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Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread
Submitted by Thalia, Age 5, and Ariana, Age 3, from Mill Valley, California.

Thalia and her little sister, Ariana, enjoy snacking on this yummy bread any time of the day. According to Mom, the recipe was passed down through the family from one of their great-grandmother's friends. The chocolate chips are optional, although they never seem to be left out. We think chopped walnuts also taste great in this bread.

Thalia knows she is in for a treat when the bananas in the kitchen are not yellow anymore. "I like to mash up the bananas with a fork and then mix the batter in the bowl. Ariana mostly just likes to eat the chocolate chips."

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Grease a 1-lb. loaf pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and bananas and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until well combined, about 1 minute, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Do not overmix.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the center of the bread springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 loaf.