Chocolate Chip-Espresso Banana Bread

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I love banana bread but when you throw in deep, dark chocolate and a hint of espresso, something magical happens to this delicious breakfast staple–it gets even BETTER.  This bread was so moist and decadent, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to my standard banana bread recipe again!  And I love that I get a little extra jolt of caffeine from the chocolate AND the espresso.  Pair it with a mug of steaming coffee and you’re good to go until lunch!

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Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip-Espresso Banana Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. Mashed, Very Ripe Bananas (I used 6 large bananas for this)
  • ¾ c., plus 2 T. Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ c., plus 2 T. Packed Brown Sugar
  • ¾ c. Coconut Oil, melted (original recipe calls for butter but coconut oil was all I had on hand)
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temp
  • 2¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 t. Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1½ t. Baking Soda
  • ¾ t. Baking Powder
  • 1½ t. Salt
  • 1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray one, 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat together bananas, ¾ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla and eggs. In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to banana mixture and thoroughly combine. Beat in chocolate chips. Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar on top.
  3. Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.

 

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Emack and Bolio’s

This past Sunday Jeremy and I went out for a very special anniversary dinner…pizza and ice cream.  We’re classy like that.  We went to a place called Chicago Gyros and Pizzeria for some delicious Chicago style thin crust pizza.  It was half Greek and half Gypsy (gyro type toppings) and it was delicious!  We also split a gyro because we love theirs so much.  Yeah, we got full.

Now, because it was getting late and I wanted pictures of the ice cream place while it was still light out, we actually went to get dessert first.  We’re adults now, we can do stuff like that right?  So we headed just down the road to Emack and Bolio’s, a little ice cream parlor that is a teeny, tiny building across from a park.  They are only open during the summer months and since I pass them everyday on my way to work and always see people sitting outside eating massive waffle cones with like five scoops of ice cream, I had to try them.  Plus, my mother had just informed me a couple of weeks earlier that they had rum raisin ice cream which is one of my all-time favorites!

So we stopped in a decided to get what’s called a 3-scoop sampler for $3.95.  It’s supposed to be smaller scoops than normal but dear Lord, if they had been any bigger I would have been sick.  It was plenty of ice cream!  Jeremy chose White Pistachio which was an amaretto ice cream with pistachio pieces, Chocolate Addiction which was dark chocolate with dark chocolate chunks and Cookie Monster which was vanilla with Oreo pieces and cookie dough.

I choose Myers Rum Raisin (of course!), Bean Town Buzz which was espresso ice cream with chocolate covered espresso beans and fuge and Black-N-Tan which was vanilla with chocolate covered toffee beans, fudge and cookie crumble.  All of the flavors were sooooo good.  We decided our top three picks were the White Pistachio, Myers Rum Raisin and Chocolate Addiction.   I haven’t had such delicious hand-scooped ice cream in quite a while.  Our usual ice cream run is either a blizzard from Dairy Queen or a frozen custard concrete from Andy’s so it was nice to get something different.

It was a fun night and we made some good memories just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.  And we’ll definitely be going back for more ice cream before summer is over….

 

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White Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve done this whole blog thing (umm, like a YEAR) but I think I’m ready to give it another go. Life finally settled down and I managed to make some yummy cookies. But not just cookies…cookie-wiches. Oh yeah.

I’ve been a little obsessed with putting frosting between cookies lately. I mean if you’re going to have a little sugar, why not have a LOT of sugar, right? Add in a little caffeine and you pretty much have the makings of a totally legal, mood-enhancing drug. Mmmmm, legal drugs.

White Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 c. Granulated Sugar

1 c. Brown Sugar

3/4 c. Shortening

1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter

2 Eggs

2 t. Pure Vanilla

1 1/2 t. Soda

1/2 t. Salt

2 1/4 c. AP Flour

3 T. Instant Coffee

11 oz. White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugars, butter and shortening.  Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.  Whisk dry ingredients in seperate bowl and then add to the wet ingredients.  Mix in chips.

Drop dough onto parchment lined baking pans and bake for 8-10 minutes (shorter if you have dark pans, longer if you have light pans).  Half way through, rotate pans and switch racks to ensure even baking.  Let stand for 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Makes 25 cookie-wiches or 50 cookies.

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

I used Bakerella’s recipe found here.


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