It’s hard to go wrong with banana bread, especially when chocolate chips are involved. Even in Manhattan, land of cronuts, macaroons, and other sophisticated pastries, a warm slice of banana bread with gooey chocolate chips will always hold its own on the dessert table.
Levain Bakery, the tiny Upper West Side cookie mecca, sells deliciously thick slices of banana bread alongside their famous cookies, and it’s always difficult for me to resist picking up a slice. They’ve mastered perfectly scattering chocolate chips throughout the batter, and the layering, zigzagging, and flour-coated chocolate chips here attempt to do the same. If you still find chocolate chips sinking to the bottom of your bread, try chilling the batter in the refrigerator for 20 or 30 minutes before baking.
It’s worth holding on to bananas a few extra days until they become entirely spotted and even a little blackened (or buy them directly from Duane Reade that way, since the bananas for sale near the checkout counter are always either positively green or far beyond ripe). I sometimes freeze my overripe bananas to make sure they don’t go to waste and thaw them out for banana bread, but if you do this, be sure to drain them a bit before adding to the batter as they tend to release a lot of moisture in the thawing process.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour (reserve 1 teaspoon for tossing with chocolate chips)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until well combined, about 1 minute at medium low speed.
- Add eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
- Gradually add flour mixture to batter and mix until just incorporated.
- In a small bowl, toss chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon flour until chips are well coated. This will help chips from sinking to the bottom of batter when cooked.
- Pour 1/4 of batter into pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle batter with 1/3 of the chocolate chips. Repeat layering until all chocolate chips and batter have been added to pan.
- Use a dull knife to make a zigzag pattern in the batter. This will help incorporate the chocolate chips evenly.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on wire rack and serve in thick slices.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar over the top of the batter before baking to add a sugary crunch.