Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

We all have those certain comfort foods that bring back good memories from when we were growing up. I have a couple: my mom’s beef soup, baked garlic chicken wings, and banana bread. It’s weird that banana bread would top my ultimate comfort list because growing up I had a slight food allergy to a few fruits like pineapple and bananas. Super strange, right? I would eat a banana and my mouth would become itchy and have a slight burning sensation with sore small red bumps on my tongue. It never lasted long, but it was enough to keep me from gulping down the fruit like most other kids my age. There was one exception to my allergy, though, and that was eating bananas in the form of bread. For some reason, baked bananas didn’t seem to bother me and I had the condolence of being able to eat my little heart out of the good stuff. I mean, who needs raw fruit when you can eat a big slice of sweet and moist banana bread that is still warm from the oven, am I right?!

I have a lot of great memories of  waking up on the weekends, staring at a big bunch of overripe bananas and knowing good things were on the horizon. My mom would take out her trusty hand mixer and cream together all the ingredients into one delicious batter, then give me and my sister one of the whisks that were attached to the machine to lick while everything was baking away. In my opinion, the only thing that can beat the finished product is the sweet batter. If that’s not happiness on a stick, I don’t know what is!

This recipe is just like the one my mom used to make, only with a few fun twists thrown in. I’ve always been a biiiiig mix-in girl, and the more delicious fillings you can put into a baked good, the better! I decided to make these chunky monkey themed and threw in a bunch of chopped walnuts and sprinkled the top with perfectly sweet dark chocolate bits to complete the theme. You’ve got the crunchy bites of walnuts to add a bit of texture, thick and, well, banana-y bread that will make you stomach rumble just thinking about, and creamy half-melted chocolate. Sounds dreamy right?

I don’t mean to sound like a rambling car salseman, but WAIT! There’s MORE!

I’m all about easy recipes and this one is no exception. With a stand or hand mixer, everything comes together in a breeze since you basically just throw all of your ingredients in, cream them together, and get them into your loaf pans to bake. This recipe is just about full-proof and in no time, you’ll be enjoying a big fat slice with your family and friends over a cup of coffee in the morning. Perfection. To make the recipe even better (if that’s posisble…) I baked them in mini-form, since everything is instantly a million times cuter once you make it tiny. I was lucky to snag a set of 6 pretty polka-dot loaf pans at my local home goods store for $1.99, which to this broke college girl is the deal of the century. If you can’t find a mini loaf pan, this recipe will work in a normal sized one as well!

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