Raspberry Banana Bread

Makes one 9×5 inch loaf

One of my biggest weaknesses in the kitchen is staying true to a recipe. It often doesn’t matter if I add this, or subtract that, except when I am baking. I have experienced some true baking disasters by “off-roading” in the baking department. Luckily, this banana bread recipe is not one if those disasters. In fact, it withstands all kind of ingredient meanderings, and is a great one for kids to adapt – mine have and love it. This particular recipe was adapted from Williams & Sonoma’s Bread recipe book that co-incidentally Jessica gave me as a wedding present a few years back (before the blog, or my kids, were a thought in anyone’s mind). We hope you like it. My friend Lisa does.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 or 3 very ripe bananas, coarsely mashed
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour or a mix of your favorite flours – Iuse 1/2 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup corn meal and 1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional, but my kids always insist)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease and lightly flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Beat the butter, apple sauce and brown sugar with heavy-duty mixer until creamy, about 1 minute.
Add the bananas and eggs.  Beat until smooth.
Add the buttermilk and mix until just combined.
In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and then add dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Mix until just combined.
The batter should be slightly lumpy but without dry flour spots.
Add the raspberries, mixing them into batter by hand.
Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Spread the chocolate chips along the top of the batter and push in with fork. This should allow for a better distribution of the chips along the entire loaf.
Bake until the loaf is golden-brown and dry to the touch. The edges should pull away from the pan sides, about 55-60 minutes.
Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Cut into thick slices and serve.

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