Giving Food Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is a special time of giving and receiving.  My childhood memories are filled with anticipation, cookies, fruitcakes, baskets filled with goodies (that we never would have bought ourselves) from my father’s customers, neighbors, and friends.  Christmas is all about giving and the older I get, the more I want to share fresh baked cookies, breads, soups, and granola.  This year I am making almond crescents, chocolate banana bread, rosemary salt, granola, and chocolate truffles.  For the banana bread, I made the following recipe and it made four small loaves, as you see here one of them.  The size is perfect to put a bow on, gift tag, and deliver to a grateful friend. Merry Christmas!

Chocolate Banana Bread

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

5 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 1/4 cups unbleached flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 cup granola, any variety, finely processed in a food processor

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1 cup 60% dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter four small bread loaf pans.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and bananas.  Separately combine the flour, baking soda, and granola.  Add to banana mixture.  Fold in the nuts and chocolate.  Divide the mixture evenly into the prepared loaf pans.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Tops should be light brown.  Check with a toothpick or skewer for doneness.


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