before removing from the pan to further cool.


Sophia August 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Delicious! I love banana bread. Looks like you did a great job. I haven’t baked banana bread in a while. Usually, it’s just Beer Bread. Keep up the great work here! I’ll check back soon!

Lezly July 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

these came out great, I added butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chunks. love your blog!

Pamela July 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I’m so glad you liked this. The butterscotch chips sound really good. Gonna have to try that when the mother-in-law isn’t here. I’m pretty sure she would have my head if I made something without chocolate when she’s here.

Lezly July 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I love your blog! I made these today and they came out AMAZING. This will be on my next post. So delicious! The chocolate chunks made it taste like HEAVEN!

Caveman Cooking July 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Pam, first … breathe. Second … we’ll get you the best help available. And, third … anyone you make this recipe for will likely be putty in your hands, only seeing the amazing and talented woman that you are while remaining blind to any possible real, or imagined, background chaos. 😉

Patty July 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I have never thought about adding a candy bar OR streusel to banana bread! My kids would go bonkers over this recipe – it looks delicious and I like the addition of honey. No doubt, the in-laws enjoyed this recipe. Also, appreciate your suggestions for things to do when guests arrive! Will put in motion the next time my in-laws show up!

marla {family fresh cooking} July 21, 2010 at 5:49 am

Of course the banana bread is great…hard not to go crazy on it when you have all those people in your home at one time. I love your advice on having others in the house & I practice the tips you mention. I am a small gal that needs a lot of space. Great seeing you this weekend! xxoo

Brian @ A Thought For Food July 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

Now THAT is some banana bread! Looks freakin’ fantasic! Love the topping!

sippitysup July 20, 2010 at 8:30 am

You and I seem to be more and more alike than I ever knew. Except cigars. .. GREG

penny aka jeroxie July 19, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I am the same. I get so panicky when there are guests. It’s a woman thing to stress out like that…

Lentil Breakdown July 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I was going to suggest YOU stay at a hotel (and take that gorgeous banana bread with you). I would need a safe word that means take that loaf away from me!

Erika - In Erika's Kitchen July 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

You smoke cigars?

Pamela July 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I do! and I keep them in my wine fridge.

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